Friday, March 31, 2017

Making a Splash: Black Panther in Jungle Action, Part One

Dig it, Groove-ophiles! One of Ol' Groove's all-time favorite series is Black Panther from Jungle Action. I dug T'Challa in FF and the Avengers, but man, under the authorship of Don McGregor and artists Rich Buckler and Billy Graham, the King of the Wakanda became one of the most unique, thought-provoking comics in, like, ever, man! While McGregor took the Panther (and comics) in directions we'd rarely, if ever, seen before, the art, baby, kept us salivating for more. Buckler inked by a young Klaus Janson was a-freakin'-mazing! That dyn-o-mite duo supplied the art for Jungle Action issues 6-8 (June-October 1973), the Janson got to ink Gil Kane in ish #9 (February 1974). Buckler came back to help Billy Graham out of a deadline crunch (but didn't do the splash) for JA #22 (April 1976), then laid out the majority of JA #24 (the final ish, August 1976) for another astounding newcomer, Keith Pollard. Seems like Buckler did a lot more than those issues, but I s'pose that's because he made such a huge artistic impact on the series by setting the feel and tone. And of course, knocking each page waaay outta the park!

Next Friday: Billy Graham's JA/Black Panther!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Decent Comics: "The Tomorrow Children" by Michelinie and Redondo

What it is, Groove-ophiles! With Swamp Thing #14 (October 1974), not-as-new artist Nestor Redondo was joined by a young David Micheline, who took over our fave muck-monster's writing chores. Micheline had already been doing some cool stuff in Claw the Unconquered and Unknown Soldier, so it wasn't like DC just grabbed the first warm body they could find to take over for departing co-creator Len Wein. Michelinie would go on to do more cool stuff at DC during the Groovy Age like Starfire and Star Hunters before heading to Marvel to revitalize Iron Man, do some far out Avengers work (before making a lotta readers mad at him with ish #200), and tons more. But for now, let's head down to the swamps...

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Black and White Wednesday: Wally Wood's Unpublished Plop-ular Poetry

You Groove-ophiles are absolutely the greatest! So kind, loyal, and generous! Gil Oritz, co-worker, friend, and photographer of the late, great Wally Wood read our old post on Woody's Plop-ular Poetry from DC's PLOP! mag and not only answered Ol' Groove's question ("I wonder if  poems "v"-"z" were ever completed? "), but shared the wealth, as well! Seems Woody had gifted Gil with the original art for the unpublished "V-Z" sections--and Gil has graciously shared scans of those long-lost (to fandom, not Gil) pages. Thank you a ka-zillion, Gil!! Thine unselfishness has earned thee the highest accolades that Groove City mayest bestow! We tip our kreighblas to thee, Sir!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A Very Special Groovy Guest Post: Roy Thomas On Bernie Wrightson

Roy Thomas wished to express his feelings on the passing of Bernie Wrightson. Ol' Groove is honored that Roy chose to share those thoughts with us here on the Diversions.

Bernie Wrightson was one of the giants to emerge from the comics field in the late 1960 and 1970s, influencing an entire generation--perhaps more than one generation--of artists who followed him.  He was the co-creator of Swamp Thing, and easily the best illustrator of Mary Shelly's novel Frankenstein in the 200 years since it was first published.  I was only privileged to work with him on a bare handful of stories, but they were work that left me with an abiding admiration of his talent and commitment to excellence.  He will be missed.

Roy Thomas

Many thanks to Groove-ophile Mike Mikulovsky for getting the ball rolling by helping put us in contact with Roy.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Marvel-ous Mondays: "Deluge!" by Thomas and Trimpe

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! We're back with another cool Ka-Zar adventure! This time Herb (Incredible Hulk, Ant-Man) Trimpe has taken over the art chores from his pal Barry (Windsor-) Smith (perhaps because Conan was about to go double-size for Marvel's flirtation with the 52 page, 25 cent format?). Note that Herb, while not directly copying Smith's style, is at least trying to keep the look and feel of Ka-Zar and company consistent. Ol' Groove thinks Happy Herb did a bang-up job on Roy Thomas' scintillating script for "Deluge!" in Astonishing Tales #7 (May 1971). And he did the cover, too! Dig it!

"Hey, Groove! Where's the story from issue 6?" It's right here, baby! Shared that one waaaaaay back in March '09!

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Grooviest Covers of All Time: Eerie Sci-Fi

What it is, Groove-ophiles! One of the things Teen Groove really dug about Warren's Eerie mag was the sci-fi shockers that would often populate some issues. The covers to many of those issues were often worth the price of the mag--covers by Vaughn Bode, Basil Gogos, Pat Boyette, Larry Todd, Manuel Sanjulian, Ken Kelly, Jordi Penalva, Jim Laurier, and Romas Kukalis, f'rinstance...


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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.

All other commentary and insanity copyright GroovyAge, Ltd.

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!