Monday, 30 June 2014

Gray Morrow's How To Draw A Fight Scene

Just wanted to show this off. This is Gray Morrow, from one of Marvel's Graphic Novels of the '80's. The Dreamwalker is a not entirely successful attempt to do a pulp hero, in the same sphere as The Shadow. Written by Miguel Ferrer & Bill Mumy, it's about Josh McCann, a superspy trying to get away from his former employers, while also avenging his father's murder, and taking on his secret identity as '40's crime fighter The Dreamwalker. And lumbering himself with a costume that could only really have worked in the Golden Age.

The Dreamwalker is, in all honesty, a bit of a mess, with way too many plot elements pulling against each other to make a cohesive whole. But Gray's artwork saves the piece. Like in these pages, that I genuinely think is one of the greatest fight scenes done by anyone anywhere. It's funny, full of movement, people actually get hurt ( notice the mustachioed bad guy struggling to pick himself up ) and the whole thing is the definition of rough and tumble. It's the kind of thing that makes you want to burst out into spontaneous applause.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

On The Skids!

What's that you say? You wanna read something really obscure? Well, ok, then. On The Skids appeared in Mike Freidrich's Quack!, was by Howard Chaykin & Alan Kupperberg, and starred the pair as funny animal versions of themselves. ( I've always read it that Howie is the taller one there, while Kupperberg is the minutely less caustic, and smaller one ).
In On The Skids, Chaykin & Kupperberg spend their time going from comic book publishers to pick-up bars and back again, trying a) to get published and b) get laid, in whichever order. Living, as they say, a Disney existence in a Robert Crumb world.
The strip is so full of in-jokes and of-the-time cultural references, it's almost impenetrable, certainly to me, but it's also such a great evocation of a specific time and place, that I just have to post it. In this, the 2nd and 3rd episodes, Kupperberg gets sole credit, but Chaykin is very definitely involved with some of that dialogue.
I particularly like the last episode, where the pair have their series stolen out from under them by the homespun Ding Dog Daddy ( and Daisy ) because: 'Freidrich likes me better! '

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

What If Conan Walked The Earth Today?

Easily the best What If...? of the series and, yes I'm gonna say it, one of the best Conan stories ever,
What If Conan Walked The Earth Today? could've been an absolute disaster, a one-line joke that ruined REH's iconic character for comics forever.
We didn't need to worry. Roy Thomas, John Buscema & Ernie Chan are all on fire, know exactly what they're doing, and the big guy stays in perfect character throughout. Total, total brilliance.