Friday, September 30, 2011

1983 - Jim Shooter's entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sneak peek at Back Issue #55

Shipping in April 2012: BACK ISSUE #56, starring Marvel Comics’ mightiest super-team, the Avengers! Writer ROGER STERN’S acclaimed 1980s Avengers run [Flashback article written by me!], West Coast Avengers, early Avengers toys, and histories of Hawkeye, Mockingbird, and Wonder Man. Featuring art by and/or commentary from JOHN and SAL BUSCEMA, JOHN BYRNE, BRETT BREEDING, TOM DeFALCO, STEVE ENGLEHART, BOB HALL, AL MILGROM, TOM MORGAN, TOM PALMER, JOE SINNOTT, and more. With a GEORGE PÉREZ cover spotlighting the Avengers’ “Big Three.”

Monday, September 26, 2011

Marvel Comics' December 2011 Solicitations - Marvel 1980s Goodness

December is a relatively light month in terms of 1980s content. 
The West Coast Avengers find themselves flung throughout time in this classic tale featuring everything from Marvel’s Wild West to ancient Egyptian despots! Witness the “Wackos” as they find themselves face-to-face with such legends as the Two-Gun Kid, the Phantom Rider and the Rawhide Kid — along with the time-tossed villainy of Rama-Tut and Immortus. With the Fantastic Four and Dr. Strange along for the ride, what other help could the West Coasters need to set things straight? How about Marvel’s modern-day Western heroes, the Texas Rangers! Collecting WEST COAST AVENGERS (1985) #17-24, FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #19 and DOCTOR STRANGE (1974) #53.
240 PGS./Rated T ...$34.99

Written by JIM SHOOTER

Drawn from Earth across the stars, the Marvel Universe’s greatest villains and heroes are set against one another by the mysterious and unbelievably powerful Beyonder, with the winner promised the ultimate prize. But as battle lines are drawn, new alliances forged and old enemies clash, one among them is not willing to settle for anything less than godhood. Can even the combined might of the Avengers, Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men prevent Dr. Doom from becoming the most powerful being in the universe? Collecting MARVEL SUPER HEROES SECRET WARS #1-12.
376 PGS./Rated T ...$34.99

Written by JIM SHOOTER
Penciled by AL MILGROM

Last time Earth’s heroes encountered the Beyonder, they fought for their lives. This time, they fight for all existence! A year after kidnapping the most powerful beings on Earth and pitting them against one another in a “Secret War” on a distant world, the omnipotent Beyonder comes to Earth to continue his study of humanity. However, a being so powerful and so naïve is a dangerous combination. As the Beyonder’s understanding slowly grows, so too do his own desires — and even the lord of lies, Mephisto, fears what the Beyonder might finally decide he desires. Because if the Beyonder decides he wants to end all that is, even the combined might of the universe’s cosmic powers might not be enough to stop him! Collecting SECRET WARS II #1-9.
264 PGS./Rated T ...$29.99

Penciled by JOHN BYRNE

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times: Relive the legendary first journey into the dystopian future of 2013 — where Sentinels stalk the Earth, and the X-Men are humanity’s only hope...until they die! Also featuring the first appearance of Alpha Flight, the return of the Wendigo, the history of the X-Men from Cyclops himself...and a demon for Christmas!? Collecting UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #138-143 and X-MEN ANNUAL #4.
184 PGS./Rated T+ ...$19.99

Friday, September 23, 2011

Greg Pak on Bill Mantlo

Here's a great article by outgoing Hulk writer, Greg Pak, on the influence of former 1980s Hulk writer Bill Mantlo:

The article is a follow-up to the afterword he wrote for Incredible Hulks #635.

And now a few words from Mike Mantlo:

First off, I send out a big THANK YOU to everyone that has helped support Bill over these past 19 years (!).  Every donation, no matter how big or small, and every card or letter is greatly appreciated. Bill's condition remains the same (he suffers severe cognitive impairments, anger, and depression), and these factors keep him very much isolated from "the outside world." Aside from my visits, and the kindness of my beautiful wife and some of the attendants at the nursing home/rehabilitation facility he resides in, his contact with other human beings is virtually non-existent.  But the support and encouragement of fans, and industry professionals like yourself, helps to bring a little ray of sunlight into his dark and dreary days. When I (or my wife) engage Bill in conversation, his spirit emerges and is as strong and pure as it ever was! So, once again, I can't thank ALL of you enough!! I strongly believe in the power of practicing random acts of kindness, and with that belief I hope that ALL of your kindnesses will be returned to you many, many times over! 

Cards, letters or donations to Bill Mantlo can be sent to:
Mike Mantlo
26364 East Pintail Road
Long Neck, DE 19966
Please make out any checks to “Michael Mantlo” — Bill’s legal guardian.

