Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Merry Christmas to y'all

Okay folks, up at an unearthly hour in the morning to travel to France to see family, then back again Christmas Eve eve.
So, very best wishes to you all and i'll see you back here soon.

The first full Dark Knight rises trailer

Not giving too much away, but i don't want it to.
Looking good so far, and i love Zimmer's new score already.
And, by the brief glimpse of Selina, it looks like Ann Hathaway is gonna be just fine as Catwoman.


Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Oh, for 8,000 dollars

If i had that amount to spare, chances are i'd be going for this beauty on eBay - an original painting for the '66 bubblegum cards, painted by Norman Saunders.
As i've said before, it was that, slightly surreal, mainly photorealistic art that was the fascination for me with these, and how i'd love this.

Monday, 12 December 2011

First Tale Of The ... Batman

Back in Febuary, i started a little feature where i would look at the first ever appearance of certain characters.
I started with the Joker - then promptly forgot about it.
Remembered it now though, so lets take a look at the Big Guy shall we?
Detective Comics 27 has his first appearance, after the cover, right there on the top most panel of page 1, albeit in the shadows.

Directly under that we meet Bruce for the first time, puffing away on his pipe, chatting with his friend Commissioner Gordon and wearing a very natty Rupert The Bear style suit.
Right from the word go we've got the bored socialite, who hangs around with Gordon simply because he's got nothing better to do.
Also established straight away is the folk are aware of "The Bat-Man", who Gordon is merely puzzled by - no mention of him striking fear into wrong doers or being a vigilante at large.
So we get into the story and its a pretty by the book mystery, with no hint of the more fantastical tales that are just around the corner.
Batman makes his first proper appearance on page 3 and its a corker, with him standing there cross-armed.

Interesting to note what there's from the start - the cowl, the scalloped cape and boots. What's not there yet are the gaunlets with the three spikes, instead he's just got regular gloves. And a weird, rounded belt buckle thing.
As i say, a by the book tale. Aside from the costume details, its also interesting to see what and what's not there:
No mention of what city its set in,
Batman uses a bog-standard car,

and there's no mention yet of a Wayne Manor or Batcave. Instead we get this, he goes "home to his room" and "a little later" emerges in costume.

Embryonic, but still huegly entertaining, stuff.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

RIP Jerry Robinson

Blimey, there i am waffling away and i don't realise a true giant has left us.
It doesn't matter about the arguing whether he created Robin or not, or if it was him that chose to base the Joker on Conrad Veidt, or anything else.
Fact is, he was a brilliant artsit, responsible of many, many iconic images.
RIP Jerry, your legacy will live on.

Batman & Captain America

This one-off written and drawn by John Byrne is one that i never see mentioned anywhere.
And i really don't know why.
Like his work on that Superman/Batman Generations serious, Byrne's knowledge and love for the early day versions of superheroes really comes across and here he's used the terrific idea of teaming up the WW2 Bat n' Cap.
Of course, he had to use both their nemesis' in the Joker and Red Skull and they're good firing off each other.
But, for me, its the art that's the real attraction and i guess the tale with a lesser artist just wouldn't be as good.
Byrne's Joker is obviously a nod to Sprangs:

His Bats is more the 50's square-jawed version, but really is terrific:

and his design of the Nazi War Wheel is excellent:

I was going to put up the stunning multi-level Batcave as my top moment but, really, its this simple image of the four versions of the two heroes that does it for me:

Brilliant stuff.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Top Five Artists - #2 - Marshall Rogers

So, SO unfairly over-looked is Mr Rogers. Maybe because he didn't spend time on the title, but his time on it, while teamed with inker Terry Austin, produced some classic, iconic art.
Waaay ahead of his time, Marshall was giving us the "draped cape hiding all form" shot:

He could do the long ears thing without making it look silly (take note Sam Keith):

And did a brilliant Joker:

Mr Rodgers, you truely deserve the number two slot