Sunday, May 17, 2009

Original Art Stories: Captain America's Letters

Interesting stuff this. Currently on eBay at the moment are a selection of Captain America letters pages - those pages that a few of us often read but the bulk of people probably ignored totally. What makes these pages interesting is that they all feature a mix of production art in the form of the letters themselves (pasted on) and images - some of which appear to be original art and the rest appear to be mechanical artwork with slight touch ups. Such touch ups doesn't really mean it's original art, but damn, they look kinda cool.

My question - has anyone out there actually seen one of these in the flesh, and if so, how many of them actually contain original art in it's purist form?

This page is from Captain America #273. The art here isn't original - the Spider-Woman ad, but apparently has been touched up. It's clear that this ad isn't the original art as it appeared in several Marvel comics at the same time, having said that, it is a cool little ad indeed.



These two pages are from the same issue, that being #266, or so the description says. The description also states that the art, by Gene Colan and Mike Zeck, contain a mix of original and mechanical art. Say what you will, but if they are original art in their pure form then both would be worth owning - after all the images of Captain America aren't drawn by an intern, but by two classic Captain America artists.

And that Zeck image at the top of the page is worth the price of the page alone. I have to say, if I wasn't already committed to a few art purchases of my own, I'd be very tempted to grab at least the Colan one, and possibly the Zeck to keep the pair together. I'd want to be sure that the art is original though.

Closing it out are two pages of letters that most certainly contain original art and are far older, but far less desirable. The last two pages you see here are from Spyman #2, as published by Harvey Comics in 1966. The artists on the title included Dick Ayers, George Tuska and Reed Crandall, the writer is believed to be Joe Simon and, as if it couldn't get any better, the character was an original concept from none other than Jim Steranko. Now you can't do much better than that!

Both pages have colours which make up the bulk of the original art on show, in fact these are virtually colour guides. The image of Spyman appears to be original, but is more likely to be production art, only with original colours overlaid.

The most amusing part of these two pages are the letters themselves. Have a good look - every letter on the pages are fabricated by the editors of Harvey. Brilliant!

Now that kind of stuff you just can't buy. Oh, hang on, you actually can.

1 comment:

BRIAN POSTMAN said...

interesting...the spider-woman drawing was an ad right before my spider-woman issues started....i vaguely remember it....it might have been pencilled by gruenwald and possibly inked by jack abel....i'll have to look at it again...i always assumed they used stats on these things....best,brian...