Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Manhunters

Here from Joe Bloke is the color version of THE MANHUNTERS as published in Warren's COMIX INTERNATIONAL. Stewart's Index indicates that Wood did NOT like the rewrite Bill DuBay gave it but it's credited to Gerry Boudreau. That said, the art (with Paul Kirchner) is quite lovely!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sci-Fi Illustration

More wonderful flora and fauna from a late fifties sci-fi short story. This has more of an ECish feel than much of his straight sci-fi work.

Friday, May 29, 2009


From the Wood Portfolio we mentioned the other day, here's the exquisite CONCORD piece originally done circa 1962-63.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Identification Help Needed

Reader Lee sent along some rare Woodwork but neither he nor I can identify them. I'm betting that some of you readers can! Here's what Lee says:

"They were allegedly done for an unsold syndicated newspaper feature, but I've never seen any reference to such a project. Obviously from the early 60's -- but not from Mad magazine nor, as far as I can tell, Topps. There are 21 of them, on board, around 9x11, in ink and blue pencil."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wood Tree

Found on the Net, here's a Wood illustration from a sci-fi mag story. The thing I like most about this, though, is the tree. In my opinion, Wood was second only to POGO's Walt Kelly in his tree art. Kelly traditionally had one highly delineated tree in every Sunday strip title panel. This reminds me of one of Kelly's Sunday trees.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Here's another Wood portfolio, this one featuring art prints of four historical pieces often said to be amongst the artist's best work.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Wood at His Drawing Board

Nearly every self-portrait one sees of Wallace Wood shows him at work. In a lot of ways, I think he defined himself by his work. Here's a late-period photograph that looks just like many of those illustrations. This is from the back cover of a book on Wood if I remember correctly but I can't find it at the moment.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Woody's Classic Covers # 20

From 1976, here's a HERCULES UNBOUND cover signed "Walt n Woody" but very little trace of penciller Walt Simonson is in evidence. The insides were also drawn by Simonson and Wood.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Weird Sex Fantasies

Here we have arguably the best print from the mixed bag, late-in-life portfolio that Wood did called WALLY WOOD'S WEIRD SEX FANTASIES. It was a signed and numbered limited edition published by (not THE) Richard Pryor. Woodworker A. L. Sirois was Woody's assistant during that period and has this to say about the project today:

I did work on it. His health was generally pretty good at that time, with his
drinking under control, though not his smoking; that never was. Of course, I
smoked too in those days so I didn't really notice. But he got essentially no
exercise, little fresh air, did not eat well, and incessantly drank an evil brew
of tea and saccharine that was constantly cooking on a hotplate in his studio.
Even then I thought it was foul!

He moved his studio from his house to a seperate building, and was without
electricity so he ran an extension cord from the house. I think he established
the outside studio (which had no windows) because he was distracted by the noise
from the busy road next to the house. I never liked it, but by the time he did
that I was working less for him at his place and more at home.

It WAS a fun project. He was working on THE WIZARD KING at this time, too, so
there was a lot of good artwork floating around and he was in a very creative
period. Plus he had a lot of friends in and out: Ralph Reese, Bill Pearson, Nick
Cuti, and others. It was a good scene much of the time.

I did a lot of backgrounds, most of them, in fact, and some painting
(airbrushing). I enjoyed the larger format of the drawings, for a change, after
all the comics work. His planning abilities were good, and he'd get several
boards set up so that he could be finishing one while I was working on
backgrounds for another, or doing tighter pencils on blue breakdowns. I rifled
his files for swipes, and since I had a lot of SF stuff of my own we would
occasionally go through that.

The thing I remember most about it is that he made the drawing look so damn
EASY,and I knew it wasn't. When he was interested in what he was doing, as he
was here, he couldn't put a bad line on the page; it was really pretty much all
Al Sirois-2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dynamo Roughs

Found on the 'Net, here's a fascinating side-by-side comparison between Wood's initial pencil roughs for this DYNAMO story and the final, printed page.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Iron Man

Woody's one-off turn inking Don Heck's IRON MAN in 1965's TALES OF SUSPENSE # 71 resulted in a shinier Shellhead, a prettier Pepper Potts and the most handsome Tony Stark of the period! Reliable warhorse Mike (Mickey Demeo) Esposito inked the issue immediately before and the one immediately afterwards. Esposito was always good...but we noticed the difference with Wally.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Mars Attacks

Here's some of Woody's design work for the legendarily tasteless MARS ATTACKS bubblegum card series from the early sixties. Topps had gone to Wood for some initial design ideas but the actual later work would be done by comic artist Bob Powell and illustrator Norm Saunders (who would also do the legendary BATMAN cards in 1966). Wood's surviving sketches would be published as a portfolio in the early 1980's.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sally Forth FOO Drawing

Here's someone's SALLY FORTH FOO sketch as found on the 'Net. One of the perks that got a lot of Wood fans to join Wally's late-in-the-day fan club, FRIENDS OF ODKIN, was the promise of an original sketch of either Snorky, Sally Forth or Nudine, all characters Wood owned. It was some months after joining when mine arrived--a totally different pose than this one--and some years before many of us fans realized just how ill Wally was becoming at that time. I started to question how he was able to pull it all together to do such smooth sketches if that were the case. When I quuestioned it in public and postulated my theory that perhaps former Woodworker Paul Kirchner had been involved, Mr. Kirchner responded:

Hah! I just came across your page while I was sitting here Googling myself. Yes, it's shameful but we all do it.

