Category Archives: Tributes

Debra Jane Shelly Bun Toon.

I wish I never drew this one.

I wish I never drew this one.

 

debra jane shelly—————————————————————————————————

For last week's Bill Finger Google Doodle Campaign, click here

For last week’s Bill Finger Google Doodle Campaign Bun Toon, click here

For the Bun Toons archive, please click here

For the Bun Toons archive, please click here

I’ll see you guys next week.

Ty the Guy Out.

 

 

Nick Cardy

nick cardyIf you’re a youngun, you might not know the career of Nick Cardy.  He was one of the very few Golden Agers comic artists still with us until this week, where he passed away at the age of 93.

Nick Cardy was a pillar of DC Comics during my childhood, and a great deal of my love of comics manifested itself while reading comics that he drew.  Especially comics he drew the covers of…

Speedy Teen TitansThis is a couple of pages from the first DC Comic I ever read: Teen Titans #6.  I probably knew who Batman was from the TV show, but I had this comic because Robin was in it.  I was five years old, and Robin and the Teen Titans were HUGE in my life when I was very little.  This sequence, where Speedy shoots at his friends while BLINDFOLDED was incredibly exciting when I was five.   I still own this comic. It’s missing its cover and some of the pages are scribbled on, but I’ve never lost it.

teen titans 14

This comic scared the HELL out of a year later.  Not only does Robin visit the GRAVES of his friends (complete with ghosts!), but for some bizarre reason, he takes off his costume and mask and spends half of the story in his underwear.  It’s such an odd sequence that it stuck in my head for years.

teen titans 16

Then THIS Titans vs. a Giant Book cover came out.  Again, I’m about six years old when I saw this, but something weird happened when I did….I think I understood the difference between a striking and clever composition and regular old comics right then and there.  Cardy was doing something outstanding here and I could recognize it.   Look at that cover, who could MISS it?  I still own my copy of this one, but it has the damn cover.  It’s actually in pretty good shape.  The little kid in me didn’t want that cover harmed in any way.

superman batgirl

In the 70s, when I was about twelve years old, I finally figured out I could subscribe to comic books and get them in the mail!  I think I subscribed to about twenty series, and constantly asked for subscriptions for birthdays and Christmases.  This issue of Superman (with that magnificent Cardy cover) was the first comic book that ever arrived in the mail at my house.  It was folded in half, which I didn’t like, but it was magical to get a new comic book or two at my front door about every other day.   Most of them had Cardy covers.

christmas with superheroes

Speaking of Christmas, long time readers of this blog know my affection for this particular comic book.  I put this Nick Cardy cover up online for all to see every Christmas, and the tradition will likely continue for years to come.   This image is as close to joy in a line drawing as my nostalgic brain can wish for.

girls loveNick Cardy covers were SO good, I bought Romance Comics and other icky girl titles if he did the cover.  I bought this at a convention when I was about fifteen, and my friend actually made fun of me.

batlash 2This gorgeous cover lured me into a lifetime love of Bat Lash.  And he SAVED the West.  Trust me.  Cardy did the interiors on this series and I gobbled up every one.

At this point, I’m going to be quiet, and let you enjoy a treasury of the man’s work.  93 years old is a great run at this planet, and he left us SO much gorgeous comic art.  I envy you folks if you’re seeing any of it for the first time.

action 418

action teeth

aquaman 37 aquaman 50

batlash 4

girls romance love 70

superboy 186 superboy 189

witching hour 4

Thanks Nick.  You were an intimidating inspiration to this aspiring artist when I was growing up.  Every cover I ever draw, I’m conscious of wishing it was half as good as your stuff.

Ty the Guy OUT!

This issue of Teen Titans:

neal titans with nick

 

…was an impossible dream when I was a kid.  Neal Adams wrote the script, and did the layouts and Nick Cardy did the finished art.  Two of my favourite DC artists of all time, working together on the favourite series of my youth.

