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John Byrne
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Posted: 03 August 2012 at 9:56am | IP Logged | 1  

Terry Austin was burrowing thru some stacks of paper that had accumulated at his house (Oh, how I know THAT feeling!) and came across this memo, which he sent along to me.

I present it here for historical amusement. Several of the names were roughly scratched out with pen, and I have blacked them out to prevent accidental embarrassment to the people involved.

Time it was, and what a time it was. . .

Coincidentally, this memo was written just six days after I quit X-MEN.

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Matt Reed
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Posted: 03 August 2012 at 10:35am | IP Logged | 2  

Neat!  I never bought those calendars, so have no idea on who they actually settled upon to do the 12 pieces.  Contrary to the thinking of that correspondence, I would prefer all 12 to be done by different artists doing characters with whom they are not normally associated but can see the sales perspective of using just a few high profile artists and inkers to do the bulk of the work. 

Interesting note that John Buscema should only be used if he can be paired with Austin, Janson, Rubinstein, Layton or two others lost to time. He had other inkers that suited his style just fine!
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Stéphane Garrelie
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Posted: 03 August 2012 at 10:41am | IP Logged | 3  

Did we ever have some John Buscema / Terry Austin combo? None comes to my mind right now..

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Rick Senger
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Posted: 03 August 2012 at 10:42am | IP Logged | 4  

Yeah, I can think of a couple cases where Buscema worked with Janson, but almost none where he worked with the others (he worked with Austin back in the early days when Austin ghosted for Dick Giordano, but it was credited as Giordano.)  I can't even imagine what Buscema and Layton would look like...
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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 03 August 2012 at 10:44am | IP Logged | 5  

This memo feels eerie -- at first I missed that the letter refers only to the 1980 calendar. It reads like policy for catering to the direct sales market with comic books as well (until it gets to the part about calendars).

But I well remember the fever around Byrne shortly after this calendar came out. As a fan, I never knew how much or how little the popularity of an artist was felt back at the "home office". Pretty keenly, I guess.

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Stéphane Garrelie
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Posted: 03 August 2012 at 10:47am | IP Logged | 6  

Janson is not amongst my favorite inkers. I really liked him over JB on the short wolverine run, and i like him a lot over JRjr, but for me what comes to my mind first is the Daredevil work he did with Frank Miller and i wasn't a fan at all of that style, even if i more or less got used to it.
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Stéphane Garrelie
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Posted: 03 August 2012 at 10:48am | IP Logged | 7  

Bob Layton, for all is faults, is still my second favorite inker after Terry Austin.
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 03 August 2012 at 10:59am | IP Logged | 8  

 Stephane Garrelie wrote:
Janson is not amongst my favorite inkers...what comes to my mind first is the Daredevil work he did with Frank Miller and i wasn't a fan at all of that style, even if i more or less got used to it.

That's hard for me to imagine.  Honestly.  Much of what people love about Miller's DD work is a direct result of Janson's inking. It's a case of the two being inseperable for me.  As much as I've enjoyed his wife's work, I don't think anyone has ever "gotten" Miller as much as Janson did.
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Stéphane Garrelie
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Posted: 03 August 2012 at 11:12am | IP Logged | 9  

Well at the time i thought i didn't like Miller's art.. or stories. I liked Super-Villains and Miller was doing noir stories.... with a Villain that belonged to the Spider-Man books.
Actually Elektra is what made me like Daredevil again, but i still missed Daredevil's Villains gallery.
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Stéphane Garrelie
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Posted: 03 August 2012 at 11:26am | IP Logged | 10  

Visually what i liked on Daredevil was Gil Kane, Carmine Infantino or Gene Colan. Bob Brown was fine too. That Miller guy with that very different style? Not so much. Actualy i thought the art looked unfinished and not very beautiful.And somehow the pics seemed too small for a Super-Hero book., or at least they were giving me the feeling they were. Small and not enough detailled. the inks seemed rough.

Generally i like to have lot of pics on most of the pages, more pics, more story, that's not always true, but it often is.

On that book....at the time... not so much.


Edited by Stéphane Garrelie on 03 August 2012 at 11:42am
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William Roberge
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Posted: 03 August 2012 at 11:38am | IP Logged | 11  

The funny part, to me, is the line...

"If you have any questions, I'll be happy to come down and go over them with you."

