Tag Archives: Fawcett Publications

Captains All!

Some of you will rec­og­nize this as a re-cre­ation/rein­ter­pre­ta­tion of the cov­er of Whiz Comics #2, first appear­ance of the orig­i­nal Cap­tain Mar­vel in the Gold­en Age.

This was inspired by a sto­ry a friend told me a few weeks back. Like me, his default set­ting when some­one says “Cap­tain Mar­vel” is to think first of the Faw­cett Comics orig­i­nal. His wife does­n’t par­tic­u­lar­ly read a lot of comics, but she’s famil­iar with the char­ac­ter through him. Recent­ly, he and his wife were out at the movies. They were look­ing at the posters for com­ing attrac­tions. One was for Mar­vel’s Cap­tain Mar­vel film. My friend’s wife looked at the poster and was puz­zled. “Um, why is Cap­tain Mar­vel a girl?”

Look­ing around online, there seems to be more than one per­son out there who’s a lit­tle con­fused as to why these dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters have the same name. I’ve seen forums where this ques­tion’s been asked. Peo­ple who know what’s going on try to explain, only to per­haps go into too much detail, caus­ing the eyes of those who asked the ques­tion to glaze over and regret their hav­ing asked. So I’m not going to get into all that here.

This just appealed to my sense of fun to make this swap. It’s not like I haven’t made a char­ac­ter swap like this before! I’ve even swapped pub­lish­ers on this one. In my mind, this would’ve been pub­lished by Timely/Marvel. I even gave the Cap­tain a new/old logo, in line with the kind of logos they used back then.

And like many of you, I’m look­ing for­ward to see­ing what Mar­vel has done with their Cap­tain Mar­vel in the movie!

Junior! Come Down from There!

It’s been awhile since I post­ed any­thing here! Time to rec­ti­fy that.

You’re see­ing a cov­er for an upcom­ing issue of FCA. Faw­cett Col­lec­tors of Amer­i­ca is a sort of “mag­a­zine with­in a mag­a­zine,” appear­ing in the pages of Roy Thomas’ Alter Ego, a comics his­to­ry mag­a­zine pub­lished by Twom­or­rows. Roy dubbed me FCA’s de fac­to “cov­er edi­tor” awhile back, and I will glad­ly accept that title!

Pen­cils for this cov­er were by my good friend Vic Dal Chele. Inks/embellishment and col­ors by me. I went with an old school col­or palette, along the lines of what you might have seen used for a cov­er either for an issue of Mas­ter Comics, or Cap­tain Mar­vel Jr. I thought peo­ple might enjoy see­ing it here with­out the mast­head or any of the oth­er type that will be there on the print­ed cov­er.

We tried to cap­ture some­thing of the look of Cap­tain Mar­vel Jr.‘s pri­ma­ry artist, Mac Raboy. Vic’s worked on a lot of shows over the course of his ani­ma­tion career (many of which you would imme­di­ate­ly rec­og­nize), but one of his first was the Shaz­am! car­toon that Fil­ma­tion pro­duced in the ear­ly ’80s. So it’s far from the first time that he’s drawn Cap­tain Mar­vel Jr.!

This will be the cov­er of FCA #214, appear­ing in the pages of Alter Ego #155, out in Octo­ber from Twom­or­rows.

 

Família Marvel no Brasil

First post of 2017!? That’s a lit­tle embar­rass­ing, but so it goes. Any­way,…

I’m pre­sent­ing here the cov­er art (sans copy) for an upcom­ing issue of FCA (the Faw­cett Col­lec­tors of Amer­i­ca). Reg­u­lar vis­i­tors here will know that it’s some­thing of a mag­a­zine-with­in-a-mag­a­zine, pub­lished with­in the pages of Roy Thomas’ Alter Ego. This issue of FCA (#205) will be appear­ing in Alter Ego #146.

FCA Edi­tor P.C. Hamer­linck had told me that this issue would be about comics fea­tur­ing the Mar­vel Fam­i­ly that were pub­lished in Brazil, and pos­si­bly some oth­er South Amer­i­can coun­tries too. The prover­bial car­toon light­bulb clicked on over my head, and I pro­posed con­tact­ing my friend, the huge­ly tal­ent­ed Aluir Aman­cio, to see if he might be will­ing to do this cov­er for us. Aluir has done a lot of comics and ani­ma­tion work in his career, not only for his native Brazil, but for comics pub­lish­ers and ani­ma­tion stu­dios here in the US. I was very hap­py when Aluir said he was on-board, and I absolute­ly love what he did.