I own a couple of pages of the original artwork from this issue, given to me (because of a story too long to tell here) by the very generous Neal Adams.  So there’s a little Nick Cardy in my house this very moment, and there always will be.

And then there’s this:

booster 21The very first comic series I worked on professionally for DC featured the aliens introduced in (and not seen since) that issue of Teen Titans by Adams and Cardy.

Cool, huh?

 

Sticky Bun Toons?

Ooh, look at the big shot, so BUSY with work.

Ooh, look at the big shot, so BUSY with work.

I’m in the “so-late-with-my-latest-Marvel-project” zone that the clocks do nothing but terrify me, and have to spend the weekend catching up….(I want to have a job next month, you know.)

So…the Bun Toon had to be drawn in Stick Figure form this week, just to save time.

stick figure webcomic b

Of course, with the idea being that this was supposed to SAVE me time, the Jack Kirby and Frank Miller mock-ups took me EXACTLY as long as most Bun Toons do….sigh.

Ty the Guy OUT!

Of course, your Bonus Moment is the greatest Stick Figure Comic of all time:

Larry Marder's Beanworld has been flying the Stick Figure Freak Flag since the 80s!

Larry Marder’s Beanworld has been flying the Stick Figure Freak Flag since the 80s!

———————————————————————————————–

For last week's Bun Toon,  click the plump, fully rendered family of rabbits above. (PS:  It involves a free cartoon I wrote!!!)

For last week’s Bun Toon, click the plump, fully rendered family of rabbits above. (PS: It involves a free animated cartoon I wrote that you can watch here at Bun Toons Central!!!)

For The Bun Toon Archive, click the happy singing pastry.

For The Bun Toon Archive, click the happy singing pastry.

Memory Tricks Bun Toons! What?

Again?  I did one of these yesterday?

Again? I did one of these yesterday?

Didja read yesterday’s Bun Toon?  Didja?

It’s up there as a link to yesterday.  Read that and then come back and read this:

memory tricks websize coloursEnhanced Honesty Plus.  It’s not just for American Media any more.

Ty the Guy OUT!

Your Bonus Moment isn’t a happy one… A Bun Toon from a little over a year ago…

neighbourhood watchmen

—————————————————————————————————-

For last week's haunting Bun Toon (co-created with the wife!), click here

For last week’s haunting Bun Toon (co-created with the wife!), click here

For the Archive (Yes, it needs updating!) click here.

For the Archive (Yes, it needs updating!) click here.

Kim Thompson Bun Toons.

The secret origin story of the bunny.

The secret origin story of the bunny.

The great Kim Thompson passed away this week.

Along with Gary Groth and Fantagraphics, he made the 80s a rich, exciting time to read comics.  Love and Rockets, Neat Stuff, Bitchy Bitch, Critters, Usagi Yojimbo, Fission Chicken…Fantagraphics was the coolest, bestest comics publisher in the whole world, and half the reason comic stores were an exciting new idea back then.

When I worked at Vortex Comics, putting out Stig’s Inferno and Mister X, there was no secret to the idea that we were trying to be the Fantagraphics of Canada.  Hell, we even hired away the Hernandez Brothers to do the first four issues of Mister X.   We had Jamie envy.

But my experience at Vortex ended badly, and my experience at Eclipse ended badly (for  completely different reasons – neither my fault), and in 1986, my comic book partner and best friend, Klaus Shoenefeld passed away at the age of 24.    It was a very low point in my life.

That’s when Kim Thompson called me on the phone and asked if I wanted to do some stories for Fantagraphics.

Literally, at the moment I was re-considering doing comics as a way to make a living, the coolest, bestest, comics publisher in the world thought I was worth a call.

