Monday, June 30, 2008
Up, up and away!
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
In conjunction with my pal Karswell's blog, "The Horrors Of It All", whose current weekend presentation has some serious crime horror tales, here are some funny filler pieces from Karswell's Kollection representing "the lighter side of crime" from the September/October 1951 issue Crime Clinic #11. I will be running some of THOIA's leftovers from time-to-time henceforth (thanks, Steve). Enjoy!
Friday, June 27, 2008
Wolverine was created by writer Len Wein and Marvel art director John Romita Sr., who originally designed the character, but he was first drawn for publication by artist Herb Trimpe in a cameo appearance on the last page of Incredible Hulk #180 (October 1974) and then his first "full" appearance in Incredible Hulk #181 (November 1974). X-Men writer Chris Claremont played a significant role in the character's subsequent development as did artist/writer John Byrne, who insisted on making the character older than the other X-Men.
Wolverine was recruited into the X-Men's "All New, All Different" roster in Giant-Size X-Men #1 (May 1975) by Professor Xavier to assist in the rescue of the original team, who were imprisoned by Krakoa, the Living Island (“Second Genesis”). The character quickly emerged as the clear favorite for fans of the increasingly popular X-Men franchise and his trend-setting willingness to use deadly force along with his brooding nature became standard characteristics for industry anti-heroes by the end of the 1980’s.
Wolverine (or Logan; as he was also known) was originally intended to simply be a mutated wolverine cub brought into existence by the High Evolutionary, but this idea was nixed. Another possible origin tied Wolverine’s parentage to the villain Sabretooth and also utilized the two characters mutant healing abilities to explain their extended natural age. Some elements of this theme were incorporated into a later ret-conned origin which revealed his true name to be James Howlett.
Wolverine has made such an incredible impact over the last three decades that he has become one of Marvel Comics flagship heroes and he currently serves as a member of the Avengers franchise, while also maintaining his marquee status as a leading X-Man.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Doing what I love and getting paid for it.
Do you feel that women are making greater headway into the field these days or are barriers still preventing a woman from breaking in?
Every year I see more women entering the comics business and fandom,which I view as good and healthy for comics in general. While I personally have had very few "glass ceiling" scenarios, I still hear some horror stories about women trying to succeed in comics and some of the sexist behavior they must endure from their male counterparts. Fortunately as time goes on, those stories become fewer. I really look forward to the day when I hear no horror stories at all.
What type of "tools" do you prefer to use in creating your artwork?
I pencil with a Staedtler mechanical pencil with non-photo blue leads.I ink my work with a Faber Castell brush pen and/or Pigma Micron pens. I tend to work on Strathmore acid-free bristol board, vellum finish (unless paper is supplied to me by my editor). And, like everyone else, I color in Photoshop.
Who do you consider as influences for your career?
My personal cartooning trinity is Chuck Jones, Charles Schulz, and Berkeley Breathed. I was influenced by these three for years. But as I entered high school and college, I found myself reading a lot of Mark Martin, Walt Kelly, Peter Bagge and Robert Crumb. In my 20s, I discovered the EC artists, particularly Wally Wood. Nowadays, I'm re-discovering Johnny Hart and Paul Coker, Jr.
Do you have any cool "war stories" to share?
Here's one my favorites and it sort of correlates with question #2:Shortly after completing some Ren & Stimpy test pages for Marvel Comics, I received a call that my letter of approval and page rate would come to me by mail. A few days later a letter arrived for "Stephen Gladden".Ignoring the mistake because it's happened to me before, I opened it,delighted to see a rather generous page rate (at the time). The next day, I received a call from some assistant editor, telling me to please disregard that letter; a letter of my REAL page rate would appear shortly. And indeed, a letter for "Stephanie Gladden" arrived. Imagine my shock upon reading the letter to discover my page rate cut by 40%!
What career goals or aspirations do you still have ahead of you or that have gone unfulfilled thus far?
I hope someday to make a decent living drawing my own comic creations.
What project has been the most fun for you so far?
