Late 1960's to Early 1970's

Art, Illustration, Literature, Science Fiction, Comics and Fandom

I started college with scattered interests -- although I wasn't a potter, I knew something about Klee, or was it Kley?

Heinrich Kley

Paul Klee

Moderrn Art was an ill-defined amalgamation of various movements that had arisen over the previous hundred years -- they carried names like Impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism, Abstract Expressionism, Futurism, Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Dadaism, Surrealism, et cetera.

Marcel DuChamp

Alphonse Mucha

Pablo Picasso

Comics and Comic Books

As my senior year of high school approached, I started a lifelong connoisseurship of Comics and other graphic media.
Comics were a major feature of newspapers, but Comic BOOKS were often considered a somewhat less than respectable form of mass entertainment, despite being around since just before WWII, and originating cultural icons like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Roy Lichtenstein became famous using aspects of this quirky genre as Pop Art. I chose to continue studying this field when I enrolled at the University, and seriously collected Comics-related material for most of another twenty five years.

A major de facto textbook of my freshman year.

I also had a collection of Flash Gordon by Alex Raymond.

A Tale of Correspondence

During the 60's, in the wake of renewed public interest in superheroes, the Marvel Comics Group intentionally reached out to adolescent and post-adolescent youth with both new and old characters, convincing storytelling, exuberant energy, and canny marketing. Marvel's newly-credited artists, who'd labored for over a generation in anonymity, responded by doing first-rate work, which was sought out and followed by hundreds of thousands of fans - including myself.

Marvel actively solicited participation from readers. While reading one of their humor magazines, I noticed a joke swiped from the magnificent Walt Kelly, former Disney cartoonist, and author/illustrator of Pogo - a high-water mark of American satire and wit in the Post-WWII era. I wondered what a Marvel "No-Prize" really was, and sent a letter about the "quotation" to their office in New York. I was very happy when they sent me one - an empty envelope, plus a postcard from co-editor Roy Thomas, who'd stolen the aforementioned joke in the magazine pictured above. Chapter Two: I got my second No-Prize by spotting a minor error in Avengers #48 - but I had actually written to the editors in favor of classically-trained artist John Buscema over Buck Rogers veteran George Tuska.

I was very pleased when John Buscema became star artist, drawing three titles a month for Marvel Comics, especially Prince Namor, The Sub-Mariner. He played a leading role in Marvel's "Bullpen" when Jack Kirby moved away to Los Angeles, but before that happened I wrote another letter of appreciation to his editors. I also included an anecdote from the Huntley-Brinkley Report about animals breathing under water ( a cruel, pointless experiment conducted in Leiden, Holland), tying it in with water-and-air-breathing Namor.

That did it! Chief editor Stan (Lee) Lieber himself signed this postcard telling me that my words would be printed in Sub-Mariner #10. Marvel did several fan promotions over the years, among them were so-called "Ranks of Marveldom." That letter clinched the status of Permanent Marvelite Maximus. (P.M.M.) for me. Ironically, when the issue was published a few months later, it was drawn by another artist.

My further studies of graphic arts led me to many other endeavors which allowed no time for fan pursuits, but they were good clean fun! I built up a serious collection of comics over the following decades and donated darn near everything to Bill Blackbeard's comic art museum in San Francisco -- which were all relocated to Ohio State University in the 21st Century.

A Remarkable Era for Fantasy Literature and Science Fiction

Contemporary Art of the Mid-20th Century

Chuck Close

Franz Kline

Andy Warhol

No Boundaries: Commercial, Surreal, and Pop Art

Maxfield Parrish

Roy Lichtenstein

Salvador Dali

Still No Boundaries: Neo-Medieval and Fantastic Art

William Morris

Arthur Rackham

Dante Gabriel Rosetti

The Tolkien-esque Two Towers
of Salt Lake Valley
The Cosmic Aeroplane
and Alternative Culture
Art Department Daze
and The NEW Art Deptartment
Art, Illustration, Literature,
S-F & Fantasy, Comics, and Fandom
Psychelelic Posters
and Underground Comix

Photos and images from personal memorabila, Charlie Hafen, and Steve Jones -- published material used for educational purposes in the context of these essays, and covered by Fair Use provisions of International Law. All Rights Reserved Michael R. Evans 2012  Email Me