1941.06.05 “Stamp Him Out with a Defense Stamp!”

1941.06.05 “Stamp Him Out with a Defense Stamp!”
by Jack Markow (1905-1983)
15 x 19 in., ink and wash on paper
Coppola Collection

Markow was an American cartoonist who also wrote instructional books about cartooning, comic strips and comic art. For three years, he was the cartoon editor of “Argosy.” His high school drawings landed him a job doing layouts and paste-ups in the sales promotion department of the Fleishmann Yeast Company. He later studied drawing and painting at the Art Students League. Markow was one of the first faculty members at New York’s School of Visual Arts, where he originated the magazine cartooning course and taught for eight years. He wrote a popular book named “Drawing and Selling Cartoons.”

Before entry into the war, defense savings bonds and stamps, which were used during WW1, made their reappearance in mid-1941. Banks, post offices, and retail stores held “stamp days” that were organized by local clubs. College campuses were popular sites for the distribution of stamp books, where individual stamps started with the investment of a dime.

“Reimagined Marvel Pop Art Cover Box: Sub-Mariner” (2020)

“Reimagined Marvel Pop Art Cover Box: Sub-Mariner” (2020)
by Bob Layton (1953-); colors by Shanna Layton
11 x 17, ink and watercolor on board (outline printed)
Coppola Collection

Layton started working in comics in the 1970s, famously headlining a run on Iron Man that introduced Stark’s alcoholism, Bethany Cabe, James Rhodes, and Justin Hammer. He wrote the revival of the original X-Men as X-Factor after Jean Grey’s return, and he was an architect for the Valiant Comics universe (and the company behind it).

He enjoys doing commissions, and I had thought for a while what I would want him to do for me. As a child of the 60s, I was squarely in the crosshairs of classic Marvel Comics as the phenomenon grew. Looking for the iconic corner boxes for any new issues splayed out in a wooden magazine rack at my hometown’s newsstand and variety store was a staple of my youth.

Marvel went through about a 4-month period (Sept-Dec 1965), where Stan Lee thought it was a good idea to grab the zeitgeist of the era and re-christened the name from “Marvel Comics Group” to “Marvel Pop-Art Productions.” There was a backlash and you have this memorably short run of issues with that logo.

So, here is my homage to those four months. Four reimagined corner boxes featuring Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, and Sub-Mariner (four of the five who made up the famously done cartoons in 1966… sorry, Thor… and the headliners from Tales of Suspense and Tales to Astonish. It’s fun to have these usually small objects filling the space on a page. I selected the figures for Bob to put into his style and I wanted the figures breaching those boxes so that they were not so hemmed in, compositionally. The “Pop Art” letters were rarely colored in during those 4 months, but for these, it helps pull the vertical all the way up the page.

For Hulk, I picked the issue number and month of the appearance of his first solo comic (1 MAY). The image is from the Kirby pin-up in FF Annual #1.

For Sub-Mariner, I picked the issue number and month of the appearance of his first solo comic in the modern era (1 MAY). The image is from the John Buscema cover.

For Iron Man, I picked the issue number and month of the appearance of his appearance in Tales of Suspense (39 MAR). The image is from the Don Heck splash page in that issue (you might like to check out the monster-sized interpretation of this same page that I have from Paolo Rivera).

For Captain America, I picked the issue number and month of his re-appearance in the Avengers (4 MAR). The image is from the Kirby cover.

“Reimagined Marvel Pop Art Cover Box: Captain America” (2020)

“Reimagined Marvel Pop Art Cover Box: Captain America” (2020)
by Bob Layton (1953-); colors by Shanna Layton
11 x 17, ink and watercolor on board (outline printed)
Coppola Collection

Layton started working in comics in the 1970s, famously headlining a run on Iron Man that introduced Stark’s alcoholism, Bethany Cabe, James Rhodes, and Justin Hammer. He wrote the revival of the original X-Men as X-Factor after Jean Grey’s return, and he was an architect for the Valiant Comics universe (and the company behind it).

He enjoys doing commissions, and I had thought for a while what I would want him to do for me. As a child of the 60s, I was squarely in the crosshairs of classic Marvel Comics as the phenomenon grew. Looking for the iconic corner boxes for any new issues splayed out in a wooden magazine rack at my hometown’s newsstand and variety store was a staple of my youth.

Marvel went through about a 4-month period (Sept-Dec 1965), where Stan Lee thought it was a good idea to grab the zeitgeist of the era and re-christened the name from “Marvel Comics Group” to “Marvel Pop-Art Productions.” There was a backlash and you have this memorably short run of issues with that logo.

So, here is my homage to those four months. Four reimagined corner boxes featuring Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, and Sub-Mariner (four of the five who made up the famously done cartoons in 1966… sorry, Thor… and the headliners from Tales of Suspense and Tales to Astonish. It’s fun to have these usually small objects filling the space on a page. I selected the figures for Bob to put into his style and I wanted the figures breaching those boxes so that they were not so hemmed in, compositionally. The “Pop Art” letters were rarely colored in during those 4 months, but for these, it helps pull the vertical all the way up the page.

