Category Archives: Comics

Work that’s either done specif­i­cal­ly for comics, or is comic-related.

Cap and Bucky

It’s Day 26 of the Kir­by Art Trib­ute, suggested/sponsored by Howard Simp­son. You can find the work of those par­tic­i­pat­ing on your social media plat­form of choice by using the hash­tag #Kir­b­yArt­Trib­ut­es.

Today’s prompt is Cap­tain Amer­i­ca and Bucky. Cre­at­ed by Joe Simon and Jack Kir­by for Time­ly (Mar­vel) back in the Gold­en Age, they had a huge hit on their hands. While Cap­tain Amer­i­ca and Bucky are most­ly thought of as being patri­ot­ic heroes who fought the Axis, I dis­cov­ered some­thing inter­est­ing on re-read­ing their ear­ly tales: with all the mon­sters etc. they went up against, Cap and Buck­y’s sto­ries seem to be very much inspired by the “weird men­ace” pulp genre. If you think about it, the Red Skull and how they wrote him at that point would’ve fit in very well in a “weird men­ace” pulp sto­ry. Which is why I opt­ed to make this a night scene.

Joe and Jack only did the first ten issues of Cap­tain Amer­i­ca Comics, after which they left Time­ly. They believed that pub­lish­er Mar­tin Good­man was not liv­ing up to their prof­it-shar­ing agree­ment, so they jumped over to DC where they cre­at­ed a slew of char­ac­ters like Guardian and the News­boy Legion, the Boy Com­man­dos, and their ver­sions of Man­hunter and Sand­man.

Jack had two oth­er runs with Cap­tain Amer­i­ca. The sec­ond one was in the ’60s, after Time­ly had turned into Mar­vel and “Stanand­Jack” was often treat­ed as if it was one word. That run had some­thing of a James Bond/secret agent feel, hav­ing Cap work­ing close­ly with Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. Jack­’s third run was when he returned to Mar­vel in the mid-’70s, and that was him work­ing solo that time.

An aside: Cap­tain Amer­i­ca was­n’t Joe and Jack­’s only shot at a patri­ot­ic hero. In the ’50s, they also did Fight­ing Amer­i­can and his side­kick, Speed­boy. An inter­est­ing aspect of that strip is that it start­ed off as a straight anti-com­mu­nist super­hero adven­ture, but then piv­ot­ed fair­ly rapid­ly into a very fun­ny super­hero satire, pre-dat­ing the camp craze of the ’60s.

That’s it for today. Feel free to pop by again tomorrow!

The Black Panther, and His Unexpected Adventures

Amaz­ing­ly, I’ve made it here to Day 25 of the month-long online Jack Kir­by Art Trib­ute, sponsored/suggested by Howard Simp­son. I was­n’t sure I was going to get through all of these, but here we are! It’s open to all cre­atives, and you can find the work on your favorite social media plat­forms by the hash­tag #Kir­b­yArt­Trib­ut­es.

The prompt for today reads: “Draw a char­ac­ter or scene from Jack Kir­by’s Black Pan­ther series.” I chose to draw Black Pan­ther him­self, along with Princess Zan­da and Abn­er Lit­tle, two oth­er key char­ac­ters from that run.

When Kir­by left DC to make his return to Mar­vel in the ’70s, and fans heard he was going to do a Black Pan­ther title, many expect­ed he would just pick up the same con­ti­nu­ities and types of sto­ries that pre­vi­ous cre­ators had been doing with the char­ac­ter. But that was­n’t what they got, and some were appar­ent­ly dis­ap­point­ed. At this point in Kir­by’s career, he seemed to want to be allowed to just have a lit­tle cor­ner of his own where he could do his own thing with­out imping­ing on what oth­er cre­ators might be doing, or hav­ing oth­ers impinge on his creativity.

You have to take Jack­’s Black Pan­ther run on its own terms. His view of the char­ac­ter and the sto­ries he want­ed to tell with him seemed to have roots in the types of exot­ic adven­ture sto­ries H. Rid­er Hag­gard used to write, like King Solomon’s Mines, or She. If this com­ic had come out four or five years lat­er, read­ers might have asso­ci­at­ed it with the sorts of arcane arche­ol­o­gy Indi­ana Jones delved into in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Hope you enjoy, and feel free to tune in again tomorrow!

