Saturday, December 20, 2008

Daredevil 217 Splash - 1985


If it wasn't for David Mazzucchelli, I may have never discovered Frank Miller. Back in the 1980's, when I started reading comics full-time, I almost always made buying decisions based on the artist of the book. Coming in at issue 216 (I think), I'd completely missed out on Miller's original run on Daredevil. For me, Daredevil was defined by Denny O'Neil scripts and Mazzucchelli art. The stories were dark and moody, and Mazzucchelli's art was the perfect fit. Miller would be back on the book with issue 227 - the first of a seven issue story arc, later collected in a trade edition entitled "Born Again" (now a classic - see the other Mazzucchelli pages from this saga in this blog). But prior to Miller's return, there was some great stuff being done on this title. I recently re-read most of these stories, and they really hold up well. I was happy to pick up this splash, penciled and inked by Mazzucchelli himself (click for larger image).

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dr. Kildare 05-30-1963

Found another great strip that I couldn't resist - a 1963 Dr. Kildare daily by Ken Bald featuring a very lovely woman. I owned a few Bald Judd Saxon dailies once, but sold them off. It's nice to have another Bald back in my collection. This strip is a bit earlier than the ones I used to own, and the quality is a bit nicer. What makes it extra special though is that it once belonged to comic art giant Wally Wood!! Pretty nifty (see inscription).

Whenever I see a strip signed with a dedication to another person (like my On Stage daily by Leonard Starr ), I always assume the artist was particularly pleased with the strip since they were giving it as a gift. I could be wrong but both the dedicated strips in my collection are pretty darned good examples. (Click for larger scan. Pencils and inks Ken Bald.)


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Early Gallo

Many years ago, I was helping artist Gregory Gallo clean out his studio and we came across this piece (which he told me to throw in the trash!). I convinced him to let me keep it. It's a pretty early example of his work and is dated 6/27/84. The main image with the face seems to be painted on a piece of cardboard, and the background with the pink, white, and green is actually a very thick piece of wood - might have been a cabinet door or something. (click for larger image)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Fantastic Four 253 Pages!!


Well, it seems I've come full circle in my collecting life. As outlined in my article for CFA-APA 62, owning a John Byrne Fantastic Four page is what set me down the path of collecting original art. Despite the fact that Byrne worked on over 60 issues, good pages are very scarce!! Over the years, I was able to acquire some nice pages, but all of them were from the later part of the run - the 260's, in which Byrne used marker to ink the pages. For the first time, I've finally been able to get a hold of some earlier pages from 253. These pages are all inked using the traditional "pens" (or crow quill), and they are amazing!! The inking is very crisp and detailed, and the blacks are very solid - a big difference from the later marker pages. Couple that with the great content - all four of the FF in battle, well, I couldn't ask for more.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Morrison - Quitely All Star Superman 07, Page 21


For the last few years I've been saying that we're in a second "Golden Age" of comics. The quality of writing and art in many titles is as good or better than anything previously produced in the history of the medium. Some of the standouts have been - The Ultimates by Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch, Ex Machina by Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris, 100 Bullets by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso, Astonishing X-Men by Josh Whedon and John Cassaday, and Alan Moore's ABC line of comics - Tom Strong (art by Chris Sprouse), and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (art by Kevin O'Neill), to name just a few.

My most recent favorite has been Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's new Superman series. Morrison seems to be harkening back to the Man of Steel's Silver Age, where anything could happen in any given issue. And that's the fun of it - no worrying about continuity, and no need to be a Superman historian. You can just jump right in and enjoy the fun. I've taken a strong liking to Quitely's work too. My first exposure to his work didn't really impress me, but after reading this series, I'm finally beginning to see the light (it might help that he's not being inked by anyone - the pencils are scanned directly and colored). I picked up this page at San Diego Comicon in 2008, and I'd love a bunch more! I've added word balloons using Photoshop to make it more readable (click for larger image).

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Killing Joke Prelim 28


Here's another neat prelim from Alan Moore's Killing Joke, with art by Brian Bolland. I love comparing these to the printed page and seeing the differences. You can see in panel four that Bolland indicated that the Joker's face be rotated, and in the printed page, he has done just that. I also love the last panel with the Joker's reflection in the puddle. The very next panel in the book begins a flashback sequence and is nearly identical to this one - it also shows him standing over a puddle just before the "accident" that will turn him into the Joker. Moore uses this trick several times in the story when he switches from past to present and vice versa, and I'm quite fond of it.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Rusty Riley 11-07-55

The second of the two Rusty strips I picked up recenly. Love all the line work on Tex's coat. I can't say with certainty, but it appears Godwin only ever used brush which is really amazing!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Rusty Riley 01/17/55


As mentioned in my article for the CFA-APA 65, I believe that strip art is where you get the most bang for your buck. My personal favorites are the photo-realistic adventure strips of the 1950's and later. Guys like Alex Raymond, Stan Drake, Leonard Starr, Jose Luis Salinas, Ken Bald, Neal Adams, Frank Godwin and others were producing high quality strips, literally, on a daily basis. Since most collectors interests are driven by superhero based nostalgia, many of these great artists works can be had amazingly cheap.

I made the decision a while back to sell off my strip art collection. I haven't really regretted it, but whenever I see a particularly nice daily, it gets the wheels turning in my head. In fact, whenever I see a nice Godwin Rusty Riley, I wonder why I don't own a bunch. That changed recently as I picked up a couple of nice dailies from 1955. Here's the first one.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Unknown Floral

This painting was found at an estate sale in New York and is supposedly from the 19th century. It's got enough dirt on it, so it's plausible. I can't quite make out the signature - could be "Melancon" or something close to it. (click for larger image).... this post is dedicated to Kenny...