Friday, February 29, 2008

Cousin Syd

Oddly enough, my cousin Syd Shores lived just a few towns over from where I grew up. Mutual cousin Mike Sturm--our family historian--brought me up to speed today and sent me some photos from the family archives. I must have dozens of Syd's inking jobs in my personal comics collection. I regret that we never met.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Syd Shores - Mishpacha!

My cousin Mike Sturm just informed me that Marvel inker Syd Shores is famiglia.

Don't know if you know this but the recent Marvel Comics stamps that the Post Office produced contains a cover by our cousin, Syd Shores. Syd was married to a first cousin of my father's side (the Hirschorn side). Apparently, he drew and dad wrote a whole lot of books together. Other than the books I have, I really didn't know much about my father's early career in comics - still don't.
I didn't know Mike's father's work either, so I looked it up. Turns out that Phil Sturm (Mike's father and my father's first cousin) was a writer on All Hero Comics #1 from Fawcett (1943), Blue Ribbon Comics #3 from Archie (1939), and the following Marvel-Timely books: Daring Mystery Comics #3 (1940), Mystic Comics #5, and USA Comics #1, #2, #3, and #4 (1941).

So now I have to go buy one of these.

Dave Cockrum's X-Men File Copies

Mike Pascale yelled at me last night for selling Dave's X-Men file copies too inexpensively and for driving drunk. The file copies seem to sell as quickly as I list them. Paty informs me that Dave only received two or three copies (sometimes five, but rarely) when he did a comic for Marvel, and he usually gave them away. So I guess Pascale is right about the supply and demand.

More X-Men file copies will be listed soon... and the prices will go up. Unless I get into an accident and get myself killed, which would be shit and no toilet paper because I'd have to spend eternity hearing Pascale nattering, "I told you so!"

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Paty Cockrum on Grabbing Dave’s Ass

Beginning a tell-all interview with Paty Cockrum (a.k.a. Paty Greer), who worked in Marvel’s legendary bullpen, penciled, inked and colored a number of Marvel’s comics (including Claws of the Cat #3 and Amazing Spider-Man #247), and is notorious for saying whatever’s on her mind...

Cliff: It's been slightly more than a year since Dave passed. Does he still visit?

Paty: Yes. He often comes visiting both in the studio and in the house. I am sure he roams the grounds too... He loved the pond area so I am sure he is out there. He has been with Boo and I on several trips, too. When something interesting comes on the TV, like recent discoveries in dinosaurs, I cannot help but say to the ether, “You listening to this, furface?” And I have the distinct impression he is.

Cliff: Tell me again how you and Dave met. I seem to recall that you pinched his ass.

Paty: (laughing) Not quite. The bullpen at Marvel, at that time, was a wide open large room with two half-walls that drawing boards butted up against. You had the window wall with Danny Crespi, head letterer, and Morrie Kuramoto, his erstwhile second in command, and they faced away from the windows. On the other side of their wall were three drawing boards butted up against the half-wall—those were usually reserved for freelancers to come in and have a place to do corrections or finish off something. Across from them were three more boards up againstthe second half-wall—mine and two others. Across from all that was a Xerox machine and a long table for people using the Xerox machine to lay out stuff they were doing, and another drawing board at the end. At either end there was an aisle and at the far end of the room was a long office that was the domain at the time of JJ (John) Verpoorten, the Production Manager. On my end of the room Johnny Romita Sr. had his office and there was an alcove with two desks where Mike Esposito and Frank Giacoia, both inkers, usually hung out. The door to the hallway that led to editorial offices.

Now I was correcting some art on a couple of pages or doing paste-ups of indicias and such, and Duffy Vohland was on the board next to me doing whatever Duffy did. There were people in and out of the room with all kinds of pages so when I heard the copier operating I looked up and saw this guy Xeroxing pages. Nice looking guy with a beard. I asked Duffy who that was and he said, “Oh, that's Dave Cockrum. He’s doing the new revival of the X-Men book.” I picked up the pages I had finished and walked the long way around, towards JJ's office, to get a better look at this guy. I knew his art from Fantastic Fanzine as well as some good work he had done over at DC on the Legion of Superheroes where he had redesigned the costumes of the characters (thank goodness! the 1950’s uniforms were awful and lacked any kind of style and pizzazz). So I was impressed with his art. Dave was busily Xeroxing and Duffy noticed that I took the long way around so he stood up to get a look at what I was up to because ordinarily I would have just walked out my side of the half-walls and gone out the door. As I walked leisurely from JJ's end of the room, I looked Dave up and down, liked what I saw, and, as I passed behind him, I patted him on the fanny and said, “Nice ass,” and then I was through the door.

Duffy later regaled me with what happened after I exited the bullpen. Dave looked up, his big blue eyes wide, looked both ways and asked wildly, “Uh...Who-waz-that? What? Who?” Duffy is, by this time howling and nearly falling down. Duffy was the human embodiment of Volstagg from the Thor series, with girth and flaming red hair and beard to match, so when he laughed, it was rolling. “Oh,” sez he to a totally startled and befuddled Dave, “that's just Paty. She's harmless.”

That's how much Duffy knew! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

Come As You Are

Hillary Clinton insiders have been asked by the presidential candidate to cease slinging mud at the Obama campaign and begin investigating why Obama wears his underwear on his head.

In other news, Mrs. Clinton has fired her haberdasher for accentuating the point on her head.

613 Reasons Why I Won't Be Attending New York ComicCon This Year

Shocker at the Inker Oscars

Bob McLeod stops by to refuse his award on behalf of Native Americans without casino licenses:

Cliff--Thank you very much for the post about my inking. I've never been a fan if inking awards, because people tend to just vote for whomever's inking their favorite comic. But it's good to see inkers get some recognition, at least.

Monday, February 25, 2008

If I Could Draw Like This, I Wouldn't Take Shit From Anybody

Matt Haley gives us a plug at his his handsome blog and reminds me why I selected his art, out of more than 100 submissions, to be the back cover of THE UNCANNY DAVE COCKRUM from Aardwolf Publishing.

Four-Color Cockrum

I've been using a B&W photo of Dave Cockrum that I swiped off the web to advertise the sale of Dave's personal comics collection. But here's the original photo, taken at Wonderfest in Louisville, KY, in 1995 courtesy of the photographer, Anthony Taylor.

Cold Comfort for Change

Pat "She had hair like Jeanie Shrimpton back in 1969" Dinizio just told me that Ben Chapman died. Chapman (no relation, at least none that I know of, to Mark David Chapman, that piece of shit who shot John Lennon) had bit parts in a few films but scored more than his 15 minutes as the guy in the gill suit in "Creature From the Black Lagoon," the classic 1954 3D monster movie that my pal Dave Cockrum adored. Chapman was a 6'5" ex-Marine, if there is such a thing; my brother Dave (a lance corporal) says there ain't.

The LA Times trivializes Chapman's passing pretty much the way this blog trivializes everything it discusses. I'm paraphrasing Jim Reeber who called to tell me he enjoys the blog but wishes I'd get back to real writing. "There's lots of bloggers, Cliff, but very few writers." Bukowski used to say that about there were more poets than poems. Reeber has a point, and the point is lodged so firmly in my patellar guilt reflex that I will likely commit blogocide and disappear from the airwaves until I finish my next novella, which I haven't started yet, which is the whole point.

Back to trivializing Chapman: The actor, who was briefly a contract player at Universal in the early '50s, said landing the Creature role was a matter of being in the right place at the right time. "They were looking for an imposing creature, and at 6'5", I filled the bill." He described the Creature suit as a one-piece outfit that zipped down the back with dorsal fins, hands that were gloves, and feet that were like boots. "They had me lay on a table, take a complete plaster of Paris mold of my body, then design this costume. I couldn't lose or gain weight, or it wouldn't fit right. The whole experience was like climbing into a large body stocking with creases." Chapman got so hot on the sound stage wearing the costume, which included a large helmet-like head, that someone had to stand by with a water hose to cool him off.

