Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Cards From Around The World (7)

On this Christmas Eve, let me share with you  the latest arrivals.
This one is from Team Fantomen artist and all-around great guy, Hasse Lindahl.
The next is a photo card from The Land Down-under  sent by Frew cover artist, Antonio Lemos and his wife Amanda.
Last but not least, two cards, sent by two great publishers of The Phantom.
The first came from Sweden and was sent by Gammelredax Ulf Grandberg and The Phantom Crew at Egmont.
 The next one came from Australia and was mailed by Jim Shepherd and his wife Judith.
 Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Cards From Around The World (6)

Today I received a great Christmas photo-card from my Argentinian friend and teammate César Spadari.
Another card arrived from my hometown of Taranto, Italy and was sent by comic book author Gian Marco De Francisco.

Thanks to you all. Keep the cards coming!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Cards From Around The World (5)

Here are the latest arrivals. 
The first card arrived from  Fernando Garcia (Argentina) Based on art by Walt Kelly, Santa Claus Funnies Nº 2, 1943, Dell Comics.

 The second was emailed from Sweden by Pidde Andersson.
 The third came from Australia and was e-mailed by writer Daniel Best
Keep your Christmas cards coming!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Cards From Around The World (4)

The first of today's cards came from Italy and was sent by the great Romano Felmang.

The second arrived all the way from Sweden and from one of my favorite writers, Claes Reimerthi.
If you are reading this post and haven't yet sent me your Christmas Card, don't hesitate any longer and send it in!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Cards From Around the World (3)

Today, I was pleased to receive this card from  Italy. It was emailed by my old friend Angelo Todaro, who illustrated The Phantom, Mandrake and Rip Kirby for Fratelli Spada...
 This other card arrived from Spain from Team Fantomen artist exraordinaire  Joan Boix.
  Keep your cards coming! 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Cards from Around the World (2)

Here's one I received today from Norway. It was sent to me by Team Fantomen writer Eirik Ildahl (aka Idi Kharelli )

I'll be posting all the greeting cards (in jpeg or gif formats) I receive from all of you, my dear comic book friends.  Keep 'em coming!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Cards from Around the World (1)

Here's a nice 3-D Card I received today from Magnus Eriksson of the Scandinavian Chapter.
Click on the image to enlarge, put on your 3-D glasses and enjoy!

To visit Magnus'  Fantomen website, click here!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Happy Holidays!

I'd like to wish you all and your families a very happy and peaceful Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Here's a card I put together for the occasion.
I'll be posting all the greeting cards (in jpeg or gif formats) I receive from all of you, my dear comic book friends.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

NEW Original Art For Sale Page!

The Original Art for Sale page on my website has just been updated, and now includes images of all the available art. Prices, however, are still the same as last year. The originals are from Bloodshot (Acclaim Comics) and Firebrand (DC Comics). Please, go take a peek. These pages make a great Christmas gift  for yourself or that comic book geek on your list.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Who's Your favorite Inker?


For the third successive year the Inkwell Awards will post their ballot for voting online on the website on August 15 until one month later on September 15.  Anyone can vote whether they be a fan or an industry professional.  The ceremony will be sponsored by Wizard Entertainment and take place at Wizardworld: New England (Boston) at the Hynes Convention Center on the weekend of October 15-17.  It will be emcee'd by IA founder Bob Almond and the organization's Hall of Fame namesake, Joltin' Joe Sinnott, will preside as keynote speaker, and a question and answer session will take place with the award winners.  Other IA committee members and ambassadors will be in attendance and spokesperson Ms. Inkwell, as played by model Chrissy Cutler, will also be appearing at the event.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Black Panther Statue

Sideshow Collectibles Inc. will be releasing  a Premium Format - Limited Edition figure of Marvel's Black Panther, based on my original costume design. You can find more details on this item, here.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Arnold Friberg R.I.P.