What follows is the first story Kim ever bought off of me.  (click on the images to enlarge if they’re hard to read.   It’s eight pages long, so settle in with a lunch…)

bun toon ol treasure map 1

bun toon ol treasure map 2

bun toon ol treasure map 3

bun toon ol treasure map 4

bun toon ol treasure map 5

bun toon ol treasure map 6

bun toon ol treasure map 7

bun toon ol treasure map 8

Yes, it’s a weak-sauce Walk Kelly pastiche….but it was the first thing I did for Critters.  Kim talked me into doing funny animals comics when I thought crittersthere was no value in them.  He introduced me to the work of Carl Barks and MADE me read his duck stuff, even when I didn’t want to.   Kim convinced me I was good at what I did when I was young enough to have trouble believing it.  He introduced me to Alan Moore (over the phone) and put us together on a project that included a rock and roll single that Moore and I traded A and B sides on.  That’s the cover to Critters #23 above and to the left…here’s the single being played on a RECORD PLAYER!  (I’m old.)

fbi records

Kim was the biggest champion of great comics you ever met, and Fantagraphics published comics that cost them money because they believed  in those creators and projects like no other publisher.   Who does that?

Those long ago years when I did a handful of stories with Kim Thompson at Fantagraphics are what told me I was actually in a comics industry worth being in.   I never had an editor or publisher be so nice to me, or be so supportive, or “get” comics like Kim.

F*** you, cancer.

Ty the Guy

Kim, when I first met him.

Kim, when I first met him.

Later Kim.  Holding some of the many awards he piled up.

Later Kim. Holding some of the many awards he absolutely deserved for his contribution to our art form.

————————————————————————————-

man of steel link

For last week’s MAN OF STEEL REVIEW BUN TOON, click Kal-el.

For the Bun Toon archive, click here.

For the Bun Toon archive, click here.

Happy Birthday Big Red S!

superman-metropolis-poster

Seventy Five years old!  Great Rao!

I have a lovely essay that I wrote on the occasion of Superman’s 70th Birthday, and rather than rethink it, I’ll just link to it below.  Click on the image and you’ll be taken to a much larger and readable version of the article.   When you’re done (or once you’ve ignored the article and scrolled below it), you can rejoin the regular blog, still in progress.

supaperman

What I said still holds true (unless the upcoming movie REALLY sucks).

I’ve had a long and unexpected association with Superman through the years, and I consider it quite an honour to have contributed to the great character’s legacy. Working out of the Superman office in the late 80s and early 90s gave me the whooping-giggle thrill of collaborating with some of the legends of this comics industry.  I got ink over such childhood heroes as Jim Mooney:

mooney superboy

And John Byrne…

Superman Splash 598

 Dan Jurgens…

jurgens superman

…and the definitive Superman artist for a generation: Curt Swan.

supboy10p23

…as well as a dozen other artists working out Mike Carlin’s Superman office.  My single favourite image I contributed to while I was a Superman inker was this cover for Superboy: The Comic Book #4…penciled by Kevin Maguire and rendered by your humble blogger.  I rarely put my own artwork up on the walls of my house, but I consider this a Kevin piece anyway, so it sat on my wall for years.

I dare you to tell me that isn't a great cover.

I dare you to tell me that isn’t a great cover.

Superman was on hand the first time I co-wrote a story with my pal Dan Slott.  Though we’d worked together as a writer/artist team a few times, this was our first collaboration as co-writers, and our little tale featured Krypto and his big flyin’ master.   Go find a copy and read it, you’ll let go of a few honest tears when it’s done.  I’m proud of this one.

Superman_Adventures_Vol_1_40

I got to work with Jerry Seinfeld because of Superman.  I was asked to design the look of  Superman for a series of Seinfeld/American Express animated commercials, as well as creating some odd Jerry and Superman scenes for billboards and print ads.

Superman Jerry 1The original photo is Jerry grabbing at “no one” in the air, and I had to draw Superman to fit where Jerry’s hand was.  Kal-el is supposed to be saying “this guy’s crazy”, but it looks equally like he’s tickling the comedian.

Superman and Jerry bond over their dogs.

Superman and Jerry bond over their dogs.

Is there any better job than being paid to illustrate Krypto starting a bromance?

