Tag Archives: comic book art

Superheroes from the 60’s

DSCN7083

I was a comic book nut from a very early age.  I started collecting comics in 1966 when I was ten years old.  Almost as soon as I started collecting them, I began copying the drawings, copying Spiderman, Hawkeye, Captain America, Avengers, and Batman.  I am a comic book lover, and I am also a comic book plagiarist.  But I promise to use my own artwork and photographs to illustrate this blog post.  After all, I am illustrating being a copy cat.

20160416_200112

Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, and Lightning Lad in the style of artist Curt Swan in 1962.

My parents didn’t approve of kids with comic books.  I desperately wanted Spiderman comic books and Avengers comic books, like the ones I read in the barbershop every time I was waiting for a haircut.  But they had gotten wind of Frederic Wertham’s campaign against comic books two years before I was even born.  The learned psychiatrist insisted that comic books corrupted children with sexual images hidden in the artwork (oh, gawd, look where Saturn Girl’s hands are… close anyway), Batman and Robin were homosexuals trying to influence young boys to be gay, Wonder Woman was a lesbian who was into bondage.  This he said in 1954, but it didn’t really reach my parents’ ears in rural Iowa for another 12 years.  The result was severe limits on my comic book ownership possibilities.  But Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes were acceptable, as were Casper the Friendly Ghost and Scrooge McDuck.

20160416_200247

So, my copy above of Curt Swan’s work is from the Legion of Superheroes.  Superman was boy-scout enough to qualify too.  I could get by with Tarzan even though he was a mostly naked guy running around the jungles.  And time and money solve a lot of problems.  I was allowed to subscribe to Avengers and X-men and the Amazing Spiderman once I had field-work money to put towards it.  I drew lots of comic book heroes from that point onwards.

Superman 1

I learned how to draw men with unhealthy amounts of muscles, women with waists that would break in two with the amount of breastly boobage a teenage boy would pack on top, and numerous people who actually seemed to think capes made sense as a fashion statement.  I also learned how to do shading in pen and ink and foreshortening from master artists like John Romita Jr. and George Perez and Barry Windsor-Smith.  And I would be remiss if I didn’t give proper credit to Murphy Anderson and Jack “King” Kirby.  I know you don’t know who those people are because you are not the comic book nut I am… nobody is.  But believe me, they are masters of an American Art form.  And I will never be one of them, because even though I am almost as good as some of them, I chose to be a teacher instead of being a comic book artist, a thing I could’ve so easily succeeded at back in the 1980’s.  You should know this too…  I have never regretted making that choice.

Aquaman

Walker

 

 

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Filed under artwork, autobiography, comic book heroes, humor, Paffooney, Uncategorized

Superheroes from the 60’s

DSCN7083

I was a comic book nut from a very early age.  I started collecting comics in 1966 when I was ten years old.  Almost as soon as I started collecting them, I began copying the drawings, copying Spiderman, Hawkeye, Captain America, Avengers, and Batman.  I am a comic book lover, and I am also a comic book plagiarist.  But I promise to use my own artwork and photographs to illustrate this blog post.  After all, I am illustrating being a copy cat.

20160416_200112

Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, and Lightning Lad in the style of artist Curt Swan in 1962.

My parents didn’t approve of kids with comic books.  I desperately wanted Spiderman comic books and Avengers comic books, like the ones I read in the barbershop every time I was waiting for a haircut.  But they had gotten wind of Frederic Wertham’s campaign against comic books two years before I was even born.  The learned psychiatrist insisted that comic books corrupted children with sexual images hidden in the artwork (oh, gawd, look where Saturn Girl’s hands are… close anyway), Batman and Robin were homosexuals trying to influence young boys to be gay, Wonder Woman was a lesbian who was into bondage.  This he said in 1954, but it didn’t really reach my parents’ ears in rural Iowa for another 12 years.  The result was severe limits on my comic book ownership possibilities.  But Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes were acceptable, as were Casper the Friendly Ghost and Scrooge McDuck.

20160416_200247

So, my copy above of Curt Swan’s work is from the Legion of Superheroes.  Superman was boy-scout enough to qualify too.  I could get by with Tarzan even though he was a mostly naked guy running around the jungles.  And time and money solve a lot of problems.  I was allowed to subscribe to Avengers and X-men and the Amazing Spiderman once I had field-work money to put towards it.  I drew lots of comic book heroes from that point onwards.

