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Showing posts from June, 2008

Michael Turner: 1971 - 2008

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A sad day indeed

From the Aspen Comics forum:
Hello all,

Unfortunately it's with great sadness that I must inform everyone that Michael Turner tragically passed away last night, June 27th at approximately 10:42 pm in Santa Monica, Ca. Turner had been dealing with recent health complications arisen in the past few weeks. More details concerning Turner's passing, and services, will be given shortly.

Anyone wishing to send their condolences to Michael Turner's family is encouraged to send to:
Aspen MLT, Inc.
C/O Michael Turner
5855 Green Valley Circle, Suite 111
Culver City, CA, 90230

Aspen also encourages anyone wishing to make a charitable donation to please send to Michael Turner's requested charities:

The American Cancer Society or The Make-A-Wish Foundation


Original Art Stories: Marvel Masterworks Non-Original Artists

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When is a reprint not a reprint? There appears to be a very easy answer to that - when the reprint is produced by Marvel Comics. For a very long time now Marvel has been producing what they've titled Marvel Masterworks. The Masterworks line has been mooted as being the best quality reprints around - none better. These are the be all and end all of the reprint lines and the material contained within are often clear and pristine. More often than not they source the original material, if not then they opt for high quality stats or the best quality published books, retouched to make them as good as possible.

Or so we've been led to believe. There's another truth to this - you're not buying what you've been told you're buying. Not even close. In some cases you're buying all new material recreated by artists who probably weren't even alive when the original comic books came out. You're being duped.

This cover looks damn good doesn't it? Imagine having t…

Original Art Stories: Breyfogle's Prime II

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Shortly after I posted my original post regarding the Breyfogle Prime holo-cover, Norm Breyfogle himself emailed with this information, Sorry, Danny, but you're mistaken; the above holocover art wasn't rejected. Malibu did in fact use it. I don't know where you got that erroneous info.

The holocovers were done by having an artist draw a scene (in this case, me), then having another artist - a sculptor - mold the foreground figures in clay (from which a hologram was made).

Norm


Where did the confusion set in? I guess from here. Someone emailed me, ages ago (and I've since lost the original email) the published cover. Have a look at the art above and the cover below.

To my eyes they are different, but that's not Norm's fault. I expect that the sculptor changed the main Prime element slightly, but then I also expect that's to be expected. So I'm happy to stand corrected, after all Norm would and does know, what was and what wasn't published when it come…

Original Art Stories: Breyfogle's Prime

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One of the most under-rated of all of Norm Breyfogle's works would have to be the Malibu series Prime. I fully intend to cover the Prime series at length in the upcoming Breyfogle Book (that's letting the feline out of the sack) but until then I wanted to show this unique piece of art.

For the first issue of Prime Norm was asked to create a holo-cover. Holo-covers were all the rage back in the early 1990s and Malibu could recognise the selling power of a gimmick when they saw one. Making a holo-cover isn't the easiest of process, basically they're different elements of art that are merged into one, laser photographed and given the impression of 3D. Great work if you can do it. For some reason this cover was rejected and Norm soon created another - which I don't have the scans for! Still, check these out - the elements of a holo-cover that was a homage to Action Comics #1.

The background. This is the only element done on actual art board. Here Norm pulls back from the…

Original Art Stories: Gene Colan: More Auctions

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Clifford Meth has been working overtime when it comes to the auctions for Gene Colan. You can see some images here, but I recommend you scoot on over to the auctions themselves and bid, bid, BID!

