Monday, July 26, 2010

Original Art Stories: Joe Orlando Meets Wally Wood

I can't recall when I first became aware of Joe Orlando's artwork, most probably it was in a DC Comic, where Joe finished out his career.  As I can't remember I expect that his art didn't exactly impress that much, no great surprise as Joe, like a lot of the E.C. artists, just didn't reach the heights at the mainstream companies as they had done at E.C. and in the pages of Mad Magazine.  Don't get me wrong, Jack Davis I've always loved - I've kept a pile of Time Magazines with Davis covers (I must dig them out and scan them one day, if only to post them) and I can't say enough about Wally Wood and the likes of Al Feldstein and co, but Orlando?  Well, what can I say?  Much like Russ Heath and Gray Morrow, those guys were wasted on drawing pedestrian superhero comics for editors who just didn't know what the artists were really capable of producing.

I found Orlando again via Watchmen.  Joe drew one page in the series and it impressed me no end as I felt that it was better than what Dave Gibbons did - at least on the Black Freighter comic within the comic.  One brilliant page made me start digging through a pile of old comics to find more Orlando art and once I decided to steer clear of his DC work and look more towards to what Orlando did for Warren and Mad where I was really impressed.  Even further on I found his DC gems, always hidden away, in titles that never really made here to Australia, like House Of Mystery.  Still, no matter how good it looked, nothing beats Joe Orlando at E.C.

Even better than just Joe Orlando is Orlando and Wally Wood. This story, published in Incredible Science Fiction #30, is credited to Joe Orlando, but to my eyes it looks very much like Wally Wood handled some, if not the bulk, of the inking.  Better eyes than mine will be able to say one way or the other.  In the end it doesn't really matter that much, this is still a thing of beauty.

2 comments:

Ian Miller said...

The first page to me screams Wally Wood, so it's possible that he may have inked it. Wood used a lot of midtones in his work, usually created by zip-a-tone, and if you notice, the only time that zip-a-tone is really used is in the first page and the very last panel.

The rest appears to be done on duoshade board, which Wood did use, but the amount of greytones created were very minimal, as opposed to Wood's greytones, which were used very liberally to create a great sense of depth.

The Seditionist said...

You all don't think that Orlando working as Wood's assistant at the time may not explain any similarities in the inks or, indeed, use of duotone??