Author Archives: Todd

And Then I Read: HAL JORDAN & THE GL CORPS #16

Image © DC Entertainment.

Most of this issue is a fight between Guy Gardner and Arkillo of the Yellow Lanterns. Yellow and Green have joined forces, but some Yellows went off on their own instead, and both teams are hunting them down and offering them a tough choice: join us or be locked up. Arkillo is one of the biggest, baddest Yellows, and Gardner decides to take him on alone, without his ring. Why, exactly, other than to prove how tough he is, eludes me, but it has to do with Daddy issues, apparently. Meanwhile, Saint Walker of the Blues has been brought back to Mogo, GL headquarters, where the two remaining Guardians have a plan for him. We don’t learn what that is yet.

I’m not a fan of fistfights, so this was not an appealing issue for me. Your mileage may vary. And, I’m way behind on this title again, or still, so anyone wanting to read it probably already has, but there you go.

Not recommended.

JOHN WORKMAN & TODD KLEIN Part 2

Todd Klein, Robert Greenberger and John Workman at our panel.

What follows is the second part of the transcription of a panel that John and I did at the 2017 Baltimore Comic-Con moderated by our friend and former co-worker at DC, Bob Greenberger. I recorded it on my phone and transcribed it later. The panel was held on Sept. 23rd. Both John and I have edited our comments to make them clearer and more correct and complete. (As John puts it, “to make sense of my incoherencies.”) This picks up about a quarter of the way through the slide show I put together for the panel. For these posts, I’ve reformatted the images to fit better here, and in some cases have links to larger versions. All images are © the respective companies and copyright holders.

HEAVY METAL staff, 1981, by Workman.

Todd Klein: This is a piece by John of the HEAVY METAL staff, and I thought this was interesting not only because John drew and lettered it, but also because of how small the staff is. They were putting out a monthly magazine?

John Workman: A monthly and specials. Also, I worked a lot for NATIONAL LAMPOON at the same time.

Bob Greenberger: Put out by the same company.

JW: Yeah.

TK: A lot of material for that size staff.

BG: The publisher Len Mogul who we talked about earlier is the top left head. Continue reading

JOHN WORKMAN & TODD KLEIN Part 1

Photo by Ron Jordan in my studio, June 2015.

What follows is a transcription of a panel that John and I did at the 2017 Baltimore Comic-Con moderated by our friend and former co-worker at DC, Bob Greenberger. I recorded it on my phone and transcribed it later. The panel was held on Sept. 23rd. Both John and I have edited our comments to make them clearer and more correct and complete. (As John puts it, “to make sense of my incoherencies.”) I created a slide show to accompany the panel, but technical difficulties between my laptop and the Con’s projector kept us from using it until almost halfway through. It worked out fine, though, we got to all the slides. For these posts, I’ve reformatted the images to fit better here, and in some cases have links to larger versions. I’ve added some additional images in this first of two parts. All images are © the respective companies and copyright holders.

Bob Greenberger: The gentlemen to my left and right have a wealth of material to talk about and Todd created a lovely slide show that should give everybody a better sense of it, so, today we’re talking about lettering. To my left is John Workman, who arrived at DC with Bob Smith hoping to become an artist and somehow became a letterer. He also became an accomplished art director at HEAVY METAL magazine and an artist of not enough work. To my right is Todd Klein who also got started in DC’s Production Department, lettered all sorts of lovely work, wrote some stuff, helped run the Production Dept., saved many an editor’s career, is best known today for his collaborations with Neil Gaiman and the artists on SANDMAN. So, gentlemen! What was it like in the 70s getting started, breaking into the field? Continue reading

Watching MISTY (1961)

The film version of Marguerite Henry’s much-loved book for children, “Misty of the Chincoteague” is one I believe I saw on TV or in a theater as a child. In all the years since, I thought it was a Disney film, but when I bought a DVD of it in the Chincoteague Museum last weekend, I found out it was not! It’s just as good as many Disney live-action films, and better than some.

Paul and Maureen Beebe have come to live on their grandparents’ farm on Chincoteague Island, Virginia after the death of their parents. Grandpa Beebe has a small herd of ponies bought from the wild herd on Assateague Island, and he raises and sells young horses from it. Paul and Maureen are fascinated by the wild herd on Assateague, and while there decide an independent and swift mare called The Phantom (pictured above) is a horse they want to buy at the next annual sale, a tradition on the island. Usually only recently born and yearling horses are sold, but Paul and Maureen believe they can talk the Fire Company (who own the horses) into selling The Phantom to them. Their grandfather has told them that a pony costs $100 at the sale, and they work very hard through the spring and summer to raise that amount, first by gentling and training Grandpa Beebe’s own newborns, then by doing all kinds of odd jobs. On a visit to Assateague, Paul discovers that The Phantom has had a creamy-white foal which he names Misty. Now Paul and Maureen hope to buy both horses, though where the second hundred dollars will come from they don’t know.

The big event of the year is the annual Pony Swim, when the entire herd is rounded up and swum from Assateague to the fairgrounds on Chincoteague for the sale. Grandpa and Paul help with this, and Paul even jumps into the water to help a struggling Misty reach the shore. The day before the sale, Paul and Maureen visit the ponies who will be sold and discover that Misty already has a Sold tag! It seems a man from off-island wanted a horse for his young son, and made a pre-sale deal with the Fire Chief. Paul and Maureen’s hopes are dashed!

That’s enough of the plot, which is fairly predictable, but quite enjoyable. The film is beautifully photographed, the score is excellent, and the acting is generally fine, if a bit corny at times. Only six real actors are in it, including David Ladd as Paul, son of Alan Ladd, and later a film executive. Equally good performances are given by Pam Smith as Maureen, Arthur O’Connell as Grandpa Beebe and Anne Seymour as Grandma Beebe. Many small parts are filled by actual Chincoteague residents, who do fine, though their accents are a bit hard to follow.

As an adaptation of the book, this film does quite well. It’s reasonably close in many areas, with some events moved around or somewhat altered, notably a horse race. It also gives a fine portrait of the area, and the publicity from the film helped preserve Assateague and its wild horses. The spirit of the book is captured well, and the horses are damned cute!

Recommended.

Pulled From My Files #66: CHEVAL NOIR Logo

Image © Dark Horse Comics.

I have only a few sketches and no final logo for this assignment from 1989, though my records show I was paid for two different versions of this anthology logo, which of course is “Dark Horse” in French. This version gets pretty fancy with CHEVAL. Continue reading