Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Illustration UK; Color Lulu; Hidden Frazetta; Super-Con Pictures


Not to be confused with Dan Zimmer's Illustration Magazine from the U.S.--this British-produced quarterly is entirely different. The editors examine artists both contemporary and classic, from W. Heath Robinson (shown at left) to Mervyn Peake, Elenore Fortescue Brickdale (a favorite of mine) to natural history illustrators, woodblock artists and much, much more. Many back issues are detailed on their website and subscriptions are available. This is virtually not distributed in the U.S.

Little Lulu in COLOR!

After a wait of more than a year, here is a new release in Dark Horse's delightful series. This is just the second book they've done in full color (the first is out of stock, sorry). Previous volumes are nearly as fun in black and white, particularly because they are only $9.95 and we even have several discounted down to $6.95 while they last. But there is nothing like color and this new one is just delightful (it's actually #19 in the series). Fans of humor comics have always said that after Carl Barks and the Ducks, John Stanley and Irving Tripp's Lulu are the funniest and best loved of all the "fun" comic books. I turned my kids on to them but didn't sit down and actually read most of these until this series started. I was hooked. These are a perfect gift for any little girl (and, honestly, boys too) from the age of reading and up.

Frazetta's Little Miracles

In case you missed it, a nifty article on Frank's pen & ink drawings from the early 1960s is hidden away in the newly reprinted Illustration #2.

I've always had a fondness for these. As a kid I discovered Tarzan, John Carter and the other Edgar Rice Burroughs characters. I devoured the books, abetted by Dr. Abercrombie across the street, who still had his jacketed Grosset and Dunlap editions published before World War II. I was in hog heaven as he loaned me one book at a time over the months. I was soon to discover Frank Frazett'a work, first on the paperback Conan covers, then covers of Warren's Creepy, Eerie and Vampirella. Then it turned out Frazetta had done 27 of these incredible pen and ink drawings for the "new" Canaveral Press editions of Burroughs titles At the Earth's Core (1962), Tarzan and the Castaways (1965), and Edgar Rice Burroughs, Master of Adventure (1965). Other books were planned but never published--these ended up in Tarzan, Master of Adventure. Oh, and what work it is, as you can see here. Dr. David Winiewicz has written a delightful article on these fine work and includes full page reproductions of these two pieces and two more, plus two great pics of Frank at his drawing board.

San Jose Super-Con Report

I had a booth at the May 16-17 Super-Con in San Jose (my old home town until 1975) along with my buddy, Dick Swan, known to the San Francisco Bay Area comics world as Big Guy's Comics. The attendance at the show was a bit light, typical of many shows in this economic downturn of ours. But regardless, I had a great time. I met a bunch of old friends, traded for some great comics for my collection, bought even more of the same, and even sold a few things. Below are a few pictures I managed to snap. What I didn't get a picture of was my chance meeting with Marina Sirtis, the lovely actress who played Counselor Deanna Troi on Star Trek The New Generation for seven seasons, along with Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard!

I'd heard that she was at the show but typically, I don't usually try to go see the special guests. But on Sunday afternoon I thought I'd run up the aisle and look in on her table. Lo and behold, there she was without a person there (the lastest young boy-toy actor was currently grabbing fan attention). I've been friends with British artist Chris Achilleos (Sirens, Amazona, Medusa) for many years now. He'd told me he and his sister had known Marina since they were in school together in England. So I had something to talk about besides "gee, I liked you in New Generation." We had a nice chat for a few minutes, one of my very few star sightings. She was delightful, of course, and promised to say hello next time she saw Chris.

Here are the pics I took at Super-Con:

Friend and artist Jim Silke and his two models, Mia and Linda. Jim wrote Bettie Page, Queen of Hearts (1995) which I co-produced with Dark Horse. Of course he has another Bettie book, his own graphic novel Rascals and much more.

Good friend Sergio Aragones (Groo, Mad artist). Sergio is so great, he always makes a point of saying hello to me every time we do a show together. And counting San Diego Comic-Cons and Wonder-Con, that's a lot of shows.

Long time comics dealer Tony Raiola with a friend. She had a lovely Italian name and now I've forgotten it. Tony publishes old comics as Pacific Comics Club. He's planning a new collection of Connie daily strips by Frank Godwin, which I'm eager to see. He's also doing three volumes of Adventures of Patsy (1935-56) by Mel Graff, who assisted Milton Caniff on Terry and the Pirates.

My Buddy Dick Swan (Big Guy's Comics) with a friend dressed as a funky Robin. Dick lists his comics for sale on his EBay store and he's THE most honest and fair dealer you'll ever meet. Try him if you are looking for Silver Age and pre-code horror comics.

Artist/Writer Howard Chaykin, another buddy I've known for many years. We bumped into each other at closing time and had that typical line "Hey, I didn't know you were here at the show!" He's showing off my display of art books and, yes, even old comics over his shoulder.

Artist Eric Joyner (ROBOTS AND DONUTS: The Art of Eric Joyner)

Christian Alcala and his mother. He's working on a book on his father Alfredo Alcala's work, both in Philipino comics and in comics here in the U.S. I was the co-publisher (with my stores Comics & Comix) of Alfredo's "underground comic," Magic Carpet (1977).

It featured his sword and sorcery hero Voltar. It was written by Manual Auad. Alfredo lived with Manual and his family in San Francisco during part of the time he was working in the U.S. Manual now publishes as Auad Publishing and has done several fine books on the work of Alex Toth, Franklin Booth, Jordi Bernet and Alex Nino.

Here are some great comic covers of work Alcala did in the Phillipines.

Thanks for reading. See you next time.