Wallace Allan Wood was an American comic book writer and independent publisher, best known for his work on EC Comics's Mad and Marvel's Daredevil. He was one of Mad's founding cartoonists in 1952. Although much of his early professional artwork is signed Wallace Wood, he became known as Wally Wood, a name he claimed to dislike. Within the comics community, he was known as Woody, a name he sometimes used as a signature. In addition to Wood's hundreds of comic book pages, he illustrated for books and magazines while working in a variety of other areas – advertising. EC publisher William Gaines once stated, "Wally may have been our most troubled artist... I'm not suggesting any connection, but he may have been our most brilliant", he was the inaugural inductee into the comic book industry's Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1989, was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1992. Wally Wood was born in Menahga, he began reading and drawing comics at an early age, he was influenced by the art styles of Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon, Milton Caniff's Terry and the Pirates, Hal Foster's Prince Valiant, Will Eisner's The Spirit and Roy Crane's Wash Tubbs.
Recalling his childhood, Wood said that his dream at age six, about finding a magic pencil that could draw anything, foretold his future as an artist. Wood graduated from high school in 1944, signed on with the United States Merchant Marine at the close of World War II and enlisted in the U. S. Army's 11th Airborne Division in 1946, he went from training at Fort Benning, Georgia, to occupied Japan, where he was assigned to the island of Hokkaidō. In 1947, at age 20, Wood only lasted one term. Arriving in New York City with his brother Glenn and mother Alma, after his military discharge in July 1948, Wood found employment at Bickford's restaurant as a busboy. During his time off he carried his thick portfolio of drawings all over midtown Manhattan, visiting every publisher he could find, he attended the Hogarth School of Art but dropped out after one semester. By October, after being rejected by every company he visited, Wood met fellow artist John Severin in the waiting room of a small publisher.
After the two shared their experiences attempting to find work, Severin invited Wood to visit his studio, the Charles William Harvey Studio, where Wood met Charlie Stern, Harvey Kurtzman and Will Elder. At this studio Wood learned, he visited Eisner and was hired on the spot. Over the next year, Wood became an assistant to George Wunder, who had taken over the Milton Caniff strip Terry and the Pirates. Wood cited his "first job on my own" as Chief Ob-stacle, a continuing series of strips for a 1949 political newsletter, he entered the comic book field by lettering, as he recalled in 1981: "The first professional job was lettering for Fox romance comics in 1948. This lasted about a year. I started doing backgrounds inking. Most of it was the romance stuff. For complete pages, it was $5 a page... Twice a week, I would ink ten pages in one day". Artists' representative Renaldo Epworth helped Wood land his early comic-book assignments, making it unclear if that connection led to Wood's lettering or to his comics-art debut, the ten-page story "The Tip Off Woman" in the Fox Comics Western Women Outlaws No. 4.
Wood's next known comic-book art did not appear until Fox's My Confession No. 7, at which time he began working continuously on the company's similar My Experience, My Secret Life, My Love Story and My True Love: Thrilling Confession Stories. His first signed work is believed to be in My Confession #8, with the name "Woody" half-hidden on a theater marquee, he penciled and inked two stories in that issue: "I Was Unwanted" and "My Tarnished Reputation". Wood began at EC co-penciling and co-inking with Harry Harrison the story "Too Busy For Love", penciling the lead story, "I Was Just a Playtime Cowgirl", in Saddle Romances No. 11, inked by Harrison. Working from a Manhattan studio at West 64th Street and Columbus Avenue, Wood began to attract attention in 1950 with his science-fiction artwork for EC and Avon Comics, some in collaboration with Joe Orlando. During this period, he drew in a wide variety of subjects and genres, including adventure, romance and horror. Battling Captain Marbles. Wood was instrumental in convincing EC publisher William Gaines to start a line of science fiction comics, Weird Science and Weird Fantasy.
