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Encyclopedia > John Buscema

John Buscema, true name Giovanni Natale Buscema (December 11, 1927January 10, 2002) was an American comic book artist and one of the mainstays of Marvel Comics in its 1960s and 1970s heyday. His brother Sal Buscema is also a comic book artist. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2437x3543, 765 KB)[edit] Summary Illustration taken from Savage Sword of Conan #17, 1976 - Marvel Comics Group - Conan character is a copyright of Conan Properties [edit] Licensing This image is a single panel from a comic strip or the interior of... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2437x3543, 765 KB)[edit] Summary Illustration taken from Savage Sword of Conan #17, 1976 - Marvel Comics Group - Conan character is a copyright of Conan Properties [edit] Licensing This image is a single panel from a comic strip or the interior of... December 11 is the 345th day (346th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1927 (MCMXXVII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... January 10 is the 10th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ... A comic book is a magazine or book containing the art form of comics. ... Look up artist in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Marvel Comics is an American comic book line published by Marvel Entertainment, Inc. ... The 1960s decade refers to the years from 1960 to 1969, inclusive. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... Cover to Avengers Annual #17. ...


Buscema's first hit was his run on The Avengers (beginning in 1966, with writer Roy Thomas), and after that pencilled at least one issue of nearly every major Marvel title (notable exceptions being Iron Man and X-Men, although he worked on some X-Men spinoff titles). In particular, he stepped into the breach when Jack Kirby left the company in 1970, helping it weather the loss much better than it may have otherwise. The Avengers are a superhero team, consisting of many of Marvel Comics most popular heroes. ... 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1966 calendar). ... Roy Thomas (born November 22, 1940, Missouri, United States) is a comic book writer and editor, and Stan Lees first successor as editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics. ... Iron Man (Anthony Edward Tony Stark) is a fictional superhero in the Marvel Comics universe. ... The X-Men are a group of comic book superheroes featured in Marvel Comics. ... Jack Kirby (August 28, 1917 – February 6, 1994) was one of the most influential, recognizable, and prolific artists in American comic books. ... 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1970 calendar). ...


Among the best-known work of Buscema are stints on The Avengers (both in the 1960s and a long 1980s run with writer Roger Stern); Fantastic Four (with Thomas and writer Gerry Conway); Thor (with Conway); Silver Surfer (with Stan Lee); and a lengthy run on Conan the Barbarian (with Thomas). This last he often named as his favourite, as ironically enough he disliked superhero stories. That may explain why his only work on a syndicated comic strip was on the strip of the same name in 1977 and 1978. In 1988 he, along with writer Chris Claremont, debuted the first regular Wolverine series. During his stint on Wolverine the series eschewed many superhero elements in favor noir fiction elements. The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... The Hobgoblin character co-created by Stern. ... The Fantastic Four is Marvel Comics flagship comic book superhero team, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and debuting in The Fantastic Four #1 (Nov. ... Gerard F. Gerry Conway (September 10, 1952 - ) is an American writer of comic books and television shows. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this comics-related article or section may require cleanup. ... The Silver Surfer is a Marvel Comics superhero. ... Stan Lee at the 1973 San Diego comic con Stan The Man Lee (born Stanley Martin Lieber on December 28, 1922, New York, New York) is an American writer, editor, Chairman Emeritus of Marvel Comics and memoirist, who — with several artist co-creators, especially Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko — introduced... Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Conan the Barbarian Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet. ... Batman and Superman, two of the most recognizable and iconic superheroes. ... This article is about the comic strip, the sequential art form as published in newspapers and on the Internet. ... 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Chris Claremont (born November 30, 1950 in London, England, United Kingdom) is a comic book writer, best known for his 16-year (1976-1991) stint on Uncanny X-Men, during which the series became one of the comic book industrys most successful properties. ... Wolverine, born James Howlett but more commonly known as Logan, is a fictional Marvel Comics superhero and a member of several teams, including the X-Men and the New Avengers. ... Hardboiled crime fiction is a uniquely American style pioneered by Dashiell Hammett, refined by Raymond Chandler, and endlessly imitated since by writers such as Mickey Spillane. ...

Contents

Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (553x800, 133 KB)Avengers #58 1968, Marvel Comics Group [edit] Licensing This image is of the cover of a single issue of a comic book, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by either the publisher of the comic... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (553x800, 133 KB)Avengers #58 1968, Marvel Comics Group [edit] Licensing This image is of the cover of a single issue of a comic book, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by either the publisher of the comic...

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Career

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Early years

Buscema in Brooklyn, New York. He showed an interest in drawing at an early age, copying comic strips such as Popeye. In his teens he had an interest in superhero comic books as well as appreciating the classic adventure strips, notably Hal Foster and Burne Hogarth's Tarzan and Prince Valiant, Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon, Milton Caniff's Terry and the Pirates. He also had an interest in the illustrators of the period such as Dean Cornwell, Colby Whitmore, Al Dorne and Robert Fawcett. His artistic interests extended to the fine arts, copying works from Italian Renaissance artists in particular. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (652x916, 142 KB)[edit] Summary Love Diary #39, 1954, Our Publishing [edit] Licensing This image is a single panel from a comic strip or the interior of a single issue of a comic book and the copyright for it is most... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (652x916, 142 KB)[edit] Summary Love Diary #39, 1954, Our Publishing [edit] Licensing This image is a single panel from a comic strip or the interior of a single issue of a comic book and the copyright for it is most... Harold Rudolph Foster (August 18, 1892 in Halifax, Nova Scotia - July 25, 1982) created the comic Prince Valiant. ... Burne Hogarth (December 25, 1911 - January 28, 1996) was an American cartoonist, illustrator, educator, and author, and theoretician. ... Prince Valiant in the Days of King Arthur, or simply Prince Valiant, is a comic strip created by Hal Foster. ... Alex Raymond (October 2, 1909- September 6, 1956) was an American comic strip artist, best known for his work on Flash Gordon. ... Flash Gordon is a science fiction comic strip originally drawn by Alex Raymond, first published on January 7, 1934. ... Milton Arthur Paul Caniff (February 28, 1907-May 3, 1988) was an American cartoonist most famous for Terry and the Pirates. ... Robert Fawcett (1903-1967) trained as a fine artist, but achieved fame as an illustrator. ...