Chapman retired as a Honolulu real estate salesman and died Thursday of congestive heart failure.

Jeanie Shrimpton, the retired model, eventually found love with her photographer husband Michael Cox and was last reported to be running a small hotel in Penzance, Cornwall.

Pat Dinizio is currently playing livingroom concerts and occasional gigs with The Smithereens.

John Lennon is still dead.

Mark David Chapman, the piece of shit who killed Lennon, is in Attica State Prison.

Charles Bukowski is still dead.

Dave Cockrum is still dead.

The people my brother Dave has gone after are either dead or at least feeling cheap.

Jim Reeber, who has way more talent than I do, is still playing with a local cover band called Hoi Polloi. And he has the audacity to call blogging creative death.

Clifford Meth was once a writer who tripped the path of least resistance into a blog addiction until Hank Magitz put an ice pick through the back of his skull.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Can't Get SNAKED?

I've had a few calls and emails high-fiving me for SNAKED #1 selling out. The first issue of my new series from IDW Publishing might be hard to find, so if you want one and can't find it, write to me at:

Own Dave Cockrum's Personal Copy of Giant-Size X-Men #1

Dave likely received a handful of copies of Giant-Size X-Men #1 from Marvel when they were first published 30 years ago, but hard times often forced my friend to sell his personal items. Nevertheless, he hung on to one copy through the years and now it can be yours.

Take a look at the other Dave Cockrum X-Men file copies now available from his widow Paty, as well as some terrific finds from Dave's personal Silver and Golden Age collections. The prices are right, too. Click here.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Yer Blues

Howard Zimmerman rescued me from an otherwise dismal personal appearance at Midtown Comics last night. I write this after several hours sleep and a strange dream that included Sarah Dylan explaining why Bob hadn’t sent me a hundred-dollar check yet but would I please wear the silver ribbon, then ended abruptly as I heard the dogs howling upstairs in the kitchen. So I dragged my ass off the couch where I’d passed out fully clothed and trod up the thirteen steps to walk them. Only to find eight inches of snow in front of my front door and everyone else’s and still falling madly as the dogs and I moved slowly about at 6:30 a.m. looking for a place to squat. This would be bad enough with sufficient sleep and no hangover but I’m not that lucky. And only the Bob Dylan part was dreamt—the rest, brutal reality as I type. Even those wet dogs, back in the kitchen now after shitting themselves silly, feel better at the moment.

Gahl, my host at Midtown Comics, was amiable as always and there’s no slight intended. His shop is my favorite one in the city. It’s just that signings are a no-win unless you can sketch for a few bucks, and no one knows who the fuck I am anyway, and neither, it seems, do I. Spent most of two hours exchanging industry gossip and hoping a certain reader wouldn’t show up because her constant, endless, maddened emails and attempts to instant-message me have made me so uncomfortable that I’m about ready to send in my brother Dave, and that’s never pretty.

Back to Howard, my first reaction to him some fifteen years ago was in response to his first reaction to me, which carried his discomfort with my smashing some wise-mouth skinhead in the teeth at NBC Studios. At least that’s how I remember it. Harlan remembers me hitting three guys, and all that without a single beer. Though I see him only on occassion (or perhaps because of it), I enjoy Howard’s company more than I do most people’s, a keen repository of accurate information and sense and good humor, this man—“He was the voice of sanity at an otherwise insane publishing house,” as Bob Silverberg recently described him to me. Howard had several vodkas, then caught a train home from Port Authority, while I had to walk with a bellyfull of tequila and ale and no dinner back to a parking lot to locate my Toyota. It wasn’t hard to find; some dickless piece of shit had sideswiped it, leaving me without a sideview mirror. Not a lot of cars look like that. I drove through the Lincoln Tunnel, worse for tequila, and phoned a few friends until the cell kicked out, an asshole move that late at night but almost forgivable given my state of un-mind. Made it as far as Passaic before hunger overtook me, so I pulled off the road and found an all-night glatt-kosher Chinese takeout joint, then ate lo mein in my front seat.

Somehow made it back to Rockaway. All roads lead to Rockaway. Home again, I collapsed on the couch then let the tequila take over. Dreamed that I raped my wife in the bathroom. Not sure how Sarah Dylan fit in. In all, a weird way to start my 47th birthday.

Own Dave Cockrum's and Gene Colan's Personal Comics and File Copies

This entry is updated regularly and includes Dave Cockum's and Gene Colan's personal File Copies, as well as many comics signed by folks like Stan Lee and Joe Kubert. Books were specifically signed to raise money for varied causes. I don't think you will find better prices on Silver & Bronze-Age Comics.

The lists below is updated regularly with new comics. Last update was 6/27/10

The first list is Dave Cockrum's personal collection and file copies. Dave created many of The X-Men--Nightcrawler, Storm, Colossus, Thunderbird, Phoenix--as well as Mystique, The Black Cat, Ms. Marvel, The Starjammers, The Imperial Guard, The Brood, The Futurians. Some books, as indicated, were Dave's personal file copies (i.e., comics he pencilled or inked and filed as his personal file copies). Working with the Dave Cockrum Estate, CGC created the "Dave Cockrum Estate" pedigree (only books marked CGC underwent this process -- see "CGC'd books" category at the end). New comics are added often so check back frequently.

You'll also find many comics from Gene Colan's personal collection (file copies are indicated) as well as comics that were signed by Gene and Stan Lee.

Sales from the Cockrum Estate benefit Dave's widow Paty and The Dave & Paty Cockrum Scholarship awarded each year at the Joe Kubert School for Comic & Graphic Art.
Sales from the Gene Colan collection benefit Gene Colan.

Comics come bagged, boarded and sealed with a seal of authenticity, indicating provinance. A letter of authenticity from the Estate can also be arranged. Checks should be payable to Paty Cockrum or Gene Colan and mailed c/o Clifford Meth, 179-9 Rt. 46 West, Box 252, Rockaway, NJ 07866. Email to reserve your comics. Discounts are given for multiple purchases.

We recently found four (4) copies of THE UNCANNY DAVE COCKRUM TRIBUTE (paperback) signed by Dave (he signs, "Thanks for Contributing --Dave Cockrum"). This was a short-print and only a few dozen were signed. These go for $35 ea.

Now here's Dave Cockrum's personal collection:

AARDWOLF (Aardwolf Publishing)
1 (signed by Cockrum) $6

ATOM (DC) (take an additional 30% off)
2 VG+ (4.5) $70
3 VG (4.0) $48
5 VG (4.0) $38
8 VG/FN (5.0) $38
15 VG (4.0) $22
16 FN- $22
18 FN (6.0) $28
19 FN/VF (7.0) $40
20 FN (6.0) $25
21 VF- $45
22 VF+ $65
23 FN+ $30
24 VF $55
25 VF- $45
26 VF $50
27 (would be VF but missing staples) VG+ $20
28 VF (8.0) $50
29 (1st solo Golden Age Atom) FN+ $50
30 VF $50
31 VF/NM (9.0) $70
32 VF (8.0) $42
33 VF/NM (9.0) $70
36 (G. Age Atom x-over) VF/NM (9.0) $80
37 (Hawkman cameo) VF/NM (9.0) $70

