By Beau Smith
Unlike a lot of people in the comic book business, I never try and disguise the fact that I’ve been doing this a long time. This year marks my 20th year in the comic book business. I’m still so hip it hurts.
Or is that I’m so old my hip hurts?whatever?
This past weekend I was going through some dusty strongboxes here at the ranch and I came across some items that have been sealed in testosterone for quite some time. I figured that I’d share em’ with you because you might just get a kick out of em’.
That and I didn’t have a topic of raging importance that I felt just had to be told this week.
So here are a few things I found with a little history to em’.
I’ve always let it be known that I’m a life long Sub-Mariner fan. Back in 1985 at the then Chicago Comic Con, I was lucky enough to meet Sergio Aragones of MAD Magazine and Bat Lash fame for the very first time. We had a great time and talked comics for quite a spell. You can imagine what it must have sounded like being that both of us are known for talking funny. Sergio was doing sketches that day and I asked him if he would do one for me. Ever the gentleman he said “Of course! What would you like?”
I told him that I liked the Sub-Mariner. Sergio smiled, put his head down and within a matter of minutes I had this great drawing of not only the Sub-Mariner, but Sergio’s own creation, Groo as well. As you can see, it’s just brilliant. Many years later, Sergio and I ended up side by side signing comics at Mid-Ohio Con. Back in 1985 I never dreamed that one day I would be signing comics of my own right beside Sergio. See what happens if you stick around long enough?
Here’s an incredible (Because I’m in it.) drawing of me penciled and designed by Flint Henry (Grimjack, Batman, Man-Bat) with inks by X-Men and Spawn inker (And great artist in his own right) Danny Miki. This was done when I was the VP of Sales and Marketing for Image Comics. I needed some art to go along with a promotion that we were doing with retailers at a convention. Flint and Danny not only stepped up the to plate, but they knocked it out of the park. Check out the detail on this one. Here’s a shot of me and the always shy, Danny Miki.
Most of you know of my work as a writer. I bet you didn’t know I could draw did ya? Well, I don’t do it very often, mostly because I’m not any good. But here’s a sketch of Wolverine I did back in 1986 that I thought you’d get a chuckle out of. Oh, and DON’T ask me to do a sketch for you at a con. This small effort took me forever to do. All I do now is a squiggly self portrait with me saying some smart-ass remark now.
Here’s a drawing that artist Gary Kwapisz (Airboy, Conan) did for me in the 1980’s when we were both working at Eclipse Comics. The drawing is a humorous little thing he did of a very aroused Airboy as he admires the shapely figure of Valkyrie.
A few weeks ago You heard me rave about one of my favorite Marvel bad guys, Modok. Well, you also saw a drawing of me as Beaudok by artist Melanie Espinola. This time around you get to see me as Beaudok drawn by Flint Henry. “Obey Beau!”
Speaking of Flint, whenever he sends me faxes, letters or emails , there is always a funny cartoon attached in some shape or form. The kinda stuff guys like Alex Toth and Wally Wood used to do. Here is a small example of one he sent me when he was the editor of Sketch Magazine. Like me, it ain’t politically correct.
Here is me as the manly “Easter Bunny” by Flint.
Flint isn’t the only creative buddy of mine in comics. Here is a sketch of me in my Ka-Zar look done by Chuck Dixon. (Another writer that can draw!)
From 1989. Check out this art by Darick Robertson of Batman!
In 1990, artist, Bob “The Bullet” Dvorak (JLA, Dreadstar) did this cool drawing of Wyatt Earp for me. (Notice the wanted poster behind him)
In 1985 I was working at an audio/video chain. I was in charge of buying the videos for the store. (Big mistake on their part) I heard that artist Steve Rude, like me, was a big fan of Space Ghost. So I sent him a couple of VHS tapes of the Space Ghost cartoons from the 1960’s. A few weeks later this beautiful 11 X 17 inch drawing shows up at my house. Steve and I have been buddies ever since. (My scanner isn’t big enough to get the whole art on here?sorry)
Here are some of the old photos I turned up while going through the files and the bottles of beer.
Central City Comics. Columbus, Ohio. 1989. They set a manly stage for my store signing.
