Monday, November 29, 2010

The art of Michael Maikowsky

In case you aint convinced of Mike's skill....lookie here at deese babies....impressive right?

Cover recreations by Michael Maikowsky

Today I would like to speak a little about an artist whose inspirations and tastes reflect my own.
While I am not on the skill level this fella is we both share a love for the same HERO...a man who really existed. A man whose face should be on the COMIC BOOK ART Equivalent of MOUNT RUSHMORE. Just exactly who should be on this monument with him would be tough to determine , Other than KIRBY. But JOHN BUSCEMA is in my estimation the GREATEST comic book artist/illustrator who ever lived. While I do love the art of COMICS and many artists are masters...I and Mr. Michael Maikowsky share the same feelings toward Mr. Buscema.

Here in this post you will find some highly skilled and very true renderings of famous illustrations created by John Buscema. Michael Maikowsky's perfect execution of Big John's CONAN , Ka-Zar and THOR kind of inspired me to post this today.

I have seen his work over the last couple of years and not only was I impressed but I was inspired as well. Mike inspired me to pick up the pencil once again and draw. I did not draw for years. Sure I doodled and made little scribble cartoons here and there but...I never really REALLY drew anything. Not for a long time.

After contacting Michael he allowed me to post some of his works here on my COVERS blog.
I would like to share with you...just in a case you may want an expertly crafted recreation OR original in the style of Big John Buscema. You can contact Michael Maikowsky through the info provided. In the copy below...taken from Comic art you'll find the links to contact Mr. Maikowsky yourself.
See below.....

" Michael is bringing us comic art fans a gift. Everything he does is inspired by John Buscema, a truly loved man and artist. Although Big John can no longer create new images or recreate old ones, through Michael, Mr. Buscema's magic can still grace the page. Please check out his whole gallery here on CAF or go to: If you would like to commission Michael his rates are as follows: 11 by 17 single figure with no background: $150. 11 by 17 recreation or reinterpretation: $300. All prices include shipping. A note from Michael: Fellow CAF member Michel Maillot triggered my interest for those John Buscema recreations. Michel saw my tribute portrait of Big John in issue # 21 of TwoMorrows ´Comic Book Artist Magazine´ and asked me for a copy of my drawing which I sent him along with a cover recreation I had finished just for fun. As a result of that, Michel ordered some more recreations in exchange for photocopies of his huge J.B. original art collection (the ´French Collection´, as I use to call it). Inspired by Michel's compliments, I got hooked and developed the nutty idea to recreate every one of Johnny B.´s penciled and inked covers, which I guess was my desperate expression of how much I miss the Big Man and his exceptional artistry. A big thank you goes out to artist supreme Joe Jusko who encouraged, promoted and honored me by presenting some of my artwork in his breathtaking gallery. As you can see, I definitely enjoy reproducing those magic images of John Buscema. It's something I find very inspirational and a valuable learning experience! It taught me more about anatomy, composition, dynamics, lighting, spotting of blacks, etc. than any how-to art book out there. (Btw, my recreations are 11x17 and done on quality two ply bristol board, solely inked with a brush. The title logos are hand lettered. No stats, no whiteout. To prevent confusion and misunderstandings, the artwork is signed with the usual "...after J. Buscema" remark.) Hope I can share some of the love I feel for Big John. I miss him terribly. Nuff said! Best, Michael "
" And here is the cut and paste of my correspondance with Mike. "

Michael MaikowskyNovember 30, 2010 at 3:42am
Re: info
Hey Michael, wow, I feel flattered and honored getting featured on your "Favorite Cover Blog", thanks, mate! Basically, some infos about me and my hobby can be found on the Comicartfans Gallery Room of my art rep Kirk Dilbeck:;, our mutual friend Joe Jusko was instrumental in getting some attention for me and my stuff. Here´s Joe´s gallery featuring some of my recreations:; you still need additional info, don´t hesitate to ask.Best,Michael

Sunday, November 28, 2010

THE BIG 3 ....

CAP , SUBBY and the TORCH!!! 3 of Marvel's very first characters were back in a comic book series set in the time of the WW II.

I of course at the time had no idea that these guys were in comics together in the 1940's until I bought the comic and read on.

Seeing them puching out Nazi bad guys and fly through the air together created an awe and thrill that can't be beat. I bought this comic right off the rack at 7-11...because it had CAP on the cover. Anything that had CAPTAIN AMERICA in it was on my must read list as CAP is my first and foremost favorite comic book super hero.

This JOHN ROMITA cover captured the essense of how a super team ripped through the enemy for a flawless victory everytime!


