Saturday, August 28, 2010
From 1980, this is Greg Theakston's WALLACE WOOD TREASURY, the first of a number of Wood-related books put out by Pure Imagination over the years. At the time this one came out, however, Woody was still alive and as I recall he was not happy with its publication. Someone feel free to correct me but I believe he was hoping at the time to publish a similar book himself.
The years have been quite kind to this Treasury, however, as it hold up very nicely today.
The first half of the book consists of a bio and interviews with former Woodworkers Joe Orlando, Dan Adkins, Ralph Reese and Paul Kirchner. The latter half reprints a number of still rarely seen pieces of artwork and ends with a full reprint of Wood's signature EC classic, MY WORLD. Good stuff, indeed. Thanks, Greg!
Sunday, August 22, 2010
COVERED is a fun site where various artists are asked to redraw covers of comic books old and new. Some choose a traditional approach, others an artsy variation. Always interesting and clever interpretations. Here's a Wood tribute from the site, one of several there. Enjoy!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Vanguard Productions' J. David Spurlock has long since become the g0-to guy for information on many of my personal favorite comic book artists including Wallace Wood, Gray Morrow and Jim Steranko. Here's a piece, reprinted by the author's permission, that Mr. Spurlock posted today on Facebook. It sheds some light on the unexpected and little known connections between all three of the above-mentioned artists and animator Ralph Bakshi.
The animated Canadian science fiction series Rocket Robin Hood was produced by Steve Krantz with Shamus Culhane (formerly of Paramount Pictures animation in New York) as supervising director. The theme is an early example of Filksong.
Ralph Bakshi left TerryToons for Paramount Pictures animation in New York where he soon replaced Culhane. Culhane had optioned Steranko's Secret Agent X for a Saturday morning cartoon. Steranko and Bakshi got to know each other working on Super Agent X shortly before Steranko started at Marvel. Wally Wood, Jim Steranko, and Gray Morrow were favorites of Bakshi's and helped occasionally on projects from Paramount Pictures animation to the founding of Bakshi Productions (all circa '66-'68).
By late-67, Paramount unexpectedly closed the New York animation office dropping all projects including the Steranko Agent X. Bakshi found out Krantz fired Culhane in Canada at the end of the first season of Rocket Robin Hood. Bakshi and background artist Johnnie Vita headed to Toronto where Bakshi took over as Rocket Robin Hood primary writer and director. They commuted between Canada and New York, where artists such as Morrow, Steranko and Wood helped with ideas, storyboards, etc. from the United States.
By the late second and third seasons, of Rocket Robin Hood, Bakshi was involved with the Saturday morning Spider-Man cartoon show. Rocket Robin Hood started to share a lot of animation and background music with Spider-Man. Two episodes of the series ("From Menace to Menace" and "Dementia Five") had almost all their animation recycled for episodes "Phantom from the Depths of Time" and "Revolt in the Fifth Dimension" of "Spider-Man" (1967) by simply substituting Rocket Robin Hood with Spider-Man on the animated cels. The dialogue from these episodes was reused too with Spider-Man saying the same lines and Rocket Robin Hood and his supporters.
If you're on Facebook, check out Vanguard Productions at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vanguard-Productions/127661820833
Friday, August 13, 2010
Woody had absolutely nothing to do with this story from a mid-seventies issue of Charlton's SCARY TALES and yet his influence is all through it. Written by former collaborator Nick Cuti, it's drawn by another former Woodworker, Paul Kirchner, in one of his rare solo turns on a mainstream comic story.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Here, from Charlton's 1980's title, SCARY TALES, we have a one pager from former Woodworker Wayne Howard whose work usually seemed a conscious imitation of his mentor's. To me, in this case, it looks much more like the work of Joe Staton whose art was revitalizing the low rent company at the time through E-MAN and various anthology titles.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
There's a benefit auction coming up to help former Woodworker and longtime cult favorite artist Ralph Reese and also onetime MAD Comics contributor Russ Heath. Go here for details and help out of you can.
CLOUD 109 offers up the story behind the aborted Warren magazine Woody came up with that was to be entitled THE POW SHOW. Also we get some behind the scenes comments form Nick Cuti and a reprint of the only story Wood completed for the project, inking over pencils by the great Ernie Colon.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Sunday, August 1, 2010
THE COSMIC BOOK was a one-off independent comic put out by artist Pat Boyette during the eighties boom. It came out 5 years after Woody's death but was advertised as containing his final work. What we get is a two page derivative sci-fi piece that looks surprisingly good for late Wood art. Based on a later publication without Boyette's wonderful painted colors, one sees that it really wasn't particularly impressive.