Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Shadows by Berni Wrightson and Jim Steranko

In 1972, both DC and Marvel acquired comics rights to classic Street & Smith pulp characters whose paperback reprints were selling well. (and The Shadow's reissued radio shows were among the best-selling spoken-word record albums and cassettes.)
Marvel nabbed Doc Savage and DC picked up both The Shadow and The Avenger. (although Marvel initially claimed to have The Shadow as well...)
Immediately, many big-name artists, as well as up-and-comers, vied for the coveted assignments.
Alex Toth, Jim Steranko, Gene Colan, Berni Wrightson, and Mike Kaluta were among those who submitted test pieces.
Here's two of them.
Wrightson's piece was used as a house ad by DC, and Berni inked an entire issue over Kaluta's pencils, as well as assisting on a couple of other Kaluta stories.
Steranko's pencil piece was reused as the envelope art for his Shadow Secret Society licensed fan club.
This version was inked by the late, great, Dave (Rocketeer) Stevens.

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