Friday, October 20, 2017

Making a Splash: The Haunted Detective

Dig it, Groove-ophiles! 13 spooky Batman splashes from some of the greatest artists of the Groovy Age! These are some of the moody masterpieces from the Groovy Age issues of Detective Comics Ol' Groove digs the most. Are your faves here? If not, what are they?

Detective #407

Detective #409






Detective #444



Detective 482

(And yep, Ol' Groove is workin' on a post featuring splashes from Batman's own mag, as well. Hang in there, baby!)

15 comments:

  1. You showed "The Heart Of The Vampire" my favorite issue of Detective. Some of the artwork in that issue is lifted almost verbatim from the Hammer Dracula films with Christopher Lee, any chance you can post this story Groove?

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    1. Done dood it... http://diversionsofthegroovykind.blogspot.com/2009/08/random-reads-heart-of-vampire.html Enjoy, Kevin!

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  2. Awesome, not sure how I overlooked that in my binge reading.

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  3. That splash page to The Laughing Fish by Englehart, Rogers and Austin is not only beautiful and classic, but you can tell that it influenced subsequent writers and artists.

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    1. It also shows what an asset a guy like Terry Austin is!

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    2. Absolutely. His inks on this run of Detective were some of the best I've seen. Steve, Marshall and Terry combined in a special way with this run.

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    3. Didn't Marshall Rogers train as an architect?
      That already makes him distinctive compared to a lot of comic book artists working in the 70s. You can really see it in that splash, and the Batman story he did with text and illos, Death Strikes at Midnight and Three.

      -sean

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    4. Austin is one of the best inkers ever (only behind the wonderful Tom Palmer). He brought a unique style to inking never seen before; all angular lines that referenced drafting, embellished with zip-a-tone. Before him most inkers used brushes. After him inking with pen became the norm. His X-Men, Detective and Dr. Strange runs are still being lauded nearly 40 years later

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  4. Hot dayum. Nice one, Groove. Rogers' splash page for Detective #475 is one of the best splashes I've ever seen. Exquisite!

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  5. That Vow From the Grave splash blew me away when I first saw it in one of those DC collector editions or whatever they called them. Neal Adams - along with Berni Wrightson and Irv Norvick - blown up large. Fantastic.
    Wind back a few years earlier, and that Spook story is one of the first American comics I can recall reading - still a vivid memory.
    Great post Mr Groove.

    -sean

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  6. Although it's not a splash page--the story doesn't even HAVE a splash page, which is SO weird--I'm quite fond of Detective Comics 397's cover, for the story "Paint a Picture of Peril!" (which you covered back in February 2012!).

    I have discovered a disturbing thing about that particular issue, though: the artwork was redone in the digital version. It's astonishingly obvious in the final panel of "Peril!"; both characters look completely different--Bruce Wayne bears a passing resemblance to Dean Martin in the original but looks more like Jerry Lewis in the digital.

    I'm afraid to look at other digital versions now. Does everyone else already know about this? Is this something Adams is doing? If not him, who? And WHY? It's needless revision that would give even Peter Jackson and George Lucas pause.

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  7. Some great picks! These are some wonderfully atmospheric splashes. I've actually covered several of these already in my Bronze Age voyage. It's fun to say 'I know that story!'

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  8. Bob Brown was drawing Batman when I started reading Detective Comics. I always thought he was a good, under appreciated artist. I've got most of the lower half of the set, from Aparo down. I really loved the 100 pagers and the Dollar Comics. That Starlin story was wild!

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  9. This is my favorite period of Batman. I was in junior high and high School. I loved the DC 25 cent books with their mix of new and reprint stories. Any time Neal Adams showed up it was a treat. In between Irv Novick produced yeoman's work. Then when Frank Robbins starting drawing I loved his angular weirdness (Although I was in the minority). The stories always enhanced the art. It wasn't the quality Marvel was producing at the time but Batman was in capable hands. Unfortunately for DC,their 25 centers caused them to fall behind Marvel's 20 issues (a clever ploy by Martin Goodman) in sales and they lost their dominance in the marketplace.

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  10. Really groovy ghoulie! What I like about the 70s Batman--they return to his original dark Gothic character. The way Batman's supposed to be! Thank's for sharing.

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