Friday, August 12, 2016

Open Forum: Comics - Inspired Creativity (or, why did you cut up those comics?)


Redartz:  Hello, folks! Recently a comment by Tom (Anonymous) regarding his use of cut-up comics grabbed my attention. He spoke of using trimmed comics as decorative raw material. He's not alone in this creative re-use of our beloved comics. No doubt many of you have done similar things; whether it was covering your school notebook with comic panels or making your own posters. You may have even tried writing and drawing your own comics, who knows ? But the love of comics can certainly inspire us to play around with them in ways far beyond just reading them. What stories do you have of your comic-inspired endeavors? To get the action rolling, Martinex1 has shared a couple tales and some very cool images, and I have a few to toss in as well...







Martinex1:  Many years ago, around holiday time my wife locked off one of the spare bedrooms that we were converting to a TV room and posted a note "Do not open until Christmas!"    When the time came and we opened the door, I was happily surprised to see that she had commissioned a local artist to paint a handful of my favorite Marvel characters bursting through the wall.   Since then, one of my boys has taken over the room but it remains a topic of conversation with most people curious about Bug, Stingray, and Union Jack.  





 Comics have been a part of my life since early childhood, and when I was much younger I toyed with the idea of getting into the comics field or into animation.  But life had a different path for me so over the past 30 years I have been working in the food industry.   However, over more recent years as a hobby I have been creating and designing my own characters and stories.  I've commissioned various pieces of art using my characters.  And I have accumulated dozens of sequential pages partnering with artist, Greg Woronchak.  He is fantastic and has contributed so much to my plots and scripts through his work.  Together we have put together enough material for about six complete full-length issues (and various pages for a dozen more) of The Clock Strike Club.  It is a slow process and goes in fits and spurts.  I've learned a lot about the process and someday hope to publish, but it has really been an enjoyable experiment.   It is funny that this is how I stumbled onto the Bronze Age Babies site; I wanted to model my comics after the classic late 70's look and named my imaginary comic line Bronze Agency Comics and during a search arrived here. 



 Shown here are some of my favorite pages and art from Greg, a colored page from colorist Liezl Buenaventura, and a mock cover I had commissioned quite some time ago from MC Wyman (an artist who worked on titles like the Avengers and Planet of the Apes).  




Artist: Greg Woronchak







Artist: Greg Woronchak, colors by Liezl Buenaventura
Artist: MC Wyman




























Redartz: Not long after I started collecting (and being obsessed with) comics, I came into possession of several Silver Age comics in very rough condition. As a matter of fact, they weren't even complete. A friend from Junior High had a brother who worked at a gas station, and he provided a white metal sign; perfect for making a durable poster. Some Elmer's glue and a few judicious cuts out of the covers, and there it was. Sorry for the fuzzy image, those 1970's polaroids weren't exactly high-def. You might recognize the Surfer from  Tales to Astonish 93, and Daredevil (and Doctor Doom) from Daredevil 37.







A few years later, in High School, I started taking art classes. One unique opportunity our school provided was for interested art students to paint murals (subject matter open, within bounds of reason) on the school walls and hallways. One previous painter had made a nice life-size depiction of Spider-Man (near the Spanish classroom, if memory serves). Therefore, I thought it appropriate to add Spidey's primary foe on the adjacent wall. The goblin glider's too big, I know.
Sadly, that building burned down some years ago, and all those student murals were lost as well...









Finally, last Christmas I put this little ornament together. In my flea market excursions, I sometimes buy boxes of comics of which some are basically unfit even for reading. As in the metal poster above, I cut up these comics and use a little "Mod Podge" , and bingo! You have a Comic Collage Christmas. Actually, this works well for many uses: made my wife a storage box covered with fun comic panels. I've seen bookshelves and long boxes covered this way, as well...











OK, you've seen some of our work. Now  break out the scissors, pencils , paints, memories,and comic books , and have some fun. Then share your results, past and present!

15 comments:

Colin Jones said...

