Comic Book Artist Vol. 2 #1 (magazine review).

May 24, 2021 | By | Reply More

I think I have to thank the luck lords when two first issues came up on the auction site and got both of them. Comic Book Artist Vol. 2 # 1 is where the magazine broke away from TwoMorrows into Top Shelf. The obvious nuggets being interviews with Neal Adams and Alex Ross, but more on that in a while.

There’s a variety of interest even 18 years ago but I’ll pick out some highlights. I’m not normally attracted to book excerpts but ‘Stan Lee And The Rise And Fall Of The American Comic Book by Jordan Raphael and Tom Spurgeon looks at The Man’s career at the top with notable points about Martin and Chip Goodman and him having no ownership of the characters he created.

The section with Neal Adams and Alex Ross starts in the colour section. The Adams interview is a lot more depthy on early parts of his career and a reminder that he us a storyteller who also happens to be a good artist. His comment on being a sponge absorbing the work of various other artists probably explains the range of artbooks in my own collection. You can’t live in a vacuum. Totally inspiring.

The even longer Alex Ross interview covers his upbringing and career leading up to his comicbooks work, initially with oils before watercolours. The choice of the latter being for its faster drying time, although I’m still puzzled why he didn’t choose acrylics. More importantly, he can complete a painting in a couple days although needs more time with a comicbook page which does appear faster than the traditional pencils but that is in the nature of colour choices and doing everything together. There’s a lot to be said about vintage interviews as you get a snapshot of what they were thinking or doing back then.

Although I never really caught onto underground comix, the interviews with Art Spiegelman and Bill Griffiths is a look at how their careers developed to the 7 issue run of ‘Arcade’, although I still know less about that one. Interestingly, Griffiths history leads up to before he created Zippy.

An interview with Michael Moorcock covers his early life, working in British comics before Science Fiction, although his own material is more Science Fantasy. I suspect this will probably attract his fans.

Obviously, the Adams and Ross interviews are the nuggets and if you can’t get a paper edition than consider the available digital version.

GF Willmetts

May 2021

(pub: Top Shelf, 2003. 130 page illustrated square-bound magazine. Price: depends on luck and availability, you can pull a digital copy for $ 6.99 (US))

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Category: Magazines, Superheroes

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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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