Dedicated fan, influential creator, esteemed editor, respected historian; the legendary Roy Thomas, born November 22, 1940, has assembled one of the comics medium's most diverse and wide-ranging resumes over the course of his six-decade-plus career. From helping to establish the groundwork for organized comic fandom in the early '60s, to his much-loved stints writing many of Marvel and DC's best-beloved characters, to his modern-day work as editor and author of numerous reference works, he's long been one of the most knowledgeable and passionate voices in the industry.
This week the world of comics was saddened to learn of the passing of legendary cartoonist Jack Davis. Over the course of a career that spanned nine decades, Davis became one of the world's most recognizable visual stylists, rising to fame with his work on EC's horror and science-fiction titles in the '50s, then solidifying his status as one of the most beloved members of Mad Magazine's "Usual Gang Of Idiots".
Davis was a one-of-a-kind original, and it's our pleasure to commemorate his passing by presenting this hand-picked selection of his work --- fifty of our favorite images, showcasing all aspects of his artistry.
Ralph McQuarrie is one of people whose name may not be known to the public at large, but whose imagination gave rise to some of the most indelible, incredible imagery in all pop culture. He was a designer, a concept artist, and a creator who could take fantastic ideas and give them form, serving an essential role in the making of classic films and TV shows.
Born on this day in 1929, McQuarrie designed the spaceships seen in Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters Of The Third Kind and E.T., he conceived the look of the original Battlestar Galactica, he was responsible for a central image in Raiders Of The Lost Ark, he production designed Cocoon, and he worked as visual consultant for Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. But inarguably, his major achievement was defining the look of the Star Wars universe.
Ideas were flying fast and furious at Marvel at the start of 1964. Lee and Kirby had introduced The Brotherhood Of Evil Mutants in X-Men #4, unleashed the first proper Hulk Vs. Thing battle in Fantastic Four #25, and revived Golden-Age icon Captain America in Avengers #4, while Lee and artist Don Heck had given readers Black Widow's first appearance in Tales Of Suspense #52.
So when the first issue of a new title went on sale on February 4th, it seemed like the next logical step in the Marvel's expansion. The company had been running house ads trumpeting the book for a couple months, and the cover loudly declared itself to be in their best tradition of greatness and innovation. But the truth is that Daredevil's genesis was difficult, and #1 was arriving a full six months after it was originally slated.
When listing the great living legends of comics, there are few who loom larger than John Romita Sr. He's the man who defined the look of Marvel Comics for generations of readers, serving as the company's in-house art director, drawing hundreds of comics and designing many of the company's most famous characters.
John Romita was born in Brooklyn, New York, on January 24 1930, and showed a keen interest in drawing from an early age. He attended high school at the School Of Industrial Art on 79th Street in Manhattan, and after graduating in 1947 took on commercial art jobs for a year before breaking into the comics industry in 1949 with a story in Eastern Color's Famous Funnies.
This is something of a golden age for pop culture-themed art books. It seems like every week, a new volume comes on the market that illuminates some aspect of the history of popular art. In fact, there's so many great titles out there right now that it can be tough to figure out which are worth your time -- so we figured it would be a good idea to shine the ComicsAlliance spotlight on a few of the best things we've recently read.
The Art Of Bob Peak celebrates the works of one of the world's most legendary movie poster artists, edited and annotated by his son Thomas Peak.
Evangeline Lilly is a familiar name to sci-fi and genre fans – she broke into Hollywood's major leagues playing Kate Austen in Lost, she was the female lead in 2011's supremely fun Rocky-meets-Rock 'Em Sock 'Em flick Real Steel, and most recently, she's risen to new heights of fame for her role as elven warrior Tauriel in Peter Jackson's Hobbit films.
But while she's best known for on-camera appearances, acting is merely one of facet of her creative impulse. Lilly's first authorial effort is premiering at San Diego Comic-Con this week: a creepy crawly children's picture book entitled The Squickerwonkers, that tells a story-in-verse of a terrible child and the puppet people she encounters and antagonizes. It's a quick and delightfully dark read, illustrated in at once unsettling and beautiful fashion by WETA designer Johnny Fraser-Allen – and thanks to the fine folks at Titan Books, we recently had the opportunity to speak with Lilly about the long and convoluted path that this tale has taken on the road to publication.
Yesterday, May 26th, Herb Trimpe celebrated his 75th birthday. The prolific talent is often referred to these days as the artist of Wolverine's first appearance, and while that is certainly one of his many accomplishments, it's far from the whole story – he's compiled an singularly impressive CV over a comics career that spans seven decades, and built a reputation as one of the medium's most distinctive and reliable professionals.
Though he's hardly a household name here in the United States, even among the majority of comics fans, Hergé is a serious contender for the title of "all-time most influential comic artist". He created the globe-trotting boy reporter Tintin in 1929, and until his death in 1983, spun an ever-expanding saga that found the the intrepid lad and his supporting cast exploring the deep sea, landing on the moon, tangling with a yeti, and doing battle with an endless assortment of thieves, scoundrels, and ne'er-do-wells.
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