Saturday, August 9, 2008

Uncle Slam- and John Buscema/Tony Dezuniga Conan

Art scan coming up, but first, please check out this promotional blather:

The first character I ever created for publication is coming back next month, as Oni Press publishes UNCLE SLAM FIGHTS BACK! It's a fun book, loaded with left-leaning political satire, including John McCain as a reanimated, mechanical candidate. T.J. Kirsch is doing a great job with the art. Please check it out, shipping in September.

And now, today's art scan- a fantastic panel from the first page of original art I ever purchased. Few guys ever drew comics with more draftsmanship or authority than the great John Buscema. I think Big John's enthusiasm for the material waned as time wore on, but his passion for Conan almost always shone through. I"m guessing that John liked the opportunity to draw real men, minus the spandex, doing heroic stuff in wild environs.

Buscema was inked by a large host of decent craftsmen on his Conan material, but none was more suited to the task than Tony Dezuniga. Dezuniga does everything an inker should do... he makes the work sing, adds his own stamp, but always lets the personality of the penciller shine through. Look at the depth in this panel... the textural richness, and the just flat out balls in every brush stroke. Masterful.

A couple of notes about this panel: this work was intended for publication in Marvel's black and white Savage Sword of Conan magazine. Thus, Dezuniga relied heavily on zip-a-tone screens to add gray tones, ensuring that the printed page would look as lush as possible. In this era of production in Marvel's bullpen, lettering was pasted on for some reason, and many of the balloons on this page have fallen off, hence the "holes" in the artwork.

Enough of my spouting! Enjoy the genius! More on Monday!



Urban Barbarian said...

Dezuniga was one of my all time favorite Buscema finishers. The man turned pages into gold. The next best inker for John was John himself. But I always loved that Tony touch!

I'd love to have a key page or two!

Flowersense said...

Buscema at his finest. Thanks for posting this Ande.
Some of the inkers from those black and whites were a bit overpowering but Dezuniga always made the right decisions. He inked an Alan Weiss Otherworlds western Batman story years ago which gave the pencils a depth many inkers miss in Alan's pencils. It remains one of my favorites.
Hey, any chance of you working with Weiss in the future.

Kevin Nowlan said...

You're off to a good start. Scott Dunbier stopped updating his blog so you've taken his spot on my bookmark list. This'll be a great place for you and me to argue about Dick Ayers. Oh, and the Alan Weiss Batman western was inked by Garcia-Lopez, not DeZuniga, Tony inked Weiss on one of the other stories in House of Secrets #92, the book that has the very first Swamp Thing story. I like the way he added all those great textures to Buscema's pencils and made Conan look even tougher. He gave him thinner lips and a steely glare. He added more dramatic lighting as well. But my favorites are still the stories that John B. inked himself. I can't get enough of those.

Flowersense said...

Sure, Garcia Lopez...and it was Elseworlds, The Blue The Grey and the Bat...I had to dig it out to look again, I was so sure........
Sorry to be so sloppy with my posting, guys.

The Craig panel was great, with the shooter steadying his arm on the tree branch. I don't remember the story ( no surprise there ) but I wonder if the bit was in the script ( as trying to shoot straight in a dense forest ) or Craig was a hunter/marksman and drew from experience.

I'm thinking, only at EC , among all those major heavyweights could Craig not receive the attention he deserved.
He was a very fine artist.