Category: Art

Art of the Raytrix

If you’re a regular ZZ reader, then you know how much I enjoy the artwork of Bill Marimon. I like Bill‘s work enough to create a web presence for him. Have you checked it out yet? If not you should.

Perhaps if you take a peek at the thumbnail to Bill‘s latest painting you’ll see what I mean about his art. If you can’t see it, then maybe it’s time for an eye exam.

Meet Bill Marimon

Bill Marimon is one of the nicest guys that you’d ever meet. Bill‘s worked for AC, DC [not the band], and Marvel. He’s now available for commissions. [His art is great and his prices are reasonable — can you think of a better combo?]

I’ve put together a site to showcase some of Bill‘s work. Check it out!

FX

Can you imagine a party where the guests of honor included LINDA BLAIR, Insane Clown Posse, JIMMY “The Mouth of the South” Hart, JOHN BEATTY and other celebs in addition to THOUSANDS of fans? The FX show in Orlando was THAT party!

Over the years I’ve been to many conventions and the FX show was the biggest to be able to retain the feeling of a small show. FX was obviously well planned and had something for everyone. The Orlando Convention Center is huge but this worked to the advantage of the show. Dozens and dozens of dealers were located throughout the hall. Collect toys? Every kind from board games to action figures were available. Looking for original art? Not only were several artists on hand, but at least three comic companies also set up booths. Want to see the car from “Knightrider?” It was there. Maybe you want to meet and get autographs from celebrities. Remember the guest list? They were all there and signing.

If you’re getting the idea that I liked the FX show you’d be wrong. I loved it and am looking forward to the next show. If it sounds like something that you’d like then maybe then maybe we’ll see you there.

RIP Al Hirschfeld

AL HIRSCHFELD passed away today at the age of 99Mr. HIRSCHFELD, the best known caricaturist in the world, had captured the likeness of everyone who was anyone in show business from the 1920s until his passing.

AL HIRSCHFELD was known for hiding his daughter’s name, NINA, in each of his pieces [sometimes more than once]. This tradition began in 1945. After about a month, Mr. HIRSCHFELD briefly stopped putting in the NINAs, but fans quickly complained and the NINAs were back to stay [along with a number indicating how many NINAs were hidden in each piece!].

Our thoughts and prayers go out to AL HIRSCHFELD‘s family and friends. [Thanks to John Beatty for the heads-up.]

Rucka & Robertson on Wolverine

GREG RUCKA is one of my favorite writers. Best known for his Atticus Kodiac novels, RUCKA has also written quite a few comics [including the very popular “White Out” series].

It has been announced that RUCKA is going to be the writer when Marvel unleashes a new Wolverine series next May. DARRICK ROBERTSON is going to provide the artwork and has this to say about RUCKA’s take on Logan: “You will be getting a very, very different Wolverine… I think some fans aren’t going to like it all. Greg sees Logan like the Hulk in that he shouldn’t just go berserk all the time, but when he does, it’s a big deal and there will be so much building up to his explosion, that we he does cut loose, it will be momentous.”

The series seems to have a lot of potential. I know that I will be watching for the first issue.

FX is Coming

This weekend JOHN “Big” BEATTY and I will be attending the FX Collector’s Toy, Comic and Fantasy Convention at Orlando’s Orange County Convention center. As if this weren’t reason enough to go, other guests scheduled to appear include LINDA [“The Exorcist”] BLAIR, DOUG [“Hellraiser”] BRADLEY, The Insane Clown Posse, and a whole bunch of comic book artists such as MARTIN NODELL, ALEX SAVIUK, and BILL BLACK.
JOHN will be selling some of his newly designed T-Shirts and doing some sketches while I will be checking out the place with my son and helping with the booth if it gets crazy. If you’re planning to attend, please make sure that you drop by and say, “Hi.”

Big Beatty

JOHN BEATTY has been my best friend forever. So I’m really happy to say that he’s starting to kick his personal web site into high gear. It’s going to be a blast. Many of you probably know of JOHN through his work for Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, etc.

JOHN is still doing some work in comics [he’s currently inking Birds of Prey over CASEY JONES] but is also expanding into T-Shirt Design and more. The business “stuff” will be available online at Big Shot Graphics and the fun stuff will be on his personal site and I can promise you that it’s going to be a hoot. Be advised the humor and language will sometimes not be for kids.

Dick Giordano, “Demolition Man” and More Breasts!

There’s an old saying, “Be careful what you ask for… because you just might get it.” Dick Giordano tells a great story that illustrates that point.

Mr. Giordano is one of comics’ legends. In addition to inking all of the best artists of the last 50 years, Dick Giordano was the head of DC Comics, worked with Neal Adams at Continuity Studios and currently co-owns Future Comics (with Bob Layton).

Now to Dick Giordano’s story of be careful what you ask for. Mr. Giordano had the assignment of pencilling a cover that featured a sexy female super-hero. He turned in art for final approval and received a note from the editor who shall remain nameless [ *cough* Jim Shooter *cough*]. The note said, “Make her breasts bigger.”

Mr. Giordano thought the breasts were already large, but he shook his head and re-drew the breasts larger.

He sent the artwork back to the editor.  Once again the page was sent back to Mr. Giordano. This time the note simply stated: “MORE BREASTS.”

Dick didn’t want to disappoint the editor. He sat back down, drew a third breast on the character and sent the page back. Needless to say, it wasn’t returned again.

Mr. Giordano shared this story to a group of us as I was getting him to sign my Demolition Man mini-series.

  • Updated 5/13/23

Da Goon

Eric Powell writes and draws “The Goon” which is published by Albatross Exploding Funny Books. The Goon combines horror, sci-fi, humor, zombies, ufos, humor, gangsters, humor, werewolves… well, let’s just say anything that Eric wants to write or draw about would work in the series. And did I mention that it’s fun and funny?