This first image is part of my contribution/donation to the Gene Colan Benefit. I wracked my brains to come up with something that would fetch a decent amount for Gene and then settled for a signed copy of the Andru & Esposito book. But not just any signed copy - so far, to date, it's the only copy signed by both Mike Esposito and myself. I always promised myself I'd not sign any copies of the book, but relented when asked. The art you see here I also donated - it's the actual original art that Mike inked (over a copy of Ross Andru pencils) that was used for the front piece for the limited edition signed copy of the book. It was hard to part with this, but as it's now over the $100 mark, well that's vindication for me, and more funds for Gene. And that's what counts…

Letters From Beyond: Edgar Allan Poe

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This incredible letter from Edgar Allan Poe was offered in Charles Hamilton's 43rd auction, held on the 23rd of July, 1970. An amazing document, it's described as being 'almost 1 full page, Philadelphia, Saturday Morning, August 26 (1843).' This is an unpublished letter and states, "I am obliged to go to Richmond for a few weeks on pressing business, and all the money I can raise I am forced to take with me. I leave this note, however, with my mother-in-law, Mrs Clemm, who will hand it to you.If you can spare he amount for the article I left with you please do so," It then goes on to reveal something amazing in the postscript, "Patterson, of 'The Post', gave me, some weeks ago, for 'The Black Cat', 20$. I presume the article you have is worth as much - being longer and, I think, better."

I'm sure you can spot what makes this as desirable as anything else I've covered from the Charles Hamilton auctions - in this letter Poe clai…

Original Art Stories: Gene Colan: An Update IV

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For those who've been asking, here's the latest on Gene Colan's condition, from the desk of his lovely wife, Adrienne.

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As you can see, we've been blessed by all of you as well as fans and professional artists donating artwork to sell on Ebay.

I've tried so hard to keep up with thanking you all online here and privately (when I have your emails and can remember to do it). But, if any of you have the emails or belong to chat groups of the artists's and others that have contributed to these ebay auctions , I sure would appreciate that info. Also, if you can just network for me and get the word to all these people that Gene and I are blown away by their generosity, that would be such a tremendous help to me and a big relief. I worry that they won't know what their kindness means to Gene and me.

Also, if any of you know some of the people who have sent items to us, like signed T shirts from a convention, the London Times from someone e…

Letters From Beyond: Erwin Rommel; Sigmund Freud; Jack Ruby; Eisenhower; Hitler & Von Hindenburg; Frank James; Beethoven; Ben Franklin; Tschaikovsky

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More choice items from Charles Hamilton's 1960s auctions. Where possible I've included the realised (sale) price. I'd also like to clear up any confusion - I don't own any of these items, nor do I own any of the items I've posted of late from the Charles Hamilton auctions. I wish I did. I'd have sold them by now and cashed in. What I do own are the catalogues themselves, I'm merely scanning the best images of interest and posting them up for the world to see. Why? Because if I find them interesting then surely someone else out there does as well.

Enjoy!

Auction #11 (January 31st, 1966) contained what I expect was the most important piece to go through Charles Hamilton's hands - the original Pax Mundi, as composed between 1925-1931. We'll cover that very soon. In the meantime what we have here is ERWIN ROMMEL.

Described in one of the best understatements possible as a 'Colourful Nazi field marshal, the 'Desert Fox'; suicide. A.L.S. in German…

Letters From Beyond: Benedict Arnold, Mark Twain & Ambrose Bierce

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More goodies scanned from the Charles Hamilton catalogues. These two letters were offered in Auction #21, September 28, 1967 - that'll be 41 years ago. Sadly my copy doesn't have the prices realised, so I'll have to go on estimates. Let me tell you though, going on some of the other auctions, I'm betting these went too damn cheaply.

Benedict Arnold. A name synonymous with the word traitor. This is the guy who tried to betray West Point to the British during the American Revolution. What we have here is one page from a 2 2/3 page A.L.S, dated November 26, 1768. The item description list this as being, 'Very early commercial letter to the officers of a ship, ordering them to "to proceed as soon as Wind & weather permits to the Island of Dominica in the Wt Indies & then Inform your Selves in the Market & sell There or go to any other Island you shall think better..." The letter contains detailed instructions on the purchasing of rum, molasses and …

Letters From Beyond: Thomas Edison, Gandhi, Nicolo Paganini & Robert Frost

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More great scans of letters from the famous and legendary. All of these were offered in auction #18 by Charles Hamilton, April 6, 1967 in New York. This catalogue also has the realised prices, so I'll be posting them, if only to make you cry and wish you had a time machine.
First up we have a fine example from poet Robert Frost. Described as an 'Autographed Manuscript Signed "R.F." his poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening penned on blank verso of preliminary page of his Selected Poems, Henry Holt, New York, printing of March 1926. The book is also inscribed and signed by Frost on the blank fly-leaf and annotated by him on the table of contents.'