ATOM and HAWKMAN (DC) - take an additional 30% off
39 VF/NM $55

AVENGERS (Marvel) - 10% off
49 FN/VF $28
56 FN/VF $28
57 (1st Vision appearance) VG $35
58 (Origin of the Vision) FN $27
59 (1st Yellow Jacket) VF $34
60 FN/VF $22
61 VF $32
63 (Goliath becomes Yellow Jacket) VF- $29
65 VF $$32
66 FN $15
68 FN/VF $20
74 VF $25
75 FN/VF $18
76 FN/VF $20
76 VF/NM $44
77 VF $30
78 VF $30
80 GD $8
81 GD+ $8
93 FN/VF (1st Neal Adams Avengers) $60
94 FN- (Neal Adams) $20
95 VG (Neal Adams) $14
96 FN (Neal Adams) $21
97 FN $15
98 VF $26
99 VF $26
106 VF/NM Cockrum Art (1st Cockrum Avengers); Dave's file copy - $200
107 VF+ Cockrum Art; Dave's file copy - $95
107 VF/NM Cockrum Art; Dave's file copy - $110
108 FN- Cockrum Art; Dave's file copy - $75
108 VF/NM Cockrum Art; Dave's file copy - $110
109 VF/FN Cockrum Art; Dave's file copy - $70
111 (X-Men x-over) VF+ $36
112 FN (1st Mantis) $12
113 VF+/NM $28
114 VF+ $18
115 VF/NM $28
116 NM- $50
117 NM $50
118 VF/NM $37
119 FN/VF $14
124 VF/NM - COCKRUM ART; Dave's file copy - $65
132 VF/NM $18
138 VF $12
181 MINT $10
Annual #1 VF - $70

1 FN $15
2 VG/FN (Cockrum pencils; Dave's file copy) $60
3 VG/FN (Cockrum pencils; Dave's file copy) $45
3 untrimmed cover (cvr larger than comic) otherwise FN - Cockrum art - $12

237 FN (Neal Adams, Harlan Ellison) $36
243 FN (Neal Adams) $21
245 FN+ (Neal Adams) $25
245 VF (Neal Adams) $45
247 VF+ $28

BEWARE THE CREEPER (DC - 1968 series)
2 VF/NM (Ditko) $55
3 VF+ (Ditko) $40
4 VF+ (Ditko) $40
6 VF/NM (Ditko) $55

BLACKHAWK (DC - 1946 series) -- TAKE 65% off !
38 cvr separated otherwise FN+ 160
41 FN $112
42 FN $112
43 G/VG (cvr separated) $49
44 overall FN- (some chipping) $92
45 VG+ $86
46 GD $40
48 GD $40
49 VG/FN $96
50 (1st Killer Shark) VG/FN $105
51 FN- $105
52 VG $90
53 VG+ $86
54 Fair $16
55 VG/FN $98
56 VG/FN $98
57 VG+ $86
58 VG/FN $98
59 VG $82
60 VG $82
62 VG/FN $87
63 VG+ $75
64 VG+ $85
65 VG $72
66 VF $190
68 VG/FN $85
69 FN+ $105
70 VG+ $75
71 (origin retold) VG+ $88
72 VG $72
73 FN+ $105
74 FN- $92
75 FN $98
76 VG+ $76
77 FN+ $145
78 VG (cvr separated) $72
79 FN $98
80 VG $95
81 FN- (white pgs) $85
83 FN $89
84 FN $89
97 FN+ $80
99 FN/VF $105
170 FN+ $25
178 FN $24
183 VF/VF+ $40
184 NM- $85
185 NM- $85
186 VF/NM $64
187 VF+ $45
188 FN+ $27
189 VF+ $42
190 VF- $38
204 VF/NM $46
228 (Justice League x-over) VF- $28
240 NM $45
241 NM $45
242 VF+ $30
243 VF/NM $37

91 G/VG $35
119 - FAIR (cvr separated) $10

CAPTAIN MARVEL JUNIOR (Fawcett) - 25% off
20 FAIR $15
51 VG+ $56
52 VG+ $56

429 VF/VF+ $18
437 (1st Manhunter by Walt Simonson) FN+ $20

DOCTOR STRANGE (Marvel) - 25% off
2 FN/VF (Brunner) $15
172 VF $30
176 VF $30
178 VF $30
180 FN/VF $20
182 NM $45
183 NM $45

155 FN+ $38

THE FLY (Archie / Red Circle)
2 (Steranko cvr.) NM- $5

FUTURIANS (Lodestone)
2 Cockrum art; Dave's file copy VF/NM $40


GIANT-SIZE X-MEN #1 (VG) Dave's file copy - sold

GORGO (Charlton, 1961) (take 50% off this title)
4 (Ditko cover) FN $24
7 VF $49
8 VF $49
9 VF $49
RETURN OF GORGO (Charlton) #2 VF (Ditko cover) $49
GORGO'S REVENGE (Charlton) #1 VF+ (Ditko cover) $45

8 - Cockrum cover (swipe of X-Men #100!); Dave's file copy VF/NM: $45

MARVEL FAMILY (Fawcett) - 25% off
38 GD $15
49 GD/VG $20
66 VG $30
69 VG- $25
86 GD- (fully taped cvr) $10
88 VG- $28

King-Size Annual #1 - VF - Cockrum Art; Dave's file copy $45

MARY MARVEL (Fawcett) (take 50% off this title)
10 VG+ $75
12 VG+ $65

MS. MARVEL (Marvel) (note: Dave Cockrum designed Ms. Marvel)
7 NM - Cockrum art; Dave's file copy - $45
17 NM - Cockrum art; Dave's file copy - $35
18 NM - Cockrum art; Dave's file copy - $35

62 FR/GD $10
63 FN/VF $90
68 GD/VG $25
69 GD/VG $25
70 FN- $50
72 FN+ $45
73 VG $25
74 VG $25
76 VG- $20
77 FN $40
78 VG $28
79 FN- $35
80 VF $90
81 FN $35
86 VG+ $25
90 (1st Adam Strange & Hawkman team-up) FN/VF $85

NATURE BOY (Charlton, 1956)
5 (early John Buscema art) FN- $35

NICK FURY, AGENT OF SHIELD (Marvel, 1968 series)
7 VF+ (Steranko) $40
8 FN $12
9 VF $22
10 FN/VF $17
11 VF $22
12 FN $18
12 VF $23
13 VF $22
14 FN/VF $14
15 (1st Bullseye) VF $55
16 FN/VF $12
17 FN $9

1 NM- $35

NIGHTCRAWLER (4-issue ltd. series) (Marvel) - Cockrum plot/scipt/art in all
2 NM - Dave Cockrum's file copy - $60
4 NM - Dave Cockrum's file copy - $55

PHANTOM STRANGER (DC, 1969 series) - 25% off
8 VF $20
10 VF+ $28
11 VF/NM $35
12 VF+ $28
13 VF- $20
14 VF/NM $35

SILVER SURFER (Marvel, 1st series)
6 FN/VF $60
7 VG/FN $32
8 FN- $25
9 FN/VF $50
10 VF $65
11 VF $62
12 FN/VF $40
13 FN+ $25
14 VG/FN $25
15 (Surfer vs. Human Torch) VF $50
16 VF $60

4 VF $75
5 VF $65
6 FN $42
7 VF $48
8 FN+ $28
9 VF $58
10 FN $22

217 VF- $12
218 VF $13
219 VF $13
220 VF $12
221 VF $13
222 VF/NM $18
223 VF/NM $18
224 NM $22
225 NM $22

135 VF- (1st Nick Fury Agent of Shield) $105
137 FN+ $20
139 FN- $16
140 VG/FN $17
144 FN $15
145 FN $15
148 FN- $18
149 FN- $12
150 (John Buscema's 1st work at Marvel) FN $22
151 (Jim Steranko's 1st work at Marvel) VG/FN $22
152 (Steranko) VF+ $45
153 (Steranko) FN- $23
155 (Steranko) VG/FN $15
156 (Steranko) VG/FN $15
157 (Steranko) FN+ $22
158 (Steranko) VF+ $50
159 (Fury origen retold; Cap. America vs. Fury cover by Steranko) VG $12
160 FN- (Steranko) $15
161 FN (Steranko) $18
162 FN/VF (Steranko) $28
163 VF- (Steranko) $35
164 FN+ (Steranko) $20
165 VF (Steranko) $35
167 FN/VF (Steranko) $30
168 FN/VF (Steranko) $25

