Week 32: The Lockdown

I can’t repeat myself enough, Jack Kirby is a beast, an absolute menace, the man’s imagination was infinite, from Kamandi #16, April 1974.

My pal Trace from Eclipse Paper out in Winnipeg sent me in this Gil Kane two page splash, Trace says it was splash pages like this Gil Kane piece from Green Lantern #74 that made him resist CGC in the beginning.

When Barry Windsor Smith really wanted to work a page stuff like this happens, from Astonishing Tales #6.

We’ve got Kane and Smith so we might as well throw Neal Adams into the mix, this great splash is from Avengers #95.

Lets leave the Bronze Age and treat ourselves to a provocative and controversial Golden Age splash from H. G. Peter, from Sensation Comics #31, July 1944.

Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton Ontario.

Articles: 1702


  1. OMG…i collect Wonder Woman but that splash, beyond something…! Crazyman Marston and his ladies. Allmthe little boys are watching, and WW is smiling. It would be innocent, I guess, for any one who didn’t know Marston’s bondage philosophy.

    Wonderful examples…fun to see early Windsor-Smith, still in what I would call his “Kirby” phase. Not quite so polished yet, but getting there.

    Kane, wondeful work. The guy really came into his own, what was it, 20 years into his career. To think that he was a veteran of comics when he drews GL #1 and here, in #74, he was even better. A wild man. He blossomly throughout his career. Its cool he loved drawing comics, and knew his comics history.

    I remember seeing that Adams before, for some reason. Great.

    Hey, Walter, you know Trace (Tracy? Heft). He’s done AMAZING restoration on super rare books like New Fun #2, for my buddy out here in Calif. Takes brittle, yes BRITTLE, basket cases and makes them readable and good looking. The guy is astonishing. I’ve examined a lot of his work. One of these days, I want him to do a few things for me, low grade beater stuff that has become unaffordable in nicer shape…

    I have some Susan Cicconi work on several iconic Golden Age books, and she is just a beast too, creating VFN out of low grade. But she will not touch anything brittle.

  2. Please continue doing splash pages! Loving them and the the anti-slabbing, pro-art approach it represents!

  3. Love that Kirby! Kamandi for me was a filling out of the concepts Kirby started with in the High Evolutionary story line from Thor years before! I agree with what your friend thought about CGC with that Kane example! Its one if the things that bugs me that CGC doesn’t include with their plastic box… a digital copy of the interior of the comic that is encased… they go thru the comic page by page anyway…it wouldn’t take that much to do digital pictures along the way and it wouldn’t cost much either… ( although THEY could charge a premium for the service…they are missing the boat)! The Smith and Adams… both artists work here is during their zenith… great examples! When Mr. Wertham saw that splash… well I bet he was darned jealous of Diana…eh?

  4. Bud, I’ve known Trace forever and yeah he does amazing work, I have to send you pics of the work he did for me on my Marvel Mystery Annual, stunning.

    Thanks for the encouragement John, I’m having fun with this and I will keep it going

    Gerald, I agree, Mr. Wetham knew what he liked…

  5. Holly Molly, all these pages supports Trace’s idea that CGC limits a books potential. Nice choices Walt.
    I do recall Bud , a time when restoration was encouraged. Professional restoration. Do you expect that time will come again?
    Gerald, I agree….Jacks Kamandi deserves a lot of love. I wish Smith had a larger body of work. At least he had about 20 consecutive Conans. That’s better then Steranko or other such wonder artists.

  6. I agree Dave on the Smith! When he did later work for Valiant he seemed to tone down his detail and it looked simpler for some reason… just not as satisfying.

  7. Wow! No less than 3 of the most attention getting splashes from my childhood in one column! That Kamandi spread might have been the one to hook me on comics…..

    And that whole Adam’s run on Avengers is something else (but don’t forget though, it was Tom Palmer’s inks that made Adams stand out!).

    I LOVE this column!!!!!

    BTW, Hi Bud! I don’t know the protocols for listing contacts (and I’m not trying to advertise here) but if you google “eclipse paper conservation toll free” my number and email are there!

    Tracey Heft

  8. Dave, regarding restoration….I think you are right. For some short time, it was popular. Now its on the flip side, abhorred thanks to CGC’s deaded Purple Label.

    But…first off, I see aggressive bidding on restored books, more all thevtime so I think the pendulum is coming back. Particularly on scarcer Golden Age where supply is limited. The lower the cover price, the less the restoration effects it. And for very scarce books, sometimes it barely effects the value, people simply want a copy, regardless. Centaurs, for example, and off-brand Golden Age like early Ace, Novelty, Prize Comics, etc.

    Second, for what its worth, I welcome restored books, encapsulated or not. I am happy to get a more affordable book that is nice looking. My buddies who READ the comics feel the same. We eagering looked for “slight color touch” or “minor tear seals.”

    Third in the antiquarian book field (and other areas, like ephemera, archival documents, etc—I am sure Trace would second this), restoration, as long as it is reversible, is mostly acceptable and in fact, embraced. For deteriorating items, It will stop further destruction AND make them able to be handled. Most book (as opposed to COMIC dealers), including myself, happily have older books rebacked, recased, bindings resewn, endpapers replaced…. A well-done job makes the book readable and preserves it for another 100 years or more. And its not expensive, $50 to $200 will cover most repairs.

    Comics have gone another way, but the hobby can be myopic at times. The work Trace has done for my buddy, mentioned above, has preserved super rare, deteriorating books like oversized New Funs, New Comics, rare Centaurs, pre-Batman Detective.

    I admire a collector who is willing to sink $500, $1000, $1500 into preserving a rare but basket-case book. Not to increase its market value, but to simply make it comfortable to handle it, to read and study it, and to preserve it for future generations.

  9. Thank you for sharing your restoration knowledge Bud. I couldn’t agree more and I learnt a thing or two from your explanation. It would be interesting to see our collections in 60 years.

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