In the meanwhile, how beautiful are these Toth panels?
Monday, 1 October 2012
In the meanwhile, how beautiful are these Toth panels?
Sunday, 15 April 2012
|Golden's iconic cover to 'Nam #1 from 'Nam magazine|
|One of Golden's few pages from Uncanny X-Men #273|
|Great splash from Dr Strange #55|
In short, though I've been disappointed many many times to find that he only drew the covers, there are a small handful of books that together make up a chunk of my comic collection.
One the things I learnt from looking for his work was how important an inker can be for some pencillers.
Golden's work on the Batman Family, Detective comics, Mister Miracle and Batman show a breakout talent. Inking himself, Dick Giordano inking him, P Craig Russell inking him and Russ Heath, all showed him as a breakout talent. His Manbat looks great and has weight, his layouts look like nothing else being published by DC in the period with Neal Adams long shadow still cast over everything they published.
Micronauts came next with Joe Rubenstein on inks and for many is entry level Golden, the first exposure to his art. Aside from the covers, the work struggles a bit with Marvel house style for me was a step back compared to the work he'd done for DC prior.
The quality of the cover work did set him up for the rest of his career it would seem, enabling him to pick and choose interior work without needing to worry about the bills.
We get the great Marvel Fanfare #s1 & 2, the previously mentioned Doc Strange #55 and Avengers Annual #10, Star Wars #38, Batman Special #1 (with a "anti-Batman" dopey story), He created Bucky O'Hare with Larry Hama and then 8 years or so later came back for a never completed Jackie Chan comic; the varying 'Nam series, the G.I. Joe Yearbook and the fantastic Marvel Fanfare #48.
Marvel Fanfare #47, according to the editorial, was sollicited from Golden based on the success of #s 1 & 2 years earlier. The book took forever but the result is fantastic. With a wraparound cover, Golden pencils, inks and colours the whole story, a Spider-Man Vs. Hulk story with a backdrop of the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier.
The story's good fun, not dissimilar to what Dan Slott's doing now. All the tech has the level of detail lavished by Wally Wood, with Golden then going in with the colours and obscuring the majority of it.
|Photoshop used to drop the colour out for a B&W to colour comparison|
You could make it out if you could see the originals but the story goes that after getting pissed off with people flipping his art for silly money, combined with a belief that the drawing is just part of the process and holds no intrinsic value, he's said to destroy his originals. I hope it's not true but there certainly seem to be very few pieces around.
Golden's influence can be seen all over modern comics, directly or otherwise; Art Adams, John Byrne, Jim Lee, Jason Pearson, Todd McFarlane, Chris Bachalo among many. It would not be a stretch to call him one of the most influential/trend setting comics artists of all time, in a group that would also include Eisner, Kirby, Neal Adams.
The slightly tragic side of his carrer is how little work of more than superficial value there is. There's a Superman annual Chris Claremont wrote which I guess could have been his masterpiece, getting so close to being published as to being talked about in 'this month's highlights' in DC titles of the time but never seeing print.
Golden himself jokes about being antisocial and cumudgeonly and has been the subject of online controversy for his handling of comissions.
He seems to me to have a strong work ethic and little time for the comics world and fandom. For me, if nothing else it would be nice to see a well designed, well thought out retrospective of his career and time will tell if we get such a thing though with his work being spread out over so many licensed properties and corporate titles it seems unlikely.
Star Wars #38
Avengers Annual #10
Batman Special #1
Dr Strange #55
GI Joe YearBook #1
Marvel Fanfare #1&2
Marvel Fanfare #47
Spartan X #1-4
Birds Of Prey #66
|Golden gets his Kirby on|
|The computer enable Golden to take his use of colour to extremes|
Sunday, 8 January 2012
|A commision of Enigma & friends|
|Opening page of Face|
The thing that most struck me about the book, aside from being a great creepy, human horror story, was that the art and story seemed to come from the same place. The underlying humor that Milligan infused the script with is also felt in Fegredo's art. The same is true with what was, pre Hellboy, Fegredo's largest body of work Enigma. I struggle to think of anyone else who could have bought the screwed up tapestry of english silver age villains, their gay creator, lizards and white trash to life the way Fegredo did.
For me, the most notable thing about Fegredo's next series, Millenium Fever with Nick Abadzis, was the absence of the frenetic inking style of Face and Enigma. There's a lot more control in the inking; it all gets a lot more economical and the art benefits from it greatly. This would mark the direction for the rest of Fegredo's comic work.
It's very pretty art but the colours are a little lively and the story's mental!
While all the above were great (with the possible exception of the Reed Richards book), Fegredo found a home for his sensibilities with Hellboy.
|One of Bermejo's completed Hellboy pages|
Glen Murakami of the WB Superman and Batman cartoons suggested Fegredo for the job, which I have to say, I would have too!
Hellboy has forced a kind of restraint on Fegredo's style that makes it simmer in all the quiet moments. While almost everything in Fegredo's published career leading up to it has been overtly humorous and kinetic, his Hellboy run was full of quiet moments that made the punching and the leaping and the running all the more frantic. Dave Stewart used the same palette for colouring Fegredo's Hellboy as he had on Mignola but in a more lush, painted style so while it was consistent with what had gone before it was also fresh.
In all my years collecting comics everyone recognised how much talent Fegredo has but it's taken Hellboy to really put him on the map of the general comics readership. We understand there's more Hellboy to come from him and I can't wait.
Fegredo to seek out, in a vague, top of my head chronological order:
Kid Eternity (Vertigo)
Absolute Vertigo (Vertigo)
New Years Evil: Scarecrow (DC)
Weird War Tales 3 (Vertigo)
House Of Secrets 6 (Vertigo)
Batman Chronicles #9 (DC)
The Dreaming 26 (Vertigo)
Winter's Edge #1 (Vertigo)
Chasing Dogma (Oni Press)
Flinch #6 (Vertigo)
Spiderman Tangled Web 5-6 (Marvel)
Ultimate Adventures 1-6 (Marvel)
Tom Strong 29 - 30 (DC/ABC Comics)
Monsters on the Prowl (Marvel)
Hellboy: The Wild Hunt (Dark Horse)
Hellboy: Darkness Calls (Dark Horse)
Hellboy: The Storm & The Fury (Dark Horse)
Also check out the twenty something brilliantly inventive covers on Shade the Changing Man from 42 onwards.
P.S.Vertigo have 48 pages of Face, 3 issues of Girl, a Weird War Tales 8 pager (War & Peas), a Weird Western Tales 8 pager sitting there desperate for a nice collection. Come on! Get on with it!
|Unfettered Shade cover|
|Wedding present from a friend|
|Return to Enigma|
|Love to Halo Jones|
|Love to Shigs Miyamoto|