Monday, December 26, 2011

Read 'Em And Weep, Early Comic Art Prices

Thought I would end the year by posting more prices from the past, read 'em and weep! The Rocket's Blast Comic Collector was the best way to find original comic art from both dealers and collectors who sold items every issue back in the early days of collecting. Bernie Bubnis, also know as "The Sucker" was one of these collector/dealers with his amusing ads selling some great material, but don't take my word for it, looks at these prices. How about starting out with some Golden Age gems from artists, such as John Romita. A Captain America splash page from Young Men #26 would only set you back thirty dollars, or page three with Cap, Torch and Namor was only $35, other pages cost $20 each. A Bill Everett splash of Subby from the same issue was listed for $30, but if you wanted a Bob Powell Sub-Mariner splash from Human Torch #36 you could have it for the same low price! This guy had Toth, Infantino, Kubert, all the greats at mind-blowing prices and being the nice guy he was, he even had "poor boy" pages for mugs like me for $3 each, such as Mike Sekowsky Justice League of America #25 pages. A Curt Swan splash page from Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olson #79, "Jimmy's Forgotten Girl Friend", was a whopping $10. A Frank Frazetta Li'l Abner daily from 2-15-63 was only twenty five dollars, but the best deal for me was the Murphy Anderson complete Atomic Knights story from Strange Adventures #150, sixteen pages for $75 and please add $2 for postage.

Honest Jack's Old Paper Museum and Junk Shop was one professional from a 1970 issue selling comics and art, including Andru & Esposito Metal Men or All-American Men of War pages for $5 and $4 respectively. Honest Jack "The Children's Friend" as he called himself had Bill Everett Tales to Astonish #88 Sub-Mariner pages for only $10 each. Alberto Giolitti's Tonto, Sergeant Preston, or Gunsmoke pages ran ten to seven dollars each, however I would hold out for a complete four page story "Trick Shot" from Have Gun ,Will Travel for the sum of $25. Wally Wood's Total War #1 page 13 was twenty bucks or Fred Ray's Tomahawk #85 splash page "A Noisy Welcome" was ten smackers. Johnny Thunder pages by Alex Toth from National's All-American Western #120- #123 were only $15 to $10 dollars each, or Jimmy Wakely panel pages sold for $7. Finally, Jack had the complete Golden Gladiator story "Thunder of the Chariots" by Russ Heath from Brave and the Bold #1 from 1955. Seven pages for $120, even though it was missing page 3, which was he said was destroyed, not exactly complete, but very cheep!

Gary Dolgoff has become a big time dealer since his small ad from many years ago, but those prices, they can take your breath away. How about some Steve Ditko Amazing Spider-Man pages from issue #22 page 4 or #23 pages 6, 7,or 19 for $17.50 each! You could have Ditko Dr. Strange pages for the same price if Spidey was not your bag. Dick Ayers' Sgt. Fury pages from issue fourteen, pages 8, 11-13, 16 and 17 cost ten bucks each, or you could have the Human Torch splash page one from Strange Tales #63 for the same price. Iron Man pages from Tales of Suspense #60, pages 2, 6, 8, and 13 by Don Heck were $10. Avengers pages by Heck #11 were also ten each for page 5, 11, 13, 15, 17, and 19.


Lots of great pages for not much money. Werner Roth X-Men pages from issue #18, were $15 for the page one splash and ten bucks for pages 3-5, 7-15, 17 and 19. Larry Lieber pages from Strange Tales #113 or Tales of Suspense #43 were six American dollars, but some DC prices were just as great. Gil Kane's Green Lantern #24 page 12 was ten dollars and a Batman page from Detective Comics #374, page 10 was only $8. Joe Kubert war pages from any of his titles ran again around ten dollars as well, or you could have a Irv Novick All-American Men of War cover for just $10. Covers, splashes, and pages for less than the cost of shipping today, those truly were the good old days.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Make Mike Marvel: Deathlok The Demolisher

With his first appearance in Astonishing Tales #25, Deathlok the Demolisher was a Marvel series inspired by the cyborg craze of the 1970s written by Doug Moench and illustrated by Rich Buckler. Colonel Luther Manning was a tough American soldier from Detroit who after suffering a fatal injury on the battlefield, awoke as a reanimated experimental cyborg under the Deathlok Project in a post-apocalyptic future. A power hungry scientist named Simon Ryker rebuilt the warrior incorporating many new "improvements" including a symbiotic computer that communicated with Manning to often provide strategy in his numerous battles. With his enhanced mechanical and cybernetic  physiology, Deathlok now has superhuman strength and stamina as well as increased agility and reflexes. The cyborg's woven metal-mesh body suit and body armor incorporated on his right arm and half his scarred face made him a frightening opponent, coupled with his prior expert military training.  Equipped with a helium-neon laser pistol, standard issue for the U.S. Army of the future and a perfectly balanced throwing dagger, Deathlock skill as a killing machine lives up to his name in his many bloody conflict. Finally escaping from Ryker's control, Manning dreams of regaining his humanity and reuniting with his family, as he fights the military and corporate entities that have taken over the United States. Moench tight scripts have Deathlok fighting the War-Wolf, Ryker's Super-Tank and even his own clone drawn in Bucklers bold style over their initial twelve issue run. With many incarnations since its debuted, Deathlok still survives today in the Marvel Universe, ever waiting to be reborn once again.

