Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Witchcraft Inside Cover Art

The Index says this is Woodwork and as ever I bow to Bhob's superior knowledge but I have to say I barely see it. Not the Wood of 1952 anyway, I detect what seems to me like Orlando so I guess it could be some combination of the Orlando/Wood team. The screening gives it a Wood feel but the shadows and particularly the faces seem wrong. What's your opinion?

The Mummy

I just this morning discovered that writer/artist/editor Russ Jones has a site where he reprints a number of comics horror stories with which he was involved over the years including an adaptation of THE HORROR OF DRACULA done with former Woodworker (and later DC editor) Joe Orlando as well as the famous adaptation of Karloff's version of THE MUMMY done with Wallace Wood himself. THE MUMMY originally appeared in Warren's MONSTER WORLD in 1964. Read the whole thing here:

Monday, September 28, 2009

Paul Kirchner from Heavy Metal

THE TEMPLE OF KARVUL. Some more of former Woodworker Paul Kirchner's surreal non-Wood solo work courtesy of Thom Buchanan over at

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Red Wolf (Updated)

As often stated, Wally Wood's inking tended to just naturally overwhelm pretty much any penciller's work and this was pretty much always a good thing! Even such highly stylized comics artists as Kirby and Ditko were enhanced by Woodwork. One pairing that never worked that well for me was that of veteran Syd Shores and Wood on Marvel's 1971 RED WOLF.

Don't get me wrong. The art is quite good. I've heard Shores (in the late forties Marvel's art director) described as a weak point in the company's late sixties bullpen and that Stan just kept giving him work out of loyalty but I don't get that. Whether his softening inks on Kirby's CAPTAIN AMERICA--a character he himself actually drew far more often than Kirby in the Golden Age!--or his self-inked westerns of a quarter century later, I love his lush style and beautiful, detailed layouts. I just don't feel the combination with Wood worked all that well.

RED WOLF had been a minor antagonist in a "relative" issue of THE AVENGERS from a year earlier when Marvel decided to revamp the character into an equally relevant old western hero. Western comics were having a comeback at the time (or at least the publishers seemed to think so. With rare exception, I never knew anyone who bought any of them new) so a western super hero seemed a sure thing. The character was chosen to be the first to appear in a new SHOWCASE-like title to be called MARVEL SPOTLIGHT.

A Neal Adams cover ensured fanboy sales but the inside was Shores and Wood. Probably a better choice for this type of material than Neal anyway. The story is good, re-establishing a variation on the modern-day origin the character had been given previously as well as a variation on the same enemy.

The problem is--and again it's only really a problem in that it seems like it should have been better--the art is just okay. Without Shores' own sometimes sketchy inking style, his work comes across as lacking somehow. What should have made up for that was Wood's inking which instead seems to try to ape Shores style but only half-heartedly. Thus overall, a fairly pedestrian job. Seen here are the panels where Wood's contribution seems to best shine through.

When the character was given his own title, Shores was allowed to self-ink again and the result was better. Soon enough, Wood would stop accepting work from Marvel yet again.

UPDATE 9-27-- Wood Fan Number One, Greg Firmin, sends along this Syd Shores photo and profile from Al Hewetson's book, THE COMPLETE ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF THE SKYWALD HORROR MOOD. Note the quote from Wood and take it as you will considering that this RED WOLF story seems the only time they ever worked together.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


In 1971, Wallace Wood was still doing some work for Marvel Comics. One notable effort was his inking of the apparently notoriously hard to ink Ross Andru on KULL THE CONQUERER # 1. Here's a stunning page from that one-off collaboration that clearly shows Wood's extensive influence on the overall look of the page. If I didn't know better, I'd almost swear this was pure Wood.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ralph Reese From Web of Horror

WEB OF HORROR was a short-lived CREEPY-style black and white mag/comic in the late sixties/early seventies that served as a training ground for "the new guys." Jones, Kaluta, Wrightson and, in this example, former Woodworker Ralph Reese. Featured at the always enjoyable COMIC BOOK CATACOMBS is Reese's story (written by Terry Bisson) from the first issue in late 1969. Note that while it is very much in the artist's unique style, there are still Wood-like touches that creep in throughout as the machinery in this panel's background.