SUB-MARINER (Marvel, 1968 series) (take 30% off this title)
2 FN/VF $40
3 FN/VF $30
4 FN+ $28
5 (1st Tiger Shark) FN $18
6 FN $15
7 FN $12
8 (Submariner vs. Thing) VF $58
9 VF $30
11 FN+ $14
12 FN/NM $37
20 FN/NM $25
35 (1st Defenders - Namor/Hulk/Surfer vs. Avengers) FN+ $25 (no discount)
King-Size Special #1 FN $9

5 (Kaluta cover) VF/NM $5

1 (G. Perez) NM $5

X-MEN (Marvel, 1st series) - - 10% off
67 VG+ $15
95 Cockrum art; Dave's file copy - sold
96 Cockrum art; Dave's file copy - sold
97 Cockrum art; Dave's file copy - sold
98 Cockrum art; Dave's file copy - sold
99 Cockrum art; Dave's file copy - sold
100 Cockrum art; Dave's file copy - sold
101 Cockrum art; Dave's file copy - sold
102 (origin of Storm) FN+ Cockrum art; Dave's file copy (sold)
103 VF/VF+ Cockrum art; Dave's file copy $125
104 (1st Starjammers) VF/NM Cockrum art; Dave's file copy $200
105 VF+ Cockrum art; Dave's file copy (sold)
106 NM - Cockrum art; Dave's file copy $200
107 (1st full Starjammers) - cvr detached otherwise FN - Cockrum art; Dave's file copy $55
107 (1st full Starjammers) - VF/NM - Cockrum art; Dave's file copy $185
108 (1st Byrne X-Men) NM - Cockrum cover art; Dave's file copy $200
109 (1st Vindicator) VF/NM $80
110 VF/NM - Cockrum art; Dave's file copy $135
111 NM $75
112 NM $75
113 NM- $75
114 NM $75
124 VF/NM - Cockrum art; Dave's file copy
135 - cvr partially deatached, otherwise FN - $10
136 (never stapled, untrimmed cover else VG) - Cockrum art; Dave's file copy - $40
143 GD+ Cockrum art; Dave's file copy - $25
147 VG (never stapled) - Cockrum art; Dave's file copy - $40
149 VF/NM Cockrum art; Dave's file copy - $40
153 VF+ Cockrum art; Dave's file copy $40
154 VF/NM Cockrum art; Dave's file copy $40
156 FN+ Cockrum Art; Dave's file copy - $45
157 VF Cockrum Art; Dave's file copy - $50
161 (origin of Magneto) VF+ Cockrum Art; Dave's file copy - (sold)
163 VF/NM Cockrum Art; Dave's file copy - $40
164 FN+ Cockrum Art; Dave's file copy - $50
165 NM/M $13
166 NM- $10
167 VF+/NM- stamped by Marvel "complimentary copy" $8
168 VF+/NM- stamped by Marvel "complimentary copy" $8
175 NM $10
256 NM/Mint $10
257 Mint $10
282 NM/Mint $10
283 Mint $12

X-MEN SPOTLIGHT on STARJAMMERS#1 (Marvel) - Cockrum art; Dave's file copy (NM/MINT) - $25

The X-MEN CHRONICLES (Fanzine for X-Men fans) - full color - Cockrum art; Dave's file copy - rare - $25

CGC'd Books - 15% off
The following Golden Age books are certified "FROM THE ESTATE OF DAVE COCKRUM" by CGC and graded by CGC:

Airboy Comics #v7 #4 (4.5) cream to off-white pages $45
Blackhawk 9 (4.0) first issue $700
Blackhawk 11 (apparant 4.0) restoration includes small amnt of color touch on cover; one piece of tape on interior cover $165
Blackhawk 12 (3.0) cream to off-white pages $125
Blackhawk 13 (4.0) restoration includes small amnt of color touch on cover; four pcs of tape on cvr; off-white to white pages $165
Blackhawk 14 (3.0) off-white pages $125
Blackhawk 15 (2.0) off-white pages $85
Blackhawk 16 (3.5) off-white pages $120
Blackhawk 18 (3.0) cream to off-white pages $100
Blackhawk 19 (6.5) off-white pages $260
Blackhawk 26 (4.5) cream to off-white pages $100
Blackhawk 27 (4.5) off-white pages $100
Blackhawk 30 (5.0) cream to off-white pages $115
Blackhawk 33 (5.5) off-white pages $100
Blackhawk 37 (5.0) off-white pages $95
Captain Marvel Adventures 14 (4.0) cream to off-white pages $185
Captain Marvel Adventures 86 (4.0) restoration includes small amnt of glue on 4 center wraps; off-white pages $60
Captain Marvel Jr. 3 (4.5) cream to off-white pages $250
Captain Marvel Jr. 40 (3.0) cream to off-white pages $50
Captain Marvel Jr. 54 (5.5) cream to off-white pages $70
Captain Marvel Jr. 101 (4.5) off-white to white pages $45
Captain Marvel Jr. 105 (2.5) 1 piece of tape on spine of cover; cream to off-white pages $35
Captain Midnight 39 (6.0) cream to off-white pages $95
Marvel Family 4 (7.5) cream to off-white pages $240
Marvel Family 20 (5.5) white pages $80
Marvel Family 24 (4.5) slightly brittle pages $58
Marvel Family 44 (6.5) cream to off-white pages $58
Sub-Mariner 39 (4.5) (Atlas Comics) cream to off-white pages $185

The following AUTOGRAPHED books, graphic novels & comic books are not from the Cockrum Estate (unless indicated); sales of these books help fund the Dave & Paty Scholarship at the Joe Kubert School or Gene Colan:

Tales of Suspense #84 (Iron Man) signed by Stan Lee and Gene Colan $60.
Tales of Suspense #86 (Iron Man) signed by Stan Lee and Gene Colan $60.
Tales of Suspense #97 (1st Whiplash vs. Iron Man) signed by Stan Lee and Gene Colan $100.

Capt. America #116 (VF) signed by Gene Colan $30
Capt. America #121 (VF+) signed by Gene Colan $28
Capt. America #601 (NM/Varient Cover) signed by Gene Colan - Gene Colan File Copy - $50
Daredevil #27 signed by Gene Colan - Gene Colan File Copy - $50
Dr. Strange #177 (FN+) signed by Gene Colan $30
Dr. Strange #178 (VF) signed by Gene Colan $32
Tomb of Dracula #28 (Blade app.) (NM) signed by Gene Colan $50
Tomb of Dracula #33 (NM) signed by Gene Colan $35
Tomb of Dracula #34 (NM) signed by Gene Colan $35
Tomb of Dracula #35 (NM) signed by Gene Colan $35

