Comics

Valley of the Dinosaurs No. 1 - The Remastering

THE COVER

Valley of the Dinosaurs #1, Charlton Comics, 1975

As published.

Valley Of The Dinosaurs 01 Cover

Remastered.


INTERIOR ART RESTORATION

Valley Of The Dinosaurs Restoration 1

As published. With no original art to be found for this story, the lineart needs to be extracted from the published comic.

A Before-After comparison. Drag left and right to view. On the left, the extracted lineart. On the right, the final lineart.

The extracted lineart required contrast adjustment to make it a pure black and retouching to remove any remaining tones and printing defects. While I think Fred Himes did a great job on his artwork for these stories, I feel his dialogue lettering was rough and not up to the standards audiences expect today. All balloon lettering was replaced, but the sound effects were left as is. Any holes in the art caused by the lettering update were drawn back in. Finally, panel borders were redrawn to finish off the polish on the lineart presentation.


NEW COLOUR FOR "FIGHT THE ANGRY MOUNTAIN"

For the new colour version I wanted to respect that the source material was an animated series. Characters are consistently coloured based on the show's original style guide with a simple shadow layer and a highlight layer for modelling. And with the colour tools we have available to us today, the vibrancy of the original animation carries through in this new version.

Valley Of The Dinosaurs 01 Ftam 00

Valley Of The Dinosaurs 01 Ftam 01

Valley Of The Dinosaurs 01 Ftam 02

Valley Of The Dinosaurs 01 Ftam 03

Valley Of The Dinosaurs 01 Ftam 04

Valley Of The Dinosaurs 01 Ftam 05

Valley Of The Dinosaurs 01 Ftam 06

Valley Of The Dinosaurs 01 Ftam 07


Valley of the Dinosaurs – The Covers by Fred Himes

1974 was the prehistoric year for Saturday morning TV shows on the three major American networks. NBC debuted the live-action The Land of the Lost which would live the longest at three seasons, ABC had the live-action Korg 70,000 BC which survived one season, and CBS green-lit the animated Valley of the Dinosaurs which also lasted a single season.

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Marvel Treasury Edition No. 13 Cover – Giant Superhero Holiday Grab-Bag by Kane, Romita and Sinnott

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Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter Cover by Dave Gibbons

I'm guessing I don't need to tell readers much about Watchmen here. You likely are already familiar with the 12-issue series – written by Alan Moore, drawn and lettered by Dave Gibbons, coloured by John Higgins and published by DC Comics in 1986 – to be even remotely interested in Tales of the Black Freighter, the allegorical/metaphorical comic within the Watchmen comic.

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Valley of the Dinosaurs No. 1 Cover by Fred Himes

When you have no original art to work with, there are various methods you can use to create new lineart. The simplest is to use digital production techniques to delete the colour blocks and leave the black & white art behind. That worked quite well here.

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Valley Of The Dinosaurs 9 OG

Valley of the Dinosaurs No. 9 Cover by Fred Himes

Valley of the Dinosaurs enjoyed a longish run for a licenced book, totalling 11 issues, and this for being published after the animated series had been cancelled. Himes turns in his usual clearly-constructed illustration here.

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Valley of the Dinosaurs No. 5 Cover by Fred Himes

Here's another of Fred Himes' great covers for Charlton Comics' licenced version of Valley of the Dinosaurs.

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Sword of Sorcery No. 1 Unpublished Cover by Jeffrey Catherine Jones

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Stalker No. 1 Cover by Steve Ditko and Wally Wood

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Starfire Poster by Mike Vosburg

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Green Lantern No. 110 Cover by Mike Grell

Along with writer Denny O'Neil, artist Mike Grell had taken Green Lantern from being a back-up in The Flash and relaunched into his own mag with No. 90 in 1976. By the time No. 110 came out in 1978 during the DC Explosion, Grell was about to leave the book to handle writing and pencilling duties on his own creation The Warlord, a book that went from bi-monthly to monthly status during the same time.

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Green Lantern No. 56 Cover by Kane & Anderson

A great cover to a great issue of Green Lantern from 1967. The creature is reminiscent of Jack Kirby's Thing for Marvel's Fantastic Four and bears some resemblance to The Abomination from The Incredible Hulk, a character Gil Kane also designed.

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Editor Julius Schwartz did a brilliant thing when he had Gardner Fox write "The Flash of Two Worlds" for The Flash No. 123. Bringing back the original versions of the Second World War-era characters was a unique and compelling way to integrate them into the Silver Age - the second era of super-heroes.

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Crisis on Infinite Earths had concluded, turning the DC Comics multiverse into a supposedly coherent universe. The History of the DC Universe two-book set documented the new timeline, and The History of the DC Universe Portfolio celebrated it with tabloid-sized images by some of DC's top talent.

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Marvel Treasury Edition No. 6 Cover – Doctor Strange by Frank Brunner

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Amazing Spider-Man No. 102 Cover by Kane and Giacoia

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Amazing Spider-Man No. 101 Cover by Kane and Romita

How do you top giving Spider-Man four extra arms in a last-page reveal of Amazing Spider-Man No. 100?

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Amazing Spider-Man No. 100 Cover by Romita and Giacoia

It was a time of transition. The Sixties were ending, leaving a very different world than when they'd begun. The Silver Age in comics was giving way to the Bronze. The Seventies would be a decade of experimentation in packaging for new publishers and slow decline for Marvel and DC until they worked out a different model of distribution.

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Detective Comics No. 481 Unpublished Cover by Jim Aparo

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Batman Family No. 20 Cover by Jim Starlin

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Superman Pin-Up TPB Cover by Neal Adams

Neal Adams is recovering from an illness that nearly claimed him, and we're all reminded that those whose work we love won't be around forever. And when Adams can still knock it out of the park, it's a testament to a life spent practising his skills, and that we always look forward to seeing more from him.

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Batman No. 313 Cover by José Luis García-López

This is an amazing symbolic cover. On the surface, it's merely a clever division of Two-Face's hideout, but if you extend the idea to the tragedies these antagonists have endured, it's even more interesting.

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Ghostly Tales No. 97 Cover by Steve Ditko

When Steve Ditko wasn't at DC or Marvel, he could often be found working for Charlton Comics. This wonderfully-designed cover is from 1972.

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Dynamo No. 3 Cover by Wally Wood

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The Brave & the Bold No. 122 Cover by Jim Aparo

Swamp Thing was a great comic, and the issues done by creators Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson are classic horror tales, but the book's sales waned in other creators' hands. For the remainder of the 1970s, Swampie was relegated to reprints, and guest-star appearances like this one in B&B.

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Valley of the Dinosaurs No. 2 Cover by Fred Himes

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Vengeance Squad No. 5 Cover by Pete Morisi

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The Brave & the Bold No. 112 Cover by Jim Aparo

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Wonder Woman No. 184 Cover by Sekowsky & Giordano

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I've always loved this cover with Batman driving a Formula One car of the era. But it wasn't until I found a scan of the original art that I realised I liked it even more. Behind the trade dress and flat orange background colouring, there was a great European mountain village and the wheel the Speed Racer-style villain had just sheared off the Wayne Special.

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