For Hulk, I picked the issue number and month of the appearance of his first solo comic (1 MAY). The image is from the Kirby pin-up in FF Annual #1.

For Sub-Mariner, I picked the issue number and month of the appearance of his first solo comic in the modern era (1 MAY). The image is from the John Buscema cover.

For Iron Man, I picked the issue number and month of the appearance of his appearance in Tales of Suspense (39 MAR). The image is from the Don Heck splash page in that issue (you might like to check out the monster-sized interpretation of this same page that I have from Paolo Rivera).

For Captain America, I picked the issue number and month of his re-appearance in the Avengers (4 MAR). The image is from the Kirby cover.

“Reimagined Marvel Pop Art Cover Box: Hulk” (2020)

“Reimagined Marvel Pop Art Cover Box: Hulk” (2020)
by Bob Layton (1953-); colors by Shanna Layton
11 x 17, ink and watercolor on board (outline printed)
Coppola Collection

Layton started working in comics in the 1970s, famously headlining a run on Iron Man that introduced Stark’s alcoholism, Bethany Cabe, James Rhodes, and Justin Hammer. He wrote the revival of the original X-Men as X-Factor after Jean Grey’s return, and he was an architect for the Valiant Comics universe (and the company behind it).

He enjoys doing commissions, and I had thought for a while what I would want him to do for me. As a child of the 60s, I was squarely in the crosshairs of classic Marvel Comics as the phenomenon grew. Looking for the iconic corner boxes for any new issues splayed out in a wooden magazine rack at my hometown’s newsstand and variety store was a staple of my youth.

Marvel went through about a 4-month period (Sept-Dec 1965), where Stan Lee thought it was a good idea to grab the zeitgeist of the era and re-christened the name from “Marvel Comics Group” to “Marvel Pop-Art Productions.” There was a backlash and you have this memorably short run of issues with that logo.

So, here is my homage to those four months. Four reimagined corner boxes featuring Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, and Sub-Mariner (four of the five who made up the famously done cartoons in 1966… sorry, Thor… and the headliners from Tales of Suspense and Tales to Astonish. It’s fun to have these usually small objects filling the space on a page. I selected the figures for Bob to put into his style and I wanted the figures breaching those boxes so that they were not so hemmed in, compositionally. The “Pop Art” letters were rarely colored in during those 4 months, but for these, it helps pull the vertical all the way up the page.

For Hulk, I picked the issue number and month of the appearance of his first solo comic (1 MAY). The image is from the Kirby pin-up in FF Annual #1.

For Sub-Mariner, I picked the issue number and month of the appearance of his first solo comic in the modern era (1 MAY). The image is from the John Buscema cover.

For Iron Man, I picked the issue number and month of the appearance of his appearance in Tales of Suspense (39 MAR). The image is from the Don Heck splash page in that issue (you might like to check out the monster-sized interpretation of this same page that I have from Paolo Rivera).

For Captain America, I picked the issue number and month of his re-appearance in the Avengers (4 MAR). The image is from the Kirby cover.

1942.04.26 “Rub a Dub Dub”

1942.04.26 “Rub a Dub Dub”
by Abe Birnbaum (1899-1966)
11 x 14 in., crayon on textured paper
Coppola Collection

Rub A Dub Dub
Three Men in a Tub
And Who Do You Think They Be?
The Butcher, The Butcher,
And the Butcher!

Abe Birnbaum is best known for his prolific work with The New Yorker magazine. He painted nearly 200 covers for the magazine from the 1940’s through the 1970’s. He also illustrated approximately 500 black-and-white drawings and paintings for the interior of the magazine from the 1930’s through the 1970’s. Birnbaum’s work with The New Yorker captured the mood of the day, including special and mundane moments of the lives of the upper and middle classes, both in the big city and the country. His art and point of view were carefree, simple and reflective of the times.

At the start of the war, after years of appeasement, the misperception was that Germany and Japan were ferocious war makers, that they were strategically adept, and almost unstoppable. Germany had a head start rearming militarily and then it enjoyed quick success in 10 border wars against much weaker European states. Japan invaded China and other parts of Asia and faced very little resistance. Italy, which entered WWII on the Axis side in 1940 as the defeat of France became apparent, encountered more opposition in North Africa. None of this prowess was particularly true, and the only real advantage they had was to try win the war very quickly.

By early 1942, the Axis appeared to be unstoppable. Japan lost is dominance in the Pacific by June, at the battle of Midway. Germany had started its two-front war with its invasion of the Soviet Union in mid-1941, which did not go well and ultimately strained the resources of the Wehrmacht.

War Babies (2005)

War Babies (2005) by Peter and Daniel Macchiarini
Peter Macchiarini (1909-2001)
Daniel Macchiarini (1954 – )
Bronze Plaque 9 x 13 x 0.5 in

The plaque was designed by Peter Macchiarini who originally carved the design in wood in 1944 near the end of WW2. It was his emotional expression and response to the human slaughter of 55 million people during that war many of whom were killed by mass bombing of cities on both sides as well as the projected development of the atomic bomb which almost a year later killed 200,000 in the two cities in Japan when it was dropped. He never had this cast in bronze during his lifetime as the original wooden sculpture was purchased by a collector. Peter’s son, Danny, located the wooden sculpture and got it returned on loan to create a mold of in 2005. Peter allowed up to 9 editions of his works, so this is the first one (and so far only, as of 2024) that got cast in bronze.

