Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Getting Lost!

One of my artistic heroes is Ross Andru. I fell into comics at about the same time that Andru and his longtime partner Mike Esposito took the artistic reins on The Flash. Later still Andru took over The Amazing Spider-Man and brought a brand new, larger sensibility to the look of that book. I feel that Andru's long run on The Amazing Spider-Man is one of the most overlooked stints by any artist on any character at any time. Much of what we see on large movie screens with Spidey launching himself across a detailed NYC skyline was stuff fully realized when Andru was the artist. The cloistered, shadowy world created by Steve Ditko was brought into the sunshine by John Romita and then the sprawling landscape of the real world was fully added by Andru.

One thing about Andru and Esposito that I didn't know until I got hold of some detailed histories of comics was that they were a team that tried, not unlike Simon and Kirby, to strike out on their own in publishing to escape somewhat the confines of freelance work. Among their efforts was a MAD-style comic called Get Lost. Many of those vintage stories have seen publication by other companies over the years but Hermes finally gave us a collection. I found this at Amazon a few days ago for a ridiculously tiny price and immediately ordered it up. It arrived yesterday!

Here are the three issues included.       

These three issues were reprinted in the late 80's with new covers by different artists in an attempt to hide the vintage nature of the stories.

While doing research on these comics, I discovered that Andru and Esposito worked on another spoof magazine,a MAD imitation called Up Your Nose and Out Your Ear.

Too bad these issues have not been reprinted (to my knowledge).

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  1. For me the ultimate insane Andru/Esposito comic is Skywald's Hell-Rider. Motorcycles, Vietnam, blaxploitation, explicit violence, sex (not so explicit), heroin and high-priced lawyers. An artifact of tumultuous times.

    1. And a hero named Brick.

    2. I don't know when I picked up Hell-Rider but it's been in my collection for many years now. And you're right indeed, it's a product of the early 70's! The Butterfly feature was pure blaxsploitation. Written by Gary Friedrich I always got a feel this was a version of Ghost Rider somehow.

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