Friday, April 5, 2019

Favorite Comic Artist Countdown #10 - Joe Maneely!


Joe Maneely was a fantastic comic book artist. According to the reports I've read, his talent seemed to ooze out of him and his abilities were marveled at by his peers and his speed in creating comics pages is legendary. Joe Maneely was the steady partner of one Stan Lee and if it had not been for the untimely accidental death of Maneely, it's entirely likely that Stan would not have sought out a new compatriot in Jack "King" Kirby. I fell under the spell of Maneely when I first encounted his Black Knight pages tucked away in hefty twenty-five cent reprints of vintage Marvel and Atlas comics in the late 60's. Here among the often rough-hewn early adventures of Spidey, Torch and others was a glistening gem of storytelling which seemed even in the indifferent publishing of those musty pages to radiate with life and vigor. Now that I've seen more of Maneely's work on westerns and war comics and such, I know that he brought his distinctive skills to work each and every day and made some comics which  stand out from the herd. Maneely had an uncanny ability to make his pages appear almost to shimmer with a magical light, his backgrounds lightly done to enhance the foreground action.  Joe Maneely is an artist who had departed this realm years before I chanced upon his work but even now, decades and decades later, his pages and covers still resonate with action and vitality and an inviting character.








And so after a brief hiatus the countdown starts again. This time we go all the way to number one.

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9 comments:

  1. Somewhere out in the multiverse is the Joe Maneely version of the Marvel Universe. I wish we could see it!

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    1. I want to say such an alternate speculation, or something similar ran for a while in the pages of Alter Ego, but I'd have to check my facts to be sure. His pages gleam.

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  2. Maybe in thIs one? http://twomorrows.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=479

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    1. I asked on a facebook group and was told: 'Doc' Vassallo's article in that issue is called "What If ... Joe Maneely had lived and drawn in the Marvel Age of comics?", so it probably won't come as much of a surprise that there's a little bit of speculation about it - whether Maneely might have been Stan's preferred artist for Spider-Man, the Hulk, Thor or Dr Strange.

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    2. Thanks!d I need to fish around and find that issue. It's here somewhere in the depths of the Dojo.

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  3. Sadly a great talent taken so early Black Knight absolutely top notch

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  4. Joe Maneely's daughter here! Thank you for the wonderful tribute. I've been thinking a lot about how I grew up with a modest trove of my dad's old comic books that somehow managed to survive my mother's ruthless housekeeping skills. Imagine this: She (indeed, most adults at the time) really thought they were worthless! But they had great meaning to me, and I (along with my sisters) read them over and over. I absorbed many life lessons from stories like "The Ugly Man" and "The Raving Maniac." I guess it was my way of connecting with a parent who, sadly, I never got the chance to know in a personal way.

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    1. You are quite welcome -- it's my pleasure to rave about such a fine comic artist. Your dad's work was a big part of my early reading years.

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