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Knowledge Waits: Wally Wood’s Design Sheets for Daredevil

woodmurdockdisplay

This is the latest in a feature where I just share some bit of comic book history that interests me.

Today we take a look at the design sheets that Wally Wood made up for Daredevil during his short-lived stint on the title in late 1964. Wood totally re-designed Daredevil’s costume, giving him the classic red outfit that Daredevil has worn pretty much ever since. So around this time, Wood drew a series of design sheets for how to draw Daredevil, Matt Murdock, Karen Page, Foggy Nelson and Daredevil’s cane. An old issue of FOOM reprinted them and I’m now sharing them with you all.

Enjoy!

wood-daredevil

wood-murdock

wood-karen

wood-foggy

wood-cane

Very cool stuff from a comic book legend.

26 Comments

Foggy sure has put on a few pounds since the old days.

I’ve been rereading Daredevil from the very beginning, and one of the more surprising aspects was how fat Foggy wasn’t in the beginning. He just kept getting fatter issue by issue. It seemed Romita fattened him up the most.

I’ll agree with that, T. I’ve been reading DD from the beginning recently myself. It seemed like they took that hint of a double chin on him and filled out on the rest.

On a side note, I love the poses Wood has the cast in.

If Wood had stayed on the book longer, I wonder if he would’ve gradually increased Karen’s bust size issue by issue, the way he did with Power Girl in the 70s. :)

If Wood had stayed on the book longer, I wonder if he would’ve gradually increased Karen’s bust size issue by issue, the way he did with Power Girl in the 70s.

Instead, that’s what happened to Foggy.

Those are wonderful. I love the details showing what’s in DD’s cane. For any artist or would be artist this is gold. This version of Dare Devil is the best. It’s too bad Wally Wood did not stay longer on DD.

@T (or Anybody Who Wants to Answer): I’ve been planning to do the same, that is, read the early issues of Daredevil. What is the best way to go about doing this, if I prefer to read them in color? I have problems with the coloring in Marvel Masterworks Fantastic Four. Do they step up their coloring game on the DD collections? Or are there better reprints?

That art, and the manner in which it absolutely NAILS each character’s personality, is not only astounding, but better than pretty much anything coming out of DC and Marvel today. A true master.

Cass, I’ve read DD in the Essentials versions, and iirc, they’re pretty sweet. I know you said color, but the B&W is nice to look at.

I know I’ll get a lot of grief from people for admitting this but I got it via torrent.

@T. — Why? Because you are going to put the horribly evil megacorp Disney in the poorhouse? The only people who will give you grief are their lawyers. All that stuff is so old now that it should be in the public domain anyway. But what do I know? Leave it to the US Constitution: “to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for LIMITED TIMES TO AUTHORS AND INVENTORS the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.”

We’re not mad at you T, just very very disappointed. ;)

I’ve been reading them in Essential format as well and I’ll agree with Travis. These books look pretty awesome in black and white. You’ve got Wally Wood early on and then eventually you have Gene Colan doing most of the work after some time. Colan, I think, is almost better in B&W.

Yeah, doesn’t Colan do an Iron Man run as well early on? I remember the IM Essential being beautiful to look at. Great stuff.

Colan (after Don Heck, who I also like) is on Iron Man until he gets his own title. Then Colan moved to Captain Marvel, I think. Anyway, don’t knock the Essentials. Yeah, you miss a bit without the color, but you get a good chunk of comics for cheap and still can have good stuff to look at. I…I have far too many of them…

Why? Because you are going to put the horribly evil megacorp Disney in the poorhouse? The only people who will give you grief are their lawyers. All that stuff is so old now that it should be in the public domain anyway. But what do I know? Leave it to the US Constitution: “to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for LIMITED TIMES TO AUTHORS AND INVENTORS the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.

