Archive - June 2010
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June 29th, 2010
The Curt Swan/George Klein illustration of the commemorative statue that serves as the centerpiece for 1964's 7th SUPERMAN ANNUAL, allegedly featuring the greatest Supes stories of the Kryptonian's first 25 years, is clearly the highlight of this otherwise dubious collection.

The original--and a larger version of my redo--can be viewed by following the link imbedded in the accompanying thumbnail image.
This Silver Anniversary issue was advertised in EVERY SINGLE DC Comic published for at least a full month before it's release date, coincidentally (?) scheduled for the week school ended (in my case, 5th grade), so you can well imagine the level of anticipation this thing revved up!!

And what did we get? Yet another origin of the World's Finest team--there were several--and such non-thriller's as "Superman's Mystery Power"!

"Hey, Luthor--you think I was tough BEFORE? Well, NOW I can shoot rainbow rays out of my fingers!!"

Hardly the "greatest stories published during the last 25 years" (as the cover bragged--likely none dated back any further than five years anyway...), but hey, that sure was one heckuva cover, wasn't it?
June 26th, 2010
In case I ever do get a chance to do my own follow-up story to the one found in the second AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL, I thought I'd practice up by doing a few illos of the Webspinner matching up with good ol' Doc Strange, as well as against a few of their respective arch-foes!

Plus, Deadpool!

Go look!
Click any of the above images to see a larger scan.

And follow this link should you wish to bid on any of the illos over on Ebay.

More soon!!
June 25th, 2010

Wanna HEAR me ramble on rather than READ me ramble on?

Well, okay, maybe YOU don't, but there's gotta be SOMEBODY out there who does (doesn't there?...).

And if you do, I direct your attention to this fine, pre-recorded, nearly hour-long interview conducted with your truly by the fine folks over at COMICS ON COMICS, led by stand-up comedian Tim Powers!

Here's the specific link.

Thanks fellas--I had big-time fun! And to those of you who might actually choose to cock an ear towards my audio blather, bless you! Now you can only begin to imagine what Lynn's put up with for the past 31 years (a belated tip o' the hat to us both for celebrating our 31st anniversary two days ago!)!
June 21st, 2010
More art yonder!
The Original AVENGERS!!
Wanna bigger look? Click the above images.

Wanna purchase? This is the link to our current Ebay auctions.

Back soon!
June 19th, 2010
Curt Swan and George Klein provided 1961's fourth SUPERMAN ANNUAL with a nice variation from the standard 80 Page Giant cover layout--too bad stories about Supes in space and on alien worlds mostly left me bored (though I generally DID enjoy the always confusing time travel tales!!).

My version--as well as the original--can be seen simply by clicking the thumbnail image! Hey, talk about your trips across space!...
June 17th, 2010
From 1961 right up through the late eighties, I kept a pretty close eye as to what was going on in comics, particularly those published by Marvel and DC. After that, well, it's been a long, slow drifting away, to the point where I no longer follow any of the currently issued books from the two industry leaders. Hey, it happens.

Stark evidence of my ignorance? Well, to this day, I've never read a single comic featuring a fellow by the name of Deadpool! But every month, when I page through the Marvel listings in the Diamond Previews catalog (yes, I at least stay in touch with things that much), I come across four or five titles starring this apparently very popular character!

So, I figured, why not try DRAWING him?

So I did!! And now the illo's up for grabs (as are a couple of old school Legion of Super-Heroes pics as well...). Here then is my second try at Deadpool (I'll offer up my first go somewhere down the line, fear not...).
For a bigger peek, click the images above.

For a shot at calling any or all as your own, here's the link to our current Ebay auctions.

June 15th, 2010
To my youthful imagination, one of the most appealing aspects of the entire Man of Steel mythos was how our hero seemingly morphed into one super variation after another, a tradition ably illustrated by Curt Swan and Stan Kaye on their cover for 1961's SUPERMAN ANNUAL#3, collecting nearly a dozen such tales.

