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Vanguard News Archive

10/November/2004

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MAJOR NEWS RELEASE!

J. David Spurlock, Publisher & President of the Smiles & Grins Jack Bruce Newsletter and Fan Club announced November 8th, 2004 that the original supergroup, Cream, featuring Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton, plan to reunite for a series of concerts at London's Royal Albert Hall. The Albert was the site of Cream's legendary Farewell Concert November, 1968.
Spurlock, who created the Jack Bruce Fan Club some 20 years ago said, "Clapton is playing his best in many years and the time is right for a number of reasons." Clapton said he was "...eager to reunite as soon as Jack (Bruce) has recovered from his recent illness."
A series of 4 concert dates are planned for May of 2005. The original Power Trio's reunited once before, to perform three songs at the semi-private 1993 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremonies.
Smiles & Grins
Jack Bruce Page

09/October/2004

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STEVE DITKO: Space Wars

Link to more info about STEVE DITKOForbidden Planet, The Twilight Zone, The Blob, The Outer Limits, The Day the Earth Stood Still: The 1950s spawned the greatest sci-fi stories ever! Bug-eyed monsters from other worlds invaded our movies, literature, television, and comic books. The young cartoonist, Steve Ditko, honed his storytelling skills throughout the ?50s on mystery, horror, and some of the farthest-out sci-fi comics of all time. Steve Ditko: Space Wars collects a wealth of the artist's finest work prior to his world-shaking creation...

        

08/October/2004

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LIMITED EDITION PAUL GULACY ART PRINT

LIMITED PAUL GULACY ART PRINT!

      Batman, 007, The Terminator, Master of Kung Fu, Star Wars, Sabre and Catwoman: Building his reputation on these mega- properties Paul Gulacy has proven one of the most highly regarded comic book illustrators of the last 30 years!
Limited edition of 250 signed prints
and 250 unsigned prints.


Signed-$40.00
Unsigned-$20.00
Each plus $6.00 S&H (US), $15.00 S&H (World)

08/October/2004

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VERY LIMITED WALLY WOOD ART PRINT

SHAMBLEAU Print NOW AVAILABLE!

      Vanguard in association with Wally Wood's family are releasing a Limited Edition print of Wood's cover painting to the sci-fi classic, Shambleau, to help launch the Wally Wood Scholarship Fund. The top-quality Giclee print exquisitely reproduces this extremely rare Wood original, one of only 3 known Wood oil paintings.


Limited edition of 50 Giclee prints on heavy,
museum quality water color paper.

$75.00 + $10.00 S&H

24/September/2004

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Marvel Comics Legends Reunite at Big Apple Con
Superstars, Scoop, Friday, September 24, 2004

   Lieber and Steranko at Big Apple Comic Con
  

Fans at last weekend's Big Apple Convention in New York City were sure to have gotten a kick out of the rare appearance of two comics legends, Larry Lieber and Jim Steranko. The two were on hand for signings and photographs at the Vanguard Productions on September 19.

Vanguard publisher J. David Spurlock orchestrated the reunion.

We thought you'd get a kick out of this photo of the three moguls together.
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Original content ?2004 Gemstone Publishing, Inc. and/or Diamond International Galleries.
All other material ?2004 respective copyright holders. All rights reserved.

13/September/2004

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Vanguard Features All-Star Lineup at Baltimore Comic-Con
Industry News, Scoop, Friday, September 10, 2004

   Click for larger image
  

Vanguard Productions will feature an all-star line up at this year's Baltimore Comic-Con, Sept 11 & 12, 2004. John Romita Sr., Frank Brunner and Paul Gulacy will all appear with Vanguard founder and Space Cowboy creator, J. David Spurlock at the Vanguard booth!

Legendary Marvel Comics and Spider-Man artist John Romita Sr. is scheduled to appear Saturday morning
in support of Vanguard's John Romita Sketchbook. A number of buyers of the Romita hardcover will get a chance
to get an original sketch in their book for a small additional fee.