People on comic book websites get really, really upset when you mention you’ve used torrents. At least in my experience. I originally wanted to buy the whole run in trades but that wasn’t an option because the whole run isn’t in trades. Also, I hate Essentials. I can read black and white comics that were created to be black and white, but I’m not into uncolored versions of books that were originally in color.

Also, with torrents you get the original covers, the original coloring, the original ads and the original letters pages.

@T– Like I implied, if you are screwing over the recent creators, then people have a right to be upset…but the creators are getting jack from those reprints. They don’t call unlimited copyright extension “The Disney Law” for nothing. Anyone who is upset that you downloaded 40 year old comics is sort of an idiot. This video explains it well:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk862BbjWx4&feature=share&list=SPqs5ohhass_QZtSkX06DmWOaEaadwmw_D

Thanks guys, I’ll try the first volume of Essentials. Even if I don’t love the black and white, certainly my wallet will appreciate that choice of reprint.

I opted for the Essentials, myself. And man, the Colan stuff looks like a million bucks in B&W. Not that it doesn’t look fantastic in color, too, mind you.

Like I implied, if you are screwing over the recent creators, then people have a right to be upset…but the creators are getting jack from those reprints. They don’t call unlimited copyright extension “The Disney Law” for nothing. Anyone who is upset that you downloaded 40 year old comics is sort of an idiot.

I firmly agree with that. I don’t get anything new from torrents.

Also, regarding your points about how ridiculous it is to allow copyright extensions to help corporations, I always find this strip hilarious:

http://www.gocomics.com/tomthedancingbug/2012/10/25

@T- Great, great comic.

@Cass & Butler– While artists like Colan and Ditko don’t overly suffer from B&W, there is totally something about color that makes it work. If he isn’t red, he just isn’t Daredevil. That said, so many of the newer color reprints (I’m looking at you, Marvel Masterworks) are so garishly colored and printed on inappropriately slick paper that you really are better off with the Essentials. Also, remember, if you live in a big city, used bookstores are your friends. I just scored the first two Spider-Man Masterworks (paperbacks) for $7.50–around half the price of the Essentials!

Yeah, I sought out the out-of-print Essential Conan not because I prefer B&W but because I prefer it to the recoloring that Dark Horse did on the reprints–not nearly as bad as the abysmal coloring on Dynamite’s Red Sonja reprints, but boy it’s not good.

I understand why the Masterworks don’t use newsprint, but they really should. The old four-color print process looks garish as hell on glossy paper.

Still better than the hideous Photoshop Gradient-o-Rama that seems to be the go-to method for every recolored edition, though.

It IS perfectly possible to make a reprint of an old comic look good, dammit! You can use newsprint, like the DC Omnibus editions, or photograph the old pages, like Yoe does, or you can recolor in a way that mimics the original while still looking good on modern paper stock, like the Fantagraphics Barks reprints. By comparison, Marvel Masterworks looks like…well, like something from 1987.

LouReedRichards

August 12, 2013 at 8:29 am

I actually prefer the Essentials a lot of the times. The Fantastic Four Essentials with John Buscema’s art right after taking over for Kirby is incredible. It looks good in color of course but the pure black and white really shows off Buscema and Sinnott at the height of their power. I have found that to even be the case with artist that I cared less for, it invariably looks better in the Essentials.

I know Toth and others felt that bad coloring ruined a lot of their work and tried to make the final work “color proof”.

@Butler – Yeah, I’ve always felt Colan’s art would work better in B/W. I’m going to have to hunt down some Essentials with his work in it.

@ T – thanks for the “Tom The Dancing Bug” link. I had forgotten all about that strip. Our city paper used to carry it. It was usually the best part of the paper.

[…] so much as “keeping a watchful eye on”), and definitely, definitely, Wally Wood’s designs for Daredevil and his supporting cast. They could not feel fresher. For your edification, let Steven T Seagle […]

It’s funny that Marvel lists Daredevil as 6 feet tall, but he’s drawn here anywhere from 6’2″ to maybe 6’4″+ with the horns.

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