Heads Up! · John Buscema


Coming in July from IDW:

Big John Buscema: Comics & Drawings [Hardcover]
N/A (Author), John Buscema (Artist)

  • Hardcover: 328 pages
  • Publisher: IDW Publishing (July 3 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1613771959
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613771952

Product Description:

“John Buscema has been called one of the finest comic artists who ever put pen to paper. His work for Marvel Comics on The Avengers, Thor, The Fantastic Four, and Silver Surfer are all classics, highly regarded by fans from around the world. The same is true for his definitive rendition of Conan the Barbarian — Buscema breathed life into Robert E. Howard’s legendary creation in a manner that has rarely been rivaled. IDW is proud to announce the first American publication of John Buscema: Comics & Drawings, a special edition of the fine art catalog created for the most extensive exhibition of Buscema’s art ever staged. Weighing in at nearly 300-pages, this gorgeous hardcover book is a dream come true for fans of the visual mastery of John Buscema, an artist who’s ilk we are unlikely to see again.”

As excellent as his comics art was, especially when he inked his own work, John Buscema did not love to draw comics. He did, however, love to draw. Even after a full day’s work in the “Marvel Bullpen,” Busema’s idea of relaxation was to spend a few hours in the evening covering sketchbook sheets, copier paper, surplus comics boards, and even the backs of pages destined for reproduction, with sketches and studies that not only related to whatever work he had on his plate at the time but also served as an outlet for his personal obsessions — cowboys, horses, pirates, vikings, beautiful women, big cats, hand-to-hand combat, unusual character faces, etc., etc.

If you’re interested in Buscema’s sketches, three books have been published that, with varying degrees of success and failure, try to cover the territory: 1) The Art of John Buscema (1978), 2) John Buscema Sketchbook (Vanguard, 2001), and 3) John Buscema: A Life in Sketches (Pearl Press, 2008). I wish I could wholeheartedly endorse one of those books, but each has shortcomings in terms of design and/or reproduction that prevent me from doing so.

I suppose I might also mention that a four-page illustrated feature, “John Buscema: The Lost Drawings,” appeared in Heavy Metal Magazine in November 2011; by my count, the article includes reproductions — one large, the rest quite small — of a grand total of nineteen sketches.

No… in truth, the best place to view Buscema sketches is on the Web.

Speaking of which…

In our small collection of art by John Buscema, my wife and I have a couple of signed pages of pencilled and partially inked figure drawings on full sheets of sketchbook paper, ten signed sketches clipped by Buscema himself from larger sheets, an unusual signed graphite sketch on a sheet on copier paper, and a Conan page that the artist pencilled, inked, and shaded in what appears to be black grease pencil (a.k.a., china marker). So, obviously, somebody in our house is a bit of a Buscema fan!

For my next post, I plan to scan and share five of the small, signed sketches by Buscema in our collection, and I promise to follow that post up a bit later with another five.

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