That Old Devil…Dinosaur

And we’ve reached Day 24 of Howard Simp­son’s month-long Jack Kir­by Trib­ute, in hon­or of Jack­’s birth­day this month! It’s open to all cre­atives, and you can find their posts on your favorite social media plat­forms via the hash­tag #Kir­b­yArt­Trib­ut­es.

Today’s prompt: “Draw a char­ac­ter or scene from Jack Kir­by’s Dev­il Dinosaur series.” I’ve drawn Dev­il him­self, and his part­ner Moon Boy here.

When Kir­by returned to Mar­vel in the ’70s, many were expect­ing Jack to be work­ing with oth­er writ­ers (like he had with Stan Lee pre­vi­ous­ly). But this time around, Jack pre­ferred to just have his own lit­tle cor­ner where he did his own thing. Dev­il Dinosaur was one of the new titles he came up with.

The book seemed like per­haps it was aimed at a younger audi­ence (It would’ve made a sol­id Sat­ur­day morn­ing car­toon). Artis­ti­cal­ly, like all Kir­by books, it had its moments (there’s an espe­cial­ly imag­i­na­tive two-page spread that can stand with the best two-page spreads Kir­by ever did). There was also a bit of fun in the fact they’d play around with dif­fer­ent inkers on many of the cov­ers (like they also did on his Machine Man covers).

Nev­er tried to draw Dev­il Dinosaur before! Bill Stout or Ricar­do Del­ga­do I’m not, but I had fun try­ing it. Hope you enjoy! And tune in again tomor­row to see what’s next.

Mr. Sandman…Again

It’s now Day 23 of Howard Simp­son’s month-long Jack Kir­by Trib­ute. Any cre­atives are free to play along, and you can find their posts on your favorite social media plat­forms with the hash­tag #Kir­b­yArt­Trib­ut­es.

Today’s prompt is “Draw a char­ac­ter or scene from Jack Kir­by’s Sand­man series. (Gar­rett San­ford).” That last part threw me slight­ly. So far as I knew, the char­ac­ter nev­er had a name. But I dis­cov­ered it was some­thing added by oth­ers lat­er on.

Once I got past my slight con­fu­sion over the oth­er name, I knew which Sand­man was being talked about. Jack and Joe Simon had done their take on Sand­man for DC ear­li­er, in the Gold­en Age (I drew him ear­li­er here). Late in Jack­’s time at DC in the ’70s, the con­cept was revis­it­ed and rein­vent­ed from the ground up. The script for the first issue was by Joe Simon, which (unless I’m mis­tak­en) was the first time Joe and Jack had been teamed togeth­er on a com­ic since they dis­solved their part­ner­ship back in the ’50s.

This book is a bit of an odd one. It had no con­nec­tion to any of the oth­er titles Jack was doing for DC then, and was tonal­ly dif­fer­ent from all of them, seem­ing to skew more towards younger read­ers. Though that first issue man­aged some creepy scenes with the Werblink dolls.

I recall read­ing Carmine Infan­ti­no say­ing that Sand­man sold real­ly well for DC. I guess they were caught off-guard, because there’s a gap of a year between issue #1 and #2! And while Kir­by did all the cov­ers, he was­n’t back doing the inte­ri­ors until issue #4. They only got six issues out total. Issue #6 had Wal­ly Wood inking!

Any­way, in addi­tion to Sand­man him­self, I drew his side­kicks Brute and Glob. I kind of wavered on the silli­ness of hav­ing Glob give him rab­bit ears, but felt ulti­mate­ly like it would be right for that book and these char­ac­ters, tonally.

Hope you like it, and please feel free to tune back in tomorrow!

New Genesis Is Calling

This is Day 22 of Howard Simp­son’s month-long Jack Kir­by Trib­ute, in hon­or of the King’s birth­day this month. It’s open to all cre­atives, and you can find their trib­utes on your favorite social media plat­forms by the hash­tag #Kir­b­yArt­Trib­ut­es.

