Thursday, December 29, 2011

Marvel visionaries , John Buscema

Yesterday I treated myself to a book I've always wanted.....that'll put a smile on my face. So...I bought this book. Inside it's filled with the brilliant comic book work of John Buscema the greatest most talented artist Marvel ever had. He had few peers and certainly nobody as talented when it came down to the human figure. His mastery of human anatomy was second to none. He was The Michelangelo of comics. Read here below in the text I lifted from for this book. Then go order yourself one. It's a must have for all the fans who love Big John's work.

Text from Amazon :

The Incredible Hulk, the devastating Dragon Man, the epic end of the gods themselves... none of it was too much for Big John! One of comicdom's most acclaimed creators takes center stage in this genre-spanning gathering of greats! Nick Fury vs. Hydra! Thor vs. the Silver Surfer! The origins of Wolverine and Dracula! The twilight of the Masters of Evil! Includes crime, horror, romance and western work from the pre-Marvel era! Plus: rare Silver Surfer stories unseen for decades! Collects Crime Fighters #4; Western Outlaws & Sheriffs #60; Strange Tales #22 & #150; Tales To Astonish #85-87; Avengers #41-42, #75-76, #277 & Annual #2; Silver Surfer #4; My Love #2; Fantastic Four #111-112; Thor #200; Dracula Lives #3; Marvel Spotlight #30; Epic Illustrated #1; Wolverine #10 and Marvel Shadows & Light #3

Sunday, December 18, 2011

My favorite CHRISTMAS cover ...

...has two versions. My friend ( JEFF BRENNAN , professional cartoonist and fellow JOE KUBERT SCHOOL alumnist ) sent me a Christmas card he doctored up using the image from the cover of Marvel comics...

" GIANT SUPER HERO HOLIDAY GRAB BAG , Marvel treasury special " tabloid sized edition. The original drawn by John Buscema had the heroes flying out of the wreath all with angry scowls on their faces ready to kick some butt. I have the actual treasury edition that this cover appears on. But I never even knew there was another version. Marvel in their infinite wisdom decided to issue a second printing of ye said treasury edition and had JAZZY JOHN ROMITA do some touch ups to the piece. He added there are two versions. A fact I did not know until yesterday. So...provided see the images of my friend's card and the two different versions of the cover in question. Enjoy and "MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!"

Friday, December 16, 2011

Marvel Holiday Magazine 2010

Last year I found this magazine at recycles John Buscema's cover from the Marvel comics GIANT SUPER HERO HOLIDAY GRAB BAG tabloid size treasury edition...inside it reprints Super hero Christmas stories from years ago. I consider myself lucky to have accidentally come across it.

Joe Simon 1913-2011 farewell Joe

Joe Simon?...Comic book legend , Author , illustrator and creator of many characters and CO-CREATOR ( Who along with partner JACK KIRBY ) created the GREATEST super hero of all CAPTAIN AMERICA? That Joe Simon? NO I did not know him. I never met him. But his passing leaves an open space in my heart and soul. The same open space that I had when Jack Kirby passed away and the same as when John Buscema passed away. I met both Kirby and Buscema when I was a student at the JOE KUBERT school many years ago. Both Kirby and Buscema looked at my work at a convention and had nothing but positive things to say. I had seen them look at the portfolio’s of others and I got a completely different reaction from those others…I heard “ You do some good work , keep it up you’re on your way “ from Kirby and “ Your anatomy is a bit quirky but then again whose isn’t these days , there’s no reason why you should not be working right now keep plugging away , you’ll get there!” From Buscema. ( He was known for his brusque tone and no nonsense honesty )
So I was happy. ( But this is a story for another time )
But…I’m talking about Joe Simon today. I went to a convention once to go see Joe and to get my set of Captain America hard covers signed ( The ones produced by Greg Theakston : Remember they had a phallic symbol drawn onto one of the printed pages that got produced with the entire run and ruined Greg’s rep with Marvel for life ? ) But Joe was not there that day. You see…being a man in his 80’s at the time he was not feeling well and did not attend days 2 and 3 of the con. So I missed him ( Bummer ) I understood and can’t say I blame him he WAS in his 80’s for Pete’s sake. I missed my window to shake hands with a man who helped to create and invent my favorite super hero of all time. Sure there may have been other times where I had a chance but…the day I chose was the only convenient time for me.
I have never been a working professional in the comic book industry but I did study cartoon art and comic books and have collected comic books pretty much my entire life. I read books and bio’s about the business of comic books and art books ( I highly recommend the COMIC BOOK MAKERS by Joe Simon – with Jim Simon. ) I am not in the know and industry pro’s do not know me…but I am learned on the subject of the history of comics and the business of the industry…particularly how to produce the art for comic books and so on.
So yes…Joe Simon dying had an effect on me. Knowing who he was and what he was all about was part of what I would consider a subject I made my business to know. Although I am irrelevant…the knowledge I sought was not. If there was something to know…I read about it and if there was something new to know I wanted to know it. All I can say is… my feelings on the subject of this legend passing away at the respectable old age of 98 years are justified. I have a right to be affected. Not so much in the same way as his own family…being I did not know him or ever even meet him . But His passing marks an important point in the history of Comic books. For he co-created the greatest ( Yes Greater than Superman to me anyway ) super hero in history! I just want to clarify that feeling down about his death is not a bandwagon affectation. I genuinely was moved at hearing the news of his passing. There is no filling in the spaces in my heart but there is a solace…Joe’s work will live on. Captain America will live on.
“ The Simon and Kirby SUPER HEROES “ is a book that has just seen print and it’s chock full of classic stories about Super Heroes Joe and Jack created and it will live on and serve as part of his legacy. I’ll be buying me one and I suggest you all do the same. My imagination has been fueled by the exploits and feats of HEROISM of the HEROES created in part by Joe Simon…most of those images in my head are of Captain America saving the day. I have Joe to thank for that. He may not have known me…but I am glad he was here to liven up and enrich all our lives with his talent. God bless you Joe Simon. Good night Sir.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Argosy Weekly

Every now and then ...I get in a mood. I begin to draw and I feel appeased. I was browsing and looking for images to use as inspiration and came across a cover to Argosy weekly March 19 , 1929 so...feeling inspired I whipped it up. I think I'm going to start collecting Pulps...just for the covers...Tarzan , Doc Savage and the Spider! That's reason enough! I hope you like my drawing.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My favorite INVADERS covers!!

I have always been fascinated with comic books from the original era of the 40's...they were so new and inventive and primitive and exciting all at once. The greatest super heroes came from that era and still to this day leave their indelible mark on the industry. Now...CAPTAIN AMERICA being my favorite HERO of HEROES ( In long underwear anyway ) was always number one on my list of comics I'd love to have from the 40's...sure everyone wants Supes and Bats but I want my CAPS....When Marvel comics released the INVADERS comic book series in the 70's I was ecstatic...these were untold tales of Cap during WWII. The romantic idea of heroic deeds and teamwork with other heroes of the time was not lost on me and my fascination grew. The INVADERS is more than likely one of the best series ever in my opinion. Here are just a few examples of my favorite INVADERS covers by the likes of Frank Robbins , John Romita , Jack Kirby and Alex Schomberg...I'll be buying me that Trade paperback they have out and I'll be reading that puppy from cover to cover...enjoy.