Tag Archives: Batman Adventures

New Pages

Ty’s been madly scripting away (hint: it involves Twitter, and yet he doesn’t once twitter) so he had no time to pick pages to scan last week. Although, at one point, while hunting around for an old contract to check some details he found two boxes of old artwork (yes, this happens a lot around here).  Once again, he was completely surprised to find work he’d thought was long gone…  He showed me much of it but I was on day one or two of a migraine and I only absorbed brief images:  I remember a couple of Batman Adventures covers (which he’d been absolutely convinced he’d sold), including all the #1’s he’d done (ie, for The Batman Adventures, The Batman and Robin Adventures, etc).  Let’s see…there were lots of Mad Dog, Powdered Toast Man (including a page featuring Powdered Toast Man’s buttocks which didn’t see print).  And many more Mike Parobeck pages (of Elongated Man) than he’d remembered owning. And some more of his Walter Foster, “How to Draw” pages…including Catwoman.

But, for today, Ty was reminiscing about the old days doing Justice League International…when he took over from Kevin Maguire, and Issue #24 was a double issue, introducing Ty in the front half, and saying sayonara to Kevin in the back.  Ty’s pages involved a story with Maxwell Lord.

And, he’s scanned a bunch of Amanda Waller pages from Issue #27.  I’m putting them up here for now…will sort them out into a gallery page later.

The Maxwell Lord pages are $50/USD; Amanda Waller pages are $100/USD. All pages are pencilled by Ty Templeton, inked by Joe Rubinstein.

(If you’re interested in purchasing a page, check out pricing and shipping info, then email us at: tytempletonart@gmail.com.)

Justice League International, Issue #24, page 3

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Justice League International, Issue 24, page 4

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Justice League International, Issue 24, page #6

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Justice League International, Issue 27, page 2

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Justice League International, Issue 27, page 13

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Justice League International, Issue 27, page 15

There’s more from both these issues…I’ll put those up tomorrow.

Keiren

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Sad to hear about Dick Giordano passing away.

Ah, damn it.  Who didn’t love Dick Giordano?   We lost him over the weekend.  Not unexpected, but still…

silly sexy fun

Both of this blog’s regular readers might have noticed

The "New" Joker

how often his name or his work has come up around here, which is notable, considering how rarely I mention any other cartoonists in this solipsistic e-rag.  He was part of those delightful Lois Lane covers from last week, he inked the issue of Batman (#251) which I consider one of the two most important comic books of my life, mentioned a months or so ago on Art Land.

But let’s talk about this.

This issue is a very close second for my favorite Batman story of all time, and once again, Denny O’Neil and Dick Giordano are on the creative team responsible for it.  The cover is gorgeous, and the art and story inside are great…a Twilight Zone style tale of Batman traveling to another dimension where he again witnesses the murder of his parents, and changes THAT Bruce’s destiny.  It’s been reprinted many times, most notably in THE GREATEST BATMAN STORIES EVER TOLD, so I’m not the only one who loves this issue.

The idea of the story stuck in my head my entire life, and when I was asked to write a “try-out” issue of Batman Adventures all those years ago, the first

Not the same story, but the same idea.

thing that occurred to me was “What if I could make Batman re-live the murder of his parents, and change the destiny of another child…?”  The story I wrote is not at all the same to Denny and Dick’s masterpiece, but I certainly drew water out of the same inspirational spring as the above issue, and my script was well enough received that I’ve been writing comics for a living ever since.

But, what really blew my head into brain chunks about Detective #457 was that it showed me how much Dick Giordano was responsible for the greatness of those Neal Adams comics that I thought Dick had been “just inking”.  This was a comic drawn with beautiful realism, perfect line work, dramatic lighting, phenomenally beautiful women, and all the things that made those Neal comics wonderful, only Neal wasn’t around for this issue.  It turned out DICK WAS THE GUY who had been doing much of that all along.  And there was a subtle difference in the storytelling.  It was somehow more accessible, more “readable”, more directly told, than I was used to from this familiar style, and in many ways I LIKED IT BETTER!

