Comics

Nelvana of the North OG

Nelvana of the North : Then and Now

Recently, I was asked to quote on restoring Nelvana of the North, an important Canadian-made comic from the Second World War era. While the people in charge chose to go down a different path, here's how I would have done it.

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John Carter Of Mars Gold Key OG

John Carter of Mars by Francesco Francavilla

Francesco Francavilla makes great comic book art. He did this one back in 2010 for his Pulp Sunday blog. His subtle colour palette brings out the gritty pulp feel he was going for. He'd been inspired by Gold Key's Korak, Son of Tarzan comics of the late 60s. So here it is with those elements reconstructed and some more of my comic colouring.

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Outer Space 20 Cover OG

Outer Space No. 20 Cover by Dick Giordano

One of my favourite Dick Giordano Charlton covers is this issue from 1958. The machinery is reminiscent of Wally Wood's, and the astronaut figure is classic Giordano. I sometimes think the alien is saying, "I will name him George, and I will hug him, and pet him…"

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Son Of Vulcan 51 14 OG

Son of Vulcan No. 51 by Kaler, Fraccio & Tallarico

Son of Vulcan was Charlton Comics' answer to Marvel Comics' Thor, God of Thunder (and rock'n'roll). Johnny Mann received powers and weapons from Vulcan, and made an eternal enemy of the god of war, Mars.

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Captain Atom 90 OG

Captain Atom No. 90 (1967) Cover by Steve Ditko

With this cover for the unpublished Captain Atom No. 90, the art by Steve Ditko is in very good condition, but the logos are in poor condition. Pieces are missing, some are damaged, and there are dropouts of fine lines from the production process. Another one Charlton left unpublished, to be later included in The Charlton Bullseye, Volume 1, Nos. 1 and 2. Also collected by DC in The Action Heroes Archive 2.

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Blue Beetle 6 OG

Blue Beetle No. 6 (1967) Cover by Steve Ditko

Blue Beetle No. 6 never saw print as a comic. Why Charlton would leave a full comic sitting on the shelf is beyond me. It eventually surfaced in CPL No. 9/10 (aka The Charlton Portfolio), and DC included it in the The Action Heroes Archive 2.

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Comics Cavalcade Weekly OG

Charlton Comics Cavalcade Weekly

As Charlton Comics' managing editor in the 1960s, Dick Giordano put together the Action Heroes line with talents that included Joe Gill, Steve Ditko, Pete Morisi, Pat Boyette, Frank Mclaughlin and others. Charlton was petering out in the mid 80s, so DC bought the rights to those characters and presented them to Giordano – now DC's executive editor – as a gift.

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Out Of This World 16 OG

Out of This World No. 16 Cover by Steve Ditko

We conclude the Out of This World run with another Steve Ditko cover. No. 16 from December 1959, does indeed have Ditko art on it, but it was made from interior panels by Charlton Comics' production staff as a cost-saving measure. No new art, no new fee paid to Ditko.

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Out Of This World 15 OG

Out of This World No. 15 Cover by Molno & Alascia

The Ovoid – a big stiff – came to kill, but who knows about Xondu? Bill Molno returns to the cover of Out of This World after starting off the series with Nos. 1 and 2. Inked by Vince Alascia. October 1959, Charlton Comics.

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Out Of This World 13 OG

Out of This World No. 13 Cover by Nicholas & Alascia

In a switch from previous covers, Charles Nicholas and Vince Alascia show three of the issue's stories, a device used on the next two covers as well. Who knows who lives at 33 Oak Street? And will they mow their lawn more often? May 1959, Charlton Comics.

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Out Of This World 12 OG

Out of This World No. 12 Cover by Steve Ditko

I felt bad for Steve Ditko on this one. His invaders from the Earth's core are about to be crushed by a tan starburst. Maybe it was intended to float over the diver's head. March 1959, Charlton Comics.

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Out Of This World 11 OG

Out of This World No. 11 Cover by Steve Ditko

Steve Ditko returns to Out of This World with this iconic cover for the January 1959 issue. Earth had to do something about being mooned. Charlton Comics.

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Out Of This World 10 OG

Out of This World No. 10 Cover by Nicholas & Alascia

I like this cover. Just a little scene in an artist's studio. Someone needs painting lessons, and perhaps an exorcism. October 1958, Charlton Comics.

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Out Of This World 9 OG

Out of This World No. 9 Cover by Masulli & Mastroserio

The next Out of This World cover. Even in the 1950s, time management was stressful. August 1958, Charlton Comics.

