Incredible Hulk #197

If I am not mistaken this is the first time Hulk encounters the swamp creature known as Man-Thing. I personally am not a huge fan of Man-Thing as I feel he is kind of a rip-off of Swamp Thing (but who ripped off who I can’t be sure. Seems both characters debuted in 1971…hmmm).

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Writer: Len Wein / Artist: Sal Buscema / Cover: Bernie Wrightson

Any way, this issue was released in March 1976. The most notable detail (and reason why I own it) in my opinion is the cover. It is the only Incredible Hulk cover ever created by Bernie Wrightson. The only other Hulk story he did was for a graphic novel of Hulk and the Thing. If you don’t know who Wrightson is, be sure to check out my post in memory of him.

I had hoped to get him to sign this but at the time this was a hard issue to find and had to resort to an online auction. With Wrightson’s passing that dream died with him (unless I buy a signed copy).

The issue in general is not a bad story. In addition to Man-Thing it includes a host of characters such as The Glob, “Doc” Samson, and The Collector. The two monsters in this story battle the Hulk and actually give Jade Jaws a hard time.

At the time of this writing this book is not expensive. Ebay prices typically have it around $10 – 20 at best, but of course there are exceptions. However, it is hard to find. At least it has for me. I’ve only ever seen one issue in all my searching and it was the one I own.

So this one won’t break the bank, but I’d plan to get it online. RIP Wrightson.

GET SMASHED!

In Memory: Bernie Wrightson

This post comes late, but I wanted to dedicate some time to this. On March 18th, 2017 the world lost itself a great artist. The master of the macabre, Bernie (Berni) Wrightson.

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Bernie began his career in 1966 working as an illustrator for The Baltimore Sun and would continue making work pretty much up until his death. His most notable achievement is being the co-creator of Swamp Thing for DC comics. His design for Swamp Thing would help make it one of the most recognized characters to come out of DC and to this day remains a popular character.

In my opinion however I find his greatest work to be the art he contributed to the immortal classic novel Frankenstein written by Mary Shelley. In 1983 he created a series of illustrations to go along with the novel. These images are hailed as the defining impressions of the novel. They were printed alongside the novel and have been reprinted at least a few times in the past thirty years. The original images are notoriously hard to collect, much less locate.

His work has inspired so many people including, but not limited to, Guillermo Del Toro, Joss Whedon and Mike Mignola. I personally place Bernie’s work among the great artists such as Gustave Dore and Francisco Goya. His work has also been of personal inspiration to myself.

And since this is a Hulk blog I must also mention he did the art for Marvel’s graphic novel #29 The Incredible Hulk and the Thing in the Big Change. In addition he did the cover for Incredible Hulk #197.

I feel I should also mention one of the last projects he worked on. As a follow up to his work on the Frankenstein novel he produced the art for the comic series Frankenstein Alive, Alive. This series began in 2012 and only made it to three issues. I myself have all three and LOVED the artwork. The story was also quite interesting and was building towards something unique. Unfortunately it was never continued beyond the third issue. I highly recommend you take a look at these if you have the chance.

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As a side note I was fortunate enough to have met him briefly at a convention in Indianapolis in 2016. I am really glad I was able to tell him my appreciation for his work and be graced with his signature upon a handful of items (one of which was a copy of his illustrated Frankenstein edition).

 

I hope if you are reading this (and especially if you are unfamiliar with any of the works mentioned) that you take the time to search out and appreciate his art. He truly found the beauty in horror and gave monsters a soul.

 

Indiana Comic Con 2016

From April 29 to May 1st, 2016  Indiana Comic Con was in full swing. I typically only attended conferences in the Chicago Land area (notably C2E2 and Wizard World). Well this year I was able to visit Indianapolis to take part in how they handle geekdom in Indiana.

Right off the bat I should mention the convention center is smaller then what I am used to in Chicago. I would say the convention was about 1/3 the size of C2E2. Half of it was artist alley and the other half was primarily comic dealers with other assorted shops in-between.

13094197_10153665259326347_2359242949373238280_nBut I did not come here for shopping. I came to meet and get autographs from some legendary artists. The first being George Perez. His work spanning both DC and Marvel in various books including Hulk, Wonder Woman, and The Avengers to name a few. His specific contributions to Hulk is his collaboration with Peter David on the Future Imperfect story line. Perez did the art for the comic. He also did illustrations for the novel ‘What Savage Beast’ written by Peter David (I highly recommend this book by the way). I was able to secure a signature for both copies of Part 1 and 2 of Future Imperfect. They were sent out to also be co-signed by Peter David. So if all goes well I will be the proud owner of Future Imperfect signed by both creators.

The second artist I was interested in was Bernie Wrightson. Though admittedly he did not do much regarding the Hulk. He is responsible for the cover for Incredible Hulk #197 and he did do the art for a Hulk Vs Thing graphic novel #29. I was there more for my interest in his Frankenstein work.

13124600_10153665259386347_691506686194382328_nIn addition to these I planned to submit a comic to a CGC partner to attain a Stan Lee signature. I had a comic in mind, but then a miracle happened. While going through each of the comic vendors at the show I noticed a lot of interesting comics. But nothing truly amazing within my price range. I decided to check out one last vendor, just about to give up, and I discovered a gem. I located an Incredible Hulk #105! An early issue from the series rebooted years after the initial release was cancelled. I always loved the cover. I even own a canvas print I have hung in my room. Not only was it rare, it was only $17! Yes, the comic was a bit beaten up, but for that price (when most places online were asking easily $50) I couldn’t walk away. So I bought it!

13077092_10153665259441347_7095572322158604044_nI then had to decide which I would send out to get signed. That is until I looked at the first page of the comic and noticed who the editor was. My decision was made then and there. So the comic is now set to be signed by Stan (the man) Lee at the convention in Florida.

I will not see my comics for quite some time, but I am excited. I wish I could’ve attended to see Stan Lee or Peter David in person. But time and money being what it is this is the best I could do. I am happy I got to meet Stan Lee briefly a couple years back. And hopefully Peter David will return to Chicago in the future. I have plenty more comics he can sign for me.

 

In the meantime I shall wait patiently for an amazing day when my comics shall return.

Get smashed!

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The ads in this comic, being from 1968, were very interesting. Especially this ad offering autographed photos of Stan Lee for only a $1.00