DANGER - DINOSAURS ~ Catain Comet!!!

As a kid I'd spent a lot of times in the hospital with kidney issues I'd say in my first 14 years of life I was in the Hosptal 11 times. If I remember right they were about 2 week long stays. I was on IV's and under observation for kidney failure and I was on prednisone an oral steroid just to keep my kidney's functioning.

It was a crummy time everytime I was in there because I just had this gross sick feeling all the time. BUT....there were times that made up for the lousy sick feeling. Like when my parents would bring me a new comic book or 2 and then all my troubles worries and cares would fly away as I'd get lost in the comic book.
This comic book right here was my favorite for a long time...who the heck was CAPTAIN COMET?
Why does he remind me of SUPERMAN and WOW he's punching a T-REX in the face!
I can't recall right now but I believe that Dino-man there's name was T-REX and he was trying to take over the world with a Dino-army

CAPTAIN COMET came along and foiled his plans. Yep..I read it a bunch of times until the cover came off and can't remember much about it right now but I know I loved it. I would stare at this cover for hours and it made me feel better.

Cover by Rich Buckler and Joe Rubenstein.

Friday, November 26, 2010


No...sadly I do not have a REAL original run copy of this book...but I have umpteen reprints of it if that's worth anything?

It's worth like 200,000 bucks or something like that. Maybe when I hit the lottery I'll get me one. What makes this my all time fave # 1 ?....I love Cap. He's my favorite character of all time.

He always does the right thing and he's noble and brave and honorable. He's a man out of his time and his sensibilities are simpler. Like his young partner Bucky who is now the star spangled Avenger he's got heavy issues weighing down his conscience.

Another cool little angle about this cover is...HE'S PUNCHING HITLER IN THE FACE!!!!

Right there in 4 color process he's bashing Hitler's teeth out. Giving him a good old sock a roonie!!

The image of Captain America is an iconic one. Carrying his shield and wearing the stars and stripes with a big old "A" for America...what is not to love. He is the Hero of Heroes and always will be. Like Super man...Cap has a long line of comic creations based on him and the line is long I'll tell you.

But my love of comics and Cap....only makes it easier to like all those other imitators. The SHIELD may have pre-dated CAP in publication but CAP is the one who caught every bodies eye and attention.

Soon to be a major motion picture...CAPTAIN AMERICA IS...THE FIRST AVENGER!!!


TOP 10 # 2...MAN-BAT!!!!

Probably one of the coolest macabre characters in comic books is Man-Bat. He's a Were BAT!

He transforms into a giant BAT MAN. WHAT IS COOLER?

What warrants this cover as an all time fave? The building...a haunted looking castle type structure, MAN BAT - he's flying at Bat's all menacing like and BATMAN himself walking on his batline.

At first ( I bought this comic off the rack at the newstand in Roosevelt ) I was scared and afraid of him but after reading the comic book...I feel bad for Man Bat...he's a sympathetic character.

As much as I love BATMAN and want him to catch the bad guy. I always root for MAN BAT to get away.

This cover was drawn by the late great JIM APARO...who in my opinion is probably THE greatest BATMAN artist ever. Everyone else is a close second

Cover by Jim Aparo

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


What how or why I like CONAN so much I can't answer I just do. CONAN is a man's man. He does everything for himself. He owes no one nothing and he takes what he wants when he wants including women's.

He has an indomnitable will and great strength. When he wants something done he just does it himself. These could be the reasons I like CONAN.

I had read TARZAN novels as a kid and discovered a few years later that CONAN also had some books out there. I got a hold of some ( Frazetta covers ) and read them...that was it I was hooked. REH's stories blended adventure , suspense and horror. Once I began to read I was hooked. It totally sent me in another direction completely as a teen. By 15 I wanted to draw comics and I wanted to do CONAN comics! I don't draw CONAN comics but I still dabble in art and draw when I have time.

John Buscema is my ultimate favorite artist for CONAN but everyone else who has ever done a CONAN comic book I am jealous of ( Laughing out loud ).

The truth is...I am not as good as I could be...( does that make sense ) I have the skill but I have absolutely zero patience. I can't sit and draw. I can't sit and do much for very long.
Maybe some over the counter drugs would have helped me focus...maybe booze who knows.
But I was not destined to draw comic books. As much as I wanted to I did not have it in me.
This comic book I got for Christmas when I was 15.
I still have it.....and I will ....always. Interiors and cover art by Barry Smith..or as he likes...BARRY WINDSOR SMITH. Whichever....he is certainly entitled. He earned it!

