Detective Comics v1 #480, 1978 - Outcast by society, a lonely brute is transform by a scientist to be the ultimate fighter. Don Newton's capable artwork is enhanced by his inventive layouts. Panel shapes and sizes vary wildly, depending on the mood and activity. His combination of framed and open scenes look especially good on page 13. Dave Hunt's fluid inks complement Newton's pencils. Other artists in this issue include Murphy Anderson. Cover by Jim Aparo.
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"The Perfect Fighting Machine" Newton story pencils (Dave Hunt inks) 17 pages = ***

Don Newton
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>this issue >Newton >Detective Comics

Sea Hunt v1 #8, 1961 - Hired by an archeologist, the main character explores an underwater cave and discovers a trove of prehistoric bones. Not surprisingly, Russ Manning's most interesting pages are ocean and underwater scenes. His second tale, involving an armed robbery at a prestigious yacht club, displays a knowledge of 1960s California architecture and lifestyles. His overview of the club on page 3 seems especially convincing. This is number 4 of 8 Sea Hunt issues with Manning art and/or covers. 
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"Treasure from the Past" Manning story pencils and inks 14 pages = ***
"The Balboa Bandits" Manning story pencils and inks 12 pages = ***

"$2,000,000 Jackpot" Manning text illo pencils and inks 1 page = **

"Sea Grass" Manning story pencils and inks 1 page = **
"Aquatic Spider" Manning inside back cover pencils and inks (black & white) = ***
"Water Clowns" Manning back cover pencils and inks = ***

Russ Manning
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>this issue >Manning >Sea Hunt

Eerie v3 #67, 1975 - Bernie Wrightson's inside front cover is glaringly minimalist, an approach that differs from his earlier works on this title. And yet, the large swath of black puts more focus on Cousin Eerie's gravedigging activities. Alex Toth chronicles the return (once again) of the notorious Hacker, whose brutal killings attract the attention of Scotland Yard's Chief Smythe. The artist's expressive style is a highlight of the issue. Interestingly, Toth employs some innovative layouts for this sequel. Page 6's floating montage of murderous events is haunting, while page 9's pie-shaped panels effectively capture a scene of intense fighting. Kudos to Toth for, despite being a seasoned veteran, continued to experiment with the medium. Other artists in this issue include Paul Neary and Jose Ortiz. This is number 10 of 14 Eerie magazine issues with Wrightson art and/or covers (not including reprints) and number 5 of 5 Eerie issues with Toth art and/or covers (not including reprints).
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Wrightson inside front cover pencils and inks (duotone) = ****
"The Hacker's Last Stand" Toth story pencils and inks 10 pages (black and white) = ****

Bernie Wrightson
Alex Toth
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>this issue >Toth >Wrightson >Eerie
Joe Kubert
Weird Worlds v3 #1, 1972 - Due to the success of their Tarzan of the Apes series, DC licenses other Edgar Rice Burroughs characters to star in their own collective title. John Carter, Warlord of Mars and David Innes begin as co-features. Joe Kubert's cover offers a glimpse of the characters, drawing in a looser style that begs for more definition. Note how Burrough's name, the Tarzan logo and the ape-man himself try to bring a familiarity to the new series. Other artists in this issue include Murphy Anderson and Alan Weiss. This is number 1 of 1 Weird Worlds issues with Kubert art and/or covers.
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Kubert cover pencils and inks = **

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>this issue >Kubert >Weird Worlds
Jack Kirby
Fantastic Four v1 #9, 1962 - Out of money and out of time, the desperate FF agrees to a movie contract financed by the Sub-mariner (?). The heroes are separated to perform different scenes, unaware of the traps that await them. Jack Kirby employs large panels to dominate the start of each chapter. Although they add variety, most of his pages seem too crowded with panels with little regard to design. Kirby's cover layout is similarly uninspired (why do the Human Torch's suitcases not catch on fire?). This is number 9 of 116 Fantastic Four issues with Kirby art and/or covers.
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Kirby cover pencils (Dick Ayers inks) = **
“The End of the Fantastic Four” Kirby story pencils (Dick Ayers inks) 24 pages = **
“How the Human Torch Flies” Kirby story pencils (Dick Ayers inks) 1 page = *

Jack Kirby

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>this issue >Kirby >Fantastic Four

The Phantom v2 #25, 1967 - A young Jeff Jones contributes a short story following the main features. Historical in nature, it chronicles the battle of Fort Sumter and the beginnings of the American Civil War. One of the earliest works in his career, Jones' drawings are generally sloppy and the layouts poorly planned. A majority of backgrounds are devoid of detail, suggesting a lack of effort or at the least, inexperience. The only saving grace is his surprisingly competent depiction of President Abraham Lincoln. Overstreet Guide credits Al Williamson for a single page ad, but it's actually a reproduction of his Flash Gordon record cover illustration. It's lack of color and sharply reduced size make it hardly worth mentioning. This is number 1 of 1 Phantom issues with Jones art and/or covers.
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"Fort Sumter - Where Burst the Flames of War" Jones story pencils and inks 6 pages = *

