Look Here · Original art vs. printed page

Look Here: Two majestic MOBY DICK splash pages by Norman Nodel

From Classics Illustrated #5: Moby Dick (March 1956), here are a pair of low-quality scans of Norman Nodel’s original art for pages one and forty five, along with a pair of really low-quality scans of the printed pages, and yet, the beauty of Norman Nodel’s fine-lined compositions shines through:

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You can learn a little bit about Jewish comics artist Norman Nodel (born Nochem Yeshaya) at the Lambiek Comiclopedia.

Book/Magazine Covers (All) · Illustration Art · Look Here · Original art vs. printed page

Look Here: BLUE CAMELLIA (1966), with cover art by Charles Binger

Here’s another random paperback that I picked up at a local church sale just so I could scan it and post it here at RCN; the artist is Charles Binger, who also painted the blonde on the cover of the Perry Mason novel, The Case of the Rolling Bones (1960), which I scanned and posted back in February:

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As luck would have it, I was easily able to locate a snapshot of the original art, which sold at La Luz de Jesus Gallery for $2,800 back in 2011:

(N.B. Since I don’t own the above artwork and am not offering it for sale, I have taken the liberty of futzing with the original JPEG to make it a bit brighter and clearer, so at this point, it may or may not accurately represent the painting.)

The file name on the exhibition site — Binger_LG_Sophia-Loren-study.jpg — identifies the subject as Sophia Loren. But please note: although the woman in the painting does sort of look like a young Sophia Loren, I have no way to verify whether it really was intended as a likeness of her or not. I’m certainly not enough of a Loren fan to know if Binger based his “study” on a particular publicity photograph of her, but if you are, feel free to post the info below.

Keywords: Blue Camellia.

Jeffrey "Jeff" Catherine Jones · Look Here · Original art vs. printed page

Look Here: Original art for an “I’m Age” strip by Jeffrey Jones

Here’s a scan of the original art for the installment of “I’m Age” by Jeffrey Jones that appeared in Heavy Metal, vol. 5, no. 11 (February 1982):

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And here’s the strip as it appeared in print:

If you’d like to read more “I’m Age” strips, click here.

Book/Magazine Covers (All) · Drawing · Illustration Art · Lee Elias · Look Here · Original art vs. printed page

Look Here: CHAMBER OF CHILLS #11 cover and original art by Lee Elias

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The element that distinguishes Lee Elias’s work here from your run-of-the-mill, damsel-in-distress comic-book cover is the half-naked guy on the ground grasping helplessly at the leg of the evil doer. More typically in fantasy art, it’s the girl who is on the ground, hanging onto the leg of the man, who is cast in the role of heroic protector. Elias’s canny subversion of that tired cliché reveals an artist who has not simply gone through the motions on a routine cover assignment but has thought his way through to a creative solution that gives the obligatory horror and cheesecake a playful tweak on the nose.

Comics · Harvey Kurtzman · Here, Read · Illustration Art · Look Here · Original art vs. printed page

Look Here, Read: “Muscle Builders, Part I,” with layouts by Kurtzman, finished art by Elder

Harvey Kurtzman created the following full-colour layouts for the story “Little Annie Fanny: Muscle Builders, Part I,” which appeared in the December 1977 issue of Playboy:

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The finished art, as usual, was by Will Elder…

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BTW, I have no plans to post part II of that story/episode; I’ve only included the published pages above for the sake of comparison with Kurtzman’s layouts.

If you’d like to read more, you really ought to consider purchasing the full-colour collection, Little Annie Fanny, Volume 2: 1970-1988 (ISBN-10: 1569715203; ISBN-13: 978-1569715208), which was published by Dark Horse in 2001 and is still available for purchase, new, at various online bookstores.

Art Collection · Drawing · Gene Colan · Illustration Art · Look Here · Original art vs. printed page

Look Here: A page of original art by Gene Colan and Tom Palmer

My two favourite Christmas gifts for 2011 were 1) an eight-panel, single-page comic strip on 11 x 17 inch Strathmore bristol, pencilled, inked, and coloured by our 17-year-old son, just for the occasion, and 2) a page of original art from “Angelica,” a story that was published in The Tomb of Dracula #4 (April 1980), with art pencilled by Gene Colan and inked by Tom Palmer. Our son would prefer that I not post his piece, but if you pay a visit to our house in a month or so, I am fairly confident that you’ll be able to view it, framed, on the wall in our living room — if I let you in the door, that is. As for the Colan page, here it is, first as it was printed in black and white in The Tomb of Dracula, and second, as it appears “in living colour,” as it were:

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Oddly enough, that beautiful page — which I first saw when I bought The Tomb of Dracula #4 new, off the newsstand, when I was in high school — has a very strong personal resonance for me. You see, once upon a time my father quit his job in the big city to chase a dream, dragging his family to a “godforsaken place” that my mother “despised” from the moment she set eyes upon it. The mute object of my mother’s contempt was a shabby, drafty, uninsulated log house with no plumbing or adequate heating located on a discontinuous, serpentine tract of marginal farmland that some anonymous homesteader had laboriously carved out of the bush in east-central Saskatchewan. I won’t burden you with the depressing details of my father’s fourteen-year experiment in pigheaded determination and wishful thinking. Suffice to say that by the time the man finally admitted defeat, he and my mother had already spent more than a year shuttling back and forth between the farm and various low-skilled jobs the meagre pay from which might have slowed but certainly did not stop their burden of farm debt from growing more burdensome every month — which led them, at long last, to conclude that the only way forward was to file for bankruptcy and retreat, with my brothers and sister in tow, back to the city… well, not quite back to the city, but that’s a whole other story…

Comics · Here, Read · Illustration Art · Look Here · Original art vs. printed page

Look Here, Read: “The 1981 Night Before Christmas, or A Final Visit from St. Nicholas”

From Mad #228 (January 1982), here’s “The 1981 Night Before Christmas, or A Final Visit from St. Nicholas,” with doggerel by Frank Jacobs and drawings by Harry North; this post includes scans of all of the original art, which is currently available for purchase, as a complete set, on ebay, from a first-rate seller (not me):

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Don’t worry, kids! Nineteen eighty-one may have been a tough year for old Santa, but he powered through his difficulties and depression, and even now, thirty years into the future, he is still on the job.