Aluir decid­ed to have the Mar­vels touch­ing down near the famous Sug­ar­loaf Moun­tain in Rio de Janeiro.  While it’s most def­i­nite­ly Aluir’s work, I thought he did a great job of also cap­tur­ing the Gold­en Age sense of fun these char­ac­ters should always have. I espe­cial­ly love his take on Mary Mar­vel here!

Orig­i­nal­ly, I was going to have the cap­tion on the cov­er be in Por­tuguese, until it was point­ed out to me that not all the comics in ques­tion were pub­lished in Brazil. But noth­ing says I can’t use that cap­tion here, so it’s the title of my post.

To be clear as to who did what, this draw­ing is all Aluir. My only con­tri­bu­tion is col­or. Aluir, my friend, again, thanks so much for your great work on this cov­er!

 

What They Shoulda Done,…”

FCA Captain Marvel Adventures #23 Cover Re-creationThis is a re-cre­ation/re-inter­pre­ta­tion of the cov­er of Cap­tain Mar­vel Adven­tures #23, done in col­lab­o­ra­tion with my friend and ani­ma­tion biz men­tor, Lar­ry Hous­ton. You’ll note there are some sig­nif­i­cant changes, if you com­pare this cov­er to the orig­i­nal.

This re-cre­ation came about because of an upcom­ing issue of FCA (the Faw­cett Col­lec­tors of Amer­i­ca), with an arti­cle dis­cussing minor­i­ty rep­re­sen­ta­tion in Gold­en Age comics. Since the arti­cle’s appear­ing in FCA, the pri­ma­ry focus was to be on Steam­boat, an African-Amer­i­can char­ac­ter who appeared for a while in the ear­ly Cap­tain Mar­vel strips.

Now, fea­tur­ing Steam­boat pre­sent­ed a prob­lem. He was always depict­ed in that stereo­typ­i­cal and racist way that most African-Amer­i­can char­ac­ters were por­trayed in comics at the time. So what were we to do about a cov­er for this issue?

Nei­ther FCA Edi­tor P.C. Hamer­linck nor myself thought it was a good idea to use images of Steam­boat from the orig­i­nal comics on the cov­er, and for the same rea­sons, I did­n’t feel right in ask­ing an artist to gen­er­ate new art depict­ing him as he appeared back then.

Anoth­er thought was to do a new draw­ing depict­ing Steam­boat in a non-racist way. But then that raised the ques­tion of how peo­ple would even be able to rec­og­nize who he was sup­posed to be, since it would be so far afield from his orig­i­nal appear­ance.

P.C. came up with the idea of doing a re-cre­ation of Cap­tain Mar­vel Adven­tures #23, only done in a sort of “what if there weren’t the racial stereo­types in old comics?” kind of way. Look­ing over the orig­i­nal cov­er and its ele­ments, I real­ized this was the way to go. We could make this idea work. Even though Steam­boat would look dif­fer­ent from how he’d been por­trayed in the Gold­en Age, read­ers would still be able to iden­ti­fy him because there was a con­text for it.

I’d also been think­ing of try­ing to get some new and dif­fer­ent voic­es involved in some of these FCA cov­ers. Though Lar­ry Hous­ton is prob­a­bly best known for his ani­ma­tion work, he’s always had a deep love for comics too. And I knew that pos­i­tive por­tray­als of African-Amer­i­can char­ac­ters in car­toons and comics has always been a sub­ject Lar­ry cared a great deal about. So I thought maybe this cov­er could be a great oppor­tu­ni­ty for me to team up with Lar­ry. I asked him if he’d be inter­est­ed, and he agreed to do it.

Lar­ry pro­vid­ed me with a good, tight lay­out, which I took the rest of the way, even adding dot pat­terns and aging.

