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Frank Robbins Fridays!

Wanted to start a Friday post series, and to talk about Frank Robbins - so off we go!

Along with Milton Caniff, Frank defined this style, both having worked with the incredible Noel Sickles, their style is refined (?) from early ink drawings of the master illustrator Harold Von Schmidt.

Robbins began his Johnny Hazard series at the end of WW2, and what a fun run it was!

Alex Toth loved (and hated) his work. There was a point at which Toth felt Robbins had lost something, and when exactly that might be is up to debate. Robbin's style in the 1970s differed vastly from his early work, but then, everyone's art evolves.

He was one of the masters of light and shadow, design and compostion. He placed large ink areas into the art with absolute confidence and grace.

Color on the strip was primitive as was a consequence of the time, technology and media, and yet, it works. A single image often held so much, but not in a cluttered way.

Many are the discussions on the difficulty of depicting water, and variety of style to do so. Robbins knew how.

Hazard was an adventure strip at its best, with all the feel of men's adventure and the pulps, and a touch of what makes Indian Jones so fun.



Frank Thorne

Loose and detailed all at once...

The art of Frank Thorne is crazy cool and old school.

Known best for Red Sonja, Thorne depicted the toughest of female leads long before it was fashionable and PC to do so.

With the fewest of lines, he depicted the beauty of the female form.

Eyes, nostrils, lips...wild hair (a signature of his), and the faintest lines of the elbows, knees, bell button and of course, the chest.


Toth Tuesdays!

Alex Toth possessed a skill to match his temperment - always striving to improve - never, it seems, content.

Yet in all his work, an attention to storytelling economy and detail only where necessary.

Details we seldom got to see because his pencils are so rarely available.

His inkers - seldom his partners, inked per their own style - with no fault suggested. His own work in ink fitted his desired finish, often it seems, in a mind to complete the work through experimentation.

His style in this Rip Hunter...!


Manning Mondays

What can I say, but that I like me some Russ manning art.

Deceptively simple in design and line. Yet complex in composition and detail.

He did it all with an economy of style. What he didn't draw is the secret of masters.



Earl Norem

My first encounters with the man who we came to know by the name NOREM, began with He-Man. He really captured the menacing atmosphere of Eternia, and for kids, it set the tone for the games to play with the some of the coolest action figures of the time.

Master of the Paints!
It was later that I began to see his work on the covers of the Conan magazines Marvel distributed on the newstand. He really captured the feel of Conan too, with some great covers!

You'll have to search Earl Norem for some of his other great work - like that for mens magazines. Plenty NSFW. All great stuff.


DeZuniga Art!

Tony DeZuniga, a gentleman artist.

Star Wars!
DeZuniga mastered the art of pen and ink. Sure, we in comics call it "inking"...

...and here he is over the great John Buscema, yet his skill with a pencil needed no inking.


Wild Days: Follow Me Down - prose novel

WILD DAYS: Follow Me Down Chapter 1 draft PREVIEW
"If only I could forget the days gone by", Van said to himself.
A dry, stuttered laugh sounded behind him. Manny Croker, outlaw and rustler, tied stomach-down and cross-ways over his Appaloosa, was too weak to lift his head. Cinch straps bound his wrists against one side of his horse's belly, connected to his ankles on the other side by a two-foot rope. "You do, eh? You never will, Devil Whip."
Ignoring Croker, Van stared into the darkness towards the distant Fort Red Clay. Sound traveled far across the desolate, Arizonan plains northwest of the cavalry post. Taps, the final bugle call of the day, played an hour ago. Anguished cries replaced the faint notes of the bugle, rising as if from hell. Van sat heavy in the saddle, they were close now and his black mustang knew the way.
'Chero was a well mannered, mountain stallion, caught wild by Van. Never quite tamed, 'Chero was nonetheless a dependable companion on journeys crisscrossing the Southwest collecting bounties. Dependable unless a jackrabbit happened by.
At fifty paces from the fort the guards called out their night challenge, "Halt! Who comes there?"
"Mr. BRAN, with prisoner!"
The guards quickly called back, "Advance, and give the counter sign!"
"Ellisen!" Van said.
The first guard, a lean man, walked forward and swung open the rather unimpressive gate; the second waved Van forward. Chero trotted ahead without prompting. Van glanced over his shoulder at Croker but his ride took its lead from Van's mustang.
Led to the parade grounds by the first guard, Van dismounted by the flag pole, gathering up the lariat by which he guided the second horse. Walking beside Croker's mare, Van slapped the horse's flank. "You take care now."
The Appaloosa neighed in protest, but bolted forward and bounded along the cavalry road kicking up dust. The bewildered guard quickly following behind.
Van watched until they were out of sight, rounding the block houses. "Good riddance."

The Wild Days novel is well underway. Please consider showing your support, on Patreon. Every bit helps.


Salvoverse Sketches

Van and Ex versus Xilosi - from Supernal.



Salvoverse Sketches

Saint Van of the United Forces




Salvoverse Sketches

Titos, grand magnate of the Darhke...