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Monday, April 5, 2010

POST # 36 - "TO KILL A GOD!" by Wally Wood

We have here a lovely work by Wallace Wood that should leave no confusion over who did what. According to one-time Wood assistant Nick Cuti, the work here is all Wood.

The story is entitled "To Kill A God!", and first appeared in Warren's VAMPIRELLA #12, 1971. My scans are taken from Pacific Comics limited series WORLD OF WOOD , issue number 4, 1986, which would probably explain why the story is hosted by Wood's 'Snorky' creation, and not one of Warren's horror hosts. Included here is a wonderful glimpse into the inside world of being Wood's art assistant, written by Nicola Cuti, that was featured on the inside cover to the issue. Reading those paragraphs should alleviate any doubt as to who drew what. According to Mr. Cuti, this story was all Wood's baby, done in part in order to prove to suspicious fans (who had come to believe that Wood was relying on his art assistants too much) that he, in fact, was capable at any time of creating the breath-taking works that we had all become familiar with in the past, with no outside help whatsoever. So, for everyone who wondered and speculated on the authorship of the last Wood story posted here, lay your doubts at the door, come on in and just enjoy one of the finer works done by the incredible Wallace Wood during this time period.

(I probably need to point out that World Of Wood #4 presented the story in sepia tone, and for this blog that art was converted to black and white...this blog is, after all, not called "SEPIA 'N' WHITE AND RED ALL OVER". Wheteher or not that has caused the slight blurry quality that is present, or not, I cannot say, nevertheless, the scans are not as crisp as I would usually expect. Still, the mastery of Mr. Wood is evident. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.)

On a final note, while according to most records Wood not only wrote the story and most likely lettered it as well, the often imperfect notations of the GCD has listed Gerry Boudreau as the writer here, yet I have no evidence to corroborate this as true. Therefore, while confusion may still occur here in regards to the writer, the art is entirely attributed to Wally Wood, no ifs, ands, or buts.

Walk softly with me, as together we will try...




  1. Terrific! I enjoyed this one quite a bit.

  2. Excellent post. Although it's more "cartoony", it reminds me of Wood's aspirations to take over Prince Valiant in 1970 and that fantastic one time page he did. He really would have kicked ass, given a challenge like that to live up to.

  3. Thanks Trevor.
    This was a real beauty by Wood, I only wish my scans would reproduce it a little bit crisper so that we could enjoy it in all it's glory. We can only speculate how wonderful Wood drawing Prince Valiant for real (and not just in parody - ala Prince Violent, which was also fantastic)would have been, as his 'tryout' page was indeed spectacular, and one can only imagine how much it may have meant to him. Now, I have to ponder if the MAD parody played a part in Foster not choosing Wood for the strip?

  4. Thank you very much for sharing this. I am not familiar with the artist but the work is definitely "A" class! So does this mean that Vampirella is Cleopatra? Sweet!

  5. Thanks for posting this, it really is a masterful strip. However, I am beginning to wonder if it was solely the work of Wally Wood.

    After having studied every page, it seems to me that many panels were pencilled by another comic book master, Richard Corben. Contrast the drawing of Cleopatra kneeling on page 8, panel 5 with the one on page 4, panel 4. The two drawings are stylistically very different. I think the one on page 8 is pencilled by Wood but the one on page 4 looks very much like the work of Corben. If you study the panels featuring Cleopatra, you will see that many drawings of her bear the hallmark of Corben's unique style.

    Take the two figures of Cleopatra on page 7, panels 1 and 3; these two figures are good examples of Corben's compact portrayal of the human figure. Also, the action scenes in this strip are staged with the cramped, dynamic panels that were typical of Corben's work at the time.

    I'd be interested to hear what you think about this theory, Apocolyte.

  6. So that's what Frank Miller was trying to do.

  7. Mark makes a good point about the possibility that Rich Corben could have assisted Wallace Wood's art on the "To Kill A God"story.However,both have been well known, along with John Severin,to use the zipotone technique.Which would give their quality of art a similarity,I think that it's obvious that Corben grew up reading EC comics and loved Wood's renderings on such classics as Weird Science,etc.He also admired and studied Severin's style as well.I don't recall Corben and Wood collaberating at all,although earlier in this blog,Apocolyte posted the Creepy magazine tale that featured both Wood's and Severin's art together.The veterans'work could be influenced by the younger fan too.Wood and Severin must have seen their influence in Corben themselves.Liam

  8. Where are yooou?You haven't posted anything in either one of your blogs lately.Especially now that Frazetta's gone.A short tribute couldn't hurt.

  9. Please keep it coming. There is no need for color when the story is compelling and the artwork is so well done.


    Steven G. Willis

  10. Hello everyone!

    I've been unavailable for the last month, but I am back and planning on many awesome new posts for your enjoyment! First, let me briefly try to respond to your excellent comments...

    Not familiar with Wallace 'Wally' Wood? Seriously?! Well, I encourage you to seek his work out wherever it may be (you'll find it all over in the 50's, 60's 70's and 80's), you can't go wrong with 'Woody'! His beloved work is iconic and beloved by millions! You know, I can kind of see the resemblance of Wood's Cleo here and Vampi!

    I can see the similarities in certain panels to some of Corben's work, and while I do admit that there is something special, something that 'stands out' about this Wood story compared to some of his other art from the era, I would have to lean towards the comment made by Liam (anonymous) whereas the heavy zip-a-tone and exquisite use of light and shadow (a style clearly mastered by both artists) here can certainly remind one of the other artist. Although I have no first-hand knowledge of any relationship between Wood and Corben, either professionally or personal, this leads me to conclude that, what is known about Mr. Wood and his artistic associates (his many apprentices and helpers)of this time would exclude Richard Corben as having anything to do with the artwork for this particular story, and to my knowledge, any other Wood story. Moreover, I have to defer to Mr. Cuti's above description of the known facts regarding Wood's unaided creation of these pages, especially when relating how Wood's reputation and pride were at stake in some degree. Therefore, I believe Wally Wood was the only artist on this beautiful comic story. He did a marvelous job and showed everyone he was still the master!

    Pardon me, but you seem to have lost me with that Frank Miller reference...can you elaborate? I think I missed something...

    As you said, Wood and John Severin worked together on one story, and one only, the previously posted masterpiece. I agree with your assesment, and I also have no knowledge of Mr. Corben and Mr. Wood working together on anything, as far as I can recall. As I mentioned to Mark, there are certain inherent qualities in both Wood's and in Corben's style -- both base there work on highly contrasted light and shadow areas, and both have used zip-a-tone on occasion, which can certainly be cause for similarities or even cause confusion to even the trained artistic eye.

    Where am I/where was I? That's top secret! But I apologize to everyone who waited patiently for some new Black 'N' White posts here...
    A Frazetta tribute? That sounds like an absolutely fitting and appropriate thing to do! Thanks for saying so, I actually had not heard until I read your comment...a terribly sad bit of news, for certain.

    Thank you! I will endeavor to continue bringing you whatever excellence in black and white artwork I can find...and I can find a lot! Stay tuned!

    Thanks, each and everyone of you!

  11. Absolutely Brilliant Blog!!!

    Really great ti see these choice strips represented and contextualized by your very informative intros.

    And the styling of the Blog is really fantastic too - makes a visit here a real event.

    Many thanks!!!

    Peter Richardson

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