Friday, February 22, 2013

Darren Auck - Rocko's Modern Life

2012.08.04 The Great Allentown Comic Con! (Pa)
Rocko attending a The Great Allentown Comic Con!

After graduating from the Kubert School in 1983, Darren worked for Pacific Comics and DC Comics. He would then spend 10 years with Marvel Comics as a bullpenner, freelance writer and artist and art director. Auck has served a writer for titles Sgt. Rock, Elvira's House of Mystery, Talent Showcase... 
He has pencilled the Avengers: Galactic Storm, Generation X, Marvel Comics Presents, Marvel Holiday Special 1991, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Rocko's Modern Life, The Sensational She-Hulk, and many others...

Some of his clients include Rodal Press, Workman Publishing, New York Life Insurance Co., Nikelodeon, The New York Financial Writers Association, The Rock Ban AC/DC and varous trading card companies...

Rocko's Modern Life was a Nikelodeon Nicktoons animated series created by Joe Murray (1993-1996). The story revolved around the surreeal advaentures of an anthropomorphic wallaby Rocko and his friends a steer, Heffer, a turtle, Filburt and Rocko's dog Spunky.

Marvel Comics published Rocko's Modern Life from June 1994 to December 1994 (7 issues). The comics contained stories not seen in the Nicktoons series...

Friday, February 15, 2013

Paul Abrams - Lady Blackhawk

2012.11.11 Albany Comic Con, Albany, NY

The Blackhawk Sqaudron was created by Will Eisner, Chuck Cuidera and Bob Powell, appearing in Military Comics #1, 1941...The Blackhawks were a team of World War II ace pilots, led by Blackhawk  (Bart Hawk). the original team featured an international group of pilots, Andre (France), Olaf (Sweden or Norway depending on the comic), Chuck (American), Hans (Dutch), Stanislaus (Poland) Chop-Chop later named Wu Cheng (China) and Zinda Blake known as Lady Blackhawk (American).
Other members who saw limited time were Zeg (Poland), Boris (Russia), Baker (England).

In 1987 Dc revamped the story line under Howard Chaykin making the leader Janos Prohaska (Poland), adding Chuck (NJ raised Italian), Ritter (Dutch) and Natalie Reed as Lady Blackhawk (America). Occasional members included Grover (America), Paco (Mexico), Mairzey (Malaysia).

Zinda Blake would reappear during Zero Hour: Crisis in Time (1994) and join Birds of Prey....

The aircraft used in the comics were actual jets used at the time the comic was published including the Grumman XF5F Skyrocket, Lockheed F-94 Starfire, Republic F-84 Thunderjet
The Blackhawks were first published by Quality Comics and then by DC Comics which ran the series for 243 issues, ending in 1968. 

I have not had any interest in the DC New 52. The only book I was reading was the Blackhawks which was canceled after 8 issues...

Paul Abrams is both a fine artist and comic book artists, often painting mystical still life and dramatic moody landscapes. He strives for beauty and mystery, translating into an art reflecting magical wonder.
Abrams has provided art for First Comics: Badger; Marvel Comics: Marvel Universe, Nick Fury Shield, Wolverine, The Avenger, Excalibur; DC Comics: TSR Worlds, Forgotten Realms; Malibu Comics: Mantra, The Strangers; Hero Graphics: Tigress, Flare Adventures; Warp Comics: Elfquest; Heavy Metal Magazine; Lightning Comics: War Party, Curse of Dreadwolf, Catfight, Hellina, Claire Voyant and many others.....

The first day cover features the US stamp honoring Gen Billy Mitchell, regarded as the father of the US Air Force. Mitchell fought in WWI and the Spanish-American War and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Service Medal, WWI Victory Medal, Congressional Gold Medal...

Friday, February 8, 2013

Jeff Bellio - Denny (Finding Gossamyr)

2012.11.11 Albany Comic Con, Albany, NY

Jeff Bellio has provided cover art for the Th3rd World Studios comic Finding Gossamyr and art for  Darkstalkers Tribute...

When a brilliant young boy, Denny, solves the most perplexing math puzzle in the world, he and his sister, Jenna, are transported to the fantasy world of Gossamyr. A land where math is magic. Denny's ability to solve theorems that would drive anyone else insane makes him a target for the dark forces of the land...

I asked Bellio to provide a sketch of the main character, Denny, on this Classroom first day cover, and he did an excellent rendition. You can see more of Jeff's work on his deviantART page...brilliant!!!

Published by Th3rd World Studios, Finding Gossamyr is written by David Rodriguez, with art by Sarah Ellerton. I picked up a special edition of the book at the Albany Comic Con, which combines chapters 1 & 2, with cover art by Jackie Santiago. I usually do not provide critiques of books, but Th3rd World Studios has been producing some great work with Finding Gossamyr and one of my favorites Stuff of Legends...

Friday, February 1, 2013

Superbowl Sunday

1986 J. Adams of Dayton, Oh - hand drawn cachet

With Superbowl XLVII Sunday February3, 2013, New Orleans, La, approaching I thought I would post a couple of non-comic related covers. I know nothing about either artist, however the first cover honors Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne, who coached from 1918-1930 collecting 105 wins, 12 losses and 5 ties. 3 National Championships, 5 undefeated seasons and a trip to the 1925 Rose Bowl for a victory, very impressive... Rockne also played for Noter Dame from1910-1913...

Rockne, elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951, is credited with popularizing the use of the forward pass. Prior to this, play consisted of runs and short pitches...

I enjoy this cover as the Notre Dame fan seems to be giving it all for the team!!!



I picked this cover up on ebay recently. Not great art but a fan event cover. Created by the addressee Chest C. Abel, the cover features a hand drawn football field and is postmarked Aug 1, 1981 Fort Collins, Co, where the Denver Broncos held their training camp at Colorado State University (from 1962-1964, 1976-1981)...

The cover, with admission ticket, commemorated a team scrimmage Chester attended. The Broncos would finish the 1981 season 10-6, 2nd in the AFC West, under head coach Dan Reeves. Notable players on the Broncos team include Craig  Morton, Rob Lytle, Rick Upchurch and Randy Gradishar.

I purchased this cover because I liked the fan-based art commemorating something he attended, something he enjoyed. I have created a few fan based covers myself over the years, but it gets tougher with lack of co-operation at some of the postal stations. It does not stop me, but has made the success rate smaller.

Here is one of mine with a football commemorative cancel from 1984, Milwaukee, Wi used for the UWMPSEX 84 stamp show. The cover is signed by Kyle Rote (NY Giants 1951-1961) and OJ Anderson (StL Cardinals 1979-1986, NY Giants 1986-1992)

Even if your team is not playing in the bowl this year (mine are not) enjoy the game, enjoy the event!