Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Superboy #168

Superboy #168 (On Sale: July 7, 1970) has another of my favorite Neal Adams' covers. Just beautiful.

We begin with "Leave Us... or We Perish" by Frank Robbins, Bob Brown and Murphy Anderson.

The back-up Superboy story must have been in inventory for a few years. "The Negative Boy of Steel" is by Arnold Drake who was fired in 1968, Al Plastino who was also fired in 1968 and Mike Esposito. Except for a Superman's Wedding Album pin-up in 1996, this is Al Plastino's last work for DC.

Al Plastino's earliest comic work was as an assitant to Bill Everett working on Sub-Mariner for Timely Comics and his first credited work was the cover of Novelty Press' Blue Bolt Comics #9 in 1943.

In 1948 Plastino showed samples of his work to editors at DC and began a 20-year stint on the Superman family of books. At first he was required to mimic Wayne Boring's style but as time went on he was allowed to draw like Al Plastino. The worked on Superman, Superboy, and Lois Lane. With Otto Binder he co-created Supergirl and The Legion of Super-Heroes.

Plastino also drew the Superman newspaper strip in the late 60s and the Batman strip from 1966-1972. When DC ousted him from their books in 1968 Al Plastino also took over the Ferd'nand newspaper strip which he drew until he retired in 1989. In 1983 he drew the Sunday episodes of Nancy after Ernie Bushmiller died and he also drew a year's worth of Peanuts strips in the early 1980s to be used if Charles Schulz became ill. I don't think those will ever see the light of day, but it does make for an interesting trivia question, "Who besides Charles Schulz drew an entire year's worth of Peanuts strips?"

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.


Douglas Wolk said...

I believe a number of those Plastino "Peanuts" strips were printed in a TwoMorrows book about the Legion a few years ago.

Dave Potts said...

This may have been Plastino's last full story, but it wasn't his last work for DC. He redrew Superman's face in the first three Kirby issues of Jimmy Olsen, later that year.

Dave Potts said...

And as long as I'm commenting -- I'm glad to see that you're back!

Tom Burkert said...

Does anyone out there know how to contact Al Plastino? I'm putting together an exhibit of Legion artwork and he's one of the two early Legion artists I haven't been able to find ANY original artwork from. The other one is John Forte. Thanks!!