The Phantom v2 #25 charlton comic book page art by Jeff Jones
Jeff Jones
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>this issue >Jones >Phantom
Steve Ditko
Many Ghosts of Dr. Graves v1 #34, 1972 - Getting on in years, an amusement park designer proposes a haunted house to interested investors. Steve Dikto's draftsmanship is apparent throughout the story. His supple linework is rich and textural, paying special attention to the characters' faces. Ditko's corresponding cover is more whimsical, using a cut-away effect to show the mansion's ghostly denizens inside. Other artists in this issue include Vince Alascia. This is number 23 of 42 Many Ghosts of Dr. Graves issues with Ditko art and/or covers (not including reprints).
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Ditko cover pencils and inks = ***
''Ghostmaster'' Ditko story pencils and inks 8 pages = ****


Steve Ditko
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>this issue >Ditko >Many Ghosts of Doctor Graves
Frank Frazetta Buck Rogers 1950s golden age science fiction comic book cover / Famous Funnies #215
Frank Frazetta
Famous Funnies v1 #215, 1955 - A bare-backed Buck Rogers attempts to rescue his female compatriot from a monstrous octopus. Frank Frazetta's layout is busier than previous issues, but compensates with his superlative rendering skills. Every tentacle is fully detailed, along with a panoply of tropical fish, anemones and coral. A sea turtle glides amusingly and peacefully in the background. Frazetta nears the end of his run on this title with no loss of enthusiasm. This is number 7 of 8 Famous Funnies issues with Frazetta art and/or covers.
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Frazetta cover pencils and inks = ****

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>this issue >Frazetta >Famous Funnies
 
Fantasy Masterpieces v2 #9, 1980 - This title reprints the first Silver Surfer series by Stan Lee and John Buscema. Later on, early Warlock stories by Jim Starlin were added as a supplement. This particular issue contains a reprint from Strange Tales #179.


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>this issue >Starlin >Fantasy Masterpieces
John Byrne / Walt Simonson
World of Krypton v2 #1, 1987 - The second volume of this Superman-related limited series, John Byrne supplies both the scripts and covers for the entire run. In this case, the artist borrows elements from an interior spread but adjusts accordingly to the layout. Byrne's pencils generally meet expectations, working compatibly with Walt Simonson's inks. Other artists in this issue include Mike Mignola and Rick Bryant. This is number 1 of 4 World of Krypton issues with Byrne art and/or covers and 1 of 4 World of Krypton issues with Simonson art and/or covers.
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Byrne cover pencils / Simonson inks = ***

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>this issue >Byrne >Simonson >World of Krypton

Disneyland Birthday Party v2 #1, 1985 - Not often reprinted, this edition presents tales originally published in Disneyland Birthday Party #1. Standing out from the rest is an engaging Carl Barks story. Other artists in this issue include Paul Murry.

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>this issue >Barks

Heroic Comics v1 #42, 1947 - Told in separate stories, the rescues of a fallen man in a quarry and five children from a burning building are drawn by Alex Toth. The young artist struggles with the figure drawings and backgrounds, sometimes adding unnecessary detail. His varied layouts, however, are distinctive from the rest of the book (see interior page below). Other artists in this issue include Mort Lawrence and Fred Guardineer. This is number 8 of 13 Heroic Comics issues with Toth art and/or covers.
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"Snatched from a Quarry Grave" Toth story pencils and inks 3 pages = *
"Caught on One Leg" Toth story pencils and inks 4 pages = *

Alex Toth
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>this issue >Toth >Heroic Comics

Walt Disney's Donald Duck / Four Color Comics v2 178, 1947 - Making his very first appearance, Uncle Scrooge devises a test of bravery for Donald Duck and his nephews. A variation of the Charles Dickens' character from A Christmas Carol, this early version of Scrooge is quite spiteful and mean-spirited. His iconic top hat and purple (sometimes red) coat have not been adopted yet, but the basic character design is there. Carl Barks does a phenomenal job, drawing each scene with great care then perfectly sequencing them. Note how the panels widths vary to break up monotony and repetition. Uncle Scrooge was arguably Carl Barks' greatest creation and endures to this day. This story was later reprinted in Christmas Parade v2 #3 and Best of Walt Disney Comics #96173. This is number 7 of 43 Donald Duck issues with Barks art and/or covers (not including reprints).
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Barks inside front cover pencils and inks (duotone) = ***
"Christmas on Bear Mountain" Barks story pencils and inks 20 pages = ****
Barks inside back cover pencils and inks (duotone) = ***
Barks back cover pencils and inks = ***

Donald Duck Four Color Comics #178 - Carl Barks 1940s dell comic book page art
Carl Barks
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>this issue >Barks >Donald Duck
Wolverine v1 #3 - Frank Miller art 1980s marvel comic book cover
Frank Miller 
Wolverine v1 #3, 1982 - Frank Miller's pensive cover is a powerful depiction of Wolverine at his lowest point. The minimalist layout and somber colors perfectly capture the character's despair. The first few story pages struggle artistically, lacking some of the precision of the previous two issues (Wolverine and an enraged sumo wrestler look more like dance partners than brawlers on page 2). The title splash page, however, demonstrates a mastery of composition that effectively sets the tone for the rest of the book. Among the highlights: Logan's dream sequence set in feudal Japan (see interior page below) and his animal-like depiction as he pursues his quarry (page 15). This is number 3 of 4 Wolverine issues with Miller art and/or covers.
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Miller cover pencils (Joe Rubenstein inks) = ****
"Lost"
Miller story pencils (Joe Rubenstein inks) 22 pages = ***

