Friday, July 29, 2016

Making a Splash: John Byrne's Doomsday (+1)

Hey, hey, hey, Groove-ophiles! I know you're gonna love today's post (well, unless you're John Byrne--sorry, don't mean to embarrass you, man, but dang! Your art was great even way back then)! Earrrrrrrrrly John Byrne on Doomsday +1 (July 1975-May 1976)! Yeah, Byrne was learning and experimenting (some of these splashes don't meet the exact definition of a splash, but hey--any excuse to look at Byrne art, right?), but whoa! That cool, original style pulsing with life, energy, and enthusiasm still knocks me out! How 'bout you?
Doomsday +1 #1




Doomsday +1 #3




Doomsday +1 #5




8 comments:

  1. Wow, not to get political, but I'm really feeling the Byrne (o.k., that looks wrong now that I see it typed out...)

    Anyway, thanks for posting this, Groove. I've probably said it before, but I just love this early work by Byrne from his Charlton days. I know it'll never happen, but I'd love to see all of Byrne's Charlton material collected in an omnibus or something.

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  2. I knew I was seeing the emergence of an artistic superstar in John Byrne when I read the Doomsday + 1 comics (along with his Rog 2000 backups in E-Man). They were so unCharlton with their innovative layouts and energy. You could tell Mr. Byrne was so enthusiastic about what he was doing and having a great time (loved the Byrne Robotics moniker the credits began to sport). In a preview of what was to come he also wrote as well as drew the last few issues of Space 1999.

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  3. There was a reprint book of his Space 1999 stuff out, but it was terrible, pages were missing it was re-colored, rewritten, no cover reprints. Too much messing with the source material. Kinda like when Lucas decided to "fix" Star Wars".

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    1. Have you seen the Dark Horse hardcover reprints of the old EC stuff? I don't know what they were thinking, but all the stories are colored in this garish style that really detracts from the enjoyment of the art. I'm going to the Rose City Comic Con in September and will mention it to Mike Richardson (publisher of Dark Horse)there. When I pay $50 for something I expect better quality that that.

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  4. I was an early Byrne convert too -- starting with the ROG-2000 backups in E-MAN. Such a fresh, bouncy, unique style. Then, when he did DOOMSDAY , I was pleasantly surprised to see he could subtly adapt his rather cartoony style to a straight adventure strip without losing any of the charm. Great stuff. When he began working for Marvel, some fool tried to "normalize" his work by teaming him up with super-staid inker Al McWilliams on his first two Iron Fist stories (as Roy Thomas later did by having Tony DeZuniga overpower Ernie Colon's pencils on ARAK). But once they gave him more complimentary inkers like Chiaramonte, Adkins and Hunt, his career really took off, leading to his stellar work on X-MEN, FF, etc. These early Charlton stories still have tremendous appeal.

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    1. I don't think they tried to normalize him with McWilliams. His super stiff style was incompatible with most pencillers. They even put him with Val Mayerik once on the Living Mummy. Talk about a bad combination. The life was sure sucked out of that issue. I don't know whose decision it was to team Byrne with Austin (or Palmer with Colan on Dr. Strange) but comic book heaven was made. It was like butter to the soul.
      I have to offer a contrary opinion regarding Dezuniga over Colon on Arak. I never like Colon's too cartoony style. Dezuniga's finishes on Arak brought the proper edge to what was DC's answer to Conan.

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  5. I think DOOMSDAY +1 is my favorite CHARTLON comics of all time, o' Groovy one! I have very fond memories of buying these with my first allowance money when I was a kid. The storyline really grabbed me, and I loved that a prehistoric mammoth and a man from the bronze age emerged from the nuclear aftermath! Great fantasy hooks meets high tech science devastation. Robots, mutants, radiation, and prehistoric critters pitted against a band of astronauts! That's the stuff that young boys dreams were made of (at least for my generation)! I'd really go nuts if there ever was an artist's edition of this stuff. Thanks for posting the splashes! They are all pretty awesome examples of Byrne's early comic work.

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  6. Hey keythd23 -- we can agree to disagree about the Colon/DeZuniga thing -- but I'm right there with ya on the Dark Horse EC Archives. Those hideously colored things are a tragedy/travesty.

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