Connections · Frank Frazetta · John Buscema

Connections: Frazetta and Buscema

Look closely and you just might see the tell-tale signs that Big John Buscema had Frazetta’s lion in mind, and perhaps even on his desk, when he drew the cover of Conan the Barbarian #96:


The face of Frazetta’s lion is so lively and expressive that it makes Buscema’s more symmetrical version seem flat and mask-like in comparison.


Now that’s more like it!

Heads Up! · John Buscema

Heads Up: “John Buscema: Michelangelo of Comics”


Despite the uninspired cover design, fans of John Buscema’s work will undoubtedly want to own this book. Here’s the Amazon listing:

John Buscema: Michelangelo of Comics Deluxe Hardcover
Brian Peck (Author), John Buscema (Artist), Joe Sinnott (Artist)

Product Details:

* Hardcover: 176 pages
* Publisher: Hermes Press; Deluxe edition (Aug 10 2010)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 1932563555
* ISBN-13: 978-1932563559

Product Description:

Now for the first time a comprehensive art book about one of the greatest comic artists,commonly referred to by his peers as “The Michelangelo of Comics,” John Buscema. This exhaustive look at Buscema’s career and art covers every aspect of this legend’s work and is generously illustrated with over 200 examples of the master’s original art. Over five years in preparation, comics historian Brian Peck interviewed everyone of note who ever worked with Buscema and paints a complete picture of one of the comics most outstanding artists. This hardcover is limited to 300 copies with a special print pencilled by Buscema with inks by Joe Sinnnott.

“Aug 10 2010”? Drat. I’m late to the party again! (Or am I? Has anyone seen this in stores yet?)

P.S. According to Amazon, a softcover edition was to be released on the same date as the hardcover.

P.P.S. On an earlier version of the cover released for publicity purposes and available all over the Web, the name Michelangelo is misspelled “Michaelangelo”; but now I see a new image has been posted on the Hermes Press site, with the spelling corrected. I wonder if the people at Hermes Press noticed the mistake before or after the book went to press. Because if it was after, the book might be delayed…

Here, Read · Joe Kubert · John Buscema · Look Here

Look Here, Read: Buscema on Kubert, Kubert on Buscema

Buscema, in answer to the question, “Who is your favourite comic artist?”:

I’ll tell you, I’m at the point where I’m not impressed with anyone anymore. I was always looking for the good draftsmanship. Later on, I became interested in the story-telling aspect of comics. I think Hal Foster is perhaps the best story-teller in comics. As was Milton Caniff. A lot of guys, like Roy Crane — all great.

I did admire them, but now that I’m older, I’ve been in it for so many years, I can see things that I didn’t see before. I have the experience now. I have all the books of the collected works of Raymond, and of Hal Foster, and I’ve looked at the work of the old timers, and I’m not as impressed anymore. In fact, I see a lot of things they did, they could have improved upon. I see things now that leave me cold. I’m not impressed with anything in comics today. The only thing in recent times that I was impressed with, but not really floored by, was Tarzan by Joe Kubert. I think it was one of the best comics produced, of all times. I admire the guy. I think he’s fantastic, I really do. But that’s it. Maybe I’m too close to comics.

[The Art of John Buscema: Volume One (Sal Quartuccio, 1978), p. 9 (or 11, if you count the front cover and inside front)]

Kubert, on the importance of life drawing vs. copying from the masters:

Fine artists have learned through the ages by painting from sculptures and copying classic works but, when it comes to really knowing the figure, if you try to learn from copying other people’s drawings you end up with a double exaggeration. This especially holds true when the person who has really affected you and inspired you to draw like them is drawing an exaggerated figure to begin with. When you try to learn from an artist (comics or other) who is adding exaggeration, you end up exaggerating even more, which removes the figure from reality. One could be copying Mark Silvestri, who’s copying John Buscema, who’s copying Hal Foster, who did Life [sic] drawing! I find that, going back to Life drawing is like going back to the well — the source of inspiration — and it is a necessity which I find it [sic] absolutely essential.

[How to Draw from Life (Vanguard, 2009), p. 12]