Thursday, July 30, 2015

"Our Pal" Sal: "A World My Enemy!" by Thomas, S. Buscema, Mooney, and Esposito

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! We're back with more superior scribblings featuring Our Pal, Sal Busecma! This time we're going way back to one of Sal's earliest jobs--his first issue of Sub-Mariner! By the time Sub-Mariner #25 (February 1970) hit the spinner-racks, Sal had become an established inker and was making quite a name for himself as a penciler (mainly on The Avengers). Some of the best issues of Subby's mag came to us via the Roy Thomas/Sal Buscema team, and this one is just the beginning! Dig it!!

 Oh, yeah, the nice, crisp, detailed inks were provided by Jim Mooney and Mike Esposito (moonlighting as Joe Gaudioso)!


  1. Subby (and Aquaman too for that matter) were ideal heroes to focus on the environmental issues of the time which were pretty severe, dramatically so in the early 70's. The air quality has so improved and while water remains a challenge in places, the terms of the argument seem really to have changed. I'm always amused by folks who tout the relatively clean air and water in the United States as they at the same time begrudge environmental regulation, as if the unseen hand of capitalism was the reason that things improved. Regulation must always be handled deftly and with some balance, but we've come a long way since Iron Eyes Cody shed his famous tear. There's still work to do of course.

    Rip Off

  2. O.K. if we are going to digress from comics for a second... "Rip" is right on. Nixon's "Clean Air and Water Act" should be celebrated and not seen as "intrusive government intervention." I lived on Lake Michigan in Gary, IN, where 1000s of pounds of cyanide were dumped daily, into the Lake, by the various steel mills (first hand knowledge from my father). The mills only stopped b/c of the Act. Ironically Iron Eyes Coti was Italian. None the less that commercial, like Kirby's Cap, Romita's Spider Man, Colan's Daredeveil, Kaluta's Shadow, Adam's Green Lantern, Everett's Subby, are forever seared into my memory banks!

  3. I've sure appreciated Sal Buscema's artwork over the years. It's a shame, in one sense, that he was so fast as I preferred his full pencils to layouts and breakdowns. Unfortunately, as he became more ubiquitous throughout the Marvel line in the 70s, he fell victim to horrible finishers such as Vince Colletta, Mike Esposito and Jim Mooney. There were still some great pairings: Tom Palmer (Nova), Klaus Janson (Defenders), Joe Rubinstein.(Hulk) and a delightful three issue arc with Steve Leialoha in Marvel Team-Up. My all-time favorite Sal Buscema artwork was his debut run in Avengers # 68 - 72, where we were introduced to the Squadron Sinister, the Ultimate Ultron, the Zodiac and an Invaders prototype.

  4. I have this (unsubstantiated) theory that Sal's early pencils were worked on by brother John to give him a running start. Check out the anatomy of Namor and Dorma compared to the slimmer, taller portrayals of later issues.Look at Subby's fists in the closeups and the crouching full-figure stances on various characters. Not to mention the entire splash page.The only big difference is that Sal obviously penciled the heads which are less square than John's. As I said, a theory.

    1. Wow, Wow, and Wow... talk about deja vu! As a kid in the 70s I, too, noticed the evolution in Sal's art. (I was kind of particular about my artists) and thought his earlier stuff was "better." Eventually I just assumed that as his output increased, he thus hurried through, and his familiar style was the result of that.



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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.

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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!