Working for Superman offered me to opportunity to design collectable action figures:

lrgscaleDCD-PVC-22961

and crayon boxes, and puzzles and t-shirts and colouring books and darn near anything with an S on it.  Of the many many images of Superman I’ve drawn for DC Comics over my career, this is my favourite:

JLA 31I know there’s other characters on this JLU cover, but there’s something about the Superman figure that sits just right with me.  His proportions, his expression, even the colours of his costume, all came together in this image and I didn’t screw any of it up.  I actually don’t hate this cover and my wife will tell you how rare that is for me.  I might be wrong, but I think it’s the last time I drew Superman for the mother corporation…once I get it correct, I scoot off and don’t do it again.

So happy birthday Mr. Cape.  You’ve been a delightful character to read as a child, to work on as a young adult, and to come back to every few years like a comfortable trip back home.   I hope I get another chance at him someday…and I treasure the time we spent together.

I’m always a little jealous when he dates someone else.

Ty the Guy OUT!

Here now, your BONUS Superman Moment- You knew this one was coming.

websize

Carmine Infantino and Roger Ebert.

infantino2

Carmine Infantino, taking a short break from kicking ass.

In 1947, Infantino drew his first story for DC Comics at the age of 22.   It was a Johnny Thunder back-up story in FLASH COMICS # 86.  It happened to introduce the world to the BLACK CANARY, a character still popular sixty-five years later.

black canary first

So Carmine Infantino was making comic book history, literally from the word “go”.

You need more history?  Okay, the entire comics industry as it exists today, is built (essentially) from this single issue from 1956:

showcase 4When Carmine Infantino and Bob Kanigher (along with Julie Schwartz) re-imagined the moribund character of The Flash in Showcase #4,  they started the Silver Age of comics.  Adopting the new, science fiction style of the atomic age, they made the modern super-hero streamlined, slick, sexy, and a huge hit.  Soon followed Green Lantern, then the Justice League, then the Fantastic Four and Marvel Comics and us all getting into the hobby, and you reading this blog.  The floodgates started here.

And any time you think Batman was rescued from obscurity by Frank Miller graphic novels in the 80s, you should know that Carmine Infantino was the first one to pull that re-designing the Dark Knight voodo-kung-fu s*** back in the early 60s.  Before Infantino, The Caped Crusader was doing this:

rainboy batman

Carmine’s “New Look” Batman, saved us from Rainbow Batman, Zebra Batman, Monkey Batman and the Ghost of Batman-Monkey of Rainbow Zebra World with this kind of thing:

I dare you to tell me you've never seen this iconic version of Batman from the 60s...

I dare you to tell me you’ve never seen this iconic Carmine Infantino version of Batman from the 60s…

That image is so iconic, we stole it for a cover of Batman and Robin Adventures I worked on.

Rick Burchett did the cover here.

Rick Burchett did the cover here.

But hey, it’s not like we were the only ones to do this cover…

action steal

captain atom steal

manhunter steal

robinspoiler stealDat’s what I mean by an ICONIC image.

Now a few more of my favorite things:

Deadman.  Infantino co-created Deadman.  I freaking LOVE Deadman.

Infantino co-created Deadman. I freaking LOVE Deadman.

Batgirl (the one you like) is  Infantino as well.

Batgirl (the one you like) is Infantino as well.

The whole Earth-2 meshuga that DC Comics is still dealing with.  Carmine's there for that one.

The whole Earth-2 meshuga that DC Comics is still dealing with. Carmine’s there for that one.

Guess who got this fanboy jeans-creamer up and running?

Guess who got this fanboy jeans-creamer up and running?   70s era DC COMICS publisher Carmine Infantino, obviously, or I wouldn’t have brought it up.

Infantino is the one who lured Kirby over to DC Comics when Carmine was made publisher...

Infantino is the one who lured Kirby over to DC Comics around the same time.

Which led to the creation of my favorite comic book series of all time.

Which led to the creation of my favorite comic book series of all time.  Yeah, I said it, and I’ll defend it with my bare hands.

