Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My Greatest Adventure: Bomba, The Jungle Boy

Being a sucker for jungle themes, I first saw Bomba as back-up reprints in DC's Tarzan comics. With just seven issues to its name and lasting just one year, National Comics Bomba The Jungle Boy tried to capitalize on the syndicated TV series "Zim Bomba" which had edited down footage from the Monogram movies starring Johnny Sheffield. First published in 1926 by "Roy Rockwood" a Stratemyer Syndicate pseudonym for various authors, Bomba was one of the first Tarzan inspired imitators that lasted till 1938, with reprints and other spin-offs from the feature. Having twenty books in the series, Monogram was trying to cash in on the seventeen year old "Boy" actor Scheffield from the Tarzan pictures. Without the budget or production values of the earlier Ape Man productions, it still became one of there most popular movie series for the youth audience. But getting back to the DC comic, it was written by George Kashdan and illustrated by Leo Sommers as "The Jungle Boy" burst on the scene with his wild and woolly adventures before Jack Sparling took over the artistic chores to finish out the short run adventure comic.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Comic Artists Speak...Neal Adams, Moebius, & Joe Kubert!

Another rare video from France, TAC AU TAC from October of 1972, where three comic legends, Jean Giraud (Moebius), Joe Kubert, and Neal Adams, met in New York for a joint improvisation on the theme of the Pandora's box. Moebius starts off drawing the box as our fellow artists deal with the topic over time, interpreting what  has escaped from the box yesterday, what is escaping from it today, and finally what will escape from it tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Marvel Spotlight: Star Wars

Lucasfilm's initially approached Marvel Comics in 1975 about publishing a Star Wars comic  prior to the film's release. However, Stan Lee declined to consider a proposal until the film was completed, and was only persuaded to a second meeting by Roy Thomas, who wanted to edit the series. Considering that movie tie-in's rarely sold well at the time, Lee negotiated a publishing arrangement with no royalties to Lucasfilm until sales exceeded 100,000 copies sold, and then legal arrangements would be revisited. So when Marvel launched Star Wars in July of 1977, two issues had hit the stands before the film premiered and was an instant smash hit for the "House of Ideas". It is said the comic's success saved Marvel financially from its first two years of sales. Considering it was one of their top sellers, they quickly exceeded the 100,000 limit, having Lucasfilm return to renegotiate their royalties from a  strong position.  Over its nine year run, it mostly produced original stories by some of their top artists, thought it also adapted the movies in their US and UK incarnations. One hundred seven issues and three annuals were produced before the series ended in 1986, only to be reborn by other publishers over the years fueled by he next motion picture and print exploits of the enduring heroic characters.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

National Cartoonist Society Profile: Henry Boltinoff

Born in New York City, a long time ago. Been drawing ever since high school. Joined the National Cartoonist Society in the early days when meetings were held once a month at the Lambs Club, with shop talk and sessions with guest art directors and editors. Won two NCS awards. That's enough! Raised my family in Scarsdale, New York. My daughter lives in Syracuse, NY. My son in Montana. Made six NCS tours overseas to military bases. One of the original pen and pencil lunch crowd with George Wolfe, Reamer Keller, Ben Roth...all deceased. Presently live in Lake Worth, Florida. Every two weeks mail my Hocus Focus feature to King Features in New York. Don't miss the "Big Apple" at all. Not when I can play tennis twelve months a year.