Oh, there's been a few! By far, working on my own stuff ("Hopster'sTracks" and "Monster Paradise") gives me the most satisfaction. But I really enjoyed working on Peter Bagge's "Sweatshop" and Paul Dini's "Jingle Belle".
Are you a Georgia native or have you lived elsewhere?
I was born in Athens, GA, but raised in Hattiesburg, MS from the ages of two to seventeen. In 1987, I left Hattiesburg for art school in Atlanta, GA and have been living there ever since. I generally consider myself a Georgia native.
What’s your favorite non-comics thing to do?
Reading (when I have time), movies, lurking around antique shops looking for cool 50s furniture and tiki mugs, discussing comics, cartoons and pop culture while eating at diners and dives. And just walking around.
What food is your guilty pleasure?
Little Debbie snack cakes. Especially Swiss Cake Rolls.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Nightcrawler was first seen being pursued by the villagers of Winzeldorf, Germany who had mistakenly assumed him to be a demon that was responsible for a series of local child killings. They were about to kill him when they were all psychically paralyzed by Professor Charles Xavier, who had come to recruit Wagner into the X-Men as part of an effort (“Second Genesis”) to rescue the original team from Krakoa the Living Island.
Nightcrawler consistently places near the top of fan-favorite X-Men character lists and his Catholic faith, while not emphasized as much in his earlier comic book appearances, has become in more recent depictions a prominent part of his characterization.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Today's scan comes courtesy of my pal, Karswell (with a nice tip o' the hat to, Pappy).
Between 1944 and 1959, Archie Comics published ninety-four issues of Super Duck, originally a parody of superheroes, but after the third issue the series became simply an anthropomorphic/funny animal humor book. Super Duck had appeared earlier than his own self-titled series, in the Jolly Jingles anthology (which had taken over the numbering of the even earlier, Jackpot Comics).
"3-D Jeebies" is from the 1954 issue of Super Duck #55 [Thanks, Steve]. I will also have a couple more Super Duck shorts to pass along in the days to come.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Devil Dinosaur #9 (Dec. 1978), Iron Fist #9 (Oct. 1976), Logan's Run #1 (Jan. 1977), Marvel Comics Presents #3 .... starring Guardians of the Galaxy (Feb. 1976), Marvel Team-Up #35 .... Human Torch & Dr. Strange (July 1975), Master of Kung Fu #18 (June 1974), The Micronauts #1 (Jan. 1979), The New Mutants #1 (Mar. 1983), Red Sonja #9 (May 1978), Strange Tales #174 .... starring the Golem (June 1974), Tarzan #1 (June 1977), Thor #280 (Feb. 1979)
Some titles, like Devil Dinosaur or Micronauts, I had never purchased any copies of the series, and in the case of Strange Tales, I picked up a better graded copy than the one I owned. I did pick up a smattering of newer books which I needed, too.
Piotr "Peter" Rasputin was born on a Soviet collective farm called the Ust-Ordynski Collective near Lake Baikal in Siberia. He lived there with his parents Alexandra & Nikolai, and his younger sister, Illyana. An older brother, Mikhail, had been a Russian cosmonaut and had apparently died in a rocket accident. Peter's mutant powers manifested during his adolescence while he was saving his sister from a runaway tractor. Peter was content to simply use these powers to aid the other people of the collective; however he was recruited by Professor Charles Xavier for a new team of X-Men to rescue the original team, most of whom had been captured by the sentient mutant island Krakoa (“Second Genesis”).
As Colossus, he has the mutant ability to transform his body into “organic steel” granting him super-human strength, stamina and durability. When he transforms, he gains around a foot in height and his weight is at least doubled. While in his armored form, Colossus requires no food, water, or even oxygen to sustain himself.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Heroes Convention 2008 has come and gone. Again! Now, let the melancholy set in for another twelve months.
I had a great time, same as usual, yadda, yadda, yadda. Meeting Al Feldstein was a thrill, Frank Cho, Gary Friedrich & Ron Wilson, too. It was also terrific to catch up with old faves & friends like Budd Root (I've really gotta profile Cavewoman, soon), Nick Cardy, Marcus Hamilton, Jim Scancarelli, Jaime Hernandez, etc. Great talents and cool guys!