Buscema graduated from Manhattan’s High school of Music and Art. He also took night lessons at the Pratt Institutes well as life drawing classes at the Brooklyn Museum. While training as a boxer, he began painting portraits of boxers and sold some cartoons to the Hobo News. With this fairly modest art training, Buscema endeavoured to seek work as a commercial illustrator while doing various odd jobs. Lacking in experience to crack the commercial art market at the time, he eventually took a look at the comic book field, thinking it an easier field which would enable him to eventually get more schooling in order to become a commercial illustrator. In 1948, he got his foot in the door by landing a staff job with Stan Lee at the Timely Comics bullpen (with artists such as Syd Shores, Carl Burgos and Mike Sekowsky. Gene Colan had been hired two weeks earlier). The Pratt Institute is a specialized, private college in New York City with campuses in Manhattan and Brooklyn. ... The Brooklyn Museum, located at 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, New York, is the second largest art museum in New York City, and one of the largest in the United States. ... Stan Lee at the 1973 San Diego comic con Stan The Man Lee (born Stanley Martin Lieber on December 28, 1922, New York, New York) is an American writer, editor, Chairman Emeritus of Marvel Comics and memoirist, who — with several artist co-creators, especially Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko — introduced... Timely Comics is the 1940s comic book publishing company that would evolve into Marvel Comics. ... Syd Shores (born 1916, died March 6, 1973) is an American comic book artist known for his work on Captain America in both during the 1940s Golden Age of comic books and the 1960s Silver Age. ... Gene Colan (born September 1, 1926) is an American comic book illustrator who sometimes worked under the name Adam Austin. ...


Buscema spent a year in a half as the youngest artist in the Timely bullpen (until it was dissolved) with a steady diet of crime, romance and western (end even western-romance) stories. An early highlight is his work on the Tex Morgan title (#4-7). His work during this period is clearly novice quality, although not without signs of strong draftsmanship.

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1950s

In the early 1950s Buscema (with a brief stint in the army in 1951, with a honorable discharge due to ulcer, after which he married in 1953) continued to work freelance for Timely/Atlas as well as branching out to other publishers (Ace, Hillman, Orbit, Quality, St. John, Ziff-Davis), continuing in the crime, romance, western vein. Highlights of the period can be found especially with Our Publications/Orbit on such titles as Love Diary (#31-39, including all covers), Love Journal (#14-22 with most covers), Wanted Comics (#47-53 including most covers) and the Westerner (#28-29, 31, 33-37, 40), featuring Nuggets Nugent, Wild Bill Pecos and Lobo the Wolf Boy. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (557x787, 141 KB)[edit] Summary Four Colour #1006, Hercules, Western Publishing 1959 [edit] Licensing This image is a sequence of panels from a comic strip or the interior of a single issue of a comic book and the copyright for it... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (557x787, 141 KB)[edit] Summary Four Colour #1006, Hercules, Western Publishing 1959 [edit] Licensing This image is a sequence of panels from a comic strip or the interior of a single issue of a comic book and the copyright for it...


Buscema's Atlas work drops off as the comic industry shrinks after the early 1950s. It is a credit to his talent that he manages to continue working in comics for the better part of the decade, landing steady work mainly with Western/Dell. Of note for this period is his work on Roy Rogers Comics (starting in 1954 with a long run of stories, #74-97 and 104-108). AC Comics have reprinted a number of those stories and describe Buscema as the best Roy Rogers artist. Moreover, in 1956, he squeezes in a brief first superhero effort on Charlton's Nature Boy (#3-4).


His work up to the mid-1950s shows solid draftsmanship, but compared to the top golden age artists of EC and DC, it perhaps lacks the impact and flair of the best of those, possibly because he didn’t necessarily have a passion for the comic book medium per se, as was the case with many other top golden age artists. Nonetheless, Buscema next produces some of his finest work of the decade with a series of western, war, and sword and sandal film adaptations for the Four Color title. The peplum genre is especially suited to his style and could be considered a good preparation for his later work on Conan. The trademark Buscema power, grace, finesse and energy of his later work is very much apparent in these, although in a more subdued way. (Below are the Four Colour issues with Buscema artwork.)

684 Mar 1956 (Helen of Troy, 34 pages), Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (505x750, 239 KB)[edit] Summary Strange Worlds #3, 1958, Marvel Comics Group [edit] Licensing This image is a sequence of panels from a comic strip or the interior of a single issue of a comic book and the copyright for it... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (505x750, 239 KB)[edit] Summary Strange Worlds #3, 1958, Marvel Comics Group [edit] Licensing This image is a sequence of panels from a comic strip or the interior of a single issue of a comic book and the copyright for it...