Wood inked several dozen EC science fiction stories. Wood had frequent entries in Two-Fisted Tales and Tales from the Crypt, as well as the EC titles Valor and Aces High. Working over scripts and pencil breakdowns by Jules Feiffer, the 25-year-old Wood drew two months of Will Eisner's Sunday-supplement newspaper comic book The Spirit, on the 1952 story arc "The Spirit in Outer Space". Eisner, Wood recalled, paid him "about $30 a week for lettering and backgrounds on The Spirit. Sometimes he paid $40 when I did the drawings, too". Feiffer, in 2010, recalled Wood's studi
Swamp Thing is a fictional superhero in comic books published by American company DC Comics. A humanoid/plant elemental creature, created by writer Len Wein and artist Bernie Wrightson, the Swamp Thing has had several humanoid or monster incarnations in various different storylines; the character first appeared in House of Secrets #92 in a stand-alone horror story set in the early 20th century. The character returned in a solo series, set in the contemporary world and in the general DC continuity; the character is a swamp monster that resembles an anthropomorphic mound of vegetable matter, fights to protect his swamp home, the environment in general, humanity from various supernatural or terrorist threats. The character found its greatest popularity during the 1970s and early 1990s. Outside of an extensive comic book history, the Swamp Thing has inspired two theatrical films, a live-action television series, a five-part animated series, among other media. IGN ranked, he appeared in his first live adaptation in the 1982 film.
Dick Durock portrayed Swamp Thing. Durock reprised the role in the sequel film The Return of Swamp Thing along with playing Holland. Durock reprised the role again in the 1990 television series; the character will be played by Derek Mears with Andy Bean playing his human form Alec Holland in the television series for the DC streaming service. Len Wein came up with the idea for the character, he recalled, "I didn't have a title for it, so I kept referring to it as'that swamp thing I'm working on.' And that's how it got its name!" Bernie Wrightson designed the character's visual image. Len Wein was the writer for the first 13 issues, before David Michelinie and Gerry Conway finished up the series. Burgeoning horror artist Bernie Wrightson drew the first 10 issues of the series while Nestor Redondo drew a further 13 issues, the last issue being drawn by Fred Carrillo; the original creative team worked together. The Swamp Thing fought against evil as he sought the men who murdered his wife and caused his monstrous transformation, as well as searching for a means to transform back to human form.
The Swamp Thing has since fought many villains. Though they only met twice during the first series, the mad Dr. Anton Arcane became the Swamp Thing's nemesis as the Swamp Thing developed a close bond with Arcane's niece Abigail Arcane. Arcane was aided by his nightmarish army of Un-Men and the Patchwork Man, alias Arcane's brother Gregori Arcane, who after a land mine explosion was rebuilt as a Frankenstein's Monster-type creature by his brother. Involved in the conflict was the Swamp Thing's close friend-turned-enemy Matthew Cable, a federal agent who mistakenly believed the Swamp Thing to be responsible for the deaths of Alec and Linda Holland; as sales figures plummeted towards the end of the series, the writers attempted to revive interest by introducing fantastical creatures and Alec Holland's brother, into the picture. The last two issues saw the Swamp Thing transformed back into a human being and having to fight one last menace as an ordinary human; the series was cancelled and a blurb for an upcoming team-up with Hawkman led nowhere.
In 1982, DC Comics revived the Swamp Thing series, attempting to capitalize on the summer 1982 release of the Wes Craven film of the same name. A revival had been planned for 1978, but was a victim of the DC Implosion; the new series, called The Saga of the Swamp Thing, featured an adaptation of the Craven movie in its first annual. Now written by Martin Pasko, the book loosely picked up after the Swamp Thing's appearance in Challengers of the Unknown, with the character wandering around the swamps of Louisiana seen as an urban legend and feared by locals. Pasko's main arc depicted the Swamp Thing roaming the globe, trying to stop a young girl named Karen Clancy from destroying the world; when Pasko had to give up work on the title due to increasing television commitments, editor Len Wein assigned the title to British writer Alan Moore. When Karen Berger took over as editor, she gave Moore free rein to revamp the title and the character as he saw fit. Moore reconfigured the Swamp Thing's origin to make him a true monster as opposed to a human transformed into a monster.
In his first issue, he swept aside most of the supporting cast Pasko had introduced in his year-and-a-half run as writer and brought the Sunderland Corporation to the forefront, as they hunted the Swamp Thing and "killed" him in a hail of bullets. The subsequent investigation revealed that the Swamp Thing was not Alec Holland transformed into a plant, but a wholly plant-based entity created upon the death of Alec Holland, having somehow absorbed Holland's memory and personality into himself, he is described as "a plant that thought it was Alec Holland, a plant, trying its level best to be Alec Holland." This is explained as a result of the plant matter of the swamp absorbing Holland's serum, with the Swamp Thing's appearance being the plants' attempt to duplicate Holland's human form. This revelation resulted in the Swamp Thing suffering a temporary mental breakdown and identity crisis, but he reasserted himself in time to stop the latest scheme of the Floronic Man. Issue #32 was a strange twist of comedy and tragedy, as the Swamp Thing encounters Pogo, Walt Kelly's character.
