Tagged: Wally Wood

REVIEW: “Wally Wood: Strange Worlds of Science Fiction”

ww-strangeworlds-300x382-3803140[[[Wally Wood: Strange Worlds of Science Fiction]]]
Vanguard Publishing, Trade paperback, 224 pages. $24.95
Introduction by J. David Spurlock

A friend of mine owns the original art to a page of what he (and I) consider the zenith of Wally Wood’s creative genius, “The Mad ‘Comic’ Opera” (MAD #56, July 1960, written by Frank Jacobs). It is a lush piece of work, a cartooning tour de force that causes wide eyed disbelief on the printed page and gasps of astonishment when viewed in its larger, original form. “The Mad ‘Comic’ Opera” is an amazing moment in time, a moment that offered Wood a piece of work which allowed him to show off everything he had learned in his preceding dozen or so years as a comic book artist.

There is not a false note or creative misstep in a single panel of this six-page feature, not in layout or story telling, not in his use of Duotone to bring depth and dimension to the black and white page, and certainly not in his ability to do pitch-perfect parodies–albeit as “real people”–of the comic strip characters populating the story The operatic death scene of Dagwood Bumstead alone would have been enough to cement a lesser artists’ reputation; in the hands of Wally Wood, it was just one panel among some three dozen bits of perfection.

Wally Wood may never have been better, and, in his later and sadder declining years, he often operated at a level that was, in comparison to “The Mad ‘Comic’ Opera,” heartbreaking but which, viewed on their own, were still better than three-quarters of what anybody else was doing. It is also no secret that Wood frequently employed assistants and ghosts to help him turn out the volume of work he produced, but their use was no concession to quality or creative control. As Michael T. Gilbert wrote in the article “Total Control: A Brief Biography of Wally Wood” from Alter-Ego Volume 3, #8, “In the ’50s he mainly worked with Joe Orlando, Harry Harrison, and Sid Check. In later decades he was assisted by Dan Adkins, Ralph Reese, Wayne Howard, Larry Hama, and Bill Pearson, to name a few. No matter. The end result was unmistakably Wood. Helpers or not, the quantity and consistent high quality of the pages were unbelievable. He was always in control of the final product.” (more…)

Vanguard Publishing announces Strange Worlds of Science Fiction – The Science Fiction Comics of Wally Wood

The Science Fiction Comics of Wally Wood


Vanguard Publishing announces
Title: Strange Worlds of Science Fiction
Subtitle: The Science Fiction Comics of Wally Wood
Series: Vanguard Wally Wood Classics

Tales from the Crypt and Weird Science publisher Bill Gaines
called Daredevil, THUNDER Agents, and Mars Attacks co-creator,
Wally Wood “the greatest Science Fiction artist of all time.”
Strange Worlds collects rare 1950s Wood sci-fi comics Strange Worlds,
Space Detective, Capt. Science, Space Ace, and more. If you like Vanguard’s Frazetta Classics, try Vanguard’s Wood Classics.

Partial list of Contents:
The Flying Saucers,
An Earthman On Venus,
Spawn of Terror,
Winged Death On Venus,
The Monster God of Rogor,
The Martian Slayers,
The Insidious Doctor Khartoum,
Time Door of Throm,
Death in Deep Space,
Bandits of the Starways,
The Opium Smugglers of Venus,
Trail to the Asteroid Hideout,
The Weapon Out of Time,
Kenton of the Star Patrol,
Sirens of Space,
Rocky X: Operation Unknown

Author-Illustrator: Wallace Wood
Editor: J. David Spurlock
Cover: Steranko & Wood
Hardcover: 200 color 8.5 x 11 pages
HC Retail: $39.95
Publisher: Vanguard
Release: October 31, 2011
Language: English
HC ISBN-10: 1934331406
HC ISBN-13: 978-1934331408
Printed in: China

National Graphic Novel Writing Month Day 21: Nobody Likes Ten Pages Of Talking Heads

National Graphic Novel Writing Month Day 21: Nobody Likes Ten Pages Of Talking Heads

Day 21, and I’m in hell. Let me give you my particular problem and share my pain with you.

The story for my graphic novel hinges on a bunch of financial manipulations. I’m doomed.

Why? Comics is a visual medium. That means the writer has to find a way to make the story visually interesting. I have to make a story about high finance discernable in pictures.

Is there a way to do this? Yes, there is– you show the characters, and you show them doing things. Show the impact of what’s going on. And as a writer, this means that you have to describe what you want to see on the page so that the artist can draw it.

I was lucky enough to take art classes with John Buscema when I was a young lad, and he would use his book How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way
as his textbook. There was one section that stuck with me, showing how to tell a scene with just two people in it dramatically.

First, the bland version:

And now the dramatic version: (more…)