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Basil Wolverton s work refuses to die. Following a well-received exhibit of original art in New York City s Gladstone Gallery (which The New York Times called exuberantly grotesque ) came 2009 s publication of The Wolverton Bible (Fantagraphics Books). Though his comic book work has been reprinted endlessly, it has either been modernized with digital colors or presented in Basil Wolverton s work refuses to die. Following a well-received exhibit of original art in New York City s Gladstone Gallery (which The New York Times called exuberantly grotesque ) came 2009 s publication of The Wolverton Bible (Fantagraphics Books). Though his comic book work has been reprinted endlessly, it has either been modernized with digital colors or presented in austere black and white. The time has come for a robust volume of Wolverton s comics taken from their original printed source the comic books themselves. A pioneer from the first generation of comic book artists, Wolverton arrived just as publishers began embracing original material, turning away from the newspaper-strip reprints that had been sustaining the industry since its inception our years earlier. One of the first to realize the value of in-house features was Centaur Publications, whose art director Lloyd Jacquet gave Wolverton his big break in comics in 1938, accepting Meteor Martin for Amazing Man Comics and Space Patrol for Amazing Mystery Funnies. Jacquet soon established an independent comics packager, Funnies, Inc., for which he asked Wolverton to invent a new science-fiction character. The artist came up with the iconic Spacehawk, who made thirty appearances in Target Comics. Prime examples of Wolverton s iconic space hero will be featured in Creeping Death from Neptune. Fed up with the publisher s constant meddling with Spacehawk, Wolverton dropped his creation in 1942 and concentrated on humorous features for the rest of the decade. His short-lived return to serious subjects in 1951 resulted in some of the most intense horror and science-fiction stories of the pre-code era, including the classics Brain Bats of Venus, Escape to Death, and Robot Woman, all of which appear in this volume. Created with the full cooperation of the Wolverton estate, Creeping Death from Neptune will also examine, for the first time, the artist s personal ledgers and diaries, shedding new light on his working methods and his day-to-day life as a freelance comic book artist. The digital restoration of the printed art will be performed with subtlety and restraint, mainly to correct registration and printing errors, with every effort made to retain the flavor of the original comic books.


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Basil Wolverton s work refuses to die. Following a well-received exhibit of original art in New York City s Gladstone Gallery (which The New York Times called exuberantly grotesque ) came 2009 s publication of The Wolverton Bible (Fantagraphics Books). Though his comic book work has been reprinted endlessly, it has either been modernized with digital colors or presented in Basil Wolverton s work refuses to die. Following a well-received exhibit of original art in New York City s Gladstone Gallery (which The New York Times called exuberantly grotesque ) came 2009 s publication of The Wolverton Bible (Fantagraphics Books). Though his comic book work has been reprinted endlessly, it has either been modernized with digital colors or presented in austere black and white. The time has come for a robust volume of Wolverton s comics taken from their original printed source the comic books themselves. A pioneer from the first generation of comic book artists, Wolverton arrived just as publishers began embracing original material, turning away from the newspaper-strip reprints that had been sustaining the industry since its inception our years earlier. One of the first to realize the value of in-house features was Centaur Publications, whose art director Lloyd Jacquet gave Wolverton his big break in comics in 1938, accepting Meteor Martin for Amazing Man Comics and Space Patrol for Amazing Mystery Funnies. Jacquet soon established an independent comics packager, Funnies, Inc., for which he asked Wolverton to invent a new science-fiction character. The artist came up with the iconic Spacehawk, who made thirty appearances in Target Comics. Prime examples of Wolverton s iconic space hero will be featured in Creeping Death from Neptune. Fed up with the publisher s constant meddling with Spacehawk, Wolverton dropped his creation in 1942 and concentrated on humorous features for the rest of the decade. His short-lived return to serious subjects in 1951 resulted in some of the most intense horror and science-fiction stories of the pre-code era, including the classics Brain Bats of Venus, Escape to Death, and Robot Woman, all of which appear in this volume. Created with the full cooperation of the Wolverton estate, Creeping Death from Neptune will also examine, for the first time, the artist s personal ledgers and diaries, shedding new light on his working methods and his day-to-day life as a freelance comic book artist. The digital restoration of the printed art will be performed with subtlety and restraint, mainly to correct registration and printing errors, with every effort made to retain the flavor of the original comic books.

