Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wood on Flickr

The ever-helpful Ronn S refers us to this link where someone has posted a ginormous amount of Wood art from nearly every phase in his career...along with some Paul Kirchner work from NATIONAL SCREW that they've mis-identified (even though they note that it was signed "Kurt Schnurr" they apparently did NOT make the connection). Thanks, Ronn!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Gookum--Original Art

If you have a spare 50 thou just lying around you mat well want to head over to eBay and pick up the entire original art pages for Kurtzman and Wood's classic MAD story, GOOKUM! Thanks to Loston Wallace for bringing these gorgeous huge scans to our attention!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Rich Buckler and Woody

Rich Buckler has a weekly spot for his anecdotal memories over at DIVERSIONS OF THE GROOVY KIND and this week he talks about Woody and Warren as well as quite a bit about non-confomity in general.
"I was fortunate early on to have one of my pencil jobs inked by Wally Wood (Creepy Magazine #75)--that was a thrill. It was a dark, emotionless and dreary story about cannibalism--the script was unrelentingly macabre--but I found inventive ways to make it a dynamic reading experience. Wally Wood's inking was flawless."
Check out the rest of the piece at

Friday, November 26, 2010

Yet Another Sally Forth FOO Drawing

Found on the Net, this is a SALLY FORTH pose I hadn't seen before from the drawings done by Paul Kirchner (confirmed here in an early post) with Woody as giveaways to the first batch of folks to join his latter day Friends Of Odkin fan club.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Smiling Woody in the Sixties

Found in an old fanzine. Based on the walls, I'm going to see this was at a Convention.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The OTHER Thing From the Sea-1970

When I saw Terry Beatty's reprinting of Wood's 1950's EERIE COMICS tale, THE THING FROM THE SEA, the other day, I commented that it looked much better in color. One reason for that may be that I had never actually seen that story before. Not exactly anyway. Oh, I thought I had, mind you! I haven't checked but Im pretty sure THE THING FROM THE SEA has been reprinted in black and white by Bill Black's AC Comics as well as in at least a couple of publications from Greg Theakston's Pure Imagination. I skipped them, though, because I hadn't liked the story all that much when I had first seen it...in Skywald's NIGHTMARE # 1 from way back in late 1970. Skywald--to make a long story short--was a relatively short-lived but worthy competitor to Jim Warren's line of EC-inspired horror magazines, CREEPY, EERIE and VAMPIRELLA. One of the folks behind it was Israel Waldman, the "IW" in the IW/Super Comics line that existed from the late fifties through the mid-sixties and simply republished (with more than slightly questionable legality) old comic books with new covers...all because Waldman had bought the plates for the originals.

Thus when he started his new horror mags, NIGHTMARE and PSYCHO, it should be no surprise that he was still reprinting some old stuff mixed in with the new. The first issue of the line, NIGHTMARE # 1, featured THE THING FROM THE SEA.

Now, to be fair, they didn't credit it as being by Wood. In fact, they didn't credit it at all. Much of the rest of the book was made up of new stories and art by Friedrich, Wolfman, Everett, Shores, Heck and other Marvel expatriates.

The reason they couldn't really say THE THING FROM THE SEA was by Wally Wood is that--in this case--it wasn't! Not completely anyway. Every single page has either been traced by another artist or else very heavily retouched! The young, long haired female character is the most obvious change, now looking slightly older and with a shorter, more modern looking hairstyle.

The machine lettering has been replaced also. The fact that some of the word balloons remain in the same place, leading to such unusual situations as one being left blank at the beginning, make me think that this is, in fact, the Wood original, simply over-tweaked for whatever reasons by someone else. But then some panels show little or no trace of Wood! My first thought for the new artist was Dick Ayers but Terry Beatty--who knows such things better than I--disagreed. My second thought is the recently deceased Mike Esposito and I'm pretty sure that's correct. Esposito is, in fact, credited solo on the contents page for SOMETHING in the issue as well as with longtime partner Ross Andru.

So anyway, for whatever they were trying to do here, it really isn't a terrible job. It's just that when you have the Wood original, why do anything at all but enjoy? Thus my surprise when I saw how much better Woody's version is. Check it out yourself in its entirety at Terry Beatty's blog here: http://terrybeatty.blogspot.com/2010/11/wally-wood-thing-from-sea.html
Bring 'em up side by side and compare!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Thing From the Sea

Here is one by Woody that has seen many a reprinting in various books and magazines but generally in black and white. Here artist Terry Beatty reprints it in color and I, for one, like it even better!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

DD & Stiltman

Over at Joe Bloke's place on GRANTBRIDGE STREET, we find one of Woody's classic DAREDEVIL stories from the mid-sixties. Just beautiful, dorky comics fun!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Woodwork-The Catalog

I posted this on Facebook earlier and linked to it from ITCH. It's been very popular and suddenly it occurred to me it should be here, also. Duh!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Joe Orlando's X-Ray Glasses

Did you ever notice that this ad for the ever-popular X-Ray Glasses that were long a mainstay of comics and magazine advertising in the sixties was drawn (and signed with his initials) by former Woodworker Joe Orlando? The ad was seen in Warren magazines from 1965. This was the period when Woody was working with Russ Jones at Warren on projects like HORROR AT PARTY BEACH and the comic strip adaptation of THE MUMMY. A comic strip adaptation of HORROR OF DRACULA also appeared and was done by Jones and Orlando. So even though Wood and Orlando didn't technically reunite at Warren...it was close!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The New T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents

Since the demise of Tower Comics in the late sixties, many of us have longed for the triumphant return of Woody's T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS. With DC's new version, which I was able to read yesterday, I have to say I think its time we stop wanting new stories of Dynamo, NoMan and friends and just recognize that we'll always have the originals to enjoy.

