Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Heavy Heart

Friends, it's with a heavy heart that I must take a leave of absence from blogging.

My deadlines are such that I've been painted into a corner and I just can't wait for the paint to dry — I have to make footprints across the floor (not a good metaphor, but it shows how desperate I am) and do what I've got to do. These projects involve a lot of design and many many illustrations, so I really need to pay attention and not get distracted.

I don't know how long this will take, these are long-term overlapping deadlines and I wake up at night with panic attacks. Blogging is my favoritist thing to do right now. It relaxes me and inspires me, but it is so time-consuming. As Pappy says at Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine, "Blogging is more work than the job I retired from".

I'd love to figure a way to monetize this blogging stuff without jamming annoying and irrelevant ads all over the place. I'm seriously working on some ideas. I've always thought of my blogs as being a haven away from the commercial world, but maybe I can think of this 'outside the box' (what a cliché, I know).

I've received so many emails from you wonderful people telling me how inspirational many of these images are to you, as students, professionals, and non-artists. The good news for you is that there are so many blogs and sites out there that are way more inspirational than mine, so you do fine without the images I toss up in an erratic and eclectic manner.

I do so enjoy sharing images and thoughts with you all. There are so many more images and in-depth facts and information that I would love to share, if I survive these next few weeks.

Please don't stop 'following' the blog. I will be back. I'll be thinking and dreaming of ways to do this here blogging stuff more full time (as well as some personal art), then you'll really see some stuff!

In the meantime, here is a handful of inspiring work, from the ever-inspiring John R. Neill.

John R. Neill — Ojo in Oz — 1933

Say what?

The Whole Town was Determined to Kill Him

Probably cuz he's about to blow all his deadlines . . .

At least some of these books must've sold well enough to get not only a new printing, but new cover art as well.

Below, those first page excerpt blurbs really set the stage.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


There are some images that perplex me, and all I can do is rub my eyes, and go "What th'—?!" . . .

Daniel Adel — Walt Disney

Actually, I'm going to start a new label category, called "What th'—" and whenever you see the panel below associated with an image on this blog, you'll know that I have no idea what to make of it. If the Man of Tomorrow can be perplexed, well by golly, so can I.

Seeking Out the Ghost Pictures

Pretty nice for a pulp illustration . . .

Lawrence Stevens — Famous Fantastic Mysteries
December 1947

Monday, February 27, 2012

Intriguing for the Eye

Frank Papé was an illustrator whose work is intriguing for the eye, and yet he's not as famous as a number of his contemporaries. Papé had an odd mixture of styles even within one book, so that one page would be serious in tone, another humorous in tone, and another a combination of both.

His style still strangely reminds me of some of the work of the artist Will Elder, who came along later for Mad magazine and beyond. Papé seemed to also indulge in 'chicken fat' in his own way, strange little non-essential but interesting bits here and there. Check out those bottom tiers on the 'etching/engraved' full-page illustrations.

I would LOVE to see an illustrated biography of this man.

Frank C. Papé — Figures of Earth — 1925



title page

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Is this blog eclectic enough for you?

An early, conventional, and beautiful illustration by Gustav Klimt.

Gustav Klimt — Serenade — for Jugend magazine — 1882

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Strangely Believe It!

Speaking of Wally Wood, this is a Mad page written by Ernie Kovacs, the mildly strange comedian of yester-year. That first panel about J. Daniel Frump has a caricature of Jack E. Leonard, another comedian of decades ago.

Yet, when the panel was recycled into a 'Worst of Mad' special annual, believe it or don't, the face was altered into frumpier features for some reason.

The page above is lifted from Ger Apeldoorn's Fabulous Fifties blog, from a beautiful batch of Sunday page parodies by Wood and the other usual gang of idiots. Go check it out!

Let's We Forget Dept.

Wally Wood was such an amazing artist.

He could take any assignment and make it work. Imagine trying to fit all the things into one page that he has here, perfectly rendered in grey tones — and funny to boot!

This page is from around 1960, yet so many of Sy Reit's choices are still appropriate 50 some years later ('specially those first two on the top left). It's funny that the time capsule is the shape of a 'gel-cap', new to that time, and it's funny with all the stuff going on around the capsule, including Alfred E. Neuman's skull and bones.

Wot an amazing artist!!

Wallace Wood — Mad Time Capsule — ca 1960
Be sure to enlarge for full enjoyment.

Friday, February 24, 2012

By Request

By special request from a couple posts ago about Neal Adams, here is a reposting of a cover that has special meaning to me in that it was one of the first comics I bought at the PX when I first started basic training at Ft. Ord.

Boot camp was such a culture shock that this comic was like a life-line to my old carefree life. Somehow this comic and a few others stayed safe in my footlocker and made its way with me to my permanent assignment.

I love the title logo that had been redesigned to complement Adams' transformation of the Batman.

Neal Adams — Batman #241 — May 1972

Update: As pointed out by Mr. Door Tree,
this cover was inked by Berni Wrightson.

Flora in Her Realm

Mythology was so alive in the 18th century, a vibrant and colorful subject for artists to entertain their patrons with. Rococo artist Tiepolo was wonderfully vibrant in his work, especially so when envisioning mythological subjects, such as Flora in her realm.

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo — The Triumph of Flora — 1744

Luminous Life

Scott Gustafson is a painter/illustrator that gives luminous life to fairy tales, legends and nursery rhymes, successfully making the work sweet, without pouring on tons of sugar. Visit his website here.

Scott Gustafson — The Maiden and the Unicorn

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Same was True

The same was true for me of anything by Neal Adams during the 1970s. I would buy anything by him, and usually in multiples.

Neal Adams/Dick Giordano — Green Lantern/Green Arrow — 1977

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I've already confessed that in the past I have been superficial and wasteful by buying some comics JUST for their covers. Back in the '80s, I would buy MULTIPLES of any comic with a Dave Stevens cover, not for investment, but just because I liked them so much! To this day, I have NEVER thought of that as being superficial or wasteful.

Dave Stevens — Mr. Monster #2 — 1985

Dave Stevens — Jonny Quest #5 — 1986

Dave Stevens — Jungle Comics #1 — 1987

Severin Obit

An informative obituary for John Severin ran in today's Denver Post, with a really nice photo of him, provided by the family.

"Copies of Severin's original art sell for thousands of dollars" . . . interesting how the concept of original art still escapes a lot of people's understanding.

Art is Art

This painting comes awful close to infringing on that 'painter of light' guy (oh geez, did I violate his trademark by using those words here?). There is a certain quality to the light in this painting that makes the architecture interesting, yet there is an indefinable quality that borders on pandering to 'popular' tastes. There are some that would call this 'great art' and there are some that would call this 'schlock art' (jig-saw puzzle art). Art is art, yet how does one deal with this issue in appreciating the hard work of a productive painter?

Andre Andreoli (1933—2001) — Wassenaar, Holland

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Opium Den

Never has squalor and degradation looked so cozy and appealing as in this opium den illustration by Doré.

Gustave Doré — from London, a Pilgrimage — 1872