Moore would reveal, in an attempt to connect the original one-off Swamp Thing story from House of Secrets to
Silver Age of Comic Books
The Silver Age of Comic Books was a period of artistic advancement and widespread commercial success in mainstream American comic books, predominantly those featuring the superhero archetype. Following the Golden Age of Comic Books and an interregnum in the early to mid-1950s, the Silver Age is considered to cover the period from 1956 to circa 1970, was succeeded by the Bronze and Modern Ages; the popularity and circulation of comic books about superheroes had declined following World War II, comic books about horror and romance took larger shares of the market. However, controversy arose over alleged links between comic books and juvenile delinquency, focusing in particular on crime and horror titles. In 1954, publishers implemented the Comics Code Authority to regulate comic content. In the wake of these changes, publishers began introducing superhero stories again, a change that began with the introduction of a new version of DC Comics' The Flash in Showcase #4. In response to strong demand, DC began publishing more superhero titles including Justice League of America, which prompted Marvel Comics to follow suit beginning with The Fantastic Four #1.
A number of important comics writers and artists contributed to the early part of the era, including writers Gardner Fox, John Broome, Robert Kanigher, artists Curt Swan, Jack Kirby, Gil Kane, Steve Ditko, Mike Sekowsky, Gene Colan, Carmine Infantino, John Buscema, John Romita, Sr. By the end of the Silver Age, a new generation of talent had entered the field, including writers Denny O'Neil, Gary Friedrich, Roy Thomas, Archie Goodwin, artists such as Neal Adams, Herb Trimpe, Jim Steranko, Barry Windsor-Smith. Silver Age comics have become collectible, with a copy of Amazing Fantasy #15, the debut of Spider-Man, selling for $1.1 million in 2011. Comics historian and movie producer Michael Uslan traces the origin of the "Silver Age" term to the letters column of Justice League of America #42, which went on sale December 9, 1965. Letter-writer Scott Taylor of Westport, wrote, "If you guys keep bringing back the heroes from the Golden Age, people 20 years from now will be calling this decade the Silver Sixties!"
According to Uslan, the natural hierarchy of gold-silver-bronze, as in Olympic medals, took hold. "Fans glommed onto this, refining it more directly into a Silver Age version of the Golden Age. Soon, it was in our vernacular, replacing such expressions as...'Second Heroic Age of Comics' or'The Modern Age' of comics. It wasn't long before dealers were... specifying it was a Golden Age comic for sale or a Silver Age comic for sale." Spanning World War II, when American comics provided cheap and disposable escapist entertainment that could be read and discarded by the troops, the Golden Age of comic books covered the late 1930s to the late 1940s. A number of major superheroes were created during this period, including Superman, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, Captain America. In subsequent years comics were blamed for a rise in juvenile crime statistics, although this rise was shown to be in direct proportion to population growth; when juvenile offenders admitted to reading comics, it was seized on as a common denominator.
The result was a decline in the comics industry. To address public concerns, in 1954 the Comics Code Authority was created to regulate and curb violence in comics, marking the start of a new era; the Silver Age began with the publication of DC Comics' Showcase #4, which introduced the modern version of the Flash. At the time, only three superheroes—Superman and Wonder Woman—were still published under their own titles. According to DC comics writer Will Jacobs, Superman was available in "great quantity, but little quality." Batman was doing better, but his comics were "lackluster" in comparison to his earlier "atmospheric adventures" of the 1940s, Wonder Woman, having lost her original writer and artist, was no longer "idiosyncratic" or "interesting." Jacobs describes the arrival of Showcase #4 on the newsstands as "begging to be bought," the cover featured an undulating film strip depicting the Flash running so fast that he had escaped from the frame. Editor Julius Schwartz, writer Gardner Fox, artist Carmine Infantino were some of the people behind the Flash's revitalization.
