Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Unpublished Gems: Conan the Barbarian

One of Marvels most popular characters that started the "barbarian" invasion in comic anti-heroes, we were lucky to have the talented Barry Smith on the title to provide the lush illustrations. But don't take my word for it, just take a look at this unpublished cover for Marvel's Conan the Barbarian #9 from 1971. Robert E. Howard's most famous creation savagely fights as he falls in this action-packed cover from "The House of Ideas" most renowned Bronze Age title. With wonderful backgrounds as supremely detailed as the main figures themselves, you can see why Smith's art, especially his covers, are so prized by original art collectors. Thought somewhat different than the actual printed version as shown here, I imagine this was an earlier version of the piece, most likely changed at the request of the editor. Perhaps to make Conan a little larger and more centered in the image. In many ways, however, one could argue this version is clearly superior to the version that was eventually published. Incidentally this cover sold at auction back in 2003 for the grand sum of $7,590, so who knows what a cover of this caliber would cost  today eleven years later.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Jonny Quest...Adventures in Animation

Here is a rare documentary featuring interviews, rare clips and insight into the origins of baby boomers favorite television cartoon, Jonny Quest, featuring it's creators and other artists it inspired over the years. This amazing documentary highlighting Doug Wildey's work originally appeared on the excellent JONNY QUEST DVD box set.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Comic Artist Speak...Hogarth, Buscema, and Druillet

I hope you enjoy this little film starring three of the top names in comic art from 1972 in a rare Manhattan meeting between Burne Hogarth, Philippe Druillet, and "Big" John Buscema! While Druillet starts us out with some of his fantastic creatures, Tarzan artist Hogarth creates a drawing of the jungle lord in pastels, while Buscema renders on of his best characters, The Silver Surfer.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

My Greatest Adventure: Kong the Untamed

Created by writer Jack Oleck and artist Alfredo Alcala, Kong the Untamed made his first appearance in July of 1975 with only a five issue run ending in March of 1976. With some interesting story lines for this short-run hero, the real draw was the lush detailed artwork by the Filipino master. Our young hero was an adolescent Cro-Magnon man who lived during the Paleolithic era some 4,000-10,000 years ago. Kong was born the son of the woman Attu and the tribal chief Trog the One-Eyed. The tribe's shaman, Magl, took note of the infant's blond hair and likened him to a mighty warrior from ages past named Kong. Believing that her child housed the spirit of this great warrior, Attu named him Kong. Trog however, feared that if Magl's assertion proved true, then his son might one day grow up to overthrow him. To prevent such a thing from occurring, he expelled both mother and child from the tribe.Years later, Kong grew into manhood and learned that his mother had been slain by Trog's hand. He swore vengeance against his father and wandered the region for many years, partaking in many wild adventures. It is unknown what became of Kong as he grew older, as his final adventures have yet to be recorded.