You get to see it here as the com­ic cov­er alone, sans the FCA copy. This issue of FCA (#203) will be appear­ing in the pages of Roy Thomas’ Alter Ego #144, out in Decem­ber from Twom­or­rows.

What It Was, Now Is

CMA #2 Original Head RestoredIt’s high time I put up some­thing new here! I guess this qual­i­fies. It’s kind of simul­ta­ne­ous­ly old and new, you could say.

For the 200th issue of FCA (appear­ing in the pages of Roy Thomas’ Alter Ego #141), I was approached by edi­tor P.C. Hamer­linck with a chal­lenge. A col­lec­tor named Har­ry Matesky had bought the orig­i­nal art for the cov­er of Cap­tain Mar­vel Adven­tures #2 (you can see the pub­lished com­ic here.), and made a dis­cov­ery. The head of Cap­tain Mar­vel on the pub­lished cov­er was actu­al­ly a paste-up, and under­neath it was a dif­fer­ent draw­ing! P.C. asked if I would be will­ing to try to com­plete the orig­i­nal head, so we could see what the cov­er might have looked like if C.C. Beck had gone ahead and fin­ished it. Game on!

I was pro­vid­ed with high res scans of both the orig­i­nal cov­er art as pub­lished, and a pho­to­copy of the art with the orig­i­nal head removed. It was a bit more tricky than a sim­ple “con­nect the dots” exer­cise, as the out­er con­tour of Cap­tain Mar­vel’s face was basi­cal­ly miss­ing. I heav­i­ly ref­er­enced the way Beck drew him, try­ing to make it look as much as pos­si­ble like his work. And it had to dove­tail into the exist­ing linework as seam­less­ly as pos­si­ble.

Once I had it inked (dig­i­tal­ly), I had to dig­i­tal­ly paste up the restored head over the clean scan of the pub­lished cov­er art. At this point in the restora­tion, I ran into an unfore­seen dif­fi­cul­ty. As some of you might know, pho­to­copiers can some­times intro­duce a bit of dis­tor­tion or skew­ing into their out­put. For most every­day copi­er uses, you don’t notice some­thing like that, and it’s not a prob­lem. But here, where I real­ly need­ed the two ver­sions to line up accu­rate­ly, it was a prob­lem.

After I was final­ly able to get it sort­ed out to my sat­is­fac­tion, I then had a clean new/old black and white orig­i­nal for the cov­er, which I col­ored to match the orig­i­nal pub­lished ver­sion. It appeared as the cov­er for FCA #200, which I believe is avail­able right now. But here, you get to see it with all the orig­i­nal Cap­tain Mar­vel Adven­tures mast­head copy intact. It was fun to get to col­lab­o­rate with C.C. Beck a lit­tle bit here, across the gulf of time and space!

FCA: Tells the Facts and Names the Names

FCA Harlan Ellison CoverA lit­tle while back, I was asked to do the cov­er for an upcom­ing issue of the Faw­cett Col­lec­tors of Amer­i­ca, fea­tur­ing an inter­view with none oth­er than Har­lan Elli­son. FCA is a sort of mag­a­zine with­in a mag­a­zine, appear­ing in the pages of Roy Thomas’ Alter Ego. The issue of Alter Ego which also fea­tures FCA #197 is sched­uled to be avail­able in mid-Feb­ru­ary 2016.

This cov­er went through sev­er­al ear­li­er iter­a­tions (though none of them actu­al­ly made it onto paper) before I came up with the con­cept for this final ver­sion. My ini­tial thought was that maybe I should do a por­trait of Mr. Elli­son as a boy, read­ing a copy of Cap­tain Mar­vel Adven­tures or Whiz Comics. Some­thing along those the­mat­ic lines. One of the main prob­lems with this approach though was that there aren’t a whole lot of pho­tos (if any!) of a young Har­lan float­ing around out there on the inter­nets. So if I went that route, I was like­ly going to have to try to work up a rec­og­niz­able fake ver­sion of Mr. Elli­son as a child from just my imag­i­na­tion. It turned out P.C. was­n’t too sold on the idea any­way, so we aban­doned that con­cept.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, nei­ther of us were com­ing up with any great replace­ment pos­si­bil­i­ties. It was sug­gest­ed that maybe if I read the inter­view for myself, it might spark an idea. And it did. The new cov­er con­cept was to do it as a sort of homage to the Edward Hop­per paint­ing Nighthawks, set at a late-night din­er. I’d show Mr. Elli­son sit­ting down with Cap­tain Mar­vel and the main vil­lain from the “Mon­ster Soci­ety of Evil” sto­ry, Mr. Mind. The tone felt right. Only one prob­lem: Mr. Mind is very small, so there was a major scale issue that would have to be addressed if I did this.

