Thursday, March 26, 2015

Happy Birthday José Luis García-López!

Mr. José Luis García-López celebrates his 67th Birthday today. If you're a comic book fan of my generation, it is impossible to not have been wowed by his artwork at some point. He is one of the top artists of his generation, with an incredible sense of design. He infused every assignment with a great deal of style. It is sometimes easy to take a creator like García-López for granted, as he was so prolific for such a long period of time. He played an important role during a tumultuous time at DC, helping maintain the overall 'look' of the DC universe and breathing some fresh air into some stale books. Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Charlton Notebook: Ghostly Tales #94

This is a pretty typical Charlton horror book from the early 70s - nothing groundbreaking but pretty solid. We start off with an actual Ditko cover. I say this as the was not simply a paste job from internal art, but an original piece. The story itself it drawn by Pete Morisi (P.A.M.). That story is about Russian werewolves and Morisi gives it a chilly atmosphere. The lead story is pretty silly, as a gang of hippies (or are they bikers?) squat in a haunted house. The ornery ghost forces them to get to work tidying up. Was this an anti-littering message? Who knows? My favourite story here is the middle chapter, involving a swamp creature chasing a cowardly soldier during the Vietnam war. It is drawn with gusto by Joe Staton. That makes this a 'must-have' for Muck Monster completists. The was reprint nearly a decade later with the cover image flipped, perhaps to make people think that it was brand new. I love that Charlton ingenuity!

Add It To My Want List: Disney's The Three Musketeers (1993)

I saw this silly Disney version of the Three Musketeers while backpacking through Turkey in 1994. It was sufficiently entertaining, but immediately forgettable. Back then, had I seen the two-issue series in a comic book shop, I would have turned up my nose at it. I have since learned that Dan Spiegle provided the art on both issues. He is a perfect fit for this type of genre and I am guessing (and hopeful) that this has an old-timey Dell/Gold Key feel to it. As I have gotten older, I have really grown to love the adventure genre so this is right up my alley. As an added bonus, Gray Morrow provides covers for both issues. The hunt begins.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Hidden Gems: Wonder Woman 80 Page Giant Annual (2003)

Just over a decade ago, DC published a bunch of this sweet retro-comics filled with Golden and Silver Age goodness. I will admit that I was put off by the price tag at the time and admired them from a distance. The beauty of the back issue market is that, for most recent books, the prices will eventually come down. I picked this up for $1.99 and was delighted with it. It gives the reader a great sampling of two eras in Wonder Woman history: the lunacy of the Golden Age stuff from the minds of Martson and Peter and the charm of the Silver Age, featuring the inventive storytelling of Robert Kanigher and beautiful artwork from the Andru/Esposito team. This is a great way to get a sense of early Wonder Woman stories without having to spend a ton of money on Archive collections. I am now wondering if the all-star team of villains in the Villainy Incorporated story from 1948 represents one of the first super-villain team ups in DC history. If you ever stumble upon this while flipping through back issue bins, I recommend picking it up.