Pop Reviews: Mac Raboy - Master of the Comics

The saying goes "quality not quantity," but that's not necessarily so. Some of the best artists in comics were also among the most prolific.

Jack Kirby, for example, could turn out three blockbusting pages a day. And he wasn't just drawing. He was plotting the stories and essentially creating the Marvel Universe at the same time.

Mac Raboy, meanwhile, could reportedly spend an entire day penciling, erasing and re-penciling one panel of a single page. Granted, they were really nice panels! But the guy was slooow and a perfectionist. That's the testament of nearly every peer of his interviewed by Roger Hill for this beautiful new book.

Raboy is likely best-known for his Golden Age work on Captain Marvel Jr. and his long run, from 1948 to 1967, on the Flash Gordon Sunday strip. He was an incredibly talented draftsman, one of those guys who could paint with a pencil. His faces and figure work were gorgeous, and clearly his true love. As Hill reports, some of his peers in comics complained that Raboy didn't like illustrating action, which, obviously, is the bread and butter of the superhero game. So, consequently, you get the sense that Raboy was one of those creators who, despite being supremely talented at what he did, didn't much enjoy doing it. Which is sad. Still, you'd never get that just from looking at the pictures.

What more do we learn about Raboy in this book? Not a heckuva lot. He was a quiet guy who didn't socialize much with his work peers. We don't get too much more information about his personal life or personality, but that's not for lack of trying on Hill's part. He includes interviews with several of Raboy's assistants and has done a great deal of research. He also interviewed the artist's son. But, for all of that, Raboy, the man, still emerges as a bit of a mystery.

Fortunately, there's a great deal of wonderfully selected and, often, rare art on display here, too. Included are some beautiful woodcuts Raboy did for the WPA during the Depression and, of course, lots of his comics work. The book is nicely written and designed, with excellent reproduction. You can order it via TwoMorrows Publishing now.

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Via The Awesomer:

Time Capsule: Vintage Billy Preston ad, 1969

Official trailer: "James Bond: No Time to Die"

New Comics Day: Best of 75 Years of EC Comics; Ditko is… Amazing!; Spectacular Spider-Man - Lo, This Monster; Star Wars #1 Facsimile Edition; Mickey and Donald’s Christmas Parade 2019

Our picks. Click the links to order from Amazon.

This volume collects stories from EC Comics' most famous titles, featuring classic stories from the hands of legendary creators Al Feldstein, Harvey Kurtzman, Johnny Craig, Jack Davis, Wally Wood, and more! 
Collects material from issues of Crime SuspenStoriesFrontline CombatHaunt of FearImpactShock SuspenStoriesTales from the CryptTwo-Fisted TalesVault of HorrorWeird FantasyWeird Science, and Weird Science-Fantasy.

Earth's Mightiest Heroes and Marvel's First Family share some of their greatest adventures! First, it's the battle of the century -- the Hulk vs. the Thing! And it'll take the combined forces of both teams to stop the destruction! Worlds collide again when Ultron-7 crashes Quicksilver and Crystal's wedding! And the Avengers and the Fantastic Four each have roles to play in cosmic encounters with Annihilus and the Skrulls! Then, on a break from the FF, Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman actually join the Avengers for the Super-Nova saga! The New Avengers and the Fantastic Four face the Kree - -but why are Hank Pym and the Mighty Avengers breaking into the Baxter Building?!
COLLECTING: FANTASTIC FOUR (1961)#25-26, 150, and 255-256, FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #19; AVENGERS (1963) #127, 233, and 301-303, AVENGERS ANNUAL #14; NEW AVENGERS: AAFES #1; MIGHTY AVENGERS (2007) #25-26

Steve Ditko is one of the most infl uential creative minds in popular culture. Steve Ditko is a one-of-a-kind visionary. Steve Ditko is the co-creator of Marvel icons including Spider-Man and Doctor Strange. Steve Ditko is...amazing! Marvel proudly presents the incomparable Amazing Spider-Man work of Steve Ditko in our massive King-Size format. From Spidey's Amazing Fantasy #15 debut to the fi rst appearances of villains like Mysterio and Doctor Octopus, it's like experiencing these classics for the very fi rst time. Ditko's Spider-Man adventures, including the Master Planner saga - an epic considered by many to be the greatest Spider-Man story - defined the spirit of a hero that has inspired millions. Also featuring a host of bonus material, including Ditko's original Amazing Fantasy #15 artwork!
COLLECTING: AMAZING FANTASY (1962) 15, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1963) 3, 11-13, 24, 31-33 AND ANNUAL (1964) 1-2

In 1968, Spider-Man swung into a brand-new magazine-sized format - and the results were spectacular! With John Romita Sr. channeling film noir in his visuals and Stan Lee off ering longer stories for a more mature readership, these were Spidey tales like nothing that had come before! In the first issue, told in glorious halftone black-and-white, things get political as Richard Raleigh bids to be the next mayor of New York - but will his campaign be derailed by a monster running amok in the Big Apple? Then, Lee and Romita go fittingly full-color for the high-flying return of the Green Goblin - and deliver a feature-length showdown between Spidey and his archnemesis! Plus, revisit the origin of Spider-Man - as retold by Stan and his brother, Larry Lieber!

Months before the first Star Wars movie had even arrived in theaters, Marvel Comics' STAR WARS #1 hit the stands, and introduced eager readers to a galaxy far, far away! Its cover asked: "Luke Skywalker: Will he save the galaxy or destroy it?" - and inside, readers eager to know the answer joined Luke on the first, fateful steps of his epic journey from the deserts of Tatooine to the very heart of the Rebellion! This opening chapter of Marvel's adaptation of George Lucas' cinematic masterpiece features the debuts of some of the most beloved characters in cinematic history - including Princess Leia, R2-D2, C-3PO, and of course, the ruthless enforcer of the Galactic Empire, Darth Vader! It's one of the all-time great Marvel comic books, boldly re-presented in its original form, ads and all! Reprinting STAR WARS (1977) #1. 

It's the holiday season, and what better way to celebrate love, joy, good cheer, friends, and family than with eight moments brand new to the U.S.! There are plenty of heartwarming stories in this collection, so spend this Christmas with all your favorites as they celebrate the season in style!

Watch: "Doctor Who" series 12 trailer

Details from the BBC:
Doctor Who returns on New Year’s Day in the start of a thrilling 10-part series, with subsequent episodes airing on Sundays. 
The Thirteenth Doctor is in her TARDIS on her way back to our screens! A thrilling 10-part series will land on New Year’s Day 2020. 
Starting with a blockbuster action packed two-part episode entitled Spyfall, written by Chris Chibnall, the Thirteenth Doctor is well and truly back with a bang. 
As Jodie Whittaker takes charge of the TARDIS once again, the Doctor will be joined by her friends Ryan (Tosin Cole), Yaz (Mandip Gill) and Graham (Bradley Walsh). Series Twelve will also welcome a host of famous faces including Stephen Fry, Sir Lenny Henry CBE, Robert Glenister and Goran Višnjić to name just a few. 
Add to that some familiar faces including the Judoon and the Cybermen, Series Twelve is set to be an epic action-packed rollercoaster for everyone, just don’t stray too far from behind the sofa…

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