Monday, 11 April 2016

Captain Sternn



Here's Berni Wrightson retroactively auditioning for a job at '50's comic giant EC, in much the same way he later paid tribute to his spiritual forebear 'Ghastly' Graham Ingels ( EC's greatest horror artist ) with The Potty's Over at Epic. This time, Berni's aiming for the early issues of Mad, putting together what could almost be a lost strip by Harvey Kurtzman & Wally Wood.
Lincoln Sternn is the galaxy's baddest crook, Han Solo as played by James Garner if he was trying to pass for Superman, and he and his Hulk-like henchman Hanover Fiste turned up wherever Berni could squeeze them in, particularly a recommended 5-issue run over at Kitchen Sink. He also, of course, turned up in an adaptation of this very piece in the Heavy Metal movie ( which, sadly, I can't seem to find in full on youtube to show off ), but here's where his all too-brief comics career began.










6 comments:

  1. Ahhh, what great and funny stuff! This is why the Bronze Age was so cool. You can just see by the work that Berni loved doing this. A true craftsman at the top of his game!

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  2. Yeah, Wrightson at his peak. Fantastic.

    I remember going to see the HM film in the cinema at 15 or something like that. Kind of disappointing... particularly the Captain Sternn segment. You get everything in the story EXCEPT Berni Wrightson.

    Anyway, hadn't seen this for a while, so thanks. Enjoyed it a lot.

    -sean

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  3. Really? I LOVED the HM movie, though I think the only original story I'd read up to that date was Corben's Neverwhere ( got Sternn's first appearance second hand a few months later )

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  4. I think I just expected something a bit better; around the same time, I saw Fantastic Planet on tv which, despite the more limited animation, seemed closer to the spirit of the magazine (well, maybe more Hurlant than HM). Compared to that, Neverwhere without the actual Corben artwork feels a bit flat.

    Mind you, the film is genius compared to that FAKK 2 "sequel" or whatever it was that Eastman did - have you seen that? Good on him for keeping the mag going, but still...

    -sean

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  5. Well, I remember staying up late one night in the Bronze Age to watch Fantastic Planet and being absolutely terrified by the surrealism of it ( prob'ly a few years too young to appreciate it ), though as an adult loved Time Masters and Gandahar by the same director. As you say, now I can see, yes, absolutely HM ( or MH ) on screen tho'. Interesting how sometimes, some things can hit you when you're not quite ready for them.
    By comparison,the HM movie must've arrived at just the right time for me.
    FAKK 2 however? Zzzzzz... Is it over yet? HM the mag lost me roundabout the mid '80's to be honest, mainly 'cos I got fed up of Eastman pushing Julie Strain at us ( in the movie as well as the mag ).

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  6. Though this saw print in 1980, I think Berni drew it in 1977 or '78 "to offset the seriousness of the Frankenstein illustrations," he said in A LOOK BACK. Wrightson said he thought that by the time he finished a Sternn graphic novel that the "Star Wars" craze would be long over. Not so! Neal Adams acted as agent for Wrightson, and sold it to HEAVY METAL magazine. Then the film picked up the story and its popularity led to the later (and lesser) Sternn comics of the '80s.

    Regards,

    Chris A.

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