We’ve barely skipped over the surface of this man’s long and very impressive career, and there are more qualified writers out there to tell the details of that story.  I didn’t know Carmine Infantino personally, but he was such a huge presence in the comics that shaped my love of this art form, I had to say thank you in my own way on the occasion of his passing away.

Even though it’s too late to do any good.

So thank you, Mr. Infantino.  You made so much of it wonderful.

———————————————————————————————

1365105444_roger-ebert-article

Another iconic image. The thumb is up.

Earlier in the same day, beloved film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert also died.

I didn’t know Roger Ebert personally, either, but apparently he’d read some of my Batman comic books, and had come across one of my Bun Toons or something and he sent me a facebook friend request  a couple of years ago.  After determining that it was, indeed, the real Roger Ebert, I was delighted to accept, and ended up having a few little IM chats with him over the next couple of years.  Not often, and never anything long or meaningful, but I did get the chance to tell him how much I loved his writing, and greatly admired his courage in continuing to be a public person after losing his jaw to cancer.  

When I heard he’d died yesterday, I was quite sad, of course…but I also had this strange joy that I lived in the internet age and that I had actually gotten a rare chance to tell Mr. Ebert directly how much I appreciated him, instead of saying so only in a posthumous blog post like I just did with Carmine Infantino.

What a world.

Ty the Guy OUT!

——————————————————————————————–

Bonus Carmine Infantino Moments:

Flash 163

That Batman and Robin Adventures cover wasn’t the ONLY time I was involved in swiping stuff from Mr. Infantino… I stole a Flash cover from him for an issue of Marvel’s MAD DOG:

mad dog steal

When I was drawing my ELONGATED MAN issue of Secret Origins (many moons ago), I stole the layout style (as well as a few more cover compositions shown here) from the way Carmine used to cut up a page.  Those three ‘n’ three panel layout pages were very Infantino.

Panels 2 and 3 are Infantino Flash covers, line for line.

Me doing a pastiche of Carmine.  Panels 2 and 3 are Infantino Flash covers, line for line, by the way…

Here’s me doing an Infantino-style Justice League cover for the Silver Age Month that DC Comics did a dozen years ago.

Silver JLAAnd while we’re on the subject of the SILVER AGE MONTH…I had the mind-boggling good fortune of being asked to draw the Flash issue of that cross-over….

Silver_Age_Flash_Vol_1_1…which featured a CARMINE INFANTINO COVER!!

Damn, that was cool.

The NEW Silver Snail!! The Old Ty Templeton!

It’s been an incredibly busy couple of months what with starting up my COMIC BOOK BOOTCAMP, attending FanExpo Canada 2012, Montreal Comic Con, all while still working on Marvel Ultimate Spider-Man Adventures ( as well as other projects, currently too secret to discuss!!) This week is particularly packed with events–(Including an open house at my new school/Comic Book Embassy this Saturday!  392 Spadina Ave. in Toronto! I’ll discuss this more in depth tomorrow) but I still made time to be at the opening of the brand new Yonge Street location of Silver Snail Comics.

Checking out the Spidey hanging over the front stairs

The Silver Snail is one of the planet’s best comic stores (and JUST awarded the Shuster Award for Best Comic Store in Canada, 2012, so there’s proof) and the store and I have a personal history.  When it first opened in Toronto at its original Queen Street location in 1976, I was its first customer through their doors on opening day at the age of 14 (buying some back issues of Captain America-Clear Memory Ty), and so with the new change of ownership and change of location, I was honoured to be asked back to do the same thing…

Checking out the new comics rack

So, yesterday morning, I packed my kids in the car…and let Keiren drive so we could all nap as it was only 7am. We arrived at 329 Yonge Street as the store opened for the FIRST DAY at 8am. Because of the café located at the front of the store, proud new owner, George Zotti and his partner, have chosen to open at 8am each day, and remain open until 10pm.  Yup, you heard that right…until TEN PM!

With an actual glass bottle of Coke in hand from the café, I got to walk around and check out the impressively huge new space. My kids got to browse as well, eventually sitting in the kids’ area, a table and chairs set in front of the rack full of kid-friendly comics (including my latest issues of Ultimate Spidey!)