THE most beautiful versions of the women of DC in the 70s

As a kid, I copied the images from ‘Tec #457 over and over.  I traced a copy of the cover so I could see it without the logo covering up the ears (hated that!).  There’s a panel inside of Batman swinging over the city, that I hand-copied as a three foot high poster that hung on the back of my bedroom door for years.  From this issue on, as far as I was concerned, Dick Giordano was one of the greats, the gods, the Beatles of DC comics.  I know, I know… he’d been great all along, but this is when I discovered it.

In the delightful Neal Adams cover above (for the magnificent Adams/Giordano Superman vs. Muhammad Ali giant comic) the crowd is filled with “real” people.  Jimmy Carter, Sinatra, Wolfman Jack, Raquel Welch, and so many others.  There’s a map on the inside cover to tell you who everyone is, but when I got it, I tried to see how many I could figure out on my own.  Up in the crowd, about eight or nine rows back, was a couple of people I assume to be Warren Beatty and Clark Cable, and some kids nearby.

amongst the Jackson Five, George Carlin and Lt. Columbo, this is NOT Clark Gable and Warren Beatty

It turned out to be Neal Adams and Dick Giordano and family.  I thought Neal had drawn he and his partner a lot more handsome than they probably were…and it was pretty cool to discover that they really did look like that when I met them a year or so later at conventions.

I got to know Dick just a little, over the years I worked at DC, and the  two things I remember most about him, was that he always looked great, (he could wear a suit and a mustache like a pro)…and that he loved talking the craft and comics with anyone who wanted to start up the conversation.  In those days, when Dick was our fearless leader, it was inspiring to see him in the DC  hallway, and to know he was still producing top flight penciling and inking work at home, after a full day at the office.

When you're great, you never stop being great.

And talk about inspiring,  he was still producing it, right up until the end.  The March issue of Jonah Hex, 2010, was the work of the one and only Mr. Giordano, head into your local comic store and pick one up, and enjoy the last work of a creator who inspired more than one generation.

Ty the Guy

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TY TEMPLETON’S IRONICALLY SELF-AWARE COMIC BOOK BONDAGE PARADE, part 2.

Bondage?  That’s where we are now?

I do six monthly posts about the rise of postmodernism as a result of new educational opportunities created by the second Industrial Revolution, and no one reads them.  I do an eleven day series about our collective struggle for a cultural soul in light of recent media consolidations and the blog gets thirty-five hits over those eleven days… But hogtie Lois Lane to a speeding truck with her thighs held open and 37,804 internet pervs find a way to my homepage.

But I’m no fool.  I understand the needs of the blog consumer, and I will accommodate with the content you heaving philistines so clearly demand.  Here is part two of…TY TEMPLETON’S IRONICALLY SELF-AWARE COMIC BOOK  BONDAGE PARADE.

I can't believe Marvel let me do this cover!

Both in the comments section, and in my email box, I was flooded with an estimated eight requests for Wonder Woman as my next subject.  Unfortunately, it proved nearly impossible to find images of the Amazon Princess in bondage, in either my comic collection or on the internet– even with the safe search off.  This screengrab from the Seventies WONDER WOMAN TV show was all I could find.

Those chains look uncomfortable. No wonder Nazis were considered rude.

morning

You’ll have to excuse me while I catch my breath after that much concentrated sarcasm.  Who here DIDN’T know that the ORIGINAL Princess Diana (Ms. Magazine’s Mascot) was THE poster girl for restraint fetishism for her entire career?  Her creator, Charles Moulton (aka Dr. William Moulton Marston, Phd in psychology from Harvard, and distinguished co-inventor of the lie-detector) was an outspoken bondage enthusiast who insisted in books and interviews that the world would be

noon

a more peaceful place if we all learned to sheepshank our loved ones.  This was before we knew that sort of thing was “weird” and he was still allowed to be photographed for glossy magazines and shop at local stores all through the forties and fifties. And if peace through mutual rope burns wasn’t enough for

night

Mr. and Mrs. America, the good doctor had two openly poly-amorous wives, each of whom bore him a couple of kids, and the whole sordid commune of anti-establishment love lived happily ever after.

