Tag Archives: Sub-Mariner

Two Legends Flex Their Muscles On This Month’s Great Cover

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I’m returning to Marvel Comics, my true love when it comes to comic books, for this month’s great cover. Let’s look at Sub-Mariner #20 (December, 1969). The legendary artists responsible for this action packed cover are John Buscema (pencils) and Johnny Craig (inks).

Buscema is one of my favorites. I especially like his work from the mid to late 1960s, which included The Avengers, Silver Surfer, and Sub-Mariner. When he took over the penciling of The Avengers, readers were treated to an artist approaching the peak of his abilities. His art was something like a combination of the two previous pencilers who worked on that series. First, was Jack Kirby, then Don Heck. Buscema combined Kirby’s dynamic action with Heck’s more accurate anatomy drawing.

The results are fantastic. (I have previously written in more depth about my appreciation of John Buscema’s masterful illustrating work on The Avengers.)

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By “Crime SuspenStories #22” at The Grand Comics Database. Retrieved June 12, 2008., Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17904260

Johnny Craig goes back to the days of EC Comics. EC really was an excellent producer of comic books that appealed to older readers as well as the typical kid readers of the other publishers in the 1950s. Then came Sen. Estes Kefauver’s attack on comic books which he believed were leading American children to delinquency. He was particularly displeased by EC and it was one of Craig’s covers, the infamous depiction of a woman’s severed head being held by her killer, that drew much of the good senator’s ire.

Senate hearings were convened. Witnesses were harangued. Senators displayed their righteous indignation. The industry created the Comics Code Authority. EC Comics bid the world of comic books a fond farewell, turned to publishing magazines by dropping all of its titles but one, converting that title from a comic to magazine, and Mad Magazine was born anew. Thanks, Sen. Kefauver!

Well, these two excellent illustrators combined their considerable talents to produce a great cover. It’s an action cover in which the complicated hero Sub-Mariner drops in on one of Marvel’s greatest (also complicated) villains Dr. Doom. An epic battle is about to commence!

What kid could resist such a great cover? Both characters are so well drawn. I especially like Dr. Doom’s pose. Sure, he’s wearing a suit of armor, but that doesn’t mean he can’t still jump into action. This is comic books after all. If an artist can draw it, the character can do it.

I also really like the coloring of this cover, likely to have been provided by another legend of comic books – Marie Severin. The red background is attention grabbing and the use of half-toning in the grey of Doom’s armor, along with the use of white for highlighting, gives it a fairly real-looking metallic look.

The same team of artists provide the interior art for this book and it’s outstanding!

Packing Peanuts!

Feel free to comment and share.

Images used under Fair Use.

Warehouse Find is the official blog of NostalgiaZone.com, where you can find books, games, toys, cards, and a huge selection of Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Modern Age comic books. Jim also has a podcast called Dimland Radio. He’d love it if you checked it out. It’s available on iTunes.

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Hang on! Vince Colletta Inked This?

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Comic books? Check. Hair helmet? Check. Safety glasses? Check. Girlfriend?

By my sophomore year of high school (1980/81), I was a few years into seriously collecting comic books. I had even been drawing my own with a friend since the fourth grade. And in that year’s yearbook there was a brief profile on me and my comic book fandom. It included a photograph of me with a few selected items from my collection.

When the yearbooks were handed out and we were all feverishly defacing them by getting our friends and favorite teachers to sign them, a fellow sophomore approached me. He asked how many comic books I had in my collection. When I told him he complained that I shouldn’t have been profiled. He said, “My collection is a lot bigger than yours!”

My sister is on the yearbook committee,” was my somewhat snarky response. You see, it was my sister who wrote the blurb. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

High school drama aside, do you that page just below and to the right of the Son Of Origins Of Marvel Comics tome? That is the one piece of original comic book art that I own. I bought it for a mere 12 dollars, which was right in my budget.

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Here’s a better look at the page.

The page is from the original Sub-Mariner series by Marvel Comics. It’s the second page of issue #72, the last of that series. The artist is Dan Green and the inker is Vince Colletta.

However, when I shared this image on a comic book fan group page on Facebook, there were plenty of people who questioned if Colletta really did ink this page. Well, the credits in the book say it was him, as does the comic book database site comics.org. So, I went with those sources.

However, I can see why it’s questioned, because Vince Colletta had a very recognizable inking style. His inks have a feathered feel to them. His shading lines tend to be thinner than what we see on the page from Sub-Mariner #72. In fact, the first few pages of that issue don’t look as though Colletta had inked them, but by page 10, his work is unmistakable.

Here’s a good example of his inks. This panel was drawn by George Tuska.

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Note the shading and shaping lines on Angel’s arm, chest, and hair. Those are all signs of Colletta’s inking.

Here are a couple of the first few pages of Sub-Mariner #72. It’s difficult to see any of the Colletta style:

Sub-Mariner Page 1

Page 1

Sub-Mariner Page 7

Page 7

Compare the original art page and these other two pages to that panel with the prone Angel. There doesn’t seem to be any of the Colletta feel. Perhaps a little in the creature’s left arm in the first panel of page 7.

Now compare those to these next two pages, also from Sub-Mariner #72.

Sub-Mariner Page 10

Page 10

Sub-Mariner Page 11

Page 11

I think it is very clear that Vince Colletta inked these two pages. His style is all over them. So, it may be possible he did not ink those first few pages. Maybe Dan Green inked them, he is primarily known as an inker. However, unless someone with direct knowledge as to the creators responsible for the artwork, I’ll go with the credits given in the comic book itself.

Can anyone provide that insight?

Oh, in case you’re curious as to how the original page I own looks when colored and printed, here it is:

Sub-Mariner Page 2

Packing Peanuts!

Feel free to comment and share.

Images used under Fair Use.

Warehouse Find is the official blog of NostalgiaZone.com, where you can find books, games, toys, cards, and a huge selection of Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Modern Age comic books.

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This month’s great cover…

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It’s time once again to write about another excellent comic book cover. This month we are looking at the cover of Sub-Mariner #6 (October 1968). It was drawn by the great John Buscema. I have written about Buscema and his work on The Avengers back in June, but I thought it was time to look at one of his covers. I think he, along with Gil Kane, Neal Adams, and Jim Steranko, was one of the Silver Age’s greatest comic book illustrators.

Beginning in 1968, Buscema was handling the covers as well as the interior art for the first few issues of one Marvel’s more complex characters: Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner. Namor had a love/hate kind of relationship with surface-dwellers. In his early appearances in the Fantastic Four stories, he could just as easily be the villain as the hero. He was complicated.

Of Buscema’s short run on this series there are other covers I could have gone with (and might in future), but I chose issue #6, because it is so dynamic. We find our hero in pitched battle with the villain Tiger Shark. We’re in close and we can see these combatants are evenly matched. The strain of their muscles is as obvious as the looks of determination on their faces. Each man feels he must triumph in a battle that looks to be to the death.

The cover doesn’t need the headline of Death to the Vanquished! The illustration alone tells us that. The use of color sweetens this fantastically dramatic image. As does the close-up view. It being a close-up is what had me pick this cover over the other Buscema Sub-Mariner cover creations.

Bravo! Mr. Buscema! Bravo!

Packing Peanuts!

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