Abadazad - signed by J.M. DeMatteis - $15
All American Men of War #113 (FN+) signed by Joe Kubert $25
All American Men of War #114 (VG+) signed by Joe Kubert $18
Blackhawk #244 (VF/NM) (The Dave Cockrum Estate) signed by Joe Kubert $12
Blackhawk #245 (NM-) (The Dave Cockrum Estate) signed by Joe Kubert $12
Cry for Dawn #9 - signed by Joe Linsner and Joe Monks - $5
Daredevil #1 - FN - signed on pg 1 by Stan Lee - $875 (on hold)
Dark Horse Presents #117 - signed by Gene Colan (from the Personal Collection of Gene Colan) $8
DC Universe #0 - signed by Geoff Johns
Drama #1 - signed by Joe Linsner - $5
Fantastic Four: The New Fantastic Four (hardcover) - signed by Dwayne McDuffie - $20
Flare #29 - signed by Frank Brunner - $2 (on hold)
Marvel Adventures #29 - signed by Peter David - $3
Our Army At War #240 (VF) (art by Neal Adams & Joe Kubert) - signed by Joe Kubert - $32
Our Army At War #268 (FN) - signed by Joe Kubert $12
Our Army At War #282 (VG/FN) - signed by Joe Kubert $10
Superman on the Couch - signed by author Danny Fingeroth - $15 (sold)
Tarzan (DC) #207 (VF) - signed by Joe Kubert $40
Tarzan (DC) #207 (FN) (The Dave Cockrum Estate) signed by Joe Kubert $22
Tarzan (DC) #212 (VF/NM) (The Dave Cockrum Estate) signed by Joe Kubert $23
Tarzan (DC) #213 (NM-) (The Dave Cockrum Estate) signed by Joe Kubert $26
Tarzan (DC) #214 (FN) (The Dave Cockrum Estate) signed by Joe Kubert $18
Tarzan (DC) #215 (VF+) (The Dave Cockrum Estate) signed by Joe Kubert $12
Tarzan (DC) #217 (VG+ cvr taped) (The Dave Cockrum Estate) signed by Joe Kubert $7
Tarzan (DC) #223 (NM-) (The Dave Cockrum Estate) signed by Joe Kubert $20
Tarzan (DC) #224 (VF/NM) (The Dave Cockrum Estate) signed by Joe Kubert $18
Tarzan (DC) #225 (VF/NM) (The Dave Cockrum Estate) signed by Joe Kubert $18
Tarzan (DC) #227 (VF/NM) (The Dave Cockrum Estate) signed by Joe Kubert $18
Tomb of Dracula - graphic novel #2 - signed by Gene Colan - (file copy from the personal collection of Gene Colan) -$15

Gene Colan File Copies - Added on 12/19/09
The following comics & graphic novels all contain art by Gene Colan and were Colan's personal file copies; they come bagged, boarded and sealed authenticating them as Gene Colan's personal file copies:
Blade II (Marvel) graphic novel - NM- $15
Bob Marley Graphic Novel (Marvel) NM- $6
Curse of Dracula (Dark Horse) graphic novel - NM - $10
Daredevil #-1 (1997) NM- (special Marvel edition) $10
Daredevil #89 GD $4
Daredevil #363 VF/NM $8
Daredevil #367 NM- $8
Daredevil #370 NM- $8
Dr. Strange #19 VF/NM $7
The Escapist (Dark Horse) graphic novel VF/NM - $8
Howard the Duck #19 VG $4
Jemm, Son of Saturn (DC) #8 NM- $8
Jemm, Son of Saturn (DC) #10 NM- $8
La Maleddiction de Dracula (French graphic novel) NM- $6
Marvel Comics Presents #103 VF/NM (Colan draws Wolverine) $6
Marvel Comics Presents #107 VF/NM (Colan draws Wolverine) $6
Marvel Super Heroes Vo. 2 #13 NM- $7
Nathaniel Dusk #1 VF/NM- $12
Nathaniel Dusk II #1 #2 and #3 (full set) all VF/NM- $20
Night Force #1 (DC) VF/NM - $10
Night Force #12 (DC) NM- $6
Predator: Hell & Hot Water (Dark Horse) graphic novel - NM- $7
Savage Return of Dracula (Marvel) #1 - NM/NM - $8
Silverblade (DC) #3 NM- $6
Silverblade (DC) #8 NM- $6
Wonder Woman (DC) #291 FN/VF - $6
Wonder Woman (DC) #302 VF - $6

The following books are not from the Cockrum Estate--they are being sold by me. Prices are negotiable, especially for multi-book purchases:

6 (Neal Adams) VF/NM $48

19 GD/VG (3.0) $60
44 FN+ (6.5) $60
46 (1st Shocker) VG $30
47 VG $30
48 FN/VF (7.0) $78
49 FN $45
54 VF- (7.5) $78
83 VF $58
124 (1st Manwolf) VF $45
126 FN $15
134 FN- $12
140 VF $21
143 FN $22
144 VF $22
148 VG/FN $10
150 FN/VF $19
158 VF- $16
162 FN $10
171 VG/FN $7
179 FN $9
180 FN $9
182 FN/VF $11
183 FN $6
184 VG $4
186 GD+ $2
191 VG $4
251 NM $16
253 (1st Rose) NM-/NM $10
260 NM $11
283 VF/NM $5
284 VF $6
285 NM $10
286 VF/NM $8
287 (Spidey vs. Daredevil) VG/FN $4
287 (Spidey vs. Daredevil) NM $10
289 (1st Hobgoblin) NM-/NM $24
301 NM-/NM $16
328 VF+ $6
330 NM $4
331 FN $2
347 NM $7
361 (1st Carnage) NM $15

AVENGERS (Marvel, 1st series)
9 (1st Wonderman) GD-/GD $35
15 VG+ $38
16 (1st New Avengers lineup) VG- (cvr separated) $35
18 VG- $22
19 (1st Swordsman) FN+ (6.5) $55
20 (Wood inks) FN $27
21 FN- $24
21 VF- $59
22 VG $18
22 FN (6.0) $27
22 FN+ (6.5) $36
23 FN/VF (7.0) $39
27 FN $24
37 VG/FN (5.0) $17
45 VG/FN (5.0) $15
49 VF- $34
58 (origin of The Vision) VG/FN $20
59 FN/VF $23
85 VG $8
93 (Neal Adams) GD $12
95 (Neal Adams) FN- $16
99 VG+ $9
103 VG/VG+ $6
113 FN+ $10
116 (Avengers v. Defenders; Vision vs. Silver Surfer) FN+ $14
King-Size Special 1 VG $20

70 FN
74 VF

102 VF- $37
103 VF/NM $65
105 VF- $30
105 VF $34
106 VF+ $36
108 FN $15
108 VF+ $36
111 (Steranko) VG $16
111 (Steranko) VG/FN $20
112 FN $15
113 (Steranko) GD $8
115 NM $45
117 (1st Falcon) VF $62
118 VF $22
120 VF/NM $34
123 VF/NM $23
125 VF/NM $23
126 FN+ $10
127 VF- $14
153 (1st Jack Monroe) FN $6
154 FN $6
155 VG/FN $5
156 VG $4
159 VG $4
165 NM $12
169 NM $12
170 VF $8
181 (Intro/origin New Cap) NM $18
200 VF/NM $16
383 (Jim Lee) NM $4

1 FN+ $40
2 VG/FN $15
3 FN $15
4 FN- $13
5 VG/FN $13
6 FN- $7
7 VG/FN $7
7 FN/VF $14
8 FN/VF $14
9 FN $9
10 VF $20
11 FN $9
12 VF $14
13 VF/NM $19
14 VF/NM $30
15 VF $14
15 VF $14

1 VF $
2 VF $
3 NM $
5 FN $
7 FN/VF $
8 FN $
9 VG/FN $
12 FN $
13 FN+ $
14 VF/NM $
15 FN/VF $
16 VF/NM $

6 VG $12
16 VG (cvr separated) $10
17 FN/VF $18
19 FN/VF $ 23

1 FN - signed on pg 1 by Stan Lee - $875
9 VF+ (orig. bookstore cvr stamp) $120
12 FN/VF $50
14 (Romita) VG/FN $25
15 FN+ $35
18 (1st Gladiator) FN $30
21 VG/FN $15
22 VG/FN $15
24 FN/VF $29
26 VG+ $14
26 VG+/FN $15
28 VF- $36
28 VF $41
31 VG+ $12
31 FN+ $18
32 VF $34
36 VF $34
39 FN/VF $24
42 (1st Jester) VF $30
43 (vs. Capt. America - classic Kirby cover) VF $42
47 VF $30
55 GD $3
185 (Frank Miller) NM- $10
186 (Frank Miller) FN $6
186 (Frank Miller) VF/NM $8
187 (Frank Miller) NM- $10
188 (Frank Miller) NM- $10
226 (Frank Miller) NM- $5