You can also donate using the paypal link in the article above.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

McLeod's New Mutants vs Sentinels commission

I started with a rough pencil sketch, to get my ideas on paper. I don't usually pencil much tighter than this if I'm going to ink it myself. You can see that I made a few subtle changes, most noticeably the change in Cannonball's pose. It was originally a pen&ink commission, but as I was finishing the inks, I decided it really would look much better in color, with Cannonball's flame and all. So I asked the buyer if he would be willing to pay a little more to get it in color. He agreed, so I started painting it with watercolor dyes, because they're totally transparent and wouldn't cover up any of the ink lines. But the illustration board had flaws in it, and dark spots  started appearing everywhere! Disaster!? Well, I just used acrylics, which are opaque, to cover the dark spots, and repainted the Sentinels and parts of the sky. I then airbrushed some darker tones to add a metallic look to the Sentinels, and finally had to re-ink over the acrylics.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

1987 - Spider-Man marries Mary Jane at Shea Stadium

A mock ceremony with Stan Lee officiating was held to coincide with the marriage that took place in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21.

This clip from youtube is some media coveraged used to hype event...

Looks like I beat Jim Shooter with this post, but his blog post has far more information.

Here's a sample of what you'll find there...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

1980 - Daredevil #167

From Bob McLeod's facebook page:
Bob McLeod: "Frank Miller pencils. You can't tell unless you download the image to enlarge it, but there's white line zip-a-tone over the entire image, which Miller requested. You can see by my voucher that comics didn't pay all that well (and still don't). With inflation, that would be about $105 in 2011 dollars. That's why most artists of that era were trying to do several pages a day rather than put hours of effort into a single drawing. But I was single and living cheaply in Florida and didn't care about the money. I just wanted to do my best. A lot of today's artists feel the same way, except that in 1980 the original art to that cover probably only sold for $50-$100 (the inker gets every third cover by the same penciler). Today's covers sell for hundreds or even thousands of dollars. But today's pencilers should note: The exact linework and detail was done in the inks. The pencils were left vague enough for a lot of artistic contribution from the inker. This would have looked quite different if Sinnott or even Janson had inked it."

Sunday, September 18, 2011

1986 - 20/20 covers Marvel's 25th Anniversary

This nostalgic look back at Marvel Comics includes interviews with Jim Shooter and Stan Lee, and includes a visit to Stan's home!

Friday, September 16, 2011

1982 - Dazzler #21

A behind the scenes look at the making of the photo cover for Dazzler #21 (snagged from

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

1983 - New Mutants #10

Always love this cover and the Nova Roma story line in New Mutants.

From Bob McLeod's facebook page:

Bob McLeod: "This is the cover sketch my editor gave me for New Mutants #10, and my pencils & inks. By 1983, after nine years working in comics, I had finally gotten to where I felt I was skilled enough to draw and ink superhero comics the way I wanted them to look. A lot of people are fascinated by those who can draw. I'm always fascinated by people who can't draw."

Monday, September 12, 2011

1990 - Cable's origins...

A very interesting piece on Cable's origins from Lying in the Gutters back in 2006. And technically, Cable's first appearance was in 1986 in Uncanny X-Men #201 (as an infant of course!).

"…an imposing human in his mid-fifties whose rugged and grim demeanor hides a terrible secret: a body that is half cybernetic. The left half of his body, which is cybernetic, is normally covered with syntheflesh; a small scar above his right eye.... In battle often wears a suit of blue battle armor and carries a variety of weapons included a repeating blaster that his enhanced strength allows him to easily wield." That would be the Star Wars description of Valance The Hunter, a character created by Archie Goodwin and Walt Simonson, designed by Simonson who first appeared in Marvel's Star Wars #16 in 1978.

  • Walt Simonson's recollection differs [from Liefeld's version of Cable's origins]. "The design for Cable [was] originally one of several designs Rob did for a villain (designs done for Stryfe IIRC). Bob Harras liked the design as did Weezie and asked if they couldn't make a good guy out of him. Weezie was already working on creating a new leader for the New Mutants (something Bob was also interested in) and the military background/attitude was always intended to be a part of the character. Weezie was tired of the Prof. X attitude of whiny leadership that was always agonizing over sending the New Mutants into harm's way and thought that an interesting story direction would be to create a leader who knew the score, understood the dangers, and would in fact view the New Mutants essentially as soldiers, being sent into battle."
  • Cable on Alpha Flight?
Rob Liefeld: "Well, before I was committed to New Mutants, I was looking for a vehicle that I could have more plot input on and it turns out that they were looking for a new team on 'Alpha Flight.' I was a huge fan and sent in a two year proposal that pre-dates my start on 'New Mutants' by about seven months. Cable was introduced as a soldier from Wolverine's past, who would have worked with the existing Alpha Flight roster. Danny Fingeroth was eager to get me on the series, but when it wasn't going to be re-launched I opted for 'New Mutants' and was able to do a dramatic housecleaning with editorial's blessing.

Some 1980s love in the Women of Marvel - Celebrating Seven Decades Poster Book

Friday, September 9, 2011


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