A  living legend has passed away today!
Arnold Friberg, undoubtely Utah's premier visual artist died Thursday, July 1, 2010, at the age of 96, in Salt Lake City.
Friberg was celebrated for his work — set pieces, costumes, backdrops, etc. — on Cecil B. DeMille's "The Ten Commandments," his stylized renderings of Book of Mormon scenes, his painting of George Washington in "The Prayer at Valley Forge,"his series on Canadian Mounties for the Northwest Paper Company and the equestrian portraits of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles. (The only royal commissions ever granted to an American artist.)
Norman Rockwell once referred to Friberg as the “Phidias [Greek sculptor of the Parthenon] of religious art.”

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Here is a beautiful Father's Day message for all you fathers out there, and please pass this on to any special dads in your life.
También disponible en español, aquí.

Friday, June 18, 2010

60 Years in Sweden

 I have recently released an exclusive interview,  which will be part of a special publication dedicated to the 60th anniversary of The Phantom in Sweden. The publication is produced by the good folks at the Scandinavian Chapter and will be presented at the Göteborg Book Fair ( Bok & Bibliotek ) on September 23-26, 2010.
For the occasion, I've also drawn a special Fantomen pin-up and taken some artistic license with the colors of  our hero's costumes which were made to resemble those of the Swedish flag.
In a few days, I'll be offering the original art of this pinup for sale to some of my regular costumers, on a private basis. If you wish to be included in my private costumers list, please email me directly.

Monday, June 14, 2010

R.I.P. Al Williamson

Al Williamson. American cartoonist, comic book artist and illustrator specializing in adventure, Western and science-fiction/fantasy passed away yesterday at the age of 79. Born in New York City in 1931 before moving to his father's home in Bogotá, Colombia for most of his youth, Williamson is a member in what might be called comics second great generation who came into the industry at the latter end of the medium's Golden Age – a group that included Williamson's friend and collaborator Frank Frazetta.
His career began in his teens after the reestablished New Yorker began taking classes from "Tarzan" artist Burne Hogarth as part of what would become the School of Visual Arts.
Throughout the late 1940s, Williamson earned early penciling and inking gigs on various science fiction and western comics for smaller publishers like the American Comics Group and Fawcett Comics.
Williamson's star-making break came in the 1950s after his peers and future comics legends Wally Wood and Joe Orlando helped the artist become established at EC Comics. There, he drew many of the iconic publisher's sci-fi themed magazines including "Weird Science."
Science fiction would remain the artist's calling card over the rest of his career with the most striking examples of his illustrative prowess coming in the '60s when Williamson drew acclaimed issues of the "Flash Gordon" comic book – later editing the first book on "Flash Gordon" creator and boyhood favorite Alex Raymond – and eventually drawing the adaptation of "The Empire Strikes Back" for Marvel in the early '80s. Williamson also contributed to the comic strip medium with a run on Raymond's spy serial "Secret Agent X-9" along with writer and editor Archie Goodwin, whom he also worked with on Warren's classic horror titles "Creepy" and "Eerie." IDW will publish a collection of the pair's "X-9" work in July.
The artist continued to work in comics through the '90s as an inker for Marvel Comics with notable runs on "Daredevil" and "Spider-Man 2099." His final published work was a 2009 "Sub-Mariner 70th Anniversary Special" story, though that penciling effort had been completed ten years earlier.
As of this writing, the cause of Mr. Williamson's death has not yet been disclosed.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

2010 Sy Barry Luncheon

The 2010 Sy Barry Luncheon was held (as usual) at Sardi's Restaurant, in New York City, on June 5th.
More details and photos can be found on Ed Rhoades' website. (Click here)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

T-shirt WANTED!

Here I am, proudly sporting the special edition T-shirt produced by Egmont for the Best Fantomen Cover of 2008. This T-shirt is a very special piece of my own Phantom collection. Somewhere out there, there are several other T-shirts with the Best Fantomen Cover of 2007 .(Also won by yours truly) Egmont has never sent me mine, (shame, shame ;-) and I would really like to get one.
Here's the cover image that should appear on the T-shirt:

If any of you has one of these T-shirts (with the 2007 cover) and is willing to part with it, in exchange for an original Phantom pencil sketch ( 8 1/2" x 11") please contact me. Thank you!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Coming Up, Soon...

Just a sneak peek of an upcoming cover. Me and Eugenio, actually did it last year. What do you think?
(Click on the image to enlarge)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Did you say...COMMISSIONS?