Dr. Strange, Howard the Duck, Red Sonja, Elric and Man-Thing artist Frank Brunner will appear for the world premier of the new Raiders of the Lost Egg limited edition Dexter Duck art print. Brunner will also be signing copies of his hit Eyes of Light art book!

Batman, Catwoman and Master of Kung Fu artist Paul Gulacy will appear in support of the upcoming Vanguard Art of Paul Gulacy book. Vanguard will also premier a new Gulacy limited edition fine art print!
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Original content ?2004 Gemstone Publishing, Inc. and/or Diamond International Galleries.
All other material ?2004 respective copyright holders. All rights reserved.

12/September/2004

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The Drawings of J. Allen St. John

St JohnANNOUNCED


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11/September/2004

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RGK: The Art of Roy G. Krenkel

Link to more info about Roy G KrenkelInfluenced by early masters J. Allen St. John, J. C. Coll and Franklin Booth, Roy G. Krenkel has inspired generations of fantasy artists with his portrayals of futuristic cities, prehistoric beasts, Mongol hordes, jungle men and bodacious beauties. From pulp-styled drawings of the late 40s to early work in EC Comics' Weird Science, and defining art on Tarzan, Conan, and Wizard of Oz, RGK: The Art of Roy G. Krenkel is of interest to anyone whose imagination has been inspired by the stories of...

        


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11/September/2004

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DOMINO LADY BY STERANKO TO SHIP SOON

Click for alternate imageFrom Indiana Jones to The Shadow, he's visualized more classic fictional icons than any other American artist, and now he's added another in a spectacular single volume which incorporates four favorite Steranko themes: pulp fiction, noir myster y, art deco, and beautiful women. A new painted cover showcasing equal parts danger, intrigue, and...

        


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11/September/2004

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The Thrilling Comic Book Cover Art of Alex Schomburg

Link to more info about Alex SchomburgThrilling, Wonder, Captain America, America's Best, Marvel, Exciting, Startling: Alex Schomburg produced the most dazzling array of high-quality comic-book covers in the Golden Age of American Comics. Spider-Man, Hulk, and X-Men co-creator Stan Lee said, "Alex Schomburg was to comic books what...

        


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10/September/2004

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NEW VANGUARD GOGOS BOOK ANNOUNCED

Bela Lugosi as Dracula by Basil GogosThe Famous Monster Movie Art of Basil Gogos is a celebration of the career of the acknowledged master of film monster portrait art. To many fans of classic horror movies, the name Basil Gogos is as familiar as that of Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi or Vincent Price. Gogos' paintings are as iconic as his subjects. This long-overdue retrospective features high-quality reproductions of many of his most famous paintings as well as many previously unpublished paintings and drawings of classic film creatures and...

        


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09/September/2004

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Vanguard Productions all-star line up
Baltimore Comic-Con, Sept 11 & 12, 2004

Brunner Eyes of Light -Click for Raiders of the Lost EggJohn Romita Sr., Frank Brunner and Paul Gulacy will all appear with Vanguard founder and Space Cowboy creator, J. David Spurlock at the Vanguard booth!
Legendary Marvel Comics and Spider-Man artist John Romita Sr. is scheduled to appear Saturday morning in support of Vanguard's John Romita Sketchbook. A number of buyers of the Romita hardcover will get a chance to get an original sketch in their book for a small additional fee.
Dr. Strange, Howard the Duck, Red Sonja, Elric and Man-Thing artist Frank Brunner will appear for the world premier of the new Raiders of the Lost Egg limited edition Dexter Duck art print. Brunner will also be signing copies of his hit Eyes of Light art book!
Batman, Catwoman and Master of Kung Fu artist Paul Gulacy will appear in support of the upcoming Vanguard Art of Paul Gulacy book. Vanguard will also premier a new Gulacy limited edition fine art print!


Email Vanguard at vanguardpub@att.net for more information.

