21 March 2013

Tom Ziuko and The Dark Knight Returns

"Batman and Robin" by Tom Ziuko (1980s)

Can you remember the world of Batman before Frank Miller hit the scene?

In the mid 1980s, as the summer convention schedule was nearing, DC editorial handed colorist Tom Ziuko a reproduction of a sketch by Frank Miller.  In Tom's words:

"... [I]t was to be used in a slide show presentation at upcoming conventions; and was only intended to be seen on screen for a few minutes, and never published or used in print - hence the loose (sloppy?) look of the color. Since I'm extremely meticulous with my coloring, I'm somewhat mortified now that this is under the microscope.
In fact, I seem to recall that they needed this done at the last moment, and I sat down and colored it in the production department with a borrowed set of [Dr. Martin] dyes, as opposed to taking it home and coloring it in my studio. (Which also accounts for the somewhat 'gritty' look of the greys on Batman - my dyes at home were much 'cleaner')."

Whereas Tom may be mortified by this promotional piece, I think it's amazing for those reasons: It's fast and loose, which adds strength to Tom's artistic impressions of color.  It also shows us the world before anyone had heard of THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS.  Carrie Kelley was unknown as Robin (hence the dark hair color) and Tom used his own interpretation of Batman's costume, as Frank had not blacked out the Bat symbol.

Brilliant.  A wonderful snap shot of Batman history.

More recently, Tom has done a considerable number of color jobs for TwoMorrows Publishing.  Tom also included this print from a George Perez sketch used as the cover of Back Issue #1

"Batman and Captain America" by Tom Ziuko (2012)

Tom, a long-time colorist for DC and MARVEL, has taken ill.  He is currently offering his deep collection of hand-colored production art from DC and MARVEL to offset his mounting healthcare costs.

You can preview his artwork on his facebook page, where you can contact him directly.

The world needs more color and Tom Ziuko.  Please consider an addition to you art collection and keep a good thought for this talented artist.

We love Brave and Bold Kamandi and Andy Suriano!

The only thing better than BATMAN BRAVE AND BOLD shows are BATMAN BRAVE AND BOLD comics done by the kind folks who made the animated show!

BATMAN BRAVE AND BOLD was a great comic, with monthly issues that told fun and exciting adventures in the spirit of the original comic book series of my childhood and the upbeat and offbeat show.

Andy Suriano, Emmy-award winning animator, did double duty with both the show and the comic.  His pages are posted on his art blog here!

I couldn't resist and grabbed a great page, featuring the Awesome Brave and Bold Batmobile and Kid Eternity!

"Batman Brave & Bold" Andy Suriano
I asked Andy which character was his favorite to animate on the show.  His response?

Kamandi and Batman (2012)

Kamandi!  We always suspected Suriano had good taste, but now it's confirmed!  Santa delivered The Last Boy on Earth to the Suriano Studio and everyone was happy.  Hooray!  Andy will be appearing at the Motor City Comic Con in the Spring of 2013.  Perhaps he needs another figure...