Compared to Dr. Moulton,

she may look upset, but she still hasn't shouted her safe word.

Hugh Hefner was a pussy.

So finding images of Wonder Woman in bondage is about as hard as finding a closeted republican at a gay bar.  If you need to see shots of the chained up Amazon, grab your google and work your search engine, kids.  You’ll end up with enough drawings of Diana cattle-roped to a torpedo to wallpaper your sanctum sanctorum.

But in light of the double-mint twins marital arrangements that Dr. Willie had with the wives, this image (below) of two hot ladies RIDING THE MONSTER KANGAROO  does command attention, , but then, who hasn’t drawn two women riding the Monster Kangaroo?

Penis? What four legged penis?

Heck, riding the monster kangaroo is my regular phone-doodle, only I don’t draw the rollicking beast  with quite so phallic a body shape.

So it’s way too easy to go after the Amazon Princess, or the Phantom Lady, or even Robin and Bucky, the boy hostages.  No matter how much fun it is to draw a nicely restrained pale young boy wearing a domino mask, it’s just not “ART LAND” style to blog about the commonplace and mundane.

BATMAN is another story altogether.

I keep a sketch book.  All artists do.  It’s a place to warm up the  hands as we start our work day, like doing scales on a piano.  Sometimes the drawings are of two  headed nuns playing ice hockey, or equally silly images never meant to be shown to the public.  Sometimes I sketch ideas.  The following was never meant to be anything more than an image of how tough Batman was.  He can scare you pissless while still tied to a chair.

You want to see a tough guy? Find him some nails to eat.

This was just a doodle in a sketch book.  But I had an idea.  Could I do an entire issue where Batman is tied in a chair?  Where he doesn’t get out of the trap at all, and just SCARES the bad guys into giving up…?  That struck me as a fun challenge and I asked the editor if I could try it.  I was told “yes” but I had to include Robin and Batgirl in the story, since they were co-stars of the book at the time.  Well, that diluted the idea somewhat, but I was still happy to give it a chance, and I ended up writing one of my favorite little Batman stories for BATMAN ADVENTURES (vol 2) #6, during my more than ten years working on that title.   It’s only five pages, so I reproduce it below…THIS is bondage in comics done RIGHT.

page 1

pg 2

pg 3

pg 4

pg 5

Don’t ask about the Black Mask/Red Hood storyline.  The less said about that, the better.

There, I hope we’ve exhausted bondage for a while, you sicko pervs.  Tomorrow, the return of all new Ty Templeton Funnies for the weekend.  That post will be about coprophilia.

Ty the Guy

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Last of the SUPER SEINFELDS

It turns out, once I found it, that the mock up of the Daily Planet was a plastic bag, and not a phony newspaper.  So, sorry about the quality of the scan, it’s impossible to make the shiny plastic work in my scanner.  I’ve tried sacrificing to the gods of digital technology ( smashing an analog video tape in front of my hard drive while chanting ), but ain’t nothing going to make the “photo” section of this come out well.  Ah, so what, you can read the jokes.  This particular Daily Planet bag is one of my favorite pieces of swag from my world of art stuff.  I LOVE Jerry Seinfeld, and have for years, and it was a tremendous woo hoo to help him put his arms around his Kryptonian buddy like that.