Robert Kanigher wrote the first stories of the revived Flash, John Broome was the writer of many of the earliest stories. With the success of Showcase #4, several other 1940s superheroes were reworked during Schwartz' tenure, including Green Lantern, the Atom, Hawkman, the Justice Society of America was reimagined as the Justice League of America; the DC artists responsible included Gil Kane and Joe Kubert. Only the characters' names remained the same. Schwartz, a lifelong science-fiction fan, was the inspiration for the re-imagined Green Lantern—the Golden Age character, railroad engineer Alan Scott, possessed a ring powered by a magical lantern, but his Silver Age replacement, test pilot Hal Jordan, had a ring powered by an alien battery and created by an intergalactic police force. In the mid-1960s, DC established that characters appearing in comics published prior to the Silver Age lived on a parallel Earth the company dubbed Earth-Two. Characters introduced in the Silver Age and onward lived on Earth-One.
The two realities were separated by a vib
Michael William Kaluta, sometimes credited as Mike Kaluta or Michael Wm. Kaluta, is an American comics artist and writer best known for his acclaimed 1970s adaptation of the pulp magazine hero, The Shadow with writer Dennis O'Neil. Born in Guatemala to U. S. citizens, Kaluta studied at the Richmond Professional Institute. Kaluta's early work included a three-page adventure story, "The Battle of Shiraz", in Charlton Comics Flash Gordon #18 and an adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs's Venus novels for DC Comics. Kaluta's influences and style are drawn from pulp illustrations of the 1930s and the turn of the century poster work of Alphonse Mucha – his signature motif is elaborate decorative panel designs – rather than the comic books of the Silver Age. Kaluta has worked with the superhero genre although one of his early contributions for DC was a "World of Krypton" backup story in Superman #240, his first cover for a comic book was House of Mystery #200. Associated during the 1970s with Bernie Wrightson and Jeffrey Jones, he contributed illustrations to Ted White's Fantastic and Amazing.
Kaluta co-created Eve in Secrets of Sinister House #6, a horror comics "host" character turned into a supporting character in The Sandman. He and writer Dennis O'Neil produced a comics adaptation of The Shadow for DC in 1973–1974. Comics historian Les Daniels noted that "Kaluta's style is an homage to Graves Gladney, master of the pulp magazine covers of the 1930s." Kaluta left the series after drawing five of the first six issues. Kaluta was one of the four comic book artists/fine illustrator/painters who formed the artists' commune The Studio in a loft in Manhattan's Chelsea district from 1975 to 1979. Aside from many comic books and covers Kaluta has done a wide variety of book illustrations. Kaluta drew the cover for the Madame Xanadu one-shot in 1981, DC's second direct sales only comic, he and writer Elaine Lee crafted Marvel Graphic Novel #13 "Starstruck: The Luckless, the Abandoned and Forsaked" which led to an ongoing series which ran for six issues. Kaluta and O'Neil reunited on The Shadow: 1941 – Hitler's Astrologer graphic novel published in 1988.
In 2006, Kaluta was one of the artists on the 1001 Nights of Snowfall graphic novel written by Bill Willingham. In 1984 he drew the illustrations for and directed the music video of "Don't Answer Me" by The Alan Parsons Project, which became one of the most requested videos of the year on the cable video channel MTV. Among music fans, Kaluta is known as the cover artist of Glenn Danzig's instrumental album Black Aria and for the interior illustration of Danzig's fourth album, the latter of which appeared in 1994 and 1995 as a pendant sold at Danzig concerts, on Danzig T-shirts and sweaters produced in the same period. Kaluta created the CD covers and interior booklet illustrations for Nativity in Black I and II, tribute albums to the music of Black Sabbath. Kaluta drew the cover art for the Bobby Pickett album The Original Monster Mash when it was reissued in 1973. Kaluta has worked for role-playing game companies such as White Wolf Publishing, he has done artwork for collectible card games companies, including a comic book for Wizards of the Coast's Magic: The Gathering and illustrating cards on Last Unicorn Games' Heresy: Kingdom Come.
