Monday, January 22, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #133 (January 22nd, 2007)

The End of the Mail Trail

For this Month

Okay, finally coming to the end of the mail about a month later than I thought I was going to. I did want to mention that I was talking on the phone with George Khoury about the introduction to the book he's writing about the Image partners (the introduction is all done and ready to be e-mailed to him by Sandeep) and suddenly he says, "Are there any TwoMorrows publications that you want?" And I sort of went, "You mean, for free?" And he says yes. Uhhhh. For free, yeah a bunch. So I asked him to hold on and went and got a copy of Roy Thomas' Alter Ego and while we're sitting there chatting, I'm thumbing through the ad section at the back and every time I see one that I REALLY want (with limited storage space and all) I just tell him. Forgot all about it and (Thank you, God) the great honking box came in the Friday before Christmas. God's way of telling me that, no, I'm not actually going to work 12 hours on Friday and 12 hours on Saturday. I'm going to try, but basically what I'm going to do is Keep It Turned On The Mighty TWOMORROWS PUBLISHING --- ALL THE HITS ALL THE TIME CLICK ON:

until my brains are darned near leaking out my ears.

So I figure the least I can do is mention what they sent me and what the big attraction turned out to be in each book.

Michael Eury Justice League Companion - I was always a big Mike Sekowsky fan. To me there was no other JLA artist. I was the only one I knew who liked his stuff. Looking up the first one I bought, it was issue 25, Feb. 1964 so it was very early on in my comic buying. Got me with Superman on the cover. Mike Sekowsky and Murphy Anderson covers reproduced in black and white from the original artwork without all of that third-rate colour slapped all over it. Cover to issue 55 on page 4. Credited to Infantino and Anderson. The figure of Robin in the foreground might be Infantino, but the rest of the figures are definitely Sekowsky. Sekowsky splash page from that first issue I bought on page 13. Joe Giella inks. Covers to issue 21 "Crisis on Earth One". Three Alden McWilliams Twin Earth strips, beautifully reproduced. What are they doing in a JLA book? I don't know. I spent an hour studying them but I haven't read the caption yet! Cover to #29. Page 14 from issue 21 ("Terry Austin who contributed this original art to page 14 of JLA #21, recalls `I purchased it from Jerry Bails at the first comic con I went to, in 1970, I think. JLA was my favorite comic as a kid—I could hardly believe I was holding a page, much less buying it to own forever!'"), Gene Colan Adam Strange commission piece from 2004. Gorgeous! Neal Adams cover to #66. Just dazzling

The Collected Jack Kirby Collector Vol. 1 - I've never been a huge Kirby fan but John Morrow is such a HUGE Kirby fan it almost seems rude not to ask for something, so I picked the first collected volume. Hey, it's free. Lots of pencilled pages. LOTS of pencilled pages. Page from Days of the Mob. I don't know why but every time I flip through a book about Kirby and something catches my eye it turns out to be a page from Days of the Mob, the magazine he did for DC. That amazing two-page spread from "Street Code" in the Streetwise collection. 1940s stuff that I still prefer. Two page Simon and Kirby spread from Boy Commandoes No.2. Boy Explorers covers. Newsboy Legion. Jack Kirby Joe Sinnott piece on the cover of #9. Original art for a half-page Fantastic Four ad from Hulk #1. That was a show stopper. Dick Ayers or Chic Stone inking? I don't know but I've never seen the unimpeded linework from something that early before. Very nice balance of brush and pen.

Comic Book Artist #16 the Atlas/Seaboard issue. With an interview with Howard Chaykin! This should be good. Best line when Atlas revamped his The Scorpion character without his knowledge: "I walked across the street to Marvel, I said, `Hey, would you like to do a version of this?' So I did `Dominic Fortune' for them, got a major bump in my rates at Marvel and DC and everything was fine." I laughed.

Sal Amendola's stuff in black and white. Who knew? Jim Craig tells his Neal Adams story in full. Dick Giordano's cover for Targitt #1 in black and white.

Wish the Chaykin interview had been longer.