Before we leave the land of Seinfeld/Metropolis, I have two more images.  When the final art ran for these ads (in subways and store posters, etc.) there were two little tweaks I didn’t love.  1)  The asked me to change the expression on Superman’s face in the party image so he was laughing more.  I liked the original image, it looked more “CURT SWAN” to me, which was the gig.  And the shot of Superman at the fence was too “skinny” for the art director, so we photoshopped him a little extra girth before we put him into the photo.  Funny the nonsense that sticks in an illustrator’s brain for six years.  Anyway, no that I have a blog, I get to post the original drawings, the way I liked them.  At ART LAND I control the world!  BWAH HAH HA H

Speaking of images I don’t control, check this out, just below this paragraph.  It’s a box of crayons I came across a couple of  years ago, whilst gamboling through a local K-Mart in my home town.  The Superman image is mine, from the nineties, part of an attempt at putting a Batman Adventures spin on Superman a few years before his show spun-off, and done around the time Superman was a long haired  hippie freak.  I assumed when Bruce Timm did his designs for Superman that my designs got tossed into a bin.  But here’s one of them, on a crayon box from 2008.  What the…?  Can’t vouch for the quality of the crayons.

Here’s a fun image (below)  that NEVER ran anywhere in print or online, so far as I recall.

It was commissioned by Wizard Magazine, I’m going to say around 2001, or thereabouts.  It was for an article about Superman and his fans, and I was asked to do “MY” iconic image of Superman.  Seeing as we’d just been forced to endure another couple of issues of the BLUE SUPERMAN that year, after we’d seen him retired back in ’98, I felt the most important image I could think of was the big red cape turning his back on the nineties and striding ahead into the 21st Century.  Well, the folks at Wizard didn’t run it.  They paid me though, which was nice, and gave the artwork away to a contest winner.  I have no idea if he was as unimpressed by as Wizard was…I still like it and now I get to show it here!

More later today, if the deadline gods are kind…it is Hoverboy Friday, after all.   And tomorrow, WEEKEND STRIPS begin.  Which is to say, I start running strips, not start blogging while naked.  I’ve been naked this whole time.

Ty the Guy

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Superman and Batman Magazine

The wife mentioned in the last post that it’s impossible to find stuff online about SUPERMAN AND BATMAN MAGAZINE.  And, surprisingly, it IS.  This magazine, which came out at the end of the nineties, was, for its entire run THE BEST SELLING COMIC BOOK IN NORTH AMERICA, and no one remembers it.  It sold more than HALF A MILLION copies per month, ALL by subscription, and all to younger readers, so naturally, the biz ignores it, and it was canceled after less than ten issues.  (Actually, the company that published it, WELSH PUBLICATIONS, was purchased by Marvel, and the magazine was pulled as an obvious conflict of interest.)

The above issue (5) was where the HAWKMAN poster (seen below) is originally from.

If anyone could explain to me why DC was willing to cancel its BEST SELLING comic magazine, rather than move it “in-house”, I’ve always been willing to listen.  I did TONS of art for the series, including a pin-up poster inside each issue…a couple of covers, and a fully illustrated 20 page story starring the Justice League Adventures characters LONG before they had a show.   I’ll look around the studio for copies of the mag, the posters, and any original art I still have left from the book.

Ty the O.G.

Hawkman

This was a pinup done for Superman and Batman Magazine. I can’t find any reference to the magazine on the ‘net–don’t know why as it was apparently one of DC’s best selling items. It was sold through bookclubs in the States, and I guess it was a popular item for parents to get for their kids. We had a couple issues, and our kids loved them (to literal and figurative death, actually).

Ty did a bunch of pinups for these (a Wonder Woman, and a Green Lantern…and I have memories of a four-page pull out poster) and a mini-comic (can’t remember how many pages) based on Batman Adventures itself, or the style, written by Roger Stern.

Here’s the Hawkman…

Keiren

Extremely Unseen Marvel Punisher, more Slightly Seen DC and HOVERBOY FRIDAY! plus the big announcement! AND Nepotism Thursday. How long is this $)(*#$)(*##!! Title?!?

