Saturday, August 28, 2010

Alley Oop - Dave Graue

Alley Oop - Classic Comics
Created by VT Hamlin (1900-1993) Alley Oop was first published December 5, 1932. The story follows the prehistoric character Alley Oop from the kingdom of Moo. Eventually Alley Oop was transported to the 20th Century by a time machine invented by Dr. Wonmug. Alley Oop would soon go on adventures in time and space as he traveled to the moon in the 1940's.

Alley Oop would be adapted to a Saturday morning cartoon, and would carried by 800 newspapers at it's peak.

In 1971 Dave Graue (1926-2001), who had assisted VT Hamlin took over the strip on Hamlin's retirement. Hamlin's last strip would be published on Dec 31, 1972. Jack Bender would take over the drawing the strip in 1991, while Graue continued to write. Carole Bender assumed writing the strip after Graue's death, Dec 10, 2001.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Peter Max

Peter Max is a well-known artist, specifically for his 1960's cosmic pop, psychedelic art style, which was a great influence on the 60's culture. His works are produced on everything imaginable, but most commonly as poster art.

Looking at Jamal Igle's quick Supergirl sketch, one of the people present at the signing stated if could be anyone. Yes that is true, but it more reminded me of Peter Max who often provides a female profile with his signature. The quick sketch and signature from Max was obtained at an art gallery show. My brother and I have long been fascinated by Max's work, growing up in the 1960's it was part of our development, and we would eventually purchase a few prints.

What many may not know is that Max designed several stamps for the United States Postal Service (Exps '74) as well as the United Nations Postal Administration (Earth Summit). Max also designed first day covers for the UNPA and the Fleetwood (Unicover) company. Few people may remember that Peter Max's art was also used for stationery. My father worked in envelope manufacturing and brought home several envelopes bearing Max's work in the late 1960's. These had designs with the Cosmic Jumper, flowers, smiles, butterflies, etc. and were printed in bright colors, including day-glo yellow and orange, which would glow under a black light. I would use these envelopes as first day covers where the subject of the art would match best with the stamp issue.

The above Moon Landing FDC from 1969 features the Cosmic Jumper, which was used for his 1974 Expo stamp issue, and was the first Peter Max envelope I would use for an FDC.

I know this is not a hand-drawn cover, I list it for reference.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Super Girl - Jamal Igle

Aug 7, 2010 Dewey's Comic City, Madison, NJ - Jamal Igle artist for the current Supergirl series, as well as Nightwing, Green Lantern, Firestorm the Nuclear Man, Marvel's New Warriors, Iron Fist/Wolverine. Igle has also worked for Sony Animation on projects, Max Steel and Roughnecks: Starship Trooper Chronicles.

Supergirl stamp issued by the USPS July 20, 2006 as part of the 20 stamp commemorative features art by Curt Swan and Stan Kaye. Super-Girl first appeared in Superman #123 August 1959 in a one time appearance. The character of Supergirl would return in Action Comics #252 and remain part of the DC Universe. Supergirl first appeared in her own comic Nov 1972.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

S. Ruth Lubka - Firebird

2004 Illustrators Night - Barnes and Noble, Clark, NJ
This covers is a favorite, because it does not represent the usual comic book artist, instead the drawing is from a children's book illustrator and writer who only published the one book "Pupniks" before her untimely death.

S. Ruth Lubka (1948- 2007) received a B.A. degree in Art History and graduated Cum Laude with Honors in her major at Barnard College in New York City. She did graduate studies in Jewish Art and Material Culture at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York City. She received a J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law. She was a former Deputy Chief Staff Attorney for the Connecticut Supreme and Appellate Courts in Hartford. Arad Artists Program Artist-in-Residence, WUJS, Arad, Israel, 1994-95.

Wrote and illustrated the children's book "PUPNIKS: The Story of Two Space Dogs", Marshall Cavendish Children's Books (New York, NY), 2003.

Honors Awards: Manekin Family Fellowship, and Cutler art fellowship, Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1998-99; Best Book, Bank Street College, NY, 2003, for PUPNIKS.

In Slavic folklore, the typical role of the Firebird is an object of a difficult quest. The quest is usually initiated by finding a lost tail feather, at which point the hero sets out to find and capture the live bird. In the book Pupniks, Ms. Lubka features the Firebird as a starting point to the quest for space travel.

“The secrets of my childhood gave birth to a passion for knowing what existed beyond the world around me. And in the late 1950s and the decade that followed, my passion for understanding the unknown found a new, brighter focus: space exploration. Of all the space explorers of that time, none appealed to me more than the four-legged, tail-wagging variety. 'What did they think?' I asked myself. 'Did they realize they were in outer space?”

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ryan Claytor - And Then One Day

Ryan Claytor - Summer 2010 In-Store Signing Tour
Aug 9, 2010 Dewey's Comic City, Madison, NJ
"Car Chases and Sizable Robots and Explosion are regretfully absent from Elephant Eater Comics"

I was really looking forward to the Ryan Claytor in-store signing, mostly because he is not a conventional comic book artist whose works features superheroes. Although driving to 25 comic stores in 15 states and 5 Canadian provinces to promote his comic "And Then One Day" is a heroic feat. Claytor is a comic artist and college professor, teaching Comics Studio courses at both Michigan State University and the University of Michigan Flint. His self-published comic "And Then One Day" by way of Elephant Eater Comics, was established in 2004. Ryan's comic is autobiographic in content with strong line drawings as seen in the sketch he provided.

I chose the Library commemorative first day cover for Ryan's sketch to coincide with the aspect of self-publishing his book. We briefly considered a superhero or rock n' roll cover, but stuck with Libraries. Ryan's work has been featured at the Cartoon Art Museum, San Francisco, Ca.

Ryan's work can be seen at

Friday, August 6, 2010

Obi-wan - Storm Troopers FDC

July 24, 2010 - Superheroes for Hospice, Livingston, NJ. Manny Mederos artwork for the Star Wars first day cover. Manny is a comic book artist, illustrator and graphic designer. Manny has produced sketch cards for Damsels & Dinosaurs, Golden Age of Comics, Archie Comics March of Dimes, and many others.