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Showing posts from June, 2007

Midnight Oil: Diesel & Dust Revisted

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It was an interesting weekend to say the least as we visited the Burra region, Terowie and the Claire Valley. Loads of photos were taken as we tried out the new 10 megapixel digital camera and much information gathered - including a startling revelation about a town that will change the whole focus of my upcoming article. I didn't get as many photos of ruins as I'd have liked to, but I did get some great shots of ruins that I'd not previously visited. Over the next few days I'll post some of the more interesting locations and buildings.

One ruin I love coming back to, ever since I first found it, is the famous Midnight Oil house. You can see it on the cover to the album Diesel And Dust, and amazingly enough the house still stands and is in decent condition. There is a barrier fence around this one which means that it's impossible to get the same angle as the original photo (although I could PhotoShop it if need be) but it's still impressive as it is. I like it…

More Original Art Stories: The Dark Knight Returns

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We're off for the weekend, but before we left I wanted to leave people with something to ponder and perhaps talk about. The Former DC Staffer sent this down in response to Steven Bove mentioning Greg Brooks. I'll admit that I wasn't aware of what happened with Brooks, but thanks to Bob Rozakislittle piece here, now we all know. The question asked was what did did I know about Brooks' involvement with the seminal mini-series Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. The answer was 'not a thing, but I do know that Janson used background inkers'. Here's what came back.

"Here's what I remember of it. Klaus Janson was working Dark Knight and used Greg Brooks as a background inker*. Well Frank Miller gets wind of this and has a fit, something about the integrity of the project and letting an amateur put his hands on it. The end result was art for Dark Knight #1 and #4 went to Frank Miller and art for Dark Knight #2 and #3 went to Klaus Janson. Now here…

More Original Art Stories: Who's Who In Star Trek

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Art stories are coming in thick and fast. This one was supplied by none other than Steven Bove. Steven has been doing great stuff with his Rock Opera material - well worth a look. In this essay Steven gives an insight into some of the art shenanigans that surrounded the Who's Who In Star Trek two issue series that DC issued in 1987. Bear in mind that if you're an artist who has a story like this to tell then feel free to fire it on down, with a scan or two, and I'll post it on up. You can remain totally anonymous if it suits you.

"I was always good with design and logos. I also knew exactly what a printer needed to execute a quality job. That skill developed before my actual drawing skills did and because of this I was able to adapt to DC Comics emerging design criteria. It was new territory for them as established by the late Neal Pozner. By the time I joined the DC staff in 1986 Pozner was no longer Art Director but he had left guidelines to follow and the new AD…

More Original Art Stories: Defiant's Good Guys

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The Good Guys #1, by Defiant. What's the story behind this issue? Read this post by Charles Yoakum and you'll find out. Very interesting stuff, revolving around page #8, which, if you read it right, you'll discover no longer exists.

I'll freely admit that I never got into Defiant's comic book line, despite it boasting the talents of David Lapham, Alan Weiss, Alan Kupperberg, Mike Barr, Steve Ditko, Jim Fern, Steve Leialoha, Bob Wiacek, Chris Claremont and a host of others. Perhaps I should track a few down and actually visit that little universe. In the meantime read about art that wasn't what it appeared to be.

The Greatest DC Comics Cover Never Told

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Amazingly enough when it comes to companies recreating art in-house, even the legends aren't immune. Any comic fan worth their salt knows the cover that's pictured here. It's one of the all time classics, although some artists didn't think much of it. I'm pretty sure that Jack Kirby at one stage expressed his disdain for a cover that he felt was too static and one that had the figures in the same poses, looking exactly the same (I'll happily stand corrected on that though). Still it summed up DC at the time. Even now Neal Adams retouches and recreates a lot of his own artwork for his collected volumes for DC. Personally some of it leaves me a tad cold, but then that's because I grew up with those old books and, as crappy as the overall presentation might have been physically (paper etc etc - not art or colouring) those are the books I know and adore. But then who am I to argue with Neal Adams?

The other part of the company sanction recreation that has always…

Batman V Archie

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Forget Archie Meets The Punisher, if it got any better than this panel, drawn by Alan Kupperberg from a story that appeared in Cracked Super #11, then I don't wanna know. I love how everyone gets thumped in the guts, yet Jughead has clearly taken a shot to the nuts.

Just thought I'd get the weekend off to a decent enough start.

