Friday, March 11, 2016

The Grooviest Covers of All Time: Sal Buscema Made Me Buy These, Too

Hey, hey, hey, Groove-ophiles! Yep, Sal Buscema covers were one of the fastest ways to get Groove's change back during the Groovy Age. Not only were Sal's covers usually knock-outs, but they also meant (at least during the early-to-mid-Groovy Age) that Our Pal was drawing the insides, too! Eventually, Sal's cover work dwindled...but only because he was drawing so many comics on a monthly basis. Not only his "regular series'", but also tons of fill-ins (the dude was faaaaaaast!). Anyway, here are some in-freakin'-credible covers featuring The Avengers, Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, X-Men, and many more. Can you dig it?









8 comments:

  1. You and I are on the same page here. Sal Buscema was an icon in this Marvel heyday. The covers he produced for the reprint line were quite tasty and when Marvel reverted to giving the originals (sort of) I give the nod to authenticity but missed the pure excitement of Sal's renditions. Gil Kane became the cover guru for Marvel of course and that likely kept Sal from doing more.

    Rip Off

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  2. Groove - where are all the comments??? I figured you'd have a good dozen comments. Anyhow, help me out here... I get a sense of Gene Colan in Marvel Superheroes 30 and Neal Adams on Xmen 64? (For what it's worth, XMen 64 was the first comic I ever bought as a back issue. It was from a dealer in Alexandria, VA on a family vacation. Sure as heck a panel was cut out, when I start reading in the car.)

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    1. I think Sal staying true to Colan's depiction of Ultimo is why you get that vibe from MSH 30, CH. As for X-Men 64, Tom Palmer's inks contribute to the Adams feel (though Angel looks re-drawn to me)--but the Sunfire figure looks like Sal inked it himself--or if not Sal, then Sam Grainger...

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    2. Yep... the all the xmen characters, but for Sunfire, look to lithe to me to be drawn by Sal

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  3. It's such a shame that Sal never received the fan attention given to some of his peers, even though technically he was a better artist than many of them. Perhaps this explains the period in the 80s where it was left to others to do the covers of Sal's books.

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    1. Sal doesn't get the attention he deserves today, but back in the Groovy Age he did get a few well-deserved accolades--for instance he was nominated for, and won, Best Penciler in the annual FOOM fan awards contests. But yeah, he never got industry awards or near the respect he deserved from his peers. I still think the ton of interior work he did (four, five, even six books in a month sometime) took him out of the cover art side of things. And yeah, it looks like Sal really got jerked around in the 80s...

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  4. I've always preferred Sal's art to equally fast brother John's. Although John was technically a better artist, who received all the accolades he often seemed to be just going through the motions. Sal always came across as really caring about the job he was doing. I really liked when he first started and was doing full pencils on Avengers # 68 - 72 and X-Men # 66.

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  5. As a pre-teen Marvel Maniac, I loved John Buscema's AVENGERS, felt Gene Colan was miscast in his original brief stint (#s 63-65), and was disappointed in Barry Smith's first two-issue run (#s 66-67). When Sal & Sam Grainger took over in # 68, it was like manna from heaven to me! I read hundreds of his comics in years to come, and in the late '90s I did a smidgen of work for DC and Sal was also doing BATMAN projects there, I had the pleasure of meeting him in the DC offices. He was such a gentleman, and had a terrific sense of humor. He and I were supposed to have done a BATMAN CHRONICLES story together, but a schedule conflict on his part resulted in me working with Jim Aparo. Aparo was a mighty fine runner up, and it was a genuine honor to work with him again (we had previously done a Batman/Penguin throwdown that still languishes somewhere in DC's inventory), but part of me was always a little disappointed I missed my chance to work with Sal ...

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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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