Anyone ever seen/have the OA for this British Spider-Man cover?
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Hi all.

Was wondering if anyone has ever seen/owns the OA to this British Marvel cover?   Would like to confirm the artist.

Almost everyone attributes it to Sal Buscema...except for Sal himself, who thinks it's someone else's work.    I still assumed it was Sal's, but while researching another British Spider-man cover coming up for a February Heritage auction (often attributed to Sal, but Ron Wilson says he drew it...but again I suspect it is actually Buscema), Jim Salicrup told me he didn't think this cover was by Sal either. 

A bit of a shot in the dark, but maybe someone has seen it?

Thanks

Jason

sm 193_001_193 possiblt romita jrnot sal buscema or dw (equiv Jan 77).jpg

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I have asked for help from one of the former Marvel UK artists and I’ll update as soon as I hear back. Many of these covers were drawn by Marvel UK staff artists in the style of another, at-that-time-bigger name artist.

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Thanks for checking Michael.  For many of these British Marvel “art mysteries” the only sure answer will be found in the original art. :)   

I’ve noticed you have several British Marvel pieces in your CA gallery.  I’ll PM you about it. 

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If the Donnelly brothers own the original artwork to this cover, the artist will undoubtedly be John Romita Snr.

:jokealert: I think . . . .

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My guess would be Ron Wilson.  I have one of the British Spider-Man covers from this vintage (I can never remember the issue number, it has no trade dress, but it shows Spider-Man, Ice Man and Robbie Robertson tied to a chair), and it was by Ron Wilson.  I know that isn't conclusive proof, but I know he did a number of them.  

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Hadn’t considered Wilson. 

While he certainly drew many UK covers (about 200 of them), including many Spider-Man ones around the time of your cover (Spider-Man Weekly 122), the primary Spider-Man cover artist around this time was Larry Lieber, though there are some exceptions.

Sal Buscema did a handful of Spider-Man covers in 1974 (this one was published in 1976). 

The nice thing about seeing the original art is that it often provides definitive answers about the artists, though sometimes it just creates additional questions. :) 

Edited by cesium_7

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I have the art for Super Spider-Man #232 and my notes on the back suggest Andru or Lieber pencils, Giacoia inks.  So Andru is another name to consider, I guess. 

Update I looked a little more closely and saw the LL on the pencils line, so this particular cover is Larry Lieber.  See pic.

FG on the ink credit would be Frank Giacoia.  Click through to enlarge the image.

Mike Burkey might have some knowledge, since he has handled many of these old covers.  David

Image.jpg

Image.jpg

Edited by aokartman
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You’ve got it.  This one (232) is by Lieber and Giacoia (have seen this on CAF before, maybe your gallery?).  Always wondered if Lieber did the Captain Britain inset as well?   I have never seen any evidence of a Ross Andru British cover, though there is one Spider-Man cover misatrributed to him on a dealer’s website (it was actually drawn by Ron Wilson, confirmed by Ron himself).

Al Milgrom did several British Spider-Man covers around this time as well.  Steve Stiles, Jeff Aclin, David Wenzel, and Howard Bender did a few also.  

Jim Starlin, Ayers,  Rick Buckler, Ed Hannigan, Arvell Jones, Keith Pollard, Gary Brodsky, and even Gil Kane and Romita Sr, worked on some of the earlier British SM covers, Gene Colan did a later one (probably leaving out a few artists).  Many are still unidentified.  

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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16 hours ago, cesium_7 said:

Hadn’t considered Wilson. 

While he certainly drew many UK covers (about 200 of them), including many Spider-Man ones around the time of your cover (Spider-Man Weekly 122), the primary Spider-Man cover artist around this time was Larry Lieber, though there are some exceptions.

Sal Buscema did a handful of Spider-Man covers in 1974 (this one was published in 1976). 

The nice thing about seeing the original art is that it often provides definitive answers about the artists, though sometimes it just creates additional questions. :) 

Thank you!

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I'll throw out another name.  Dave Hunt.  He did a few British Spider-Man covers around this time frame.  Not sure if it is his work or not, as he was more renowned as an inker.

 

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It’s not David Hunt.  He did pencil many British Spider-Man covers (forgot to include him on my earlier list), but Lee Benaka let me see all of Dave’s British Marvel art records supplied by his son, so I know all the British covers he worked on (which were many!).  Not this one though. :)

Could make a nice thread showing off Dave’s work in the future, if anyone is interested   

 

 

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49 minutes ago, cesium_7 said:

It’s not David Hunt.  He did pencil many British Spider-Man covers (forgot to include him on my earlier list), but Lee Benaka let me see all of Dave’s British Marvel art records supplied by his son, so I know all the British covers he worked on (which were many!).  Not this one though. :)

Could make a nice thread showing off Dave’s work in the future, if anyone is interested   

 

 

Yes, I was leaning against it being Dave, seems he did some issues before the one you show to begin the thread.