06/August/2004

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FRANK BRUNNER LTD. ED. PRINT


Raiders of the Lost Egg by: Frank Brunner

Click for larger image      Vanguard continues their line of fine art prints by Steranko, Infantino and Wally Wood with the triumphant return of Frank Brunner's Dexter Duck, a.k.a. The Duckaneer! Classic Dr. Strange, Howard the Duck, Red Sonja, Man-Thing, and Elric artist Frank Brunner launched Dexter Duck in Warp's Quack # 1 to record sales. In this all-new Vanguard print entitled Raiders of the Lost Egg, Dexter and his beautiful companion discover the lost golden egg in the ruins of an ancient civilization.


Convenient 16" x 20" standard frame size
-$20 unsigned
-$40 signed (strictly limited to 250)

Scheduled for release December, 2004

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04/August/2004

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Vanguard 2004 appearances:

  • Baltimore Super Mega Fest July 31, 2004
  • Big Apple NYC Sept. 18 & 19, Steranko Sunday Only! Penn Plaza Pavilion 401 7th Ave. & 33rd St., NYC
  • St. Louis MO. Royal Fest Sept. 25 -26 Collinsville Convention Center
  • Syracuse NY Mighty Mini-Con #4 Oct. 23 & 24, 2004 Convention Center at Oncenter
  • Boston SUPER Megafest 2004 Nov 20th and 21st Sheraton Framingham Hotel.

Adam West and Jim Steranko

ABOVE: Pop Icons Adam West (TV's Batman) & Jim Steranko (Francis Ford Coppola collaborator, magician, musician, & comic-book art innovator) reunite at Baltimore Super Mega Fest July 31, 2004

Email Vanguard at vanguardpub@att.net for more information.

28/July/2004

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COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO JULY 21-25

UPDATE FROM THE SHOW

Spurlock-Gulacy-Michael Kronenberg

Vanguard publisher J. David Spurlock, Catwoman, Batman, 007 & Master of Kung Fu artist Paul Gulacy and designer Michael Kronenberg at the Vanguard booth, San Diego 2004, in support of the upcoming Vanguard book, Spies, Vixens & Masters of Kung Fu: The Art of Paul Gulacy

Email Vanguard at vanguardpub@att.net for more information.

08/July/2004

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COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO JULY 21-25

Vanguard Productions is Joined by Watson-Guptill for Comic-Con 2004

Vanguard Productions (Booth 1700) has quickly risen to be the top producer of art books and biographies on comics artists. They expanded into major bookstore distribution 4 years ago via associates Watson-Guptill Publications. Vanguard has also recently launched a line of graphic novels including JESSE JAMES by Kubert and Infantino, THE SPIDER by McGregor and Colan and the recent hit, NEAL ADAMS MONSTERS. Vanguard is celebrating 11 years at Comic-Con with guest signings. To promote his upcoming Vanguard art book, see Catwoman and Master of Kung Fu artist Paul Gulacy Friday at 3:00 PM and Saturday at noon. MAD ART author Mark Evanier will sign Thursday at 10:30 AM. Space Cowboy creator and Vanguard leader J. David Spurlock will be appearing all weekend! Spurlock said last-minute surprise appearances could include the likes of Jim Warren and Neal Adams. Their associates Watson-Guptill Publications will join Vanguard for this year's extravaganza.

Watson-Guptill joins Vanguard to promote their line of art, Anima and how to draw books. W-G titles include Hildebrandt: the Tolkien Years, Superheroes by Joe Kubert, Vertigo Visions, MAD Cover to Cover and DC Comics Guide to Penciling. Signings include Manga Mania author Christopher Hart Thursday at 2:00 PM; Drawing Dynamic Comics author Andy Smith on Friday at 11:00 AM, Saturday 3:00 PM and award winning Batman Collected author/designer Chip Kidd Friday at 12:00 NOON. Come by booth 1700 for the Vanguard, Watson-Guptill festivities.

Email Vanguard at vanguardpub@att.net for more information.

15/May/2004

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SCHEDULED FOR SUMMER 2004 RELEASE

Volume 1
Wallace Wood's Wizard King trilogy of graphic novels:
The King of the World
Hardback and Deluxe Hardback
Wizard King

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11/May/2004

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Wondercon San Francisco, May 2, 2004

Steranko-Storey-Spurlock

Legendary Marvel artist-writer Jim Steranko, Society of Illustrators' Gold Medalist Barron Storey, and Vanguard Productions publisher J. David Spurlock at Vanguard anniversary panel Wondercon San Francisco, May 2, 2004.

