Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Superman by Romita and Me

A couple of years ago I came across a fan sketch that John Romita did of Superman. I found this to be extremely fascinating and cool. Romita spent most of his professional career at Marvel Comics drawing Daredevil, Captain America, the Fantastic Four and most importantly, Spider-man.
Very early in his career he did work for DC Comics - the publishers of Superman - but most of his work for them was for their romance titles. He was not known for doing work on their super-heroes.

Above are my inks over his original pencils. I had to make a few corrections to Superman's uniform, as it would make sense he would not be familiar with the Man of Steel's outfit.


Below, I added color to the finished piece.




Monday, December 29, 2008

Face Front True Believers!


He is the man who helped change mainstream super-hero comics. He made it so that just because an individual gained super-human powers, it didn't mean that their life got better, usually just the opposite.
Alter-ego's had problems with relationships, law enforcement, paying bills on time and getting homework done. And though they had the power to lift a garbage truck, they could still break a limb.

The Heroes that he created/co-created were individuals like you and me.

Stan Lee also created some of the most exciting Heroes and Villains ever to grace the pages of a Four Color Comic, and told some of the best stories ever in the age of the American Comic Book.

With Jack Kirby they created:
The Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk,
The Mighty Thor, The Uncanny X-Men,
The Mighty Avengers, The Black Panther,
Nick Fury, Galactus, The Mole Man,
The shape-shifting alien Skrulls,
The Inhumans, and Doctor Doom.

With Steve Ditko they created:
The Amazing Spider-man, Dr. Strange,
The Vulture, The Sandman,
Doctor Octopus, The Lizard, Electro,
Mysterio, Kraven the Hunter,
The Scorpion, The Ancient One,
Nightmare, Baron Mordo,
The Dread Dormamu and
The Green Goblin.

With Artists Don Heck, Bill Everett, Dick Ayers and others they created Iron Man, Daredevil, Antman, The Wasp, Hawkeye, and many, many more.

As a writer, editor and later publisher, Stan Lee is responsible for creating the Marvel Universe. He acknowledge the fans who read his comics and through the captions spoke directly to them. He created catch-praises and sayings that only true "Marvelites" knew the meaning of.
He also gave nick-names to his collaborators to make them seem like they were your friends.
Reading a Marvel Comic meant you were reading and having fun.

Stanley Martin Lieber - Stan Lee - was born on this date, December 28, 1922. He is celebrating his 86th birthday and still creating new ideas for people who love the world of fantasy that is the Super-Hero.

Happy Birthday, Stan! All I can say is

EXCELSIOR!!!


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Huckleberry Hero Hump-Day - Holiday Edition

This week Huck takes a break from his Hero portrayals to celebrate the season.

First Ol' Huck enjoys a White Christmas to build a snowman that looks somewhat familiar.

Then our hound dog friend portrays a Hero of the Holiday Season to give a message to his friends.

Santa's Little Helper

This year Santa's getting an extra lift from the Mighty Mite.


Santa Claus and Mighty Mouse by Yours Truly

A Christmas Surprise


Looks like Santa got an extra surprise in his sack.

Santa Claus and Plastic Man by Yours Truly

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Christmas Spirit


Above is the splash page for the 1948 version of the Christmas Spirit.
Every year Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) would tell a Holiday themed story about a crime or criminal being fought or over come by the Christmas Spirit - either Jolly Old Saint Nick or the spirit of the season. The Spirit himself would never take part, only to show up to say that he is taking Christmas off and let "another Christmas spirit" fight crime.
What I always found fascinating about this is that Eisner was a very proud and devout Jewish man. I've always wondered how Eisner would have handled a Hanukkah Spirit story.

Popeye Christmas




I decided to post the back cover to the King Christmas Carol Book featuring Popeye. It's a shame they didn't use him and his friends for one of the songs.
Also I posted a Christmas card done by Bud Sagendorf that he would send out to friends and relatives. I've high-lighted it a bit for color.