As promised, we look at some very unseen Marvel art from the same period.  The image above is from a very fun project I did with my pal SAM AGRO in the 90s.  The comic was “THE PUMMELER“, a parody of one of Marvel’s more popular characters, for a company called PARODY PRESS (best known for Adolescent Hamsters…) but Sam had a ball writing up a tremendous trio of very funny “Mad” style stories.  Worth finding in the back issues, if you can.  The cover to the left was by Sam Keith, who pitched in to help Agro get an audience.   If you follow the Pummeler link above, you’ll see the interior pages!  Sam is a well known storyboard artist who has helped the world be sickened and thrilled by the HUGELY successful SAW series of movies — been part of an academy award winning art team for FLY AWAY HOME–and he boarded tons of episodes of EWOKS and DROIDS in his day.  All that PLUS a loverly run writing great scripts for DC’s Looney Tunes comic book for years.  Is the name LEGEND appropriate?  Considering he’s one of the instructors at the highly esteemed TORONTO CARTOONIST WORKSHOP that I instruct at, I’ll have to say “yes”, LEGEND is the word.) Man, can I plug the pals and co-workers, or WHAT?!?

Watch this segue.   We’re staying with the silly images of the Punisher theme, and moving over to another living legend, Dana Moreshead.  Who is clearly not the name on the card above.  How confused am I?

There, that’s Dana.  And his odd looking pet, the name escapes me, and I don’t want to say Skipper when it was Sparky, or Spanky or Elliot Spitzer, but it was something like that.  I drew that portrait of Dana at least a decade ago, but I’m sure at least ONE of those furry creatures is still cute.  Dana was the Marvel guy who gave me all these wonderfully odd gigs that I’ve been posting for the last two weeks, and he deserves his humble thank you on this blog for the fun, fun art jobs he tossed me atop of.  And hopefully the smile or two he’s bringing the eleven readers of this post as I dig through the original art pile over in the corner and scan baby scan.

So what was that Punisher toy with the human head on it?  And who’s this poor soul with the dragon crapping on his hair?  These were a series of cards that were created for the Marvel staff one summer for convention season.  That way, when they met people, they had a card with some ‘zaz and zing and pep!  And their image on it, so names and faces could match up for business deals, etc.  A good idea, actually.  The gag was to make everyone into their own version of a Marvel Hero.  I did at least four of them (that I’ve found so far).  The funny thing, most of these staffers are NOT a Marvel Character, but a toy version of one, or standing near one.  I’m not sure that conveyed the joke.

I still have tons more fun stuff from the Dana era of Special Projects.  He is still one of my favorite people, even if he no longer gets me work.

Another installment of the AOL Flood Safety messages from 2006.  Sketch and final art.  The only time I ever drew Supergirl for the animated universe, unless you count the toy designs.  Aquaman I’ve drawn lots and lots, he’s featured in the Brave and Bold issue I drew in 2009, but has yet to come out.

But here’s Aquaman warning a man about having adequate storm drains, and not living under a f***ing wall of mud.  That’s so dumb he really deserves to die.

Hoverboy.com is back up and running!  Marcus Moore, fellow curator, and webmaster of the site, was found,  alive and well, after months lost in the barrens with his experimental jet co-pilot, Jarred.    As of this posting, the fate of his experimental jet c0-pilot, Jarred,  has not been revealed, though it can be noted that that Moore seems to have put on weight during his ordeal.  “Plenty of possum in those woods.” is the only response a visibly shaken Moore has given to reporters when asked about his friend, experimental jet co-pilot, Jarred.  We wish he and his family good luck in the future, and keep on looking for that poor kid.

The good news is that Hoverboy.com is once again operational, with a NEW installment of the weekly comic strip reprints.  I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve been sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting for the poor lad to hover away from those clouds, these last few months.  Hovermaniacs the world around, breathe out a sigh of relief.  Go check out the installments we’ve found so far, for this excellent example of heroism and manhood of the golden age!

And now for the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT.  (yeah, like you’re still reading after so long and drawn out a post today…).  Starting NEXT weekend, and every weekend after that, I’ll be posting Ty Templeton Funnies!  Never before seen  material, created to be seen in web form.  Wait…does that make this blog a…

WEBCOMIC?!?!?    Tune in NEXT WEEKEND and see….

Ty the Guy.