762 Jan 1957 (The Sharkfighters, 34 pages),


775 Mar 1957 (Sir Lancelot and Brian, 34 pages),


794 Apr 1957 (The Count of Monte Cristo, 35 pages),


910 Jun 1958 (The Vikings”, 34 pages),


927 (Luke Short’s Top Gun, 35 pages),


944 Sep 1958 (The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, 33 pages),


1006 Jul 1959 (Hercules, 34 pages),


1077 (The Deputy, 34 pages),


1130 (The Deputy, 35 pages),


1139 Nov 1960 (Spartacus, 10 pages plus 22 pages pencils, Mike Peppe inks).


also from Dell Comics: Life Stories of American Presidents (1957)

Buscema's work for Western dried up in the late 1950s as the industry takes a nosedive (his work on Indian Chief #30-33 is notable later work). He manages to hang on a little while with mystery, fantasy, and science-fiction stories for Atlas (Tales to Astonish, Tales of Suspense, Strange Worlds) and ACG (Adventures into the Unknown, Forbidden Worlds.) before seeking work in other fields. It is again a credit to Buscema's talent that he landed a freelance position at the Chaite Agency, an important New York commercial art studio, which employed top commercial artists such as Bob Peak and Frank MacCarthy. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (829x1181, 257 KB)[edit] Summary Slave, Eric Corder, Pocket Books, early 60s [edit] Licensing This image is of a book cover, and the copyright for it is most likely owned either by the artist who created the cover or the... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (829x1181, 257 KB)[edit] Summary Slave, Eric Corder, Pocket Books, early 60s [edit] Licensing This image is of a book cover, and the copyright for it is most likely owned either by the artist who created the cover or the...


One could characterize Buscema 1950s work as a period of gradual constant improvement; his work was continuing to improve as he left the field, which is somewhat different from other of his contemporaries (such as Williamson, Frazetta, Wood, Drucker, Toth, Heck, Ditko) who often experienced an earlier youthful artistic peak period.

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1960s

Buscema spent around eight years in the commercial art field associated with the Chaite and Triad studios, doing a variety of assignments: layouts, storyboards, illustrations, paperback covers, etc. in a variety of medium. Not much is known about his work from this period, but judging from the samples shown in the John Buscema Sketchbook (Vanguard Productions) it is of high quality, even by the top commercial art standards. According to Buscema: Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (488x722, 104 KB)[edit] Summary Silver Surfer #4, Marvel Comics Group, 1968 [edit] Licensing This image is of the cover of a single issue of a comic book, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by either the publisher... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (488x722, 104 KB)[edit] Summary Silver Surfer #4, Marvel Comics Group, 1968 [edit] Licensing This image is of the cover of a single issue of a comic book, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by either the publisher...

   
John Buscema
...it was quite a learning period for me in my own development of techniques.
   
John Buscema

He gained a greater academic technique such as can be found in the Famous Illustrators correspondence course books (which features Buscema favourites Al Dorne, Robert Fawcett and Harold Von Schmidt, among others) an influence that can later be seen in his 'How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way' book. Image File history File links Cquote1. ... Image File history File links Cquote2. ... Image File history File links SilverSurfer3. ... Image File history File links SilverSurfer3. ...


Buscema returned to the comic book field in 1966 (he accepted an offer from Stan Lee which allowed him to cut down on his extensive commuting time) as a penciller of superhero adventures with Marvel Comics. He started with an episode of Nick Fury and three Hulk stories before settling in as the regular penciller on the Avengers with #41. Highlights of that early period are Avengers #49-50, featuring Hercules, that he inked as well. Marvel Comics is an American comic book line published by Marvel Entertainment, Inc. ... Nicholas Joseph Nick Fury is a fictional World War II army hero and present-day superspy in the Marvel Comics universe Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Fury first appeared in #1 (May 1963), a combat series that portrayed the cigar-chomping Fury as leader of an elite U...

Buscema's return showed the benefits of his added illustration experience, although his style was not quite in sync with the dynamic dramatics being featured at Marvel. The catalyzing influence of Jack Kirby enters the picture as Buscema's illustrative style begins to display more powerful storytelling, design, composition, drama, action and overall impact. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (536x787, 142 KB)Sub-Mariner #6, Marvel Comics Group 1968 [edit] Licensing This image is a sequence of panels from a comic strip or the interior of a single issue of a comic book and the copyright for it is most... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (536x787, 142 KB)Sub-Mariner #6, Marvel Comics Group 1968 [edit] Licensing This image is a sequence of panels from a comic strip or the interior of a single issue of a comic book and the copyright for it is most... Jack Kirby (August 28, 1917 – February 6, 1994) was one of the most influential, recognizable, and prolific artists in American comic books. ...


Roughly coinciding with arrival of inker George Klein on Avengers (#55), not to mention the counter-culture explosion, Buscema's artwork virtually explodes as he experiences something of an artistic flowering. He produces powerful tight and clean finished pencils for an average of two books a month in collaboration with fine inkers such as Klein, Frank Giacoia, Dan Adkins, Joe Sinnott, Sal Buscema, Tom Palmer, and John Verpoorten on Avengers, Namor, the Sub-Mariner, Silver Surfer and others. All in all, it's a creative surge of roughly three years duration, where Buscema produces some of the medium's finest illustrative storytelling. Frank Giacoia (1925-1989) is an American comic book artist who sometimes worked under the name Frank Ray and to a lesser extent Phil Zupa and the single moniker Espoia. ... Joe Sinnott (born October 16, 1926, Saugerties, New York, United States) is an American comic book artist. ... Cover to Avengers Annual #17. ... Tom Palmer is the name of several notable individuals, including: Tom G. Palmer, senior fellow at the Cato Institute who holds a D.Phil. ... Namor the Sub-Mariner is a fictional character featured in Marvel Comics, and one of the oldest superhero characters. ... The Silver Surfer is a Marvel Comics superhero. ...