But then anoth­er idea popped into my mind that seemed to fit even bet­ter tonal­ly. I’d do the cov­er in the style of the old “scan­dal sheet” gos­sip pulps, like Con­fi­den­tial. Once this con­cept came into my head, I knew it was the right way to go, and P.C. agreed. It’s a bit dif­fer­ent from what you usu­al­ly see as an FCA cov­er, but it’s fun, and hope­ful­ly peo­ple will get what we’re doing and enjoy it.

Hap­py 2016, folks!

Captain Marvel is 75!

Captain Marvel at 75I was just giv­en leave to post this draw­ing. This year’s the 75th Anniver­sary of the orig­i­nal Cap­tain Mar­vel. FCA Edi­tor Paul Hamer­linck (for whom I’ve done sev­er­al cov­ers over the years, a num­ber of which can be found here on my site) was writ­ing an essay in hon­or of Cap’s 75th for Jon B. Cooke’s Com­ic Book Cre­ator mag­a­zine. Paul asked if I would like to con­tribute an illus­tra­tion to poten­tial­ly accom­pa­ny his essay, and left it up to me what to do. A 75-year-old Cap seemed simul­ta­ne­ous­ly like both an unex­pect­ed and yet obvi­ous way to go.

I was­n’t sure if either Paul or Jon would go for this idea. Maybe it would be a lit­tle too weird for a trib­ute. But I guess their sens­es of humor must some­times go a lit­tle towards the weird too.

Paul’s essay, accom­pa­nied by my illus­tra­tion, will be appear­ing in issue #10 of Com­ic Book Cre­ator, ship­ping in Novem­ber to your fin­er local comics shops every­where.

Thanks, guys! This was fun!

Hap­py 75th, Cap!

She’s a Wow!

Wow Comics 12 ReworkedHere’s a recreation/reinterpretation of the cov­er of Wow Comics #12, fea­tur­ing Mary Mar­vel. You can com­pare it with the orig­i­nal here.

Mary debuted in Cap­tain Mar­vel Adven­tures #18, where Bil­ly Bat­son dis­cov­ered to his sur­prise that he had a twin sis­ter, from whom he’d been sep­a­rat­ed at birth. It turned out that the mag­ic word that turned Bil­ly into Cap­tain Mar­vel also worked to turn Mary Batson/Bromfield into the super­pow­ered Mary Mar­vel.

Mary’s “visu­al father” was artist Marc Swayze. I was hon­ored to be asked to do an FCA cov­er fea­tur­ing Mary, as a trib­ute to Marc Swayze for what would’ve been his 100th birth­day. It was post­ed here a while back.

Reg­u­lar vis­i­tors to this site have heard me say before that when doing these recre­ations, I like to have some kind of fresh take or approach, so that I’m not just repeat­ing exact­ly what was done before. So imag­ine this, if you can: some alter­nate world, where Faw­cett did­n’t cease pub­lish­ing comics. Instead, they kept on pro­duc­ing new four-col­or adven­tures for Cap­tain Mar­vel and the Mar­vel Fam­i­ly. Maybe at some point in the late ’50s or ear­ly ’60s, Faw­cett licensed Mary to an ani­ma­tion stu­dio for a series, and Wow Comics was relaunched in sup­port. It was kind of what was play­ing in the back of my mind when I did this, at any rate.

I can almost hear the announc­er’s voice: “Boys and Girls! It’s time now for the adven­tures of Mary Mar­vel! The Shaz­am girl!

Mary’s Dad

FCA Marc Swayze Tribute CoverNow that it’s a new month, I’ve got clear­ance to reveal the last two of those images I teased you with pre­vi­ous­ly. These will both be appear­ing in the FCA por­tion of the upcom­ing August cov­er-dat­ed issue of Roy Thomas’ Alter Ego (avail­able start­ing in July, so you don’t have to wait all that long!).

