Friday, June 29, 2012

1982 - Anatomy of a cover - Contest of Champions #1

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Marvel's Secret 2014 Movie Revealed - The Guardians of the Galaxy

According to, Marvel president Kevin Feige talked about the adaptation confirming that the movie, The Guardians of the Galaxy would feature a modern incarnation of the team, including Star-Lord, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, Groot and Rocket Raccoon.

Should be interesting. Loved that latest incarnation and would love to see more Thanos!

1982 - New Mutants Graphic Novel original art

By Bob McLeod, pencils and ink.

p. 23


p. 27

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

1983 - Fantastic Four #252

Fantastic Four #252
March 1983
Writer/Artist: John Byrne

I wanted to follow up on Byrne’s classic run by taking a look at an issue two years after his debut.

At first glance, you’ll notice that Fantastic Four #252 is a “widescreen” or “sideways” issue. As the title’s caption states, this issue was “the World’s most innovative comic magazine” and indeed it is as this was the first ever sideways issue and there have only been a handful done since.

Fantastic Four #252 kicked off the team’s adventures in the Negative Zone. It’s a great hybrid of the science fiction and superhero genres and reminded us of the role of the Fantastic Four as explorers in the Marvel Universe.

Despite finding the pages a bit awkward to flip, the format allowed Byrne to try a lot of great things, including vividly capturing the alien cityscapes,and playing with the panel assortment and sizes, in particular, the long stretched ones and the wider ones. Interestingly, the widescreen format for this issue makes it perfect for reading on a laptop screen!

The story was a solid, entertaining cautionary tale for our explorers and set the tone for this 4-part adventure into the Negative Zone. It’s also surprising how much Byrne managed to jam into this 22-page comic (two pages of which were an Annihilus sub-plot!).

A fun side note is that the “Free Lakeside Skin Tattooz” was often taken from this issue and placed into the far more expensive Amazing Spider-Man #238 (first appearance of the Hobgoblin) in case that issue was missing the “Tattooz”.

1987 - Marvel Fanfare #41 pinup by John Romita Sr.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

1983 - Marvel Super Heroes Puzzleforms

From an eBay auction:
"A 30 piece puzzle with Colorforms play pieces that stick like magic! Includes Colorforms for the Amazing Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk and their arch foes: Doctor Octopus, Rhino, Abomination, Lizard, Green Goblin, and the Leader. Put the battle scen together and create your own adventures. Ages 3 and Up."
I love how they got the colour scheme of some of the characters sooo wrong, like the red Rhino or the blue Abomination!

The Goddesses of Thor by Walt Simonson

From Walt Simonson's Facebook album:

Love the pencilled version as I feel it reflects the true amount of work involved in creating this piece of amazing art!

"The Goddesses of Thor, and Thor. Pencil. 14 x 17. 2012. Still have to erase the pencils, and spot the blacks but I kinda liked this stage. I never actually used the Valkyrie during my time on the book, but it seemed appropriate to include her here. A drawing to help a friend. I'll post about that when I post the finish."

"Thor and the Goddesses of Asgard. Pen and Ink. 14 x 17. 2012. The finished drawing. This drawing was done to help raise a few bucks for the ongoing care for Bill Mantlo. As some of you may know, Bill was the victim of a hit-and-run accident in NYC back in 1992, and suffered very serious head injuries. He's never really recovered. I committed to this drawing during an auction awhile back, and have finally had a chance to complete it, on Bill’s behalf. Hopefully, this drawing will help out a little.

Here's a little backstory and a Paypal button if you'd like to help out."

1982 - Magneto sketch by Byrne and Austin

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

1988 - Excalibur postcards from Alan Davis

Apparently sent by Alan Davis in response to Excalibur fan letters...
(grabbed from Modern Masters #1)

1983 - Marvel Comics Super Heroes stickers

I remember having these stickers as a kid, but can't recall how I got them. I've seen a few eBay auctions selling individual sheets, but not sure if they were part of an activity book or stand-alone stickers...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

1982 - Anatomy of a cover - Moon Knight #18

Sienkiewicz is at his peak channeling Neal Adams during his run on Moon Knight. You can see more of his artistic and experimental side sneak out as the run hits the mid 20s. Love this original cover as you can clear see how everything is put togther, like the caption, Moon Knight title, and the price and issue box number. Also what's great to see if the effect of the colouring. The colouring seems a bit over the top with its bright pastel flares and really sends the eye moving all around the cover, not really allowing it to focus anywhere in particular. The fighting in this scene seems almost muted.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

1987 - Spider-Man Door Poster Art By Mike Zeck

Drawn by Mike Zeck and inked by Joe Sinnott.