Marvel UK's comics in the '70s were in black & white so I sometimes colored pages myself especially nice looking splash pages and used them as pin-ups. Every Christmas the back page would have a festive scene and I'd use that as a pin-up over the Christmas period - the scenes were usually the same ones that appeared on the back of the Holiday Grab Bags except 1976 which was a UK exclusive featuring Captain Britain (who'd been launched just two months earlier) surrounded by various other Marvel characters including a gorilla from Planet Of The Apes which was still a weekly at Xmas '76 (but not for much longer). I kept that particular festive scene for years and put it on my wardrobe door every year during the Christmas period. My greatest regret is what I did to my 1978 Conan Treasury Edition - I removed all the pin-ups from the back (I remember one of them was King Kull) and I even used the John Buscema cover as a pin-up. And that Conan TE featured my favorite Conan story, a color version of "Iron Shadows In The Moon", bah !!

Anonymous said...

I find it difficult to cut up comic books - even those that I don't much care for anymore. However a couple of years ago I came up with my own way of creating framed comic art. I purchased a set of Marvel Silver Age trading cards on Ebay. I then picked out 9 cards that complemented each other, inserted them into an 8-1/2 x 11 card page sleeve that fit nicely into an inexpensive metal frame from Target. Instant pop art. And it is easy to change up the cards when I want a new look.

Colin Jones said...

I realize that tearing out pages to use as pin-ups isn't very creative :D

Doug said...

Those are great stories, gentlemen! I loved every anecdote, and thanks for the images.

When I was but a wee lad, and maybe I've told this before, I used to cut out the corner box art. This would have been around 1972. I really didn't do anything with them, other than paste them into a booklet I'd made where I tried my hand at drawing comics characters. I'm sure it's long since lost to the sands of time, but I'd love to see it again.

The ornament idea is wonderful, and would make an easy gift for an enthusiast.

Doug

Anonymous said...

"Inspired Creativity". Yeah...that's what it was. ;-)

Redartz and Martinex, those are all great stories and pics. The mural, the Clock Strike Club, the white sign, the goblin, the ornaments. Cool!

As to the, ahem, inspiration for this post, I remember being a typical kid and wanting to decorate my room. When I became a Marvel zuvembie it only seemed natural that I should have some superheroes on my walls. But I don't remember ever seeing any neat posters in those days so I took matters, and scissors, in my own hands.

I remember originally seeking out good stand alone pics of the heroes. But it was hard to find cover images where some part of the good guy wasn't obstructed by something, usually the baddie. So my friend got the inspiration and came out with something like "Why don't you cut out pictures of the hero AND the villain locked in mortal combat?" Genius!

So I had the kind of closet with sliding double doors - one side just heroes, the other side heroes and villains. Filled from top to bottom. (I thought it was cool.) I doubt I have a picture of it but if I find one I'll have to bring it back to the BAB.

Thanks for the memories all.

Tom

Anonymous said...

The only things I ever cut out of comics were some pin-ups; I may still have a few somewhere. Other than that, I can't bring myself to cut up my comics, not even the ones that are falling apart on their own.

Mike Wilson

Edo Bosnar said...

Yep, great stories, fellas. And it seems like you put your talent to better use in this regard than I ever did. As I've mentioned several times here before in older posts, in my earliest comic reading years, when I was a 1st/2nd grader, I used to cut up quite a few of my comics without compunction (only a scant few years later I would recall this "youthful" butchery with horror), and if I had any black and white comics, I treated them like coloring books.

Kenn said...

LOL! Doug, I did that as well!I cannot recall why, but I did. I have a couple of old tables (one of which I am using to type this on) that were "found" items. I refinished parts, and decided to decoupage the surfaces, using magazine and Free Comic Book Day comics. I did the same with some glass surfaces, which hold too many items to clean as often as glass requires. A year ago a friend's family was tossing a bunch of old picture frames. With a little work I was able to fix most, and framed several comic book covers that I especially liked. So my place is basically the home I dreamed of when I was twelve.

Redartz said...

Thanks for all the comments, everyone! Love hearing your tales.

Colin and Mike- it seems quite appropriate, actually, that you 'pinned up' the pin-ups. For some reason, it never occurred to me to do so.