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07/April/2004

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THE COMIC BOOK MAKERS AT BIG APPLE APRIL 3, 2004

Grand comic-art history publishers Vanguard Productions rocked the April 3-4 Big Apple convention in New York City by bringing out the big guns! Vanguard publisher J. David Spurlock was joined by Flash, Poison Ivy, Deadman, Animal Man and Batgirl co-creator and DC Comics publisher emeritus Carmine Infantino and Captain America creator Joe Simon as well as cutting edge illustrator Bill Sienkiewicz! New York's channel 4 news crew was on hand and fans lined up around the room to meet the Vanguard guests.
Appearing in support of his tell-all book, The Comic Book Makers, Joe Simon was surrounded by fans wanting to thank him and give him gifts for the many decades of entertainment he has provided both during and after his collaborative years with Jack Kirby. Bill Sienkiewicz amazed the crowd with brilliant performance-art techniques-- turning out masterpieces before their stunned eyes.
The new issue of Space Cowboy was premiered by creator J. David Spurlock who found time to do his customary 1 sketch per convention.


Infantino-Spurlock-Simon-Sienkiewicz
Photo: Infantino, Spurlock, & The Comic Book Makers authors Joe Simon & Jim Simon.
Photo by Lee Parmerter

For further information
email Va nguard at vanguardpub@att.net

23/March/2004

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VANGUARD BRINGS BIG GUNS INFANTINO, SIENKIEWICZ & JOE SIMON TO BIG APPLE APRIL 3, 2004

Joe Simon and J. David Spurlock Top comics artist biographer Vanguard Productions is launching an extravaganza at the April 3 & 4 Big Apple Comic Convention. Publisher J. David Spurlock and Flash, Batgirl & Deadman co-creator Carmine Infantino will be honoring their associate, the late great Father of the Silver Age, Julius Schwartz. Infantino and Schwartz saved the then-floundering comic book industry in 1956 with the creation of the (Barry Allen) FLASH, which launched the immensely successful Silver Age of Comics. Infantino and Schwartz later resurrected the career of Batman, created Batgirl and contributed to the Batman TV show. Infantino went on to become President of DC Comics, worked on SUPERMAN film 1 & 2 and assigned Schwartz to edit Superman comics.

Also appearing at the Vanguard booth will be the EMMY AWARD winning innovator Bill Sienkiewicz. Sienkiewicz? work in film (Mummy, Unforgiving), TV (Where is Carmen San Diego) and comics (Batman, Daredevil, Electra) has earned him every possible award. Bill is currently revolutionizing Batman for DC Comics.
All this plus a SUPER RARE appearance by the 90-year old creator of Captain America, JOE SIMON! Simon along with long time collogue Jack Kirby practically invented super hero comics in the Golden Age (1930s-50s) with titles like Captain America, Boy Commandos, Sandman, Young Romance, Newsboy Legion, Captain Marvel, and Fighting American. Joe Simon will be appearing with his son Jim Simon in supp ort of their new Vanguard tell-all book, The Comic Book Makers?an insider?s behind the scenes history of the Golden Age of American comics.
Don?t miss this rare opportunity to meet genuine pop-culture icons.
The Penn Plaza Pavilion is ideally located at 401 7th Ave. & 33rd St. across from Penn Station and Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Admission is only $9.00 each day. Kids under 12 are FREE when accompanied by an adult. ? 10a-7p Both Days INFANTINO & SIMON APRIL 3rd ONLY

For other convention guests and festivities, call 1-201-865-3288
Tickets available NOW at WWW.BIGAPPLECON.COM
For info on Infantino, Sienkiewicz and Joe Simon,
email Vanguard at vanguardpub@att.net

10/February/2004

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Barron Storey to appear at the Vanguard's WonderCon booth

