14 December 2018

Tomorrow - In The Beginning

Those old timers among you who are familiar with Tommy Tomorrow likely know him as basically a space cop with the Planeteers. But back in the beginning, Tommy Tomorrow wasn't really a person at all. He was more of a template - a projection of the man of the future through which we could view his world. He was a potential character, waiting for someone to become him when the present became the future. That didn't last too long before he transitioned to a more typical character, but it was - for me - an intriguing approach.

What brings us to Tomorrow's yesterday today is our ongoing look at the artwork of Virgil Finlay. Back in 1947, Finlay illustrated Tommy's first two adventures in Real Fact Comics #s 6 & 8. Both were short 4-pagers, something of an expansion from the Just Imagine tales we saw yesterday.

Let's take a look, shall we?

Obviously, no FF&G this post. Still struggling against forces internal and external, but we shall continue on, eh?

page art by Virgil Finlay for Real Fact Comics #s 6 & 8 (1947)

12 December 2018

Just Imagine - Virgil Finlay's Futures

As noted last time, Virgil Finlay did a bit of comic book work, too. Not a great deal - only 3 dozen pages all told. Most of his work was for Real Fact Comics #s 4-12 from 1946-1948. Those stories were all reprinted over the next few decades, but, as far as i know, only one more story was new work - a 1954 tale for Mystery In Space #19.

Today, let's look at the series he took over in Real Fact. Long before The Man did his "Just Imagine" series, the title was used for short, two page speculative tales of future events. Finlay illustrated seven of these stories during his stint at Real Fact. Since they're only two pages each, let's go ahead and take a look at all of them, eh?

In chronological order:

Next time: Tommy Tomorrow!  
(yes, we're still talking Virgil Finlay)

page art by Virgil Finlay for Real Fact Comics #s 4-7, 9, 11 & 12 (1946-1948)

11 December 2018

Falling Further Into Finlay

I've spoken previously of my fondness for the artwork of Virgil Finlay, but we've gone much too long without returning to the topic. Happily, i got a little nudge in that direction while trying to get my brain back to the blog, so let's take a gander at some more of his work, starting with the one that inspired the topic title...

Note the unusual signature on this one...

...and, yes - it is part of a series, as one might suspect.

Something i've rarely seen is Finlay using duo-tone/duo-shade boards in his work. I don't think these exist any more, though i could be wrong. What they were is art boards with two contrasting shading patterns embedded in the page. The tones could be brought out using one of two developing solutions (or both, overlapping) painted on with a brush. We're so used to seeing his elaborate texturing work, it's a mild shock to see the use of duo-shade, as in this piece...

...not that he doesn't make it work well. It was just surprising to see, at least it was for me. Afterward, i began to notice some other more subtle uses with the duoshade providing background textures while primary figures received his usual detailed inks.

I think this odd little piece is enhanced by the title - The Angry Street...

This last piece is from late in Finlay's life. He died back in 1971, and this is from 1968. Sometimes when i view this one, i think of a valley of souls in the afterlife with Virgil leading a friendlier journey than his namesake...

Next time:
You knew that Virgil Finlay drew comics, right?

all art by Virgil Finlay (1937-1968)

10 December 2018

Blue Monday Calendar 2018 Week 50

This week's lovely painting by Gil Elvgren is from 1953 - Sheer Nonsense -

art by Gil Elvgren, of course (1953)

08 December 2018

Stellar Tribulations

Did everyone enjoy yesterday's Hide & Seek edition of Friday Fun & Games?

Yeah, still trying to get my peripatetic mind to wander back this way. We'll get there. Xmas is coming - that'll give it something to focus on here, eh?

Meanwhile, let's jump back a few days and revisit that issue of Rocket's Blast ComicCollector from which we pulled Don & Bill's Star Wars/Oz comparison. Star Wars, as you might recall, was making a big splash back in 1977 and unsurprisingly that was not the only reference in that issue. In fact, we got a short comic tale from Ron Wilber, whose work we've seen previously in Twilight Of The Heroes.
Wait - Did we get to that before the crash? Hmm...
If not, we'll go there soon.

For now, here's Ron's Star Woes from RBCC #139. Due to word size and density, these pages are a tad larger than usual for easier reading -

Actually, RBCC #139 was a Star Wars Special Issue, so there's plenty of other SW material, including artwork from Ralph Fowler, Steve Fabian, and others as well as a Mark Hamill interview. If i can get my brain to cooperate, we'll peek a bit more at the issue this weekend.

page art by Ronald Wilber for RBCC #139 (1977)

06 December 2018

Before Ant Boy! - The Agony And The Ants

A quarter century before Ant Boy! burst  up from the hill, there was another human friend to the ants. The writing credit for The Ant-Agonizing Boy is uncertain - possibly Joe Gill? Artwork is by Rocco Mastroserio, whom we have seen previously exploring life from other worlds. Here's their view of life hidden within our own planet...

For those who cannot rest until they know - The Ant Agonizing Boy appeared in, and on the cover of, Mysteries Of Unexplored Worlds #29 in 1962:

Does that help Ant Boy! seem any less strange?

page art by Rocco Mastroserio for Mysteries Of Unknown Worlds #29 (1962)