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Author Topic: A tribute to artist Pablo Marcos  (Read 3344 times)
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JulianPerez
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« on: April 24, 2006, 06:28:20 AM »

I just discovered Pablo Marcos through the Waldman Publishing's Illustrated Classic Edition of "King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table." His art was detailed, his inking gave a sense of so many surfaces from the sheen of armor to the shadows of a dark room, and he had this absolutely undefinable Gil Kane-esque heroic quality and I absolutely had to know more about him and his artwork.

Nightwing take note: Pablo Marcos's first work was for the Peruvian newspaper Expreso, doing their James Bond 007 comics strip.

His greatest fame, though, came from his illustration work for the La Prensa newspaper, who comissioned him to cover the Seven Day War, the Death of Che Guevara, earthquakes in Peru, and so forth.

it was his lifelong friend, Sol Brodsky (who introduced Pablo Marcos to fellow Peruvian Boris Vallejo) who got Pablo Marcos to Marvel comics, where he did covers for everything from TOMB OF DRACULA, CAPTAIN BRITAIN, PLANET OF THE APES, and also did the interior for Steve Gerber's TALES OF THE ZOMBIE, as well as the CONAN newspaper strip.

After the death of his wife in the 1980s, Pablo Marcos mostly obtained work as an inker, including over the pencils of Conan artist John Buscema himself.

Pablo Marcos is still keeping busy; he is doing more Illustrated Classic Editions of books, as well as obtaining comics work in HEAVY METAL, Crossgen, and the STAR TREK comic miniseries, "the Modala Imperative."
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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2006, 01:18:31 PM »

I first came across Pablo Marcos on the "Secret Society of Super-Villains" book in the 70s, though I'm thinking he did some Avengers work around that time, too.

My favorite of his stuff was probably his work on the Star Trek:TNG book for DC.

I'm hoping the whole run of SSSV will make it into "Showcase" form soon.
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2006, 02:48:09 PM »

Quote from: "nightwing"
I first came across Pablo Marcos on the "Secret Society of Super-Villains" book in the 70s, though I'm thinking he did some Avengers work around that time, too.

My favorite of his stuff was probably his work on the Star Trek:TNG book for DC.

I'm hoping the whole run of SSSV will make it into "Showcase" form soon.


Oh, if anything, it probably will be, considering how events in that book have played a role in recent stories.

I hadn't realized Pablo Marcos was involved in that!

There's a very unkind joke here about how SECRET SOCIETY OF SUPERVILLAINS is one of the weirdest moments in comic history because it is a point where Steve Englehart stole an idea from Gerry Conway (SSSV came before SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM-UP) instead of the other way around!  Cheesy
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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2006, 05:35:30 PM »

I never thought of SSSV and Super-Villain Team-Up being similar, but I guess you're right.

DC's Silver/Bronze Age villains were always more misguided than downright evil in my book, so it wasn't so much of a stretch for me to imagine them teaming up.  To me they came off more like a dysfunctional team of super-second bananas (like say, Marvel's Defenders) than as any formidable force for evil.  But then, this was kind of typical for the DC of the time; they wanted to have their cake (giving villains the spotlight) and eat it, too (hewing to the Code's insistence that rottenness shall never triumph).  The same thing happened when the Joker got his own book.

Namor and Doom were another story of course; Marvel's A-number-1 master of nastiness and its prototype "am I good or am I bad" nutjob working together.  Just explaining why any two Marvel baddies would work together was a story in itself, whereas DC villains had a long history of throwing in together. I can't even remember if I read any of the Team-Up books, but the covers were always inticing (well, until the last few with the team of the Red Skull and the Hate Monger!  I have to wonder if that didn't help inspire the junior edition of the Klan that sprang up in the town I was living in in 1976...I kid you not!)

Ultimately, I think Marvel's book probably had more of a "cool" factor going for it, but the SSSV had Captain Comet, and that was good enough for me.  Wow, a book about villains and I buy it for the good guy.

If anything keeps SSSV from Showcase glory, it's that they've only got 15 issues worth of stories to collect.  But with some creativity, I'm sure some other villain team-ups could be thrown in to fill it out.  Plus there was at least one multi-part appearance in the JLA, if memory serves.
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« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2006, 06:12:08 PM »

He has his own website, here is the link: http://www.pablomarcosart.com/
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« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2006, 07:54:06 PM »

An interesting side-note: Super-Villaim Team-Up cover artist (well, at least one cover) Owen McCarron is being inducted into the Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame at the Shuster Awards this coming weekend, along with Win Mortimer and others.

http://sequential.spiltink.org/2006/04/shuster-hall-of-fame.html
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« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2006, 08:05:38 AM »

Quote from: "nightwing"
My favorite of his stuff was probably his work on the Star Trek:TNG book for DC.


I loved the "Modala Imperative" miniseries because it featured the crew in their sixties togs, with the flip-top communicators and the women with beehive hairdos, and so forth.

