The Jim Aparo Fan Club

A look at the career of comics artist Jim Aparo.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Brave and Bold: The Lost Issues?!

Check out this wild blog from Ross:
http://braveandboldlost.blogspot.com/
Starting with scans of classic (mostly) Aparo covers (from Brave and the Bold as well as other series), Ross produces imaginative glimpses of team-ups that never were...and, in many cases, never could have been! The digital surgery is much more neatly done than most of the Photoshopped work one often finds on the web, with Ross very neatly merging Jim's work with the art of artists like John Byrne and Gil Kane (among many)--an impressive job considering Ross uses the much-maligned Microsoft Paint to get his results!
Favorites of mine include the team-ups of Batman with Captain Kirk of Star Trek, Air Wave, and Black Panther!
Great fun, Ross!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Aparo on the Web: The Spectre


At The Bronze Age of Blogs, Pete Doree treats us today to "The Wrath of the Spectre". Pete offers up some well-deserved praise for the Orlando/Fleischer/Aparo/Carley run from the 1970's in Adventure Comics, and serves up scans of the first installment for your reading pleasure. I was struck by this comment of Pete's:
[Aparo's] art also had the 'cool' factor, something indefinable that only Gil Kane's could match. Every one of his characters somehow just looked unspeakably cool, like the greatest Rat Pack movie never made.
Well said, Pete! Anyone who's seen Jim's rendition of the Spectre's alter ego, Detective Jim Corrigan, would probably agree. Corrigan wasn't the only stylish and suave gentleman to grace Jim's pages--I'd add his renditions of Bruce Wayne, Oliver Queen and Scott Free to the Aparo "Rat Pack", just for starters.

Elsewhere on the web, the Groovy Agents serves up Brave & Bold #116, a team-up of Batman and the Spectre that ran contemporaneous to the Spectre solo series that Pete samples (see above).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

One Wreck of a Cover!

Here's a look at one of the few comics missing from my own Jim Aparo collection, the cover to Charlton's Grand Prix #31, from 1970. Nearing the end of his stint at Charlton, Jim supplied this smashing piece of art. To the best of my knowledge, it was Jim's only contribution to the racing comics genre (Charlton, I believe, was the only publisher of American color comics still exploiting the subject by the 1970's). That's Jim's distinctive lettering on the "Last Chance" title, by the way. Charlton was often quite happy to let Jim letter his covers (not the logo, of course), unlike DC, which was far pickier about its cover text. I've usually found that comics artists struggled--often unsuccessfully--when they tried to convey the speed and excitement of racing. Depicting a crack-up like this obviously makes the job a lot easier, with the wheels spinning off the axle and comics-style impact explosion, but I especially love the way Aparo incorporated his trademark landscape tilt to add dynamicism to an already-energetic design. I'll bet the Charlton editors wished they'd assigned Jim a few more of these kinds of jobs after seeing what he turned in here.
Jim would revisit the race tracks a time or two in his career at DC, although not in comics devoted specifically to the genre. Typical of the comics vets of his generation, he could and would draw anything he was assigned to draw, any setting, any time, any genre. And as evidenced by this terrific piece, he usually drew it very, very well.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Something Very Different


Here's a sketch Jim did in his retirement years for a commision job of Sherlock Holmes! Well, he was a DC comics character, I suppose, appearing in one issue of his own comic as well as in Batman and in The Brave and The Bold Special (in an issue with a Jim Aparo cover)! But Jim never got to draw any of those issues. Click it to see it big!
Holmes underwent a surge in popularity in the early 70's, when Jim Aparo was in his prime. I was a big Holmes fan as well as a comics fan, so I really love this piece!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Phantom Stranger Collectible Card, 1993

Our friend rob! at the Phantom Stranger blog has posted a 2006 trading card featuring the Phantom Stranger today. That reminded me of this little gem (which I do believe rob! has missed; I'll have to mention this to him!):




















Here we see the front and back of a 1993 card released by Skybox, with pencils and inks by Jim Aparo. I'm not sure what set this is from, but it's #118 out of 150. This particular card was signed by Jim at a comics show in Connecticut. There's not a whole lot to say about it: Tannarak was miscolored, unfortunately. It's a classic representation of the Stranger in an interesting "sinister costume party."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Zip Tyro



Steven "Booksteve" Thompson spotlights Jim Aparo's Zip Tyro strips in a new post at his Hooray for Wally Wood blog. Like many comic book artists of his day, Jim longed to break in to the newspaper adventure strips, and "Zip Tyro" was one of a few of his attempts to do so. ZT was a traditional outer space science fiction adventure, with rockets and space stations and dashing astronauts, and it seems like it should have had a good shot at syndication in the mid-1960's, when America was in love with the space program.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Green Aparo

Back when I was producing the print version of the Jim Aparo Fan Club Newsletter, Jim sent me an exclusive heads-up that he was about to take over the art on Green Arrow as of issue #81. It was (to me, anyway) an unexpected reassignment, but it wasn't one that I objected to. Jim had done some good work on the character in Brave & Bold, and had done one of the few Green Arrow solo covers during that long stretch between his Golden Age days in More Fun Comics and Mike Grell's Green Arrow: The Long Bow Hunters miniseries:
Jim informed me that his inker on this one was to be Gerry Fernandez, and that this guy was Eduardo Barretto's brother-in-law.
Fernandez brought a very different feel to Jim's pencils, and even after all these years, I haven't quite decided whether or not I really like Gerry's inks on Jim.