Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Marvel Marches On!
By the time that Mighty Marvel had its very own convention in 1975, Jack "King" Kirby was long gone and was wrapping up his stint at DC and Stan "The Man" Lee was working mostly off in La-La Land trying to get Marvel a footprint of sorts in other media. The latter seems obvious nowadays but at the time was a real slog. At Marvel the artist who became the mainstay was "Big" John Buscema and it's Buscema well and properly inked by Joe Sinnott who gives us the fantastic poster above.
Here's a closer look at the artwork itself. There are a host of characters here which Buscema had drawn many times and with which he was identified. He had long stints on both the Fantastic Four and especially the Mighty Thor, and as you can see Conan the Barbarian is front and center here. But also in this image are a lot of characters with which Buscema was far less familiar or less identified with. There's tiny bits of Werewolf by Night and Man-Thing as well a a little portrait of Doc Savage. Of course Buscema went on to draw Doc and his Fab Five. It seems at some point in time John Buscema drew everything.
Here are the rugged pencils for this delightful poster. The power of Buscema is even more evident here as his figure work comes to the fore absent the color which sometimes obscures or distracts from that aspect of the art. John Buscema was easily Marvel's most important artist in the Bronze Age and this poster shows us why that was true. He was not Marvel's greatest artist, that mantle is Kirby's and even Buscema was quick to acknowledge that fact, but aside from "The King", there's no doubt Buscema was a utterly fantastic runner-up.