Saturday, March 16, 2013

Reading Room "Jackie and the Leprechaun King"

For St Patrick's Day, here's an offbeat tale about leprechauns...
...as rendered in an extremely non-traditional way by comics legend Estban Maroto!
Written by Bill DuBay, this somewhat more "heroic fantasy" approach to the legend of leprechauns appeared in Warren's Vampirella #53 (1976) when elves and related creatures were experiencing a revival in popularity due to the 20th Anniversary of JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Be here tomorrow (on the actual St Patrick's Day) for a more traditional story.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Reading Room: LOST WORLDS Feature Pages

Besides stories, comics often run one or two-page features...
Lost Worlds #5 Art by Ross Andru & Mike Esposito
...based on historical or scientific information available at the time...
Lost Worlds #6 Art by Rocco Mastroserio
...or speculation about future developments, again, based on then-current knowledge!
(I love that third panel, showing spacesuit-garbed scientists on a balcony on the satellite!)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Reading Room: SPACE ACTION "Silicon Monsters from Galaxy X"

If you're a cheesy sci-fi fan like me, you'll go for a story with a title like...
...'cause with a title like that, you're in for a fun (if not totally rational or even coherent) time!
While the writer is unknown, the art for this tale from Ace's Space Action #2 (1952) is attributed to "Jim McLaughlin", who had a short-lived comics career doing work primarily for Ace!
After that publisher dropped comics in 1955 to concentrate on paperbacks, he did a couple of stories for Atlas/Marvel, then a run of Dell's adaptation of the TV series Gunsmoke.
Then "Jim McLaughlin" disappeared.
Totally.
Unlike most comic book artists who went on to do commercial art or newspaper strips, there's no trace of "Jim McLaughlin" after his brief foray into four-color publishing...and no background about his pre-comics career!
Here's another interesting point...his art style altered considerably during his career.
In this story, the inking looks a lot like the work of long-time artist Jim Mooney!
In fact, a number of panels resemble Mooney's work on the DC strip Tommy Tomorrow, which Jim Mooney was both penciling and inking during the same period as "Jim McLaughlin's" work for Ace!
In McLaughlin's later work (particularly his Gunsmoke art), while the layouts look similar, the inking style is totally-different!
Was "Jim McLaughlin" a pen-name for a penciler working with at least two (if not more) different inkers?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Reading Room: MYSTERIES OF UNEXPLORED WORLDS "Can This be Real?"

Steve (Spider-Man) Ditko was doing X-Files long before X-Files...
...as this tale from Charlton's Mysteries of Unexplored Worlds #9 (1958) demonstrates!
Are we sure those odd-looking men were "helping"?
Only artist Steve Ditko and the unknown writer (who could be Ditko himself) know the answer...and they ain't talking!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Reading Room: SUPERSNIPE'S GRAMP "Gramp the Air Raid Warden"

With all the talk about North Korea attacking us, you should remember...
...mainland US has only been invaded once, and that was back in 1812!
But during World War II, we were concerned that the Axis would bomb or invade!
And thereby hangs our tale...
Apparently, Koppy McFad aka SuperSnipe's talents are inherited...
George Marcoux gave the SuperSnipe supporting cast a lot of play, including solo tales for Gramp, boy inventor Ulysses Q Wacky, and Roxy Adams: Girl Guerrilla.
Story and art for this tale from SuperSnipe Comics V1N6 (1942), which was Koppy's first issue (the book used to be Army & Navy Comics), by George Marcoux.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Noted Fantasy Artist Bob Larkin Needs Our Help!

The perils of being a freelance artist are numerous...including not having medical insurance!
Bob Larkin, who’s done hundreds of paintings for Marvel, DC, Fleer and numerous others, is in desperate need of help.
Bob’s wife, Fran, has been battling various forms of cancer for the past 12 years and the endless medical bills have put an incredible financial strain on the family.
Fran is currently recovering from her latest surgery and Bob has become her caregiver 24/7 leaving him unable to take on new work.
To help pay the bills Fantom Press is offering numerous items for sale...including a new sketchbook (see cover above) of Larkin's art featuring never-seen roughs, prelims, and sketches!
The books are square bound, 8 ½ x 11″ 48 black and white pages and each one is individually signed and numbered by Bob. The paperback edition is $20.00 and there are two deluxe hard cover editions available that are in short supply. 100% of the sales from this book, as well as anything else that might interest you on site are going directly to the Larkins.
So, if you can, pick up a kool collectible and help one of our own in the process!
Talk about a win-win proposition!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Which Witch is Which?

Guess which witch becomes this witch in OZ: the Great & Powerful...
Click on pics to enlarge and download
Is it Evanora, played by Rachel Weisz?
Her sister, Theodora, performed by Mila Kunis?
Or Glinda, portrayed by Michelle Williams?
If you were one of the audience (including myself), who filled Disney's coffers with $80 million this past weekend to see the flick, you know.
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