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Conan by Alex Toth

The third in an apparent “Conan by” series! (Following this and this.)

This one is from Savage Sword of Conan #64 (1981)—a tremendous issue that carries a 42-page lead story drawn by Big John, a “Chane” backup strip by Gil Kane, and… eight Conan pinup pages by the great Alex Toth, of which this is one.

Savage Sword 64 pinup

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Betty & Veronica: The Kiss

Another compare & contrast, this time with something all-new vs a 2016 original…

Both pieces were done for my friend, Nigel. It was his request & his concept… and I believe this “mythical kiss” might have actually been done for-real in an Archie comic in recent years. Not sure—I pay almost no attention to this stuff!

Anyhow, the composition I came up with in 2016 was A-OK—quite strong—but, my goodness, the execution & rendering was, IMO, absolutely appalling!! Even at the time I felt it was missing the mark, but my problems with it have grown exponentially with the passage of time.

So I deciced to redo it. Nigel deserved better.

Here’s the all-new 2021 version…

Nigel Betty-Veronica 2021

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Conan by Gil Kane

Featuring: The Unimaginable Menace of… THE TANGENT!!

Following up the last post, here is a really rather nice Conan pinup by Gil Kane from Savage Sword of Conan #67 (1981). What’s interesting, and unusual, about this piece is the way Gil has rendered the large demons… it’s a very stark chiaroscuro not dissimilar to the technique Frank Miller used a decade later on Sin City. As far as I know, Gil never really did anything else like this… unless anyone can point out other examples?

Anyhow, it’s a strong image.

Savage Sword 67 pinup

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Gene Colan: Ten Years On

Perhaps this was more appropriately posted back in June (the month of his passing), but as September marks his 95th birthday, that’s fine.

It’s hard to believe the great Gene Colan has been gone for ten years. And what a different (but not in the least bit better) world it is today compared to even back then.


Late ’70s Colan cover to DAREDEVIL #154, nicely inked by Steve Leialoha.

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On My Artwork

Quick post—I originally wrote this as a footnote to the previous post, but I thought I’d make it a separate entry instead, as it has some personal aspects that go on a bit of a tangent…

I’ve had a very spasmodic learning curve in terms of my artwork—and since the mid-’90s, I’ve mostly considered myself to be a writer who can draw a little.

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Club Vamporama Covers

Continuing this theme on the 15th anniversary of Club Vamporama (and the year of its demise!!), and following the Marie comparison, here’s two versions of a CV comic-book-that-never-happened cover.

Directly below is the most-recent version, from my moderately productive 2019 period. I’m still fairly happy with this. I don’t think it’s as cool or effective as the 2019 Marie portrait, but it’s OK.

Halloween Comix Cvr

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Club Vamporama’s Marie

Following up the Club Vamporama, RIP posting, with deference to the strip’s 15th anniversary, here is a reposting of some older arwork that is amongst the best CV visuals (IMO). It’s a portrait of Marie, showcasing her shapeshifting abilities—her hands look large and somewhat reptilian!—from 2019.

I was quite satisfied with this. Hey, I still am…

Marie Portrait

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Club Vamporama, RIP

While scanning the Darkseid piece I posted last month, I also scanned two new pages of comic strip work that I was going to post on here, but ultimately decided not to. About a dozen people have seen the strip privately, and all but one gave me nice feedback on it (the other one says he will comment on it, too, when he has time)…

It was a strip entitled “The Last Club Vamporama”. And it was indeed a finale… and maybe a kind of reboot, too, but we’ll leave it at that.

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2021 Viewing (Q2)

Continuing what is now a tradition, albeit a month late, and following the previous post back in April (sorry to be gone so long, but I promise there’s a bunch of new posts coming up!), here are the viewings from the second quarter of 2021… some of which were obviously started in Q1 but completed in Q2!

The Rebel (Johnny Yuma) season 2 (DVD)
Alfred Hitchcock Presents season 5 (DVD)
Have Gun Will Travel seasons 1-2 (DVD)
Department S series 1 (Blu-ray)
Star Trek: The Original Series seasons 1-2 (Blu-ray)

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Richard Corben

Speaking of the passing of greats, I was not actively blogging last December when Richard Corben died unexpectedly, after heart surgery. Very sad loss—I was certain he had another ten years of great stuff in him. He was one of those artists whose work never really bowed to the passage of time.

Most people would only know his work because he did the iconic cover for Meat Loaf’s 1977 classic album Bat Out of Hell. And, sadly, a lot of those folks doubtless don’t even know his name.

Bat Out of Hell

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David Bowie’s Toy

As it was the fifth anniversary of DB’s death last month (according to the Nu-Time of the sim we’re now in, at any rate), I was moved to fiddle with an old design idea for his unreleased 2001 album Toy. You can read some background detail on the project here.

I did a version of this cover concept back in 2005, actually six years before the full Toy bootleg leaked… we already had several of the tracks via 2002’s Heathen and its various B-sides. My earlier effort (which I can’t locate offhand) actually used the same source photo I’ve used here (taken by legendary photog Mick Rock circa 2001), but it was very amateurish. So I had a 2021 go at it.

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