Comics · Comics (Jones) · Here, Read · Jeffrey "Jeff" Catherine Jones · Look Here

Look Here, Read: “The Guardian Spiders,” with art by Jeffrey Jones

From The Charlton Bullseye vol. 1, no. 1 (1975), here’s “The Guardian Spiders,” with art by Jeffrey Jones and script by the great unknown:

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According to the authors of Jeffrey Jones: The Definitive Reference, Jones drew “The Guardian Spiders” for King Comics in 1967. Unfortunately for the artist, however, King failed to publish the story before they closed shop for good in December of 1967 and sold various titles and inventory to Gold Key and Charlton. And thus it was that “The Guardian Spiders” languished unloved in the files at Charlton for seven years or so until the editors at The Charlton Bullseye arranged for its first publication in their zine.

Bernie Wrightson · Comics · Here, Read · Look Here

Look Here, Read: “The Touch of Gentle George,” with art by Bernie Krigstein

From Real Clue Crime Stories, vol. 6, no. 7 (September 1951), here’s “The Touch of Gentle George,” with pencils and inks by the great Bernie Krigstein and script by the great unknown; the scans are from the Digital Comics Museum, an amazing online archive of free public domain Golden Age Comics, but I’ve made a number of adjustments to the levels, saturation, and size of the JPEGs, and although the resulting images are far from perfect, the DCM originals are simply far too large to post here:

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Comics · Here, Read · Look Here

Look Here, Read: “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” with art by the great unknown

From Calling All Girls #10 (September 1942), here’s “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” with script and art both by the great unknown:

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Whoever the artist is here, he or she was in full command of a lovely, loose style that, more than thirty years later, George Freeman of Captain Canuck and Jack of Hearts fame might have envied.


BONUS:

Here are the first five pages of Jack of Hearts #2 (February 1984)…

… along with the last page of the final issue, Jack of Hearts #4 (April 1984), which may or may not have been inked by Freeman, though it is in his style:

Really wish I had some Captain Canuck scans handy I could post… would make the point clearer, I think…

Bill Draut · Comics · Here, Read · Look Here

Look Here, Read: “Honeymooners — Not Wanted!” with art by Bill Draut

Time for more comics, I think. This time around, we’ve got “Honeymooners — Not Wanted!” from Young Romance #49 (vol. 6, no. 1); neither the script nor the art are credited in the comic, and comics.org hasn’t indexed the issue yet, but foolhardy pseudo-aficionado that I am, I’m going to go head and attribute the art, at least, to a long-time RCN favourite, Bill Draut:

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The scans are from the Digital Comics Museum, but I’ve processed them a bit for display here. What do I mean by “processed”? Scroll down to the bonus section below for a before-and-after comparison of the opening page.


BONUS IMAGES:

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Before:

After:

Worth the bother? I think so.

Art Collection · Comics · Gabrielle Bell · Here, Read · Look Here

Look Here: A “July Diary” page by Gabrielle Bell

Two and a half months ago, more or less, my wife and I purchased a page of original art by Gabrielle Bell, author of When I’m Old And Other Stories (Alternative Comics, 2003), Lucky (D&Q, 2006), Cecil and Jordan in New York (D&Q, 2008), The Voyeurs (Uncivilized Books, 2012), and the forthcoming Travelogues (Uncivilized Books, 2014). How did this happen?

Each July for the past three years, Bell has set herself the task to produce a comics page a day, and has funded the project by selling the original art immediately after she has scanned it for book publication at a later date and posted a copy on her blog to enable her fans to follow her progress. As someone who follows Gabrielle Bell on Twitter, I, along with more than three thousand other people, had advance word that “July Diary 2013” was all systems go, and Bell’s daily tweet notifications enabled me to check out each new page very soon after it was posted — so long as I was at my computer at the right time, that is. And since the price per page this year was very reasonable — one hundred dollars, plus shipping and handling — I thought vaguely, pretty much right from the start, that I might attempt to buy one; however, as I watched the first several pages get snapped up by Bell’s fans, I realized I would have to pay attention and act quickly if I was going to be the first to complete the PayPal cart and secure my choice, if the right page should appear…

Well, fortunately for me, everything went just as I (sort of) planned it. I knew the page that I wanted as soon as I saw it on 18 July 2013, I didn’t let second thoughts hold me back, I just laid my money down. And here’s what I have to show for my “effort”:

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Yes, the page is tiny, a mere six inches wide by eight inches tall, and the paper is thin, but according to Bell’s website, the materials are of reasonably good quality — acid-free graph paper and permanent black ink — so I would venture to guess that as long as the artwork is protected from the elements, it will probably disintegrate far more slowly and more gracefully than I will, even if I should live to a grand old age and keep all of the teeth and the lion’s share of the mane that I have left right now.

As you can see, the page is also signed and dated. I don’t know if Bell is in the habit of signing every page before it leaves her hands, but in this instance, I do know that I specifically requested that she sign it, and it arrived with her signature.

As for the content of the piece, well, let’s just say that the theme of ambition waylaid by self-doubt and wishful thinking speaks to me…

You can view a version of the 7-18-13 diary page that Bell has cleaned up with Photoshop on her blog. And if you want to read “July Diary 2013” from the beginning, click here and then simply follow the links just before the comments to browse forward in time.

Finally, Bell yesterday posted page one of her “Columbia Comicumentary” and is (again) selling the original art as she posts each page. The new pages are slightly more expensive than the “July Diary 2013” pages were, but even so, they are probably still under-valued when one considers Gabrielle Bell’s past accomplishments and growing stature in the world of comics.

Art Collection · Comics · Here, Read · Look Here · Steven Weissman

Look Here: A savage “Barack Hussein Obama” strip by Steven Weissman

This summer, my wife and I bought a page of original art from the online comic strip, “Barack Hussein Obama,” by Steven Weissman; the page, which is signed by the artist, is from an ongoing sequence that Steven began posting online in the spring of 2013 entitled “Looking for America’s Dog.” Here’s a scan:

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If I had to break it down, I would say that the first element that drew me to the above page was the opening panel with Barack Hussein Obama’s daughter Sasha in what has become an iconic pose/situation in the strip. Second was the beautiful use of blood-red design tone in the third panel. And third, the overall excellence of the timing of the words and pictures in the fight sequence.

A hardcover collection of Weissman’s “Barack Hussein Obama” was published by Fantagraphics in 2012, and I thought it was one of the best “graphic novels” of the year. If the “real” Barack Hussein Obama had lost the election in November of last year, the strip probably would have ended then and there. But Obama won, and Weissman has been posting new instalments ever since, with a view, I suppose, to a second collection — or perhaps simply a complete collection — at some point in the future.

Fans of first-rate cartooning — and screen/design tones! — can follow Barack Hussein Obama‘s surreal progress at What Things Do.

Original art by Steven Weissman is available for purchase via his bigcartel shop.


BONUS IMAGES:

From the collection, Barack Hussein Obama, page 33, via Flickr:

From the Stinckers blog, September 2012:

From the Stinckers Facebook photostream, October 2012:

Like I said… iconic…

P.S. You can shop for uncut production sheets and 3-packs of Stinckers on Etsy.