RIP: Ray Bradbury (August 22, 1920 – June 5, 2012)

Here at the Cartoon Library, we are deeply saddened by the loss of the all-time master of science fiction, Ray Bradbury. Bradbury was an inspiration for all, and a true friend to cartoonists and lover of the form. His work has been adapted by some of the greatest cartoonists world-over, and in his memory we have provided below a sampling of some of the varying styles that gave vision to his writing.

Issues 1 and 2 of the Topps Comics series "Ray Bradbury Comics". From The San Francisco Academy of Comic Art Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

First, an excerpt from Bradbury’s introduction to The Ray Bradbury Chronicles Vol.1, a collection of comic adaptations of his writing that were originally published as Ray Bradbury Comics by Topps Comics (image above).

For comic strips, comic books and the creators of comics have filled my life since I was nine years old and “Buck Rogers” exploded before my eyes in the “Waukegan News Sun”. I knew then that I was staring at something that would change my life forever. That one strip, on an October afternoon in 1929, seized me into the future and would not let me return. I learned my first lesson in aesthetic that autumn. I collected Buck Rogers for three months and then when kids in school made fun of me for believing in the future, I tore them up. A week later, I burst into tears. Why am I crying? I asked myself. Who died? The answer was: me. I had listened to those fools who didn’t believe that one day we would arrive on the Moon or visit Mars. I made my most important decision then. I went back to collecting “Buck Rogers”. In all the years since I have not once listened to any so-called friend who made fun of my hobby, my dream, my lifeblood.

Harvey Kurtzman and Matt Wagner's adaptation of Ray Bradbury's "It Burns Me Up!" The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

Wally Wood's adaptation of Ray Bradbury's "Home To Stay". The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

Guy Davis' adaptation of Ray Bradbury's "The Illustrated Man". The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

Michael Mignola's adaptation of Ray Bradbury's "The City". The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

Richard Corben's adaptation of Ray Bradbury's "A Sound of Thunder". The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

Jack Davis adaptation of Ray Bradbury's "The Black Ferris". The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

Dave Gibbon's adaptation of Ray Bradbury's "Come Into My Cellar". The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

Al Williamson adaptation of Ray Bradbury's "I, Rocket". The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

 

 

P. Craig Russell adaptation of Ray Bradbury's "The Golden Apples Of The Sun". The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Ray Bradbury:

"Buck Rogers" tearsheet from April 18th, 1937, art by Rick Yager. From The San Francisco Academy of Comic Art Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

 

Will Eisner Week: Gre-Solvent

Drawn by a 19 year old Will Eisner as a commercial job for the cleaning product “Gre-Solvent”; without the strip below Eisner & Iger Studio (also known as Syndicated Features Corporation) may have never existed.

"Gre-Solvent" Advertisement drawn by Will Eisner. From The Will Eisner Collection, of The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

In 1936 after the dissolve of Samuel Maxwell “Jerry” Iger’s Wow, What a Magazine!, Iger and Eisner teamed up with the plan of forming a studio that would produce comics “on demand”. Comic publishers at the time had previously focused on reprints of newspaper strips, while Eisner & Iger were able to bring something new to the table: full feature comic stories created specifically for their publication.

As legend has it, Iger was hesitant about the finances it would require to start up a company. Eisner convinced him otherwise by using the $15 he had received for drawing the “Gre-Solvent” ad to pay the first 3 months rent for an office space (rent being $5 per month). Thus emerged Eisner & Iger Studio, and an opportunity for young cartoonists they hired such as Jack Kirby, Wallace Wood, and Jules Feiffer to first enter the field.