Remember - most of these images are merely thumbnails...don't forget to CLICK on 'em to see things the way they really are!


Monday, March 29, 2010

GIL KANE And WALLACE WOOD - Superior Art From GREEN LANTERN's Silver Age

Hello again, boys and girls!

Today I'm sharing with you my issue of GREEN LANTERN # 69, from DC Comics, published in 1969!
It's a great Silver Age Green Lantern story written by John Broome, but the focus is all on the amazing art provided by the joint efforts of two of comics most talented artists, Gil Kane and Wallace (Wally) Wood.

Comics fans should already know who these legends are, so I am not going to go into great depth explaing all of that over again. If you've never heard of Gil Kane or Wally Wood, go stand in the corner, while the rest of us enjoy this awesome bit of comic art mastery.  Just kidding, get back here, and take a look at this! You're going to love it!

Both artists bring something fantastic to the party. Kane brought his famous and unmatched skill at dynamic figure drawing, along with his impeccable knack for incredible action scenes, innovative page design, and perfect pacing. Wood brought his incredible skills as an inker, taking Kane's pencils and giving them weight and depth like no one else ever could.

This issue came near the end of Kane's run as the artist for GREEN LANTERN, as a few issues later a fellow named Neal Adams (with a little help from Denny O'Neil) took it to even loftier heights. But it was Gil Kane who helped re-invent the Golden Age superhero, and it was in large part thanks to him that DC superheroes of the 60's were able to make their amazing comeback.

John Broome and Gil Kane brought the Green Lantern back from obscurity with a fresh new look in DC's SHOWCASE # 22 in 1959. Three issues later, he was starring in his own comic. On the heels of the success of the GREEN LANTERN came a little comic entitled the JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA, in 1960. Sales were beyond expectations, and the superhero era was reborn. Over at Atlas/Marvel Comics, Stan Lee created a similar comic in order to ride the wave that DC had created, and with the help of Jack Kirby, the FANTASTIC FOUR was born in 1961. What followed was what we know as the MARVEL AGE OF COMICS that helped Lee and company turn their struggling busines into the unstoppable juggernaut we know today. The same thing happened at DC/National Comics, and superheroes have never lost their popularity since.

Wallace Wood enjoyed an incredible run over at EC Comics in the 1950's and when they finally stopped comic publishing to focus on their remaining succesful property, MAD, Wood continued to be highly in demand.  At this point he had also been instrumental in helping Marvel grow their line, having redesigned Daredevil's costume so well in 1965 that it remains unchanged to this day. That same year he had also gotten involved in publishing as well, having created Dynamo and the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, and more for the Tower Comics line, where he also worked on occassion with Kane.

What we have here is beautiful comic art considered by many to be some af the finest ever to emerge from the Silver Age, and truly set a standard for everyone else to follow in years to come.

Here is
Art by Gil Kane and Wally Wood.



As I go through my comics collection and as I scan more and more pages, it is fascinating to discover how many letters were written by young fans who would one day make a name for themselves in the world of comics. It is not uncommon to see names like Roy Thomas, Mark Evanier, and in this particular issue, Martin Pasko.  Equally fascinating is how wise beyond their years many of these individuals seemed. According to internet sources like wikipedia, Pasko was a mere 15 years old when this letter was published, and in four short years he would be writing comics for DC, and later, all over.

When I get organized (which may never happen) I want to post all of these famous personalities fan letters for you all. You may be astonished to find out just who were zealous comic book fans in their youth, in light of what they eventually went on to do in their careers!


Now, on a very sad note, I need to mention the passing of comic book artist and editor, Dick Giordano.
In my own thoughts, Giordano is remembered as one of the Silver Age's greatest, who, along with Neal Adams, helped keep DC Comics art up to a standard of excellence that enabled them to continue as an industry leader throughout the 60's, 70's and beyond.  You can follow the link here to BLACK 'N' WHITE AND RED ALL OVER, where I feature a beautifully done story by Mr. Giordano. He will be remembered by fans the world over as a great comic book artist, and our sincere condolences go out to his loved ones.
Thank you for all the wonderful work, Mr. Giordano!

Dick Giordano
(7/20/1932 - 3/27/2010)


  1. I've just been reading Green Lantern via the DC Archives hardbacks. I read them for Gil Kane. I just love the way that man drew. His anatomy was the greatest in the history of comics. To see Green Lantern fly, it always made me feel like I was flying. Superman's flight always looked like a missile, powerful and streamlined - but Green Lantern always looked like joyful, controlled falling and soaring; much more human and very beautiful. There was never more elegant artwork ever. Next, I start collecting The Atom. -- Mykal

  2. Wow! What's better than Gil Kane? Gil Kane inked by Wally Wood, That's what!!

  3. I spent ages trying to organize the fan letters of folks who went on to become famous. It was just too big a task for me but I hope you succeed as it is fascinating to see. Steve Gerber is there, Frank Miller, the Pinis, Bill Mantlo's first published work is a long poem in an INFERIOR FIVE letter column, a number of people who went on to be non-comics authors....lots of bloggers like myself can be found also! I was in ADVENTURE in 1968, LOIS LANE and VAMPIRELLA in 1972, etc. Good luck!

  4. Like Mykal, I've read the Lantern Archives, all the while lamenting the few early issues that I used to have in my possession.

    This was a great post and it was nice to see an issue that came just prior to the new direction issues of the title.

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Mykal,
    That's a very interesting and apt observation comparing the depiction of Superman's look while in flight, and GL as drawn by Mr. Kane. Especially during this time frame, when Supes was mostly drawn by Wayne Boring, whose stocky looking, thick torsoed Superman often barely looked like he could be able to get off the ground at all! I almost posted a Kane ATOM story here with this one, but will post it at a later time. Kane did so well on GL he was assigned ATOM as well and, as you know, brought his excellence to that series as well. I hope to post lots more of Gil Kane.

    The Ghost Who Blogs,
    I am in complete agreement, O Phantomous One! Amen!

    Thanks, you are so right, it is a fairly monumental task that, if done properly, would require knowledge of and access to every comic publication in existence from the Silver Age on! My humble collection is by no means exhaustive, yet I do have samples of many of the persons that you mentioned, and many others, too. It doesn't surprise me that you were one of these individuals! Little did we know who these folks would be later in life, and where we would be reading their (and your) names! (To my regret, I never actually wrote to any comics letters pages, although I did spend my youth and most of my school-days honing my art skills by drawing my own versions of the great comic heroes, as depicted by Kane and others! I did send some art to F.O.O.M., though...)

    The Archive collections (DC) and Masterworks (Marvel) are a wonderful alternative to buying and searching out old comics for collector's. While they aren't always cheap, they are usually less costly than buying the individual original comics. Like you, I lament pretty much every comic I ever owned that I no longer have in my possession! Thanks!

    Thank you, guys, for sharing your comments!

  6. Cheered me up no end. Gil Kane and Wally Wood, hands of gods.