Buscema pencilled Avengers until #62 (including the classic introduction of the Vision in #57-58 and several classic covers) while swimmingly pencilling the first eight issues of Sub-Mariner', which he left to swing over to Amazing Spider-Man for 10 issues (with Jim Mooney and John Romita's inks) and launched another new title, Silver Surfer. Buscema's pencils on the first 17 of 18 issues are considered classic and stands as a high-water mark in his career. Issues #3 (which introduces Mephisto), 4 and 5 are often singled out as highlights although the first seven issues (which were double-sized) are all outstanding, with the next seven also being of remarkable quality. Issue #4 in particular (where the Surfer battles Thor) is a Buscema landmark (with a classic cover) and is thought to be an attempt by Buscema to break away from the Kirby aesthetic and establish a monumentally sprawling, powerful style in his own right, with a more open page design and a more medieval, gothic approach to fantasy; with stunning results. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (541x791, 188 KB)[edit] Summary Avengers #75, 1970, Marvel Comics Group [edit] Licensing This image is a sequence of panels from a comic strip or the interior of a single issue of a comic book and the copyright for it is... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (541x791, 188 KB)[edit] Summary Avengers #75, 1970, Marvel Comics Group [edit] Licensing This image is a sequence of panels from a comic strip or the interior of a single issue of a comic book and the copyright for it is... The Vision is an android superhero in the Marvel Comics universe. ... Jim Mooney (born 1919) is an American comic book artist best known as a Marvel Comics inker and Spider-Man artist, and as the signature artist of DC Comics Silver Age Supergirl. ... John Romita, Sr. ...


Aside from a few well-regarded fill-ins (Captain America #115, Captain Marvel #18, Sub-Mariner #s 20 and 24) Buscema returned to familiar 1950s genres with a spate of mystery and romance stories (for Chamber of Darkness, Tower of Shadows, My Love, Our Love) and made a return to Avengers (with inks by Palmer) for 11 issues. Captain America, the alter ego of Steve Rogers (in some accounts Steven Rogers), is a fictional superhero in the Marvel Comics Universe. ...

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1970s

With Jack Kirby's departure from Marvel in 1970, Buscema was called in to replace him on both of his flagship titles for some lengthy runs: Fantastic Four (#107-141, inks by SInnott) and The Mighty Thor (#182-259, with various inkers including Sinnott, Colletta, DeZuniga, and others (such as Verpoorten on the notable #200) thus cementing his status as the pre-eminent superhero penciller of that era. Ironically, Buscema claimed to have a nearly complete disinterest for superheroes, although this never showed in his work. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (560x827, 114 KB)[edit] Summary From Marvel Treasury Edition #19, 1978 - Marvel Comics Group Conan character copyright Conan Properties [edit] Licensing This image is a single panel from a comic strip or the interior of a single issue of a comic... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (560x827, 114 KB)[edit] Summary From Marvel Treasury Edition #19, 1978 - Marvel Comics Group Conan character copyright Conan Properties [edit] Licensing This image is a single panel from a comic strip or the interior of a single issue of a comic...


For various professional and commercial reasons, his style becomes more streamlined and less elaborate in the mid-1970s, as his artwork displays a more direct Kirby influence (To the regret of many a Buscema fan). Nonetheless, Buscema was a veritable artistic juggernaut throughout that decade and is probably overall the most prolific, visible, and in demand artist of the 1970s.


Buscema began his distinguished run with writer Roy Thomas on Conan the Barbarian in 1973 with #25 following Barry Smith’s celebrated run. He debuts a second Conan series in double-sized black and white magazine format Savage Sword of Conan in 1974. With Buscema at the drawing board, Conan became a successful mini-franchise in its own right, with Buscema contributing to over a 100 issues of each title (Conan the Barbarian #25-190, Savage Sword #1-101, 190-210), one of the most prolific runs for an artist on a single character. He makes a brief foray into syndicated strips as he premieres the Conan Sunday and daily newspaper strip in 1978 and even contributed some storyboard illustrations for the Conan movie as well as painting four covers for the Conan magazines. Roy Thomas (born November 22, 1940, Missouri, United States) is a comic book writer and editor, and Stan Lees first successor as editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics. ... Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Conan the Barbarian Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet. ... Several notable people are named Barry Smith: Barry Smith, an ontologist at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York Barry Windsor-Smith, a comics artist Barry Thomas Smith, a comics artist Barry Smith (musician) Barry Smith, preacher from New Zealand Barry Smith (AKA Barry Seven), former member...


Ernie Chua/Chan was his main inker on Conan the Barbarian in the 1970s, (except for a hiatus between #’s 44-69 which were inked by Tony DeZuniga, Dick Giordano, Tom Palmer, Steve Gan and others). Buscema’s work on the title consistently improved and developed producing some remarkably dynamic and powerful artwork and storytelling reaching a peak of sorts with issue #100 (which concludes the adaptation of Robert E. Howard’s Queen of the Black Coast) or perhaps with #115 (featuring Red Sonja) which marked the departure of Roy Thomas. Ernesto Ernie Chan is a Filipino comic book artist. ... Robert E. Howard Robert Ervin Howard (January 22, 1906 – June 11, 1936) was a writer of fantasy and historical adventure pulp stories published mainly in Weird Tales magazine in the 1930s. ... Red Sonja as drawn by Esteban Maroto and Neal Adams for her first solo story in The Savage Sword of Conan #1. ...