Monday, December 12, 2011

My Greatest Adventure: Anthro

DC Comics in the 1960s always had some interesting new ideas for characters they would often promote in their signature anthology book, Showcase, and issue  #74 was no exception, introducing the prehistoric cave boy called Anthro. Caught between two different and conflicting worlds, Anthro was the first Cro-Magnon boy with intellegence who had some very unusual parents. His Neanderthal father was a fierce warrior  and leader of his people's Bear Tribe, while his deceased mother was from a mysterious lost race that gave him the wisdom and intellect not yet seen by his race. Equipped with only his quick wit and problem solving skills, our stone age hero was superior to his peers in every area, as he excelled in hunting and even showing compassion to his enemies. An unbelievable quality never seen before in this savage time. Not accepted by the brute force of the old ways, Anthro was the new hope for an age of reason in the dawn of civilization. Artist Howie Post was the perfect choice to illustrate the cave boy with his rough and rugged style for its debut issue and his short-lived six issue self-titled series that soon followed.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

National Cartoonist Society Profile: Stan Goldberg

Born in New York City in 1932. I started my career in 1949 as a staff artist for Timely Comics (which is now Marvel). I was also in charge of the color department. In 1958 I went freelance and continued to color all of Marvel Comics for about ten years. As "Stan G" I was responsible for all the color costumes for all the classic Marvel superheroes and villains of the 1960s. During the period from 1949 to the late 1960s I illustrated adventure stories, drew gag cartoons, pop art for advertising, and illustrated all the teen titles for Marvel, Kathy, all the Millie the Model titles, Patsy Walker, etc. From '68 to '70 I drew the teen titles from DC Comics...Scooter, Binky, and Debbie's Dates. Since 1968 I've been drawing many of the titles and covers for Archie Comics, and for five years I drew the Archie Sunday strip. Some of my other illustrations have appeared in childrens books, greeting cards and magazines: McCalls, Redbook, Seventeen, etc. I was given the Ink Pot Award at the San Diego Comics convention in 1994 when I drew the most improbable paring of Archie Meets The Punisher, a Marvel-Archie crossover book.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Jack Kirby Splash Pages!

Born Jacob Kurtzberg on August 28th, 1917, the artist drew under many names before finally landing on Jack Kirby. Growing up on the tough streets of New York's Lower East Side, Jack discovered at an early age he had a talent for drawing. Starting out as an "in-betweener" for Popeye cartoons, he later decided to leave animation in 1939, for more work in the syndicated newspaper strips. Joining with another budding artist, Joe Simon, they quickly found work in the new art medium called comic books. The team worked together nearly two decades, but are best know for their first iconic creation, Captain America, which they created for Timely Comics in 1940. From there, Kirby co-created literally hundreds of characters for National and other companies including the Boy Commandos, Challengers of the Unknown, ManhunterFighting American, The Newsboy Legion , and Sandman. But it wasn't until 1961 when Kirby's true legacy was to be discovered within the pages of Marvel Comics with writer Stan Lee. Now christened "The King" by Lee in all their titles, Jack either created, co-created, or revamped Marvels "A" list of characters such as The Avengers, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, The Fantastic Four, Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandoes, The Mighty Thor, and The X-Men, just to name a few. Always a fast penciller, Kirby was teamed with some of the greatest inkers in the field as shown in these 1960/70s splashs such as Vince Coletta and Joe Sinnott. Why "The King" did so many splashes is anyone's guess; dramatic flair, a time saving element, or perhaps he just loved composing dynamic images for his books. In 1970, Kirby returned to his roots at DC Comics and continued his influence on the medium by creating such popular characters as the  The Forever People, Mister Miracle, The New Gods, The Demon, and Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth. Embellished by artist Mike Royer for many of these later DC splashes, he added numerous new characters to DC's growing stable with his popular "Fourth World" series. Jack returned to Marvel Comics in 1975, pencilling once again Captain America, The Black Panther, and his new Devil Dinosaur, and The Eternals series, before slowing down and returning to more animation work. Poor health forced the artist to retire in 1987, but he was still active in comic fandom with his many convention appearances. Jack Kirby eventually passed away on February 6th, 1994, but is recognized by fans and professionals alike as the true master of the comic art form. So in the traditional proclamation made following the accession of a new monarch...Long live the King!