First up is my FCA cov­er, done as a trib­ute to Gold­en Age artist Marc Swayze. While the orig­i­nal order to give Bil­ly Batson/Captain Mar­vel a sis­ter may have come down from the Faw­cett front office, the job fell to Mr. Swayze to bring her to life. He designed Mary and drew at least her first cou­ple of appear­ances, before being moved on to oth­er jobs. So I think it could be argued that Marc Swayze deserves the title of Mary Mar­vel’s hon­orary father.

This FCA issue is appear­ing in the month which would’ve been Mr. Swayze’s 100th birth­day. Though he did­n’t quite make that mile­stone, it’s still a worth­while moment to pause and give trib­ute. FCA read­ers know Mr. Swayze had a long-run­ning col­umn there, enti­tled “We Did­n’t Know…It Was the Gold­en Age!” Writ­ten in a very appeal­ing­ly gra­cious and hum­ble style, the read­er got the priv­i­lege of look­ing in on snap­shots of rem­i­nis­cence tak­en at dif­fer­ent moments in Mr. Swayze’s life. It was­n’t all about the comics; this man lived a very full and rich life. Hence my inscrip­tion. He and his con­tri­bu­tions to FCA will be missed.

I was huge­ly hon­ored to be asked to do this trib­ute cov­er, and want­ed to be sure to do right by Mr. Swayze. FCA Edi­tor P.C. Hamer­linck and I bat­ted a num­ber of ideas back and forth before we set­tled on a con­cept we both liked and felt was fit­ting. My first incli­na­tion of course was to try to just flat-out mim­ic Mr. Swayze’s style, make it look like maybe he drew it him­self. But P.C. made it clear that was­n’t what he want­ed. He was after my ver­sion of Mr. Swayze’s Mary. I hope I’ve done them both jus­tice.

Binder Column HeaderThe sec­ond image (at left) is a head­er for a new reg­u­lar col­umn debut­ing in FCA the same month. You can see the title there in the art. This col­umn will fea­ture the writ­ing and rem­i­nis­cences of writer Otto Binder, a cre­ative dynamo who had an enor­mous hand in shap­ing not only Cap­tain Mar­vel and the Mar­vel Fam­i­ly for Faw­cett, but he lat­er made huge con­tri­bu­tions to Super­man’s mythol­o­gy as well! And that’s real­ly just the tip of the ice­berg. I’m look­ing for­ward to read­ing these columns and find­ing out what he has to say.

Of Mad Scientists and Big Red Cheeses

FCA Colón/RubinsteinLooks like I missed post­ing last month, due to still being pret­ty busy. Again, that’s a good thing! How­ev­er, now that it’s a new month, I’ve got clear­ance to reveal in full one of the three items I teased back in Feb­ru­ary. This is a cov­er for anoth­er issue of FCA, appear­ing in the upcom­ing July issue of Roy Thomas’ Alter Ego mag­a­zine (actu­al­ly on stands in June, so you don’t have to wait that long!).

Right up front, I need to make it clear that I did not pen­cil or ink this cov­er. It was drawn by Ernie Colón, and inked by Joe Rubin­stein. If you’re famil­iar with those gen­tle­men and their work, that may sound like an unusu­al pair­ing to you at first. I know it did to me, but I’m told that they are col­lab­o­rat­ing quite a bit in recent times. (And if you’re not famil­iar with them, let your fin­gers get to googling!)

So why did I post this on my site if I did­n’t draw it? It’s because I col­ored it. FCA Edi­tor P.C. Hamer­linck con­tact­ed me to ask if I’d be will­ing to, and I said “yes.” Some­thing about the way this was put togeth­er remind­ed me a bit of those clas­sic old illus­trat­ed mag­a­zine cov­ers (for exam­ple, The Sat­ur­day Evening Post). So I tried to give the col­ors on this a lit­tle more of a painter­ly feel than I’ve attempt­ed before, though that might not be entire­ly vis­i­ble at this res­o­lu­tion. I hope Mr. Colón and Mr. Rubin­stein feel I did jus­tice to their work.