I love Dave Hunt's inks, so yes, I think it would be neat to see a thread on his work.  I  met Dave once at a convention in NY City when he was working on Scooby Doo.  Seemed like a great guy.  I'll always remember him for his background work on the Amazing Spider-Man.  Loved finding those little credits he left here and there, a la Tony Mortellaro. 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Spider-Variant said:

Yes, I was leaning against it being Dave, seems he did some issues before the one you show to begin the thread.

I love Dave Hunt's inks, so yes, I think it would be neat to see a thread on his work.  I  met Dave once at a convention in NY City when he was working on Scooby Doo.  Seemed like a great guy.  I'll always remember him for his background work on the Amazing Spider-Man.  Loved finding those little credits he left here and there, a la Tony Mortellaro. 

 

 

I'm not sure whether you knew, but I am just about done (really) with a book on Dave Hunt, which was a three-year collaboration with Dave up until his passing earlier this year.  The book will include a 25-page checklist of Dave's work, including all of his Marvel UK work as well as uncredited 1970s Marvel inking done when Dave assisted Frank Giacoia and Mike Esposito in the Marvel Bullpen, as well as when Dave assisted Joe Sinnott on titles such as Fantastic Four and Ms. Marvel.  I'll post information on how to get the book in January when it is available.  Dave tells a lot of great stories in it.  Thanks, Lee

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The Spidey figure on that #193 doesn't look like Sal's work to me.  Spidey's broad, bulky back suggests that Wilson is possibly the penciler, as mentioned by Flambit.  The inks look like Giacoia.  You've ruled out Hunt, so I'm leaning towards Giacoia on inks.

I'm always impressed by the detective work to properly attribute these pieces.  Keep up the amazing work!

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I'll check with Ron.  He isn't the best at recognizing his old work, nor the speediest at replying, but it is worth a shot.  :)

As for Hunt, he drew about 25 British covers (and many more splash pages and pinups).  The list complied in Lee's book is impressive!  I have scans of the OA for about seven of these, mostly provided by Dave before he passed away.  Several of them have been up for auction on Heritage recently.  I will post them at some point for everyone. 

Also, just a reminder, if anyone has any British Marvel art, please let me know.  I can either help you identify it, or else it can help me to verify our identifications, or even help solve some of the remaining mysteries!

Edited by cesium_7

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Was looking at some of Romita Jr's early work, and now thinking he could be a strong possibility for this as well. 

Take a look at these pages from his first published story (1977).  Anyone else think the SM figures look familiar?

I've identified many British splashes by him (about 60 so far), but not many covers.  

 

The Amazing Spider-Man Annual 11 - 31.JPG

The Amazing Spider-Man Annual 11 - 32.JPG

The Amazing Spider-Man Annual 11 - 33.JPG

The Amazing Spider-Man Annual 11 - 34.JPG

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I'm not getting any strong stylistic connections between the JR JR pages and the Super Spidey #193 cover.

1) In the UK cover, the bottom of his feet aren't solid black like in the 1977 page #45, panel 5.  it's a small thing, but that little touch of color on the bottom of the foot gives it a much more well-developed shape vs on page 45 where it's just flat.

2) In that same panel 5, Spidey's cranium is actually better-positioned than the cover, where the skull seems to be too far down towards his left shoulder.

3) On the #193 cover, his fingers & thumbs look more realistic.  In contrast, most of the fingers in the 1977 pages look clunky to me.  Peter's left hand in that last panel on page 47 looks very awkward, like a potato with a couple of weird roots growing out of it.

4) On the cover, Spidey's knees are shaped differently, and the calves are shaped and positioned (under/behind the leg) a little differently as well.

5) On page #46's bottom panel, Spidey's back has a wonky shape.  On page 47's first panel, the back's shape is simplified with straight & narrow torso/obliques which balloon out into two flat & simple curves on each side for the lats and the shoulder blades.  In the cover, it appears to me that the artist is trying to depict a more complex-shaped back, which includes more definition and development in the traps/upper back than what we see in the 1977 panel pages.

These variations could mean a different penciler.  Or it could just as easily be due to the different inkers (big difference between the draftsmanship of Giacoia vs Al Milgrom on the panel pages), a young artist experimenting with different techniques, or a busy journeyman trying to complete multiple projects by deadline.  Is Romita Jr one of those guys who is accessible on social media and takes questions?

 

I didn't mention it before, but that Cyclone figure on the cover bugs me.  It doesn't seem to match the style of Spidey.  If Sal would have said that he didn't draw the Spidey, but that he did draw Cyclone, that would make sense to me (except for the fact that Sal normally worked out of Virginia and rarely visited the Marvel offices).  Cyclone looks more like a Sal Buscema + George Klein Sam Grainger character from the Squadron Supreme in Avengers #70.  He doesn't seem like a Ron Wilson or even a JR JR figure.