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MARVEL ARTWORK YOU’VE NEVER SEEN

In honour of the fact that I’m doing some comics illustratin’ for Marvel at the moment (no telling you what it is yet, but it’s fun, fun, fun!), I figured I’d dig through the library all this week, to find some Marvel work I’ve done, that you guys have likely NEVER seen.  I’m not talking about comics  (Spidey-Torch, Mad Dog, Avengers, Ren & Stimpy and others) but things I’ve done for their toy department, licenses, special projects and other sundry items that fill an illustrator’s time.  All Marvel, All Week!  Collect them ALL!

Up above is the cover to a Fantastic Four DVD that collected up episodes of their cartoon from the mid-nineties, I think it only came out in Europe, as I’ve never been sent a copy, nor seen a colour version of the artwork.   Nevertheless, it was my first time drawing the famous first family (professionally, I mean…I must have drawn the Thing a zillion times as a child) and it was a little disappointing that I couldn’t draw Ben in his more familiar Kirby design…but the client wanted him “on model” for the look of the series.

Next , the first of MANY X-Men video boxes I did for the animated show that ran on FOX TV in the nineties.  I was a little ticked that they threw the title card over top of Wolverine’s arm for the first one, which mucked up the image a bit in my opinion (you’ll notice I figured out to work around it on the next two…), but I couldn’t have been happier with the colours that Paul Mounts put overtop of all three.  Somewhere in the house, I have Paul’s original colour pieces for these, done in gorgeous dyes, with a real airbrush!  Oh, the labour we artists had to put in, back in the primitive 20th Century!  Paul was nice enough to trade me all the colour art for one of the black and white pieces.  Hell of a trade on my end.

As I said, I did tons of art for the X-Men series, including designing the official jackets for the cast, with a fairly cool Wolverine patch on the back (that you can see a bit of in the corner of the video boxes, that little Wolvie is from the patch).  I may not be able to find the original art for that, but worst-case-scenario, I’ll find someone to model the jacket for ya.

Doing these covers was a lovely stretching exercise for my art brain, as I was doing them at the same time as Batman Adventures stuff in the late nineties.  Some days it took a few hours to shake the Bruce Timm out of my hands, and try to channel the more illustrative look of the Marvel house style.  At first I expected they wanted me to make the covers resemble the show designs, but they insisted I do nothing of the sort, and said “Draw it in your own style”.  Something I’m not sure I have any more.  But these are close to it, I suppose.

Tune in tomorrow for some Marvel 2099 artwork you’re not expecting, a couple of Moon Knight pages you’ve never seen, and plenty more X-Men…and then on Nepotism Thursday, my wife’s first ever coloring job for Marvel…and how it nearly ended the marriage!   And yes, it was all my fault, dear.  (She’s reading this, gotta be cool, gotta be cool…)

Ty the Guy

Doing these covers was a lovely stretching exercise for my art brain, as I was doing them at the same time

Comics that Matter (to me, anyway)

One of the nicer things that my vast fame and fortune has brought me is that I get interviewed from time to time about the comics that were most influential on me and my career…the comics that matter.  And I’ve been asked enough that the answer is down to a science now.

The first one is BATMAN #251, THE JOKER’S FIVE WAY REVENGE.  This is the first DC comic I ever purchased with my own money, and WOW, what a doozy to start with.   There’s a great saying that goes–“The Golden Age of everything is 12 years old”.  That’s when your opinions form, that’s when you find the best version of TV, movies, comics, fiction, girls…the stuff that you measure all the others against for the rest of your life, and this is one of the comics that falls into that category for me.  I often wonder if I’d be doing this for a living if my first comic had been something by lights lesser than the great DENNY O’NEIL and NEAL ADAMS!  And it’s not just a comic by these titans, it’s the comic that re-introduces the Joker to the world, with a brand-spanking-new homicidal bent to him like never before.