Today’s prompt is Jack Kir­by’s New Gods. This was a key book in his Fourth World saga. Those who know their Kir­by know that one of the things that always fas­ci­nat­ed him and found its way into his work were myths and leg­ends (as seen in Thor for Mar­vel). The con­cep­tu­al seed of New Gods seemed to be “The old gods in the myths and leg­ends of the past are some­thing of a larg­er-than-life embod­i­ment of the qual­i­ties those peo­ple prized. What are the con­cepts we val­ue in our mod­ern world, and how would you embody those?”

Obvi­ous­ly this isn’t all of the New Gods char­ac­ters. It would’ve been impos­si­ble to do in this space. So I lim­it­ed this to those who appeared in the New Gods title, who I had­n’t already depict­ed (like Ori­on), and only those from New Gen­e­sis, not from Apokalips (like Dark­seid). That leaves (from left to right) Metron in his Mobius Chair, High­fa­ther, and Ligh­tray. At the bot­tom is young Esak. It was still a chal­lenge to try to fit all these char­ac­ters in!

I hope you like it, and please feel free to come back again tomorrow.

The One Man Army Corps

It’s now Day 21, three full weeks of Howard Simp­son’s month-long Jack Kir­by Trib­ute! You can find peo­ple’s Kir­by Trib­utes on your favorite social media plat­forms by the hash­tag #Kir­b­yArt­Trib­ut­es.

Today’s prompt: “Draw a char­ac­ter or scene from Jack Kir­by’s OMAC series.” I went with Omac him­self, the One Man Army Corps.

Of all the post-Fourth World titles Kir­by cre­at­ed for DC, OMAC unfor­tu­nate­ly was the short­est-lived. It last­ed for only eight issues, and the last issue came to a very abrupt forced end­ing that was jolt­ing and high­ly unsat­is­fy­ing for readers.

The length of the book’s run should not be tak­en as any kind of indi­ca­tion of the book’s qual­i­ty. This title was where Jack put out some of his wildest sci fi con­jec­tures about what The World That’s Com­ing might be like. In the first issue, he had a room where a cor­po­ra­tion encour­aged employ­ees to go in and destroy things, get all their aggres­sions out. This was well before such things came about in real life!

Maybe some of the ideas were just a bit too out there for some read­ers? The rest of us were cap­ti­vat­ed, and wished Jack had been allowed to continue.

Hope you like, and feel free to tune in again tomorrow!

Gone, Gone, The Form of Man,…”

It is now Day 20 of Howard Simp­son’s month-long Jack Kir­by Trib­ute. Open to all cre­atives, you can find par­tic­i­pants’ Kir­by Trib­utes on your favorite social media plat­forms by the hash­tag #Kir­b­yArt­Trib­ut­es.

Today’s prompt is Etri­g­an the Demon. One of Kir­by’s post-Fourth World titles he cre­at­ed for DC, this was some­thing very dif­fer­ent. Root­ed in the kinds of word-of-mouth sto­ries about the super­nat­ur­al that Kir­by heard grow­ing up, plus clas­sic Uni­ver­sal mon­ster movies and the like, Kir­by also gave it a tie-in to Mer­lin and the Arthuri­an leg­ends. The title char­ac­ter was a demon pressed into ser­vice on the side of the angels, and anoth­er unique angle on it was that Mer­lin had set things up so that he was a demon pos­sessed by a man (as opposed to the oth­er way around).

The Demon’s orig­i­nal run last­ed only 16 issues, but appar­ent­ly the con­cept was such that it caught the eye of a num­ber of sub­se­quent comics cre­ators, and over the years that fol­lowed they all took their shot at doing some­thing with the character.

I’d nev­er tried draw­ing the Demon before. It was fun try­ing to get that expression!

Enjoy, and please feel free to tune in again tomorrow!

From the Bunker Labelled Command D

Here’s Day 19 of the month-long Jack Kir­by Trib­ute, in hon­or of his birth­day this month. Suggested/sponsored by Howard Simp­son, it’s open to all cre­atives, and you can find peo­ple’s work on your favorite social media plat­forms by the hash­tag #Kir­b­yArt­Trib­ut­es.

Today’s prompt reads, “Draw a char­ac­ter or scene from Jack Kir­by’s Kaman­di series.” I chose to depict Kaman­di him­self, along with his friend Ben Box­er in his armored-up form. They’re going down into some bust­ed-up Sub­way, maybe in search of some­thing or some­one, obvi­ous­ly on their guard. On Earth A.D. (After Dis­as­ter), you can’t be too careful!