So, the family got to be the official first customers of the new location (although technically, it was my daughter as she actually paid so she could take quick posession of her Archie Comics digest) and my son, former Silver Snail employee, Kellam was the second official customer.

The first stack of comics sold at the new Silver Snail!  I chat with new owner George Zotti about gray hair, baldness and the lost dreams of my youth.

Dreams fulfilled…I have my morning Coca Cola, and all is well.

My daughter Kate, showing off the Archie comic that was on the top of the stack, making THIS digest from Riverdale the first OFFICIAL comic book rung up at the new store!  ARCHIE RULES!!

No, you can’t buy this kick ass Batman Jacket at the store…my wife made it from an old bed spread from back when I was the Snail’s original customer.  Once again, mixing the old with the new.  (I’m the old…)

So…you’re all too late to be there first, but PLEASE come and be there second, or at least part of a ten thousand way tie for second.  The new Silver Snail rocks out, and is great danger of becoming a Toronto Yonge Street landmark for decades to come.

Ty the Guy OUT!

Here now, your BONUS New Silver Snail Moment:

A nice close up shot of the New Silver Snail’s New Mascot, Venom/Spidey!  He hangs over the entrance stairway, either protecting or threatening the customers…As long as he can save Gwen if she ever falls down the stairs, or off a bridge or something, I’m good…

Happy 95th Birthday King Kirby

In tribute to the late King of Comics on his birthday, it’s been suggested that those of us who followed in  his footsteps wake up and draw our favourite Kirby Karacter, and donate the sketch to HERO INITIATIVE‘s KIRBY4HEROES campaign.

I’ve never worked on the Fantastic Four, but I DID get to do a few issues of Spider-Man that featured Ben Grimm, and discovered how much I love drawing the blue-eyed idol of millions.   And since it’s a sketch, not appearing in an actual Marvel Comic, I get to give Bashful Benjy back his beloved cheroot.

He still doesn’t seem happy, though.  I think it’s because I was still sleepy…

We love you, Jack.  There’s no possible way to ever give back to the Kirby family the way Jack gave to us, but it’s our duty to at least try on his 95th birthday.

Ty the Guy OUT!

Here now, your BONUS Kirby Karacter Sketch:

My favourite Kirby COSTUME to draw is still Big Barda.  A million years ago, before the Earth fully cooled, Barda was a member of the Justice League when I was pencilling that series in the early 90s, and I discovered how PERFECTLY designed that outfit was to draw from any angle, at any size, and it still held together.

Even a goofball like me could draw the Former Female Fury and keep it recognizable with that iconic ensemble.  I think she stole that hat from Galactus, and drank his milkshake while she was at it.

Joe Kubert Bun Toons. Sigh.

Sgt. Rock…Tarzan…Enemy Ace…Tor…Viking Prince…Hawkman…Punisher…

Joe Kubert.  The last of the Golden Age artists still working at his craft, passed away this week with art yet left to be published on the Before Watchmen comic he’s been inking.

Year after year, his work got bolder, more confident, and more gorgeous with every passing day.  I can’t think of any other artist in any other field who continued to improve as long as he drew breath.   There was never a period of decline.

Now that I’m a teacher of how to make comics, I often think about Joe and the magnificent institution he built known as the Joe Kubert School.  I never went there, but always felt that he taught me a hell of a lot in every conversation I ever had with him.

Thanks for the world you helped make, Mr. Kubert.

Ty the Guy OUT!

Here now, your BONUS Joe Kubert Moments:

The first Joe Kubert artwork I ever saw. This comic belonged to an older brother.

The first Kubert comic I ever owned. I bought this when I was about eight years old, ENTIRELY because of that cover.

————————————————————————————————

For last week’s Bun Toon “Brush with Greatness”, click above.

For every Bun Toon ever, click above.

For a previous blog entry about this very subject, and Mr. Kubert’s advice, click here.