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Snark Blocker – Steranko Cap Double-Pagers

In the late 60s, Jim Steranko did a mere three issues of Captain America. But boy, were they three remarkable issues of Captain America. What follows are three double-page spreads by Steranko – he managed to do a double-page spread in each issue of Captain America he did (#110,111 and 113). Click on the images to enlarge!

Enjoy!

Captain America 110-12&13_001.jpg


Captain_America111_12&13_001.jpg

CaptainAmerica_113_1213_001.jpg

34 Comments

Wow, those are some awesome spreads. I love the blacks on the third one, and all three are very dynamic.

Steranko is one of those very rare artists to be ahead of his time!

Holy crap. This is distilled awesome.

I just crapped myself.

I’d really like to see these done with modern colouring techniques, Even though the colouring is far beyond what you normally see in comics from that era.

Jesus H. Steranko!

Yeah, as good as they all are, Steranko’s work in that last issue (Cap #113) transcended even his NORMAL greatness.

So stylized – so cool.

What leaps off the screen to me is the progression of Steranko’s style in just these three issues.

The first image (#110) reads like an exceptionally gifted Kirby pastiche; the third (#113) has evolved into an entirely different artistic animal altogether.

I loved these spreads in black and white from the 2nd Essential Cap volume, but man alive, those are made of awesome in full color. I want a full sized poster of the first one.

Yeah. I love the Essential Books more’n anything, but some issues just look better in color. I’m really glad I have the originals of these.

Steranko was one of Marvel’s golden artists – when he took over Nick Fury Agent of Shield he was pencilling over Jack Kirby’s page layouts, but he soon took off on his own, hyper-real style. Look at some of the artwork in that series – surreal layouts, twisted panels, op-art photocopying. And look at the man’s legacy – tell me that Paul Gulacy wasn’t influenced by his style and he gave us a tremendous run of artwork on Master of Kung-Fu.

My uncle gave me the comic that had that 3rd one. That comic is so very good. Very.

Those three issues were basically my introduction to Captain America.

Nothing has come close to equaling that amount of awesome since then. What a fantastic story arc that was.

I have those stories in the Visionaries reprint, and could not undersdtand why Steranko said the Visionaries versions stink. Now I understand. You can’t lay the Visionaries books flat to see the double page spreads as one big image. And the Visionaries books seem to be recolored, losing the subtlety of the originals. I think Steranko said some of the line detail was lost as well. Which is ironic since the Visionaries books use theoretically better quality art and paper. So thanks for showing what the originals were supposed to look like!

I believe that there were some “special editions” printed in the 80′s that also have these stories in color. You can usually find them for a couple of bucks in back of the Captain America back issues section.

And now I think I’ll go read these stories again….. :)

I think my first comic was a big weird over-sized hardcover in French featuring those stories. I remember being riveted by every single one of those DPSs and only just understanding what was going on.

Must be why I love Cap.

Definitely a man before his time….and I would have to say Mr.Gulacy was indeed influenced by this man….every convention I go to in my area these three issues are on the hit list….(I’d even take the Captain America Special Edition versions)…but they’re proving difficult to find.

Like they say…it’s not the kill……….

I miss unrealistic/emotional coloring. That bright pink Hydra guy brings so much to the page in terms of energy and balance that he makes it work all that much more. You don’t see that sort of thing today.

JG said …
“Jesus H. Steranko!”

Amen!

I’ll join everyone and say: Fantastic!

Years ago Wizard had an article about Steranko and his influence in this short period of time. It featured these amazing innovations mentioned above by Hannibal.

Here’s a story that could be featured in a future Comic Books Urban Legends: Something that interested me was a story about Steranko doing wordless panels, something new at the time. The article claimed that the man in charge on payments at Marvel refused to pay him for script on said panels (and pages), so he held the man out of his office window, threatening to drop him down. Steranko was paid. I want to know (1) if the story is true and (2) if Steranko was the first one to use “silent” panels/pages

Lazy and decompressed.

I guarantee you if the internet existed in the late 60s, that’s what would have been written.

Lazy and decompressed.

I guarantee you if the internet existed in the late 60s, that’s what would have been written.

Nah. Both “Lazy” and “decompressed” are spelled correctly.

Although I like these, he’s not a man ahead of his time, but awarely of it. Kirby’s been mentioned, add in Will Eisner and Wally Wood…it’s a fun synthesis of some of the greats who had gone before.

Lazy and decompressed.

I guarantee you if the internet existed in the late 60s, that’s what would have been written.

I disagree – double-page spreads were pretty common for the time, especially with Kirby, who was on the book before Steranko (and drew #112, as well).

Marvel UK reprinted these stories in the 1980s in a Captain America annual which is where I came across them. The art is fabulous, I remember being really freaked out by the way Steranko played with page layouts (which I’m guessing was comparatively rare in the late 60s). The ‘mirror’ images of Cap and Rick Jones/Bucky stay in the memory as well as the decaying face (anyone who has read the issues will hopefully know what I mean).

By the way, the story, in itself, was top notch too. I recall reading and re-reading it as a kid.

Oh, I also remember seeing a very intensive Nick Fury 4-page spread.

Cully Callaway

March 24, 2008 at 7:44 am

In issue #110 Steranko gave us one of the most savage interpretations of the Hulk ever seen. Although only a few pages long, the ferocity stuck with me as an absolute high-water mark for that caracture.

Cap 113 is one of the finest moments in comics ever … All three issues are up there, but 113 … whew. I relly like that whole era for Cap’s book. After Steranko, there are issues by John Buscema, Romita, Colan, and Kirby does 112 and the run before Steranko … Just friggin’ classic …

Correct me if I’m wrong but I recall hearing that those spreads are also in the exact middle of each comic so it is printed all on one page.

If anyone is still reading this, any Steranko fan HAS TO READ his 1971 Rolling Stone interview at http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Chamber/8346/rs91.facefront.3.html (it’s part 3 of the article linked in Tom Brevoort’s blog today). http://www.marvel.com/blogs/Tom_Brevoort

You’ll kick yourself if you miss it.

Yes, Chris that is a great interview from Rolling Stone. I just read it at that website and realized there were numerous spelling mistakes. I compared it to the original and also found complete sentences truncated or even missing. So I have posted it in a newly transcribed version here.

http://www.thedrawingsofsteranko.com/rs91steranko.html

A fan sent me a remastered version of the double page spread from CA #110. It can be seen here:

http://www.thedrawingsofsteranko.com/splashcap.html

The middle one, from #111, is probably my single, favorite non-Kirby illustration of Cap of all time.

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