Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Sam Glanzman - Adventures Of The Man-God!


When I was a young comic book fan just breaking into the hobby, I was pretty catholic in my tastes. I liked Marvel fine (Captain Marvel and the Hulk especially) and DC okay (Flash and Brave and the Bold) but I didn't confine my reading to those. Comics were too precious a commodity and too hard to come by to be so picky as to confine your reading to just one company. Whether it was The Valley of Gwangi from Dell or Turok Son of Stone from Gold Key or even the offbeat Archie and Me from Archie  Comics, I read them all when I could get my mitts on them. And that included especially Charlton.  I found Hercules #4 very early in my reading career and the magic of Joe Gill's story struck me immediately.


Every company gets around to doing a Hercules adaptation if they stay in business long enough. There are literally dozens of variations. But Charlton's is still the finest and that is because of he awesome art of the late great Sam Glanzman.


He stoked up the fire of the imagination in lush pages which seemed at once weirdly modern yet oddly ancient with brush strokes that were commanding and deliberate. Hercules was handsome enough and as the series progressed looked more and more like the characters off some ancient amphora. And Glanzman experimented with the page layout to great effect. I loved myth when I was a tyke and I transferred some of that affection to the Hercules series which I followed to its all too early demise.


We need these Glanzman adventures collected and made available to the modern audience. I suspect they might like them too.














When I first started this blog, I did some detailed analysis of these issues. Those reviews have gotten a bit lost in the content here. It might be time to dust them off, update them and represent them. We'll see. If you want to hunt them down, they are out there.

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4 comments:

  1. Yep, I love this series. I still pick up issues I’m missing when I see them around. Good reading copies are pretty inexpensive. I do heartily agree with you on how we need all this fine Sam Glanzman work collected (heck, as long as we’re dreaming – I’d like that collection to reprint all the covers, letters pages and Thane of Bagarth back-up stories as well – and all in color of course.) I do recall your masterful job of breaking down the whole Charlton run of Herc a couple years back, Rip. Great stuff and indeed worthy of a dust off as you say.

    Wait! I just read your post again – I’m just realizing now Mr. Glanzman has passed away. I’m so sorry to hear this. Wikipedia says he was 92. A truly great man and amazingly stunning artist…

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    1. You make a great point, that the complete package that Charlton put out at that time was very entertaining. They were attempting to evoke Marvel and they did it quite well for a brief time, even did it better for my tastes.

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  2. I had a couple of these. I always enjoyed Glanzman's art in the various war series he drew for D.C., mostly Haunted Tank. I read his autobiography graphic novels for Marvel, too. He was always a good, dependable artist.

    I liked the backup series, too. Thane of Bagarth was my first exposure to Jim Aparo.

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    1. It was my into to Aparo also, rugged stuff which evoked the Prince Valiant strip of the day but with a pure energy of its own. The combo of Hercules and Bagarth was a great fantasy comic.

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