Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Abyss



We're indebted to ( as that bloke on That's Life used to say ) our blog pal & fellow FOOBA Chris A. who reminded me of this beauty following my post of In Deep last week.
In what you could look at as a sort of dry run for The Studio, in 1970 no less a Fab Four than Berni Wrightson, Jeff Jones, Mika Kaluta & Bruce Jones got together to self-publish this, the one and only issue of Abyss. And, I believe, lost money on it!
Most of the pieces here have been reprinted over the years, so if you have any old Unknown Worlds Of Science Fiction's or Epic's, you will have seen a lot of this already. But some you absolutely won't.
And anyway, it's these guys.
As I said in the comments to In Deep, Bruce Jones has long been one of my favourite comic writers, reminding me of the great Archie Goodwin in his inability to tell a bad story, and I always loved his Al Williamson inspired art. Yes, he used a lot of photo reference, but it still works, and I wish he'd done more.
And as for Jeff, Berni & Mike... Well, d'you need me to say anything at all?
I should, by the way, apologize to the scanner who originally posted the signed Wrightson pages. I'd genuinely credit you if I could locate where I got these from. No rip-off intended, so if you own the original pages, let me know.




































And as a bonus, here's the promotional portfolio the boys put out to sell the book. And they STILL lost money!





7 comments:

  1. And now for some bonuses for you, Pete! First is a painting Jeff Jones did for the September, 1970 issue of Amazing Science Fiction:
    https://raggedclawsnetwork.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/jeffrey-jones_orbit_amazing-sept1970.jpg

    And here is the original (unused) splash page for Wrightson's story:
    https://comics.ha.com/itm/original-comic-art/splash-pages/bernie-wrightson-wrightson-s-revolting-rhymes-preliminary-illustration-original-art-1970-/a/7009-92277.s

    Enjoy!

    Regards,
    Chris A.


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  2. A great era for fanzines. This seems to be a follow-up, in some ways, to the fanzine-like, newsstand distributed, Web of Horror, which all of these guys were involved with.

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  3. Great stuff, especially the Wrightson, thanks Chris.

    Russ, there's a plethora of long-lost work like this from that period I plan to show off, though interestingly, as I said, Roy Thomas nabbed quite a bit for Unknown Worlds.

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  4. I assume you recognised the Jones painting was the same composition as the opening panel of "Union."

    Elsewhere I read an interview with Berni Wrightson in which he said his original intent for Abyss was this story which he abandoned after one page:
    https://comics.ha.com/itm/original-comic-art/splash-pages/bernie-wrightson-unpublished-splash-page-here-s-another-fine-jam-you-ve-gotten-me-into-original-art-1970-/a/7013-94254.s

    Berni said the ending was so derivative of E.C. that he was too embarrassed to divulge what it was.

    Regards,
    Chris A.

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  5. Natch!

    As for that splash page, I think we can all be fairly sure that blood is the missing colourant in the guy's recipe, and that his wife does indeed end up.... In the jam.

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  6. In Red Circle Sorcery #7 (cover dated April, 1974) is "The Rivals," a short story drawn by Bruce Jones & inked by Bruce, Berni, Jeff, & Mike:

    http://diversionsofthegroovykind.blogspot.com/2013/06/random-reads-rivals-by-channing-and.html?m=1

    This is the only instance I know of all four of them working on the same story at the same time (right after Wrightson left Swamp Thing).

    Regards,

    Chris A.

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  7. Wow, it's a bit of a smorgasbord, but regardless, nice find, Chris!

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