Sunday, 18 May 2014


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

I re-read The THING #1 last night - thirty-one years after
first reading it back in 1983.  Quite enjoyed it too.  Riding high on the
success of his FANTASTIC FOUR run, JOHN BYRNE was given a
new mag in which to relate the adventures of the Fabulous FF's most
popular member, BEN GRIMM.  I enjoyed the early issues, right up until
Ben left the team in the wake of the BEYONDER saga and spent a period
on an alien world where he could transform back and forth between the
Thing and his human self at will.  The mag sort of lost its way after that,
but I persevered right up until it was cancelled with its 36th issue,
which means I can now present a cover and splash page gallery
for you to pore over at your leisure.

So, here's part one - don't forget to come back for the second
instalment, appearing right here on this, the absolute best blog in the
entire universe - if the voices I keep hearing in my head aren't lying
to me.  (And why would they?)  Anyway, enjoy!

Page one wasn't really up to much - nor was it a 'splash' page in the true
sense of the word. Page two met the description, so here it is in all its glory


Gey Blabby said...

A bit unfairly, perhaps, but I used to lump Ron Wilson in with Rich Buckler as an artist whose work felt like a slightly pale imitation of Kirby and Buscema. But maybe that was what they wanted when he was working on characters like The Thing. That said, there's some really nice stuff here.

Kid said...

His artwork on the U.K. Captain Britain comic contained some nice art as well, GB.

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

I had forgotten all about Ron Wilson, he seemed to be quite prolific in the mid 70's (Marvel Two in One etc) , I used to really like his work- wonder what he is up to now. I have to say I loved Rich Bucklers work although I do agree he did tend to "ape" Kirby, J Buscema and Neal Adams at various times, but he was a great artist (wonder ehat happened to him as well). I noticed on Issue 6 of "The Thing" Hilary Barta is credited as the inker, not sure if you have seen his cartoon style (very much Wally Wood inspired) but its (IMHO) amazing sad he isn't published more as a cartoonist.

Kid said...

I believe Hilary does quite a bit of work on The Simpsons comics, McScotty - or at least he was in 2006. In 2012, Ron was working on his creator-owned project called Battle Rappers - I haven't seen it 'though. Rich Buckler can produce really good work in a variety of styles, but in 1983, The Comics Journal publicly accused him of being a 'swipe' artist, which he denied, suing the mag for libel - although he later dropped the case.

joe bloke said...

yeah, I think Rich Buckler got badly treated. he DID swipe, there's no doubt about it, but that was kind of how things worked at Marvel Comics, back in the day. many artists were instructed to ape the styles of the big names. I can't remember the issue number, exactly, but there's a George Tuska Iron Man that's chock full of John Buscema swipes. Tuska said in an interview that everyone was at it, partly through dictat, & partly because it was an easy way to get pages out of the way as quick as possible.

on the subject of The Thing, I never got into the Byrne run ( though I did, of course, love his FF ), but I was a big fan of Two-In-One.

Kid said...

Joe, as you say, it was the done thing to swipe Kirby because that's what Marvel wanted. Also, it was obvious to any serious collector that there were some panels which were almost direct lifts - mainly because it was the most effective way to give the editors the look they wanted. Ron Frenz was also a good swipe artist, but I wasn't so keen when he mixed Buscema Thors with Kirby Thors in the same issue.

Colin Jones said...

I've never seen this comic before - I stopped reading comics in late '83/early '84 but reading this blog and other online sources have made me see that by 1983 I must have been reading Fantastic Four and nothing else because I just don't remember anything else apart from the FF. Talking of artists copying the Kirby style - I remember reading the Complete FF in late '77/early '78 when Rich Buckler replaced John Buscema and I was not very pleased with the shameless imitation of Kirby's art by Buckler - it was just a sad reminder that the great Kirby was gone from the FF forever.

Kid said...

I didn't mind Rich Buckler's art at the time, CJ - I felt it was closer to Kirby's art than Kirby's was back then. If only Buckler (and later Frenz) had been a little more consistent in the eras of Jack's art they swiped from, the effect would've been better.

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