Here's the first issue of DC's STALKER over at THE BRONZE AGE OF BLOGS today. This short-lived but fun series from Woody's seventies run at DC is written by recently in the news Paul Levitz and drawn by the ever-popular team of Ditko and Wood.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Larry Hama

Here's a brief but interesting featurette with former Woodworker and all-around good guy Larry Hama discussing his involvement with the GI JOE franchise and the recent movie.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Here's a couple more pieces of found Wood art pushed our way by the ever-helpful Ronn Sutton. These and more are apparently being auctioned on EBay by former Woodworker, editor, publisher, friend and estate executor Bill Pearson. Look 'em up there if interested. The one below is a SALLY FORTH rough that has what I see as clear Harvey Kurtzman influences.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Cat

THE CLAWS OF THE CAT was originally designed to be a pro-women's lib character at Marvel in the early seventies. Art on the first issue was by Marie Severin and Wally Wood (with a number of faces obviously redrawn by Marie after the fact). I often wondered if Wood's inks were considered somehow inappropriate because of his tendency to oversexualize women. Note the typical Wood machinary in this panel, though. Anyway, while he may have been gone by the next issue, our friend the Groovy Agent shows us his work on issue 1 today at DIVERSIONS OF THE GROOVY KIND.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Tattoo Girl

More original art found on the 'Net. NOT your typical Wood beauty.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Looks like a PLOP character. This was found on Ebay by the ever-helpful Ronn Sutton and comes from the collection of Woody's ex, the great comics colorist, Tatjana.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Disneyland Poster Parody

Today over at his MAGIC WHISTLE site (, Sam Henderson posts a piece on GOOSE mgazine, a little known dirtier version of MAD from the late seventies. One of the pieces he runs is this bizarre attempt to parody Woody's Disneyland Memorial Orgy from THE REALIST. It's hard to parody a parody and in fact so much of this is just plain similar to the original that I wonder if the artist (newspaper cartoonist Al Scaduto!) wasn't attempting parody at all. Perhaps he was just ripping off the original for what he assumed was an audience that wouldn't be familiar with it!

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Saint

It's a shame he didn't do the art inside the book itself (newspaper strip reprints, possibly by John Spranger or Mike Roy) but here's vintage Wood illustrating the inside front cover from Avon's THE SAINT # 10 from 1951. Although still very early, his development here is miles ahead of similar stories from the same time period. Note the continued experimentation with the screening techniques that would become a trademark. (Sorry for the scanning error. Best I could do for some reason)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Lariat Lucy

Here's a link to a full reprint of LARIAT LUCY, a 1952 Wood (with??) story from WESTERN CRIMEBUSTERS.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Wood Color Photo

Here's a nice late period photo of Wallace Wood as spotted on the Net. Obviously someone showed it to the artist and he signed it. Note the SALLY FORTH image on the wall as used for the cover of one of his oversized reprint collections.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Super Cosmic Comic Creator Comix

Here are just a couple of the cleaner pages from Wally's stinging and raunchy indictment of the comic book industry, SUPER COSMIC COMIC CREATOR COMIX. This little known five page story (not even listed in the Stewart/Vadeboncoeur Checklist), apparently done in 1977 around the time (or just after) when Wood was finishing up his final DC run, is actually among the best of his later works. It turned up with little fanfare in 1992's SLOW DEATH # 11, the last (to date) issue of that venerable underground comic. Filled with genuinely amusing gags, inside jokes and quite good art, this was a nice surprise when one thought one was aware of all of Woody's work. The art is interesting and I find myself wondering just who assisted with it. Quite frankly, it looks to me like Tom Sutton but that strikes me as unlikely. I see what seems like a bit of Ralph Reese, too, but Ralph was long gone from Wood's employ by that point. I do not see the smoother work of Al Sirois who had been assisting the artist during that last boom period. Were you in on this, Al? Know who was? Does anyone have the definitive story on this and why it sat on the shelf so long? It looks like it would have been perfect for the WOODWORK GAZETTE with its vitriloic treatment of the industry.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Screw Covers

Reader Jeff Flowers alerts me to this infrequently updated site from illustrator Danny Hellman: . Looks like he's been averaging about two posts per month since May. Still, they're all interesting. Each post reprints a cover from the infamous and legendary SCREW Magazine (or newspaper really) and gives some background on the artist, the publication and how Danny came to have these copies (a bizarre and sad story) of the covers. As Wally Wood did a number of these it's no surprise to see one here already but go further and there is also an interesting piece on former Woodworker Paul Kirchner who apparently did a number of them whilst moonlighting with the transparent pseudonym, Kurt Schnurr.