Pencil Ink comic book blog: art and artists 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s

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Spunky #1 - Frank Frazetta art
Spunky v1 #1, 1949 - In a two page text story, Stanley the horse would rather laze about than go adventuring with his owner. Frank Frazetta provides two small illustrations, at the start and the end of the tale. His first shows little to no effort, bordering on unrecognizable. His second drawing is far better, with its strong sense of design (see interior page below). Other artists in this

Race for the Moon #1 - non-attributed Jack Kirby cover, mis-attributed Jack Kirby art
Jack Kirby Race for the Moon v1 #1, 1958 - Part of Harvey Comics' brief foray into the science fiction genre during the 1950s, this title was ultimately short lived. According to some comic book guides, Jack Kirby and Joe Simon drew an interior half-page but this doesn't appear to be the case. Bob Powell appears to have done most of the artwork. The same sources also neglected to mention Simon

Destructor #3 - Steve Ditko art
The Destructor v1 #3, 1975 - Without the sensitive inks of Wally Wood from previous issues, Steve Ditko's artwork seems unpolished by comparison. The starkness of his drawings leave little room for depth. Aside from the title character, most of the figures have minimal shading and dimension. Even the layouts appear hurried and erratic in this largely disappointing effort. Other artists in this

Marvel Two-in-One #55 - John Byrne art
Marvel Two-in-One v1 #55, 1979 - In part three of the Pegasus Project storyline, Black Goliath enters the fray, donning a new costume and renaming himself Giant-Man. John Byrne delivers yet another capably drawn tale, his last on the series. Joe Sinnott faithfully maintains the integrity of the pencils, while adding crispness and clarity. Quasar and Thundra also make appearances. Cover by Keith

Cinderella Love v3 #29 - Matt Baker cover
Matt Baker Cinderella Love v3 #29, 1955 - Set at a private tennis club, this young couple appears to be flirting innocently between matches. Matt Baker uses their leisurely stances, fashionable attire and fancy convertible to convey a stereotypically rich WASP-y scenario. Although perfectly captured and beautifully rendered, the fact that Baker was African-American makes it all the more ironic

Donald Duck Adventures #7 - Carl Barks reprint
Donald Duck Adventures v1 #7, 1988 - This issue reprints "Mystery of the Swamp",  an early Carl Barks tale from Four Color Comics v2 #62. According to my sources, this is only the second time this story was reprinted since the 1940s. Other artists in this issue include Dan Jippes and William Van Horn.   - - - - - - - - - - Home / Barks / Donald Duck Adventures >this issue >Barks >Donald Duck

Frontier Fighters #6 - Joe Kubert art
Frontier Fighters v1 #6, 1956 - Surrounded by hostile indians, Buffalo Bill's men hear the tale of their leader's younger days to keep their spirits up. Loose yet rich in texture, Joe Kubert's artwork  excels in this western genre. Some of the proportions seem off on the opening splash, but his drawings are generally well crafted and enthusiastic. This story was later reprinted in >DC Special #6

Gunfighters v3 #54 - Al Williamson reprint
Gunfighters v3 #54, 1979 - Reprinting Charlton westerns from earlier decades, this issue features an Al Williamson tale from Six-Gun Heroes #49. Other artists in this issue include Jack Keller, Charles Nicholas and Vince Alascia. - - - - - - - - - - Home / Williamson / Gunfighters >this issue >Williamson >Gunfighters

Wonder Woman #202 - non-attributed Neal Adams ad
Wonder Woman v1 #202, 1972 - Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, characters from the Fritz Leiber novels, make their first appearance in comics in this little-known issue. Even more obscure is the half-page ad at the end, promoting their upcoming Sword of Sorcery series (here titled "Swords Against Sorcery"). The small illustration by Howard Chaykin is non-attributed in most comic book guides. Neal

Tarzan #53 - Russ Manning art
Tarzan v1 #53, 1954 - Dan-El and Natongo search for a way out of hidden valley, but their efforts are foiled by bad luck. A combination of framed and unframed panels make the layouts more interesting and less repetitive. Russ Manning's drawings continue to show an ample amount of effort. Other artists in this issue include Jesse Marsh. This is number 15 of 133 Tarzan issues with Manning art and/

The Shadow v2 #4 - Bernie Wrightson art
The Shadow v2 #4, 1973 - In pursuit of the leaders of a bootlegging operation, a lead brings the Shadow to New York City's Bowery district. Michael Kaluta provides the artwork, but it appears Bernie Wrightson inked part of the opening splash. His brushwork is fairly obvious on the Shadow himself, while the rest of the page is Kaluta's handiwork (see interior page below). No evidence of Wrightson

Alpha Flight #9 - John Byrne art & cover
John Byrne Alpha Flight v1 #9, 1984 - When the unconscious Thing is transported to a remote part of Canada, Walter Langowski (a.k.a Sasquatch) is asked by his government to investigate the cause. John Byrne revels in drawing this Canadian super-team. Both stories (including a back-up tale featuring Aurora) are competently drawn in his own distinctive style. A high point of the book is an

Paul Revere's Ride / Four Color Comics v2 #822 - Alex Toth art
Walt Disney's Paul Revere's Ride with Johnny Tremain / Four Color Comics v2 #822, 1957 - Disney breathes new life in the retelling of Paul Revere's ride. Alex Toth's opening intro page is timidly basic, but brings readers up to speed on the Boston Tea Party raid. The story picks up immediately afterward, as the disguised colonists begin to disperse. The artist captures the era with convincing

Shock Suspenstories #2 - Wally Wood art & cover
Wally Wood Shock Suspenstories v1 #2, 1952 - A space crew lands on an undiscovered planet and are attacked one by one by an unseen force. In Wally Wood's first effort on the series, he shows a penchant for science fiction. His layouts are adequate, but his futuristic renditions make up for of it. On the other hand, the artist's forceful cover of anti-immigrant violence is a tour-de-force. Note

Master of Kung Fu #24 - Jim Starlin, Walt Simonson art
Master of Kung Fu v1 #24, 1975 - Four different pencillers are credited on the opening page, indicating an artistic group effort. Unfortunately, their contributions seem to be scattered and somewhat disorganized. Walt Simonson's work is generally indistinguishable. Jim Starlin appears to have drawn pages 6 (see interior page below), 16, 17, 23, 30 and 31 but are not particularly impressive.

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