Thursday, April 30, 2009


And my portrait of Kubert as he looked mentoring a room full of people, oh sometime back in the 80s.

La, High Priestess of the Sun Temple of Opar

Joe Kubert was another of my comix heroes to have delineated ERB characters for DC way back when. And so of course, when I had the chance, I really wanted him to depict a grande femme from the ERB canon. And who better than La, High Priestess of the Sun Temple of Opar

Kubert's female renditions have a quality all their own, dating back to the early Hawkgirl, that I'd always admired. So it was a real thrill to sit and watch him swirl this drawing into existence. Many of his drawings of women show them in distress, weeping, hurting, needing rescue—a very sad view of women. But those of his renditions showing women as strong, decisive, independent persons are my highest favorites.

With a long and wonderful career, Joe Kubert is the grand old master of comicdom, the highest order of instructors, the Dumbledore of mentors. He is a great guy.

 I have other originals of Joe's that I will post some other time.

Ooh—La La

La, La, La

Joe's double page splashes were always the best!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Kane & Able

Gil Kane was another artist associated with Edgar Rice Burroughs' work, and so when I talked with him at a convention in the 80s, he agreed to a commissioned drawing of my favorite ERBian characters—Dejah Thoris and John Carter:

This time I was able to sit with him to watch the drawing develop (very quickly—he was fast). We talked a bit while he was drawing, and then he agreed to meet later, to sell me some more of his art and talk some more. I will post about that another time. 

I was thrilled with his drawing, showing more of a Gil Kane style than most of the published comic book art does, since all that was inked by others. It was his idea to show more of Dejah Thoris than could ever be seen in the comics. The very next day I came down with the flu, and in my delerium I was transfixed with the drawing and fever dreamed a Barsoomian adventure.

The Marvel run of John Carter wasn't the best interpretation, but there were high points (especially Infantino's later involvement). But Kane's stuff was always great to see, as he put such style to it, drawing much of what he did straight from his imagination.
Above shows how I probably sounded in my flu delerium, although I don't think they were pleaful cries—gawd I hope not.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Girl in the Garden

With a bit more detail than we ever saw in the comics, I was quite happy with Kaluta's portrait of young Duare. She seems to me to be a blend of Kaluta, Krenkel and St. John.

The fantasy lives.

Thanks again Mike!

Near and Dear

Above is my portrait of Kaluta as he looked in 1985. Below is his classy card that he presented to me (I pixelated the address) when I commissioned a drawing.

Beautiful and Harsh

Edgar Rice Burroughs had a way of rendering exotic females with words, setting the stage for an illustrator to render them with pen and ink. John Carter had his Dejah Thoris, and Carson Napier had his beautiful Duare. 

Kaluta's details helped to make the visuals stunning, at least for the times they were first published.

These two pages from different chapters are of differing approaches

Good Company

Kaluta certainly was in good company in rendering the Carson saga.



St. John

Nice Chapter

This is a nice chapter from the Carson series:

It Was a Great Run

At a time when a lot of comics were in sort of a rut, Kaluta's comic work verged on illustrative design. His splash pages for the Venus series of Edgar Rice Burroughs were evocative of the old days of Krenkel and even further back to St. John. The typography was fun and adventurous. The drawing, while not the best if you look at it close-up, was appropriate for ERB. It was a great run, it's just too bad Kaluta didn't have more room to run around in.

Sunday, April 26, 2009