"Check out this INCREDIBLE, HUGE published 1987 Spider-Man door poster art which was penciled by the great Mike Zeck, and inked by the iconic Joe Sinnott! I used to own this door poster 20 years ago! This stunning piece features an incredible 3-D looking scene as Spider-Man swings across the New York City skyline right into your lap! This HUGE piece is drawn on a 15.1 by 40.25 inch piece of thick Bainbridge art board.
"This piece was hand colored in marker to perfection by colorist Ian Gletrault, and the published door poster was created exactly from this hand colored piece!"

1980 - The Art of John Byrne

  • Published by S.Q. Production Inc. for a price tag of $5.95.
  • Volume #1, although there was never any further volumes.
  • Interview conducted Robert Keenan, a foreword provided by Roger Stern, a personal profile by Terry Austin, and an afterword by Chris Claremont.
  • Apparently, Byrne can do "a recognizable impression of Sir Winston Churchill" and can sing every verse of "I'm Walking Backwards for Christmas Across the Irish Sea".
  • He's also a "connoisseur of obscure curses and a seeker of the perfect hat".
  • A complete checklist of Byrne work until that time.
  • Included a 25-page story without any captions, called "Critical Error" which was later reprinted by Dark Horse comics.

And there's a summary of a What If story .... What If Magneto had formed the X-Men?

Monday, June 11, 2012

1981 - Fantastic Four #232

Fantastic Four #232
July 1981
Writer/Artist: John Byrne

Fantastic Four #232 was John Byrne’s first issue as both writer and artist and his run would last over five years on the title. Byrne had pencilled the book a few years earlier working with writers Marv Wolfman and Bill Mantlo. The Fantastic Four is more of a family than a super-hero team and no one understood that better than Byrne.

What made Byrne’s take on this title so memorable was how he handled the characters and their relationships. All team books tend to be formulaic, but what Byrne couldn’t succeed at doing with Alpha Flight, he was able to do with the Fantastic Four. He grew them from the archetypes created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and changed them subtly, but meaningfully.

Take for example how Byrne drew the Thing. His version built on Kirby’s designs and actually improved upon them, changing it slightly but adding Byrne’s own mark. As I grew up in the 1980s, I’ve always seen Byrne’s Thing as the definite version. And similarly how Byrne changed their uniform colours or how he changed Sue’s name from the Invisible Girl to the Invisible Woman. And of course, it wasn’t simply a name change, but how she behaved and carried herself. Simple changes that were so powerful and effective, but didn’t change what the Fantastic Four meant and represented.

Now, let’s focus on this issue, aptly titled: “Back to Basics!” It’s easily as significant as Walt Simonson’s debut on The Mighty Thor or Frank Miller’s debut on Daredevil. In the space of 22 pages, Byrne, with a twist, brought the Golden Age of the Fantastic Four into the 1980s. This issue was also our first opportunity to see an unrestrained John Byrne, creatively free to do whatever he pleased. And he certainly didn’t disappoint. It was all there. The family, the inter-character conflict, a character driven plot, and fun! Each character has a clear, distinct personality that immediately grabs you and plunges you into their world.

The plot was straightforward, with Diablo targetting the members of the Fantastic Four with his elemental monsters. Visually the comic was beautiful with Byrne flexing his artistic muscles and clearly having fun drawing Mr. Fantastic in a variety of elastic shapes and visually displaying how the Invisible Girl was so much more than a woman who can turn invisible. Reed as the shrewd and intelligent leader assessed the threat and pulled the team together to overcome Diablo’s machinations.

The inker credited as Bjorn Heyn is actually Byrne himself who playfully used an anagram.

From Amazing Heroes #1 (June 1981), Byrne said: “I tried to do a very primal FF story. I decided to do something that was not much more than a punch-’em-up, with elements of characterization thrown in for good measure.”

And the rest, as they say, is history…

The Many Costumes of Janet Van Dyne, the Wasp

Tip of the hat to The Dork Review for these fun pictures!


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