I have the 1979 Hulk calendar – that’s why seeing this selection from Tom’s collection is that much more amazing! Check it out:
John Buscema Hulk Calender Art: 1979 was a great year to be a Hulk fan. The success of the TV show spawned a ton Hulk merchandise and Marvel, which did a calender each year, dedicated the whole thing to Ol’ Greenskin that year. I got it for Christmas of ’78 and just loved it. There were two pieces in it that really stuck with me, one by John Byrne/Terry Austin and the other by John Buscema/Joseph Rubinstein. Both remained on my list of works to track down for years, but after little luck they dropped completely off my radar. Then one day I just stumbled upon the Busceme piece on a dealers web-site and three days later I owned it. I love John Buscema’s art and to have a Hulk piece by him (oversized no less) is a real treasure. Plus, whether intended or not, this one always seemed like an homage to Frank Frazetta’s Destroyer (my favorite Frazetta painting).
And Like I’ve shown – Tom has some other pieces other than the Hulk – here is another stunner! With sort of a depressing story… but still outstanding!
X-Men #121 pg 4 : I love Byrne and Austin’s X-men run. It’s one of those planets aligning moments where two artists both hitting their stride, are paired together and create comic book magic. Byrne hasn’t produced any work close to this since and Austin reinvented inking standards with the quality he brought to each book. It’s a shame the two didn’t stay together longer. This page was a bitter-sweet purchase for me. I was at a con and had a much better page in my hand, but when the dealer saw how little sale resistance I offered at his inflated price, he pulled it from my hand and told me he forgot, that it was on hold for someone else. So, even though I like this page, it still seems like second best.