Friday, March 8, 2013

Making a Splash: Joe Staton Showcase

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! Didja know that when DC revived Showcase in 1977 (May 1977-June 1978) the venerable title lasted only 11 issues before going under in the DC Implosion? Didja know that, for some reason, Joe Staton drew the first 7 issues of that run? Joe did all three Doom Patrol issues, all three Power Girl issues, and the double-sized 100th issue which featured every character who ever appeared in the first 100 issues (sixty characters if the cover copy was right)! It's true! It's also true that Mr. Staton did a far-out and fan-tabulous job on each and every ish. Just to give you an idea of how great Joe was on Showcase, here are the splashes (plus a few extra full -age illos from ish 100). Dig 'em!


  1. Love 'em!

    Joe Staton is the man! This was my favorite era of DC Comics, and briefly before the implosion, the company was my favorite. Then alas it all went to smash, but for a brief moment they were fantastic!

    Rip Off

  2. Had all of these back in the day - I think it was thanks to these that I really became a fan of Staton's art. And those were actually the first Doom Patrol stories I ever read.
    Showcase 100, by the way, is such a fun issue - it's like Crisis all packed into a single issue with a happy end.

  3. Joe Staton is great! I loved his books & his inks! He inked both Herb Trimpes last year on the Hulk. Then stayed on & inked the much over looked Sal Buscema! I was a HUGE Doom Patrol fan! I bought their last few issues off the stand in the late 60's. I was shocked as a little boy they got killed at the end! DC's answer to the X-Men. Keep up the excellent job Groovy One!

  4. The Power Girl issues were some of the first comics I bought when I started collecting when I was about 11 yrs old. Part of my "discovering" the JSA. Wish I could find them again now at a reasonable price...

  5. Not much of a Joe Staton fan, but he draws a fine Power Girl

  6. Didn't really care for him at first, but came to enjoy his art when he was drawing the JSA and that DC Special that featured the origin of the JSA is one of my all-time favorites. I also enjoyed his stint on Green Lantern, especially when he did his own inks. That Showcase #100 is one of my favorites, too....a great story that manages to feature a lot of characters without getting bogged down.

  7. The DC implosion signalled the end of my comic book fandom (as a regular reader and buyer). At that point I had already segued into buying the Warren magazines (CREEPY and EERIE) and HEAVY METAL (and, beginning in 1980, EPIC ILLUSTRATED), and tracking down back issues.

    I was only 13 in 1978, but even then (and in the preceding years) I saw that the writing was on the wall for comics as I knew and loved them. From 1972 - 1975 I saw the page count (for story, not advertisements) dwindle from 24 pages, to 22, to 20, to 18, and finally 17 pages. Later I learned that the last two pages were drawn on ONE PIECE OF BRISTOL BOARD so the companies could save money (read: cheat the artists by having them draw those at print size).

    Also, I used to compare the cover art for some of the same titles and quickly noticed that the colour pallette, so rich in the '60s and early '70s, now looked like Skittles, for the most part. Simple, garish, bright colours. That, and the printing went from being done on metal plates to PLASTIC plates, and the amount of black ink was cut back as well, so the black began to look grey. Yes, every corner possible was being cut, and then some.

    Lastly, prices (in US cents) soared: from 1974 - 1978 we saw the comics' cover price go from 20 cents, to 25, 30, 35, 40, 50, and 60 cents in short order---sales were evidently falling through the floor.

    Yes, I lived to see them stop being regularly available at the newsstand, convenience store, etc., as the Direct Sales era came in, and only comic shops, if accessible, had new titles. So much for the "Hey, kids! Comics!" spinner rack.

    It was a lot of fun, and I'm amazed they've survived this long. Even when/if the Big Two can't afford to pay artists to work on new material, there will be so much scanning of past efforts on sites like these to satisfy fans for a long, long time.

    Chris A.

  8. Can we please get an ongoing E-Man series by Staton & Cuti? best superhero to come out of the '70s!

  9. It's been said that Captain America was a DC hero published by Marvel, and that the Doom Patrol and Metamorpho were Marvel comics published by DC. Maybe the DP would have lasted longer if they really had been published by Marvel; by the late 1960s, DC was perceived as quaint and square, while Marvel was considered cool and trendy. The Doom Patrol always seemed to be overshadowed by the X-Men, even though the DP came first.

  10. " the late 1960s, DC was perceived as quaint and square..."

    By whom?

    HOUSE OF MYSTERY, HOUSE OF SECRETS, THE UNEXPECTED, and THE WITCHING HOUR, from 1968 on, had art by Berni Wrightson, Neal Adams, Mike Kaluta, Jeff Jones, Alex Toth, Wally Wood, Gil Kane, etc. Nick Cardy's BATLASH was a unique spin on the western. Neal Adams was just getting warmed up with Batman in THE BRAVE & THE BOLD, and did stellar work on Deadman in STRANGE ADVENTURES, as well as THE SPECTRE. Ditko had abandoned Marvel to work on BEWARE THE CREEPER and HAWK & DOVE for DC, and Joe Simon's BWANA BEAST and BROTHER POWER, THE GEEK, though terminally weird, were anything but "quaint and square."

    The only thing DC lacked was a pseudo-hip huckster like Stan Lee (who came across more like Rowan & Martin than ol' Blue Eyes in the Rat Pack). Don't get me wrong---I enjoyed the 'pitch' as well as Stan's scripts. But DC was doing something special in the late '60s which came in to full flower in the early to mid-'70s.

    Chris A.

  11. im glad im not the only one!!!, about the double-sized Showcase 100th issue, its like a Proto - Crisis of Infinite Earths, a huge Crossover , red skies and Cosmic adventures, oh Joe Staton art is lovely and personal



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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.

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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!