30 review for Creeping Death from Neptune: Horror and Science Fiction Comics

  1. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Griffin

    I admit it – I picked up this book solely on the cover! The name Basil Wolverton didn’t ring a bell but I had to know who this genius was who created such fabulous art. Turns out he was a comics creator who was born in Oregon in 1909 and began his career in the 1930s. This first volume of two covers his early years.. Comics were then as they are now, a tough business to be in when you’re trying to make a living. Wolverton couldn’t get by on the infrequent checks he received for his work and subsi I admit it – I picked up this book solely on the cover! The name Basil Wolverton didn’t ring a bell but I had to know who this genius was who created such fabulous art. Turns out he was a comics creator who was born in Oregon in 1909 and began his career in the 1930s. This first volume of two covers his early years.. Comics were then as they are now, a tough business to be in when you’re trying to make a living. Wolverton couldn’t get by on the infrequent checks he received for his work and subsidized them by working in a cannery. All throughout this book there are photos of his many comics, artwork, sketches, family photos, notebooks, and even rejection letters. Author Greg Sadowski presents a treasure trove of artifacts from Wolverton’s career, from childhood to 1940. It was surprising to me the almost dictatorial instructions he received in communications from publishers. He was constantly told to change things, to tone down the grotesque, to be patriotic, that his space themes were passé. It would have been enough to make me quit! Is it still this way in the comics world? It’s clear that Wolverton’s work became better and better over time. But the pressure to produce was harmful to his health and got to his nerves. Guess I’ll find out how he fared in the next volume. I loved this book because Wolverton’s old school space art is some of the best I’ve ever seen.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rex Hurst

    A comprehensive look at the life and art of Basil Wolverton. This follows his early development up until the early 1940s. Wolverton had a distinctive style that easily set him apart from his peers as can be seen in this volume, which collects most of his non-fiction work from this time period (excluding Spacehawk, but including art pitch for Disney).

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bart Hill

    Covering Wolverton's earliest years of struggling to get published to is first successful years, this book is text heavy with detailing Wolverton's beginnings in the industry. That said, I thought the essays made for compelling reading in that we see Wolverton was not an overnight success, and that he received much support and guidance form the many editors, agents, publishers who were instrumental in developing his talent and in getting his stories into the early comics of the 1930s and 1940s. T Covering Wolverton's earliest years of struggling to get published to is first successful years, this book is text heavy with detailing Wolverton's beginnings in the industry. That said, I thought the essays made for compelling reading in that we see Wolverton was not an overnight success, and that he received much support and guidance form the many editors, agents, publishers who were instrumental in developing his talent and in getting his stories into the early comics of the 1930s and 1940s. The book also features several of his humor stories, as well as a few of Wolverton's adventure stories. The humor stories are quite good and have held up well. Not so much the few adventure stories.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dlotempio

    The biographic material charts Wolverton's life from childhood to the early 1940s when America enters WWII. The research is excellent and the writing is good. I must admit I felt some cultural context was unnecessarily added in some places. The inclusion of early Wolverton material and the critique from his editors is intriguing. But, by the end of the book, I felt it was all appetizer and the main course hadn't appeared. Where's "The Creeping Death?" While I do know why "Creeping Death" isn't i The biographic material charts Wolverton's life from childhood to the early 1940s when America enters WWII. The research is excellent and the writing is good. I must admit I felt some cultural context was unnecessarily added in some places. The inclusion of early Wolverton material and the critique from his editors is intriguing. But, by the end of the book, I felt it was all appetizer and the main course hadn't appeared. Where's "The Creeping Death?" While I do know why "Creeping Death" isn't included - it wasn't published during the time frame covered by this book - the valid reason doesn't ameliorate the disappointment.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Roy DeRousse

    Wonderful book about the "weird" cartoonist Basil Wolverton covering his life up through 1941. Many, many pages of well-reproduced science fiction and humor done for both newspapers and comic books. Also covers his life, with special emphasis on this professional career. Diary entries and letters from publishers are included. It is a bit more detailed than I need, but it is a fascinating look at the comics-publishing world in the first half of the 20th century.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Evan

    This is more a biography of Basil Wolverton than anything else, the comics included from this era of his career are fun (although if I never see Disk-Eyes again it'll be too soon), but altogether felt like a brief sampling of a larger, better body of work yet to come. No word on a second volume—blegh.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    This was perhaps the most important comics publication in 2014, an absolutely essential addition to the understanding of the Golden Age of comic books, and an utterly fascinating biography of the legendary Basil Wolverton.

  8. 5 out of 5

    ISMOTU

    This is an excellent book exploring the early life and career of comic artist Basil Wolverton. It contains plenty of Wolverton's unmistakable artwork as well as an interesting "behind-the-scenes" look at the early days of the comic book industry.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Glenn Møane

  10. 5 out of 5

    Richard Sala

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas Haynes

  12. 4 out of 5

    John

  13. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Monk

  14. 5 out of 5

    Carlos Cuba

  15. 5 out of 5

    J. Scott

  16. 4 out of 5

    Shane

  17. 4 out of 5

    Clint

  18. 5 out of 5

    Garrie Burr

  19. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Kepley

  20. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Nolan

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kim

  22. 4 out of 5

    ΕιζΝιnΕ

  23. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  24. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Calaman

  25. 5 out of 5

    Leo Hagstrom

  26. 4 out of 5

    Shea Proulx

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nicklas von

  28. 4 out of 5

    Chris kunselman

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jon

  30. 4 out of 5

    Eric

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