In spite of their legal folderol, Deluxe Comics brought us some okay stories with art by Perez, Ordway and others of their caliber. JC Comics were more traditional but on a lower budget. Archie took a shot with the Agents as did Solson and a few odd companies both in the US and the UK. OMNI COMIX, almost out of the blue, gave us a long, dense, gritty T.H.U.N.D.E.R. story nicely drawn by Paul Gulacy but it went nowhere and was never continued. The problem with all of these revivals was that they weren't the originals.

Perhaps at this point I was pre-disposed not to like DC's just-released version but the fact is, it is an overwritten, oddly colored, ambitious but complicated story with mostly unlikable characters. We never really do get to meet the new heroes in any kind of lasting way or even see much of them before they...well...no spoilers. There are some funny lines from a long progression of talking heads but by the end I was thoroughly confused as to exactly what was going on...and this was the first issue, remember! Shouldn't this be where they introduce and set up concepts and characters?

The concept is credited to Michael Uslan whose comics work I have long greatly admired but the writing is by someone I have never heard of, the just okay pencilling and inking by two single named persons neither of whom has ever even been a blip on my radar. Since the art is the one thing the originals were known by, I do find myself surprised that DC would not give this title some of the best.

I realize it's unfair to compare a modern comic book, done in a modern style by modern writers and artists and for modern readers, to 45 year old comics that today's fans barely know if at all. That said, though, with this project, it's hard NOT to compare. In fact, the title splash actually notes that Frank Quitely's cover is "after Wally Wood"...although, if I remember correctly, Wood's was actually after a Larry Ivie cover sketch from Ivie's early involvement with Tower. Darwyn Cooke's variant cover (seen above) featuring the classic versions of the characters--none of whom appear in this issue at all mind you--is the best part of the whole package.

Fans of the original talk of the amazing art from Wally Wood, Dan Adkins, Reed Crandall, Steve Ditko and Gil Kane. People forget that there were also a whole lot of filler stories with lesser (albeit nostalgically charming) art by Mike Sekowsky, Chic Stone, Ogden Whitney and Manny Stallman. Although lightly written at their best, and with some convoluted continuity, the original T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS had a cold war ambiance and an artistic charm that just does not translate into other times, more realistic scripting, darker and grittier art. The originals are and always will be there for us but I doubt this series will last particularly long. I may glance at a second issue if I see it but I'm certainly not going out of my way to look for it after this inauspicious start.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Flash Gordon by Ralph Reese

Seems like all of the old EC artists loved FLASH GORDON. Frazetta drew characters that looked like Flash or his movie version as played by Buster Crabbe. Woody himself drew Flash parodies throughout his career and one memorable story for King in the sixties. Heck, Al Williamson has a whole book devoted to his various FLASH GORDON interpretations! Should be no surprise then that Ralph Reese, one of the most notable Woodworkers and a fine comics artist in his own right, actually had a memorable run on that venerable strip. Sadly, Reese's run, written by Bruce Jones, remains little seen due to dwindling syndication of continuity strips since the sixties. Above are some non-sequential examples from the eighties and early nineties.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Weird Science Re-Creation by Gerry Acerno

Thanks to artist Gerry Acerno for allowing us to run his lovingly detailed re-creation of the cover of WEIRD SCIENCE # 20, (seen below) originally by Wallace Wood. Also seen here is Gerry's re-interpretation of that same cover!

Here's some more about Gerry here: http://www.comicarthouse.com/acerno.html

You can also find a lot more of his art on http://www.comicartfans.com/

Gerry says, "They can contact me directly at acernoart@frontier.com for any commission needs."

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Woody and Smoking

An interesting piece on smoking in comics over at CLOUD 109 offers several observations about Wood and a few photos also.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wood's 22 Panels Revisited

Artist Rafael Kayanan --http://rafaelkayanan.blogspot.com/-- has taken the time to go through Wood's output and choose more specific examples for Woody's legendary "22 Panels That Always Work." What do you think? If you only know the artist for his comic book work, check out his blog for many examples of all different types of work. Good stuff!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Nearly three decades after his tragic suicide this week, let's celebrate instead the recognition that Wood's artwork continues to receive from fans old and new around the world. Steve Ditko always asks fans to allow his work to speak for him. Woody's work still speaks volumes! He was a troubled man at every stage but his women, his heroes, his creatures, his humor and his rockets will always be there to make us smile and remember him in the best possible ways.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Courtship in the Future

Is it wrong of me to be drawn more to the odd background sculpture than the girl in this GALAXY image?