Sunday, January 19, 2014

Drawing the Marvel Way

I think 288 (1983) was the first Incredible Hulk issue I ever had. My mother grabbed something for me from a gift shop to help pass the time at an airport. So when I saw it at my local comic shop a couple of days ago for a few bucks I bought it in order share some of the best panels in it. I remember being blown away by the art work it was so dynamic you could practically feel and hear the action in it. That kind of drawing style is a good example of what's known as "the Marvel way". Little did I know at the time that it was written and drawn by the same two guys who were working on ROM which I already had had a few issues of.


Now it so happens that Incredible Hulk 288 had a Bullpen Bulletin page which included a Mighty Marvel Checklist that had Rom #47 listed among the other titles out that month. That's ironic given that I had mentioned #47 in the previous posting in reference to Shang Chi The Master of Kung Fu.

Left click to enlarge
So that tells us at least some of what else Sal Buscema (and Mantlo of course) was working on at the time. But unlike The Hulk title Sal's penciling was complimented by the beautiful inks of the dynamic inking duo Akin & Garvey. Look at that line work in those Rom 47 panels, it's like the brush strokes of a master piece panting. That Mighty Marvel Checklist also included a small feature about the debut of the Cloak & Dagger mini-series so we see that Bill Mantlo had plenty of work on his hands at the time as well.

16 comments:

  1. I shall be hunting down that issue, for sure.
    Sal's Abomination is CLASSIC. He's a favorite of mine. I especially liked him in The Incredible Hulk #364: Countdown 4 / Part 1... Talk about a character Marvel ruined over time, though...

    -Gosh, Abomination and ROM are so down on themselves in those panels...

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  2. I actually used to own said book by Stan Lee and Sal's brother John. Wish I'd kept it too. Damn good book to help with you with the basics of drawing, and poses.

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  3. K.o.T, kinda makes you wonder how a confrontation between ROM and The Abomination would have gone down.

    Dale, I used to have that book too. it was awesome there's a lot of tips in that book that I still utilize today when I draw something especially when it comes to figure composition. poor figure composition is almost always the Achilles heel of most mediocre fan art. it's always a shame when you see a fan who took a lot of time drawing and coloring something that has body parts out of whack because they just don't have a good eye for proportions.

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  4. I had this issue too as a kid. Now I have to see if I still do. Loved it. Not used to seeing the abomination cower like that.

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    1. yeah apparently getting bitch slapped around by The Hulk can do that to ya.

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  5. The "Marvel Way" (Marvel Method) is weird, though...it's all about- do the art first, and let the writer figure out the rest afterwards... It's really NOT a good way to make a comic.
    I've never owned the art-book... but it always pops up at The Dirt Mall. I've seen it selling from anywhere between $5 to $30...

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    1. the Marvel way has very little if anything to do with the collaboration style between the artist and writer. it more specifically has to do with principles in illustration such as proportions, figure composition, drawing hands and feet, facial expressions and dynamic action scenes. all the stuff Sal and John Buscema excel at. dikto, not so much. at least as far as the 80s goes.

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  6. Sal Buscema draws the quintaessential Hulk, though I really dig Herb Trimpe. 1983 must have been a good year for Bill, with so much work.

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    1. don't forget about John Byrne's HULK that was some good stuff too.

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  7. My copy of How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way is so beaten and battered I'm surprised it's still holding together! I'm the same as you Dave, in that some old comics I read, my eyes instantly start dissecting the panels like that book lays out.

    Glad I'm not the only one.

    I wish Abomination was a bigger threat in the Marvel U. The guy is as awesome as all hell, but Shocker has a bigger profile. What's with that! Mind you, Absorbing Man, The Leader and even The U-Foes all get looked over, so I guess it just doesn't pay to be a Hulk rouge!

    Love the memory shared to Mr - that always adds a lot to a post.

    For best Hulk artist I'd if Keown and Leinil Yu were too modern, I'd run with Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez. While he borrowed from Sal on his take I'm sure, the Hulk he drew, most notably in Batman vs The Incredible Hulk is just classic cool in motion!

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    1. Keown? KEOWN?!? -How dare you, Sir! HOW DARE YOU!!!

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  8. I had that issue, too! Wish I still had it.

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  9. Keown brought a lot of talent to the Hulk title, and you could see many Marvel masters influencing his pencils, including Buscema, Byrne and Neil Adams. This was the story which influenced my image of Abomination for many years. He was humanized, emasculated and deeply damaged, which gave him depth beyond the normal villains who were evil for the sake of evil. Can't say enough how much I enjoy re-reading the entirety of Bill & Sal's run on Hulk.

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    1. that was quite a thoughtful and well articulated observation on Bill & Sal's work on the Abomination character bravo Rick.

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