Friday, June 8, 2007


The late Syd Shores was the mentor of my dear friend, Gene Colan, and this already makes him important to me, but Shores' work on such diverse features as CAPTAIN AMERICA, BLONDE PHANTOM and, his last feature as penciller, RED WOLF, which he worked on shortly before his passing in the early 1970's, are complete proof that Syd belongs on this list.


Saturday, June 2, 2007


Sam Glanzman is one of the nicest cartoonists I have never met, well, what I mean is, I "know" Sam via the internet, and he really is a very nice man on-line, and I am sure that he is equally nice face-to-face.
Sam's career has spanned over fifty years, and, while he does not seem to have any comic book assignments these days, he is available to draw commissioned assignments.
Sam's career highlight include drawing HERCULES for Charlton Comics, writing and drawing the autobiographical "USS Stevens" featurettes for DC COMICS, and writing and drawing A SAILOR'S STORY graphic novel, and it's sequel, whose name escapes me just now, for MARVEL COMICS, these last two also being autobiographical accounts of Sam's USS STEVENS days.
Sam also wrote and drew ATTU, a graphic novel series of his own creation, during the 1990's, and, also, Sam drew JUNGLE TALES OF TARZAN, for Charlton Comics, which ran for five issues during the 1960's, a series that came out without permission of The Estate Of Edgar Rice Burroughs, when the Burroughs lawyers were apparently caught "napping".
Some people, including me, see Sam Glanzman's work as being inspired by that of Joe Kubert. I maintain that there is definitely a similar surface look to the drawings of both men, but there is some kind of "otherness" to Sam's work that dis-associates it from the work of Joe Kubert. I have never quite been able to pinpont exactly what it is, but I am sure that it is there nonetheless.
Sam, you are one of the top cartoonists out there, I am so glad you are still out there!!!


The "father" of one of the best of the most recent, and _truly_ successful modern humor newspaper strips, that is, one that is really entertaining, as well as a moneymaker, is CALVIN & HOBBES. The many trade edition collections of this comic strip, as well as the luxurious, and expensive, slipcased editions that you can find in the bookstores, and on-line, are proof enough of the dollar value of the series.
Watterson, who is retired from producing comic strips, held for years that he would not get involved in allowing any animated cartoons, dolls, or what-have-you, being made from his series, which, while a very staunch and even admirable attitude, is certainly depriving the millions of "Calvin" fans from a lot of potential fun.
It is, however, Watterson's right to keep his stance firm, and, it is, after all, the strips that Watterson already wrote and drew that make him a topic of this blog.
Watterson's concept of a boy and his stuffed tiger, the tiger being able to communicate with the boy only when no one else is around, is charming, and "speaks" to many of the people who had "invisible friends", or other special companions when they were children. The idea may or may not be entirely unique, but it is that that makes it acceptable to us all, we can believe it, because it may have happened to _us_ as well.
Watterson draws the slightly "manic" Calvin as though Calvin is on a "sugar high", from eating too much of his favorite breakfast cereal, "CHOCOLATE FROSTED SUGAR BOMBS". As a person at nearly the age of 50 years, and one who ate way too much CAP'N CRUNCH as a child, and still eats that occasionally now, I can attest to the power that some cereals hold over today's children. First of all, we want that sugar high, and we want it badly!!! We also want any of the little plastic toys that come in the box, and we want more than one, just in case we lose the first one, or the school bully pries it from our fingers. Calvin has wonderful flights of fancy, with his few friends, and the school bully even, but mostly with that stuffed tiger, Hobbes.
Calvin's color adventures, in the Sunday papers, as "Spaceman Spiff" are wonderful, not only because of the great recalling of our own childhoods, but, also, because they allow Watterson to have more room, plus that famous "polychromatic effulgence" once spoken of by William Randolph Hearst, that makes them instantly recall our own childhood play times, and lends reality to the fantasy from watterson's pencils and brushes. We almost want to cheer, and maybe some of us do, when Calvin escapes from the monstrous aliens he battles as Spiff. We want him to succeed as much as we want to succeed, whether it is in school or at our office or store, or what-have-you, or with whatever endeavors our Calvin-loving offspring may be dealing with.
For it's immediacy in our own lives, and the way Calvin figures into them, I name Bill Watterson one of my favorite new strip cartoonist of the 1980's forward.