Comics

Incredible Hulk Annual 5 OG

The Incredible Hulk Annual No. 5 Cover by Kirby, Abel & Romita

This was the second appearance of Groot – made famous in recent years by his association with Star-Lord in the Guardians of the Galaxy films from Marvel. But 11-year-old me had wangled the price of a comic out of my mother as a way to keep me occupied while we attended my cousin's wedding.

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Captain America 1 OG

Captain America No. 1 Cover by Jack Kirby

Coming a year before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour – the event which precipitated the US's entrance into the Second World War – Captain America was created by two young Jewish New Yorkers: Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. With the Nazi government in Germany already persecuting Jews and other groups they wished to eliminate, Cap was the perfect patriotic avatar for young Americans eager to get into the war in Europe. Punching Hitler square on the jaw is an iconic depiction of the Golden Age of comics.

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Superman 344 OG

Superman No. 344 Cover by José Luis García-López

It's most likely unique in the history of Superman covers. Superman, bright and happy, gets his powers from our yellow sun, at the mercy of Dracula and Frankenstein's Monster on a dark and stormy night with no Batman to help him combat their supernatural forces. And drawn with dramatic flair by García-López, coming into his own and on his way to becoming the recognisable look of DC's licensing art.

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Swamp Thing 6 Og

Swamp Thing No. 6 Cover by Bernie Wrightson

Swamp Thing is one of the great American comic book horror characters. During its initial run at DC Comics in the early 1970s, each issue was a mini masterpiece by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson.

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House Of Mystery 231 OG

House of Mystery No. 231 Cover by Bernie Wrightson

Bernie Wrightson had just come off his groundbreaking run with writer Len Wein on Swamp Thing. He would move onto other projects, like the shared working space with Michael Wm Kaluta, Barry Windsor Smith and Jeff Jones which would be documented in the book The Studio and his illustrated Frankenstein.

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Iron Man 67 OG

Iron Man No. 67 Cover by Gil Kane and Mike Esposito

I have to admit, I've never read many issues of Iron Man, but when a lady at work said her son liked Marvel more than DC, I figured ol' Shellhead would be appreciated for one of my restoration and re-colouring posts. It ended up being a fun piece to work on.

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Olliffe Hawkman Dutton OG

Hawkman Pencils by Patrick Olliffe

A little over a year ago, the latest Hawkman series began, this time with writer Robert Venditti and artist Bryan Hitch. After many a year of reboots, retcons and retreads, most leave me feeling pretty meh. However, this retelling of the Hawkman mythos rivals Alan Moore, Steve Bissette and John Totleben's re-envisioning of Swamp Thing in the 1980s.

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Starslayer 1 OG

Starslayer No. 1 by Mike Grell

Mike Grell spent the 1970s at DC Comics drawing Aquaman, Green Lantern/Green Arrow, The Legion of Super-Heroes and his own creation, The Warlord. As the 80s opened, he entered the growing direct market with another creation: Starslayer. Published by Pacific Comics, Grell wrote, drew – and likely lettered – the first issue. Original colour was by Steve Oliff, one of North America's best of his era.

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Wizard No. 10 Cover by Rob Liefeld

Rob Liefeld had started at DC, then moved on to Marvel where he co-created characters like Cable and became one of their most-popular artists. In '92, he and other artists left Marvel to form Image Comics, and Liefeld's book was Youngblood.

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Wolverine 10 OG

Wolverine No. 10 Cover by Bill Sienkiewicz

By 1989, Bill Sienkiewicz had cemented his place in comics as a creator to be watched. With early work on Moon Knight, moving on to The New Mutants, a great Dune movie adaptation, and stunning painted and collage work on Elektra: Assassin.

He was then – and remains now – an in-demand cover artist, including this Wolverine cover from early in the book's run. New colour by me.

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Fightin Marines 110 OG

Fightin' Marines No. 110 Cover by Pat Boyette

From April 1973, another great example of Pat Boyette's clear, simple and powerful drawing style with a Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero and a US Grumman F4F Wildcat flying over a US aircraft carrier under attack.