Alfredo Alcala was his regular inker on Savage Sword of Conan until #24 and they produced some highly regarded stories. Of note are "Iron Shadows in the Moon" (#4), "The Slithering Shadow" (#20), "The Tower of the Elephant" (#24,). Tony DeZuniga became Buscema' regular inker with #26 (he also inked the highly regarded "A Witch Shall Be Born", #5) producing some outstanding Conan literary adaptations, bringing that title to a peak of sorts which ended more or less with the departure of DeZuniga with #58. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (631x945, 149 KB)[edit] Summary Conan the Barbarian #96, 1979, Marvel Comics Group Conan character copyright Conan properties [edit] Licensing This image is of the cover of a single issue of a comic book, and the copyright for it is most... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (631x945, 149 KB)[edit] Summary Conan the Barbarian #96, 1979, Marvel Comics Group Conan character copyright Conan properties [edit] Licensing This image is of the cover of a single issue of a comic book, and the copyright for it is most... [edit] EARLY LIFE Alfredo P. Alcala (August 23, 1925 – April 8, 2000) was a Filipino comic book artist. ...


Buscema's pencils on Conan in the 1970s are some his finest work as he developed a new heroic adventure story style with the Sword and Sorcery genre producing stories which are a high-water mark in terms of comic book action, movement, power, expression, mood, and dynamics.


At some point in the mid 1970s, Buscema's productivity increased (to the chagrin of many Buscema fans) by opting to pencil mainly layouts (pencilled pages without the shading and rendering) as opposed to finished pencils. For about ten years, he would produce on average a 3-4 books worth of pencils a month.


Due to his speed and versatility, on top of his regular assignments he would be called on to pencil fill-in jobs on numerous different titles : Captain America, Captain Britain (Marvel UK), Daredevil, Frankenstein Monster, Sub-Mariner and Doctor Doom (in Giant-Size Super villain Team Up), Howard the Duck, the Warriors Three (in Marvel Spotlight), 'the Thing and Spider-Woman (in Marvel Two-in-One), Master of Kung Fu, Red Sonja, the Golem (in Strange Tales), Warlock, as well as a science-fiction stories in Worlds Unknown and many covers for a variety of titles. Captain Britain (Brian Braddock), also briefly known as Britannic, is a Marvel Comics superhero. ... For people who perform risky stunts as a profession, see stunt performer. ... Doctor Doom, real name Victor von Doom, is a Marvel Comics supervillain. ... Howard the Duck is a comic book fictional character created by Steve Gerber for Marvel Comics and featured in several comic book series of the same name about the misadventures of an ill-tempered humanoid duck trapped in a human dominated world. ... Marvel Two-In-One Annual #2, 1977. ...


He also contributed to Marvel's black and white magazines including the first issues of Rampaging Hulk (Bloodstone), Savage Tales (Ka-Zar) and Doc Savage as well as various issues of Dracula Lives!, Haunt of Horror (digest magazine, illustrations), Monsters Unleashed (Frankenstein), Tales of the Zombie (Simon Garth), and Tomb of Dracula. He even did some fine Mad-style humour work in Crazy and Pizzaz. Doc Savage is a fictional character, one of the most enduring pulp heroes of the 1930s and 1940s. ...


He was also called on to launch several new titles, i.e. Amazing Adventures (Black Widow, 1970), Nova (1976), Ms. Marvel (1977) and She-Hulk (early 1980).

Buscema left the Thor title (although will return for issues #272-285, inks by Palmer and Stone) to launch the Marvel version of Tarzan in 1977. Having already done 13 issues of the Jungle-oriented Kazar (in Astonishing Tales and Savage Tales) his fine version of the Burroughs icon in the first three issues (which he pencilled and inked along with several covers) compares favorably with the great Tarzan artists in comic strips, comic books, and illustration, although he switches to only layouts for the rest of his 18-issue stint with many changes in inkers, giving mixed results. Of note is his Tarzan Annual #1 with Steve Gan inks. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (400x624, 83 KB)[edit] Summary Tarzan Annual #1, Marvel comics Group 1977 [edit] Licensing This image is of the cover of a single issue of a comic book, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by either the publisher... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (400x624, 83 KB)[edit] Summary Tarzan Annual #1, Marvel comics Group 1977 [edit] Licensing This image is of the cover of a single issue of a comic book, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by either the publisher...


Other licensed projects Buscema tackled include a 72-page Wizard of Oz movie adaptation in Treasury Edition format with DeZuniga's inks. Apparently Buscema, having something of a photographic memory, was able to draw the entire book without reference except for character photos, based on his recollection of a viewing 25 years prior. He even drew Star Trek, as well as Holo Man (both for Power records), and some Star Wars covers for the UK magazine. He also contributed some superhero drawings for Pro, the NFL official magazine (1970) and even pencilled some chapters for the first issue of Marvel Comics Super Special Magazine featuring the rock group Kiss (1977). See: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum The Wizard of Oz (1939 movie) starring Judy Garland The Wizard of Oz (stage) Stage versions starting in 1903 The Wizard of Oz (animated series) The Wizard of Oz (game) The Wizard of Oz (movie) Various film versions See also... KISS is an American glam rock/heavy metal/hard rock band formed in New York City in 1973. ...

