Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Scarier than Doing Your Taxes Week! Black and White Wednesday: "The Victims!" by Conway and Buckler

Hey, hey, hey, Groove-ophiles! Didja know that a couple'a years before Gerry (and it's Gerard, not "Gerald") Conway and Rich Buckler teamed up on Marvel mags like the Fantastic Four and Thor they worked together on a macabre mystery tale called "The Victims!"? Didja know it was an early entry into comicbook stories about clones--something Mr. Conway would later make an important ingredient in the Spider-Man mythos (like it or don't)? Didja know this shocker from Skywald's Nightmare #3 (cover-dated April 1971) was only the "Swash" Bucker's sixth pro job (unless Ol' Groove's miscounted)? Ya did know all'a that? Then why're ya readin' my ramblings, baby? Get on wit' da comix!


  1. I feel Rich Buckler was always an unappreciated illustrator. Readers didn't seem to care for his art when he would draw issues in the style of either Kirby or Adams...I enjoyed his chameleon-like style and it seemed to work.We saw Buckler at his finest when drawing Deathlok/Astonishing Tales.

  2. Always enjoyed Buckler. I see in this early job that he's using, in two spots, that narrow panel approach to slow down time and construct nice parallel visuals, as he would often do, winningly, in Deathlok. Great stuff!

  3. I think Rich is underappeciated and mucho misunderstood, as well. He is a master storyteller with his ability to spice up his pacing with a variety of cinematic techniques without losing sight of the fact that he's drawing comics, not storyboarding a movie (which is lost on many of today's artists). I don't consider him a "chameleon" at all, though, and here's why: even when he was doing a riff on Adams or Kirby, he still used his own style of storytelling and his own overall style intact. I think what he did was keep the characters "on model" in the extreme, again, a good skill that seems to have been lost/forgotten by many.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't think "being chameleonlike" is necessarily a bad thing. A guy wants to work, he gives his editor or publisher what they want. Ron Frenz is a magnificent artist and a true "chameleon" who got Marvel through some rough times, imo. When he drew Thor or the FF, we got the best of Kirby and/or John Buscema. When he drew Spidey, we were taken back to the days of Ditko and Romita, Sr. I bought mags Frenz drew BECAUSE of his ability to ape those styles. Am I strange? Yeah, but I knows what I like!



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