Don’t miss the fact that the bomb holds a figure inside of it. We give birth to both life and death.

1945.02.05 “Heel Hitler”

1945.02.05 “Heel Hitler”
by John M Price (1918-2009)
11 x 14.5 in., ink on an onionskin paper overlay, with gray wash on illustration board
Coppola Collection

Philadelphia artist John M. Price (1918-2009), with whom I share a birthday, had cartoons published in Collier’s, Saturday Evening Post, Esquire, and The New Yorker (February 17, 1940, March 9, 1940, June 8, 1941, and August 30, 1941).

Stalin walking a dachshund dog, with the caption, “Heel, Hitler!”

By February 1945, as Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin gathered again at Yalta, an Allied victory in Europe was on the horizon. Having liberated France and Belgium from Nazi occupation, the Allies now threatened the German border; to the east, Soviet troops had driven back the Germans in Poland, Bulgaria and Romania and gotten within 40 miles of Berlin. This put Stalin at a distinct advantage during the meeting at the Black Sea resort, a location he himself had proposed after insisting his doctors had barred him from traveling long distances.

1787 “A plan of the Valley of Jehoshaphat”

1787 “A plan of the Valley of Jehoshaphat”
Artist unknown
5 x 7 in., ink on paper
Coppola Collection

Hand drawn in ink, and likely taken from a book, in Italian, this is a plan of the Valley of Jehoshaphat, done in the year 1787 with notations of various places on the map.

Some hold that the Valley of Jehoshaphat (“Yahweh shall judge”) refers to the valley situated between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives to the east. It was in this valley where king Jehoshaphat is thought to have overthrown the enemies of Israel, the “valley of Beracah”

  1. Bridge over the Cedron Stream
  2. Footsteps of Christ, leaving as you see them bound to the city
  3. Tomb of King Manasseh, Gibsafat’s estate
  4. Tomb of Absalom
  5. Road, which goes to Gethsemane, to all Tombs of the BVM (Blessed Virgin Mary)
  6. All of the Tombs of the Jews
  7. The place where Judah stays, and also the road to Bettania
  8. Part of Monte Oliveto
  9. Cave in the form of a factory where the Ap San Giacomo retired
  10. Tomb of Zacaria (when Christ was taken)
  11. Torrent of Cedron

1938.09.13 “Mention Lincoln, But Don’t Quote Him.”

1938.09.13 “Mention Lincoln, But Don’t Quote Him.”
by Mischa Richter (1910-2001)
9.5 x 13.5 in., ink and wash on paper
Coppola Collection

Mischa Richter (1910-2001) was a well-known New Yorker, King Features, and PM newspaper cartoonist who worked for the Communist Party’s literary journal “New Masses” in the late 1930 and early 1940s, becoming its art editor in the 1940s.

With the election of Abraham Lincoln (the first Republican president) in 1860, the Republican Party largely dominated the national political scene until 1932. After 1912, many of the Teddy Roosevelt supporters, who followed TR to the new Bull Moose Party, left the Republication Party, consequently resulting in an ideological shift to the right. The GOP lost its congressional majorities during the Great Depression, and under FDR, the Democrats formed a winning New Deal coalition that was dominant from 1932 through 1964.

After 1936, the GOP split into a conservative faction (dominant in the West and Midwest) and a liberal faction (dominant in the Northeast)—combined with a residual base of inherited progressive Republicanism active throughout the century. The Republications were longer the Party of Lincoln.

The Democratic Party lost a net of 72 seats in the 1938 United States House of Representatives elections, with the GOP picking up seats from Progressive and Farmer–Labor Parties.

The GOP comeback in 1938 was made possible by carrying 50% of the vote outside the South, giving GOP leaders confidence it had a strong base for the 1940 presidential election.

“Reimagined Cover Fragments: FF #1 (Sue Storm)” (2020)

“Reimagined Cover Fragments: FF #1 (Sue Storm)” (2020)
by John K Snyder III (1961-)
5.5 x 8.5 in, ink and wash on board
Coppola Collection

Snyder wrote and drew his first project, “Fashion in Action” (Eclipse Comics), as a backup feature in Timothy Truman’s “Scout in 1985.” He also began to illustrate gallery pieces and covers for books such as Comico’s “Jonny Quest” comic book series and Alan Moore’s “Miracleman.” I noticed Snyder’s work on Matt Wagner’s “Grendel” series, when he illustrated “The God and The Devil.”

John has a lovely, classic style as a comics illustrator. I enjoy artists who enjoy interpreting the work of early 1960s Marvel, the comics of my youth. Fragmenting covers into individual compositions is an idea, and FF #1 is ideal for it.

Does anyone not recognize this image of Sue Storm (The Invisible Girl) from the cover of FF #1?