TOP 10 # 4 - Prince vs Prince! SUBBY # 59 !

What can I say about this one. It has two of my favorite Marvel heroes going toe to toe blow for blow!

I was in second grade when I came across this comic book. A friend had it in class one day and I had to have it. I made believe I had no interest in it and I befriended the kid. just so I can see what other comic book goodies he had. I went to his house to play catch and we'd throw the foot ball around and then his Mother made us some lunch and then we played with our MEGO action figures on his swing set and then I'd go home. I kept this up for a couple of months all the while coveting his comic book.

THEN one day I went to his house and I had some baseball cards with me. I did not like nor did I collect baseball cards how I wound up with the cards I don't remember but in my little stack of about 40 cards wrapped up with a rubber band was a TOM SEAVER, NY METS card

and he wanted it. He needed it and he begged and pleaded and wanted to trade anything for it.

So I made a deal with him. I gave him all the cards for all his comics. In that pile was the much sought after and coveted SUB MARINER number 59! There were also a bunch of other great comics too. Legion , Spidey , Cap , Sgt Fury , Avengers , Bat man and so on. I definately got the better bargain in the trade in my opinion.

The kids name was Jimmy and he moved to Florida soon after. But not before managing to get that comic book! It was a great story too!

Cover by Bill Everett...I do believe it's a Gene Colon and Bill Everett. Not really sure of the penciller...but those inks...That's WILD BILL!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

TOP 10 - # 5 ....SGT. ROCK - 1976

In my early days as a comic book collector I used to look at the art intently mesmerised by the use of pen and ink. When I found WAR comics and SGT ROCK it added a new element to comic books I'd never seen before.
It was about a year and a half after we'd moved from Roosevelt NY to Bayshore. I had not yet ventured out on my bike to go find comic books! ONE day I had developed the nerve. I headed up to a little strip mall that had an ASSOCIATED super market.

I remembered those beatings I had gotten from the neighborhood kids when I lived in Roosevelt and I was cautious as I headed off to the store with my allowance. I was in a new town and I made it to the store without any altercations. I went in. BEHOLD!!! A spinner rack loaded with comics....WOW...this selection was better than the candy store back in Roosevelt.

So I spun the rack...hmm...what to buy? What's this? SGT ROCK!!! RED WHITE AND BLUE!!! ARMY COMICS!!! I discovered a new brand of comic. This comic book represents my independance and it also represents a time in my life where things were from from bullies and FREE to go where I want when I want and not worry about getting trounced. It was a simple time of life for me. This cover was drawn by the master .... JOE KUBERT!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

TOP 10 Favorite covers # 6 THE BAT-WITCH

This particular comic book I got from that very same flea market that I mention in the prior post. My Dad bought this for me for a buck! I love the whole idea that Supes sets Bat's up because he's jealous of a girl! That's too funny.

Then there is the scene where they run into an old ancestor of Bruce's. Then somebody asked them why they're dressed up in those outfits and they cleverly make up that they're actors and the " S " stands for Shakespeare. Corny but clever writing...that's why I love comics!

This here cover I believe is a NEAL ADAMS.

If I am wrong and anyone knows for sure and can confirm please tell me. It would be greatly appreciated.

Cover by NEAL ADAMS.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

MY TOP 10 number 7 - " Special Marvel edition # 3 "

Actually a reprinting of the cover of "Journey into Mystery # 123 "
I am not really sure if it's a redrawn cover or if it's been cut and pasted but you can see the differences in the art...the floating heads are now framed in circles and the stones in the foreground have shifted a bit...the cape has been drawn very differently and THOR'S mighty right foot isn't covered by rubble but JACK KIRBY really smashed this one out of the park.
This is one of the first comic books I remember buying from the old BAY SHORE flea market.
It used to be an old GRUMMAN production hangar but when grumman sold off the buildings a roller rink made it's home in one bldg and across the highway the FLEA MARKET was a staple in BAY SHORE....until they tore it down and put up a strip mall. On that site now you'll find BEST BUY , TOY'S R US and a HOME DEPOT and a bunch of other irrelevant and superfluos stores that deserve no honorable mention.
I remember going in there and looking for old THOR and TARZAN comics and I would ask the you have any more JOE KUBERT or JACK KIRBY comics? I was 10 but I think the guy hated me because he was never very helpful. He was probably thinking..." What the heck does this brat know about JACK KIRBY? "
KIRBY was the KING..the Babe Ruth of COMIC BOOKS...MARVEL is the HOUSE that JACK KIRBY built.
Cover by...JACK KIRBY!