Before I forget, you mentioned your Wally Wood sketch, one of those he gave out with memberships to Friends of Odkin. Should I say it? Why not: I traced off almost all of those for $2 apiece and Woody signed them. I've seen them sell on ebay for $150, so God bless us all!
Thanks for the truth, Paul. I still treasure mine.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Rand Holmes

One of many comic book artists influenced by Wally Wood was the late Rand Holmes. Holmes was a Canadian artist who worked mostly for alternative newspapers and Underground Comix. Some of his work could be quite filthy at times. He taught himself art by imitating Woodwork and throughout his career there were times when the influence showed tremendously, particularly when it came to lighting or in machinery. Eventually, though, he developed a style all his own, creating memorable characters such as Harold Hedd and Basement Man. Here we have an upcoming and very welcome tribute to the artist who died in 2002 while being treated for Hodgkin's lymphoma. THE ARTIST HIMSELF: A RAND HOLMES RETROSPECTIVE can be pre-ordered here:

Monday, May 11, 2009

Woody's Classic Covers # 19

Again from Woody's prolific mid-seventies resurgence, here's STALKER # 3's cover. STALKER was an enjoyable fantasy strip for DC done with Mr. Ditko (and probably aided and abetted--as were most things during this period--by Mr. Sirois).

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sally Forth Original Art

More original art found on the 'Net, here's the front cover illustration for the first volume of Woody's own oversized reprinting of SALLY FORTH. It's from 1976 and has backgrounds (and perhaps other touches) by Woodworker A.L. Sirois.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Another collaboration between the recently deceased Ric Estrada and Wally Wood that came out of Woody's brief mid-seventies sojourn at DC was ISIS. The groovy weblog, DIVERSIONS OF THE GROOVY KIND has posted the first issue, the only one with Woodwork.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Surf Hunter

Just time today for a quick look at a SURF HUNTER title panel. This was yet another newspaper strip by the wonderful combination of Jack Kirby and Wally Wood from the late 1950's. This one unfortunately never sold and only a handful of strips were actually drawn. Of those, Wood inked only a few. But, man, are they choice!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Edge of Genius

Word reaches me that Greg Theakston's latest Wood reprint opus is hitting comic book shops this week. Although I have yet to see a copy, I have no doubt--based on the publisher's previous efforts--that this volume will be a worthy additon to the library of any Wallace Wood fan. Here's the oficial press release hype:
Discover some of artist Wally Wood's earliest work, in this collection of over 160 pages that includes An Earthman on Venus, love stories, westerns, superheroes, and more! It's the stuff you've never before seen from the artist that left an indelible mark on the comics industry.

Found on the 'Net-Odkin

Here's a nifty page of original art from Woody's KING OF THE WORLD magnum opus spotlighting hero Odkin with a very traditional looking dragon.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Every Sunday, Thom Buchanan graces his readers with some classic Walt Kelly Sunday strips of POGO. Thom also graces his readers quite often with some rare and delightful Wally Wood art. Thi Sunday, he combines both at:

Friday, May 1, 2009

RIP-Ric Estrada

The 1975 revival of ALL-STAR COMICS was the very first time I had heard of atist Ric Estrada who passed away this week. I found out later that that was an oversight on my part. Estrada had been around as early as the EC days and had a long career in romance comics for various companies. According to Mark Evanier, Estrada felt out of his element when it came to super hero comics. Nonetheless he was drafted to do light pencils for the long-awaited new Justice Society comic, with inks to be provided by Wally Wood. A few years ago, Roy Thomas asked Mr. Estrada how he felt about the prospect of being inked by Wood."Very happy," he said,"because Wally Wood is one of the big names in the industry. I think everybody admires him and loves his work. I felt that would enhance the value of my work, and it did." There is apparently some question as to who created Power Girl who debuted in the ALL-STAR revival. Although often attributed to Wood (for perhaps obvious reasons)there is evidence that it might have been editor (and former Woodworker) Joe Orlando or perhaps Ric Estrada!
Estrada also had a long run on RICHARD DRAGON, KUNG-FU FIGHTER where, for several issues, he found himself once again in combination with Wally Wood.
Seen here as found on the 'Net is one of the early Justice Society pages done by the team of Estrada and Wood.