In the early 1990s, he was active in Compuserve's Macintosh Gaming Forum, in the flight simulator enthusiast group which called itself VFA-13 Shadow Riders. He contributed a number of designs for airplane nose flight suit unit patches. Kaluta's work has won him a good deal of recognition, including the Shazam Award for Outstanding New Talent in 1971, the Inkpot Award in 1977, the 2003 Spectrum Award for Grand Master. Conan #22 The Shadow #1–2 The Shadow: In the Coils of Leviathan #1–4 Starstruck #1–4 Chaos War: Chaos King Conan the Barbarian #167 Conan the King King Conan #20–27, 31 Fearsome Four, miniseries, #1 Epic Illustrated #17, 21, 24, 25–26, 28 The Shadow 1941: Hitler's Astrologer, graphic novel Thor vol. 2 #57 Memorial #1–6 Rocketeer Adventure Magazine #1–2 Michael Wm. Kaluta Sketchbook 180 pages, Kitchen Sink Press, May 1998, ISBN 978-0878161157 Echoes Drawing of Michael Wm Kaluta 112 pages, Vanguard Productions, March 2007, ISBN 978-1887591133 Wings of Twilight: The Art of Michael Kaluta 80 pages, NBM Publishing, March 2001, ISBN 978-1561632763 The Michael Kaluta Treasury Glimmer Graphics, December 1988, ISBN 978-0962142109 Michael Wm. Kaluta: Sketchbook Series Volume 1 48 pages, IDW Publishing, April 2012, ISBN 978-1613771365 Volume 2 48 pages, IDW Publishing, August 2012, ISBN 978-1613773550 Volume 3 48 pages, IDW Publishing, December 2012, ISBN 978-1613775363 Volume 4 48 pages, IDW Publishing, May 2013, ISBN 978-1613776384 Michael Wm. Kaluta: The Big Book 304 pages, IDW Publishing, January 2014, ISBN 978-1613776827 Official website Michael Kaluta at the Comic Book DB Michael Kaluta at Mike's Amazing World of Comics "Michael Kaluta".
Pen & Paper RPG database. Archived from the original on December 25, 2008. Retrieved 2013-11-15; the Michael Kaluta Checklist Glimmer Graphics Michael Kaluta at the Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators
Tony DeZuniga was a Filipino comics artist and illustrator best known for his works for DC Comics. He co-created the fictional characters Black Orchid. DeZuniga was the first Filipino comic book artist whose work was accepted by American publishers, paving the way for many other Filipino artists to enter the international comic book industry. DeZuniga began his comics career at the age of 16, as a letterer for Liwayway, a Filipino weekly magazine whose contributors included comic book artists Alfredo Alcala and Nestor Redondo, who would become his mentors, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in commercial art from the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines. In 1962, he came to the United States to study graphic design in New York City, he returned to his native country to freelance for Filipino comics. When he returned to New York City in the late 1960s, DeZuniga entered the American comic book market under editor Joe Orlando at DC Comics, inking pencil art by Ric Estrada on a romance comics tale for Girl's Love Stories #153.
DeZuniga's U. S. debut as a penciler came with a self-inked horror story for House of Mystery #188. DeZuniga became a regular contributor at DC. With writer John Albano, he co-created the long-running western character Jonah Hex, with Sheldon Mayer the first Black Orchid. DeZuniga served as an introduction to what would be a 1970s influx of Filipino artists to American comics, prompting Orlando and DC publisher Carmine Infantino to visit the Philippines in 1971 to scout talent. Among the artists found there who would soon become mainstays of both DC and Marvel Comics were Alfredo Alcala, Alex Niño, Nestor Redondo, Gerry Talaoc. DeZuniga inked John Buscema's penciled artwork for MGM's Marvelous Wizard of Oz; this comics adaptation of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film was the first joint publishing venture between Marvel and DC Comics. DeZuniga relocated back to New York from the Philippines in 1977, he worked for industry leaders DC for 18 years. DeZuniga became a videogame conceptual designer, spending a decade with the United States and Japan divisions of Sega.
He did freelance work for McGraw Hill and the Scholastic Corporation, illustrated for TSR's Dungeons & Dragons game in books such as In Search of Dragons. In 1989, he illustrated The DragonLance Saga Book Three, written by Roy Thomas. Upon retirement, DeZuniga began to teach art, his work has been the subject of at least one gallery exhibition. He returned to Jonah Hex with Jonah Hex: No Way Back a graphic novel released to coincide with the Jonah Hex film. In April 2012, DeZuniga suffered a life-threatening stroke. Doctors were able to save him, but numerous complications arose. Both the Philippine and international comics community made an effort to raise funds for his treatment. During Free Comic Book Day on May 5, 2012, Filipino comic book artists banded together and launched a sketch drive, T-shirt sale and auction to help raise funds./>On May 11, 2012, at 1:25 a.m. DeZuniga died from the stroke having led to his heart failure; the doctors were unsuccessful. Accolades for DeZuniga started pouring in after his stroke before he died.
