Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dave Sim draws Howard the Duck

I've got a special fondness from the various B&W comic magazine published in the 1970s/early 80s.
I've love bronze age comics in general, and the magazines published during those years were the bronziest of the bronze (yes, bronziest is now a real word. I insist.) Without the comics code in place writers and artists were allowed to go kind of crazy. I mean, Marvel was reprinting Cheech Wizard strips in Epic Magazine. Cheech-fucking-Wizard. I'm going to shed a tear just thinking about those days.

For reasons I've never seen explained, Howard the Duck jumped from a monthly color comic to a less-regular B&W magazine. It wasn't exactly a glowing success. I've talked to a few guys over the years (including an artist who contributed to the B&W magazine and other Marvel titles) who blamed the uneven quality of the Howard the Duck magazine on editor Lynn Graeme.
And the magazine was a mess ... but what a great mess it was.
In addition to the regular artists of Gene Colon, Michael Golden and Marshall Rogers were contributions from such guys as John Byrne, Howard Chaykin, Steven Grant and Bob McLeod. There was also some flirtation with nudity in the magazine (as well as in Savage Sword of Conan) that did not last long and was never mentioned again. I can only guess Stan Lee wasn't amused.
Above is a frontspiece from the Howard the Duck magazine drawn by Dave Sim. I think it's pretty great.

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