Friday, May 27, 2011

Making a Splash: Mike Grell's Warlord Part One

Ol' Groove's love for Mike Grell's Warlord is no secret here in Groove City. Grell, whether we realized it or not at the time, was quietly creating a revolution with this mag, setting the stage for the return of the super-star writer/artist in the 1980s. Not only was he in total creative control (like Jim Starlin on Warlock--wow--two "War's" against mediocrity!), but he was changing how comicbook stories were being told. He cut back on the flowery prose captions and extraneous dialogue allowing the art to carry much of the story. He experimented with the format, giving us breathtaking double-page splashes and full page panels that would make Jack Kirby proud. (Unlike many later artists, Grell knew how to use these for effect, to move the story along, rather than tossing in random pin-ups on a whim.) The tautness of the script and the experimentation with panel layouts had to have hit a young Frank Miller where he lived, 'cause he took the same innovations and applied them to his Daredevil work. A lot of fans have forgotten what a trailblazer Grell was, well, baby, see if these splashes from Warlord issues 1-7 (October 1976-March 1977) don't jog your memory and excite your eyeballs!

1 comment:

  1. Warlord was pretty much all there was to warm a DC fanboy's heart between the implosion in '78 and the start of New Teen Titans in '80.
    Those two page spreads...
    Some day they'll be reprinted in a proper format.



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