Fellow comic book creators such as Neal Adams praised him as they encouraged comic book aficionados over the world to help with DeZuniga's hospital expenses. After DeZuniga's death, Marvel Comics issued a statement in his memory stating "Tony DeZuniga stands as a historic figure in comics, a singular voice of his own making, his legacy will be seen and felt in the multitude of fans he leaves behind and the incredible body of work of which he remained justifiably proud to his final days." 1997 Sega Presidents Award for Excellence. 2011 Inkpot Award As most of his work at comics was an inker, except where noted: All New Adventures of the Mighty Crusaders #3 Blue Ribbon Comics #3, 6-7 Mighty Crusaders #4-7 Original Shield #1-2 MGM's Marvelous Wizard of Oz #1 Tony DeZuniga at the Comic Book DB "The Philippine Comics Art Museum: Tony DeZuniga". Archived from the original on January 3, 2011. Komikero Presents: Interview with Comics Illustrator Tony DeZuniga on YouTube Superheroes II - Art of Tony DeZuniga at Crucible Gallery, SM Megamall, Philippines on YouTube
Lee Elias was a British-American comics artist. He was best known for his work on the Black Cat comic book published by Harvey Comics in the 1940s. Emigrating to the United States from Manchester, when he was a boy, Elias studied art at the Cooper Union and the Art Students League of New York, he started working in comics in 1943 at Fiction House, where his work included features such as "Captain Wings" in Wing Comics, on which he succeeded Bob Lubbers, as well as the Western hero Firehair. After leaving Fiction House in 1946, he worked for several different comics companies, including Timely Comics, Hillman Periodicals and National/DC where he worked on such characters as the Flash, Tommy Tomorrow and Black Canary, he drew three issues of All Star Comics in 1947 and co-created the Fiddler and the original Star Sapphire with writer Robert Kanigher in All-Flash #32. It was Elias's work on Black Cat, a stuntwoman turned crimefighter, for Harvey, that stood out in this period; the series was praised by comics historian Trina Robbins for its "logical" and "straightforward" approach, in contrast to more fantasy-oriented titles like Wonder Woman.
Elias worked both as a penciler and an inker in this series, with an art style influenced by artists such as Milton Caniff and Noel Sickles. Elias worked for a period as Caniff's assistant, he used the same style for the comic book version of Terry and the Pirates, Caniff's classic comic strip in the same period. Lee Elias left comic books after the 1954 publication of Fredric Wertham's anti-comics book Seduction of the Innocent, which used four of his Black Cat panels as examples of "depraved" comic art. Elias' work on comic strips included a two-year stint as an assistant to Al Capp on Li'l Abner, his best known comic strip was Beyond Mars, which ran from 1952 to 1955 and was co-created by Elias and science fiction writer Jack Williamson. The strip was exclusive to the New York Daily News' Sunday paper in the United States but was syndicated in Europe and Australia, it was the last Sunday strip to be color-engraved by hand, according to comic strip historian Rick Marschall. Elias drew the "Green Arrow" backup feature in Adventure Comics and World's Finest Comics from 1959 to 1964.
He and writer Bob Haney co-created the supervillain Eclipso in House of Secrets #61. Elias only drew the first two appearances of the character and was succeeded on the feature by Alex Toth, his other work for DC in the 1960s included Adam Strange. From the mid-1960s to the early 1970s, Elias returned to his native England. In 1972, Elias came back to American comic books, working on DC's various horror titles and secondary Marvel Comics titles including Power Man and The Human Fly, his last major project was The Rook series for Warren Publishing, a black-and-white time travel series which played to his strengths as a Western and science fiction artist. With the cancellation of The Rook in 1982, Elias retired from comics, though he continued teaching at the School of Visual Arts and The Kubert School. Lee Elias at the Comic Book DB Lee Elias at Mike's Amazing World of Comics Lee Elias at the Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators Lee Elias obituary, The Comics Journal #204
James N. Aparo was an American comic book artist best known for his 1960s and 1970s DC Comics work, including on the characters Batman and the Spectre. Aparo was raised in New Britain and was self-trained as an artist, he attempted to enter the comic book profession in his early 20s, approaching EC Comics, which declined to hire him. He worked in the advertising industry in Connecticut drawing fashion illustrations for newspaper advertisements, he continued to pursue a career in comic strips while working in advertising. His first break in the comics field was with the comic strip Stern Wheeler, written by Ralph Kanna, published in 1963 in a Hartford, Connecticut newspaper for less than a year. In 1966, editor Dick Giordano at Charlton Comics hired him as a comic book artist, where his first assignment was a humorous character called "Miss Bikini Luv" in "Go-Go Comics." Over the next few years at Charlton, Aparo drew stories in many genres—Westerns, science fiction, horror and suspense. Most of his work was for standalone stories in anthology titles, but he drew the historical-adventure feature "Thane of Bagarth" in the comic book Hercules.