Comic Carolers









I found these pages on the web, they are from a book of Christmas Carols published by King Features Syndicate starring comic characters published by King. Unfortunately the Popeye one is the booklet's back cover.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes of All Time


On the Cartoon Brew web-site, Animation Historian Jerry Beck is asking cartoon fans for help. He's planning a book listing the 100 Greatest Looney Tunes of All Time and wants cartoon fans to list their favorites to help him pick the top 100. This Is YOUR chance to help make history on one of the Greatest series of cartoons ever made.
Click on the link below and read Beck's instructions and start choosing.
Have fun!

You better be good - FOR GOODNESS SAKE!!!

Looks like someone made the naughty list.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Peace


How about a nice, outdoor scenic Yuletide setting.

Hey, Woody Woodpecker could be living in that tree.

Thimble Theatre

There have been quite a few anniversaries this month related to Popeye and his friends but today's is the most important of all.
It was on this date 89 years ago that Elzie Crisler Segar started the newspaper strip "Thimble Theatre".
(The first strip is shown above)
The strip at first was a parody of the silent era melodramatic movies that were popular at the time. But soon Segar dropped this premise and started to flesh out his "actors" giving them personalities and characteristics.
The original stars of the strip were Olive Oyl, her first boyfriend Harold Ham Gravy and Willy Wormwood, who served as the villain to Olive's damsel and Ham's hero. Wormwood was soon dropped and then Segar added Olive's brother Castor Oyl, who at first was portrayed as a kook. Segar later changed Castor into a scheming get-rich-quick opportunist who a lot of the strips stories revolved around.
The strip did well and had a decent circulation but it was due to the syndicate's owner William Randolph Hearst, that the strip thrived. He was a big fan of Segar's storytelling style and characters and would be rewarded in 1929 when Popeye the Sailor was introduced into the strip.
Popeye was the catalyst that propelled the strip into super-stardom.

So Happy Birthday Olive Oyl and Thimble Theatre. And what of Popeye? He has an important anniversary coming up next month.
Stay 'tooned.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Huckleberry Hero Hump-Day

Super Stone

Super Goof



This week we go for the funny as first, our Hound Dog Hero portrays the prehistoric protector of Bedrock, Super Stone!
Then he gulps a Super Goober and becomes Disney's silly super-hero, Super Goof.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Jack Cole

The Creator of Plastic Man and Woozy Winks. Playboy's premiere cartoonist. Artist on Midnight, The original Daredevil, The Claw, Silver Streak, and the Spirit. Creator of the comic strip Betsy and Me.
The multi-talented Cole was born on this date, December 14, in the year 1914.

Here's to one of the true genius' of the Golden Age of Comics and a innovator of adult humor cartoons.

"A Christmas for Shacktown"


One of the Greatest stories Carl Barks ever did, "a Christmas for Shacktown". I read this story as a kid and it has never left me. Every Christmas season I reread. A true masterpiece.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Just Alice


Countdown to Christmas


From now until Christmas I'm going to post some Holiday themed cartoons featuring my favorite Characters. I hope they're yours too.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's Goon Day!

It was on this date 75 years ago, that a weird, tall, nude, hulking character appeared on a ship chartered by Popeye and his old pal, Bill Barnacle. The odd creature, a slave of the Sea Hag, was there to kidnap Prof. Cringly, because he was one of only a few people to know the secret location of Plunder Island.




Today is the 75th Anniversary of the first appearance of Alice the Goon. Out of all the characters that Elzie Segar created, besides Popeye, Alice has to be my favorite. Why? I can say for sure but there is something about the appearance of the Goon that is simple, yet complex - silly, though frightening.

When Alice first appeared it had been reported that children at the time were frightened of the Goon and parents would threaten their kids if they misbehaved by saying, "The Goon will get you if you don't watch out!"

Alice, being a slave of the evil Hag, fought Popeye in a terrific climatic battle only to stop fighting when Alice's young baby shows up. Realizing that Alice is a female and mother of her odd race, apologizes to the Goon for fighting a female (something he has sworn against). When the Sea Hag orders the Goon to "finish the job", Olive Oyl shuts the old witch up by laying a right cross across her chin.