Superman 1

I learned how to draw men with unhealthy amounts of muscles, women with waists that would break in two with the amount of breastly boobage a teenage boy would pack on top, and numerous people who actually seemed to think capes made sense as a fashion statement.  I also learned how to do shading in pen and ink and foreshortening from master artists like John Romita Jr. and George Perez and Barry Windsor-Smith.  And I would be remiss if I didn’t give proper credit to Murphy Anderson and Jack “King” Kirby.  I know you don’t know who those people are because you are not the comic book nut I am… nobody is.  But believe me, they are masters of an American Art form.  And I will never be one of them, because even though I am almost as good as some of them, I chose to be a teacher instead of being a comic book artist, a thing I could’ve so easily succeeded at back in the 1980’s.  You should know this too…  I have never regretted making that choice.

Aquaman

Walker

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under artwork, autobiography, comic book heroes, humor, Paffooney, Uncategorized

Facing Life Like Tarzan

Tarzan

There are now two days left in my career as a teacher. I only have five more classes on two test schedule and early-release days.  I will soon have to completely change my life.  It is as if a shipwreck will cause me to be raised naked in the jungle by apes.   …Okay, not the smoothest analogy segue ever written.   But there is some validity in my goofy comedy statement.  Tarzan went from a gentrified country life sort of future to a naked in the jungle and raised by apes sort of future overnight.  He faced an adoptive father who wanted to kill him, a malign gorilla who tried to kill him when he first discovered the knife, and Kerchak, Lord of the Apes who kills all challengers to his authority.  And, of course, there are lions, alligators, and leopards to overcome.  …Well, maybe that’s stretching a metaphor to the ridiculously long rubber band length of goofiness.  But I go forward needing to find new knives for income creation.  I face the jungle of possible substitute teaching (shudder!)  There are lions of disease in my future, waiting to prey upon my aging body and mind.

And then, there’s Kerchak, Lord of the Apes.   I live in Texas.  Low-brow apes who command all the power, are filled with fierceness, and constantly beat their breasts are the only folk we have allowed to win elections here since Governor Ann Richards lost to some ape from the bush.  Voting districts are gerrymandered wiggling pythons of arrogant partisanship.  Now that I have earned a pension for thirty-one years of teaching, there are those in this state calling for legislators to reduce the amount.  Teachers are apparently too much like leeches and parasites to deserve a decent retirement.  You don’t do the valuable work of creating jobs by making more billions of dollars and lobbying politicians as a teacher.  You do superfluous things like teaching people to read, to think, and be a moral, worthy citizen.  Kerchak, as in Emperor Rick Perry, is about to take on a new form.  It is anticipated that one of his evil clones, possibly Greg Abbot, will take his place.    There is a transfer of power from the presidential hopeful who can’t remember which cabinet post he wants to do away with in addition to Education to an even bigger, stronger ape who wants to deregulate everything and shift more tax money to corporations and the fabled job creators who enrich our air with a fog of emissions based on oil and gas and not responsible for the non-existent global warming that makes Texas so @#$% hot.

Tarzan, raised by apes and naked in the jungle, grew in power.  He slew the leopard.  He slew the vile gorilla.  He slew his father-ape, and eventually slew even Kerchak to become the new Lord of the Jungle.  I have to grow in my power as a writer.  My ideas need to mature and make a book or two that can educate, and possibly even change the world.  Yes, big dreams, I know.  And I also know that Tarzan is not real.  But soon I must transform in much the way Tarzan did.  And I no longer will be surrounded by middle school monkeys and high school gibbons.  I will be surrounded by ugly apes.  Oh, boy!

 

Tarzan3The beautiful illustrations for this post were shamelessly scanned from Marvel’s Super Special No. 29.  These gorgeous oils were created by Charles Ren and were published in this comic book in 1983.

Tarzan2

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A New Book

A New Book

Today I bought a new book. It is called The Art of Joe Kubert, edited by Bill Schelly. I got it at Halfprice Books for a mere six dollars and ninety-nine cents. It is filled with treasure. From the 1950’s to the present day, Kubert has been an artist behind Hawkman, Tarzan, and Sargent Rock. He is fantasy and surrealism at its graphic best. I plan on pouring over it all summer long.

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April 26, 2014 · 10:16 pm