Saturday, July 22, 2006

More Newtons: Art Discussion

One of the mysteries surrounding the Newton Comic range involves the cover art used on a lot of the books. For the most part the covers were merely recoloured to make them more vibrant (mainly primary colours, with deep blue being a favourite) but every so often an all new cover would be made up to promote a book that hadn't been issued in the USA. Case in point: Giant Man/Dr Strange.

There'd been no Giant Man comic book in the USA from Marvel, so when Newton realised that it was sitting on a pile of stories involving Giant Man the idea was hatched to issue a book featuring the character. Thus the book was born. (For further details on this book click this link.) As with the Origins book, a totally new, and unique cover was made. However instead of getting local artists into make a cover, Newton decided to lift images from the stories inside and make a montage cover. That's all well and good, but once people started to see this cover comments came thick and fast. I thought the cover artists was Don Heck with or without Dick Ayers. One comment from the CDBL Chat mailing list came from Michael Evans who says, "The Giant Man pencils are assuredly Don Heck. I not exactly sure of the other figures, but they could be too (by Heck!) -- although foreshortening was never his "long suit." Whatever -- the coloring is odd, and the inking looks reworked, so I must pass on guessing original embellishers. What confuses me the most is that Giant Man is drawn similar to the way he was circa 1965, but the inks resemble Sal Buscema or John Romita circa 1972."

The Giant Man images all come from one story re-printed inside the book itself: No Place To Hide by Stan Lee & Don Heck. As far as I'm aware the full art - pencils and inks - was done by Heck, and the images in the story match up with the images on the cover, although they have been moved on their axis (the crouching Giant Man image in particular) and, of course, coloured. As Mitch Jomsky pointed out in regards to the Origins cover, Newton weren't above altering cover art to suit their needs. In some cases, at least, the resulting images and art are more effective than their original format.

If anyone else can identify some of the images used on the Newton comics (especially the one-shot books) then feel free to drop me a line and I'll share the research, comments and insights.

2 comments:

S.Bove said...

As staffs continue to change at the major comic companies here in the USA a little more history fades. The film negatives and stats continue to be mishandled and in some cases they just vanish. At the company I worked for (in the 80s) there was this incredible comic cover from the 70s that was going to be used in a deluxe edition book. I went through great pains to locate this cover as it was filed under the wrong title. An editor and I made stats from the negative and gave to the appropriate people for safekeeping. 20 years later I saw a reprint of this comic in a shop and the cover was completely redrawn! They had lost even the safety copies!

The minute I see a copy of the DD #1 in your stores I’ll buy it!

jakubkurtzberg said...

I just bought the 100 page GIANT-MAN/DR. STRANGE book along with some other Newtons. I don't agree about the quality of those b/w pages. Most of them were taken from the british Marvel comics of the middle 60s (Odhams Press). You can see that not only in the text corrections they made, like 'thru' changed into 'through'.