For the next few days only, I'll be available for commissions.  (Hurry up!) If you're interested, you can email me.
My commissions fees can be found here. Below are some samples. (Click on each image to enlarge)
As of  May 29, 2010 this offer is no longer available. Sorry to cut this so short, folks :-(

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Before The Phantom

I just wanted to share a memento of a fortuitous encounter between three members of Team Fantomen that happened way before, all three of them, got to draw The Phantom.
The year was 1997.
The artists were  Don Perlin, Dick Giordano and Sal Velluto.
The project was a limited lithograph, produced by Joe Petrilak, head of the Valiant Fan Club, as part of the "Acclaim Ink" fan club program.  The lithograph was titled "VH-1 Bloodshot meets the VH-2 Bloodshot" and depicted both the Valiant and Acclaim versions of Bloodshot drawn by the respective artist of each book, Don Perlin and Sal Velluto. Here's what the Lithograph looked like. (Thanks to Magnus Ramström for the scan) What do you think?

P.S. I still have a few original pages for sale, from my run on Bloodshot (But not this particular lithograph) If you're interested, check my Art For Sale page.

Monday, May 17, 2010

My First Phantom [4]

I am pleased to present a series of short stories describing the first time we read The Phantom.
This fourth installment has been written by Indrajal Comics Super-Phan, Ranjan Dutta.  If you want to share the memories of your "First Phantom" with the readers of this blog, please contact me.
The memories of my early school days are always sweet and become even sweeter when it comes to the time when I read My First Phantom.

I was only eight years old, then. One day, in my classroom, I witnessed a group of boys forcing another kid out of his seat. The poor outcast was left with no other choice than coming to sit right beside me. He was very angry with those boys, he grumbled and complained. After a few minutes, speaking in a really low voice, he said, “Do you know I can defeat those stupid boys in a second?

“Oh... - I replied in surprise - ...can you..?”

“Yes I can! - he said - But I don’t want to show them my powers, here in the classroom.- Then he added - I know Judo and Karate and I read The Phantom. That’s the way I became powerful.” Then,  he flexed his biceps...

At the time I didn't know much about Judo and Karate, and it was first time I ever heard about The Phantom.

So, I asked him, “Who is The Phantom?”

“Oh! You don’t know who The Phantom is? - He replied in surprise- The Phantom is The Masked Man of the Jungle! He's The Ghost Who Walks!" Then he told me much more about this mysterious man.

For some reason,  right then and there, his story didn't appeal much to me.

Later, that afternoon, I was playing in front of my house with some  friends when I saw him again standing outside his house. He looked at me, ran into his house and came back out, immediately, holding in his hands two comic books.

That was the first time I saw some Phantom comics. They were The Mystery of the Veiled Lady  by Lee Falk and Sy Barry (Indrajal #41, 1 May 1967)  and “The Great Riddle” by Lee Falk and Bill Lignante (Indrajal # 54, 1 Nov 1967).

“Take them... -  he said - ... and you will know who The Phantom is.”

I ran into my house; showed the comics to my elder brother, and we read them together.

We read “The Great Riddle” first. It talked about a female Phantom and a witch who had kidnapped a girl. The old witch spoke about a riddle which, at the time,  I didn’t completely understand. Nonetheless,  I enjoyed how brave and smart  The Phantom came across in the story.

The second story was marvelous and it is still my all time favorite. Inside a volcano called Veiled Lady, lived some big bugs, 12  feet butterflies, praying mantis as big as horses and many other incredible creatures. The Phantom was there to rescue a professor and her assistant. I can still remember a huge frog with its huge tongue trying to swallow the assistant and  The Phantom killing it with his gun. At the end of the story they safely came out of the volcano right before it violently erupted. Reading that story was a wonderful experience for me that I'll  never forget.

Then I realized the masked the man was very smart, strong and intelligent, and above all he was very brave. I was really attracted by his bravery. " The Phantom fears nothing!" (Old jungle saying)

I tried to be brave like The Phantom, but I found out that being brave was not that easy. Then I read another Phantom story where bravery was described as "being afraid and going ahead anyhow.” That was a lesson I remembered throughout my whole life.

