Probably best known for his dynamic superhero comic stories with DC Comics, Ric Estrada was a Cuban American artist who worked for most of the major American publishers in his long and varied career, including EC, Dell, Hillman, St John, Ziff-Davis, and Warren. He also worked in comic strips, political cartoons, advertising, storyboards, and commercial illustration. Though his favorite genre to draw was war art, which he excelled at with DC Comics, I was always impressed with his breezy stylized romance tales as shown here on this ten page example from Young Romance #155 from 1968...
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Being a sucker for jungle themes, I first saw Bomba as back-up reprints in DC's Tarzan comics. With just seven issues to its name and lasting just one year, National Comics Bomba The Jungle Boy tried to capitalize on the syndicated TV series "Zim Bomba" which had edited down footage from the Monogram movies starring Johnny Sheffield. First published in 1926 by "Roy Rockwood" a Stratemyer Syndicate pseudonym for various authors, Bomba was one of the first Tarzan inspired imitators that lasted till 1938, with reprints and other spin-offs from the feature. Having twenty books in the series, Monogram was trying to cash in on the seventeen year old "Boy" actor Scheffield from the Tarzan pictures. Without the budget or production values of the earlier Ape Man productions, it still became one of there most popular movie series for the youth audience. But getting back to the DC comic, it was written by George Kashdan and illustrated by Leo Sommers as "The Jungle Boy" burst on the scene with his wild and woolly adventures before Jack Sparling took over the artistic chores to finish out the short run adventure comic.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Another rare video from France, TAC AU TAC from October of 1972, where three comic legends, Jean Giraud (Moebius), Joe Kubert, and Neal Adams, met in New York for a joint improvisation on the theme of the Pandora's box. Moebius starts off drawing the box as our fellow artists deal with the topic over time, interpreting what has escaped from the box yesterday, what is escaping from it today, and finally what will escape from it tomorrow.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Lucasfilm's initially approached Marvel Comics in 1975 about publishing a Star Wars comic prior to the film's release. However, Stan Lee declined to consider a proposal until the film was completed, and was only persuaded to a second meeting by Roy Thomas, who wanted to edit the series. Considering that movie tie-in's rarely sold well at the time, Lee negotiated a publishing arrangement with no royalties to Lucasfilm until sales exceeded 100,000 copies sold, and then legal arrangements would be revisited. So when Marvel launched Star Wars in July of 1977, two issues had hit the stands before the film premiered and was an instant smash hit for the "House of Ideas". It is said the comic's success saved Marvel financially from its first two years of sales. Considering it was one of their top sellers, they quickly exceeded the 100,000 limit, having Lucasfilm return to renegotiate their royalties from a strong position. Over its nine year run, it mostly produced original stories by some of their top artists, thought it also adapted the movies in their US and UK incarnations. One hundred seven issues and three annuals were produced before the series ended in 1986, only to be reborn by other publishers over the years fueled by he next motion picture and print exploits of the enduring heroic characters.