Saturday, April 24, 2010

National Cartoonist Society Profile: Warren Kremer

Born Bronx, New York City, in 1921, graduated from "Music and Art" and "School of Industrial Arts". Spent ten years working for publishing houses doing layouts and lettering, "drybrush" illustration for pulp magazines and "wash" for one aviation magazine. We hired a crackerjack letterer, my future wife, Grace. I was art editor for Harvey Publications, where I created three characters, "Hot Stuff", "Stubmo the Giant" and "Richie Rich", whom I named after son, Richard (Mary Anne, Peter and Suzanne are my other children). Harvey acquired "Casper the Friendly Ghost" - I drew it for thirty two years plus created its present look. Drew and inked all the covers of our comic books - worked on the first Casper television show (opening and closing storyboards). Finished up my career at Marvel Comics. I covered a lot of ground in fifty years -- now I'm an old man thinking about it all, and how good God has been to me...amen!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My Greatest Adventure: Metamorpho

With his first appearance in The Brave and the Bold #57 in 1964, Metamorpho has endured the test of time as the "Element Man" being able to change his form into any chemical element present in the human body. The story starts out with a ruthless billionaire, Simon Stagg, who wants the famed Orb of Ra buried deep under an Egyptian pyramid. He hires adventurer Rex Mason to recover the fabulous treasure, but has him double-crossed at the last minute by one of Stagg's evil henchman. As our hero Rex was left for dead by his captors, he's mysteriously mutated by the mystic powers of the Orb of Ra, which transforms him into the freakish wonder Metamorpho. Now this "Element Man" seeks revenge on the villain Stagg, and with the help of his one true love, Sapphire, Stagg's only daughter, he find solace in his weird new transforming existence.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Jack Kirby's "Young Scott Free"

Jack Kirby's Fourth World series, Mister Miracle, Forever People, and New Gods, was one of the bright spots in 1970s comics when he left Marvel for DC. His Mister Miracle title told the adventures of a super escape artist from another world and his fight for freedom against the planet Apokolips and the evil overlord Darkseid. The most super-hero of the three books, Kirby developed a series of short back up stories to show the origins of his many new characters including Scott Free (Mister Miracle) as shown in this episode entitled...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Direct Currents: The Elongated Man

As a child, Ralph Dibny, was fascinated with the human body's powers of flexibility and sought out the "India Rubber Men" and other contortionists that traveled in the circus sideshows. Continuing his search for an answer into adulthood, this amateur detective discovered in his travels around the world that all these acrobats had one thing in common: before a performance each "Rubber Man" consumed a drink called Gingold which contained the juice of the Yucatan gingo fruit. After much study and experimentation, Ralph Dibny managed to isolate the unknown chemical in the fruit, and now when he drinks a concentrated dose his body acquires elastic properties far beyond belief. With his new incredible powers, our hero became the super-stretchable sleuth known as the Elongated Man being able to contort to any position. Now after a few costume changes over the years, he is still solving mysteries and fighting crime with the help of his beautiful wife, Sue. The Elongated Man made his first appearance was in DC's The Flash #112 in May of 1960.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Foreign Favorites: Diabolik

In 1962, two sisters in Milan, Angel and Luciana Guissani, created the ultimate super criminal known for his violence and skills, the dreaded Diabolik! A master of disguise, this anti-hero, is as brave as he is clever, equipped with gadgets and tricks, that make Diabolik always one step ahead of enemies, whether it be the police squads or mafia hit men. A man who lives by his own rules, theft or murder are just another day at the office for this phantom criminal with the mind of a master chess player. His beloved girlfriend and assistant, Eva Kant, is the only good thing in his endless life of crime as he is relentlessly pursued by an equally skilled policeman named Ginko. Spawning a new age in dark adult themed comics in the early sixties, the feature was written and drawn by a stable of artists, still under the guiding hands of its two creators. Denounced by the Church, politicians, and Italian censors alike, this amoral anti-hero still lives on today and inspired a cult hit film of 1968, Danger:Diabolik, starring John Phillip Law in the title role.