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Flash Gordon 15 OG

Flash Gordon No. 15 Cover by Pat Boyette

Flash Gordon was created by Alex Raymond. It first appeared in newspapers in early 1934, and was a competitor to Buck Rogers which pre-dated it by a few years.
Flash has been adapted to serials, movies and comic books, and is one of the enduring characters of its era.
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Adventure Comics 469 OG

Adventure Comics No. 469 Unpublished Cover by Jim Aparo

Covers get drawn and re-drawn all the time. For Adventure Comics No. 469 from March 1980, Jim Aparo drew both the Plastic Man and Starman scenes. But when it went to press, the Plastic Man scene had been re-drawn by James Sherman. The revised scene was more compelling and better staged by Sherman, with Plas and Woozy cowering in the corner while Alex Pinkus cuts a swath of destruction with his ray gun.

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DC Special Series 01 OG

DC Special Series No. 1 Cover by Neal Adams

DC Special Series was a catch-all for the one-off specials DC released over the following years, beginning with Five-Star Super-Hero Spectacular in 1977. The series spanned comics, tabloids and digests, and the Special Series was likely done to reduce the number of US postal permits DC had to apply for. A paperwork hassle to be sure. But the Special Series is well-remembered by Bronze Age DC readers for some truly great comics.

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Adventure Comics 477 OG

Adventure Comics No. 477 Cover by Andru & Giordano

Regular readers of these posts will know my affection for this run of Adventure Comics, with Levitz and Ditko's Starman as one of the features. With issue No. 477 from November 1980, the series was only one issue away from being done. With No. 479, a revamped version of the 1960s series Dial H for Hero would premiere.

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Amazing Spider Man Annual 14 OG

Amazing Spider-Man Annual No. 14 Cover by Frank Miller

A standout issue from 1980, Amazing Spider-Man Annual No. 14 was drawn by rising artist Frank Miller, inked by Tom Palmer and written by Denny O'Neil. The cover is strong and memorable and the original colour scheme is solid. Still, couldn't resist working with it.

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Batman Comic Reader 130 OG

A Batman Cover That Was Never a Batman Cover by Jim Aparo

In 1976, Jim Aparo was known for being the regular artist on The Brave & the Bold. So, finding this scan of a cover he did that year for The Comic Reader is a nice score. Here it is in colour for the first time, packaged as a Batman cover.

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X Men 137 0 OG

X-Men No. 137 Cover by Byrne & Austin

It had been an incredible run, making stars of Chris Claremont, John Byrne and Terry Austin. The trio had first worked together on a memorable Star-Lord tale in Marvel Preview No. 11, but it's X-Men they're most remembered for. No. 137 is a standout issue in a standout series, and there's been controversy about it ever since it came out due to the editorial battle between the book's creative team and then-editor-in-chief Jim Shooter. The creative team wanted Phoenix to live, Shooter made sure she died.

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Secret Six 01 OG

The Secret Six No. 1 Cover by Frank Springer

E Nelson Bridwell and Frank Springer co-created The Secret Six, and the characters first appeared in this No. 1 issue of their comic. The powerful and innovative cover by Springer is also the first story page.

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Old Man Ronin OG

Ronin Colouring Commission

About a year ago, a client approached me through the site to colour a Rōnin figure he'd commissioned from Frank Miller, and I was glad he did. Rōnin is my favourite of Frank Miller's work.

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Wonder Woman 306 OG

Wonder Woman No. 306 Unpublished Cover by Gil Kane

Towards the end of the Bronze Age, Wonder Woman's popularity was at a low, the book better known for The Huntress back-ups than the main feature. Gil Kane drew a number of pin-up-style covers for the book during this time, including this one for No. 306, cover dated August 1983.

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Phantom 57 Cover OG

The Phantom No. 57 Cover by Pat Boyette

Charlton Comics produced some good The Phantom comics, usually assigning one of their better artists to it. After Jim Aparo left for DC Comics, Pat Boyette stepped in and added his clear rendering and unique design style to the deep woods adventurer.

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Jungle Jim 24 Cover OG

Jungle Jim No. 24 Cover by Pat Boyette

Jungle Jim was a comic strip created by Alex Raymond and Don Moore, debuting in 1934 as a safari-suit-wearing adventurer. He crossed over into serials, movies, television and comic books. Charlton had the comic book license in 1969/70, producing issue nos. 22–28, continuing Dell Comics' numbering.

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Christmas With The Super Heroes No 1 Cover OG

Christmas with the Super-Heroes No. 1 Cover by John Byrne

John Byrne had come to DC Comics to relaunch Superman in 1986 in the wake of Crisis on Infinite Earths. He also contributed to other titles, like this cover in 1988 for a special of reprinted Christmas stories. Having found a scan of the original art, 30 years on I wondered what something a little less starkly white might look like. New packaging and colour.