1978 saw the publication of How to Draw comics the Marvel Way (Simon & Shuster, 1978). Written with Stan Lee, this influential rock-solid primer on drawing and comic book storytelling fundamentals was based on the comic art classes Buscema had given a few years prior and is probably the best-selling book of its kind, still in print to this day. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1752x1179, 296 KB)[edit] Summary Marvel Comics Super Special No. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1752x1179, 296 KB)[edit] Summary Marvel Comics Super Special No. ...


An interview and many fine sketches and drawings appeared in the Art of John Buscema the same year (with a superb cover which was also sold as a poster). Buscema's passion for drawing was such that he continued to draw and sketch in his spare time (often on the back of comic book art pages) and these images form a considerable body of work in their own right.


Buscema capped off a remarkably fruitful decade with some inspired finished pencils for Weirdworld/Warriors of the Shadow Realm, a Tolkien-style project in Marvel Comics Super Special Magazine #11-13 (although the ornately detailed pencils were somewhat obscured by the inking and coloring). A six-plate portfolio was released by Pacific Distribution). J. R. R. Tolkien in 1916, wearing his British Army uniform in a photograph from the middle years of WW1. ...

[edit]

1980s

Buscema carried his whirlwind momentum into the 1980s. Despite the departure of key Buscema collaborators writer Roy Thomas and inker Tony Dezuniga, the Conan franchise continued to prosper. He does an excellent 6-plate Conan portfolio released by Sal Q. Productions in 1980 and the popular Thomas, Buscema, Chan trio launched a third Conan title, the double-sized bi-monthly King Conan in 1980) as Buscema abandoned regular superhero work in order to spearhead art duties on all 3 Conan titles. The popularity of the character spurred the release of a Conan movie in 1982; Buscema provided superb pencils and inks for a 48-page movie adaptation. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1704x2362, 442 KB)[edit] Summary From the World Famous Comic Book Artists Portfolio by Editions Deesse in 1983. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1704x2362, 442 KB)[edit] Summary From the World Famous Comic Book Artists Portfolio by Editions Deesse in 1983. ...


He continued to tackle other high-profile projects such as the second Superman and Spiderman team-up (1981, Sinnott inks), a Silver Surfer story for the first issue of Epic Illustrated (1980, inks by Rudy Nebres), a fine King Arthur story (Marvel Preview #22, 1980, Palmer's inks), a movie adaptation of Raiders of the Lost Ark, 1981, inks by Klaus Janson, and a sensitive rendition of the life of St. Francis of Assisi (Francis, Brother of the Universe, Marie Severin's inks, 1980). Epic Illustrated was a bi-monthly large format anthology series published by Marvel Comics for 34 issues between 1980-1986. ... Klaus Janson is an American comic book artist, working primarily for Marvel Comics and DC Comics. ...

The Conan franchise eventually began to struggle editorially, however (no regular inker was found to follow DeZuniga, although Nebres provided excellent occasional jobs and even Nestor Redondo did an issue, Savage Sword #90) as Buscema became increasingly disenchanted with the writing on Conan and will gradually drop all Conan work altogether. He left King Conan in 1982 after 9 issues although he remained with the Howard franchise with a revival of the Kull series for 10 issues. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (816x1181, 242 KB)[edit] Summary Francis, Brother of the universe, 1980, Marvel Comics, Franciscan Communications Office of New York, Marie Severin inks. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (816x1181, 242 KB)[edit] Summary Francis, Brother of the universe, 1980, Marvel Comics, Franciscan Communications Office of New York, Marie Severin inks. ... A complete edition of Kulls stories from 1995 Kull of Atlantis or Kull the Conqueror is a fictional character created by Robert E. Howard. ...


His post-Thomas work on Savage Sword of Conan was done mainly with Ernie Chan as inker and is overall quite strong. He actually made a return to more frequent inking (eschewing a looser Foster/Frazetta rendering style, #61, 70, 73) and a fondly remembered 5-part tale of a character of his own creation, Bront (#65-66, 79-81). He left the series in 1984 with #101 on a strong note with a series of stories that he plotted himself.


After pencilling the Conan the Destroyer movie adaptation in 1984 and the Conan of the Isles graphic novel in 1987 (both which seemed somewhat rushed and had several inexperienced inkers although he inked the first half of Destroyer himself), he left the Conan the Barbarian title with #190 in 1987, ending a highly successful 14-year association with the character. The series had gone through a number of changes in writers and inkers (Bob Camp being the most prolific inker before the return Chan) to Buscema's dissatisfaction although he nonetheless contributed a series of several dozen fine pencilled and inked covers in closing out his work on the title.

It's unfortunate that Buscema himself didn't take up regular writing chores on the title (he had plotted five solid issues, #155-159) as he had strong plotting and storytelling skills as evidenced in his preference for the 'Marvel method' of storytelling (i.e. working from a brief plot rather than a full script). Stan Lee declared: Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1192x1181, 161 KB)[edit] Summary Lilak movie proposal illustration, Alter Ego #15, 2002, Two Morrows, John Buscema estate [edit] Licensing This image is a single panel from a comic strip or the interior of a single issue of a comic book... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1192x1181, 161 KB)[edit] Summary Lilak movie proposal illustration, Alter Ego #15, 2002, Two Morrows, John Buscema estate [edit] Licensing This image is a single panel from a comic strip or the interior of a single issue of a comic book...

