Monday, January 26, 2009

Seventies Marvel Cover Prices: Gil Kane

One of Marvel Comics most prolific cover artist was the talented Gil Kane who did countless covers for the "House of Ideas", and numerous other comic companies over his fifty plus years in comic illustration. All of these gems were rendered in his unique action-packed style with a variety of different bullpen inkers done in a "Marvel Style". Romance, war, Western, horror, superhero, jungle, science fiction, crime, any genre was supremely designed by Kane's steady hand in producing striking covers that helped sell a lot of issues. Here is a tiny listing of just thirty five of his later 70s covers, that were on sale in the mid seventies from art dealers listed in The Comic's Buyers Guide. Surprisingly, most of these were in the forty dollar range except for the historic Amazing Spider-Man #98 issue shown here for othe grand sum of $80! Also featured is an chilling Tomb of Dracula cover that showcases an early Blade appearance that recently sold at auction for $17,500, and an equally beautiful unpublished Kane Jungle Action cover.

Amazing Spider-Man #98 for $80
The Invaders #25 for $35
Conan the Barbarian #43 for $75
Captain America #218 for $35
Marvel Team -Up #47 for $55
Marvel Classics #5 "Tom Sawyer" for $45
Daredevil #150 for $40
Ms. Marvel #13 for $40
Captain America #220 for $40
Marvel Classics #5 "Gulliver's Travels" for $45
Sub-Mariner #71 for $55
Giant Size Dracula #3 for $60

Marvel Triple Action #39 "The Avengers" for $40
Incredible Hulk #192 for $55
Amazing Spider-Man #158 for $60
The Invaders #23 for $35
Master of Kung Fu #20 for $55
The Champions #16 for $40
Marvel Team -Up #45 for $55
Fantastic Four #193 for $50
Master of Kung Fu #59 for $35
Power Man #48 for $40
Marvel Super Heroes #69 "The Hulk" for $35

The Invaders #27 for $40
Rawhide Kid #144 for $25
What If #7 "Spider-Man" for $50
Marvel Classics #5 "Black Beauty" for $45
Conan the Barbarian #65 for $65
Master of Kung Fu #40 for $55
The Invaders #26 for $35
Sgt. Fury #144 For $25
Amazing Spider-Man #140 for $60
Marvel Classics #5 "Moby Dick" for $45
Mighty Thor #239 for $70
Marvel Team -Up #28 for $55

Sunday, January 18, 2009

National Cartoonist Society Profile: Fred Lasswell

I started as assistant to Billy DeBeck in 1934. 1942 flight radio operator with Pan-Am airways, Africa, LTD. Later Sgt. United States Marine Corps. Special Services in Washington, DC. Created the comic strip "Hashmark" for Leatherneck magazine. DeBeck passed away in 1942 and I took over the strip and began featuring Snuffy, which I was more comfortable with, being a confirmed hayseed from the sticks. Received Banshees award of the "Silver Lady" in 1962 and in 1964 the "Best Humor" strip in 1962 and the coveted "Reuben" from the National Cartoonist Society. Then in 1984 I received the Elzie Segar Award for outstanding contribution to the art of cartooning.

Ten years later in 1994, Joe D'Angelo presented me with my second Elzie Segar Award "a bronze popeye" to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Barney Google and Snuffy Smith. I have produced five "Draw and Color with Uncle Fred" videos for children, one in Spanish. Produced a bilingual laserdisc with barcodeed workbook and a hypercard stack of computers. Now sending my dailies to King Features by email and developing an "Uncle Fred" web page for the Internet. Married to my sweet and adorable Shirley since 1964. We have four beautiful his and her younguns and two bodacious grandghildren "one of each".

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Gold Key Comics...Turok, Son of Stone

Some of my greatest adventures as a child came from all the wonderful sixties comics I loved to read, collect, and trade with my friends, anxiously waiting every month for each issue to hit the newsstands down the street. But way back in December 1954, I was still just a twinkle in my mother's eye, not even being born till issue #34 of one of my all-time favorite titles, Turok, Son of Stone. Dell's Four Color #596 started an adventure that would outlive five comic companies, spawn video games and other various incarnations of this noble pair of Native Americans, Turok and Andar in their quest to escape the prehistoric Lost Valley. For such a simple premise, the series has endured better than most, two brothers trying to return home being trapped in a dangerous world occupied by vicious dinosaurs, savage cavemen, natural disasters, and a weird alien or two.