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Out Of This World 8 OG

Out of This World No. 8 Cover by Maurice Whitman

Continuing the Out of This World cover series. When the Almighty gets bored, he swats at us like we're mosquitoes. May 1958, Charlton Comics.

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Batman Family 19 OG

Batman Family No. 19 Cover by Michael Wm Kaluta

Batman Family stands out among the late 1970s Batman books. The last few issues, oversized dollar comics, featured the work of Michael Golden, Jim Starlin, Marshall Rogers, P. Craig Russell, and this fellow, Michael Wm. Kaluta. The published version pulls most of the artwork off the black plate for a white-out day scene. I wondered what the exact opposite might look like. Here's a recoloured version.

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Ms Tree Substance OG

Ms. Tree by Collins & Beatty

Ms. Tree is the longest-running private eye series in American comics. Created by Max Allan Collins and Terry Beatty, the character first appeared in 1981. Here's a house ad for the book from Renegade Press, 1986, with freshly-applied colour.

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Out Of This World 7 OG

Out of This World No. 7 Cover by Steve Ditko

When Steve Ditko draws, it's superfluous to label it strange, different and unusual. February 1958, Charlton Comics.

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Out Of This World 5 OG

Out of This World No. 5 Cover by Steve Ditko

Nothing ruins a day of scuba diving like coming upon a giant sea serpent. September 1957, Charlton Comics.

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Out Of This World 3 OG

Out of This World No. 3 Cover by Steve Ditko

It seems that in the 1950s there was an inordinate fear of giant hands appearing in unlikely places. Case in point: while mountain climbing or spelunking. March 1957, Charlton Comics.

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Out Of This World 1 OG

Out of This World No. 1 Cover by Molno & Alascia

Ham-radio-operating dino dogs mess with air traffic control. In the 1950s, they thought this would be a pressing problem in the future. August 1956, Charlton Comics.

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Out Of This World 6 OG

Out of This World No. 6 Cover by Steve Ditko

Out of body? Out of this world? Dead? Alive? November 1957, Charlton Comics.

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Out Of This World 4 OG

Out of This World No. 4 Cover by Steve Ditko

Steve Ditko can fascinate and freak you out at the same time, and it started long before his run on Dr. Strange. June 1957, Charlton Comics.

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Waterworks Chevrolet Suburban OG

The 1946 Chevrolet Suburban Calgary Police Paddy Wagon

Back in the summer of 1988 or 1989, there was a music festival on Prince's Island Park in Calgary. The police had brought out their vintage paddy wagon and in those pre-internet days, I had never seen anything like it before. I took a number of photos of it.

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Bernie Wrightson Colour the Creature OG

Colouring Bernie Wrightson Monsters

The late Bernie Wrightson is one of those ink artists that just dazzles with his work. From composition to lighting to his glee in creating scenes of horror, they're images that reward the viewer as you follow every line.

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Phantom Aparo OG

The Phantom by Jim Aparo

Jim Aparo is better known for his DC Comics work on such books as The Brave & the Bold, Aquaman and The Spectre. Just prior to moving over to DC, he was a regular artist on Charlton Comics' version of The Phantom.

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Out Of This World 14 OG

Out of This World No. 14 Cover by Dick Giordano

Dick Giordano is one of my influences as a comic book artist. I only met him once at the San Diego Comicon in 1989, but back when I was a teenager in the early 80s writing letters to Batman comics, he was their editor, and he took the time to write a couple of short notes back to me. When I met him, he was at the helm during one of DC's best periods.

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Atomic Robo In The Lab OG

Atomic Robo : In the Lab

Atomic Robo is a great comic series published by Red 5 Comics out of Calgary. They have a few graphic novels out now. All are witty and fun, and deeper than they appear on the surface.

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The Brave and the Bold Animated OG

Batman : The Brave & The Bold

If you want to have a whole lot of fun packed into 30 minutes or less, watch an episode of the new Batman: The Brave & the Bold TV series on Cartoon Network in the US and on Teletoon in Canada. You also might find it – ahem – on the web while we await a DVD package.
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Craftint Duotone Tones OG

Craftint and Duoshade Tones in Photoshop

Craftint doubletone paper (DuoShade is another brand) is one of those things an ink illustrator had in their toolbox before the advent of the digital toolset or even rubdown tone systems like Zip-a-Tone. It wasn't cheap and it gradually fell out of use.

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Warlord Skartaris Feature

Defending Skartaris

If you blinked, relatively speaking, you probably missed it. Beginning in February 2006 with an April cover date, DC revived The Warlord. This time around the book lasted 10 issues. (The original had 133 and went through a number of ups and downs during the run.)

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