I have a lot of affec­tion for the Kaman­di book and the char­ac­ter. And it seems like I’m not alone in that. A num­ber of peo­ple around my age seem to have a sim­i­lar affec­tion for the book. And of all Jack­’s post-Fourth World titles he did for DC, Kaman­di sold the best and last­ed the longest, con­tin­u­ing on in oth­er hands for a good while even after Jack left and went back to Marvel.

I think there must have been some­thing in the air at the time. Not just Plan­et of the Apes, but oth­er films (like Logan’s Run) and sci fi that had a fas­ci­na­tion with dystopias that came about after our cur­rent world col­lapsed for one rea­son or another.

On a per­son­al lev­el, I came across Kaman­di just about the time I was begin­ning to rec­og­nize indi­vid­ual artists and remem­ber their names. I’d seen some of Kir­by’s work ear­li­er, but had not been quite old enough for his name to reg­is­ter with me just yet. This was the right time, and the right book. I became a full-fledged Kir­by nut after this. Not hav­ing any con­nec­tion to wider fan­dom as a kid and an aspir­ing artist, I had this naive thought that, “Kir­by’s get­ting old­er. He’s got­ta be like in his 50’s! Even­tu­al­ly he’s going to retire, and some­one will need to pick up the baton from him! Maybe it should be me!”

Of course, I had no idea just how many oth­er fan artists there were out there who had sim­i­lar ideas of try­ing to be the next Kir­by. I went through a lengthy “Jack Kir­by phase” as a young artist, not real­ly under­stand­ing the under­ly­ing “why” of what he did yet. I just saw the sur­face, loved the ener­gy and the imag­i­na­tion, and thought it was what comics should be. Even­tu­al­ly I grew out of my fix­a­tion on try­ing to draw like him, but I can still see Kir­by as a com­po­nent of my artis­tic DNA, whether any­one else can or not. Kir­by and his work still mat­ter a great deal to me. Which is why I’m par­tic­i­pat­ing in this Tribute!

Any­way, hope you like my shot at Kaman­di, and please come back for tomor­row’s image!

You Wouldn’t Like Him When He’s Angry!

We’ve made it now to Day 18 of Howard Simp­son’s month-long online cel­e­bra­tion of Jack Kir­by! It’s open to all cre­atives, and you can find their work on your favorite social media plat­forms by the hash­tag #Kir­b­yArt­Trib­ut­es.

Today’s prompt was Ori­on, from the book New Gods. Though he’s most def­i­nite­ly on the side of New Gen­e­sis and fight­ing against Apokolips, he has his demons! His sto­ry is inter­twined with Scott Free/Mister Mir­a­cle’s, and rather than spoil it for you, you can read about it in “The Pact” (New Gods #7).

It was fun to try to cap­ture some of the “angry ener­gy” Ori­on often has in this draw­ing. Hope you enjoy! Please tune in again tomorrow.

Just Don’t Get on Her Bad Side!

It’s now Day 17 of Howard SImp­son’s month-long trib­ute to Jack Kir­by! Can you believe it? If you’d like to see what oth­ers are post­ing in order to par­tic­i­pate, you can find that work on your favorite social media plat­forms by the hash­tag #Kir­b­yArt­Trib­ut­es.

Today’s prompt is Big Bar­da. Part of Kir­by’s Fourth World saga at DC, she was a key sup­port­ing char­ac­ter in Mis­ter Mir­a­cle, first appear­ing in issue #4. Raised on Apokolips to be part of a group of war­riors called the Female Furies, she lat­er met Scott Free (Mis­ter Mir­a­cle) and fell in love with him. Even­tu­al­ly, she fol­lowed Scott to Earth.

Bar­da’s bat­tle armor is one of those Kir­by cos­tumes with a lot of detail. It’s con­sis­tent in the broad strokes, but has a ten­den­cy to morph a bit from page to page or pan­el to pan­el as far as the spe­cif­ic details go. I like how it looks, and thought a straight-ahead pre­sen­ta­tion from the front would be the best way to show it.

Hope you like it, and please come back again tomorrow.