Click the thumbnail version over to the side to see both the original and a larger version of my redo.
Before I ever ponied up a penny to buy my own copy of a Superman Family title, I was fascinated by the myriad transformations made by Superman (and Superboy, Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane, and even, occasionally, Lana Lang (but not Perry White--guess he was a little too old for all that shape-shifting body stress...)) in the comics passed around on the playground. I was especially taken by the Superman of the future--apparently we're currently not far enough in the future, as the giant craniums, long fingernails, and snotty attitudes are nowhere to be found (well, save for the latter two characteristics, often seen on check-out girls down at the supermarket...). Being a mere lad of eight when I originally bought this particular collection, this marked my first semi-encounter with Alfred E. Neuman, as MAD magazine was far too sophisticated for me at the time--whoda thunk? And the Ugly Superman? A bit of a cheat--it wasn't Kal at all, but a burly wrestler who'd appropriated the name. Sort of a fictional Hulk Hogan if you will.

I miss the days when super-heroes regularly changed into whimsical variations of themselves, but hey, I guess that's Rao created back issues, huh?
June 14th, 2010
I was saddened to learn of Al Williamson's recent passing.

Al was a terrific artist--anybody who knows anything about comics knows that. My personal favorite Williamson work would have to include his Warren jobs (most especially CREEPY#1's legendary "Success Story"), his EC science-fiction material ("50 Girls 50" being a particularly memorable read at age thirteen, nestled within the pages of the TALES OF THE INCREDIBLE paperback collection), his inking of Jack Kirby's "3 Rocketeers " in Harvey Comic's mid-sixties BLAST-OFF reprint, his exquisite inking on a lengthy run of Curt Swan's eighties' Superman pencils (oh, if only those episodes hadn't been printed on such shoddy paper), and most stunningly, that first issue of FLASH GORDON published by King Comics, which at the time I considered to be the single most beautifully rendered comic book I'd ever seen (and y'know, it still ranks pretty darn high up in that category to this very day!...)!

Absolutely brilliant stuff, truly unforgettable.

But that's not the main way I'll remember Al. No, I'll always recall him as an absolutely wonderful guy--and I'm sure I won't be the only one...

I first met the celebrated cartoonist while wandering the aisles at an NYC comics con back in 1990, introduced by our mutual friend, Terry Austin. Al surprised me by not only being familiar with my work, but he was particularly enthusiastic about an early "Dateline:@#$!" strip I did, one in which I took a classic Alex Raymond "Flash Gordon" page and redrew it in my own style. Well, given Williamson's well documented affection for Raymond's work. I suppose it shouldn't've been all that startling that he'd taken notice of it, but even beyond that, Al was incredibly amiable. I'll confess to a personal hang-up when encountering comics folks whose work I'd admired in my formative years: I generally get tongue-tied, and as nice as they are (and almost without exception, nice is what they are), I stammer a few words of praise, smile and slink off. Not with Al--almost immediately, I felt entirely at ease chatting with this legend of my youth. I suppose it helped a little having my buddy Terry there as an intermediary of sorts, but frankly, it wasn't long before I felt like Al Williamson was more than a professional acquaintance--I felt like he was a friend.

Not that we ever got the chance to hang out, unfortunately. But for the next--what, half dozen?--years I would run into Al at the once annual Ramapo High School Comics Con, located in upstate (if only barely) New York, and he would always seem genuinely pleased to see me. I know I certainly was always thrilled to see HIM! Not long after that yearly show closed up shop for good, I was speaking on the phone to Terry, and casually asked how Al was doing, and was dismayed to hear about his less than ideal health situation. Finally, that's all come to an end. The comics world has lost a rare talent, but trust me--the regular world has lost a rare individual, period.

