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

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Secret Story Romances #20 - Matt Baker art
Secret Story Romances v1 #20, 1956 - Surrounds by prospective beaus, Alice holds out instead for her perfect "dream man". Though adequately drawn, Matt Baker artwork seems to lack the usual finesse. The faces on the first two pages specifically look unclear and lacking fine detail. It's possible these details were lost in the print reproduction process through no fault of the artist. The

Wonder Woman #199 - Jeff Jones cover
Jeff Jones Wonder Woman v1 #199, 1972 - In a superhero comic notorious for its frequent bondage covers, Jeff Jones brings his own illustrative interpretation. A masked executioner looks on while a powerless Wonder Woman anxiously awaits her fate. The cover design suffers from too much text, but Jones' mastery of light and shadow adds a quiet sophistication rarely seen in comics. The softness

Famous Funnies #211 - Frank Frazetta cover
Frank Frazetta Famous Funnies v1 #211, 1954 - A heroically posed Buck Rogers stands ready to fire while two aliens encroach in the near foreground. A small bat also casts its shadow on the back wall, unnecessarily overlapping the masthead. Interestingly, the top right corner of the illustration (by the alien's ear) is clearly mis-colored. Frank Frazetta emphasizes the hero's resolve with

Captain America #255 - original John Byrne spread
John Byrne John Byrne's awesome 1980s run on this title culminates with this double-page spread in Captain America #255. Click on the artwork for an enlarged view. - - - - - - - - - - Home / Byrne artwork / Captain America >more John Byrne original art

Unknown Worlds #45 - non-attributed Steve Ditko art
Unknown Worlds v1 #45, 1967 - A soldier's ghostly ancestor comes to his aid, repelling the Nazis during World War Two. Though Sal Trapani's name appears in the title panel, closer inspection of the story artwork reveals Steve Ditko's uncredited and non-attributed pencils. The artist's style is evident throughout, including the figures on page one panel four, page two panel five and page five

Young Love v3 #123 - Alex Toth reprint
Young Love v3 #123, 1977 - Despite all the new material in this giant issue, an Alex Toth reprint from Secret Hearts #141 grabs the most attention. Other artists in this issue include Win Mortimer and John Rosenberger. Cover by Dick Giordano. - - - - - - - - - - Home / Toth / Young Love >this issue >Toth >Young Love

Fear #16 / Man-Thing - Frank Brunner cover
Frank Brunner (Adventure into) Fear v1 #16 with the Man-Thing, 1973 - On this environmentally-themed cover, the Man-Thing emerges in the wake of the bulldozer's path. Frank Brunner's lines are thicker than his previous effort, losing some of the finer nuances of his style. Still, the approach does add volume and weight to the three central figures. Other artists in this issue include Val

Uncle Scrooge #57 - Carl Barks art & cover
Carl Barks Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge v1 #57, 1965 - An inventor creates an electronic box that makes people follow orders, making it a target for foreign spies. Carl Barks delivers another admirable effort, though his visual gags are few and far between. The more interesting scenes occur when the spies exile their adversaries to a large swamp. Barks makes good use of the area's more

Fightin' Marines #3 - Matt Baker art & cover
Matt Baker Fightin' Marines v1 #3, 1951 - Matt Baker not only draws the entrenched marines on this cover, but the small upper panel as well. Inside, his only contribution is a lighter-sided Canteen Kate story. Wanting to be cast in an upcoming stage performance, Kate's mischief draws the ire of several generals. On the opening panel, the artist poses her similarly to the show's star,

Romantic Western #2 - Al Williamson art
Romantic Western v1 #2, 1950 - Falling for a local beauty named Conchita, Gene Lasseter tries to court her despite her big brother's penchant for beating up potential suitors. This early work by Al Williamson is one of only a handful of romance tales in his career. His layouts are fairly rudimentary, but his inking is fluid and precise (see interior page below). More impressive is his dynamic

Challengers of the Unknown #74 - Neal Adams art & cover, Bernie Wrightson art
Neal Adams Challengers of the Unknown v1 #74, 1970 - As a little girl's life is endangered by a malevolent spirit, the Challengers come to her aid. Deadman lends a hand, though the team is unaware of his presence. Neal Adams' cover is eerily disturbing, consistent with the title's temporary shift from science fiction to horror. Although the bulk of the story is drawn by George Tuska, Adams

Space Adventures v2 #5 - Steve Ditko art & cover
Space Adventures v2 #5, 1969 - Using the enhanced power of magnetism, a would-be conquerer sets his sights on Earth. Fantastical shapes and pattern always seem to occur in Steve Ditko's late sixties work and this one is no exception. His layouts are varied and logical, filled with purposefully designed scenes within each panel. Ditko's opening splash, though cluttered with text, is attractive

Plop #22 - Wally Wood art
Plop v1 #22, 1975 -Wally Wood contributes only a single page in this giant sized issue. Continuing his "Plop-ular Poetry" series, his work continues to be among the better efforts in the book. Equally noteworthy is "The Dirty Thief", an impressive three-page tale by Mad illustrator Sergio Aragones. Harvey Headlinker, featured on a Plopular Person of the Month page, appears to be a previously

Superman special #1 - Walt Simonson art & cover, Frank Miller, Barry Windsor Smith art
Walt Simonson Superman special v1 #1, 1992 - Following a massive explosion of an industrial lab, a Superman duplicate made of sand rises from the wreckage. At fifty pages, this is Walt Simonson's longest story to date. While his cover is somewhat mediocre, his story art has the same verve as some of his earliest DC works. Inventive layouts and careful sequencing permeate the lengthy tale (see

Clint and Mac / Four Color Comics v2 #889 - Alex Toth art
Walt Disney's Clint and Mac / Four Color Comics v2 #889, 1958 - An English lad and an American boy embark on an adventure full of mystery and intrigue. Based on the Disney tv serials, artist Alex Toth brings a slightly darker, grittier tone to the story. Set in London, the scenes are masterfully drawn and impeccably detailed. From the various shops on the street to the surrounding architecture,

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