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The Letter That Made Stan Cross, The Destruction Of Wally & The Major Revealed!

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It was the letter that really made Stan Cross very cross.  For years Stan Cross had responded kindly to people writing to him requesting original art, mainly his Wally & The Major and Pudden’ strips.  He’d forward the letters onto the Herald & Weekly Times, who were the syndicate that he worked for, and they’d simply send the art off.  In a small way this accounts for the lack of early Wally & The Major strips that are in the marketplace.  Then, in September, 1955, Stan Cross learned something else was happening to his art.
For decades Stan had been sending his strips to the Herald in Victoria and every so often he’d get a handful of strips back but, on the whole, the rest were stored at the offices of the Herald.  Or so Stan believed.  The truth was entirely different, as he was about to discover.  He received another letter, a request from a Lieutenant in the RAN, asking if a strip that depicted theArunta Tribe and Pudden’s inability to operate a camera could be sent to h…

Friday Sketch Dave

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Dave loved John Buscema a lot.  Along with Frank Robbins, Buscema is one of the main reasons why Dave elected to be a comic book artist and possibly the greatest influence that he had.  He attended Buscema's legendary classes in the late '70s and he often told me that one lesson with Big John taught him more about the art of creating comic book art, and art as a whole, than anything else he'd learned.  As a teacher, John Buscema was everything Dave craved, he was fair and firm, he had no hesitation in telling someone that their art wasn't quite there, but he'd then work with them to help them become the best they could be.  John also taught Dave the importance of meeting a deadline, to be quick but brilliant and to treat every job the same, to give it his best effort no matter how much, or how little, it might have paid.  Each artist is only as good as their last job, so a sloppy effort would reflect badly, no matter what the circumstances might be.  Dave applied …

It Was 70 Years Ago Today...Ginger Meggs!

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70 years ago, today, this strip appeared in Sunday newspapers across Australia.  Ginger Meggs. A timeless Australian tradition that continues to this day, and rightly so.  This strip is as fresh, and entertaining, today as it was way back then, when the world was entering another year of darkness and war.  
Arrrrr there Ginge, we love you still!

Friday Sketch Dave!

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Flowing on from last week when I stated that Dave was as fine an inker as he was because he was a better penciller than most of the people he inked, I felt it only right to show a prime example.

Ole Howard there is Dave Simons pencils and inks from 1982.  This was a convention style sketch and you can easily see Dave's skills.  The pencils are just fine, the inks are even better.  This was done at a time when Dave was establishing himself at Marvel as a inker of note.  And it still looks great.
Back over to you.  If anyone out there has a Dave Simons sketch they want to showcase, then send me the scan and the details and up it'll go.  
NEXT WEEK: Dave Draws The FF...More Than Once

Friday Sketch Dave!

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I've had this idea going around in my head for a while now, and I thought that it's well beyond time that I extracted the ole digit and got to it.  After going through my art collection and scanning and rescanning, and sorting and resorting, I found that I have more Dave Simons art than I first thought I had.  Dave used to send over anything and everything, scraps of paper that he was thought were worthless, preliminaries and sketches that he would normally have thrown into the bin.  At first he couldn't see the value of it but, as time passed, he grew to like the idea and would often send me packages and we'd talk about the process of the art from his initial idea to final execution, where he took the inspiration from (which ranged from artists as diverse as Jack Kirby to John Buscema to Gustav Klimt) and what tools he used to finish the art (he loved Dr Martens dyes, for those who like to know).  
In doing this he taught me a lot about where he came from and how and w…

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