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Tex Morgan #1-9 (Aug.1948 – Feb. 1950).
John Buscema, born Giovanni Natale Buscema (December 11, 1927–January 10, 2002), was an American comic-book artist and one of the mainstays of Marvel Comics during its 1960s and 1970s ascendancy into an industry leader and its subsequent expansion to a major pop culture conglomerate. His younger brother Sal Buscema is also a comic-book artist.
Buscema is best known for his run on the series The Avengers and The Silver Surfer, and for over 200 stories featuring the sword and sorcery hero Conan the Barbarian. In addition, he pencilled at least one issue of nearly every major Marvel title, including long runs on two of the company's top magazines Fantastic Four and Thor.
He was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2002.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, John Buscema showed an interest in drawing at an early age, copying comic strips such as Popeye. In his teens, he developed an interest in both superhero comic books and such classic adventure comic strips as Hal Foster's Tarzan and Prince Valiant, Burne Hogarth's Tarzan, Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon, and Milton Caniff's Terry and the Pirates. He also showed an interest in commercial illustrators of the period, such as N.C. Wyeth, Norman Rockwell, Dean Cornwell, Coby Whitmore, Albert Dorne, and Robert Fawcett.
Buscema graduated from Manhattan's High School of Music and Art. He also took night lessons at Pratt Institute as well as life drawing classes at the Brooklyn Museum. While training as a boxer, he began painting portraits of boxers and sold some cartoons to The Hobo News. Seeking work as a commercial illustrator while doing various odd jobs, Buscema found himself instead entering the comic-book field in 1948, landing a staff job under editor-in-chief and art director Stan Lee at Timely Comics, the forerunner of Marvel Comics. The Timely "bullpen", as the staff was called, included such fellow staffers as established veterans Syd Shores, Carl Burgos, Mike Sekowsky, George Klein, and Marty Nodell and hired, roughly two months earlier, newcomer Gene Colan.
His first recorded credit is penciling the four-page story "Till Crime Do You Part" in Timely's Lawbreakers Always Lose #3 (Aug. 1948). He also contributed to the "real-life" dramatic series True Adventures and Man Comics (the premiere issue of which sported one of Buscema's earliest recorded comic-book covers), as well as to Cowboy Romances, Two-Gun Western (for which he drew at least one story of the continuing character the Apache Kid), Lorna the Jungle Queen, and Strange Tales. Until the bullpen was dissolved a year-and-a-half later, as comic books in general and superhero comics in particular continued their post-war fade in popularity, Buscema penciled and inked in a variety of genres, including crime fiction and romance fiction.
Buscema's mid-1950s work also includes Dell Comics' Roy Rogers Comics #74-91 (Feb. 1954 - July 1955) and subsequent Roy Rogers and Trigger #92-97 & #104-108 (Aug. 1955 - Jan. 1956 & Aug.-Dec. 1956); and the Charlton Comics series Ramar of the Jungle and Nature Boy — the latter, Buscema's first superhero work, created by himself and Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel.
Buscema next produced a series of Western war, and sword and sandal film adaptations for Dell's Four Color series. Buscema recalled, "I did a bunch of their movie books ... that was a lot of fun. I worked from stills on those, except for The Vikings. ...I think one of the best books I ever did was Sinbad the Sailor.
He drew at least one issue of the radio, film, and TV character the Cisco Kid for Dell in 1957, as well as one- to eight-page biographies of every U.S. president through Dwight Eisenhower for that company's one-shot Life Stories of American Presidents.
During a late 1950s downturn in the comics industry, Buscema drew occasional mystery, fantasy, and science-fiction stories for Atlas Comics' Tales to Astonish, Tales of Suspense, and Strange Worlds, and American Comics Group's Adventures into the Unknown, and Forbidden Worlds before leaving comics to do freelance commercial art. He began a freelance position for the major New York City advertising studio, the Chaite Agency, which employed top commercial artists such as Bob Peak and Frank McCarthy.
Buscema spent approximately eight years in the commercial-art field, freelancing for the Chaite Agency and the studio Triad, doing a variety of assignments: layouts, storyboards, illustrations, paperback book covers, etc. in a variety of media. Buscema called this time "quite a learning period for me in my own development of techniques".
He returned to comic books in 1966 as a regular freelance penciller for Marvel Comics, debuting over Jack Kirby layouts on the "Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D." story in Strange Tales #150 (Nov. 1966), followed by three "The Incredible Hulk" stories in Tales to Astonish #85-87 (Nov. 1966 - Jan. 1967). He then settled in as regular penciller of the The Avengers, which would become one of his signature series, with #41 (June 1967). Avengers #49-50, featuring Hercules and inked by Buscema, are two of his "best-looking [issues] of that period".
In order to adapt to the Marvel Comics style of superhero adventure, Buscema "synthesized the essence of [Jack] Kirby's supercharged action figures, harrowing perspectives, monolithic structures, mega-force explosions, and mythological planetscapes into a formula that he instantly integrated into his own superbly crafted vision. The process brought Buscema's art to life in a way that it had never been before. Anatomically balanced figures of Herculean proportions stalked, stormed, sprawled, and savaged their way across Marvel's universe like none had previously".
With Jack Kirby's departure from Marvel in 1970, Buscema succeeded him on both of Kirby's titles: Fantastic Four (penciling issues #107-141, following John Romita Sr.) and The Mighty Thor (#182-259). He was inked by Joe Sinnott on the former, and variously by Sinnott, Verpoorten, Vince Colletta, Tony DeZuniga, and others on the latter.
Buscema began penciling Conan the Barbarian with #25 (April 1973) following Barry Smith's celebrated run, and debuted as the Conan artist of the black-and-white comics-magazine omnibus Savage Sword of Conan with issue #1 (Aug. 1974). He would eventually contribute to more than 100 issues of each title (the former through 190, the latter through 101, then again from #190-210), giving him one of the most prolific runs for an artist on a single character. He additionally drew the Conan Sunday and daily syndicated newspaper comic strip upon its premiere in 1978, and even contributed some storyboard illustrations for the 1982 Conan movie, as well as painting four covers for the Conan magazines.
In the mid-1970s, Buscema ran the John Buscema Art School, which advertised for students in the pages of many Marvel titles. Stan Lee made appearances as a guest lecturer at Buscema's school, and some of the school's graduates (including Bob Hall and Bruce Patterson) went on to become professional cartoonists. Buscema then collaborated with Lee on the book How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way (Marvel Fireside Books, 1978), a primer on comic-book art and storytelling based on the comic art classes Buscema had given a few years prior,and has remained in print for over 25 years, in its 33rd printing as of 2007.
John had been with Marvel ever since, and had worked on all of Marvel's major characters.
In 1996 after almost 50 years in the comic book business, John quietly retired from the industry.
Five years after his "retirement", John remained busy and in great demand. For instance in May, 2001 he attended a con in Italy and in July he was one of the Special Guests of the San Diego Comic Con. During the San Diego show, Vanguard Press unveiled "The John Buscema Sketchbook", featuring drawings from John's personal collection.
In September, DC Comics released the long awaited,Just Imagine Stan Lee with John Buscema Creating Superman. Nobody knew it at the time, but that book would turn out to be John's last published comic ever, because during the fall of 2001 John was diagnosed with cancer. Despite his health problems, John continued working on his commissions, along with drawing the first book of a 5 part mini-series for DC comics written by Roy Thomas. Sadly on January 10th, 2002 John succumbed to his illness. He leaves behind his wife Delores, son John Jr. and daughter Dianne and grandchildren.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.