Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cannon Original Art

There's actually quite a bit of original art from Woody's early seventies OVERSEAS WEEKLY strip, CANNON over at the Heritage Auction site. This particular page is interesting in that Wood himself cameos as a cigar-chomping policeman and reference is made to Officer (Ralph) Reese. Is the African-American gentleman based on Wayne Howard? The closeup of the girl's face is quite lovely but seems to definitely show the work of other hands as she does not look like the typical Wood girl at all. Larry Hama perhaps? Bet Alan K can tell us who was around when this strip was done.


  1. Alan Kupperberg writes:

    The black agent wasn't based on Wayne Howard. He's Woody's basic, stock-standard, generic black man. Though I do think that Woody was being helped by Larry and Ralph at that point, I see no evidence in ink. The inks seem to be pure Wood. It looks like Woody's lettering and the backgrounds are definitely inked by Woody. I can't see a single Reese influence. Doesn't mean he wasn't involved, but if he was, I cannot see it. However, the layouts may have been by Larry Hama. The close-up of the girl looks to me to have been from some photo scrap Woody came across.

    I feel fairly certain that these Cannon pages were produced in Woody's apartment at 94 Woodruff (!) Avenue, Brooklyn New York. I lived next door in 92 Woodruff. Gray Morrow had lived in 94. We all rented from Mrs. Sylvia Kuszer. So did Howard Chaykin and Walt Simonson. Woody had a dark, ground floor apartment at the back of the building. It was an awful, roach infested dump and I always felt badly that I had gotten it for him.

    Love the MAD stuff you've been posting and the link to that GALAXY stuff. You can really see that Woody understood what the printing process was going to do to his work. His halftone work is stunning in that regard.


    Alan K

    I bow to Alan's first hand knowledge (and thank him for the compliments on the blog) and I agree that Reese's contribution's are usually recognizable. The girl's face does look to me like Larry's sometime --for lack of a better term-- "Giordanoesque" style.

  2. More from Alan Kupperberg and also Larry Hama!

    Alan writes: Had a chance to say hello to Larry Hama yesterday. I asked him about this Cannon page. He told me at that time, he and Woody would trade off on Sally and Cannon episodes. In a follow-up e-mail Larry wrote: "Woody wrote that arc himself. I was writing the Sally Forth arc. Woody took some glee
    in having the bad guys named after me and Ralph. But that's my lettering. The whole page looks like a lot of Alex Raymond swipes. I vaguely remember swipe-o-graphing some of that."

    So that's the poop, straight from the "horse." Larry is a great letterer, huh?

    Alan K
    Thanks, Alan!

  3. That's the "Gaspar Saladino" lettering alphabet that Woody taught me. The inking looks to be 100% Wood. The big girl's head was swipe-o-graphed from a Playboy centerfold (from the '50s.) I also lettered the title and intro to "22 Panels That Always Work." It's Woody's own lettering inside the panels.

  4. I believe the big head in this strip is Marguerite Empey (Dianne Webber.) Woody had two or three file folders in his morgue on her. Woody thought her body type was perfect for Sally Forth.
    Larry Hama