Thriller is quite possibly one of the most underrated and forgotten gems from modern comics. It was a critical and commercial failure by the standards of the day, but it still holds up as a sharp and compelling comic book series. Robert Loren Fleming gave life to a great cast of odd and inviting characters without giving in to cliché and Trevor Von Eeden is the one who shaped the idea with a wildly imaginative vision. Perhaps what made Thriller unique is what killed it. How Thriller was ever released in the first place by DC Comics seems like a fluke, but the proof is in the short lived run: there was no comic out there like it and there never will be.
I’ve been meaning to write about one of my new favorite cartoonists, Jorge Zaffino, for a while. The Argentinian artist started working in American comics in the late 80s and throughout the mid 90s. As a kid I only saw his work in comic book ads, being that my local bodega didn’t sell Punisher graphic novels or Epic Comics. I was reminded of his work when he contributed to the excellent Batman: Black & White anthology series [#2, July ’96], and I’ve been a fan since.
About a year ago I celebrated the release of the latest Love & Rockets series, New Stories, by posting a bunch of the Bros.’ older material. Well, the second issue just came out and what can I say? It’s fantastic. I think every time one of these books hits the shelves there should be a parade or some sort of citywide festival. It’s no less than what the Bros.deserve, right? I’m only one person, though, and this Master Post is my humble contribution.
Walt Simonson has just about drawn every major character for every major publisher throughout the last thirty-odd years. Best known for his work on Thor, Starslammers, Fantastic Four, Battlestar Galactica and Orion, Simonson’s style has always been lauded as having the energy to rival Jack Kirby’s. But just as his legendary predecessor’s work was seen, all of the subtlety in Simonson’s work is often overlooked. Even in the most frantic piece, Simonson manages give it a quiet sense of characterization.
Hell, he just draws purty, OK?
Since I can easily make thirty different posts based on his covers alone, I’ve posted some of my personal favorite comics and covers by Simonson.
…was yesterday, but I made him a card anyway. He turned 81 years old.
You may recognize the name Ditko as the creator of many of your favorite comic characters such as… ah, the names escape me… Spider-something or other. Anyway, he’s a comics legend, an innovator, and he’s still making comics. I have cobbled a few of my personal favorite Ditko pieces, some not seen too often and others never to be reprinted elsewhere.
Like Ditko often suggests, there is black and then there is white and there is no in between.