May 25, 2010


Skymasters daily from February, 2, 1959. Excellent example of the Kirby/Wallace Wood combo, scanned from the original artwork.
Plenty of detail in the first panel. Wood uses two different textures to give the background a three-dimensional quality, and adds his trademark shadows to the faces. Funny, to see the names of the characters in huge letters on front of the helmets -- I suppose that's in case space sickness sets in, then they can remember each other's names.

Here's a nice example of Kirby coming up with creative machinery that also tells you a story.You'd hope that after all their training, the astronauts wouldn't need those labels written on the dashboard, but Jack has to present information to his reader (someone reading a tiny black-and-white comic strip) and this method of using large text on the device does the trick. Note how Jack abbreviates "air pr's'r guage" -- not much room in one of those spaceships for superfluous excess verbiage. Plus "guage" is a typo (or I guess in comics, maybe it should be called an inko), the correct spelling is "gauge," but there's nothing wrong with a few grammatical errors on the hardware, as long as the engine works.

Amazing how many times in Skymasters the Kirby/Wood backgrounds steal the show -- the bad guy is compelling, but the beautifully delineated Kirby/Wood contraptions make this piece come to life, and harken back to Wood's heyday at EC.