That's how I started reading  The Phantom. As of today, more than 42 years later, I haven't stopped yet.

Ranjal Dutta is a freelance illustrator who lives and works in Kolkata, India. He's married and has a kid who also likes to read The Phantom. Some of Ranjan's works can be seen  here.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

To all mothers, past, present and future, since they help CREATE and SHAPE the lives of their children, I'd like to dedicate this video clip about creativity.
También disponible en español, aquí.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Marvel, Again and Again...

 It looks like Marvel's reprint department has decided, yet again, to publish another hard cover volume containing a classic cross-over storyline.
The volume is X-MEN INFERNO CROSSOVERS . It's a 603 pages tome including some of my POWER PACK stories from 1984 intertwined with other stories from Avengers (1963) #298-300, Fantastic Four (1961) #322-324, Amazing Spider-Man (1962) #311-313, Spectacular Spider-Man (1976) #146-148, Web Of Spider-Man #47-48, Daredevil (1964) #262-263 & #265, Excalibur (1988) #6-7, and Cloak & Dagger (1988) #4.
X-MEN INFERNO CROSSOVERS is written (in order of appearance) by Louise Simonson, Walter Simonson, Jon Bogdanove, Julianna Jones, Steve Englehart, David Michelinie, Gerry Conway, Chris Claremont, Ann Nocenti and Terry Austin, pencilled  (in order pf appearance) by Sal Velluto, John Buscema, Jon Bogdanove, June Brigman, Keith Pollard, Todd McFarlane, Sal Buscema, Alex Saviuk, Alan Davis, John Romita Jr and Mike Vosburg, with cover art by Todd McFarlane.
 The volume's shipping date is July 2010. Its list price is USD 75.00, but it can be pre-ordered from Amazon for USD 48.93. (Click here)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Iron Man Too

 As the much anticipated "Iron Man 2" makes its theatrical debut, this Friday, allow me to share one of my old Iron Man  illustrations, straight from the pages of Marvel's Black Panther. The inks are by my long time collaborator (and Avengers Fan Extraordinaire) Bob Almond. (Hi, Bob!)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

From One Ghost To Another

This is the second part of my interview which originates on Aaron Bias' The Ghost Who Blogs blog. Out of this spooky encounter of kindred spirits, these two old ghosts (Aaron and I) hope that all of you readers have a quick read and some lively comments. To read part one of this interview, please, click here.
GWB: Who has inspired you artistically?

SV: That would depend on how far back in time we want to go. Among the old masters I enjoy Michelangelo's power; Caravaggio's dramatic lighting and Jan Vermeer's geometric perfection. Closer to our time I would probably choose J C Leyendecker,  Maxfield Parrish, Norman Rockwell and Albert Dorne. ( For more inspirational artists from The Golden Age of Illustrations, please visit The American Art Archives) Among the pioneers of comic book art, Alex Raymond and Hal Foster will always be my heroes.

GWB: I know that you grew up in Italy, moved to the U.S. and do work for Team Fantomen in Sweden - so I have to ask: Do you prefer the Phantom in red, blue or purple?

SV: I have to admit that, after a while, I got used to the taste of the blue costume. It makes me think of the generations of Scandinavian readers that have known and loved it, that way, for close to 60 years. I also like the flavor of the purple costume which, so far,  I’ve only drawn once for an upcoming Frew cover. The red costume is my absolute favorite… at Christmas time when I draw it on my greeting cards!

GWB: How do you feel about the current state of the comics industry?  What, if anything, would you do to improve it?

SV: I think, overall, the state of the comic industry is good. Even if companies barely brake-even with their sales of printed material, the ancillary market still brings in the big money. Besides, comic book based movies continue to be successful and highly profitable. Therefore, if I were to do anything about it, I’d probably take a “laissez-faire” approach and let the competition among creators and companies bring us better and better products.

Again, thanks to Aaron Bias for his un-bias interview. It was fun!
Aaron's fascinating recollections of his first encounter with The Phantom can be read here.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Phantom Graffiti

A little anticipation of an upcoming cover.
Lots of "subliminal messages". What do you see?