John Buscema gets some 2009 Avengers New Years love

At just a little over a month old, this fanatic blog has certainly gotten off to a great start. For those of you who enjoy the “inside baseball” stuff, we’ve had 5,971 page views since Funny Book Fanatic launched in late November. Thanks to all of you who visit and enjoy my efforts. Tell your friends. It’ll only get better from here. happynewyear

John Busceman 1993

John Busceman 1993

In honor of 2009, I’m going to be taking a taking a little extra time for myself. But before I go … don’t think I’ve forgotten my promise to tell the Stan Lee/John Romita Sr. story about freezing in Hawaii. I’ll get to it here in a week or so, but in the meantime there won’t be any updates on this site until the next Miscellaneous Monday (Jan. 5, 2009). So enjoy this mini-tribute to two of my favorite things about comics, John Buscema and The Mighty Avengers.


WOW! One of Ed McGuiness's favorites

As my young life as a Marvel Zombie was just beginning, John Buscema was the artist on The Avengers. I’d fallen in love with the Avengers because some of the early stories had been featured in the Captain America episodes of the Marvel Heroes animation. If you’re old like me, you know the words, so sing along, “When Captain America throws his mighty shield …” With a modern eye, this material looks rather quaint, but it still fills me with nostalgic thrills. Enjoy these blasts from the past.

Click on the cover of KING-SIZE AVENGERS #3 for artist Ed McGuiness’s favorite covers.


Check out Black Panther's old school mask

The early appearances of T’challa as the Black Panther had him sporting a mask like Hawkeye or Captain America,where you could see his mouth and nose, but as you can see about corner character box, he took on his more modern, popular version by the time Avengers #57 below.


All red John Buscema cover. Bold decision. Classic cover.

Below are two are my favorites, both the covers by John Buscema and the stories.

Avengers #80

Avengers #80


Avengers #81










And in a tribute to the super-cool stuff that you can find on the internet if you dig around a little, check out the  stuff I found below.

The Black Panther (in old school mask) and Hawkeye vs. Whirlwind and the Melter. Click on the panels to see the whole page (courtesy of Steve Donnelly).


Following is a portion of the last page from AVENGERS #77 featuring the one of the team’s lesser known villains, Cornelius Van Lunt. This also features a “click on the art” link to see the whole page (courtesy of Steve Donnelly).



Now we jump forward to John Buscema‘s most recent run on the Avengers including inks from the spectacular Tom Palmer, this panel from issue #258. Yep, click on the art again, if you want.


And last but not least, an example of full pencils from John Buscema. This sample comes from inker Tom Palmer via the “unofficial” John Buscema website, which says AVENGERS #255was the only book that John supplied Tom with finished pencils during their long & successful second run on The Avengers in the 1980’s.

AVENGERS full pencils from Buscema from the 1980s

AVENGERS full pencils from Buscema from the 1980s


See you Monday.

        — Dave Olbrich (DWO) Thurs. Jan. 1, 2008


Filed under Behind the Scenes, Fanatic General, Fanatical History

10 responses to “John Buscema gets some 2009 Avengers New Years love

  1. Great post! John is my absolute favourite (Avengers #277 was the first comic I ever bought). It’s a treat to see those pencils; I remember being a bit shocked when I saw what John looked like finished by Klaus Janson in MCP, and it was the first time I realized how integral Tom was to the look of the Avengers.

  2. Dave Olbrich

    Robert —
    John Buscema was amazing, but like my post indicated, the entire time that he was working on AVENGERS in the 80’s, he never actually sent in completed pencils, he sent in what has commonly become known in the industry as “breakdowns” instead, which allows for a lot more interpretation by the inker. Or maybe it was something between breakdowns and full pencils … sometimes these definitions of partially completed comic pages can be vague.

    So Tom Palmer had to take the “rough” layouts and finish them for publication, which accounts for how responsible Tom was for the look of those Avengers issues.

  3. John Buscema is a major hero of mine. Every hero he drew made them look like 500lbs, sturdy and strong. His Avenger run blew me away but, though I wasn’t a big fan of the book, his Savage Sword of Conan black and white work is just AMAZING. Not to mention the women.

    I really recomend the Vangard Art of John Buscema from a few years past. I met him in San Diego before he passed and purchased the book, which is well worth it.

  4. Dave Olbrich

    Thanks for stopping by Mark. The world of comics is much depleted without the towering talent of John Buscema in our midst.

  5. Joe Jusko

    Hey, Dave!!!

    BUSCEMA was (and is) my comic art god! I learned to draw by copying his stuff as a kid. He was without a doubt one of the best draftsmen our industry has ever seen. It’s nice to see him getting some props here as he often overlooked or taken for granted.

  6. Dave Olbrich

    Joe –
    What a great and wonderful surprise that you dropped by my humble, yet fanatical little blog. I’ll see if I can’t find more excuses to remind the world how great and influential John Buscema was. The world (my world) ain’t the same without him.

  7. Joe Jusko

    I’m right there with you, pal! The realization of never seeing new Big John work depresses me beyond words!

  8. Pingback: Brevoort, Anderson, Marder and other FANATIC name dropping « Funny Book Fanatic

  9. great post, just wanted to note that there is a great new sketchbook of John’s unpublished work available, it’s called “John Buscema: A Life in Sketches” by Emilio Soltero. It’s available on amazon and is definitely worth getting!



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