|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|