Big John Buscema…Hands Down!

As any regular readers of this column doubtlessly know, I am a huge fan of Big John Buscema. We are coming up on the 13th anniversary of his passing on January 10th, and I have been looking through some of my collection at different periods of his creativity. My absolute favorite period is the late 60’s to early 70’s.His classic early run on the Avengers, The Silver Surfer and Sub-Mariner come to mind.

There was no character he didn’t tackle and leave his mark on. I can’t think of one that he didn’t bring to life that didn’t benefit from his hand. And speaking of hands, no one drew more expressive hands than Big John. Odd topic perhaps, but I bet that all of you Silver Age fans know exactly what I am talking about. I bet you can even see in your mind’s eye a particular image that remains in your mind’s eye, as a direct result of his expressive hands.
I am not going to start listing them off! I want to hear from you on this and I will put them together for  a future column, so send me your favorite “hands” images. I will leave you with one however.

Silver Surfer John Buscema

Now it’s your turn. This single page from Silver Surfer # 6 has four panels that are perfect examples of what I am talking about! There is more life and unspoken words in these four panels than almost every Wednesdays worth of new deliveries at your local comic shop! Why is that? I know I am old school, unapologetic about it too, but it is very hard to find excellent storytelling anymore. There are a lot of bold, garishly coloured, T&A in today’s books but storytelling? Not that many out there. Certainly not by the Big Two anyway.
But that is a topic which I will get into another time.

Right now, let’s celebrate the great John Buscema! Arguably one of the greatest artists to ever grace the pages of the four colour universe….Hands down!

Silver Surfer issue 1 page 36 by John Buscema and Joe Sinnott
 (Scottie say: this one comes to mind immediately when I think of Buscema hands, so that’s my contribution.)

Continued Happy Collecting!

Dennis De Pues
Dennis De Pues

Dennis is an admitted "Son of the Silver Age", having grown up with the influences of Silver Age greats: Kirby, Colan, Romita and Buscema.Three decades later, he is the creator of Crash!! and Galloway Park. More is definitely on the way.

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  1. Great post on Big John Dennis. Your bang on about the hands! The other thing I always think about John Buscema are his “Face-off” covers. The one’s where two teams are lined up directly across from one other, and usually matched with his or her equal or counterpart. Avengers Annual #2, Avengers #53 are a couple of examples of this style of cover and he did more. I think of him as the first Marvel artist to do this, and it has been used by many others since. Gone too soon.

  2. Always a big fan of his work. I especially loved his early 70’s FF run …some of the best FF books are in there. I have most of them, but would still like to get a #112 in high grade. One of my all time favorite covers!

  3. No doubt Mike, that he did his fair share of classic covers with not only team face offs but but but battle royal face offs as well.Subby and Thing, Subby and Tiger Shark come to mind.What about a favorite “hands” image Mike?

  4. I mustn’t know as much about comics as I thought….what do you mean by a “hands” image? I assume that you mean where hands are the centre of attention or of main focus?

  5. Hands are one of the toughest things to draw accurately and Big John really was a master at using hands in his ability to tell a story.And don’t sell yourself short on your knowledge of comics, it is just a phrase I used in this weeks column to mean the above.

  6. Then I’d have to go with Avengers Annual #2…all hands ready for battle and one of the best faceoffs of all time! Everyone clenches their fist for battle…Hulk has his open. He is going to tear the Black Panther in half!

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