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Showing posts from July, 2007

Silence Isn't Golden: Michael Golden Part III

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The Michael Golden saga may never end. Sadly the commission that we broke the story on isn't the only one, it's now all over the Internet.

What has emerged from all of it is a new admiration for John Byrne and more horror stories about the way Golden (and others artists) has treated those who have paid good money for not so good commissions. The image you're seeing to the right is a recent convention head sketch done by Golden (he usually charges anywhere from $100 to $150 per sketch, non refundable, payable up front). Not bad really, if you like your characters looking pissed off with the world and about twenty years older than anyone else has ever drawn them. If I didn't recognise the signature then I'd not have recognised the art as being by Golden.

Renee Witterstaetter has responded to the fuss on the Comic Journal forums. In her defense of Golden she claims that, "Recently, a group of four 'friends' that I had given a discount rate to as a favor for…

When Art Commissions Go Bad: Part II

I posted this on a forum I frequent, but after I wrote it I thought it might be worthwhile to post it here as well. I have to say that I've only had one really bad experience with a major artist (he used to draw a major title at Marvel for quite a while). I bought some art from him via eBay, promptly paid and also arranged, and paid, for a sketch of a minor, but fondly remembered, character that he once drew. He was all happy and chummy and things were looking great. As the art in question had already been done I was told that it'd take less than a day to do the sketch and it'd all be sent out to me, via air-mail, by the end of that week.

Then he vanished. I heard nothing for months. I emailed, I even phoned, nothing. Then I saw comments by him appearing in magazines (I presume he'd been paid for his art in these instances as well), so I emailed him saying how I thought his comments in both magazines were insightful, but I didn't say anything about the art he owed. …

Comic Professionals As Sex Objects: The Femme Fatale

Whoosh! May it never end. This just arrived this morning from the on-line pen of The Former DC Staffer. I'll let people work out who's who in this little message. I swear the more I learn about the comic book industry the less I'm surprised. Next it'll be an artist who claims that he once murdered someone and got away with it, oh, hang on, yes, I have heard that one as well...

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Recently my good friend Daniel has been writing some blistering material about Classic Artists. But that’s not what grabbed me. What got my attention was the Femme Fatale!

At a time when there were very few sexy women in comics she was the industry’s Catherine Zeta-Jones. Every man she encountered fell under her spell, no one was immune and if they say they were then they’re liars. It wasn’t that she was beautiful; it was how she carried herself and projected her image. It was part confidence and part animal magnetism. I was captivated and dreamed (!) of her every fu…

Art: Recreation vs Copying; Part III: Michael Golden

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Considering the storm that is now raging it seemed apt enough that I added this one to the art recreation files. What you're seeing is the iconic cover for The Amazing Spider-Man #300 as drawn by Todd McFarlane. McFarlane no longer draws Spider-Man, but his work on that title overshadows anything he's done before, or since (including Spawn) for the majority of the people out there. One thing that McFarlane did bring to the title was a new approach. For better or worse, his exaggerated style made the title popular once more and breathed new life into the character.

That book came out in May 1988.

What you're seeing here is one of the pieces of cover art as done by Michael Golden for the cover to the Heroes Convention 2007 program. It's already been pointed out that the image isn't so much of an 'influence' than it appears to be a straight copy. The question remains, why would an artist of Michael's talent resort to copying the art of someone that ha…

When Art Commissions Go Bad: Michael Golden

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The image you're looking at cost art collector Gerry Turnbull $537 and several months of his life to get. Like most people Gerry has always had admiration for Michael Golden's work. It's hard not to admire Golden's work, personally I love it. In my own opinion he's an incredibly talented artist. I grew up reading his Batman stories and thinking that they were the best things ever. His use of colour to compliment his art is nothing short of amazing to my eyes. One thing I have been aware of over the years is that he doesn't meet deadlines easily and that's always been the excuse as to why he's not done more work in the comic book field. He makes a decent living via advertising work, comic books are a sideline. However when all is said and done Michael Golden is one of the masters of the comic book industry, talent to burn and indeed talent oozes from his artistic pores. Golden is also the subject of a recent 'book' about him, published by TwoMor…