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Justice Machine No 1 Cover OG

Justice Machine No. 1 Cover by Byrne & Gustovich

Looking through my files, I never got around to posting this colouring piece for whatever reason, originally done the better part of five years ago. Seeing Mike Gustovich on facebook twigged my memory, and so here it is now updated and polished.

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Layton Crime Syndicate OG

Earth III Crime Syndicate by Bob Layton

A few years back, Bob Layton posted this commission based on the cover to Justice League of America No. 29 by Murphy Anderson. I accurised the trade dress, coloured it up, and neglected to post it for whatever reason. Here it is now.

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Nexus by Steve Rude OG

Nexus by Baron & Rude

I've been following Nexus since the beginning, so when Steve Rude put out the call for a colourist a few years back, I threw my hat in the ring by colouring the provided sample page.

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Adventure 467 Alt Cover OG

Adventure Comics No. 467 Alternate Cover by Dave Cockrum & Dick Giordano

Published in January 1980, Adventure Comics No. 467 brought back Plastic Man and introduced a new Starman. However, before that issue hit the stands, DC had thought of combining Adam Strange with Plastic Man. They took the idea far enough to have Dave Cockrum and Dick Giordano put together a cover.

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Rubén Meriggi Page Colour OG

Fantasy Art by Rubén Meriggi

Rubén Meriggi is an Argentinian comic book artist that I came across through mutual acquaintances on facebook. I like his bold and disciplined linework.

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Strange Adventures 144 OG

Strange Adventures No. 144 Cover by Murphy Anderson

Who says DC Comics of the early 1960s were dull and boring? The Atomic Knights wore medieval armour and rode Dalmatians across the post-apocalyptic landscape of 1986. That took some pretty wacky thinking to come up with, whether writer/creator John Broome consumed illicit substances or not.

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Detective Comics Annual 4 OG

Detective Comics Annual No. 4 by Tom Grindberg

Published in 1991, 'Tec Annual No. 4 was a showcase for young Tom Grindberg, then emulating the bronze-age Batman work of Neal Adams, in particular the original Ra's al Ghul saga from Batman Nos. 242–244.

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Giant-Size Chillers 3 Cover OG

Giant-Size Chillers No. 3 Cover by Hannigan & Wrightson

From August 1975, this was a reprint issue of horror stories wrapped in a new cover. And what a cover. The darn thing nearly leapt off the rack at you and it remains a favourite, so giving it an updated treatment was a natural thing for me to do.

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Doctor Strange Miller Open Graph

Doctor Strange by Frank Miller

Frank Miller was on the rise. He was soon to take over writing Daredevil, a book he was already drawing and getting noticed for. In February 1981, this Marvel house ad appeared, announcing that he and Roger Stern were going to be the new team on Doctor Strange. But it wasn't to be. According to Roger Stern:

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2000AD 17 Open Graph

2000 AD Prog 17 Cover by Brian Bolland

2000 AD is a powerhouse of British comics in stories, characters and the talent it showcases in its pages. Future Shocks, Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog and Halo Jones are just some of its output that reached across the Atlantic and had a tremendous influence.

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22 Panels Wallpaper Open Graph

Wally Wood's 22 Panels That Always Work Wallpapers

Wally Wood is as close to technical perfection in comic book illustration as anybody has ever come. Thankfully, he had a good sense of humour and he thought a lot about his craft.

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Super Powers No. 2 Cover by Jack Kirby

In 1984, DC moved their toy licensing from Mego and awarded it to Kenner. The result was The Super Powers Collection. A successful toy line, DC cross-pomoted it with a refreshed Super-Friends animated series from Hanna Barbera co-branded with the toy line, and comics mini-series published yearly from 1984 to 1986.

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Superman Family Colouring Commissions

The 1960s Superman books were the last time superheroes could be as innocent and corny and fun as they were. The world was changing, and the comics would change with it. In many ways, they got better. More inclusive, more culturally aware, and deeper than the light ambrosia of a young reporter with a signal watch, and a neurotic girlfriend who cared more about her place in Superman's orbit instead of her own needs as a person.

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The New Adventures of Superboy No. 51 Cover by Frank Miller

During his Ronin period, Frank Miller produced this great cover for The New Adventures of Superboy. The comic was a throwback to the simpler times of the 1950s and 60s in comics, so seeing a Miller cover was an unexpected and welcome surprise. And as much as I liked the original colouring, I never thought Superboy would leave town in shame at sunset. No, if he'd been humiliated, he'd skulk away in the dead of night, in the shadow of his supposed greatness.