Batman: A Controversy In The Family

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It was one of the biggest and most controversial events in comic books for it's era. The death of Batman's trusty side-kick, Robin. And even worse, the general public got to vote for the poor guy to live or die, and the end margin was a handful of votes for Robin to meet the reaper. The reaper, in this case, was Jim Starlin.

To be fair it wasn't the original, classic Robin that died. This Robin was a replacement, a kid named Jason Todd who came across as a bit of a sulk, a whinger who'd complain at the drop of a hat. Even when the character was relaunched he had few redeeming features and for a while it seemed that the character was being set up for a huge fall. In the issue immediately prior to this storyline it was strongly implied that Robin had done the unforgivable, he'd murdered a domestic violence committing drug dealer. No tears there, but heroes in comic books just don't kick people off ledges to their death because they can't lock them up (in this…

When Is Original Art Not By The Original Artist?

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When is original art not drawn by the original artist? When it's been totally redrawn by another person for whatever reason. The art you're seeing on the left in this post is the original cover art for the Justice League Annual #1. According to the Grand Comic Database, the cover was penciled by Bill Willingham and inked by Joe Rubinstein. Funnily enough there's people who know that those credits aren't entirely the truth. You see, although Willingham did pencil (and ink) the original cover, the final product wasn't his work at all (as an aside, I like Willingham's work and wish he was used more in mainstream comics).

Shortly after I wrote the first of the posts about recreation versus copying I was contacted by a person whom I shall call The Former DC Staffer. The Former DC Staffer worked mainly in the production department and oversaw a lot of changes to various pieces of art. I've been in contact with him for about two years now, he's a damn nice gu…

Short Rant

This weekend has found us at the Giant CD, Record and Comic Book Fair at Wayville. Normally it's a damn good time for us as we're able to connect with people, sell some stock and buy even more, but the last few times have been woeful in every category. It's a three day event, however for the last two years we've cut that down to doing only two days - seriously it's not worth it to sit there for half a day on the Monday only to sell about five comic books, even if it's free. I'd much rather be at home.

Part of the problem is that the organisers removed the part about comic books from their advertising about a year ago. That means that effectively no-one knows that we're there. The fair is complemented by a major toy fair in another hall, there's comics there but not in any great number. Sad really as all you hear are people moaning about the lack of such events, but when they're on no-one turns up. Then it's always, "Oh, I had some…

'Streaky II In Repose'

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I've been going through some art that I've purchased recently because I've just bought an A3 scanner - now I can scan those full pages. In amongst one lot was this lovely image on a piece of paper taken from one of Jim Mooney's sketchbooks. Titled 'Streaky II In Repose' it's a charming image indeed.

Gotta love a man who likes cats so much he draws them as warm-up exercises and then draws them so well.

Art: Recreation vs Copying; Part II

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More comments and thoughts on the previous post about art recreations have been coming in thick and fast so I thought I'd do a follow-up. One of the first people to email asked why didn't I touch on Mike Zeck's recreations as an example of how they can be approached the right way. There's no real reason except that I thought the post was long enough, but hey - any excuse to look at Zeck art is a good excuse.

Mike started to do recreations back in 2000. As he's created some memorable cover images of his own it should have come as no great surprise to know that he was in great demand. From the outset Mike established a number of rules, which he outlines on his site. "I'm willing to do the same cover more than once as long as there are some differences from the previous re-creation," he states. "I still plan to close the door on a particular piece after about 3 redos to keep them collectible and to keep from drawing the same cover every week. A list …

Art: Recreation vs Copying

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You're looking at one of the most iconic comic book covers of the last thirty years - Uncanny X-Men #137. Penciled by John Byrne and inked by Terry Austin, it's one of the most recognisable covers you can find and it's one of the most impressive covers that the famed Byrne/Austin team ever created, and that's saying a lot. Byrne and Austin worked on a number of titles over the last thirty plus years, but their true Golden Era was from the late 1970s through to the mid 1980s when Byrne left Marvel Comics for DC, and Austin inked him for an early Superman issue. A Byrne/Austin cover can set you back quite a few thousand dollars, and the right cover can cost the same amount as a brand new luxury car or even a small house. Don't believe me? Have a peek at eBay one day or just search some original art sites and you'll see what they can go for.

The art you can see to the right of this text is a scan of the original cover art, sans logos. I have no idea who owns this c…

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