Monty Wedd & Stanley Pitt

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Just sharing some recent finds. I'm not exactly sure how common these two covers are, possibly someone with a bit more knowledge than I, say Kevin Patrick, might be able to look at them and pin-point them exactly down to the day they came out. I bought them recently just for the covers - they're flimsy little books, all text, and the T.D. Rand book has a brilliant title - War On Fences. I've not read the book so I'm not sure if the cowboys in question are actually fighting fences, or if they conduct war whilst sitting on fences. I have no idea how many of these little books were produced, nor how many covers either Wedd or Pitt drew. I suspect that the answer might well be quite a few as these artists would have been able to produce these images at a fairly rapid pace, and the pay wouldn't have been too bad.

The Border Rustlers. Cover art by Monty Wedd. Published by The Whitman Press, 21 Macquarie Place, Sydney. Wedd is an Australian artist, best known for hi…

The Destruction of Ross Andru & Mike Esposito's Zen The Intergalactic Ninja Original Art

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What you're looking at is one of the few remaining pages drawn by Ross Andru and Mike Esposito for the Zen, The Intergalactic Ninja series. The book wasn't their best effort, but it did mark the last time that the celebrated duo would see print in a comic book, sadly Ross Andru passed away soon after the book was published, thus while Zen might not have been the most loved, or known, strip of all the Andru & Esposito work, it holds a special place as being their last collaborative effort. That counts for something. The pair did two issues of the book, plus a pin-up that doubled as a cover. Nothing to sneeze at.

So why is there so little art out there? Generally the answer is because the art is hoarded by collectors or dealers. People generally don't want to part with things because it either holds a special place in their hearts, or they're speculating and are just holding on hoping that their purchases will increase in value and make them richer than they alre…

More Original Art Stories: Detective Comics #627

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This one wasn't from the on-line pen of the Former DC Staffer, rather it's a little mystery that I uncovered all on my own.

The painting you're looking at is the original painting, painted by Norm Breyfogle, that ended up as the cover for the landmark issue of Detective Comics #627. It was a landmark in that it celebrated the 600th appearance of Batman in that title. The idea at the time, as hatched by editor Denny O'Neil, was to update both the cover and the first ever Batman story. This idea wasn't a new one as Julius Schwartz had already done just that in 1969 when the 30th Anniversary of Batman had come round. The first story was written by Bill Finger and drawn by Bob Kane (or at least that's what we're led to believe, although the consensus is that Kane probably did indeed draw this one on his own). In 1969 Mike Friedrich, Bob Brown and Joe Giella took a pass at it, and for this issue the then creative teams of Batman's Marv Wolfman, Jim Aparo and

Strummin' With The Devil

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I'm always a bit dubious about 'tribute' albums. They can be either hit or miss and usually they're very miss, especially when the albums are done in vastly different styles to the originals. However in this case the results are pretty damned impressive. Strummin' With The Devil features classic David Lee Roth era Van Halen songs done in a bluegrass fashion and, well, it's worth finding. If the blurb is correct Roth himself was the one who instigated this, no great surprise there as he's always gone outside of the realm of hard rock and heavy metal (anyone remember his reading of 'That's Life' on Eat 'Em And Smile, not to mention parts of 2003's Diamond Dave) unlike his ex-band mates. Hang on, are they ex-band mates? Well no-one is really sure - the last word I heard was that Michael Anthony had finally been booted from Van Halen, Roth re-instated and Eddie Van Halen's son, Wolfgang, was in the band as bassist, all for a 'reunion…

Damn! I Wish I Was Your Lover!

