Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Herb Trimpe, R.I.P.


Herb Trimpe, long-time comic book artist, primarily working at Marvel from the 1960s to the 1990s and best known for his long run drawing THE INCREDIBLE HULK (including several major issues, including the first appearance of Wolverine), passed away at age 75. I especially enjoyed his work on GODZILLA in the 1970s.

Here are a few images from lesser known stories that Trimpe wrote as well as drew. The self portrait is from STREETWISE [2000]. The "Lotsa Yox" page (inked by Wallace Wood) and the splash page from "Token" are from Flo Steinberg's BIG APPLE COMIX [1975] and the "Skywarriors" page is from SAVAGE TALES #1 [1985] (the "Skywarriors" feature ran in the first four issues of that magazine).


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Comic Creator Screen Credits


If for some reason you're like me, and find the following clip to be possibly the best 8 seconds of any super-hero movie ever made:


Then you'd probably be interested in the page I just started on Tumblr:


(note I started it mostly to have a place to play around with on Tumblr for another page I want to put up, so expect the design of it to change frequently and drastically over the next few weeks)

I'm going to try to put up as many examples as I can of the screen credits that comic creators get for screen adaptations of their characters and stories. Mostly screen captures, but the occasional video clip like above where appropriate. I'll also include the unfortunate cases of films and shows that lack any credit to the creators:


I'll put up all that I have access to over the next month (my local library has most things released within the last decade, and Netflix should come in handy), and then put up a list of those I don't have for anyone interested to submit after that.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Groo vs. Image


When Groo was being published by Image back in 1994-1995, one regular treat was how Sergio Aragonés incorporated Groo into the Image "i" logo on the top left corner of each issue, following the classic Marvel style character illustration in the corner box which had been used for the Epic series. For all but one of them Aragonés found a way to use the design of the logo for an extra little gag. Here are all the logos, and you can check here to see them in the context of the full covers.

The Valiant Groo


With the long delayed GROO VS. CONAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE coming out soon (and a return of solo Groo promised soon after), I've been reading a lot of old Groo comics from the Aragones/Evanier/Luth/Sakai team. So lacking anything else to post, expect a few scans of panels that especially tickled me in the next few weeks.

Like this one from the Epic GROO THE WANDERER #16 [1986]:

If you don't get the reference, from Hal Foster's Prince Valiant strip in 1937:

And it was actually a goose, not a duck, but impressive that Groo got it that close.

There might also be another reference related to Mark Evanier's one-time employer.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Links, Books I'm Looking Forward To and More


Mark Evanier has a tale of coincidence in the preparation of the upcoming THE ART OF THE SIMON AND KIRBY STUDIO book. And seriously, early contender for book of the year. A large sized 384-page book featuring reproductions of the original artwork of Kirby, Simon and some of the other artists they worked with in the 1940s and 1950s? If anything better than that comes out than it'll be a great year for comics.

And speaking of the S&K Studio, one artist who passed through there very briefly (three published short stories and some background work on some 3-D comics, some possibly unpublished) is still very much active in creating new comics, and has a Kickstarter campaign going on right now for his newest work, titled #20, which is a pretty on-the-nose description for the 20th release in the series of 32-page Steve Ditko releases that he and Robin Snyder have published since 2008.

Here's a pretty decent interview with Dave Sim from 1998, mostly about actually creating comics, conducted by Michael Cohen and Jimmy Gownley.  Sim also has a Kickstarter going on, which seems to be doing okay.

And Jimmy Gownley has a new book, his first since wrapping up AMELIA RULES a few years ago. I need to pick that up. Wait, I think I never did get that last AMELIA RULES book, either. I'll have to pick them both up.

Al Feldstein and Dick Ayers passed away recently. Rest In Peace, gentlemen. Lots of links around for them, a few I liked were Evan Dorkin on Feldstein and Nick Caputo on Ayers.

And you could do far worse than checking out Dorkin's recent ELTINGVILLE CLUB #1. Can't wait for #2, and the eventual collection which will have a few things I haven't read before, and all the things I have read before in a much larger size.

CAPS' auctions for Stan & Sharon Sakai continue, always some good stuff to look at there, and maybe buy if you've got the funds.  You can also donate directly here. And of course there's always buying Sakai's comics. Just read the recent NILSON GROUNDTHUMPER AND HERMY collection, which had one story new to me, and all of the stories in colour for the first time, that was great. Going to read the 47 RONIN book he drew soon. And fortunately it'll soon be easier to read USAGI YOJIMBO, with Dark Horse announcing a new series, SENSO, following the upcoming colour special reprinting some DARK HORSE PRESENTS stories, as well as the first USAGI YOJIMBO SAGA volume collecting the complete Mirage and early Dark Horse issues of the series. It's good to see some activity after the extended USAGI hiatus since 2012.

And a random list of other books sitting here waiting to read in the near future:

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Recently Read and Re-Read, 2014.04.26


SPACE USAGI [1998] collects the three 3-issue SPACE USAGI mini-series from 1992 to 1996, plus a few other short stories. In this book, Stan Sakai translates his long-running samurai rabbit character into a science-fiction setting, apparently because he wanted an excuse to draw Usagi fighting dinosaurs. This is a nice little stand-alone book, especially for those who find the over 200-issue and counting run of USAGI YOJIMBO too daunting a challenge to jump into without a warm-up. Sakai brings all his usual skills at writing and art, and quickly lays out a new scenario and plays it out over almost 300 pages.  The plot will probably remind you of the Star Wars films, either due to a direct influence or common earlier influences (one particular plot twist is right out of the Star Wars prequel films, except it pre-dates it by seven years).

THE PROPERTY (2013) is the latest book by Rutu Modan. It chronicles a week long trip by an Israeli woman who returns to Warsaw for the first time since before World War II, accompanied by her grand-daughter, for reasons which she may not be completely honest about. It's an entertaining little book with a little bit of everything, some comedy, some romance, some history, some mystery. Modan's work is clear and detailed when it needs to be, still in the "clear line" school of Hergé, but developed in a few ways from her earlier work EXIT WOUNDS.

FRAN (2013) is the latest silent epic from Jim Woodring, "continuing and preceding" his 2011 book CONGRESS OF THE ANIMALS and featuring his long-running character Frank. I'll have to go back and re-read that, and the other Woodring work, since I think it's all starting to make some sort of sense. Always fascinating to see Woodring's world, where every little detail might be a clue or might mean nothing at all, possibly both at the same time. The standouts in this one are the weird pets(?) Pupshaw and Pushpaw. I saw once that Woodring had a solo book about them that I unfortunately didn't pick up and does't appear to be that easy to find at a decent price.

ATTACK ON TITAN Vol 1 & 2 (2012) are the first two books of Hajime Isayama's on-going science-fiction adventure comic, which has been getting a lot of attention lately as it's been adapted to a successful cartoon about to be translated into English, which is the most sure path for a Japanese comic to become a sales success in English. There are some interesting ideas in here, a future where the world has been taken over by monstrous giants called Titans, forcing the few remaining humans to retreat behind elaborately built barrier walls, which work great until an even larger Titan appears, able to destroy the walls. A little bit silly, but with the potential to provide some light fun. Unfortunately, I didn't find a lot of Isayama's storytelling to be at all clear, often I'd have keep reading to see the characters explain what I had just read. There are a few interesting designs, and the second book closes with what appears to be an interesting revelation which might make the series much stranger than I imagined (but because of the storytelling problems, I can't really be sure until I read the next book to see what the characters say). I'm getting them free from the library and they're quick reads, so I might stick around for a few more books.

Weblog by BobH [bobh1970 at gmail dot com]