Superman Through the Ages! Forum

Superman Through the Ages! => Site Updates! => Topic started by: Great Rao on October 10, 2003, 10:33:07 AM

Title: Radio Show Illustrations Complete!
Post by: Great Rao on October 10, 2003, 10:33:07 AM
Solomon Grundy recently sent in another batch of pencil sketches, this time illustrating various characters and scenes from the Superman radio show (

Here are the first three:

( (  ( ( ( (

He has also written up short text pieces describing what each scene is, which you'll find on each page (except for the first picture).  There are a lot more coming, so check back soon!


Title: Re: Radio Show Illustrations!
Post by: nightwing on October 10, 2003, 01:03:21 PM
Great stuff!

Looking forward to seeing the Atom Man!!

Title: Re: Radio Show Illustrations!
Post by: Great Rao on October 13, 2003, 01:18:42 PM
Here are three more, including the two ATOM MAN pictures:

( ( ( ( ( (


Title: Re: Radio Show Illustrations!
Post by: nightwing on October 13, 2003, 03:28:15 PM
Great stuff as always from Solomon Grundy.

Interesting to see the "Stolen Costume" story appeared on radio.  This is one I remembered from the TV show.  Does anyone know if this was the only time when private eye Candy Meyer made the jump from radio to TV?

Always loved that scene..."Something was stolen from me, Candy.  Something very important.  No, I can't tell you what it was, but you must help me find it!"

Title: Re: Radio Show Illustrations!
Post by: Sol on October 14, 2003, 05:32:00 PM
I believe it was the only time Candy appeared in the TV program.

"The Stolen Costume" has a complex history.  As originally written, "Costume" was a multi-episode serial like all the other stories of the time.  For those who remember the TV episode, the original radio story starts out the same with the hoodlum breaking into Kent's apartment then being shot by police outside the building.  He escapes and is taken in by another criminal who now has the stolen Superman uniform.  This thug and his partner seek out where the burglar got it from.  Here's where the story changes, Kent doesn't seek out the help of Candy Myer but that of Batman and Robin!

Jump ahead a few years to "Superman"'s last season.  Now on the ABC network the show goes to individual half-hour self-contained episodes.  A number of the old serials are used as source material including "Costume,"  which is retitled "Dead Men Tell No Tales" (which unfortunately gives away the new ending).  This new version is virtually the same as the TV program episode "The Stolen Costume", including the presence of Candy Myer and the chilling climax where the villain and his moll fall to their death.  (However, on the radio program it is made clear that Superman did not intend for this to be their fate.  He sees them trying to climb down, rushes back, but is too late.)

I'm glad you're liking my drawings, Nightwing.  Thank you for the compliment.


Title: Re: Radio Show Illustrations!
Post by: nightwing on October 15, 2003, 08:50:17 AM
Well, I like what I like.

What's neat about your stuff in general is that it often places real-life actors in poses and situations we recognize from the comics.  That's fun.  But your likenesses are dead on and your figures move with ease and grace, something a lot of artists never manage.  Plus it's nice to see someone who can draw the costume as real fabric, instead of drawing a six pack, muscles and sinews, spray-painting it blue and calling it a costume.

I was wondering, though, who your radio Superman is based on?  I can see a bit of Bud Collyer in there, but he looks like someone else.  Not sure who, but someone.  Almost like Don Ameche, though he seems an unlikely pick!

Title: Re: Radio Show Illustrations!
Post by: Sol on October 15, 2003, 05:44:06 PM
:o Your comments suggest I'm successful in my attempt to create drawings that appear to be based on real people.  So, thank you very much.  But the fact is these faces in the radio illustrations just come out of my head.  Superman's visage is how I, more or less, have pictured the Man of Steel in my mind since I was a kid.  I didn't grow up with an actor to refer to as the character.  The George Reeves program never played in my area, and I'm old enough that "Superman - The Novie" had yet to be released.  Though Curt Swan was the primary artist of the time, DC re-printed old, classic stories frequently, so I was familiar with everybody's work - Wayne Boring, Joe Shuster, Kurt Schaffenberger, you name 'em.  All these likenesses amalgamated somehow - again, more or less - into what you see.

Thanks for your comments.  I'd be curious to know, if you can take the time, how what I've drawn compares to what you imagine when you listen to these stories.  I can only figure that it differs wildly.  The audience members imagination is as key to radio theatre as any other element, making this kind of theater experience more personal than any other, I'd think.


Title: Re: Radio Show Illustrations!
Post by: nightwing on October 16, 2003, 09:50:28 AM
Jimmy looks just as I imagined him.  The Scarlet Widow isn't as ugly as I pictured her.  I guess I also pictured Der Teufel as more hideous, just because I became so incredibly annoyed at his awful voice.

Superman's a hard call.  The fun thing about radio, like novels, is that you can "cast" the story however you like, and fill in the scenery with as much or as little detail as you want.  The really wild thing in this case is that Bud Collyer makes the switch from Clark to Superman such a dramatic transformation.  As I said before, any doubts about the "just a pair of glasses" disguise is swept away on radio, where we have only two voices...two very different yet somehow the same voices...creating a believable dichotomy.

But ultimately it's such a big change that I'd actually have to cast two different actors as Kent and Superman!  For Kent, maybe I'd go with a Kirk Alyn type, with that Glen Miller-ish look of a man who's in fine shape without being at all threatening physically.  On the other hand, Superman would be more of a rock-solid type with a slightly jutting jaw, not a Hercules but definitely more forceful and solid-looking.  And more handsome.  Maybe a Hugh O-Brien type.

I see this more in your "Widow" drawing than your Lois and Jimmy drawing, where Superman features seems a bit soft.  Friendly, fatherly and handsome (all good for Superman), but not as rough-and-tumble as I pictured the radio Superman.

To put it in comic book terms, I see the radio Superman as drawn by Wayne Boring rather than Curt Swan, if that makes any sense.

Title: Re: Radio Show Illustrations!
Post by: Great Rao on October 18, 2003, 01:04:36 PM
Here are the final four:

( ( ( ( ( ( ( (

Thanks, Sol!


Title: Re: Radio Show Illustrations Complete!
Post by: Sol on October 18, 2003, 02:11:59 PM
Thank YOU, Rao.


Title: Re: Radio Show Illustrations Complete!
Post by: nightwing on October 20, 2003, 07:52:25 AM
Holy Michealangelo!

Talk about an eleventh-hour surprise...with the last few images we see that Sol's as good or better at drawing Batman!  Love the blend of the Adam West and Lewis Wilson costumes, there.  Just when you think you've seen every possible interpretation of Batman, somebody comes up with another great one.

Hate to admit it here of all places, but in the end Batman is the strongest character in comics, visually, and thus the best-suited to the medium.  

Anyway, hats off to Sol for a fantastic gallery of images!

Title: Re: Radio Show Illustrations Complete!
Post by: Sol on October 21, 2003, 05:23:22 PM
You're more than kind, Nightwing.  I'm very glad - gleeful really  :o - that you've enjoyed my drawings.  Thanks, also, for giving me your own interpretations of the characters and situations from the radio program.  It's fascinating how unique everyone's point-of-view is.  Radio theatre as an artform really plays to that.

By the way, how much of the radio show do you have access to?  If you have an MP3 player, my brother can provide you with over a thousand episodes of "The Adventures of Superman".  I'll be giving information about that in a seperate post., including his web address.  Check for it.

Thanks again.