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Damn! Hold onto yourselves gals and guys! It's the now legendary lady killer DeKlerq in all his glory. This is one of the few times ole Klerqy has sat still long enough for me to get some shots off, here's how he looks first thing in the morning. Hell, here's how he looks all day and most of the night, with his fat, hairy gut hanging out (at times he looks like he has the feline equivalent of man boobies). Girls, he's available, if you like your cats with silky smooth fur, manic looks, a lot of sharp claw action, paws the size of baseball mits, a yowl that really sounds like the word 'Yowl!' and a large, fat cat beer gut, then make a date.

Mind you, don't make it a dinner date. This pig of a cat never stops eating. DeKlerq, a cat so handsome in his own pointy headed manner that his name shall forevermore be in bold type.

Incredible: Dating A Cat

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As anyone who reads my stuff here on any kind of a regular basis knows this photo is of our latest addition, the pointed headed black cat with the variety of names (the latest being 'Prickle', because he has a head shaped like a three cornered jack). Good ole DeKlerq, for that is his name, is also the image I use on the My (Waste Of) Space page instead of my own face. Now we like the cat but in this photo he's ugly. He's manic. He has an eye infection and he's hissing. And he's in a frying pan.

However girls clearly find him to be irresistible! Today I got notification that I had an email waiting for me at said site, I logged in and found an email waiting, inviting me to visit another site so I could be set up to lose what little money I have left. Amongst the ranting and ravings and invites of sex this line grabbed me: "So um, my name is Deanna. I think you and I should probably be friends, because you seem pretty cool, and maybe even cute! (it'…

More Original Art Stories: DC Comics Archives Vol 1

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More from the on-line pen of The Former DC Staffer arrived today. I actually own this book so I read this with a great degree of interest. I always thought I was the only one who read this kind of stuff with interest, so it came as a pleasant surprise to learn (and discover) that not only are people reading this, but a few people who've worked in the industry at the time are also enjoying the FDCS posts and following them with an even greater interest - after all if they were there and weren't aware of what was going on, well then how are we to know the behind the scenes activities. I've always known it, some books have more than suggested it, that sometimes the stories behind the stories we know and love are far more interesting and enjoyable. This entry is no exception - what you think you're seeing isn't what it's supposed to be.

Over to The Former DC Staffer!
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Towards the end of my tenure at DC Comics (1989) the inevitable finall…

My (Waste Of) Space

Ok, took the plunge and finally set up one of those My Space pages. You can now direct your spammers to this url: www.myspace.com/20th_centurydannyboy

Beats me what I'll do with this thing, or if I'll even check it. I do know that about two seconds after I set it up some wanker was already spamming me to buy something, or to promote some crap he's doing. My blog will still stay here though, so either don't fret, or worry a lot. Personally I think it's a huge exercise in wank, but it seems that it's the way to go these days. I expect now that the site will sell my email (no matter what a site says it's going to do, with that many email addresses you know they're selling them) and I'll get even more invites to have a bigger penis and win more lotteries. Oh rapturous joy!

Alan Kupperberg Looks Back: THE JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERCIA

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What can you say about the Justice League of America that hasn't already been said virtually everywhere else. Before the Fantastic Four, the JLA were the group that relaunched super hero team books for the Silver Age. Legend has it that Marvel publisher Martin Goodman was golfing with his DC counterpart Jack Liebowitz. Liebowitz boasted about the sales that his new book, the Justice League Of America, was gaining. Goodman returned to the Marvel offices and ordered Stan Lee to come up with a suitable counterpart. Lee and his co-creator, Jack Kirby, then brought the Fantastic Four to life, with Kirby going as far to swipe the cover design of the JLA's initial appearance (Brave & The Bold #28) for the first issue of the FF.

The JLA was always one of the flagship titles for DC. Some of the company's greatest talents have worked on the book, Neal Adams, Mike Sekowsky, Gardner Fox, Murphy Anderson, Nick Cardy, George Perez, Jim Starlin, Carmine Infantino, Gil Kane, Dick Giord…

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