 

I just read Jim Amash's book on Carmine Infantino (Penciler, Publisher, Provocatuer).  In the interview, Infantino mentions that Frank Giacoia possibly had Mike Esposito and Frank Giella ink some of Giacoia's projects.  Giacoia's inks always seemed pretty distinctive to me and I can't think of a single case where I would confuse Espo's inks for Giacoia's.  But, those background figures on #193 bugged me when I looked at this before.  I wonder if they were handled by someone else doing backgrounds.

Lastly, did Mike Zeck do any Marvel UK work?  his first work for Marvel was drawn in '76.

Edited by The Shoveler
clarifying stuff. Updated Sam Grainger as inker on Avengers #70

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16 hours ago, The Shoveler said:

I'm not getting any strong stylistic connections between the JR JR pages and the Super Spidey #193 cover.

1) In the UK cover, the bottom of his feet aren't solid black like in the 1977 page #45, panel 5.  it's a small thing, but that little touch of color on the bottom of the foot gives it a much more well-developed shape vs on page 45 where it's just flat.

2) In that same panel 5, Spidey's cranium is actually better-positioned than the cover, where the skull seems to be too far down towards his left shoulder.

3) On the #193 cover, his fingers & thumbs look more realistic.  In contrast, most of the fingers in the 1977 pages look clunky to me.  Peter's left hand in that last panel on page 47 looks very awkward, like a potato with a couple of weird roots growing out of it.

4) On the cover, Spidey's knees are shaped differently, and the calves are shaped and positioned (under/behind the leg) a little differently as well.

5) On page #46's bottom panel, Spidey's back has a wonky shape.  On page 47's first panel, the back's shape is simplified with straight & narrow torso/obliques which balloon out into two flat & simple curves on each side for the lats and the shoulder blades.  In the cover, it appears to me that the artist is trying to depict a more complex-shaped back, which includes more definition and development in the traps/upper back than what we see in the 1977 panel pages.

These variations could mean a different penciler.  Or it could just as easily be due to the different inkers (big difference between the draftsmanship of Giacoia vs Al Milgrom on the panel pages), a young artist experimenting with different techniques, or a busy journeyman trying to complete multiple projects by deadline.  Is Romita Jr one of those guys who is accessible on social media and takes questions?

 

I didn't mention it before, but that Cyclone figure on the cover bugs me.  It doesn't seem to match the style of Spidey.  If Sal would have said that he didn't draw the Spidey, but that he did draw Cyclone, that would make sense to me (except for the fact that Sal normally worked out of Virginia and rarely visited the Marvel offices).  Cyclone looks more like a Sal Buscema + George Klein character from the Squadron Supreme in Avengers #70.  He doesn't seem like a Ron Wilson or even a JR JR figure.

 

I just read Jim Amash's book on Carmine Infantino (Penciler, Publisher, Provocatuer).  In the interview, Infantino mentions that Frank Giacoia possibly had Mike Esposito and Frank Giella ink some of Giacoia's projects.  Giacoia's inks always seemed pretty distinctive to me and I can't think of a single case where I would confuse Espo's inks for Giacoia's.  But, those background figures on #193 bugged me when I looked at this before.  I wonder if they were handled by someone else doing backgrounds.

Lastly, did Mike Zeck do any Marvel UK work?  his first work for Marvel was drawn in '76.

I think there a strong chance it could be a Buscema cover, but the Spiderman figure was redrawn by someone else, thus why Sal didn't recognize it.  A similar thing happened on a British Spider Man cover originally drawn by Gene Colan (Super Spider Man 301), where they redrew just about all of it (probably John Romita Sr and Ron Wilson).  Why they would redraw Sal's Spiderman would be anyone's guess though (at least the Colan piece was a bit "exotic" :)).

I do know Frank Giacoia and Mike Esposito worked on several British covers together, particularly those published in 1975.  They apparently had desks next to each other in the Bullpen, so would trade things off between the two of them.  Have even seen both of their names on British art from 1977, so could have been common throughout the period.   

I did get in touch with Mike Zeck at one point, and though the timing is good (his first published Marvel story was a Drax/Thanos short appearing in Logan's Run, drawn in 1976), he told me he didn't do any British work (though some have told me this before, and turned out to be incorrect, like both Bob McLeod and Bob Hall, for example).

JR jr can be a bit elusive, but I have contacted him in the past.  Takes some effort though. :) 

BTW, there are eight British Marvel covers/splash pages up for auction on Heritage next month, including a Spider-Man cover attributed to Sal Buscema/Mike Esposito, but it comes with some questions regarding that attribution (Ron Wilson says he drew it, but there is evidence for both him and Sal), the others are two covers by Pablo Marcos, three splash pages by Jeff Aclin (one with Bob Layton inks), which he recently sold to a collector (and already up for auction), and a cover and splash from the Titans  

 

  

 

 

 

 

Edited by cesium_7
Updated info

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1 hour ago, cesium_7 said:

...and three splash pages by Jeff Aclin (one with Bob Layton inks), which he recently sold to a collector (and already up for auction).

And I bet this collector negotiated a better price for helping Jeff get rid of all three at once, seeing as how nobody wants them or anything...ha!

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