Wolverine v1 #3 - Frank Miller art 1980s marvel comic book page
Frank Miller 

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>this issue >Miller >Wolverine

Tarzan v1 #1201960 - Seeing Natongo's people attacked by a rival tribe, Dan-El leads a small army to aid his Brother of the Spear. Russ Manning has a strong sense of composition in his story pages. He also depicts scale and distance convincingly. However, his drawings are lacking in detail, giving an unfinished impression. This story was later reprinted in Tarzan #197. Other artists in this issue include Jesse Marsh.
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"Dan-El and Natongo Meet Again" Manning story pencils and inks 6 pages = **

Russ Manning
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>this issue >Manning >Tarzan
Cinderella Love v2 #27 st.john romance comic book cover art by Matt Baker
Matt Baker
Cinderella Love v3 #27, 1955 - The dual branches of a tree converge toward the focal point of a young couple. Their warm embrace contrasts directly against the frozen setting, their ice skates waiting patiently by their feet. On the right hand corner, the edge of a pond is quietly suggested. Despite the atypical environment, Matt Baker does his usual exemplary job on this romance cover. This is number 5 of 7 Cinderella Love issues with Baker art and/or covers.
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Baker cover pencils and inks = ***

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>this issue >Baker >Cinderella Love
Joe Kubert
DC Special v1 #5 presents the Secret Lives of Joe Kubert, 1969 - In this first comic dedicated to the artist, the contents include stories from Our Army at War #113Showcase #2Brave and the Bold #18 and #35. Interestingly, Kubert also shares his family and work space in a few intro pages. Drawn with both affection and humor,  the segments nicely complement the reprints. Note that Adam and Andy Kubert, shown below, would later enter the comics industry as adults. This is number 1 of 3 DC Special issues with Kubert art and/or covers.
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Kubert cover pencils and inks = ***
"Memorandum" Kubert story pencils and inks 1 page = ***
"Joe Kubert's Characters" Kubert story pencils and inks 2 pages = ***
"The Cartoonist at Home" Kubert story pencils and inks 5 pages = ***

Joe Kuber


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>this issue >Kubert >DC Special
Neal Adams
Superman Family v1 #183, 1977 - delvers his A giant spectral Superman implores Lois Lane for help while she cowers in a flying bed. Despite this unusual theme, Neal Adams delivers his best cover of the series. Impeccably drawn and composed, I especially like how the characters on the right turn spontaneously toward the larger scene. Other artists in this issue include Bob Brown, Tex Blaisdell, Kurt Schaffenberger, Vince Colletta, Carlo Potts, John Calnan, Al Milgrom and Bob Oksner. This is number 2 of 4 Superman Family issues with Adams art and/or covers.
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Adams cover pencils and inks = ***

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>this issue >Adams >Superman Family

Six-Gun Heroes v1 #49, 1958 -  Just arrived into town, an ex-con wonders if he'll be shunned or get a fair shake from sheriff Wild Bill Hickok. Despite a strong opening panel (see interior page below), Al Williamson's drawings seem hurried and erratic. The loose renditions begin to look sloppy in their craft. Sadly, Angelo Torres' inks add little clarity and muddle the final artwork. This story was later reprinted in Gunfighters v3 #54Other artists in this issue include Dick Giordano. This is number 2 of 2 Six-Gun Heroes issues with Williamson art and/or covers.
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"Badman's Return" Williamson story pencils (Angelo Torres inks) 5 pages = **

Al Williamson
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>this issue >Williamson >Six-Gun Heroes
Swamp Thing v1 #3 1970s bronze age dc comic book cover art by Bernie Wrightson
Bernie Wrightson
Swamp Thing v1 #3, 1973 - A remnant from the previous story, the Patchwork Man makes his first full appearance along with the white-haired Abigail Arcane. Unlike the previous issues, this tale has an abundance of small panels, particularly toward the end. Still, there are some outstanding scenes, including the Swamp Thing's destructiveness on page 3 and the mountaintop explosion on page 8. Equally superb are the masterfully designed sequences on pages 3-5 that emphasize extreme heights through vertical panels (see interior page below). This story was later reprinted in DC Special Series #14 and Roots of the Swamp Thing #2. This is number 3 of 10 Swamp Thing issues with Wrightson art and/or covers.
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Wrightson cover pencils and inks = ***
"The Patchwork Man"
Wrightson story pencils and inks 23 pages = ****

Swamp Thing v1 #3 1970s bronze age dc comic book page art by Bernie Wrightson
Bernie Wrightson
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>this issue >Wrightson >Swamp Thing