1 FN/VF $56
1 FN/FN+ $36
3 VF- $25
4 VF $28
5 VF+ $32
6 VF/NM $27
6 VF-/VF $16
7 FN/VF $14
8 VF $22
9 VF/NM $34
10 (Hulk v. Thor) VG/FN $18
10 (Hulk v. Thor) FN/VF $35
11 VF- $20
11 FN- $10

FANTASTIC FOUR (Marvel) (take 25% off these)
29 FN $72
31 (early Avengers x-over) VG+ $45
35 VG $40
36 (1st Madame Medusa) VF- $125
37 FN+ $70
39 (Wood inks, early Daredevil x-over) FN/VF $100
39 (Wood inks, early Daredevil x-over) VF- $125
40 FN $60
41 GD $13
41 VG+ $28
42 FN+ $45
44 FN+ $45
44 VF- $88
45 (intro/1st Inhumans) VG $40
46 (1st Black Bolt-c Kirby) VG $28
46 (1st Black Bolt-c Kirby) VG+ $32
49 (2nd ap. Silver Surfer; 1st cvr Surfer & Galactus) FN $110
50 (Silver Surfer v. Galactus) overall GD/VG (tape on cvr; pg 1 cut but complete) $60
51 (Classic "This Man, This Monster") VF- $118
52 (1st Black Panther) VF- $195
55 (Thing v. Surfer) FN+ $60
57 FN $27
58 FN $27
59 FN $27
60 VF/NM $112
64 FN/VF $38
67 (1st Him/Warlock) FN/VF $58
67 (1st Him/Warlock) VF+ $90
72 (Silver Surfer c-story, pre-dates S. Surfer #1) VF $78
73 (Spider-Man, Thor, Daredevil x-over) FN- $28
74 VF/NM $100
78 VF/NM $66
79 VG- $10
79 FN $18
84 FN $18
85 VG+ $13
86 VG $12
86 VF- $34
87 FN/VF $27
89 NM- $70
90 VF/NM $50
91 NM- $70
111 VG+ $12
112 (Hulk v. Thing, classic cover) VG+ $32
113 FN/VF $18
115 VF- $22
122 FN- $10
134 NM- $35
141 VF/NM $27
142 FN+ $10
143 NM- $35
144 NM- $35
146 VF $16
152 FN $6
211 FN $3

FEAR (Marvel)
11 (Neal Adams' Manthing) FN+/VF- $10

2 (1st Daimon Hellstrom) VF/NM $58

2 VG $6
3 VG+ $7

HERO FOR HIRE (Luke Cage) (Marvel)
2 VF+ $35
3 VG+ $7
4 FN $9
7 VF $14
8 VF $14

143 (J'onn J'onzz, Manhunter behins) FN $57

INCREDIBLE HULK (Marvel) (take 30% off these)
108 FN/VF $30
109 NM- $75
147 FN/VF $11
148 VG/FN $7
156 FN/VF $11
158 VF/NM $20
163 FN+ $7
165 VF+ $12
167 VF/NM $16
169 FN $6
170 VG/FN $5
175 FN $6
179 FN+ $7
184 VF+ $8
202 VF+ $8
223 NM $5
343 (McFarlane) NM- $8
343 (McFarlane) NM $11
345 (McFarlane) NM- $8

IRON FIST (Marvel)
2 FN/VF $14
3 VG/FN $7
6 GD $3
6 VG/FN $7
10 VG/FN $7

IRON MAN (Marvel, 1st series)
3 VF $62
4 VF+ $55
5 VG+ $17
5 VF $54
5 VF+ $65
9 FN $20
10 VG+ $15
12 FN- $15
16 VF $28
19 VF+ $30
20 VF $28
21 VF- $18
22 VF $20
54 (Iron Man v. Sub-Mariner) FN+ $16
57 NM- $15
62 VF $9
64 VF/NM $13
74 NM $13

109 (Magneto cvr - 1st x-over) VG (taped) $76
117 FN $36
119 FN+ $34
120 VG/FN (5.0) $30
120 FN $36
123 FN+ (6.5) $48
124 (Hercules cover story) FN/VF $67
130 VG/FN $
131 VG+ $
132 VG $
133 FN/VF $
337 NM (1st Beta Ray Bill b y W. Simonson) $
338 VF+ $

JUDO MASTER (Charlton)
89 (3rd app. of JudoMaster) FN $12
91 (Sarge Steel begins) FN- $8
92 FN $9

1 (1st Defenders) GD/VG $23
2 (2nd Defenders) VG+ $18
3 (3rd Defenders) FN- $16

12 (1st app. Captain Marvel by Gene Colan) VG+/FN- $30
12 (1st app. Captain Marvel by Gene Colan) FN- $32

1 FN $39
1 VF $95

87 (1st Cable) NM- $20

2 FN $12
3 FN $12

17 (Hero For Hire Becomes PowerMan) NM- $20

PUNISHER Ltd. Series (5 issues) (Marvel)
5 (Zeck cover) VF+ $8

SECRET WARS (Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars)
1 VF+ $5
1 VF/NM $6

SGT. FURY (Marvel)
13 (2nd solo Capt. America x-over outside Avengers) VG $70
19 GD/VG $12
41 FN- $10
44 FN/VF $18
45 VG/FN $10
60 VG/FN $7

SILVER SURFER (Marvel 1st series)
7 VG/FN $27
8 FN $27
9 VG/FN $22
9 FN $27
10 VF $63
10 NM- $150
11 VF/NM $93
12 VG/FN $20
12 VF+ $60
13 FN/VF $40
14 VG $24
14 VG/FN $30
15 (v. Human Torch) VF $56
15 (v. Human Torch) VF/NM $93

129 FN $
138 VG+ $
139 VG/FN $
142 VG/FN $
145 VG+ $
151 (1st Steranko art) FN- $22
152 (Steranko) FN- $16
153 VG+ $
155 GD $
156 VG/FN $15
157 FN- $
160 VG/FN $
179 VF+ $
179 VF/NM $
181 VG+ $

SUB-MARINER (Marvel, Silver Age series)
35 (1st Avengers vs. Defenders) FN $18

1 FN- $12

TALES OF SUSPENSE (Marvel) (take 15% off these)
60 (2nd app. Hawkeye) VG $40
81 FN $18
82 VF/NM $66
83 VF/NM $66
84 VF $40
85 VF+ $50
87 VF+ $50
88 VF+ $50
89 VF/NM $66
90 FN/VF $29
91 FN/VF $29
92 FN $18
92 VF $40
94 VF+ $46
95 VF/NM $66
96 VF $40
97 VF/NM $66
98 VF/NM $66
99 VF/NM $86

16 (1961, Ditko art, prototype issue) GD (missing 1/2 bk cvr) $29
51 VG+ (writing on cvr) $32
52 (1st app. Black Knight) VG+ (wormhole o/w) $37
54 VG- $27
54 FN+ $50
55 VG $30
58 VG+ $32
63 VF- $68
66 VF- $68
68 VF+ $78
71 VG $12
78 FN- $16
79 VG $12
84 VF $39
88 VG+ $13
89 FN $18
90 FN $18
92 VF+ $44
92 (1st Silver Surfer x-over outside of Fantastic Four) VF/NM $76
94 VF $39
95 FN+ $21
95 FN/VF $28
97 (X-Men cameo) FN+ $20
99 FN/VF $28
99 VF $39
100 (Hulk vs. Sub-Mariner) VF $49

THOR (Marvel)
130 VG/FN $
131 VG+ $
132 VG $
133 FN/VF $
137 FN/VF (7.0) $38
140 FN (6.0) $24
141 FN+ (6.5) $27
146 FN (6.0) $21
148 FN+ (6.5) $27
151 FN+ (6.5) $24
161 VG/FN (5.0) $12
161 VG+/FN (5.2) $13
177 VF/NM (9.0) $48
221 FN (6.0) $6
222 FN- (5.8) $5
225 (1st Firelord) FN (6.0) $9
337 (1st Beta Ray Bill by W. Simonson) NM- $10
338 (class Beta Ray Bill v. Thor cover by Simonson) VF+ $4

