Recent Dorkiness

A Random Collection of Beautiful Things

So instead of working on this week’s column, I’ve gotten distracted by a new project the last few days. Which means it’s time to dip into our vast supply of funnybook images. We do this kind of thing all the time over on the nerd farm’s social media (a few of the images below are appearing there this week, in fact), but not so often on the main site. We can do things bigger and better here, though, so I decided to pick out 25 pictures, by 25 different artists, featuring 25 different subjects. I might say a few words about some, but most will only get a credit. I’ve still got work to do elsewhere, after all…

First up (because you might as well start with the King), here’s Jack Kirby’s original character design for Fantastic Four supporting character Agatha Harkness.

This version of Agatha never saw print, of course, which is kinda too bad. Much as I like the character as we know her, I think I like this haughty, stylish Agatha even more.

Next up, to stick with the Fantastic Four theme, here’s a striking sketch of the Thing from Mike Deodato:

click to embiggen

And since the rain effects there remind me a little of The Spirit, here’s Will Eisner, not drawing rain at all, but instead showing off his psychedelic side as part of his studio’s deal to produce art for the US Army’s Preventative Maintenance Monthly:

In a similar late-60s vein, here are some Jim Steranko color guides for the splash page of a romance short he did for (as you can see below) the fifth issue of Our Love Story:

click to embiggen

Next up: a black and white Mark Schultz illustration from Xenozoic Tales.

And as long as we’re talking classic illustrators, here’s a Wally Wood panel from… actually, I don’t know what this is from. But it’s awful purty:

For a different kind of black and white beauty, here’s some original Love and Rockets art from Jaime Hernandez. I’ve got a t-shirt with this on it that never fails to generate comment…

Moving back to color, we have a Frank Quitely spread from We3, one of the more visually inventive books of the modern era:

click to embiggen

Next: James Stokoe’s interpretation of the Silver Surfer and Galactus:

click to embiggen

And as long as we’re dealing with pure visual overload, here’s a Simon Bisley Doom Patrol cover, featuring the first incarnation of the Brotherhood of Dada:

much embiggening is to be had with the clicking!

And now here’s a lovely Darwyn Cooke panel, featuring the Flash, just to let your eyes calm down a little.

But speaking of simple… Nothing’s simpler than Ernie Bushmiller’s Nancy… right?

In a similar surreal vein, here’s Basil Wolverton, doing… what Basil Wolverton always did:

And, with a sketch that somehow feels like a kindred spirit to the one above, here’s Ben Templesmith:

But as long as we’re hovering around the grotesque end of things, here’s a Brian Bolland Judge Dredd cover that I’ve been waiting to post for a long time now…

click to embiggen

…and a Jack Cole Plastic Man panel of similar weirdness:

Just to throw you off, though, here’s Charles Burns, a guy that’s usually hanging out at the grotesque end of the funnybook spectrum, doing a rare and decidedly non-grotesque drawing of good ol’ Batman:

And as long as we’re back in black and white world, here’s Dave Sim, with a drawing of Cerebus scaling the Black Tower, from the Church & State storyline:

And here’s Bill Sienkiewicz with an entirely different sort of black and white art, in the form of Jack Kirby’s Darkseid:

Returning to something a bit more traditional… but also related to Jack Kirby… here’s a Hal Foster Prince Valiant panel that the King ripped off pretty much entirely for the design of his character Etrigan the Demon:

And since we’re back a more classic style of funnybook illustration, here’s a Doug Wildey Doc Savage illustration that really makes me wish he’d done a whole comic with the character:

click to embiggen

Similarly, I’d pay good money to see Paul Pope do a Lone Wolf and Cub story. But instead, I’ll just have to satisfy myself with the cover he did for the Criterion DVD release of the film adaptation:

Alright. We’re in the home stretch now, and I’m running out of segues. So here’s Geoff Darrow drawing the denizens of the Haunted Tank…

…and a fully-painted Alice in Wonderland piece by Steve Rude:

And, finally… because it’s nice to be reminded that America once had Presidential Candidates that made sense… here’s Bernie Wrightson’s 1976 campaign button for Howard the Duck:

Get Down, America!

And thanks for tuning in…


About Mark Brett (518 Articles)
Shaved Yeti. Alien. Writer of stuff. Read my fiction at Read my thoughts on comic books and other dork culture ephemera at

1 Comment on A Random Collection of Beautiful Things

  1. Dale Bagwell // January 31, 2019 at 7:00 pm // Reply

    Nice picks for comic art man. Like you said, to see Charles Burn art that doesn’t feature grotesque art is a true rarity. And damn if he doesn’t draw a surprisingly solid Batman.

    Liked by 1 person

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