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September 10, 2007



Strangely, the lack of beard does almost excite me. Is this an early tale? Did he have to shave it off? Is it Hal in disguise?

Mark Engblom

Yeah, Ollie had his familiar beard prior to this issue....but I have no idea why he shaved it off. It wasn't Hal in disguise....he was preoccupied with being dead while gazing intently at Ollie's manly nether regions.

Brian Disco Snell

"Looks like Mike should have spent less time perfecting Canary's curvaceous torso"

No, no, no. A thousand times no.

Otherwise, I'm in complete agreement.


If you want withered limbs, check out the Hulk's leg on this cover of Hulk #5

Hulk's fist is as big as his thigh.

I'm surprised Stan didn't have Jack redraw it.

Mark Engblom

Well, as you've no doubt noticed by now, there's human anatomy...and then there's KIRBY ANATOMY. I usually don't even bother trying to apply normal rules of proportion and accuracy to Kirby's stuff....he's an entity unto himself. Actually, his looser and wildly caricatured version of the human body was what allowed him to draw so many books during this period (since the guy was almost single-handedly drawing their entire line).

Yeah, it's goofy looking...but it's KIRBY GOOFY....and much better than GRELL GOOFY. Well, maybe not...but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.


Useless copy is a hallmark of 1970s comic book covers. But I think Julie Schwartz's line of comics were quite egregious in that domain. I don't know if he was making the decisions on cover copy, but BATMAN and DETECTIVE COMICS often had stupid cover copy -- in spite of the fact that Neal Adams and (sometimes) Michael Kaluta created moody, dramatic artwork evocative of the pulp magazines. Really, their cover illustrations alone would have intrigued you enough to pick up the book ... but someone always thought those covers needed a blurb. Once, they even say so in a BATMAN letter column -- followed by the sound of a thousand fans groaning.

Mark Engblom

"Useless copy is a hallmark of 1970s comic book covers. But I think Julie Schwartz's line of comics were quite egregious in that domain.

I would agree....though Julie was guilty of plenty of overheated hyperbole on his 1960's covers as well. I think it's a generational thing, since Stan Lee seemed to be prone to the same sort of copy-heavy covers. It reminds me of an old ad salesman I used to work with years and years ago on a newspaper. His idea of a great display ad was to fill it with every adjective known to man ("Amazing! Incredible! Shocking!"), forgetting that the Barnum and Baily style of carnival barker advertising/marketing was long past.


I have to say, I love the old Mike Grell covers, especially the old GL/GA covers. One of the best DC covers of that era was his giant S-boy/Legion wedding special. Grell was not the only Adams wannabee...Rich Buckler, Dick Giordano (even though he maybe developed by inking adams), even later with Seinkewicz (spelling wrong?). For the last one see the first issue of Moon Knight. Mike who gave us Warlord Grell...a 70's/80's legend in my book.
I don't want to sound like a jerk, I'm a professional classically trained artist and I have to respectfullydisagree with the technical comments you make, too. I am big fan of your site appreciate all the effort you put into it. I think its really cool that we can even talk about this stuff!!Thanks!

Mark Engblom

Oh, I don't think you're being a jerk at all, Joe....though I'd be interested in hearing your defense for that awful drawing of the villain on issue #103. We can always disagree on the subjective stuff (color choice, layout, etc), but man....that's some pretty twisted anatomy on that guy. I can't for the life of me understand how a DC editor could have green-lit that drawing.

I liked some of Grell's Legion stuff, though a few of the costumes got a little kinky for my tastes. At times it looked like an S & M convention instead of a gang of benevolent intergalactic teens.

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