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

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Ghostly Tales #115 - Don Newton cover, Steve Ditko art
Don Newton Ghostly Tales v1 #115, 1975 - A giant snake emerges from the ruins, stopping an explorer in his tracks. Don Newton 's Indiana Jones-like cover is well executed with a relatively simple cover layout. The snake, figure, and stone steps all emit an eerie luminescence. Inside, Steve Ditko tells of an archeologist in search of an ancient Egyptian god. His linework is pervasive and

All-American Comics #92 - Alex Toth art & cover
Alex Toth All-American Comics v1 #92, 1948 - Kidnapped while still in his civilian identity, the Green Lantern is handed over to a would-be South American dictator by his foe the Icicle. In an early work for DC, Alex Toth shows more enthusiasm than skill. His layouts and drawings lack polish, but the level of detail is impressive. Toth's cover is a mirror image of the opening splash,

Spectacular Spider-man v2 #28 - Frank Miller art
Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-man v2 #28, 1979 - The robotic Tri-Man transforms himself into a flying bomb, prompting Spider-man to stop it at any cost. Daredevil also comes to his aid, depicted for the second time by artist Frank Miller. The artist's use of faded after-images on page 3 would become a recurring motif later on (particularly on Daredevil). Generally, his artwork lacks

Brave and the Bold #9 - Joe Kubert art
Brave and the Bold v1 #9, 1956 - Sighting a fire troll at sea, the village fisherman refuse to out again, despite the Viking Prince's urging. In both Joe Kubert's layouts and drawings, there is no lack of effort or detail. His linework and cross-hatching are masterful throughout. The fire troll in the opening splash  recedes into the background, perhaps due to a different medium (charcoal?). The

Magnus Robot Fighter #11 - Russ Manning art
Magnus Robot Fighter v1 #11, 1966 - When roving wolfpacks destroy North Am's food supplies, Magnus enlists the aid of a woman named Danae and her intelligent Neo-animals. Unlike previous issues, Russ Manning has opportunity to draw a variety of animals more commonly found in his work on Tarzan. Not surprisingly, he takes on the artistic chores handily. The most interesting panel occurs toward

Rom #67 - Steve Ditko art, Jim Starlin cover
Jim Starlin Rom (Spaceknight) v1 #67, 1985 - Leaving his friends behind, Rom leaves Earth to seek the solitude of the stars. Steve Ditko, midway through his run on the series, continues to look good due to Craig Russell's exceptional inking. The fact that there are four full page splashes also doesn't hurt. On the cover, Jim Starlin uses a multi-faceted background as a counterpoint to the two

Our Fighting Forces #152 - Jack Kirby art & cover
Jack Kirby Our Fighting Forces v1 #152 featuring the Losers, 1974 - Surrounded and outnumbered, Capt. Storm, Gunner & Sarge and Johnny Cloud must fight their way out of a small European village. Jack Kirby's cover frames the heroes in a crowded window, but the scene lacks depth and clear hierarchy. His interior art fares better, with action and movement on nearly every page. The first spread (

Barry Windsor Smith original artwork - Conan the Barbarian #3 page
Barry Windsor Smith Original page from early in the series (Conan the Barbarian #3) and toward the start of Barry Smith's acclaimed run. - - - - - - - - - - Home / Artworks / Smith artworks / Conan the Barbarian ebay >Smith original artworks

Durango Kid #1 - Frank Frazetta art
Durango Kid v1 #1, 1949 - Accompanying the main Durango Kid feature, Dan Brand and Tipi begin as a back-up series. His origin is recounted in colonial Philadelphia, where the murder of his fiancee prompts him to head west in search of the killer.  Frank Frazetta starts his first and only continuing series in comics. Scenes of high society quickly give way to the wilderness of indian country. 

Legion of Super-Heroes v2 #267 - Steve Ditko art
Legion of Super-Heroes v2 #267, 1980 - On a tour of Legion Headquarters, visitors hear the origin of the Legionnaires' flight rings from an accommodating Shadow Lass. This short Steve Ditko tale is recognizable in style, but relatively tame compared to other works. On the positive side, the artwork has an inherent friendliness, mostly due to inker Dave Hunt. Other artists in this issue include

Creepy #102 - Walt Simonson art
Creepy v1 #102, 1978 - An old fisherman and his grandson disappear at sea, prompting a search by local villagers. Greytones and textures nicely enhance the usually flat line drawings of Walt Simonson. The dynamism of his style is very much present. Klaus Janson's inks add depth while maintaining the integrity of the pencils. Other artists in this issue include Abel Laxamana, Alfredo Alcala,

Alpha Flight #3 - John Byrne art & cover
John Byrne Alpha Flight v1 #3, 1983 - After Marinna's kidnapping, the team tracks her to a hidden complex in the frozen north. Their arrival triggers elaborate traps, such as the complex grid of rods that enclose Aurora on the cover. Although devoid of most color, the perspective-laden image is beautifully executed by John Byrne. He expends the same effort inside, using two splashes and two

Batman Strange Apparitions tpb - Marshall Rogers cover & reprints, Walt Simonson reprints
Batman Strange Apparitions trade paperback v1, 1999 - Compiled in this trade paperback is Marshall Rogers' phenomenal run in Detective Comics #471-479. The artist provides the brand new cover as well, showcasing the Batman and a ghostly Dr. Hugo Strange. Nicely crafted, the illustration is as good as the original works. Also included is the Dr. Phosphorus storyline from Detective Comics #469-470

Romances / Giant Comics Editions #13 - Matt Baker cover & reprints
Matt Baker Romances / Giant Comics Editions v1 #13, 1949 - A quartet of smaller covers comprise this unusual Matt Baker cover design. Rather than reprints of previously published covers, these are original drawings of fictitious issues.  Even with their small scale, Baker's level of detail and craftsmanship remain intact. A note about this issue: St. John Publishing collected remainders of

Secrets of Haunted House #29 - Nestor Redondo art
Secrets of Haunted House v1 #29, 1980 - Jealous of his greater attention, a warlock challenges a young magician to a duel. Nestor Redondo draws pink dragons, dark fortresses, and fantasy dimensions with equal splendor. His depiction of the demon Leviathan is a combination of insect and animal forms, resulting in something terrifying and odd. This marks one of Redondo's last issues for DC. While


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