Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Comic Artists Speak...Frank Hampson!

Here's a rare look at the work of British comic artist Frank Hampson, creator of  Dan Dare of the Future for The Eagle comic, from November of 1975.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Comic Art Legend: Dino Busett

Born in Milan in April of 1940, Dino Secundo Busett, did a brief advertising stint in the early 1960s before working as an illustrator for the famous Milanese Agency, Piero and Rinaldo D'Ami. Employed  as their chief illustrator, Busett oversaw their children's publications and produced the  Encyclopedia of Animals for Boys for the Publisher Peruzzo. Later, the artist  specialized in creating those beautiful painted comic covers for Jeff Arnold, Jean Lafitte, Corriere dei Piccoli, Capitan Miki, Great Blek, Kinowa, and with Editrice Cenisio producing the Tarzan, Fury, Korak Son of Tarzan, and Rin Tin Tin masterpieces. He produced an important publication with Mondadori on nautical and pirate history, an extensive Medical Encyclopedia work for Librex Publishing House,  as well as art for the weekly newspaper Domenica del Corriere, just to name a few. Dino is well remembered for his portraits of classical musicians on His Masters' Voice series before moving to London, working on more children's publications and a few American illustration assignments. Returning to Italy, Busett drew a variety of science fiction projects, and devoted more time to painting and sculpting. Recently the artist has limited himself exclusively to his excellent portrait paintings for his many grateful clients.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Bring On The Bad Guys: Darkseid

One of DC Comics favorite villains, Darkseid, (pronounced "Darkside"), made his first appeared in Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #134 in November of 1970. Created by writer-artist Jack Kirby, he has appeared for over four decades in DC's publications, featuring prominently in Kirby's New Gods titles and limited series as the arch nemesis of the New Gods, Superman, and the Justice League of America. He has also been associated with DC Comics merchandise department, including animated television series, toys, trading cards and video games. With his debut appearance, "King" Kirby immediately began establishing characters that would lay the foundation for his newly conceived Fourth World epic. In his new series of titles, the chief antagonist would be Darkseid, who had a three story introduction in Jimmy Olsen before showing up in the Forever People, Mister Miracle and New Gods titles. But after the cancellation of Kirby's stellar books, all these iconic characters were incorporated back into the DC universe. According to writer Mark Evanier, Jack Kirby modeled Darkseid's face on actor Jack Palance as the jackboot-wearing megalomaniac and warmonger who, in fascist style, sees every citizen as an extension of the state and himself. His society of Apokolips is highly militant, with children being indoctrinated from a young age to be warlike and utterly loyal to him. As one of  DC's best bad guys, you just can never forget him.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Foreign Favorites: Pantera Bionda

A female Tarzan was a real novelty in Italy in 1948, and it all started with La Jungla published by Casa Editrice ARC. Their most popular character was the beautiful Pantera Bionda (The Blonde Panther) written by Gian Giacomo Delmasso and illustrated by the talented Enzo Magni. Marketed for the male adolescent audience, Pantra Bionda fought in the Borneo jungle against Japanese soldiers with the help of Tao, her chimpanzee and Lotus Leaf, an old Chinese woman, and her American boyfriend, Fred. Scantily clad in her tight panther skins, she soon caught the attention of many young Italian boys as well as the Italian censors worried about the corruption of innocent minds. To stay off lawsuits and seizures of the issues, which were selling at one hundred thousand each month, (a record at that time), the publisher quickly lengthened the jungle-woman's hemline and covered her ample chest in the later stories. But only after two years, the censors extreme pressure on the title won, and the publisher decided to leave the market to concentrate on educational comics.