Tuesday, February 23, 2010

National Cartoonist Society Profile: Gus Arriola

Born in Florence, Arizona 1917, after high school in Los Angeles, one year animation for Screen Gems. Four years MGM Cartoon Department in story sketch. Sold "Gordo" in 1941, enlisted 1942, wed Mary Frances Sevierin 1943. Resumed daily and Sunday in 1946 after three and a half years animation for Army Air Force film unit. Awards, San Francisco Artists Club 1957, National Cartoonist Society Best Humor strip in 1957 & 1965, San Diego Comic Con Inkpot 1981, Sunday page tribute to Rachel Carlson in the Smithsonian. Retired in 1985, after forty four years of deadlines. We keep very busy searching for ambergris, misguiding tourists to Clint Eastwood's Hog Breath Inn and smelling the roses, if they trot them by our hammocks in lovely, cool Carmel by the Sea.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Greatest Adventure: Kamandi

Jack Kirby's "Last Boy on Earth" debuted in his own title, Kamandi #1, November 1972, in which a Great Disaster in the near future had turned an alternate Earth into a wasteland ruled by all types of savage beast-men. After his grandfather was murdered by scavenging rat-men, Kamandi left his protective bunker (called Command D) to search for other intelligent humans in what was left of a destroyed North America. While Great Caesar and his tiger-men governed all the eastern province, monstrous gorillas under Czar Simian controlled most of the west, with Kamandi the strange "talking animal" caught in the middle of their feud. Eventually our hero meets astronaut Ben Boxer, and the faithful dog-faced Dr. Canus, who help Kamandi in his quest to survive capture from the many terrors of this post apocalypse future and try to restore humanity to its once former glory.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Direct Currents: The Human Target

Now with two television incarnations, the first in 1992 on ABC starring Rick Springfield in the title role and the recent FOX program with actor Mark Valley, DC's The Human Target debuted in 1972 as a backup feature to Action Comics #419. Created by writer Lein Wein and artist Carmine Infantino, Christopher Chance is an Olympic level athlete, ultimate marksman, skilled martial artist, and master of disguise, making him the superior choice as a bodyguard for hire. Traumatized as a child by observing the death of his father, Chance vowed no one would ever suffer such fear again at the hands of an assailant, devoting all his special skills to take his client's place as "The Human Target". Chance is a master Thespian as well as the ultimate method actor, and unparalleled in impersonation and disguise, opening up a special private investigation agency to provide his security for a hefty price tag! Here are a few examples from those early Human Target stories with art by fan favorite artist Dick Giordano.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

National Cartoonist Society Profile: Bob Lubbers

Well, I finally reached my 100th posting today, hope you have enjoyed my original art blog so far... here is the bio on one of the best strip men in the business... Bob Lubbers. Born Brooklyn, New York 1922. At seventeen I t played the trombone in a big band five nights a weeks and went to the Art Students League in the daytime. My pal Stan Drake and I left Bridgman's life class one day and marched down to Centaur and sold the comic mag features we'd created. Before long I was doing features at Fiction House until the war. Fiction House welcomed me back after my service and features and covers poured out until 1950, when my mentor Ray Van Buren led me to United Features Syndicate and "Tarzan" and National Cartoonist Society membership. Al Capp called one day and soon "Long Sam" was born. I did double duty when Sylvan Byck gave me "X9" to write and illustrate, later on "Robin Malone" ran out its contract at NEA. I took on heavy with "Abner" for Al until his death. Segued in fifteen years of animatics on Madison Avenue until retirement in 1989. Grace and I are going for our 60th wedding anniversary in 2003. Grandson Rich, his mom Wendy and her Mike, and son Bob and his Ruth are the joy of our life. God bless all who've been our friends and colleagues through this wonderful run.