Right now the second issue of the second series is out. But don’t worry, you can still get all of the back issues and a trade edition is coming in January. I’ll be getting it, even though I already have the issues off the stands. That should tell you just how much I enjoy Eric‘s work. I’ll bet you would too.

So check out his site, and tell him I sent ya! [If ya don’t expect a visit from The Goon — and I ain’t talking about Big Beatty or myself!!]

Bob McLeod & John Beatty Let Me Know It’s Nice to be Wanted

Usually it’s nice to feel wanted.

So what do you think about the drawing of me on the wanted poster with Jonah Hex?

The piece I wrote about me being drawn in a comic with Superman struck a cord with many of you. I received several requests to see more. Well, let me say that attending the Man of Steel’s wedding was a breeze compared to my appearance with a certain DC comics gunslinger…

John Beatty commissioned Bob McLeod to do a painting [reprinted to the left] based on an idea from Mike Zeck. Big Beatty thought it would be funny if my face was on the wanted poster and Bob agreed. The rest is history.

Bob McLeod [probably best known for being co-creator of The New Mutants for Marvel comics] is available for commissions. Bob is a first rate artist who can draw well in a number of different styles.

Yeah, usually it’s nice to feel wanted… unless you’re wanted dead or alive!

Zablo Part of the DC Universe

See the strong, handsome-looking guy in the picture?  No, not Superman!   The other hunk. Yep, that’s me. Bet ‘cha didn’t know that I’m part of the DC universe did you?

Yeah, I don’t like to brag, but I’ve hung out with Superman.

The artwork was drawn by Jerry Ordway for a story written by Marv Wolfman [and co-plotted by John Byrne] which appeared in The Adventures of Superman #426 way back in 1987. Jerry Ordway was the regular artist and he was drawing friends and friends of friends in scenes in the comics. Since Jerry and John Beatty were friends, I got in on a “hook-up.”

How cool is that?

I’ve also made “appearances” in other comics. I’m part of the DC Universe, the Marvel Universe, and occasionally this one as well.

Jorge Zaffino R.I.P.

Big Beatty left the message last night. He’d just received word that Jorge Zaffino had died of a heart attack. He was only 45.

I’ve been a fan of Jorge Zaffino since I first discovered his work years ago in a very cool mini-series called Winterworld [still one of my all-time favorite stories].

Jorge may be best known for his work on The Punisher. He completed a hardbound graphic novel as well as some issues of the Punisher monthly comic. Jorge‘s work also appeared in Batman: Black and White and other comic anthologies and special projects [which he preferred] in the US as well as comics in Argentina [his homeland].

Jorge Zaffino‘s art was stark, bold and so very powerful. He didn’t follow the trend of lots of lines and over-rendering and consequently was never considered a fan favorite… until you spoke with artists and writers. Chuck Dixon called Jorge “a true artist’s artist.” Tim Truman said he was an “amazing artist” and Mike Manley was quoted as saying, “His work will stand the test of time and that is the mark of true talent.”

I’m saddened for Jorge‘s family and friends. I’m also sorry for his fans around the world who will no longer have the good fortune to see new art from him. [I’d always hoped to see Jorge represented in the SZ Art Gallery. Can you imagine what his version of Jack Carter or Rambo would have looked like?]

God bless Jorge Zaffino, his family, friends and fans. Like Mike Manley said, “His work will stand the test of time.”

 

It’s a Small World – The Travels of a Gulacy MOKF Page

“It’s a small world.” How often have you heard that cliche and thought, it’s really not that small?

In the late 70’s up until 1983, I collected and dealt in original comic art. I had an inside track to quite a few artists since John Beatty [who was working in the business] and I had been friends since junior high. My favorite artist at the time was Paul Gulacy [a very talented, very nice guy] who pencilled and sometimes inked a series called “Master of Kung Fu” [written by the equally talented and nice, Doug Moench].

I was fortunate enough to eventually meet both of these guys and even commission some art from Paul… but I digress. Long before I ever met Paul, I was able to get one of my favorite MOKF pages [a panel from it is posted above]. It practically fell into my lap for a great trade. I couldn’t believe my luck! I had one of my favorite pages from the series.

Fast forward less than a year. I placed an ad for art that I was selling and offering for trades. A guy called up and wanted to purchase the Gulacy page. Well, at this point I owned other Gulacy pages and was even speaking to Paul via phone on a fairly regular basis so I sold the page.

In 1983, I was getting ready to graduate college and get a “real job.” I decided to sell off my entire art collection [except for a Stallone piece by Paul – which I still own, thank you very much!] Over the years, I’ve thought about all of the art I’ve owned [and that included pieces by Steranko, Byrne, Miller, Zeck, etc.], but it’s that MOKF page that I’ve missed the most.

Fast forward to last week [we’re moving through time at a breakneck pace, aren’t we?]. Comic art collector Mike Shields posted up some of the art from his collection and guess what page he has in it? “Wow!, [said in a Bill Black-like voice] that’s right, Mike Shields now owns the very same Paul Gulacy page!”

I sent Mike an e-mail telling him how I came to own the page back in 1979 and that I had sold it in 1980. In closing I said that I was glad that it had ended up with a big Gulacy fan and that I wondered how many people it had gone through to end up with him.

Mike wrote me back and told me that he checked his records on how he came to purchase it. Seems he saw an ad in 1980 from a guy with the initials CZ! Yep! Mike purchased the piece from me 22 years ago and has had it in his collection ever since! How cool is that?

Sometimes it DOES seem like it’s a small world after all!