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2010 SKETCHBOOK (60 pages, black/white/tone, print run 100 copies)


Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Art of Short Story: Part II

"Maintaining Appearances" by Ron Marz and Rodolfo Damaggio from Batman Chronicles

Damaggio only worked in comics for a few years before moving on to work as a storyboard artist and hardly anyone remembers him, but the guy was an awesome storyteller. He drew about a year worth of Green Arrow monthlies and did a 4 issue "Batman vs Predator III" miniseries that are just wonderful to read. He also did a few short stories about the DC Universe. His artwork is somewhere in between Alex Toth's "simplification" and Al Williamson's "photo realism" and works best when he is inking himself (in this story he is penciling, inking, and coloring). This one is about the duality of Bruce Wayne and Batman. Clever and well told with a gentle twist at the end.

"Like Riding a Bike" by Devin Grayson and Rodolfo Damaggio from Batman 80-page Special

Another Damaggio gem. A story about Wonder Girl talking to Nightwing as they go for a coffee in their civilian identities. This is an excellent story with wonderful characterization, action, humor...AND wonderful Damaggio storytelling (again he pencils, inks, and colors).

"The Couch" Vito Delsante and Dan Haspiel from Batman Adventures

Continuing with the Batman theme, here is a story that I think might be one of the best stories that plays with the Batman myth. In a way, like "Maintaining Appearances" this only works because of decades of established Batman continuity, but it is so clever and uses the comic book medium so well... it shows the pathos and the humor all at the same time which is one of the most unique features of comics.


Tom said...

I'll have to check those out.
Great topic, there's so many forgotten gems.
At the Stroke of Midnight from Tower of Shadows #1 by Jim Steranko is one of my favorites of all time. Along with 5th to the 1st by Michael Golden and Doug Murray from Savage Tales #1 (The 80's version.}
And the poem Cimmeria by Robert E. Howard, Barry Smith, and Tim Conrad in Savage Sword #24 is gorgeous too.

Alex Sheikman said...

Hi Tom :)

Stroke of Midnight by Steranko is a classic (!) and is on my list as well (and will show up a little bit later).

The Savage Tales (#1 and #3) by Murray and Golden are also gems (especially the first one about the hero gunner)...I don't think they have ever been reprinted since their original publication. Golden also penciled (and Craig Russell inked) an 8 page Dr. Strange/Clea story that was outstanding.

After reading your post I went back and looked at both the Barry Smith and the Smith/Conrad versions of "Cimmeria"...I think I liked the Smith version better. It was not as finished, but there was something special there in it's raw uninked form.

While looking for "Cimmeria" I saw teh Berni Wrightson King Kull story...some mighty nice inking there.

Bosch Fawstin said...

Damaggio is great. And that page alone led me to seek it out. But it took a while to track down ibecause it’s not from Batman Chronicles, but Batman 80 Page Giant #1. You should correct that, but thanks for the head’s up, and you’re right, Dimaggio is Best when he inks his own pencils.

Alex Sheikman said...

Bosch, glad you found the Damaggio story. As you can see in the post, there are 2 different Damaggion drawn stories mentioned. The first was published in "Batman Chronicles" and the second was published in "Batman 80-page Giant". Did I mix them up somehow?