Sunday, 14 December 2014


Image copyright Marvel Comics

 Christmas has come early to Castel Robsono, as Bashful BARRY
PEARL has selflessly sent me some Yuletide presents from the good ol'
USA.  Barry is one of the men behind the ROY THOMAS/JOSH BAKER
book, 75 YEARS OF MARVEL, released not long ago by TASCHEN.
being the other two contributors.)

#30, from the '60s, drawn by DICK AYERS.  The cover-layout is a bit
'all over the place' (figures on different levels), but the mag is a real slice
of early Marvel, and one I'm looking forward to reading soon.

Next (above) is STEVE DITKO'S 160 PAGE PACKAGE, published
by ROBIN SNYDER.  The contents are from 1999, and it's interesting to
see how Ditko's work has evolved over the years - not really for the better,
it has to be truthfully ('though sadly) said.  It's hard to believe that this is by
the same hand as the creative and artistic genius behind SPIDER-MAN
and DOCTOR STRANGE.  Not that the artwork is bad as such, but
it's not in the same league as Steve's earlier work.

Now look at the above little beauty - containing the first 125 pages of
art and story by JACK 'KING' KIRBY.  It's interesting to see Kirby at
the start of his career, and tracking how his talent developed into what later
became the 'Marvel style'.  Art restoration has come on in leaps and bounds
since GREG THEAKSTON originated his 'bleaching' process, and no doubt
better reproductions of these pages now exist, but it's still a great book
to have, containing as it does an interview with Jack himself.

So thanks to Barry for helping me fill out my Christmas stocking.
I, being Scottish, am by nature a complete Scrooge - but I might send
him a single MALTESER - if I'm able to find a stamp small enough to put
on the wrapper.  On second thoughts, there's no point - someone would be
bound to smell the chocolate and scoff it before it got there.  I'll close with
the illustration from Barry's Christmas card -  the sentiments of which
would make the world a better place if only we could all live by
them, I'm sure you'll agree.  'Nuff said!


While we're all here, I  might as well show you the cover of the
very book that Barry and his chums helped Roy & Josh produce,
so here it is.  Available now in all good comicbook stores and
bookshops as well, of course.


John Pitt said...

And a couple of great blogsites too in Barry's Pearls and Nick Caputo's for any new Cri-Vites out there who don't already know!

Kid said...

Yes indeedy - the links to their sites can be found in my blog list on the home page.

John Pitt said...

Kid, can you remember earlier this year you recommended to me a book abouttthe history of Marvel comics with Spidey on the cover and I said it sounded very similar to one I'd seen with Cap on the cover? Well the above book may very well have been that very book. The trouble is - NOW I can't find the " Spidey " cover book to compare! Can you remember which one it was?
I would love them for my prezzies and the Ditko & Kirby books too! You lucky blighter!!

Kid said...

JP, it was Marvel: 5 Fabulous Decades of the World's Greatest Comics, by Les Daniels. You can pick it up quite cheap on Amazon. However, I imagine the Taschen book will far surpass it, so I'd check that out on Amazon too.

John Pitt said...

Flippin' 'eck, Kid, have you seen the price of the Taschen book on Amazon!?!?- It'll be Led Daniels' book for me! Maybe I'll spot rascally Roy's cheap on eBay some time in the future?

John Pitt said...

And it's even£73 on eBay at the minute!!

Kid said...

The Taschen book is bloody huge 'though, JP - not just in page count, but also in page dimensions. It'd be worth taking a look at it if you see it in a shop. Les Daniel's book is good 'though, and won't disappoint.

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