Merry Christmas to everyone out there! This week I’ll keep with the theme of anthology books, but with a holiday story! One of Marvel’s most beloved characters is definitely Ben Grimm. His kind heart and love for his friends is one of legend, his fights with Johnny notwithstanding! This story opens up with a gorgeous splash page that really sets the holiday mood. This wild tale involves the Puppet Master, Ben, and Alicia. You see, the Puppet Master is fresh out of prison, and the shenanigans must ensue. He convinces Alicia that he’s no longer evil, and then the two of them, plus The Thing head to his homeland (Transia) as a Christmas present from the FF. It doesn’t take long for the trio to get into trouble, as Bova and Modred the Mystic join the cast in this crazy holiday issue!
Written by Mark Gruenwald, art by Frank Springer (pencils and cover) and Chic Stone (inks), colors by George Roussos, letters by Michael Higgins, and edited by Jim Salicrup! This is a very wacky issue, but so much fun. The holiday backdrop is perfect for this story and for today’s post! Merry Christmas!
Looking into the past can be exhilarating, thrilling, but also frustrating. The comic book industry as a whole didn’t keep the best records in decades past, but the smaller publishers (everyone except DC, Marvel, and E.C.) were especially atrocious. Trying to find credits for the exquisite covers on Dell comic books title Ghost Stories is maddening. Even the interior work (writing/art) isn’t always available. That said, these comics had some very good material a lot of the artistic material from the mind of Frank McLaughlin (not the painted cover (9), but interior pencils and inks – he did create the cover to issue 19). The man has a pretty extensive list of credits, from Marvel, DC, Charlton, Dell, etc. He’s one of those guys that seems to be forgotten except for the hardcore fans from yester-year. He was a solid artist and that’s the way his work should be remembered. Most of the scripts were written by Carl Memling, another name that’s tough to find credits for across the web. Lastly, we have some inks by the controversial Vince Colletta. He has a ton of credits for inking, and that is where some people take issue with him, but I try to look at it as the guy was being paid to do a job, and with very little time to do it. So, looking at it that way, I can easily say I have no problem with his work.
After just purchasing this book recently (Baltimore Comic Con 2014), I felt compelled to spotlight this great book! These types of books have always caught my eye, and will always get my money, as well. When you have great characters like Namor and Dr. Doom in a book, it’s difficult to not have a good story, or at least enough crazy action and declarative statements on every other panel! Let’s face it, Doom and Namor have enough hot air between the two of them to float a balloon across the planet. But, that’s why we love them, isn’t it?
As if dealing with Doom isn’t bad enough, Namor must contend with his perennial foes Attuma and Tiger Shark as well! There’s also a third person to contend with too, as Dr. Dorcas is in the mix…wow, what a name for a villain. The story is broken into two “chapters”, with a different set of artists on the second half, but you can’t go wrong with either team to be honest. Written by Tony Isabella, pencils (chapter one) by George Tuska & Bill Everett, inks by Fed Kida, colors by I. Vartanoff, and letters by I. Watanabe. The second chapter was penciled by George Evans, and inked by Frank Springer, and the rest of the same crew from the first chapter to round out the rest of the team! There are some fantastic splash pages in this book, so get ready to be aroused!
My DC books are quite few in numbers (being a Marvel zombie for almost 20 years), but I’ve managed to acquire a couple of their books that are absolutely fascinating. This gem being one of them. Jim Aparo is one of those artists that make me immediately think of Batman when I see or hear his name (Garcia-Lopez, too). He’s the cover artist on this beauty, but the inside brings the talents of Joe Kubert, Bob Haney, Frank Springer, and more! Enjoy!
You know, I’m a huge fan of the Tomb of Dracula series, mostly because of Gene Colan and Marv Wolfman, but anything with Dracula is worth reading in my opinion! Check out this great cover by Gil Kane! This story was exceptional, and I look forward to talking about the entire series, plus great books like this Giant Size offering from David Kraft, Marv Wolfman, Don Heck, Frank Springer, Artie Simek, Petra Goldberg, and Len Wein! Enjoy!
At the behest of the super groovy, Dave Elliott, here’s the cover of the day! Cover artist extraordinaire, Gil Kane, lends his incredible talents to one of my favorite titles of all time! Credits on this issue include- Writer: Roy Thomas -Pencils: Frank Robbins -Inks: Frank Springer! Enjoy!