1 (Neal Adams cover) VF/VF+ $110
6 (Neal Adams) FN $18
7 VG+ $10
8 VG+ $8
9 FN $12

1 NM- $15
26 NM $3

2 VF+ $42
5 FN $
13 FN $
13 VF $
17 VF $
18 FN/VF $
21 FN $
25 VG $
25 FN $
26 VF $
41 FN $

1 (Frank Miller) FN $15

X-MEN (Marvel)
16 FN/VF (7.0) $92
21 VF $99
25 VG/FN (5.0) $35
26 FN $42
27 FN/VF $70
27 VF $98
29 VG+ $32
29 VF $98
30 FN+ $54
31 FN $32
32 VF+ (8.2) $90
33 FN- (chipped cvr) $29
33 FN $32
34 VF $75
36 VF $75
37 VF+/NM $132
39 FN+ $40
41 NM-/NM $165
43 VG+ $22
44 (S.A. Angel) VF+ $72
49 (Steranko, 1st Lorna Dane) VF $67
51 VF $70
59 (Neal Adams) FN+ $38
62 FN/VF (7.0) $50
63 VF $70
65 GD/VG $15
201 NM- $7
204 NM- $7
206 NM $7
211 NM $24
212 VF- $14
214 NM $7
281 NM $7
289 NM $4
300 NM $6

(more comics will be added soon...)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Another (Deserved) Dave Cockrum Tribute

Roy Thomas writes this morning to remind me that Alter Ego #78 (TwoMorrows Publishing) will be a Special Dave Cockrum Issue. "It will mostly consist of an interview, art, and photos," said Roy, "but it should run 2 or 3 dozen pages in the issue, at the head of other things."

Roy--my favorite Silver Age comics writer (and yours, too, if you had any taste) spends most of his time these days writing the Marvel Illustrated adapations. He also wrote the introduction to my book One Small Voice (IDW Publishing). Didn't think I'd find a way of sneaking that in there, did you?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Legend is Down but not Out

In all the years I’ve known him, I’ve only seen Grandmaster Richard Lenchus knocked down once, and that by the double-bout of pneumonia that recently gripped him. Nothing human could put my sensei on his back.

“One minute I'm home, the next I find myself in here,” said Mr. Lenchus this morning from the hospital. “They woke me up by putting a needle in my stomach. That wasn’t nice.”

At first, the East Coast fighting legend wasn’t even sure what he was doing in the hospital. “They asked me if I knew why I was in here. ‘My penis is too big,’ I told them. ‘My arms are too large for my shirt.’”

Having a guy like Lenchus in the hospital isn’t easy on anybody, least of all the staff. “He’s been walking around singing to the other patients,” reported the head nurse. “What the hell is hav-a-negliah? I’d send for an orderly, but they’re all scared of him.”

Get well soon, Sensei!

And now... An Award for Inkers

Bob McLeod was my favorite inker, but unless you're a weirdo who reads the credits on comic books, like I was/am/be you'd never know old Bob. Open up this before-and-after image, then tell me inkers are just tracers.

The Inkwell Awards, the newest comics-industry trophies, are set up to recognize the often overlooked and underappreciated art of inking comics. You can read about them here. Voting starts on April 1. For more information, contact Daniel Best at
(note: Spelling fixed... thanks for screaming at me, gents).

Monday, February 18, 2008

What If There Was an FF Movie in 1967?

Every once in a while, someone sends you an email worth opening. This, courtesy of David Miller...

Russel Johnson as Reed, Ernest Borgnine as Ben Grimm, Donna Douglass as Sue Storm, and Michael Landon as Johnny Storm.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Dave Cockrum says, "Shazam!"

Dave Cockrum was thoroughly obsessed with Fawcett's Captain Marvel. In fact, when I commissioned a drawing from him nearly two decades ago and asked specifically for Gene Colan's design of the green-and-white costumed Marvel Comics Captain Marvel, Dave couldn't help himself: He returned a drawing with a word balloon coming out of Mar-vel's mouth that said, "I still liked it better when he said SHAZAM!"

Many of the comics from Dave's personal Captain Marvel collection (including WHIZ Comics, Captain Marvel Adventures, and Captain Marvel Jr.) are now for sale. Click here to see them.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Giving Bru Head

Artist Mike Pascale and I have been trading quips for more than a dozen years but that’s only because I like the cut of his gib. And all this time that was without even knowing what a gib was. So I looked it up. The lower lip of a horse is called its gib, and so is the beak of a male salmon. Live and learn.

Pascale first came into my four cubits during a benefit auction we did for a fallen comrade and he’s never strayed too far. It would make it easier if he had breasts. He did get terribly angry with me once for something very silly, but I’ve forgiven him and he’s certainly made up for it a dozen times over. Most recently, his tribute came in the form of inking Dave Cockrum’s illustrations for my novella, “Wearing the Horns.” That story first appeared as a standalone chapbook from Aardwolf Publishing in 2003 and now returns with a thorough rewrite, along with about 1,000 additional words, in One Small Voice (IDW Publishing), which shipped last week. I’ll be signing copies next Thursday, February 21, at Midtown Comics in Manhattan from 5 to 7 pm. If you’re in town, please stop in. The next day’s my birthday so bring me something nice. Preferably in a bottle.

Back to Mike. I regret to report that, despite my best efforts and his own half-baked ones (if that), the old boy’s name is not yet as familiar as it should be to the majority of comic book readers. That, despite the fact that he's dynamite. Despite impressive work on Bru-Hed (Schism Comics) and numerous Aardwolf Publishing projects. But our Michigan-bred, California repatriated, Kubert School alum remains one of my go-to artists; he can knock out anything in a pinch, always on time, and he works smart.

I’d been hoping for three years that Marie Severin would eventually get around to finishing her mocked-up cover concept for my book-in-progress, Comicbook Babylon, but no such luck. Marie’s current situation doesn’t leave room for complex cover work. Up steps Pascale. "I'll do it," he said.

“It’s a complicated cover,” I told him. “Requires perspective. And real ink!”

You should see Pascale’s face when I say stuff like that. His gib gets all out of joint.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Stan Lee & Gene Colan Remember Steve Gerber

Following Steve Gerber's passing, Stan Lee and Gene Colan each dropped me notes this evening asking that I share them:

“As a writer, Steve was a true professional,” said Stan, “but even more than that—he was a total individualist. He refused to do anything that was just the same old stuff. Whatever he did was touched by originality and flavored by irreverence, as witness his most famed creation, the totally unique and brilliant icon—Howard the Duck. Steve's passing is a great loss to the entire creative community.”

“Steve was my favorite writer,” said Gene Colan. “Working with him on Howard the Duck was the most fun I’ve ever had professionally in all the years prior and since.” Gene and Adrienne remembered getting ready to do the syndicated HTD strip and waiting for Steve’s scripts. “They were really late,” Adrienne recalls. “Months and months of waiting until finally a huge manilla envelope arrived at our home in New Jersey. ‘Ah! Finally!’ we said. Nope. Inside was a 20-page letter from Steve to Gene explaining all the reasons why they needed to put their best foot forward on this job! Aargh! We roared! But that was Steve.”

All I Ever Wanted Was to Impress This Man

Hanshi Richard Lenchus, the man who taught me Shotokan and first put a gun in my hand ("You can't smack someone, Mr. Meth, if he's too far away!") just started blogging. Prone to occassional hyperbole (but without question the baddest motherfucker I've ever known), Sensei looks back on some of his students who made the grade, including your humble host:

Sensei Clifford Meth is one of the most awesome fighters without fear. He has instilled this into all his sons who are all fighting champions. [He] is a wonderful writer and knowledgeable not only in the Martial Arts but in the Literary Arts. He is also a dear friend and supporter who I hold close.
Note that the photo on the left was taken when I was still thin and quick. Today I'd use the gun.