The original text of the poem reads as such:
Whose woods these are I think I know
His house is in the village though
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year
He give…

Letters From Beyond: Edison & F Scott Fitzgerald

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There'll be people who'll tell you that they see these types of letters each and every day - I'm not one of them, although I am fascinated by such documents. Fascinated to the point where I'll happily spend a substantial amount of money just to purchase auction catalogues dating back to the 1960s, from Sothebys and Charles Hamilton and through to the lesser known sellers and auctioneers. All in all it's been a great weekend, what with the purchase of over 400 South Australian TV Guides and now this great lot. Can't complain.

To that end I thought it'd be a great idea to share some of the more interesting artifacts found within the pages of Charles Hamilton's catalogues.

This first letter was offered for sale on May 24, 1967 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York and was described as being '1 full page, small 8vo, Very slightly soiled, with signature slightly smudged, otherwise a fine example of (Thomas) Edison's holograph'. The text of the letter …

Television Icons

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Ok, hands up who doesn't remember Deadly Earnest? This ad appeared on the rear of an old TV Guide (I managed to buy about 400 of them yesterday, just for fun) and doesn't it bring back memories. And look, good ole Yorick is right there with him. I used to live for watching Deadly Earnest, even after Russell Starkie took over, although once I watched Trilogy Of Terror I decided to give the show the flick. Scared five kinds of crap out of me.

What a funny old fellow is Humphrey. All he needs in this shot is a coffin nail in one of his paws and it'd look perfect. This is the casual side of Humphrey. Girls he's still kicking around, has his own show and is world famous. Plus he's a bear who doesn't wear pants. Hard to believe that he's still single.

Original Art Stories: Gene Colan, An Update III

Just a short update. From all accounts Gene is doing well and is in excellent spirits, which is the best news possible, and spends his days just relaxing, gathering strength, working on art and watching Gary Cooper movies. Clifford Meth's auctions are still running so visit his site and spend, spend, SPEND!! it's for a damn good cause, of course! Remember, there are eBay auctions, the highlights of which are the stunning Walter Simonson drawing and an original V For Vendetta page by David Lloyd. Well worth buying.

Now onto even better news. Gene himself will be speaking on Wednesday the 11th of June! That's right, bookmark next Wednesday in your diaries because Gene will be appearing on Bob Andelman's Mr Media podcast/radio show. Bob has promised to allow Gene to talk for as long as he's able, and people will be able to call in and ask questions, or just share some love. Just tune into Bob's Mr Media at 1:00pm (EST) on June 11th and either listen, or ca…

Original Art Stories: Hembeck In Colour

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With the release of the recent Essential Hembeck Omnibus Archive I thought it'd be a tad interesting to look at a different side of Hembeck - the Coloured Hembeck. The format of the Hembeck Omnibus meant that, outside of the cover, no colour material would be included, and that's a large shame. Still there is a load of colour Hembeck out there but what's rarely seen is Fred's contributions to The Comic Reader.

The Comic Reader ran for quite a number of years and was considered to be one of the best sources of information when it came to what was being released, when and who was doing it. Personally I can't get enough of these magazines and I buy them for three things - the art, the interviews and the rest. In that order. You see The Comic Reader, like a lot of the fanzines and comic book related magazines of it's time, sported covers by a wide variety of artists, including John Byrne, Mike Zeck, Alan Kupperberg, Jim Starlin, Alex Toth, Frank Robbins and a host o…

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