DC Star Trek comics tended to feature the movie and post-movie adventures of Kirk and company; and while sometimes this was downright fascinating (the stories that had Sulu as captain and Janice Rand as first officer for instance) but come MODALA, I was really, really itching to see Kirk and the gang kick it old school style, 'rasslin giant lizards and fighting the Tholians.

One STAR TREK issue I wholeheartedly recommend is STAR TREK ANNUAL 1992, which is about a planet whose civilization was created by a race of giant telepathic elk that founded their society, and so Kirk and company follow clues inside their ancient ruins to seek the mysterious present location of the "Skylord" herds. It had a "Chariots of the Gods?" vibe, and a guest-appearance by Sarek, not to mention the cover was by Frank Kelly Freas.

The Pablo Marcos Next Generation part of the Modala Imperative story was great because it featured the "scary" Ferengi of that race's first few appearances: with furry outfits and laser-whips. What the heck happened to the Ferengi, anyway? Here was possibly the scariest Trek bad guy race since the Romulans and they were squandered away IN THE VERY FIRST SEASON no less, into comic relief. Sure, there have been some concepts in Trek that over time have fallen into disuse, but it's the difference between teen alcoholism and spiking your baby's bottle with schlitz.

Quote from: "nightwing"
Namor and Doom were another story of course; Marvel's A-number-1 master of nastiness and its prototype "am I good or am I bad" nutjob working together. Just explaining why any two Marvel baddies would work together was a story in itself, whereas DC villains had a long history of throwing in together. I can't even remember if I read any of the Team-Up books, but the covers were always inticing (well, until the last few with the team of the Red Skull and the Hate Monger! I have to wonder if that didn't help inspire the junior edition of the Klan that sprang up in the town I was living in in 1976...I kid you not!)


SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM-UP in its short run was absolutely marvelous, and, I would argue, one of the fifteen best Marvel comics ever. Sure, the writers and artists changed more often than James Bond changes dames, but what was most interesting was it managed to maintain a great quality of excellence. There was Tony Isabella's stories involving Krang taking over Hydrobase with the Octomeks and capturing Namor's 40s girlfriend Betty Dean Prentiss, the Steve Englehart stories featuring a guest appearance by Henry Kissinger (when they said a "Guest Star you wouldn't believe, brother, they MEANT it!) the Bill Mantlo issues where Doctor Doom duels the Red Skull on the Moon, and the Mike Sekowsky-drawn issues that features the return of the Doomsman robot as Andro, Lord of the Androids. Incidentally, I always wondered why Doctor Doom's androids looked like Amazo; well, there's the answer: Mike Sekowsky.

As usual, Steve Englehart, arguably the greatest writer in the history of superhero comics, was first among equals on this run: he made Namor pitiable, aged, and tragic instead of being proud or mindless. "I have lived a long time, and I have no regrets," he says. "But I do not wish to be Doctor Doom's slave."

The Mantlo issues, too, were a real treat, especially the tie-in issues with CHAMPIONS featuring Magneto mind-controlling the world. It is unfortunate because of licensing issues (namely, the appearance by Godzilla) that CHAMPIONS may never be reprinted, in Essential form or otherwise. This bugs me; they're doing ESSENTIAL KILLRAVEN (a contradiction in terms if I ever heard one) but never one of the defining comics strips of the 1970s, as well as Mantlo's career?

If you can get the ESSENTIAL SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM-UP, I strongly recommend it. It is by far the most complete Essential I have ever bought. Not only does it feature the entire run of the series from start to finish, it also has the Wally Wood/Roy Thomas "Doctor Doom, Master of Menace" stories in ASTONISHING TALES (to which the Englehart issues were a direct sequel), both issues of GIANT SIZED SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM-UP, the issues of AVENGERS by Gerry Conway that tie directly into the events of Team-Up, and the issues of CHAMPIONS as well. Not bad for $15!

Is it just me, or is Doctor Doom calling out for a Broadway musical treatment? Surely there must be a million songs they can do where the chorus line is "They will pay/ALL OF MANKIND WILL PAY!"
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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2006, 01:26:43 AM »

Secret Society of Super Villians was a better series than most people realized.  The original issues were the first to feature a clone of Paul Kirk/Manhunter--a clone who really wasn't all that villainous.  Years later, Power Company featured yet another Kirk Clone wearing the Manhunter costume.  I've always thought it might have been a cool idea to say that when the real Kirk's body was destroyed at the end of his series run in Detective Comics his special "healing factor", unable to heal him, transfered his mind to the nearest clone of his.  It would explain why two Kirk clones ended up being heroes after all.
After the Manhunter clone was eliminated, Captain Comet was reintroduced, which was a great idea.  

S-V Team up also proved to be constantly entertaining.  Rather than to try to force a standard format on the book they experimented with the Doom/Namor team up and eventually moved on.  Both series were excellent.
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