The first issues were illustrated in a rough style by Tarzan strip illustrator Rex Mason, and written by long-time creator Gaylord DeBois. The author was writing back-up stories in The Lone Ranger about another Native American called "Young Hawk" when he was influenced by his many trips to New Mexico's Carlsbad Caverns. The writer's vacations helped inspire his new "Lost Valley" storyline about two pre-Colombian youths than got lost in Carlsbad's deep caverns and discover early forms of prehistoric life, and even some mysterious "slim-legged creatures" (horses had not yet been introduced to America by the Spanish). Over the first ten issues, the braves fight numerous savages and "honkers" and Turok even finds a way out over the sheer cliffs, but returns for a wounded Andar, and during their second attempt an avalanche seals them in the lost world forever.

Paul S. Newman took over the writing chores for the remaining 120 issues when it was under the Dell, Gold Key, and Whitman labels, but with issue #24, the real draw of the series was the spectacular art from the talented Italian artist, Alberto Giolitti. From his lush detailed jungle scenes, to the snowy peaks, bubbling tar pits, or isolated deserts, the two adventurers tried desperately to escape this deadly world, surviving only with their archery skills, some poison arrows, the knowledge of fire, and their quick wits. As a kid, I always was thrilled to see Andar or Turok discover a familiar fish or jackrabbit from their world, as they endlessly searched to the origin of where it came from, only to find a small crevasse that could not provide their escape. Or my favorite issue #58 pictured above, when they rescued a UFO alien from attacking cavemen, and as their reward they are flown over the cliffs to their tribal village, only to suffer engine failure and crash back in Lost Valley due to a caveman's prior assault on the ship. All their dynamic efforts to discover a way out of Lost Valley over their thirty years in print fail, but they still never lose hope and continue on from one issue to the next.

Alberto Giolitti was born in Rome on November 14, 1923 ,and worked in his family's popular cafe before his first comic strip was published at the young age of 20. Three years later, his artistic talents took him to Buenos Aires, Argentina working for the prestigious Lainez and Columbia publishing house doing crime and history stories, before his jump to the United States and Dell/Western Comics in 1949. Here he further developed his skills on assorted TV titles including Zorro, Indian Chief, Twilight Zone, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Boris Karloff, Cisco Kid, Gulliver's Travels, Gunsmoke, Tarzan, Sergeant Preston, Star Trek, The Lone Ranger, and many others.
But his longest collaboration was with Turok, Son of Stone, which he is best known for in the business today, even modeling the character of Ander after one of his sons. At the height of the series, selling millions of copies, Giolitti even pitched a Turok, newspaper strip, which unfortunately never caught on with the syndicates and only a handful of dailies still survive. After becoming an American citizen in 1960, Alberto longed for his native Italy and returned to open his famous Giolitti Studios, with a stable of fifty artist they drew in a similar "house style" under the creator's supervision. Here he continued drawing Turok, for Western Publishing as well as produced other works for British and US publishers. His studio finished out the Turok, Son of Stone series with just a few issues that were rendered by Jack Sparling at the conclusion of the title with Gold Key/Whitman. But, not to forget another selling point for this favorite title were those fantastic painted covers by George Wilson that help market these wonderful fantasy tales from a simpler time in comic history now seemly as lost as our two adventurers forever.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

National Cartoonist Society Profile: Jerry Ordway

Lets start off the new year with one of my favorite comic book artists of all time, the multi-talented Jerry Ordway. Though I believe he has unfortunately done more work as an inker than penciler in recent years, his solid storytelling has a strong nostalgic feel with its stylized majestic poses of mighty heroes and evil villains. I wish more of his art was on the market, but the creator prefers to hold on to a large part of his work, here is his short bio for the NCS from a few years ago. --- Born in Milwaukee Wisconsin on November 28, 1957 (Thanksgiving Day). Graduated from Milwaukee Technical High School with a commercial art degree. Worked as a typographer from 1976 - '78, worked at a commercial art studio from 1978 - '81, doing layout, storyboards and some illustration. A lifelong love of comic books led me to take the plunge as a full-time freelancer for DC Comics in February of 1981. I have since drawn every superhero from Superman to Captain Marvel! Since 1987, I have been writing comics as well, notably Superman and "The Power of Shazam." In 1993 I co-created and illustrated "Wildstar", a four issue comic series published by Image Comics. While proud of my many comic awards, I am most proud of my two toddlers: Rachel, born in '92, and Thomas, born in '95. I live in Fairfield, Connecticut, with my wife Peggy and the kids, in a house that's paid for!