   
John Buscema
As a writer I found him a delight to work with. I had only to give him the barest bones of a plot and he'd flesh it out magnificently. He didn't even want a written synopsis most of the time. We'd discuss the story over the phone for a few minutes and days later he'd deliver a terrific strip that looked as though we had spent weeks going over every last detail!
   
John Buscema

After a nearly five-year absence from the superhero world (except for a two-issue stint on Magic (a 1983 X-Men related mini-series), Buscema returned to familiar ground as the regular penciller on the Avengers in 1985 (with #255, inks by Tom Palmer) and will stay with the title up to the 300th issue. He was also the regular penciller on Fantastic Four for their 300th issue during a 15-issue stint beginning in 1986 (#296-309, inks by his brother Sal and by Sinnott). Ever the workhouse, he still manages to fit in an adaptation of the movie, Labyrinth (1986) as well as a four-issue mini-series featuring Mephisto, a signature character (1987). Image File history File links Cquote1. ... Image File history File links Cquote2. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1009x1181, 214 KB)[edit] Summary John Buscema Sketchbook, Vanguard Productions, 2001, P.52 John Buscema [edit] Licensing This image is a single panel from a comic strip or the interior of a single issue of a comic book and the copyright... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1009x1181, 214 KB)[edit] Summary John Buscema Sketchbook, Vanguard Productions, 2001, P.52 John Buscema [edit] Licensing This image is a single panel from a comic strip or the interior of a single issue of a comic book and the copyright... The X-Men are a group of comic book superheroes featured in Marvel Comics. ...


With the sheer volume and variety of work Buscema produces and the unfinished nature of doing mainly layouts, much of his 1980s work has been considered by some to be less inspired than previously. This is probably true to a certain extent, but Buscema's work continued to develop nonetheless. His artwork was characterized by a greater degree of simplicity with a shift of focus to storytelling and cartooning (although he still has plenty of his trademark power, energy, and draftsmanship). Moreover, he continued his inking efforts, producing a noteworthy Thor Annual (#15, 1985), a 10-page western in Savage Tales magazine (#10,1986), and a plate for the WFCBA Portfolio (Éditions Déesse, 1983), for example.


Buscema return to the Silver Surfer character with a special hardcover graphic novel, Judgment Day, inked by himself and done entirely with full-page panels (1988) and by tackling Wolverine, a new character for him, helping to launch his adventures in 1988 with two new titles, Marvel Comics Presents, an anthology title (#'s 1-10, Klaus Janson's inks and #38-47, with Buscema inking himself) as well as in his own title (#1-16, 20, 25, inks by Al Williamson and Bill Sienkiewicz inks, with issues 7, 8, and 25 featuring superb Buscema inks). Wolverine marked a return for Buscema to doing finished pencils regularly as his work displays a renewed show of power and energy. Binomial name Gulo gulo (Linnaeus, 1758) The wolverine (Gulo gulo) is the largest terrestrial species of the Mustelidae or weasel family, and is also called the glutton or carcajou. ... Al Williamson Al Williamson (March 21, 1931 - ) is an American cartoonist of partly Colombian descent. ... Bill Sienkiewicz in Gijón, Spain. ...

[edit]

1990s and beyond

Buscema began his sixth decade in the field by joining Roy Thomas for a return to the Savage Sword of Conan with #191 (1991, inks by Dezuniga, Chan, E.R. Cruz) with a lively, entertaining 20-issue run. 1991 also sees the publication of Conan the Rogue, a graphic novel plotted, pencilled, inked, and coloured by Buscema, which stands as one his most personal works as he produced it over a period of several years in his spare time. He departed the Wolverine title, but not before delivering a graphic novel, Bloody Choices (1991, which he inked himself).


Buscema continued to tackle new genres with a stint with the Punisher (Punisher War Zone #23-30). Although the stint was brief, he nonetheless produced some fine artwork with that character; including issues 26-29 which he inked himself along with the first Punisher War Zone Annual. He also pencilled and inked a fine Punisher western tale, the 1994 graphic novel, A Man Named Frank, and was the chosen penciller for The Punisher Meets Archie (1994) team-up. At this late stage in his career, Buscema adopted a bolder, looser inking style, somewhat akin to Joe Kubert's. No longer attached to a regular series after his Punisher run, he penciled and inked a fine Avengers Annual (#23, 1994) and five more energetic black and white Conan adventures. Unfortunately, the Conan franchise reached its twilight at Marvel and Buscema is the final artist on the last issue of Savage Sword of Conan with #235 and also the final artist on the short-lived spin-off, Conan the Savage (#10, 1996). Joe Kubert is a legendary comic book artist who went on to found the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art. ...


He later provided a few fill-in pencil jobs (the Cosmic Powers Unlimited mini- series, Doom 2099, Fantastic Four 2099, Thor, Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer and a Silver Surfer/Rune special). In 1996 after a long, productive, and fruitful career, he formally retired, at the age of 68. 1997 was the first year in 30 years where new Buscema material did not appear on the stands - it would also be the last year in Buscema's lifetime, as Buscema, ever the workhouse, continued to receive assignment offers which he would take on, his retirement thus becoming a "semi-retirement".

