Saturday, February 25, 2017

Strange Saturday: Tomb of Dracula 44 cover art

I was doing some research on original cover art on Heritage Auctions tonight and ran across this classic cover for Tomb of Dracula 44, which featured a certain Sorcerer Supreme doing battle against the Lord of the Vampires...

Tomb of Dracula 44 cover Dr Strange

This classic cover sold for $26,290 sold for last August! Can you believe it? I can, since the hype for the Dr. Strange movie must have driven up demand for this one. Gene Colan and Tom Palmer on the art, the line work is quite impressive in black and white! In color it seems like a hippie dream come true...

Tomb of Dracula 44 color

The cover reads Because You Demanded It! And it seemed like a no brainer, because the artistic team of Colan/Palmer drew both series. Can you imagine anything at all like this today? Two artistic titans banging out nearly 40 pages a month for two series. Sheesh! These days you're lucky to get a team doing 6-8 issues a year!

Doctor Strange 14

I always enjoyed this particular two parter, where (SPOILERS for decades ago) each character thought they had killed the other by the end of each issue. They don't make 'em like this any more, true believer!

Nuff Said.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Strange Saturday: When Frank Miller almost drew a Dr Strange series

In 1980, fans got very excited seeing this Marvel ad for a new creative team on the way...

Frank Miller Doctor Strange promo

Roger Stern and Frank Miller on Doctor Strange! At that time Stern was one of my favorite writers, he was doing great entertaining work on various titles. He seemed to understand Marvel characters. And Miller had been doing Daredevil, really good work there although he may not have taken over as writer yet - certainly this was before he introduced Elektra.

Miller Dr Strange Ad

Here is the original artwork to this Marvel ad. Alas it was not to be! Miller got too busy with other commitments to take on this series. Marshall Rogers joined Roger Stern on Doctor Strange, and they did one of the greatest 6 issue arcs in the history of that title.

Amazing Spider-Man Annual 14 cover by Frank Miller

Frank Miller had whetted our appetite for his approach to Doctor Strange with his work on Amazing Spider-Man Annual 14. This annual featured Spidey teaming up with Doc to fight the "Bend Sinister" (which sounded at first like a strange sexual position) a bad guy infused with mystical powers from Dormammu with a little help from Doctor Doom.

Amazing Spider-man Annual 14-15

This annual was one of the best Spidey /Doc stories from the 1980s - I highly recommend it.

dr strange clea commission

Some time later, Miller also did a commission for a fan with Doc and Clea.  Pretty sweet! By the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth, what might have been! Nuff said.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Alpha Flight poster by John Byrne with original art

If you were a John Byrne fanatic back in the early 80s, you may have picked up this Alpha Flight poster...

Alpha Flight poster byrne

Just what you always wanted: a giant Puck hanging in your nerd room! Kind of funny, right? Vindicator, way cooler, flying over Puck's head. You would think that guy would have been front and center.

Through the miracles of Facebook groups, I saw the original art to this poster the other day...

Alpha Flight poster original art

Vindicator was added on top of the original image as an afterthought! Weird huh? Well maybe not so weird. At the time Byrne did this poster, Alpha Flight #12 had already been published where (SPOILERS for 1984) Vindicator died at the very end of the story. I recall the poster coming out around the same time or shortly after. So possibly in Byrne's mind, Vindicator was no longer part of the team and not in the poster. But someone made him put the character back and was added on top of the original image.

Nuff Said!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Doctor Strange Movie Blacklight Poster

The director of Doctor Strange, Scott Derrickson, posted this image on his Twitter account...

Dr Strange Blacklight Poster

A blacklight poster for Doctor Strange, the movie! Takes you back doesn't it? There were a series of blacklight posters for Doctor Strange in the early 70s, take a look here to see those. I wouldn't mind buying one of these, apparently they are not for sale - only 100 were made and presumably given out to cast / crew. Nuff Said!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Merry Marvel Marching Society by Marie Severin

Here's a rarely seen gem that I found on a Facebook page, a Merry Marvel Marching society double page spread by Marie Severin!

Merry Marvel Marching UK

This was published in a UK comic and the original poster was able to digitally reattach them together. Probably mid to late 1960s when the MMM was still going? The Thing on drums, I like that, and Nick Fury on the saxophone. Not sure about Subby. Nuff Said!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Giant-Size Kid Colt!

I thought by this point in my life, I had seen every Giant-Size title that Marvel had published in the 1970s. Well my mind was blown away by a title I never knew existed: Giant-Size Kid Colt!

Can you imagine? 50 cents for double sized Western action greatness, although in the form of a reprint! The cover to issue #1 was by Larry Lieber and Vinnie Colletta. I see the Colletta inks definitely but I might have been tempted to say it was a Kirby cover. To pump up the adrenaline, Rawhide Kid was the guest star.

Gil Kane drew this glorious cover to issue #2 featuring an Alamo-like last stand by the Western heroes. No inker listed, so did Kane ink himself? Looks like it! Kane had a great affinity for Western covers and I have featured a few in the past.

The third and final issue was another Kane cover showing yet another team-up between Kid Colt and Night Rider. You would almost think this was a team-up title, like Giant-Size Spider-Man which always had a special guest star every issue. Fun stuff! Nuff Said.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Sgt Fury and his Howling Commandos 96 cover by Gil Kane

I recently came across this cover I had never seen before - probably because I never collected that many war comics - Sgt Fury and his Howling Commandos 96, March 1972 (probably hit the newsstands 3 months before in December 1971).

SgtFury 96 cover Gil Kane John Severin 1972

This is a smashing cover illustration by Gil Kane and John Severin! The overhead view perspective on the three figures as gunshots rain down on them - as Dum Dum Dugan tries to carry an injured Nick Fury - wow. John Severin, a veteran of many war comics, inks Kane here.

SgtFury 96 alternate inked cover by Ralph Reese

However - Severin wasn't the first choice to ink this cover! The editors originally gave Kane's pencils to Ralph Reese to ink. This version was printed as a pin-up in the next issue. You can see that Reese's inks are superb as well, but they make the figures covered in shadows. It really increased the horror factor. I can only assume the editors didn't want this effect. Interesting that someone objected to it so strenuously that they had another inker do it before the publication deadline. Nuff Said!