I've actually used that line, it means: Get John Byrne!

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Peter Hicks
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Posted: 03 August 2012 at 11:43am | IP Logged | 12  

So, JB did you end up doing illustrations for this calendar?  Note although the subject line says 1980 calendar, the date is March 20, 1980, so they must be talking about the 1981 calendar.

Edit: here is a link to the 1979, 1980, and 1981 calendars:http://www.statuemarvels.com/f118/marvel-calendars -1979-1980-1981-complete-pics-3008.html

Try to name all 36 artists!!!

Names might have been stroked out on the draft list just because people were too busy on deadlines.  As I look at the newstand for Marvel in March 1980, familiar big name artists include George Perez, Keith Pollard, Rich Buckler, and Mike Zeck. 

 

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Lars Johansson
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Posted: 03 August 2012 at 11:45am | IP Logged | 13  

I like Janson a lot and his Daredevil in particular. On that Cadence paper it was correct what was there but why do they sell calendars or what it is?
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Dan Marcoux
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Posted: 03 August 2012 at 11:49am | IP Logged | 14  

Hmm... that was pretty much my list at time, too.  Plus George Perez.


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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 03 August 2012 at 11:54am | IP Logged | 15  

I think George was no longer with Marvel at that time, Dan.

 

Edited to note: Despite the memo saying "1980 Calendar," it seems clear by the date it was  written that 1981 calendar being discussed.



Edited by Matt Hawes on 03 August 2012 at 11:56am
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Pete York
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Posted: 03 August 2012 at 12:02pm | IP Logged | 16  

While I personally prefer FM's full pencils over Janson's finished art, the whole point of Miller on DD is the layouts and storytelling. To the degree that Janson had a hand in that, I'm not about to give him "much" of the credit for why I like it. 
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 03 August 2012 at 12:02pm | IP Logged | 17  

YOW! I was curious to see what the 1981 calendar would go for on eBay, and somebody is asking just under $100 for it!!

Looking at completed auctions, though, I see they commonly sell for around $15 - $30 range.

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Matt Reed
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Posted: 03 August 2012 at 12:10pm | IP Logged | 18  

 Pete York wrote:
 the whole point of Miller on DD is the layouts and storytelling. To the degree that Janson had a hand in that, I'm not about to give him "much" of the credit for why I like it.

Different strokes.  It's been my experience, so take it for what you will, that people think of Janson as more of an afterthought with regard to his work with Miller on DD.  Miller did all the heavy lifting and Janson just traced it.  I've seen Miller's pencils before Janson's inks and that notion couldn't be further from the truth.  Janson gave Miller's work the atmosphere and moodiness that carried their run for me. YMMV.
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Stephen Churay
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Posted: 03 August 2012 at 12:17pm | IP Logged | 19  

I get the impression from the memo, that the great artist that was John
Buscema was being a bit hung out to dry. Sort of a "His stuff only cuts
it for today's audience if one of these inkers makes him look good." If
that's the case it's makes me sad.
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Dan Marcoux
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Posted: 03 August 2012 at 12:26pm | IP Logged | 20  

I think George was no longer with Marvel at that time, Dan.

--

Agreed.  I was just saying if a book had any of those names attached to it, regardless of whether it was Marvel, DC, or whatever, it went on my "want" list.  (Which is how I ended up with a Batman mini-series in my, at the time, mostly Marvel collection.  And a DC Comics Presents with Superman and Green Lantern....)


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Peter Hicks
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Posted: 03 August 2012 at 12:32pm | IP Logged | 21  

But isn't the Avengers artwork for August 1981 a George Perez piece?
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Wallace Sellars
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Posted: 03 August 2012 at 12:38pm | IP Logged | 22  

What a peek behind the curtain! Thanks for sharing, JB.
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 03 August 2012 at 12:39pm | IP Logged | 23  

Yeah, it does look like Perez. Hm, I wonder if that was one of the last things he did for Marvel before going to DC to work on "The New Teen Titans" and "Justice League of America"?
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 03 August 2012 at 12:39pm | IP Logged | 24  

JB, do you remember seeing this back in the day?
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Brennan Voboril
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Posted: 03 August 2012 at 12:44pm | IP Logged | 25  

Buscema always looked best when he inked himself.  Hands down. 
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