One aspect of the con that left me truly impressed me this year was the presence, contribution and talent of the female pros that were on hand. I left Charlotte with a new found respect for June Brigman (Brenda Starr, Power Pack), Colleen Doran (A Distant Soil), the vastly under-rated Stephanie Gladden (Hopster's Tracks, Tex Avery Comics, Simpsons Comics) and other ladies named Alisohn Sohn & Cat Staggs. I am planning on profiling several of them very soon.
I also picked up a few sketches and a few sought after back issues. Add in a weekend away from home with the guys (my brother and our good buddy, Burt), plenty of high calorie food and enough alcohol to choke a horse and it all equals a damn fine convention experience.
I will go into more detail over the next week. Right now I need rest.
Friday, June 20, 2008
With any luck, I will be lining up some exclusive interviews at the con for the Catacombs blog as well.
Today, I finally scored a Dick Giordano Batman sketch, as the show got underway in Charlotte, NC.
Lots more good stuff to go into later, so check back here on Monday and have a great weekend.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
1992: 2 Oscars - Best Visual Effects & Best Makeup: Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Monday, June 16, 2008
Storm was actually an amalgamation of several characters whom Cockrum had originally intended to use for the DC Comics title, Legion of Super-Heroes. In a 1999 interview, Cockrum stated that a proposed black female member of the Legion would have been called The Black Cat. According to him, she had Storm's costume but without the cape, and a cat-like haircut with tufts for ears. However, other feline cat characters like Tigra had already appeared at Marvel, so Cockrum redesigned his new character, giving her white hair and the cape, and translated powers intended for another new Legion supporting character to her, thus creating Storm. When colleagues remarked that Storm’s white hair made her look like a grandmother, and potentially unpopular, Cockrum just said: “Trust me.”
As a major part of the “Second Genesis” team who were recruited to battle against the living island Krakoa and to replace the first-generation X-Men of the 1960s, Storm has been a mainstay of the X-Men and risen to the trusted role of team leader occasionally. Her mutant powers include weather manipulation, flight, energy perception, ecological empathy, resistance to the effects of weather; such as extreme heat and cold, and she may have certain latent natural magic abilities.
Currently, Storm is the reigning queen of Wakanda by marriage to the Black Panther. Why Storm hasn't received her own ongoing self-titled series is anyone’s guess, but she is long overdue for one.
I personally believe that Storm would have made a better choice for the New Avengers line-up than Wolverine. But who listens to me?
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Here is something really neat, cool & groovy (not to mention "awesome").
The latest issue of TwoMorrows magazine, Alter Ego #78 has arrived at your local comics shop, and among other interesting features there to be found is this "lost" page of X-Men art by the late, great Dave Cockrum.
Apparently when plans for "Giant-Size X-Men #2" were originally scrapped in favor of continuing with new material in their own title (which had become a reprint-only series), the planned content was divided into issues #94 and #95 of the regular, bi-monthly X-Men series, and this excellent page simply got cut. Just look at those lush, full pencils and you too will salivate at the incredible talent that Cockrum brought to his 1970's efforts.
Now, if only the late Sam Grainger was still around to ink this bad boy. Sigh!
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Monday, June 9, 2008
Cyclops produces powerful "optic blasts" from his eyes, forcing him to wear specialized glasses at all times and a specialized visor in combat. He has always been shown to be not only Charles Xavier's most loyal student, but also the one who most believes in his dream of mutant and human equality.
When the X-Men were defeated by Krakoa the Living Island, Cyclops was the only member who was able to escape and return to Xavier. He then helped train a new group of X-Men ("Second Genesis"), which included Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler and Wolverine to rescue the others. When the other original X-Men (Angel, Beast, Iceman, Jean Grey, Havok and Polaris) decided to leave in light of the arrival of the new X-Men, Cyclops opted to remain, feeling that he would never be able to lead a normal life because of the uncontrollable nature of his powers.
It was only after Jean Grey’s return to the team, and the events that led to her becoming Phoenix, and ultimately to her untimely “death” that Scott Summers actually left the X-Men (albeit temporarily).