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Monday, May 12, 2008

Dick Giordano Week, Part 1 - Aqua-Mail

I've been waiting for a while to do this, and I'm thrilled the time has come!

As I'm sure all of you know, Dick Giordano is a legend in the comics business. Over the course of his long career, he's been artist, an editor, and an executive at DC Comics.

Dick's connection to Aquaman started in 1968, when he moved from Charlton to assume an editorial position at DC. Here he took over Aquaman (among other titles), and brought along two of Charlton's brightest talents, writer Steve Skeates and artist Jim Aparo, to take over the reigns of DC's King of the Seven Seas.

In my opinion, these were some--if not the--finest Aquaman comics ever done, and fans at the time agreed--sales on Aquaman picked up, and their sixteen issue run on the book remains popular to Aqua-Fans to this day.

As an artist, Dick also handled a lot of the merchandising art for DC-related products. His smooth, dynamic take on the stars of the DCU made him a perfect choice to represent them to people outside the world of comics fans. As I've said before, when you have an artist of such high caliber drawing an entire universe of heroes, it brings the "B" and "C" level stars up to the level of the "A" ones, because they all look so good.

And then later, when he returned to DC as an editor and executive, Dick was the voice of the company,
through his regular "Meanwhile..." columns throughout the mid- to late 1980s.

For today, though, we're presenting some of Dick's responses to Aqua-Fans in the pages of the Aquaman letter column, Aqua-Mail:
It took DC a long time to catch up to that upstart Marvel, where Stan Lee figured out that a stronger, closer relationship with the fans led to more devoted fans, and ultimately greater sales.

Dick was one of the first editors at DC to try that approach, as we can see from some of these examples:
I love how he had the guts to razz a pissed-off fan there, Ms. Gomez. How the heck could she not like the Skeates/Aparo Aquaman?!?

(Oh, and that first letter is clearly from future Marvel writer and editor Mark Gruenwald, despite the transcription mistake)

This was the last letter Dick ever ran, in Aquaman #55:
An unreleased Aquaman Annual? Oh, man, that breaks my heart.

Anyway, all this week we'll be talking about stuff by the legendary Mr. G involving Aquaman, including some Giordano-drawn merchandise, an original sketch, as well as a brand-new interview!

As the man said, be here...it'll be good!


Cory said...

Hey There,
Due to the constant battling of "your favorite hero is who" i've dealt with since the late 70's it's always nice to see that there are some people who have a legitimate, non-ironic, love of aquaman. Mind you i suppose love of any classic dc character has to have a bit or irony, so lets say less ironic. Anyway nice blog, checked out your others too, very cool.

Anonymous said...

If you looked up "solid" in a comic dictionary, Giordano's picture would be right there by it. The guy is a rock. Youc an always depend on him to deliver, either as artist or editor. Glad to see him getting the spotlight!