After a couple of years, Alice once again reappears, this time in a dress and hat. Once again a slave to the Hag, the Witch orders Alice to kidnap Popeye's adopted son Swee'pea, so she can use the baby to manipulate Popeye into doing her evil wishes. When Alice sees the young "infink" (as Popeye calls him) she immeadiatly falls in love with the baby. She feeds him, changes him, and craddles him to sleep. When the Sea Hag tries to take the baby out of Alice's arms, the angry Goon pops the witch on her chin and sends her fleeing for safety.

As Alice is craddling Swee'pea, who has fallen in love with the Goon as well, Popeye arrives home and is shocked at what he sees. He tries to throw the Goon out, but can't do it due to Swee'pea's protests. So Alice becomes Swee'pea's official "baby-sitter".



It is because of Alice and Segar that I came up with a name for her child (now an adult) and named him Alex. And how I got my internet alter-ego.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALICE!!!



It's Back - Huckleberry Hero Hump-Day

The Fly

Aquaman



This week Huck returns as the the insect based hero created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby for Archie Comics.
And second he portrays DC Comics' King of the Seven Seas.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Fire Safety


This is the time of the year when there seems to be a lot of house fires due to people using electric and kerosene heaters. Please be sure to check the directions that come with these heaters and make sure the area that you are placing them is clear and clean.

To paraphrase Smokey the Bear, "Only you can prevent fires in your home".

Monday, December 8, 2008

Elzie Crisler Segar


He has given us Popeye the Sailor, Olive Oyl, J. Wellington Wimpy, Swee'pea, Bluto, and the Sea Hag.


He's created such great fantasy characters as Bernice the Whiffle Hen, Eugene the Jeep and Alice the Goon.


He came up with the phrases:
"Well Blow Me Down!"
"I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a Hamburger today."
"Let's You and Him Fight!"
"I'm one of the Jones Boys."
"I Yam What I Yam an' Tha's All I Yam!"
He made eating Spinach popular for kids. And Thanks to him, the words "Goon" and Jeep" have been added to the Dictionary.

Elzie Crisler Segar was one of the greatest comic strip creators who ever put pen and ink to paper. He created characters that were as three dimensional as you and I.
His works and characters have been compared to those of Charles Dickens, but Dickens never had Segar's sense of comedic timing.
His art was simple, yet cleverly detailed. His imagination unequaled.

With Popeye, Segar created a character that will live forever. Segar's Sailor has conquered animated films, comic books, and television. His image has adorned everything from dolls to lunch boxes and coloring books to t-shirts.

As I mentioned above, a character that will live forever. The irony is that E.C. Segar died at the all too young age of 43 of Leukemia, nine years after he introduced our One-Eyed Hero into his comic strip "Thimble Theatre".
Through Popeye, Elzie Segar will also live forever.

Today, December 8, is Elzie Crisler Segar's Birthday, born in 1894.
Take time to remember the man who has created some of comics most iconic characters.




Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sorry

Hello Everyone. I just wanted to make a quick post to apologize for no posts this week. For the past few weeks I've been having problems with my computer and had to wait for a very busy friend to find a free moment to help reboot my computer. Hopefully everything is back to normal and I'll be back to the usual craziness this week.
Stay tooned

Monday, December 1, 2008

Experimenting with the Classics lll

This time it's my favorite sailor (and all-around favorite character) Popeye. Above is a drawing done by Popeye's creator, Elzie Segar. This is from the height of Segar's creativity with the character before his untimely diagnosis of leukemia which lead to his death at the all too young age of 44.




Above is one of many sketches I've done of the One-Eyed Sailor as a real person. Given the exaggerated features of Popeye's face, it isn't easy to come up with normal looking features and still make it look like our spinach eating Hero.
This sketch is actually only about two inches in diameter, done with a mechanical pen. I was doodling on some tracing paper and came up with this sketch. As any Art Teacher will tell you, it's always important to experiment with and practice with any and all types of art supplies and mediums.
And like above, you might come up with something cool.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Here I Come...


...To Save the Day!

Let's finish up the Thanksgiving Weekend with another patriotic themed sketch with the Mouse of Might.