Tuesday, March 06, 2012


Ed here: When I was young I was a comic book fanatic. I bought all the ECs, all the Mads, etc. My favorite artist was always Wally Wood. Whether he was in comic or dramatic mode, his hip approach always dazzled me. I kept up with his career well into my Thirties. What follows is an excerpt from Salon. :

MONDAY, MAR 5, 2012 7:00 PM CST
Resurrecting a comic art icon
Three decades after his tragic suicide, Wally Wood's famed work for Mad magazine is attracting renewed interest

This article originally appeared on Imprint.
Wally Wood is most acclaimed for his comical comic books, mainly his acclaimed work for Mad back in its original, pre-magazine, 1950s incarnation. But his personal life was a drama verging on tragedy and culminating with his suicide in 1981. Only now, three decades later, is his story heading toward a happy ending, with a burst of renewed interest in his work. Among the most spectacular products are two oversize coffee table books: IDW‘s “Wally Wood’s EC Stories: Artist’s Edition,” just released and already sold out of its first print run, and “Came the Dawn and Other Stories by Wally Wood,” from Fantagraphics, scheduled for summer.

In other Wood news, just a few days ago author J. David Spurlock was appointed director of the Wallace Wood Estate. David began his career as an artist-writer but has become better known as an agent and creator rights advocate. He’s also the founder and publisher of Vanguard Productions, which prints books on art and the careers of artists.

I took this opportunity to congratulate David and to chat about the man he calls “a pop culture icon.”

Michael Dooley: How’d you first encounter Wood’s work?

J. David Spurlock: When I was very young, right when I first started reading comics, was when Woody left Mad and went to re-create “Daredevil” for Marvel. I like to say he put the “devil” into “Daredevil,” as the early, Bill Everett version was more like a circus daredevil in black and yellow tights. Wood revamped DD in a high-tech equipped, ominous, devilish dark red outfit, somewhat like we saw in the movie with Ben Affleck so many years later.

I caught Wood’s “Daredevil,” and his heyday at Tower with “T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents,” and him in the Mad paperback collections all about the same time, there in 1965–’67. On rare occasion he’d also pop up in one of the black and white Warren horror magazines.

What do you admire about Wood’s art?

In nearly all of his work – no matter how overworked he was – even when he did risque material, there was always a charm, and he imbued the work with a purity of love for the medium.

And he was a master of every genre. That is one of the things that make him unique. Whether horror for EC, humor for Mad or Plop, war comics for DC or Gold Key, science fiction magazine illustrations, his Wizard King trilogy of fantasy graphic novels, superheroes for Marvel, cheesecake, romance, or westerns, whatever genre one picks, Wood’s contribution is among the finest ever.

I really can’t pick a favorite genre but I will mention one of my favorite stories, “To Kill A God” from Vampirella magazine. It’s an historical horror-fantasy starring Cleopatra and Mark Antony!

for the rest go here: http://imprint.printmag.com/graphic/wally-wood/



Bill Crider said...

I'll bet you remember his work in GALAXY, too.

Ed Gorman said...

Absolutely, Bill. And all those Ray Bradbury stories he adapted for EC. He was my favorite.

Michael Dooley said...

Your "for the rest go here" link to my original feature isn't working. If possible, please fix. Using either one of these links would be fine with me…



~ m