Chicago Con 1990. Left to Right: Dean Mullaney-Publisher/owner Eclipse Comics, Steve Geppi-Owner Of Diamond Distribution, Bob Kane-Creator of Batman, Jan Mullaney-President/Owner Eclipse Comics.
Chicago Con 1990. Batman creator Bob Kane and Frank Miller (Sin City, 300, Batman-Dark Knight)
My Beau LaDuke Cake:
Jim Hanley’s Universe. Store Signing. Left to Right- Artist Tom Lyle and Writer Chuck Dixon.
Tim Truman (Scout, Conan) posing in his studio 1987.
Unknown Convention. 1980’s a very young Bob Wayne of DC Comics and the forever young Beau Smith of Eclipse Comics. Writer Clint McElroy (Green Hornet, Universal Soldier) is lurking in the background.
Beau Smith 1986 with the “Grizzly Adams” look.
The Black Terror Author Photo 1989. This was a shot they used in the Black Terror comic book that I co-wrote with Chuck Dixon in 1989 at Eclipse Comics. That’s my Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum Highway Patrolman on an N frame pistol. This is kinda like a shot of Al from the TV show “Home Improvement” with a gun.
Men With Hats. Pittsburgh Con. Here are the two best looking guys in comics that wear ball caps. That being me and my soft spoken buddy, Terry Moore.
San Diego Con 1987 with the famous Eclipse Comics Neon Sign. It always got busted every trip. 20 years ago?..this seems like a good one to sign off on this week.
Busted Knuckles Babe Of The Week
The first time I saw actress Nadia Bjorlin, she reminded me of recent Busted Knuckles Babe Of The Week, Jane Badler. Those piercing eyes and that “I can be dangerous” look. She also has a classic 1960’s movie star look to her that I’ve always favored.
Nadia has done a lot of TV soap opera work on Days Of Our Lives, (Soap operas are fertile ground for Babes Of The Week) and she stars in an action packed movie about to be released called Redline. That’ll be out this month.
Keep your eye on Nadia. I think she’s going places?.too bad she’s not taking me with her?
Busted Knuckles Manly Cover Of The Week
Space Western Comics
Charlton Comics 1952
Covers by John Belfi
(Special thanks go out to Knucklehead Chuck Gould for his help on this week’s cover)
Since this week Busted Knuckles is heavy on art and photos, I thought I would give you a gallery of a manly comic book that never let you down in the 1950’s. Space Western Comics! This book had the best combo of all that was manly, cowboys, aliens, army men, tanks, space ships, horses, damsels-in-distress and?cowboys wearing shorts??
That’s right. Check out the cover to issue #40 where Spurs Jackson is saving the babe from the alien. From the waist down it looks like he’s got a woman’s body!! What kind of variant cover is that?? I died laughing when I saw it. This is the stuff that makes comics fun.
Space Western Comics were filled with the weird and wonderful tales of Spur Jackson and his Space Vigilantes. They took on Nazis, aliens, and every other form of monster and bad guy the 50’s had to offer. What a great group to do stories on. This is yet another gem from the past that I’d love to write. If you get the chance to pick up one of these issues, please do. You’ll love it.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this week’s large supply of art and photos. I’m sure the guys at Silver Bullet (Tobey & Jason) are cussin’ me about now for causing them all this work. They just have to remember?it’s all for the love of comics and all that money!
Thanks this week go out to Knucklehead Hasan Paschall of Newark, NJ. I got a great package from him this week of one of the most overlooked comic book series of the late 1980’s. The DC Comics mini-series of Cinder and Ashe. It was written by Gerry Conway and drawn by the amazing Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez.
This was a smart, mean, action packed series that was truly like a great movie put to print. I remember being pretty excited when I read this series back in the 80’s and even more so to re-read it and see that it still beats most everything being written today. The art is superb as Garcia-Lopez always is. This is a series that you should be pawing through the back issues bins to find.
I cannot thank Hasan enough for this little gift. It makes me remember why I enjoy doing stuff like Cobb. I hope you enjoy what’s heading your way, Hasan.
Okay, time for me to sign off. I’m sure the guys that post my column up are more than happy to see it end today. Y’all keep reading and writing. I’ll be here.
The Flying Fist Ranch
P.O. Box 706
Ceredo, WV. 25507
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