Archive - June 2010
World of Strange
|Hembeck.com Contents Page||Links A'Plenty|
Read about my book!!!!!
|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
|SPIDER-MAN versus DR.STRANGE!!|
|SPIDER-MAN and DR.STRANGE versus The SANDMAN!!|
|SPIDER-MAN and DR.STRANGE versus DORMAMMUI!!|
|Click any of the above images to see a larger
And follow this link should you wish to bid on any of the illos over on Ebay.
|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!|
|SPIDER-MAN versus The SINISTER SIX!!|
|The FANTASTIC FOUR, NAMOR, and DR.DOOM!!|
|The Original AVENGERS!!|
|BATMAN and The OUTSIDERS!!|
|Wanna bigger look? Click the above images.
Wanna purchase? This is the link to our current Ebay auctions.
|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
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...).
|LEGION of SUPER-HEROES!!|
|LEGION of SUPER-HEROES, again!!|
|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
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
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)...|
|SPIDER-MAN versus The SINISTER SIX!!|
|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!!)
|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
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
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!
|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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