THE JOHN BUSCEMA SKETCHBOOK
Introduction by best-selling artist, writer, and popular culture historian
Jim Steranko

Author of the perennial selling instruction volume, How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way, John Buscema is one of the most highly-regarded comic-book illustrators in history. He has influenced several generations of artists and remained in top demand through his January 10, 2002 passing.
     He was born on December 11, 1927 in Brooklyn, New York, where his earliest artistic influences were Hal Foster's Prince Valiant, Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon, and Burne Hogarth's Tarzan newspaper adventure strips.
     Buscema attended the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan where his interest shifted to fine art and Monet, Renoir, and Van Gogh. While still in high school, he spent evenings studying life drawing and design at Pratt Institute. In addition to his formal training, he frequented museums, assaying the works of the Old Masters, including Michaelangelo, Rubens, Da Vinci, and Raphael.

     As a young professional, he was influenced by Al Dorne, Dean Cornwell, Norman Rockwell, and Robert Fawcett, the famous illustrators of the '40s and '50s. During that period, as he struggled to earn a living, he turned to the newly-emerging comic-book industry as a source of revenue.

     Buscema began his career at Marvel (then known as Timely) Comics in 1948, working side by side with many notable artists, including Syd Shores, of Captain America fame, and Carl Burgos, creator of The Human Torch. He stayed on staff for a year and a half, afterward, freelancing for a variety of publishers.

     During the great comic-book industry implosion of the late '50s, he returned to advertising illustration, working for some years in a Manhattan studio with commercial-art superstar Bob Peak.

     In 1966, Stan Lee enticed Buscema to return to Marvel by offering to match his advertising income. There, he was inspired by Jack Kirby's dynamic work and went on to become one of the company's most prolific and popular artists. His art proved so important to the company that his approach came to epitomize the Marvel style. He has drawn every major Marvel character —including landmark runs on Silver Surfer, the Avengers, Thor, Wolverine, the Punisher, Sub-Mariner, Fantastic Four, and Spider-Man —but prefers non-superhero characters, such as Tarzan and Conan the Barbarian, his favorite. He has illustrated the latter for more than a quarter of a century in comic books, magazines, and newspaper strips.

     THE JOHN BUSCEMA SKETCHBOOK presents a collection of the artist's personal drawings and studies. Done for his own enjoyment, practice, or self-expression, the art offers a unique appreciation of his draftsmanship and creativity on a variety of subjects. Accompanying text by Buscema addresses both his career and his technique. Includes a Major Essay by STERANKO covering Buscema's entire career.



  • 112 black & white pages + Color covers
  • 200 black & white illustrations
  • Prestige paper
  • Trim size: 6 5/8 x 10 3/16 (6.625 x 10.1875)

  • Trade Softcover ISBN 1-887591-19-2 Retail $15.95


  • Trade Hardcover Retail $27.95


  • Deluxe Hardcover Signed and/numbered by John Buscema with 16 pg. BONUS PORTFOLIO Retail $100.00


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