I wish I'd been able to've known Al Williamson better, but I guess I should just be thankful I got to know him at all. And as for the Alex Raymond "Dateline:@#$!" tribute piece? I made sure to give Al the original the very next time I saw him. Hey, I figured it was the very least I could do considering all that he'd given me....
June 12th, 2010
The first super-hero comic I ever bought (or more truthfully, cajoled my mom into plunking down a quarter for) was 1960's SUPERMAN ANNUAL#2. I still have that very issue downstairs somewhere, albeit minus it's iconic Curt Swan/Stan Kaye cover. That didn't stop me from cobbling together my own version of same, however--even if, as it was done in my pre-internet days, I had to really on a full-page ad in another DC comic as my source of reference.
Click the thumbnail above to see my take as well as the Swan/Kaye original.

And while I've told this story plenty of times before, briefly, the motivating factor for picking up this collection was the inclusion of Bizarro on the roster of reprints. I'd become fascinated with Superman's way imperfect double due to eyeballing some of his then current appearances in comics smuggled into Mrs. Robinson's second grade class by a friend named Chucky Muller. Little did I realize that Bizarro's debut was played more for pathos than the low-brow humor I was expecting, much to my low-brow disappointment. But I stuck around anyway, and thus, here I am today!

Twenty-five cents can change your life--who knew??
June 11th, 2010
Been a while since I offered up any of these illos, as I've been busy working on that "Spider-Man Versus The Sinister Six" story for Marvel that I told you about recently. But we're back today with three new pics, the first of which is (no surprise)...
Click on 'em to see 'em larger.

And here's the link to our current Ebay auctions!!

See ya again, real soon!!
June 10th, 2010
That's William Haines and Anita Page, two silent stars making their sound debut in 1929's "Navy Blues", one of 45 new entries found over on

Hey, Did I Tell You About That MOVIE I Saw Recently?...

It's one of only about a dozen short reviews sprinkled throughout--we still haven't gotten back up to full speed, I'm afraid--but we now offer both director credits AND imdb links to each film!! (The first thing I do after watching a flick is head on over to it's imdb page, scour the cast listing, read any background info offered, and see what others folks think of what I'd just seen!! Gotta love the internet!!)

More soon!!
June 5th, 2010
Over the past week, I've posted my reinterpretations of several key Steve Ditko AMAZING SPIDER-MAN covers (and one splash page), each featuring the debut appearances of the group of baddies that eventually came to be known as The Sinister Six (plus a guest-starring turn by The Human Torch).

Guess what? There was actually a point to that particular sequence of postings. Which was:

I've just completed a 10 page Spider-Man story for Marvel featuring ALL of those characters!!

For more info (not to mention a look at the story's splash page), follow this link!

Big time fun for yours truly, lemme tell ya!!
June 4th, 2010
Mysterio! The Vulture! Electro! Sandman! Kraven the Hunter! Dr. Octopus! Together they comprised The Sinister Six, a villainous conglomeration debuting in 1964's AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #1, my personal all-time favorite single comic book!
With 73 all new pages (including the cover) of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko at their absolute peak, hey, how could it NOT be?

Click on the thumbnail pic to see Ditko's original as well as a larger look at my own lovingly crafted version!

Tomorrow? An exciting surprise! See ya then!!
June 3rd, 2010
If you're craving a cover cameo from Spidey's first adversary, The Chameleon, look no further than 1964's AMAZING SPIDER-MAN#15 (also featuring the initial appearance of a hunter by the name of Kraven...)!

You know the drill by now--click the image to see Steve Ditko's original art as well as a way bigger look at my quirky version!

(That's six! No--actually seven...)
June 2nd, 2010
With a fishbowl on his head and a smoke machine working overtime, the aptly named Mysterio debuted inside the pages of 1964's AMAZING SPIDER-MAN#13.

You can get a much larger look at my version of Steve Ditko's original cover (and Mr. D's as well) simply by clicking the accompanying image!

(That's five!...)
June 1st, 2010
Electro's debut in the pages of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN#9 is one of the few early Steve Ditko Spidey covers I've never had the pleasure of redoing (commissions welcome!..)--but I HAVE had a go at that issue's electrifying splash page, one of my absolute all-time favorites!!

Click the pic over yonder to see not only the original, but a closer look at my own version as well!!

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