Showing posts from January, 2011

Original Art Stories: The (Sad) Saga of Black Lightning’s Creation

“Anything that a writer and artist do together is a co-creation. Absolutely.” – Alan Grant Jack and Stan. Carmine and Julie. Bill and Bob. Steve and Stan. Hell, even John and Paul. These are creators about whom history continually debates their individual level of involvement in some of the most important works of the latter half of the 20th century. Now you can add two more names to that list, Tony and Trevor. A large proportion of why people debate who created what is because of the relative lack of material left behind to verify anyone's given role. We know that Jack Kirby often spoke from a field of anger and generally totally dismissed Stan Lee's role in the co-creation of the Marvel Universe. Stan's memory is shot, however he did spend a considerable amount of time, and ink, in the '70s perpetuating the populist myth that he created the Marvel Universe with minimal to no input from Kirby. Steve Ditko totally dismisses any Jack Kirby involvement in t

Original Art Stories: John Romita Jr's KISS

You just don’t see things like this anymore. What we have here are two original graphite pencil concept drawings and original typewritten three page storyline synopsis for the second ever Kiss comic (if you don’t count the Howard The Duck appearances). The story, The Land Of Khyscz, appeared in Marvel Super Special #5 in December 1978, at a time when Kiss were starting a rapid downslide in popularity in the USA, mainly on the back of the so bad it’s bloody funny movie, Kiss Meets The Phantom Of The Park. Well, the original cut of the movie was so bad it wasn’t funny, when it was recut for the cinemas here in Australia and released as Kiss Vs The Phantom Of The Park, with different scenes and better music (i.e., not stock music from bad 1960s movies, but actual Kiss and related songs) which is why I suspect that it ended up on the second volume of their Kissology DVD series instead of the original, but there you go. Marvel went after Kiss as a commercial option as early as 197

Original Art Stories: Jim Mooney's Elvira

I can’t say that I was a huge fan of Elvira, either as a person or as a character, before Jim Mooney worked on the title. The idea of a big haired, gothic, large breasted woman sounds appealing on paper, but, for some bizarre reason, in the flesh it just looked trashy and not in a good way. It might just be me, but generally when you’re a male and make such comments other males call you gay, as if you’re supposed to want to have sex with any female out there. Different tastes I guess. Plus Elvira just wasn’t that, ahem, big here in Australia at any stage of her career. Indeed most Australians probably still have no idea who she was/is and would have recognised Peggy Bundy before Elvira in the early 1990s. Elvira was purely an American phenomena, much the same as Howard Stern remains. Jim Mooney did some stellar work on Elvira, as he did on everything he touched. These pencils show that Jim, much like Joe Sinnott, and unlike a lot of other artists, never lost his touch as he

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