Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Grooviest Covers of All Time: John Buscema

John Buscema was one of the greatest comicbook artists to ever apply pencil and pen to paper. Here's a sampling of covers to prove Ol' Groove's point. And, oh, yeah, there'll be more covers by Big John coming your way in future posts. But for now, overindulge your orbs! (And give thanks to the Grand Comics Database for it's easily accessible covers!)


  1. Interesting the choices here, as Big John apparently had little interest in superheroes from what I've read, and really longed for the kind of books you posted. I've read his Tarzan and just wish wish wish Roy Thomas (as writer) had cut loose with all-new adventures of the Jungle Lord instead of adapting ERB's work. Not that the formula didn't work with CONAN, but using the evergreen approach of Philip Jose Farmer (TARZAN ALIVE/LORD OF THE TREES) with Buscema art? Oh my.

  2. Masterpieces, for sure. BTW, did I ever tell you I used to draw comic heroes? Did I ever tell you how much I sucked at it???

  3. WOW! Hey I love these covers & your site! Keep up the great job! I love it. I'd love to hear from you, I have some art I think u might like to post on your site.Keep em coming, you rock! Mike

  4. Chad, you picked up on my vibe, man! I stayed away from superhero covers this time around because, as you stated, Big John didn't dig doing them as much as he dug doing more "realistic" adventure. Not saying I won't have a post full of Buscema Avengers covers sometime soon...

    Joe, I've been threatening to scan some of of the old comicbooks I created back in the 70s (8th/9th grade) got any scans of your superhero stuff you wanna share? Should I make the internet explode with my wretched childhood renderings in a future post?

    Mike, you can e-mail scans to me at: Thanks for the kudos and I look forward to the art!

  5. John Buscema did indeed hate doing superheroes. I heard him speak on a panel once, and he said what he loved about Conan and Tarzan was that, often times, the landscapes were wide open to the imagination. In other words, he could invent whatever he wanted without reference.

    He also didn't have to deal with technical drawing as much......getting into the complications of architectural skills like perspective (which are NOT fun). He said he couldn't stand drawing buildings or technological gadgets. He liked the wide-open fantasy worlds of Howard and Burroughs.

    The amazing thing to me is that, despite his feelings, he drew everything beautifully. You'd never know he felt that way, because he was such a pro.

    And Groove....I'd be happy to contribute artwork to your site anytime....

  6. John Buscema is my all time idol and it was the discovery of his work that determined what I wanted to do with my life. I miss seeing new work by Big John more than anything. Luckily he was as prolific as he was so we have a LOT of great art to remember him by!

    1. yes i agree with you when i was a kid i have read all kind of comics but when buscema was in it felt like i m in heaven sorry for my bad english

  7. Big John Rocked! To me he was only second to Jack Kirby artist wise. I never saw anything he drew that I didn't like. I guess he did so many books. That sometimes his breakdowns were so rough. Inkers like Joe Sinnott drew alot as well. Not to take anything away from Big John!

    I mean he drew as much as Kirby! How many books did he work on each month! I loved his Avengers, FF, Spidey, Nova, Subby, Conan & Thor! I even loved his Frankenstein fill in issues. Drac vs Frankie WOW! I wish he had drawn my MAN-GOD book I'm attempting to rebuild. For awhile I thought he did. But it was drawn by Tony Dezuniga who inked a ton of Big John's art on SSof Conan, the Doc Savage B & W & Thor. R.I.P. Big John gone but never forgotten. Thanks for giving us so much pleasure & tons of comics to beable to reread. For a long, long time to come!I hope to meet all the old DC & Marvel Bullpenners in the next world. Now that would be one hell of a comic con huh?

  8. The last one one is still brings back good memories.Marvel at the time was often right on with Conan.Nothing Darkhorse Comics compares today is up to,other than tons of hype on their part,other Marvel reprints.Besides Conan doing the Tarzan bit with Shill got on the track my Toreus Rhann and Shakhorja,the Silver Lion.



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Special thanks to Mike's Amazing World of Comics and Grand Comics Database for being such fantastic resources for covers, dates, creator info, etc. Thou art treasures true!

Note to "The Man": All images are presumed copyright by the respective copyright holders and are presented here as fair use under applicable laws, man! If you hold the copyright to a work I've posted and would like me to remove it, just drop me an e-mail and it's gone, baby, gone.

All other commentary and insanity copyright GroovyAge, Ltd.

As for the rest of ya, the purpose of this blog is to (re)introduce you to the great comics of the 1970s. If you like what you see, do what I do--go to a comics shop, bookstore, e-Bay or whatever and BUY YOUR OWN!