All Hallow's Eve. Halloween. The Day Of The Dead. Samhain. No matter what name one uses to refer to it, October 31 is the craziest, spookiest, creepy-crawliest evening of the year – a night of costumes, trick-or-treating, ghosts, goblins, monster movie marathons, and of course, comic books!
So today, we've reached out to some of our favorite modern-day creators to ask for their takes on the scary comics that they found inspiring, and to get their riffs on the critters and characters that have influenced their work. Happy Halloween!
While not a household name to most, Mary Blair's star looms large in the fields of animation, illustration, comics, and character/scenic design. She's an "artist's artist", someone whose designs for Walt Disney reached countless millions -- yet she worked in relative anonymity through most of her lifetime.
Blair's first major assignment for Disney was as supervisor and concept artist for Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros, and she went on to produce designs, concepts, and color stylings for many of the studio's best-loved films, including Cinderella, Peter Pan, and Alice In Wonderland.
Ramona Fradon is one of the great living legends of comics, a creator with an instantly recognizable style who has worked on some of DC Comics' best-loved series -- and co-created a few classic characters along the way. Her crisp, lyrical line has elevated every book she's touched over her six-and-a-half decades in the business, and her work continues to influence and inspire creators to this day.
Fradon graduated from Parsons School Of Design in 1950, and began working at DC almost immediately, pencilling the Shining Knight backup story in Adventure Comics #165 – and when that feature was replaced by Aquaman two issues later, Fradon found her first signature character.
Steve Gerber was one of comics' most individual talents – an acclaimed writer whose career spanned four decades, an outspoken voice for creative rights, and, of course, as he's inevitably known today, the man who made an ill-tempered cigar-smoking duck into one of Marvel's most unforgettable characters.
If you were to pull a random sampling of professionals from across the comics industry and poll them on their favorite modern-day creators, Mike Mignola's name would doubtlessly rank near the top. Since he burst on the scene at Marvel in the early 1980s, pencilling an obscure limited series about a talking space raccoon, he's matured brilliantly – from his seminal work at DC Comics (pencilling books including World Of Krypton, Cosmic Odyssey, and Batman: Gotham By Gaslight), to his work at Topps, Marvel, and other companies in the early '90s (on Ironwolf, Bram Stoker's Dracula, various X-books, and many other titles), to his move into creator-owned comics with the mighty Hellboy, he's maintained a unique voice and an immediately recognizable art style, bettering himself with each successive project, evolving and refining his voice at every opportunity.
Whether it's baby Hellboy eating a forbidden breakfast, a snake and a magician flying kites, or a robotic super-spy with a detachable head in the employ of President Lincoln, there's a dry-yet-absurd tone to Mignola stories that drips with the glee of innovation and possibility, yet manages to keep it all contained within straight-faced third-person storytelling. And so, today, a few days after his 54th birthday, we're excited to celebrate Mike Mignola's career with a few fellow fans (who also happen to be notable comic-makers in their own right).
While his name isn't hugely well-known outside fan circles, the late Archie Goodwin played a huge role in the world of comics for over four decades. Born on September 8th, 1937, he started out writing stories for Warren Publishing in the early '60s before moving on to key editorial roles first at Marvel and then at DC.
His good humor and kindness provided an inspiration to generations of fans and creators, and his influence is felt to this day – and in that spirit, a trio of our favorite creators reached out to offer tributes to the man and his legacy:
Sergio Aragones was born in Spain in 1937, moved to Mexico with his family in the early 1940s, and after attending the University Of Mexico, settled in the United States in 1962. His cartoons first appeared in Mad Magazine at the end of that year, and he quickly became one of the publication's most popular contributors. In the years since, he's become well-known to comic readers as the co-creator and writer of DC Comics' western hero Bat Lash and a contributor to countless other titles (including Plop!, Fanboy, The Mighty Magnor, The Simpsons, and Actions Speak); he's continued his association with Mad (appearing in 452 of the 453 issues published since his debut); he's produced a number of bestselling paperback books; and, of course, he continues to produce comics telling the stories of his best-known creation, the bumbling barbarian with a weakness for cheese dip, the inimitable Groo The Wanderer.
To mark the occasion of his birthday (September 6), we've reached out to a few of our favorite modern-day creators to join us in paying tribute to Sergio and celebrating his life and work.
Jack Kirby is very probably the single most influential figure in the history of American comics. He produced countless stories in a career that spanned seven decades, inventing and re-inventing genres and styles every step of the way. He inspired generations of artists and writers; created and co-created thousands of characters; defined the visual vocabulary of superheroes; and believed in the potential of comics to be both entertainment and art, long before most people imagined these stories would be remembered past the four weeks that they sat on newsstands.
This week would have been Kirby’s 97th birthday, so to celebrate, we asked some of our favorite creators and other comic pros to contribute their impressions of his characters, life, and legacy – and the response has been overwhelming. Yesterday, we posted the first set of these all-star tributes, and here's the second, even more expansive selection!
Jack Kirby is very arguably the single most influential figure in the history of American comics. He produced countless stories in a career that spanned seven decades, inventing and re-inventing genres and styles every step of the way. He inspired generations of artists and writers; created and co-created thousands of characters; defined the visual vocabulary of superheroes; and believed in the potential of comics to be both entertainment and art, long before most people imagined these stories would be remembered past the four weeks that they sat on newsstands.
Today would have been Kirby’s 97th birthday, and to mark the occasion we’ve assembled a series of posts commemorating the life and work of the man known to American comics fans as “The King.” For this piece, we asked some of our favorite creators and other comics pros to celebrate Jack Kirby with their impressions of his characters, life, and legacy – and we got so many responses, we'll have another installment of all-star tributes tomorrow!
Vaughn Bodé is one of the few comics creators whose work transcends genre and style – his art can't be compared to anything but itself, and can really only be described and categorized as "Vaughn Bodé style". In his brief career, he redefined the very idea of what a cartoonist could be, pioneering a drawing style that inspired and confounded, blending and distorting fantasy tropes with every pen stroke. His stories were filled with spaced-out hallucinations and a direct, earthy sensuality, and established him as a guru of graphic storytelling and the first proper rock star of the comics field.
To mark the occasion of his birthday, ComicsAlliance reached out to a handful of our favorite modern-day artists to offer their takes on Bodé – his characters, his style, his feeling, and his inspiration.
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