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Darkseid - Master of Death No. 1 Cover by Jim Lee

As an artist, Jim Lee has made a career on good draughtsmanship backed up with superior rendering skills. Recently, he did this Darkseid piece via live feed and I loved its looseness and strength. By not getting in there to sweat the details there's a freshness and power to this piece which is a welcome departure from the usual.

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Mister Miracle No. 24 Cover by Marshall Rogers

While Marshall Rogers is rightfully remembered for his groundbreaking run on Detective Comics with Steve Englehart and Terry Austin, his early work for DC also included the most-accessible of Jack Kirby's Fourth World characters, Mister Miracle.

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Batman No. 234 Cover by Neal Adams

Two-Face is one of those characters that is fantastic when he's written well. In August 1971, Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams (with Dick Giordano on inks) delivered one of his best stories for his first appearance of the Bronze Age in "Half An Evil," the lead story in Batman No. 234. And, of course, it was wrapped in an iconic Adams' cover.

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Black Canary No. 1 Cover by Trevor Von Eeden

By 1983, Trevor Von Eeden had matured into a bold, expressive style that was all his own. From Batman Annual No. 8 to the Green Arrow mini-series, and eight stunning issues of Thriller, he was on the cutting edge of dynamic storytelling.

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Shadow DC Comics 1

The Shadow No. 1 Cover by Michael Wm Kaluta

The early 70s enjoyed a renewed interest in pulp magazines, and Conde Nast owned more than one popular character which would appear in comic books. While Marvel secured the Doc Savage license, DC acquired The Shadow, and put one of their best young artists – Michael Wm Kaluta – on it, with the first issue having a cover date of November 1973.

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Time Warp 2 by Michael Wm Kaluta

Time Warp No. 2 Cover by Michael Wm Kaluta

Time Warp No. 2, January 1980, with a cover by Michael Wm Kaluta showing his Art Nouveau and Art Deco influences, plus some science fiction pulps thrown in for good measure. The cover wrapped 64 pages of science fiction short stories drawn by Joe Orlando, Steve Ditko, Gil Kane, Howard V Chaykin, Mike Nasser (Michael Netzer), Jerry Grandenetti, Don Newton, Dave Simons, Romeo Tanghal Sr and John Celardo.

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Time Warp No. 5 Cover by Michael Wm Kaluta

Time Warp was a science fiction anthology series published by DC Comics in 1979 and 80. Each 64-page issue had stories by seasoned pros and newcomers alike, and we can all wish that anthology books were still a regular staple in comics today. All five issues had fantastic covers by Michael Wm Kaluta, including this one for No. 5, July 1980.

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Ronin No. 4 Cover by Frank Miller

I missed most of Frank Miller's first run on Daredevil (though I would later acquire them as back issues). Being a DC fan, the news of Miller leaving Marvel to come to DC to work on his own project – Ronin – was exciting. Things got even better when we saw sample art from the first issue.

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Green Lantern No. 71 Cover by Gil Kane

A simple and powerful composition by artist Gil Kane for this issue cover dated September 1969. Kane's cover design abilities were advancing steadily and would serve him well when he moved over to Marvel in the coming years.

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Green Lantern 104 Cover

Green Lantern No. 104 Cover by Mike Grell

Mike Grell saved DC Comics from itself. He came along just as DC made things very unwelcome for Neal Adams, the artist who had modernised American comics and saved DC from itself a few years before. Mike probably came cheaper then. He was also full of energy, produced more pages than Adams; his tight, detailed work exuded freshness and fun, and we ate it up.

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Green Lantern No. 158 Cover by Keith Pollard

In between Green Lantern No. 151 – when Marv Wolfman and Joe Staton left after one of the best runs on the title – and Green Lantern No. 172 – when Len Wein and Dave Gibbons took over, Green Lantern went through a number of writers and artists. In spite of experienced talent, GL floundered, lacking solid editorial direction and decent writing.

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Interlac SD Regular Font

Interlac: The Language of the 30th Century

Interlac – the intergalactic universal language of the 30th century and the Legion of Super-Heroes – was first referenced in Adventure Comics No. 379, March 1969. it was turned into a tangible alphabet with Paul Levitz, Keith Giffen and letterer John Costanza in Legion of Super-Heroes v2 No. 311, May 1984.

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