Anonymous- the card sheet is a great idea; certainly less damaging to the source material...

Doug- here's hoping your booklet shows up somehow, someday. If it does, please share the pics!

Tom- the paired sliding doors sound perfect. Heroes vs. villains, indeed. If you do find a photo, that would be terrific!

Kenn- wow, your place sounds incredible. The twelve-year-old in me is envious.

Martinex1- can't let the post go without telling you how cool that mural is, and how impressive your comic productions are. Great work, and the artists you are working with deserve much commendation. It really is a learning experience, trying to put together a comic. I attempted to do so back in college, with some fellow art students: our results were far less successful than yours!

And to all who cringe at cutting up any comic, I understand completely. I simply hate to waste anything; and some of the comics I have accumulated are physically incomplete: missing pages, partial covers, etc. One old Batman issue: someone actually removed all the ad pages and left only the story pages (and as a result, a pretty thin comic). So, since they aren't readable, can't sell them, and don't wish to just pitch 'em, I put them to use. Of course, I can't truthfully say that I haven't read some comics so bad, I wasn't tempted to carve them up...

Martinex1 said...

Thank you Redartz. I really have to give so much credit to Greg. He always produces what I have in the script and adds nuances that just take it to another level. His interpretation has been great. It has been a joy working with him and I can't say enough. A quick plug for him - if you are looking for a cover recreation or a pin-up all your own - search him out on eBay. When Liezl joined our team recently on colors, things have really taken off. Someday if you are interested I will share some stories and the process.

To all of you cutting out images in comics - a hearty thank you. Over the years I've gathered some classic comics like Sub-Mariner/ Iron Man 1 because somebody cut out a few Iron Man heads - other than that the comic is great and I would never have been able to afford a reading copy.

I don't recall cutting out anything when I was young - but I enjoyed using silly putty to snatch the ink and the image. Stretching Cap and the Hulk into contortions was always fun.

spencer said...

What I've had a blast doing the past couple of years is modpodge, with some old furniture. I've got a coffee table covered in panels from Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers, and X-men(believe it or not, xmen #94, a coverless copy from before anybody thought much about bagging and boarding).

I also have a Conan table, from low grade Barry Smith copy I had. It's pretty affordable to find a 4.0 or less issue that I don't mind cutting up. Wish I could post some pics here to show, but oh well.

Ward Hill Terry said...

For Christmas 1976 I received the 1977 Marvel Memory Album calendar. As I was a new comic collector it was invaluable in helping me to learn about Marvel heroes and their histories. Sometime after 1977 I cut out many images from the illustrations and tacked them up on my bedroom walls. Superhero ephemera was very hard to come by in those days! (Anyone else have the posters with the main character done in paint and a sample panel from their comic at the bottom? I had Superman.) The Wasp was so tiny I didn't want to use a tack, so I stuck into the wall plate for the light switch. Thor's foot was not in the picture, so I had to put him up against a wall. Hulk, Sub-Mariner, Dr. Strange, Luke Cage, Spider-Man were at random places on my walls among the team photos of The Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics, and Patriots, Don Martin's tribute to rock from Mad Magazine, the posters from Chicago IV, and the ubiquitous Farrah. I am pretty certain they are all somewhere in the attic. I am almost as certain that I didn't cut up the Captain America page, but used it as a pin-up as is.

Doug said...

Ward Hill Terry --

I may still have the Captain America and Spider-Man posters that you describe. I wanted them all, though! Your mention of those posters takes me right back to the drug store, looking at the poster racks. That particular store was the only place I ever saw those. Thanks for a great memory!

Doug

Redartz said...

Spencer- sounds like you must have some of the most impressive furniture around!

Ward Hill Terry- thanks for your story! I had that calender too, although it didn't get cut up. Just sadly thrown out somewhere, somewhen...

spencer said...

Well, not to be braggy, but yes! My DC end table comes from a O'Neil/Adams GA/GL and one of those 100 page Detective giants, to go with the afore-mentioned coffee table.

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