Aparo was one of the few artists in mainstream comics at that time to serve as penciller and letterer for all of his work. In the late 1960s, Dick Giordano left Charlton for an editorial position at DC Comics and offered Aparo a job drawing the Aquaman comic book. After an initial issue for which Aparo provided only pencil art, Aparo resumed producing pencils and letters for most issues of the series until its cancellation. Aparo continued for a time to provide art to Charlton for The Phantom, alternating between the two series month by month as both series were being released on a bimonthly basis at the time. Aparo resigned his assignment on The Phantom and worked exclusively for the remainder of his career for DC Comics. Aparo's next series assignment at DC was Phantom Stranger. After Aquaman was cancelled, the bimonthly frequency of Phantom Stranger was insufficient to fill his typical production rate of one page per day, so DC assigned him several short jobs such as mystery stories for House of Mystery and House of Secrets.
In 1971, Aparo was assigned a fill-in job as the artist for The Brave and the Bold #98. This series featured team-ups of DC's Batman with other characters, in this case, the Phantom Stranger; as the regular artist on the Phantom Stranger's own series, Aparo was considered an appropriate choice. Murray Boltinoff, the editor of The Brave and the Bold, soon assigned Aparo the regular artistic responsibilities for the series, which he continued until its cancellation with issue #200, missing only a few issues. Aparo "co-starred" as himself in The Brave and the Bold #124. During the more than 10 years as the artist for The Brave and the Bold, its bimonthly frequency permitted Aparo to do many other significant works for DC. In addition to numerous covers, he served as the regular artist for a notorious series starring a ruthless avenging ghost called the Spectre, which ran in Adventure Comics, which in 2005 was collected in a trade paperback edition, he provided art for a revival of Aquaman in both Adventure Comics and a continuation of the previously-cancelled Aquaman.
He was assigned the solo Batman series in Detective Comics as of issue #437 for a rather short time and drew occasional stories for anthology series. Aparo and writer Len Wein introduce Sterling Silversmith in Detective Comics #446, he drew The Untold Legend of the Batman, the first Batman miniseries in 1980, inking John Byrne's pencils in the first issue and providing full art for the second and third issues. Aparo was one of the artists on the double-sized Justice League of America #200; when The Brave and the Bold was cancelled in 1983, it was replaced with a series called Batman and the Outsiders, a superhero team led by Batman. This series, which Aparo co-created with writer Mike W. Barr, would be described by DC Comics writer and executive Paul Levitz as being "a team series more fashionable to 1980s audiences." The Masters of Disaster were among the supervillains created by Aparo for the series. It would run for several years, continuing with a Baxter paper spinoff titled The Outsiders that did not include Batman and introduced Looker.
For the final few issues, DC began to request that Aparo provide only pencils, a long and nearly unbroken string of Aparo inking and lettering his own work came to an end. Aparo's next major work consisted of pencils for Batman and Detective Comics, where his art was always inked by Mike DeCarlo. Aparo returned to the Batman title with issue #414 in collaboration with writer Jim Starlin. One of their first storylines for the title was "Ten Nights of The Beast" in issues #417 - 420 which introduced the KGBeast; the most notable product of this period remains "A Death in the Family", depicting the death of Jason Todd. The "A Lonely Place of Dying" storyline crossed over with The New Titans title and introduced Tim Drake as the new Robin. Aparo continued to draw Batman stories in Batman until the early 1990s. During this time he was the regular artist on Batman when Bane broke Bruce Wayne's back during the "KnightFall" storyline. In 1992, Aparo returned to do pencils and lettering for his Batman stories