Comic Book Artist #11 – Alex Toth issue. Cover for CPL #11 on page 19. Should have been a full-page. Batman pages on page 33. Four-page Toth romance story owned by Terry Austin and I wish I could say that. Page 35-36, Toth on photo-realism. Amazing stuff in the sense that he doesn't outright denounce photo (or foto) realism (I couldn't have been more surprised!) while making sure that he trashes Alex Ross, Muth, Hamptons (Scott AND Bo) (I couldn't have been less surprised!). I've gotta go through that part with a fine toothed comb and find out what, exactly, he IS saying. Interview heavily edited in his terse hand-lettered post card style ("See it all? Keep trying! Worth it! Break it all down, separately, as flat color shapes. Paint them as just shapes—they'll need little embellishment"). It would be funny to get a comedic actor to perform it as if that's really what Toth sounded like on tape. Two-fold! Entertainment plus education for bright artists. Follow the plot. Surprises/insights.

If only Victor Borge was still alive.

Alex Toth's Maverick adaptation sent in by Terry Beatty.

Alter Ego #51 – "The Secret Saga of Lew Sayre Schwartz" one of the great Batman ghost artists from 1946 to 1953 who Eddie Campbell interviewed and discussed at length in Egomania. He still has notebooks full of his Batman splash pages, thumbnail layouts from the time period. Jerry Robinson/George Russos Batman page from Batman No.13 scanned from the original art. Wish it was bigger but went over it with the magnifying glass anyway. Schwartz was a friend of Milt Caniff and Alex Raymond and he never told either one of them he was ghosting Batman. Didn't want to be associated with comic books "At that particular time it was beneath my status…or my objectives." There's a jaw-dropper for you.

Comic Book Artist #24 – National Lampoon Issue. If you were ever an avid reader of the National Lampoon, you have got to read this one especially the Michael Gross (he was the art director through the peak years) interview. "I'm at the point where I don't want to be, ten years from now, talking about Lampoon. It's the time to put that to rest. Here it is, thank you." No, no. Thank YOU, Mr. Gross.

Streetwise – BWS's strip, Sal Amendola's strip (Sal Amendola in black and white—who knew?), Sergio Aragones' strip, Kirby's strip, Evan Dorkin's strip.

Alter Ego #56 – "Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster". "Jack Adler" interview. Neal Adams: "Coloring Really Started to Come Back With Jack Adler". More great Neal Adams stories about he and Jack Adler bringing DC into the twentieth century, production-wise—including all the stories I ran in Following Cerebus six months later. D'OH!

Alter Ego #54 – Andru and Esposito. A couple of Metal Men pages shot from the original artwork. Worth the price of admission considering it was a freebie. Haven't had a chance to read it yet.

Thanks to George and TwoMorrows! Hope you guys like my introduction. George tells me the book should be shipping in May.




If you wish to contact Dave Sim, you can mail a letter (he does NOT receive emails) to:

Aardvark Vanaheim, Inc
P.O. Box 1674
Station C
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada N2G 4R2

Looking for a place to purchase Cerebus phonebooks? You can do so online through Win-Mill Productions -- producers of Following Cerebus. Convenient payment with PayPal:

Win-Mill Productions

Or, you can check out Mars Import:

Mars Import

Or ask your local retailer to order them for you through Diamond Comics distributors. Here are the Diamond Star System codes:

Cerebus #1-25 $30.00 STAR00070

High Society #26-50 $30.00 STAR00071

Church and State I #52-80 $35.00 STAR00271

Church and State II #81-111 $35.00 STAR00321

Jaka's Story #114-136 $30.00 STAR00359

Melmoth #139-150 $20.00 STAR00431

Flight #151-162 $20.00 STAR00543

Women #163-174 $20.00 STAR00849

Reads #175-186 $20.00 STAR01063

Minds #187-200 $20.00 STAR01916

Guys #201-219 $25.00 STAR06972

Rick's Story #220-231 $20.00 STAR08468

Going Home I #232-250 $30.00 STAR10981

Form and Void #251-265 $30.00 STAR13500

Latter Days #266 - 288 $35.00 AUG031920

The Last Day #289 - 300 $25.00 APR042189