Always evolving artistically, his "post-retirement" work has an easygoing, fluid simplicity to it, which only a veteran of the craft can achieve. He did pencils & inks on a black and white short story for Shadows and Light (1998) and made a final return to Conan with the Death Covered in Gold 3-issue mini-series (1999). 1999 also saw the publication of a Spider-Man Annual with full Buscema art, five of the six-issue Galactus the Devourer mini-series which he pencilled (Sienkiewicz's inks), and a fill-in Thor issue (inks by Jerry Ordway). Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1121x1181, 405 KB)[edit] Summary John Buscema Sketchbook, Vanguard Productions, 2001, P. 16 John Buscema [edit] Licensing This image is a single panel from a comic strip or the interior of a single issue of a comic book and the copyright... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1121x1181, 405 KB)[edit] Summary John Buscema Sketchbook, Vanguard Productions, 2001, P. 16 John Buscema [edit] Licensing This image is a single panel from a comic strip or the interior of a single issue of a comic book and the copyright... Galactus, sometimes called the Devourer of Worlds or Ravager of Planets, is a fictional comic book cosmic entity within Marvel Comics universe. ... The covers of both the hardcover and the softcover versions of the Power of Shazam! graphic novel by Ordway. ...


Buscema continued to do entertaining work into his seventh decade of professional comic book work, working with DC Comics for the first time, initially doing full art on a black and white Batman short story (Batman – Gotham Knights #7, 2000). He later reunited with Stan Lee on the Just imagine Stan Lee and John Buscema creating Superman (2001) project. He also kept active doing private commissions and cover re-creations as well as teaching art classes and helped produce the John Buscema Sketchbook (Vanguard 2001) for whose promotion he attended the 2001 San Diego Comic Art Convention where he was received with great appreciation by fans and colleagues. The book gives a good overview of Buscema's wide-ranging passion for art: DC Comics is one of the largest American companies in comic book and related media publishing. ...

   
John Buscema
I love all the painters…Vermeer, Velasquez, Goya, Rubens, Rembrandt…I’ve got over a thousand art books!
   
John Buscema

He finished the pencils on a Superman project started by Gil Kane (who had since passed away), Superman: Blood of my Ancestors (inks by Kevin Nowlan, 2003) and had just signed on for a 5-issue mini-series with Roy Thomas called JLA: Barbarians. Shortly after finishing the first issue, Buscema, diagnosed with stomach cancer a few months earlier, passed away on January 10, 2002 at the age of 74. A pencil illustration of the Avengers (painted by Alex Ross) was his last professional work. A documentary on Frank Frazetta, Painting with Fire (2003), which Buscema appeared in, was posthumously dedicated to him. Comprehensive tributes to Buscema's considerable artistic talents and accomplishments were published in Alter Ego #15 and Comic Book Artist #21 in 2002 and much of his work remains in print in trade paperback reprints. Image File history File links Cquote1. ... Image File history File links Cquote2. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (500x667, 90 KB)[edit] Summary Avengers - John Buscema, Alex Ross, Marvel Comics, Dynamic Forces Inc. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (500x667, 90 KB)[edit] Summary Avengers - John Buscema, Alex Ross, Marvel Comics, Dynamic Forces Inc. ... Eli Katz (April 6, 1926–January 31, 2000), who worked under the name Gil Kane and in a few instances Scott Edwards, was a comic book illustrator whose career spanned the 1940s to 1990s. ... Cover by Kevin Nowlan for Powerline #3 Kevin Nowlan is an American comic-book artist. ... January 10 is the 10th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ... Rosss rendition of the Justice League Nelson Alexander Alex Ross (born January 22, 1970) is an American comic book painter, acclaimed for the photorealism of his work. ...

[edit]

Awards

Cover for Avengers #277 by John Buscema.
Cover for Avengers #277 by John Buscema.

He received much recognition for his work in comics, including the Shazam Award for Best Penciller (Dramatic Division) in 1974. He was inducted into the Eisner Hall of Fame in 2002. Download high resolution version (400x603, 478 KB)Avengers #277 (March 1987), the climax of the Siege of Avengers Mansion storyline (cover by John Buscema and Tom Palmer) This is a magazine cover. ... Download high resolution version (400x603, 478 KB)Avengers #277 (March 1987), the climax of the Siege of Avengers Mansion storyline (cover by John Buscema and Tom Palmer) This is a magazine cover. ...

Preceded by:
John Romita, Sr.
Fantastic Four artist
1971–1973
Succeeded by:
Rich Buckler
Preceded by:
John Byrne
Fantastic Four artist
1986–1987
Succeeded by:
Keith Pollard

  Results from FactBites:
 
John Buscema | Obituaries | Guardian Unlimited (687 words)
Two years after graduating, Buscema was hired to draw crime, western and romance for Timely Comics, Marvel's forerunner, learning from staff artists Carl Burgos, inventor of the Human Torch, and Syd Shores, artist on Captain America, under the youthful editorship of Stan Lee.
Buscema was instructed to incorporate Kirby's distinctive foreshortening effects and combat choreography into his artwork, but combined them with his own more illustrative facial expressions and accurate musculature.
Lee's grandiloquence, and Buscema's melodramatic figurework, refined the Silver Surfer in his solo comic, revealing a tragic alien imprisoned on earth, despairing of mankind's inhumanity in anguished soliloquies and yet struggling on in our defence.
John Buscema at AllExperts (312 words)
John Buscema (December 11, 1927- January 10, 2002) was an American comic book artist and one of the mainstays of Marvel Comics in its 1960s and 1970s heyday.
Buscema semi-retired in 1996, although he continued to do the odd pencilling job; one of the last was his DC Comics debut, a Batman story.
John Buscema died on January 10, 2002 due to cancer.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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