Comic Book Creator #20 Summer 2019 (magazine review).

Looking at the cover of the latest issue of ‘Comic Book Creator’ and you would think it should be called a ‘Joe’ issue, as with the exception of Craig Yoe and Kristina Deak-Linser, that’s the common denominator for the rest. Mind you, the sub-title is ‘The “Not Your Average Joes” Ish’.

Craig Yeo was and is a hippie. He’s also an underground cartoonist, historian and publisher. In the first part of a two part interview, we get Yeo’s history which gives insight into his hippie living and underground comics. The people he grew up with who later became famous is also like a who’s who in America celebrity.

The first of the Joes is Joe Sinnott and interviewed by Bob Andelman gives a lot of insight. Sinnott defines the inker as more an embellisher than just inking the lines put down by the penciller. He was also a penciller and inker, but was making more from Marvel in the latter role simply because he didn’t have to research what he was drawing. In his tenure of inking Jack Kirby on the ‘Fantastic Four’, they only met three times and never spoke about their work.

Stan Sakai wasn’t mentioned on the cover but with an interview with Darrick Patrick, we get a quick look at his Usagi comicbook. The same with Jack Kirby’s experiences in World War Two brought into his artwork.

Of course, the biggest section of this issue is devoted to the art of Joseph Michael Linsner, someone I’m not familiar with but the intense interview conducted by editor Jon B. Cooke has been enough to make me look him up. I do find it odd that he claims not to collect comics but has kept all he bought isn’t. All comicbook collecting is because we are natural hoarders and even when they were relatively cheap back in the 1960s-70s, were still too expensive to read and throw away. From the looks of things, you can get his comics cheaper and easier from the USA than the UK.

The second interview is with Linsner’s wife, Kristina Deak-Linsner, who holds the distinction of being the only lady to both write, draw and pose as Vampirella. As her interview reveals, she’s also a geek.

Joe Jusko discussing a personal project of doing reproductions in his style of the 1960s Marvel cover corner boxes that got modern Marvel interested. Seeing the samples here makes me hope that they don’t leave it too long before they get released as a book.

I did wonder if the article speculating if artist Joe Maneely had lived was going to be a what if, but that was really confined to the final page, as much of it recounts his history. I first saw his work without knowing who it was in some early Marvel Comics reprints of his ‘Black Knight’ tales and loved his detailed style. Michael J. Vassallo points out that Maneely did very brief layouts and did his inking based purely on that which made him even more extraordinary. He was certainly regarded in the same breath as Kirby and Ditko as a go-to guy by Stan Lee.

Finally, the final part of an interview with the late Rich Buckler. The comparisons made between his creation, Deathlok, and DC Comics’ Teen Titan Cyborg should make you stop and think. However, considering that Martin Caidin’s original novel, ‘Cyborg’ was published in 1973 and a year later, ‘The Six Million Dollar Man’ TV series was airing, to design any cyborg looking too human would have drawn comparisons. Even Frederick Pohl’s 1976 novel ‘Man Plus’ did the polar opposite of Steve Austin. Going back to the original point, there is only so much you can do to a comicbook face to symbolise being part man/part machine.

Buckler also goes into some detail as a surrealist painter and the New York art scene. It’s hardly surprising that it’s more about art trends and money than about the art itself and I can understand the contrast to his time in Paris. If you are planning something along that road, then his interview gives some clear insights. Looking up the work of his Russian art mentor Valeriy Belenikin, I do have to wonder why no one has got a book of his art on the market yet.

Do I need to tell you how well informed you will be by this issue? Of course, not. I’m only scratching the surface above. Buy and bedazzled.

GF Willmetts

September 2019

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 100 page illustrated magazine. Price: $ 9.95 (US). ISSN: 2330-2437. Direct from them, you can get it for $ 8.46 (US))

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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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