Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Dear Comic Art Fan,

Sad news this week with the passing of illustrator Earl Norem known for his countless paintings in men's magazines, comic books, trading cards, and toy packaging. The first "comic book" I ever owned was the storybook Fantastic Four: The Island of Danger which sparked my interest in superheroes and artwork at a very early age. As someone who grew in the 80s, his toy packaging for Mattel and Hasbro, particularly on the Masters of the Universe line, fleshed the world and was even cooler than the toys inside.

An artist friend of mine, Andy Houle, discovered in the past few years that his grandfather had served with Norem in the 10th Mountain Division during World War II and they remained friends through correspondence and reunions till the end of their lives. On behalf of the CAF community we extend our heartfelt condolences to Norem's friends and family.

See you next week. 

Colin Solan
CAF Editor

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Heritage Auctions (HA.com) - Jack Kirby, Al Jaffee & Gene Colan Original Art in Sunday’s Auction

A Few Sample Lots:

Jack Kirby - Fantastic Four "Blastaar the Living Bomb Burst" Storyboard #72 Original Art (DePatie-Freleng, 1978)

Al Jaffee - Humbug #2 "Vacation-Time" Double Splash Page 16-17 Original Art (Humbug Publications, 1957)

Gene Colan and Al Williamson - Marvel Comics Presents #105 "Male Bonding Part 5: Through Thick and Thin" Splash Page 1 Original Art (Marvel, 1992)

Also check out our new HERITAGE COMIC ART MARKET here…



Press Release:

FPG is proud to announce the release of “THE ART OF PLOOG,” a comprehensive art book on the work of Mike Ploog. This 9" x 12", 320-page retrospective will cover every aspect of Ploog’s career, from his earliest days of working with “Leatherneck Magazine,” while still a young man serving in the Marines, right up through his latest work on “Goliath.” “THE ART OF PLOOG” will contain, quite literally, hundreds of pieces of art, as well as commentary by the master himself.

“This is the book I’ve wanted to do for a long time," says Michael Friedlander, president of FPG. “Mike’s work has been a huge part of my life since I opened my first issue of ‘Werewolf by Night.’ And I have followed his career ever since."

All Ploog's best known works are in this book. Included is the work he did for Marvel comics (on titles such as “Frankenstein,” “Ghost Rider,” “Planet of the Apes,” and “Werewolf By Night”), as well as a wide range of his film work on animated features (such as “Lord of the Rings,” “Prince of Egypt,” “Shrek,” and “Wizards”) and live-action features (including “Little Shop of Horrors,” “John Carpenter's THE THING,” and “X-MEN”). The book will also contain many of his most popular paintings; paintings that were created for his own fantasy art trading card series; as well as paintings he worked on for the collectible card games “Guardians” and “Magic the Gathering,” most of which have never been reproduced larger than trading card size. It’s the ultimate collection spanning Ploog's entire career.

“THE ART OF PLOOG” will be launched initially through Kickstarter. As an ode to his fans, Ploog insisted on offering prized originals from his personal collection as rewards for the campaign. Included are original storyboard drawings from his work on the feature films “Jim Henson’s THE DARK CRYSTAL,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” “John Carpenter’s THE THING,” and more, as well as original artwork created for the pages of Marvel Comics' “Planet of the Apes” magazine series.

“THE ART OF PLOOG” is available on Kickstarter through July 16, 2015. Click here to go the Kickstarter...

Premium Member of the Week :: Erik Essington

1. Please tell us a little about yourself.

I'm 44 years old and I have an awesome son who just hit 17 months old. I have my Doctorate in clinical psychology. Most of my clinical work is with the deaf and hard of hearing community. I also do consulting for academic institutions.

I was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, CA; Reseda to be specific. Raised in a single parent household with a brother 4 years my senior. Money was tight, but we were creative with our time and that's where comic books came in. My mom would secretly buy us comics and hide them in the Sunday paper. One week it was Spider-Man #134. Next week it'd be the Hulk #186.

My mom was always getting us stuff to read. The 70s art by Herb Trimpe, Rich Buckler, John Romita, and John Byrne is amazing. Basically, it was their work that got me into reading and really appreciating art. From there I explored everything Marvel. The Bronze Age comics were what I grew up reading and I believe are still some of the best books ever.

2. Which piece in your gallery is your favorite?

I love all my pieces, but if I had to pick one it'd be my X-Men page from #121 by John Byrne. It's been with me since 1982.

3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?

My mom loved fantasy art when I was a kid. She had Boris Vallejo and Frank Frazetta's books that I was always looking at. The first comic art she ever got was a Thor page by John Buscema in the early 70s. Shortly after, she picked up a Man-Thing page for me because I liked monsters. She also picked up an Ernie Chan watercolor piece of Conan. Fortunately, I still have these pieces (in my gallery). Then I purchased my first piece, a John Byrne X-Men page, when I was 12 years old from Golden Apple in Northridge. $120.00 and a three-month layaway plan and I finally got it (Click on the Byrne page in my gallery for the whole story).

I would pick up a piece here and there over the years, but it wasn't until my brother gave me a Moon Knight comic drawn by David Finch that started up my interest in books and art again. I met up with David Finch at the San Diego Comic Con in 2007 and that is when I took more of a serious interest in collecting art. The last few years I have been much more active in acquiring art. There's just so much great stuff out there.

4. How do you display/store your collection at home?

I actually have copies of some of the originals in frames with the cover and published page from where the page is from in my stairwell. It makes viewing them a bit more fun. The originals are in portfolios.  I also have a Dracula themed bathroom with some Dracula commissions I’ve picked up over the years.

5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?

Werewolf By Night #32 cover (Gil Kane) and/or page 1 (Don Perlin).

X-Men #140, page 17 (John Byrne).

Moon Knight cover (David Finch).

Amazing Spider-Man #67, page 1 (John Romita).

Amazing Spider-Man #102, page 1 (Gil Kane).

View Erik Essington's Gallery

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