Thursday, March 31, 2016


This is the latest addition to my collection, a Doug Wildey original page from DC Special #3, published by DC Comics in 1977, featuring Sgt. Rock. I consider Wildey to be a masterful inker in the style of Milton Caniff. I’m not saying he a follower of Caniff; this is obviously not the case. In fact, in many ways he’s the opposite of Caniff in that he’s a photo swiper, more like Al Williamson, Stan Drake and Rip Kirby era Alex Raymond. I’m talking about Wildey’s inks, which depend more on the brush (as with Caniff) than pen, (as with Williamson, Drake and Raymond), and brush wielded with an almost macho spontaneity and verve.

Panel 1) I love the way he depicts natural settings, something also on display in his western Comics, like Rio and The Outlaw Kid.

(Panel 2) This is another killer panel, as valuable for the backlit front grill of the jeep (shades of Caniff!) to the detailed rendering of the Sgt Rock close-up in the foreground.

Panel 3)  I want to point out how a really skilled cartoonist, like Wildey, can lay out a panel so that one doesn't notice or mind a word balloon that covers almost a third of the image.

(Panel 5) I was slightly disappointed, when I received this page in the mail last night, to see that it was crosshatched, instead of using the press-on mechanical dots that were a hallmark of his comic-book style. Oh well, this is good too. I wonder why he didn't use the dots, because they achieve the same effect.

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