Like many kids, comic books were a big part of my life. Growing up in Winston-Salem, N.C., I always volunteered to go with my dad when he made his weekly trip to Hutchins Drugstore, where he usually just stood in back and jaw-boned with friends about this and that. When we arrived, he’d tell me “now, go read your funny books until I call for you.” Well, there was nothing “funny” about the comic books I read. Action Comics, Superman, Batman
and the Legion of Super Heroes
were all fighting for their lives, solving crimes and saving the earth from intergalactic villains. “Funny books?” Not in my 30-minutes of allotted drugstore reading time. I rarely ready what he called funny books — Archie, Richie Rich, Little Lotta
, and others. These were just too silly for me.
I am quite sure that the time I spent reading comics added to my inspiration to be an artist. There were many things, of course, like my innate awareness of the natural world and my compulsion to collect things. I did go to art school, where I found the freedom to create things as far out and imaginative as my mind could envision.
I think most people enjoy seeing the original art behind the comics. It shows the labor and hard work behind the glamour — that raw effort, production and skill involved in bringing stories to life.
All images this week are from the Lewis Wayne Gallery
in Dallas, Texas, one of the nation’s largest galleries of comic book art. This is the original cover art to Kerry Drake Detective Cases #23, cover dated Dec. 1950. Size of 13" x 18.5". This is the original cover art to Witches Tales #3, cover dated May 1951. Size of 13" x 19". This is the original cover art for Chamber of Chills #26. Image area measures 10.5" x 15.75". Here are two versions of the original cover art for Invisible Scarlet O'Neil #2, published by Harvey in 1950. Although "signed" (photostat) by ISO'N creator Russel Stamm, this is almost certainly the work of Avison, who has written his name on the back of the art, as he often did. The image area measures 10.5" x 15.75". An inside page of Invisible Scarlet O’Neill #2. This is the original cover art for Blondie Comics #20, published by Harvey in 1950, artist unidentified. Image area of 10.5" x 10". AL AVISON (b. 1920) worked extensively for Timely Comics, co-creating the speed-powered hero The Whizzer. He and Syd Shores succeeded the Simon/Kirby team on Captain America and he also drew The Vision, Young Allies, and Blonde Phantom among others. He spent a year at Fawcett drawing Captain Marvel, and in later years did a lot of work for Harvey, working in many different genres. This is the original art for a complete 12-page story entitled "The Red Blazer" from Pocket Comics #1. The art is in very good condition with small chips out of the top margin of some pages, and average aging/wear. The image area measures 8" x 13". AL FAGALY (1909 - 1963) was a Golden Age artist who worked on titles for Timely and Archie among others. He also created the comic strip “There Oughta Be A Law.” This original art comic strip is dated 8-18-53. This piece is in very good condition with moderate overall aging; image area measures 12" x 8.75". “F.C. ALJON” was a pen-name used by Al Feldstein (pencils) and Johnny Craig (inks) working in collaboration. AL FELDSTEIN (b. 1925) began working at the Jerry Eiger shop in 1941, with his work appearing in comics from such publishers as Fiction House, Quality, and Fox. JOHNNY CRAIG (1926 - 2001) was one of the primary artists for EC Comics, drawing many stories and many, many covers, primarily in the horror titles. Art by AL FELDSTEIN (b. 1925). This complete original 8-page story art from Weird Science #13, which was actually only the second issue, entitled “The Flying Saucer Invasion,” which was published by EC in 1950. Art by AL FELDSTEIN (b. 1925). This complete original 8-page story art from Weird Science #5, entitled “Made of the Future!” which was published by EC in 1951. This original gag cartoon by Al Kaufman appeared in Romp Magazine, a humor magazine published by Humorama in January, 1964. The caption reads, “He knows she’s a foreign spy and he’s got all her secrets!” It is in very good condition. The image area measures 9” x 12”. ALEX ROSS (b. 1970) is one of the most influential comic book creators of the last thirty years. His best-known works include Kingdom Come and Marvels, and he has contributed scores of covers to virtually every major comic company. This is the original cover art for Crisis on Multiple Earths Vol. 1, published by DC in 2002. The art is in very good condition and has been professionally matted and framed. The image area measures approximately 14” x 22”. ANTONIO PROHIAS (1921 - 1998) fled his native Cuba in 1960 and came to the United States without a penny in his pocket. He was very quickly hired at MAD Magazine, where he was most well-known for his long-running “Spy Vs. Spy” feature, which began life as an anti-Castro cartoon. Prohias continued to draw the series until his retirement in 1990. This is one of the most significant pieces of art by Antonio Prohias to come onto the market. It features an image of Fidel Castro as a siren mermaid lulling (from the looks of the sombrero) a Mexican boat to the rocks. The overall size of the piece is approximately 23” x 16”. ARTHUR SUYDAM (b. 1953) work has graced magazines such as Heavy Metal, Epic Illustrated and National Lampoon. His comic book work includes Batman, Conan, Tarzan, Predator, Aliens and Death Dealer. This is the original art for page 23 (story page 1) of Epic Illustrated #1, the first page of the story “Heads,” published by Marvel in 1980. The art is in very good condition with light overall wear and aging. The image area measures approximately 9.75” x 13.5”. BOB BROWN was the creator of the Space Ranger character that appeared in DC's Tales of the Unexpected comic book from 1959. Brown illustrated every story until the comic's cancellation in 1965. In the 1970s, Bob Brown illustrated such Marvel titles as Torpedo, Spider-Man and The Avengers. He was also a prolific inker for DC. This original art for Superboy #158 page 18, which was inked by Wally Wood, and published by DC in 1969. The art is in excellent condition with minor overall wear. It has an image area of 10” x 15”.