In previous years, the Joker had been a tepid character…robbing banks with rubber chickens, and kidnapping clowns, and the like (gems like “JOKER’S MILLIONS” were still undiscovered by me at the time, so I didn’t know Joker much beyond his TV show version…) But this story involves Joker murdering his entire gang, just to make sure he got the one member who was an informant.  He kills these guys with bombs, electrocution, and ends with tossing an old guy into a shark tank, wheelchair and all.  Illustrated by Neal Adams in his “new” exciting style, this was like no other comic I’d ever seen, and I instantly wanted more, more, more.  Sadly, Neal only drew one further  Batman comic (for a while anyway) before handing the series over to the wonderfully skilled Irv Novick…but it didn’t matter.  I was addicted to both Batman and Neal Adams for the rest of my life, and still am.   As an adult, I go back to this comic and re-read it, and I use it as a teaching tool in my TORONTO CARTOONISTS WORKSHOP classes to show off story and character construction.  Fortunately, it’s not just my own nostalgia that makes this comic a classic, and everyone I show it to, is as blown away by it as I am.

Next up:  These two issues of the Avengers were the first two Marvel comics I owned.  Purchased by an older brother when I was about seven years old, and left (in very lovely condition) at my Grandmother’s apartment until years later when I got to read them, probably at the age of twelve.  Again…for a first introduction to these characters of Cap, Thor, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Blank Panther, Yellowjacket, Wasp and of course…the Vision…this was a magnificent place to start.  EVEN AN ANDROID CAN CRY is often cited as one of the best written superhero comics of the sixties, and I’d be in no position to argue.

Roy Thomas‘ script is touching, exciting, and intelligent, something this child of STAR TREK and TWILIGHT ZONE (my favorite shows as a kid) recognized as different from the other stuff that comics were about.  And the artwork by John Buscema and George Klein is stunningly good.  It remains, to this day, my mind’s eye version of the what the PERFECT Marvel comic artist should strive to achieve….with layouts that jump around the page, but still lead the eye correctly from panel to panel.  Human bodies, drawn with exquisite anatomy and detail, are leaping and jumping from the first page to the last, and the second issue in the two parter is essentially a long conversation about what to do with the android in the building that tried to kill us.  A conversation?!?  And it was that exciting and lively?  If I ever get half this good as either a writer or a penciler, I get to retire with a smile.

These three comics (along with a few issues of Mad Magazine, Tintin and Asterix that were also left to me by older siblings) are the bedrock foundation of my love of this biz.  If, instead, I’d purchased as my first comics, BROTHER POWER THE GEEK, PATSY WALKER, or RED WOLF, we can rest assured I’d be a baker or a plumber at this point in life.

Besides getting me into the lifestyle…I’ve been influenced more directly by these comics by mining them for scripts and images more than once.  Seen above, my cover for BATMAN ADVENTURES #31 is clearly an homage or an all out steal of the #251 cover.  At the time I drew it, I was not conscious of the similarity, but that’s what an influence is…it’s there inside your brain telling you “If you want to make it more dramatic, make the Joker one hundred stories tall!” without realizing why you’re doing it.  It’s not theft, it’s INFLUENCE…

The Vision story I stole far more directly.  When I was assigned the writing chores with AVENGERS UNITED, one of the first scripts I turned in was a re-working of Thomas/Buscema’s original VISION story, only with the twist that my issue was called “Androids Can’t Cry”, and I switch out the ending.  This one I WAS conscious of ripping off, and I had so much fun playing in the sandbox that had been there since I was a child, it’s hard to explain the joy.  When I met Roy Thomas, years later, the first words out of my mouth were babbling nonsense about apologizing for stealing his story, but I couldn’t help myself, etc.  I’m certain he walked away from the meeting believing I was a madman and has mercifully forgotten me.

Since I brought ’em up, next time out in “COMICS THAT MATTER” I’ll discuss the early Tintin and Asterix and Mad stuff that sits inside my brain, below even this superhero stuff.

Ty the Guy

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Batman Adventures McDonalds Promo Art…

now with prices.  Check ’em out.