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


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Getting DOWN TO EARTH with Wally Wood

Wally Wood is one of the undeniable masters of comic book art.
His striking and powerful work grabs your attention from the first moment you see it, 
and once you've seen it, you'll never look at comics the same way again.

Since his earliest days in comics Wally Wood has impressed and inspired legions of artists, myself included. His unmatched proficiency with handling light and dark forms has set the standard for comic book chiaroscuro. Compared to most of his contemporaries, Wood's art didn't just fill panels with run of the mill images. No, the world he created was more real than anything else seen in comics, his characters were three-dimensional, alive! His comic stories had the ability to transport you to a magical realm where the impossible became reality.

It is then with great pleasure I present to you one of the premiere science fiction artists ever to draw in comics,  with a story presented in one of the greatest issues of one of the most celebrated science fiction comics ever produced. Written by the equally influential Al Feldstein, (and colored by Marie Severin) for EC Comics WEIRD SCIENCE # 16, 1952, the story is titled "DOWN TO EARTH!", and features fantastic flying saucers and disgusting alien creatures as only Wood could envision them.

Oh, yes, before I forget, I have a bonus treat for you.
While the color version of the comic is presented here, over at 
I have Wood's original art, displayed in all it's glorious detail,
which is a must see, I must say!

When you're done here,
just click the link above (or here) and go enjoy it!
You'll be glad you did!

But first, let's get




Wood;s incredible cover art for WEIRD SCIENCE #16


Okay, now, go enjoy Wood's amazing original artwork at

-click link above-


Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Three (or more) Origins Of The TWO-GUN KID

Ready to be confused?
There are actually more than three origins for the Marvel/Timely/Atlas Comics character The TWO-GUN KID,
 because there are in fact more than one TWO-GUN KID!

For our purposes here today, we are going to focus on TWO-GUN's first incarnation.
He first appeared in the comics in 1948, in Marvel's' TWO-GUN KID #1, portrayed by Marvel's go-to western artist Syd Shores. The TWO-GUN KID was Marvel's second continuing western character (the first being The Masked Raider, who first appeared in MARVEL COMICS #1,1939), and (by name, at least) their longest running western star. The Kid was a tall, handsome blonde-haired cowboy named Clay Harder, who wore a black hat, black shirt and red neckerchief, and many of his adventures began and ended with him riding into(or out of) the story while singing a song, such as, "I ride alone thruout the west, from Dodge to Alamo, I'm on the trail of owlhoots, that's why my guns hang low"!
TWO-GUN KID #1 art by Syd Shores

TWO-GUN showed up full-blown, that is to say, with no back story. That would come later. This first comic series lasted only 10 issues, stopping after only a year and 1/2 in 1949. Four years later Marvel tried again, and with TWO-GUN KID #11 the Kid was back in action, better than ever. First re-appearing drawn ably by Fred Kida, followed by Bob Fujitani, Chuck Miller, Joe Maneely, Jack Davis, Al Hartley, John Severin, and finally by the team of Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers, who would be at the helm when Marvel transformed the character into his newer incarnation in 1962.

TWO-GUN KID #1 1948 art by Syd Shores

TWO-GUN's first origin appeared in TWO GUN KID #36, April 1957, depicted by Chuck Miller
We will discover that the origin story to follow a few months later would essentially contradict this first narrative.
Let's enjoy this adventure, and later examine the other versions.

Origin number one:




TWO-GUN's next origin story was revealed exactly one year later, in TWO-GUN KID #41, April 1958.
 This time, Atlas' heavy-hitter Joe Maneely handled the art chores

Origin number two:


The 3rd and final TWO-GUN KID origin story we present today appeared in TWO-GUN KID #52, February 1960, delineated by western maven  John Severin. The strange aspect of this version is that it is a retelling of the Joe Maneely version, essentially word for word, and panel for panel,only redrawn by Severin! In many panels virtually nothing has been changed in the layout from Maneely's version. Why this new variant rendition was produced is a mystery that perhaps Atlas Comics historians such as Doc V or others can answer. As for me, I don't know why Marvel had Severin redraw the origin, but it remains a fascinating comparison to Maneely's original interpretation.

Origin number three:


Clay Harder's TWO-GUN KID rode for a total of 59 issues before Marvel decided a change was in order.
In TWO-GUN KID #59, April 1961, the original TWO GUN KID sang his last song. The comic ends with a saga where the Kid gets ambushed by two "owlhoots" who wound the Kid in the shoulder, and the story ends with the Kid passing out. Stan Lee's final panel blurb assures us the Kid recovered and rode again, and we would see him in the next great issue. Alas, that was not to be...

TWO-GUN KID #59, 1961 art by Kirby & Ayers

Perhaps the Kid's wound was more grievous than first thought. Perhaps he did wake up and ride away, singing, but later died from an unattended infection. All I can tell you is, this was the last we see of Clay Harder, the original TWO-GUN KID.


TWO-GUN KID #60, 1962 art by Kirby & Ayers

In November 1962 the TWO-GUN KID comic reappeared on the stands (#60), exhibiting a new, revamped TWO-GUN KID. With artwork by Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers, the new Kid was Matt Hawk, a dark-haired dude who gets transformed into a mask wearing, sharpshooting wild-west avenger.

Ah, but that origin story, my friends, is for another day... 

Thursday, March 20, 2014


A unique voice in comic art, Basil Wolverton's work can never be mistaken for someone else's.
Here are two short tales starring MYSTIC MOOT AND HIS MAGIC SNOOT!

From COMIC COMICS #6 & #7, 1946.