Friday, 16 December 2016


Image copyright DC COMICS

The titanic team of CURT SWAN & MURPHY ANDERSON
(alias SWANDERSON) produced this spectacular splash page,
Criv-ites.  I suppose Anderson could be regarded as the equiv-
alent of JOE SINNOTT on JACK KIRBY's pencils, so well
did both team's talents merge on the pages they worked on.

The result?  Great comicbook art that stands the test of time.
Tune in again for another spectacular splash page soon.


TC said...

I had this issue. At the time, I didn't realize that it was the second half of a continued story. It seemed like a complete done-in-one. Which leads me to suspect that the first part may have been just one long stall building up to the cliffhanger of Superman getting taken hostage, with all the action in the concluding episode.

Swan and Anderson were definitely one of the best pencil-and-ink teams of the Silver and Bronze Ages. And among the most underrated. Maybe if they had been at Marvel, and if their work had been hyped more ("Powerful pencils by Cool Curt Swan! Incomparable inking by Mighty Murphy Anderson! Exceptional Editing by Stan the Man Lee!!!"), they would have gotten more recognition.

Rip Jagger said...

The "Swanderson" team arrived just as I found DC for myself, dragged along by Kirby when he dashed over from Marvel. Loved the lush artwork, an exquisite blend of two master craftsmen. I hear TV chefs warble about a "balance of flavors" when describing some food and I'm reminded of this phrase when thinking of the Swan-Anderson team, a balance of scrumptious flavors.

I got to meet Murphy Anderson some years ago at a local convention. He was as everyone seems to agree a dapper gentleman and I picked up a copy of Action Comics #380 to get his autograph.

Rip Off

Kid said...

That raises an interesting question, TC. Would the Cult (or should that be Kult?) of Kirby arisen had it not been for Stan Lee's crediting the artists and hyping 'King' Kirby to the rooftops? Sure, other artists, even ones who worked for other publishers, built up a following, but nothing to compare to the attention that Marvel artists like Kirby and Ditko received. In fact, DC's poaching of Kirby from Marvel to DC may mainly have been more to spite Marvel by depriving them of the guy who, in some circles, was regarded as their MOST significant creator (an erroneous notion in my view), than because they were fans of his writing and art. In fact, reports suggest that DC looked down on most of Marvel's product and were bewildered by their success. So had Swan and Anderson been touted like Kirby and Sinnott, maybe they would've enjoyed even greater fan acclaim.


That's a perfect description, RJ - scrumptious flavours. Much as I enjoy Vince Colletta's inking of most (or so it seems) of Kirby's DC mags, I'd have loved to see Anderson inking Jack's Jimmy Olsen issues in their entirety, instead of just Superman's and Jimmy's faces. That would have been awesome to behold. Nice that you got to meet him and get his autograph. I've got the TwoMorrow's book about him, but it isn't autographed. And wasn't that first episode of John Carter he illustrated on his own simply superb?

Paul McScotty Muir said...

This was a comic I always wanted to get (Action 402) after seeing it advertised along with Detective Comics ( 413) in Teen Titans issue 34. By this time I was a total Neal Adams junkie and he did both covers which looked amazing . I eventually managed to pick this issue up about 3 months ago (after 36 years not bad) for a measly £3 in nice condition. This amazing splash page is very similar to the cover - do you know what would have been done first? (I assume the splash page).

I think Kirby had something else to offer in his art style (pretty radical for the time - especially the "chunky" late 60s early 70s version) and in his choice of more modern strips and design that put him in the fan favourite legend league. Swanderson were both amazing artist (imho technically better than Kirby) and their work on Superman at this time puts almost everything since (I take Byrne an Ordway out of that) on the character to shame. I have a few one off strips my Murphy (pencils and art) and as you say its stunning work he was a great all rounder up there with the very best re pencils alone (one of the best inkers ever)

Kid said...

I first saw this comic (or perhaps I should say I remember first seeing this comic) in the back garden of a friend's house (or that of his in-laws' to be precise) while we were sipping tea during a break from collecting overdue library books from 'borrowers' who had failed to return them. (We worked in my local library at the time. There's a post about it on the blog somewhere.) I acquired it (and its predecessor) a good few years back, and whenever I look at it, I'm back in that garden in 1979, sipping tea and wittering on about comics. As to which was drawn first, I'd guess that in this instance, the splash was drawn first, but you never can tell with DC. During the '60s, intriguing covers were created first, then writers were assigned to come up with a story that incorporated the cover image.

I think Kirby's art style was always going to garner attention, but whether his fame would have reached the proportions it did without Lee's promotion is open to question. As I've discovered, comic fans and Kirby fans are not always necessarily the same animal, and most of Jack's DC mags failed to score at the time, suggesting that his reputation was bigger in the minds of his fans that it was in general comicbook reality. Know what I'd love to have seen, PM? Swan pencils over Kirby layouts, inled by Anderson. Wouldn't that have been something?!

Paul McScotty Muir said...

That certainly would have been a good combo - Curt Swan was a brilliant artist I remember a Batman or Detective issue he did that was amazing (been looking for it again for some time but I cant recall the title let alone the issue) - Good point re Jacks work at DC - for me I just didn't think his characters were that strong at DC (well Kamandi was good ) to carry a book all good second stringers (some like Mr Miracle and the Demon with potential) but his work on Jimmy Olsen, an established character was imho great - saying that Darkseid was a great character

Kid said...

You're right, Darkseid was a great character, but I always felt that Jack should've put more thought into the spelling of his name. It was meant to be pronounced 'Darkside', but almost everyone and his brother pronounced it 'Darkseed'. Would it have worked better as 'Darksied'? Who knows, but it didn't quite produce the effect it was intended to have, spelt the way it was. In fact, I sometimes felt that Jack picked rather obvious names to denote his characters, in much the same way as the British translators of Asterix. (Vitalstatistix, Obelix, etc.)

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