Friday, June 10, 2016

MY COLLECTION # 47, JUNE 10, 2016

This is another recent acquisition, from the same auction in which I won the Gil Kane pages a couple of week ago. This is a “Rex Morgan MD” daily from October 11, 1957. My attention was caught be the depiction of cars in panels 1 and 2, but the longer I look at it, the more I like it in general. The artist, Frank Edgington, is being very cinematic in the way he starts out with a slightly elevate long shot in panel one, then fluidly lowers the camera to a reverse angle at Rex’s eye level (keeping the B.G. cars consistent between the two panels. Edgington cuts, in panel 3 to a dramatic two-shot of Rex striding with manful determination past the worried nameless foreground female, with no B.G. but it’s not really needed though it might have been nice… the top of the car roofs and low brick wall seen in the bottom third of the panel could have been sweet.


As I said, what caught my eye was the car layouts in panels one and two; beautiful, simple, confident spotting of blacks in both the cars and the figures. I especially like the woman’s cast shadow across Rex’s chest in panel two. I love the folds on the woman’s arm in panel three as she reaches across herself toward Rex. And check out the pattern on Rex’s suit as the camera moves closer in each successive panel. Very simple, clear and effective.


Thursday, June 9, 2016

MY COLLECTION, JUNE 9, 2016

46) June 9, 2016
This is page 3 of “Monster in My Pocket”, penciled and inked by Gil Kane. “Monster In My Pocket” ranks with “Giant-Sized Manthing” as best double entendre comic book title for a comicbook series. It was  “…produced by Harvey Comics and released in 1992. It featured four issues and an annual special. The fourth issue leaves off on a cliffhanger, suggesting more issues were planned but cancelled last minute.” (quoted from wikia.com) This comic series is a tie in with a toy line from the period. Ernie Colon drew the first issue, and Gil Kane took over with issue 3. There is no indication whether this page is from issue 3 or 4. The series was written by Dwayne McDuffie. Ernie Colon drew issue #1.



MY COLLECTION, JUNE 8, 2016

45) June 8, 2016
This is page 2 of “Monster in My Pocket”, penciled and inked by by Gil Kane, published by Harvey Comics back in 1991. “Monster In My Pocket” ranks with “Giant-Sized Manthing” as best double entendre comic book title. This comic series is a tie in with a toy line from the period. Ernie Colon drew the first issue, and Gil Kane took over with issue 3. There is no indication whether this page is from issue 3 or 4.


Gil seems to have inked the pages using markers; the ink is spreading and sinking through the art paper. His line quality has a pleasing suppleness and fluidity; at first glance I mistook it for Craig Russell, high praise in my book, as Russell is one of the best inkers in the biz.



Wednesday, May 25, 2016

THE MARK IN AMERICA, ISSUE #4, PAGE 24


(Continued from yesterday’s blog) I found myself in an untenable position as a comic book artist. I accepted my fate as an exile in the TV Animation Industry (while making 3 times as much money as I had as in comics) and resolved to take the next step on that career pat. I put out the word that I was looking to become a director.

Ironically, around this time, something Bob Schreck had said in passing finally sunk in: If I got together with Mike Barr and put together a revival of Mike’s “Mage Agency” property, Bob might be interested in taking it to Dark Horse. I immediately called Mike with the idea. He allowed that his ears always perked up when somebody said “Maze Agency” but cautioned things would be different with out working relationship: no more “Marvel Style”. He would write tight scripts that I would follow closely.  Yeah, whatever, I thought to myself dismissively. On the other hand, Mike was a good enough writer that this might be tolerable, at least starting out.

Before things could proceed, however, I got my first directing gig, “Captain Simian and the Space Monkey’s for the start-up studio “Epoch Ink”, founded by one of my best friends, Joe Pearson. Pushing aside residual guilt feelings about pointlessly jerking Mike’s chain, I threw myself into this new life path for the next 5 or 6 years, until I tired of being a monk in the animation production monastery and stepped away. It was around the time that Bob Schreck was hired as group editor at DC Comics. I called him up, threw my hat back in the ring, and soon found myself replacing Darwyn Cooke on the re-launched Catwoman series. But that’s another tale.

In summary, kvetch and carp though I might, I’ll be eternal grateful to Bob Schreck and Mike Barr for, basically, giving me free rein as the penciller and inker on “The Mark”. I was able to do my best, with no excuses or qualifications. If I was not able to reach my influences, it was nobody’s fault but mine.


This is page 24 for "The Mark" issue 4, volume 2, otherwise known as "The Mark In America", published by Dark Horse Comics in March 1994. Written by Mike Barr, Drawn by Brad Rader

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

THE MARK IN AMERICA, ISSUE #4, PAGE 23


We now reach the end of this story. “The Mark in America” took me the better part of 1993 to draw; 125 pages and 4 covers spread out over Dark Horse Comics #14 and 15, and the mini-series, issues 1 through 4. I’m quite proud of it. I’m not sure that I could better it now, or even match it. I know I don’t have the ink wielding chops I had developed by the time I’d done the page you see here.

 It’s a source of great sadness in my life that I was unable to keep the momentum I had developed here. I could only find dribs and drabs in comics for several years after this. Editors told me flat out that my style was too “old school”. One of them compared me with Eduardo Barreto  (i.e., a solid craftsman with no “sizzle”), implying that they already had him, so why did they need me? I guess I paid the price for not drawing in the “Image” style that was then paramount.

I found myself in the same position I’d been in before breaking in on “The Batman Adventures”; supplicating editors for a chance to prove myself as though I hadn’t been doing so for over a year. I soon realized I no longer had the stomach to submit myself to the disinterested judgment of people for whom I had no respect (I liked almost nothing being published at the time).

Even my “Mark” editor, Bob Schreck, told me that he specialized in creator owned or generated projects. If I came to him with my own proposal he might consider it, but he was in no position to assign me to a pre-existing book. The only niche I might be able to fill was that of a creator. Unfortunately, though I could critique the fuck out of anybody else’s writing, I was totally blocked at doing my own. (To be continued)


This is page 23 for "The Mark" issue 4, volume 2, otherwise known as "The Mark In America", published by Dark Horse Comics in March 1994. Written by Mike Barr, Drawn by Brad Rader

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