Hyding In My Pee

I'm relieved to report that my friend Morris Isaacson, formerly of IDT Entertainment, finally passed his kidney stone. He notes that it was an evil thing that looked something like John Hyde.

Remembering Steve Gerber

When it comes to lamenting the passing of Steve Gerber, I’m just another voice in the choir. It seems everyone is a little sick this morning with the news. I remember Steve as a rock-solid writer, a guy who really knew how to put the word down, a pillar at Marvel when I was a boy as he marked long runs on multiple titles, including The Defenders and Manthing. My first guru, comics fandom pioneer Bill-Dale Marcinko, used to wet himself over every issue of Howard the Duck. Now he’s gone. Steve Gerber, comics best-loved rebel, dead at 60. He died last night following a lengthy battle with pulmonary fibrosis.

In my house, you can almost tell by the way the phone rings when there’s bad news. Steve wouldn't have thought that odd. I got the call from Adrienne Colan (Gene’s wife), who said that Steve died awaiting a heart and lung transplant. The news was gutting. I hadn’t spoken with old Steve in some time but I jumped over to his blog and found he'd been recording the day-to-day details of his ailment nearly to the end.

Feb. 2 -- I’m still in the hospital. CAT scans show improvement: the spot(s) on the lung(s) are gradually but steadily getting smaller, which means the presence of a tumor is highly unlikely. I’m probably dealing with a very nasty, very persistent viral or fungal infection.

Jim McLauchlin of the HERO INITIATIVE was in LV today and stopped by to watch me vegetate. And walk — first time I’ve done that in a while. In fact, today was the first time in weeks that I’ve actually felt a little stronger, a little more well.

Have to keep this short. Urgent Doctor Fate stuff to be done. Will post another update next time I can get to a net connection.

The connection ended. Mark Evanier is maintaining Steve’s blog now. Tom Spurgeon--who probably stayed up all night doing it--just published the only bio on Steve you need to read.

“I remember Steve starting at Marvel when I was there,” John Romita told me this morning. “[My wife] Virginia was his traffic manager… Steve was part of a parade of young writers who came in, but he made a place for himself in history. And he was a nice kid... These are all my kids.”

After being introduced to me by Gene Colan in 1996, Steve wrote the introduction the book I did with Gene, Perverts, Pedophiles & Other Theologians (Aardwolf Publishing). That was a solid I could never repay, but I wasn’t expected to.

To conclude, let's turn to Tom Spurgeon who usually says it better than the rest of us anyway:

Steve Gerber's role as one of the best and emblematic writers of his generation can't be overstated… Gerber carved a place for self-expression and meaning out of a type of comic that had no right to hold within itself so many things and moments that were that quirky and offbeat and delicately realized -- except that Gerber made it so. His Howard the Duck comics remain amusing when read today, perhaps more poignant now, laying into their broad targets in a way that communicated a kind of critical consciousness into the minds of many devoted superhero comics readers, fans that simply wouldn't have been exposed to those kinds of ideas any other way, the concept that media might lie to you, the notion of absolute self-worth in the face of a world that seems dead-set against it. [His] superhero books were a tonic to the over-seriousness of most of their cousins, and his horror-adventure books were frequently classy and reserved in a genre that tends to reward the blunt and ugly… Few creators in the American mainstream were as consistently fascinating… Even fewer have been as outspoken and forthright, or in that way, as admirable.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Scott Edelman Lends a Paw

At his blog, Scott Edelman remembers Dave Cockrum and gives us a hand selling the Estate's comics collection for Dave’s widow Paty:

I have fond memories of sitting with [Dave] in the Marvel Bullpen and watching as he designed the costume for the Captain Marvel villain Deathgrip back when I was writing that book and dinosaurs still walked the Earth. Even though Dave wasn't the artist on that title, he helped out because he was one of the greatest costume generators ever. In addition to his prodigious talent, Dave was also one of the good guys, two qualities which aren't always found together in the same human being. He was a gentle man who was liked by all.
Scott has twice been a Stoker Award finalist and four times a Hugo Award finalist. I burn with jealousy for all such individuals.

Friday, February 8, 2008

SNAKED #1 Sells Out

From the press release...

San Diego, CA (February 6, 2008) - The first print of SNAKED #1, a noir horror story with playful if somewhat frightening political overtones, is sold out. SNAKED is the newest horror sensation from IDW Publishing, the company that brought you 30 DAYS OF NIGHT.

Following the escapades of a Republican with snakelike abilities, SNAKED winds through a tapestry of love triangles and political intrigue as true historical events - often with terrifying implications - shape the lives of the characters in this poignant tale. The comic series is based on a story first developed by Clifford Meth and illustrated by Dave Cockrum (co-creator of Marvel's X-Men).

Fan-favorite Ashley Wood provides cover art for the SNAKED series while Rufus Dayglo pencils and inks the book. Dayglo, one of IDW Publishing's rising stars, has worked for 2000 AD mostly on the Judge Dredd strip, and has been a professional animator since the early 90s. Clifford Meth, who has published numerous horror and SF stories, has been called one of dark-fiction's best kept secrets by Barnes and Noble.

"SNAKED is the most controversial book we've ever published, " said Ted Adams, president and founder of IDW. "The minute I read Cliff's story, I knew it would irritate a lot of people, but I also knew clever readers would have a strong affinity for a smart story like this, and that it would pick up virally."

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Dead Artists Society

More often than not, the best part of my morning is that first steaming coffee, unless my pal Tommy Roberts joins me for bagels with cream cheese at Super-Duper Bagels in Livingston, New Jersey. There’s a little gal scurrying behind the counter there that we call Camel Toe. When you hit your mid-40s, these small things become much bigger.

My friend Marie Severin is enjoying the small things, too. When last seen in this correspondent’s musings, Marie was eating her breakfast off a Styrofoam tray, slurring her words and, unbeknownst to her, on the serious watch list at the hospital she was stuck at.

Good news: Today, Sev has moved on to an assisted living facility out on Long Island. It’s been a solid, steady recovery. Her spirits are high (but weren’t they always?) and she acts like nothing much has happened. And nothing much has. Except for retirement. Marie isn’t drawing anymore. Isn’t taking coloring assignments either. Time has finally caught up with the First Lady of Comics and she’s spending her twilight years relaxing and doing fun stuff. Whatever fun stuff means. I know she still likes to watch “Jeopardy.” So don’t try and track her down to ask for a cover recreation. Leave her alone.

I mention this because I get letters asking me where Marie is and if she’s willing to “just do a small drawing.” I’m asked this by virtue of just knowing Marie—people find my name by-lined on an article and think I have nothing better to do than get them free art. I used to get those letters about Dave Cockrum and Don Heck. Right in the shit can they went.

Today, people are trying to buy up Dave Cockrum’s art—especially his covers. And they still come to me. Hardly anyone was interested in Dave when he was alive, but now that he’s a footnote on pop history he’s an investment. It’s more than a little ghoulish, akin to Forrey Ackerman writing to Bob Bloch on his deathbed and asking Bob to sign “my last autograph ever before I died.” Too bad being a classless slob doesn’t hurt.

Here’s the advice part of my column: If you want art from an artist, start with, “I’m a big fan and I’d like a drawing of this particular character. Please name your price.” Then pay it. Don’t ask for freebies. And don’t negotiate. That’s an insult—especially to an old-timer who is STILL MAKING A LIVING drawing these little Ebay-destined doodles. Try negotiating with your urologist instead next time you’re pissing blood, chum.

Frankly, if I get one more letter asking for a freebie from Marie, I think I’ll blow an eyeball. I just might track the idiot down and throw them the beating their father neglected to impart.

And believe me, if I find out they’re bothering Marie at her retirement facility and trying to chisel her out of her happy hour, I’ll do something particularly vicious and mean-spirited to them, and they’ll never be able to prove who did it.

And then I’ll report it back to the rest of you so it won’t be a total loss.