Along with innovative comics legend Jim Steranko and Vanguard founder J. David Spurlock, Barron Storey will appear at the Vanguard WonderCon booth. The world-famous, Time magazine, National Geographic and Smithsonian Institute illustrator, Storey, has proven to be quite important to alternative comics and graphic novels through the work of artists he has influenced including Dave McKean, Bill Sienkiewicz, Kent Williams, George Pratt, John Van Fleet, Bill Koeb, Scott McCloud, Dan Clowes, Peter Kuper, J. David Spurlock, and Dan Brereton. Storey's intensely autobiographical sequential art has appeared in Heavy Metal, various DC/Vertigo publications including The Sandman Endless Nights, the Harvey Award nominated Tundra graphic album Marat-Sade Journals, Vanguard's W.A.T.C.H. magazine revivals, the EDGE card set and every one of the first 10 issues of Vanguard's EDGE anthology as well as t he new EDGE anniversary book which als o features Gaiman, McKean, Sienkiewicz, David Mack and Steranko!

09/February/2004

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COMICS & SCI-FI LEGEND JULIUS SCHWARTZ, DEAD AT 88

Julius Schwartz, one of the best-loved and most influential members of both the comics and science fiction communities, died Sunday morning, February 8, in Winthrop Hospital in New York from complications from pneumonia. Schwartz was 88.5 years old.

Schwartz, who was popularly called "a living legend" and remembered as DC's greatest editor, is also remembered as one of the founders of science fiction fandom. Schwartz is also know as Father of the Silver Age for revitalizing the careers of such super-heroes as Batman(with Infantino), Superman(with Swan), The Flash(with Infantino), Green Lantern(with Kane) and The Justice League of America.

Schwartz was born on June 19, 1915, in the Bronx, NY. In 1932 he created science fiction's first fanzine, The Time Traveler, with fellow enthusiasts Mort Weisinger and Forrest J Ackerman. With Weisinger, he formed Solar Sales Service, the first literary agency specializing in science fiction, with clients including Ray Bradbury, Henry Kuttner, Alfred Bester, H.P. Lovecraft, Robert Bloch, and many others. In 1939 he helped organize the first World Science Fiction Convention.

Schwartz left the world of science fiction in 1944 to join the staff of All-American Comics (one of DC's predecessor imprints), where he was hired by Sheldon Mayer. As script editor, Schwartz contributed to GREEN LANTERN, ALL STAR COMICS, THE FLASH, and many others. As interest in super-hero comics faded in the late 1940s, Schwartz moved on to a variety of titles including ALL-AMERICAN WESTERN, DANGER TRAIL, HOPALONG CASSIDY, and REX THE WONDER DOG. His passion for science fiction shined through in launching MYSTERY IN SPACE and STRANGE ADVENTURES, which featured fondly remembered series including Captain Comet, Space Museum, the Atomic Knights, Star Hawkins, and Space Cabby.

During this time, Schwartz continued to work with his favored stable of writers including John Broome and Gardner Fox, and artists such as Gil Kane, Carmine Infantino, Murphy Anderson and Joe Kubert. With these creators and others, Schwartz would soon lead comics into a new age.

Schwartz's career - and the history of comics - turned a corner in October 1956 with the publication of SHOWCASE #4. The issue, which featured the debut of a new Flash by Kanigher and Infantino, was a hit: it marked the start of the Silver Age of Comics, and of Schwartz's unparalleled streak at reintroducing Golden Age heroes in a way that would appeal to current comics readers.

The Flash soon was followed by the debuts of a new Green Lantern (SHOWCASE #22, September 1959), the Justice League of America (THE BRAVE & THE BOLD #28, February 1960), Hawkman (THE BRAVE & THE BOLD #34, February 1961), and The Atom (SHOWCASE #34, September 1961). Not content only to reinvent past heroes, Schwartz edited the far-flung adventures of science fiction hero Adam Strange, who made his debut in SHOWCASE #17 (November 1958).

In September, 1961, Schwartz transformed the world of DC Comics into a complex multiverse with THE FLASH #123. "Flash of Two Worlds" opened up the possibility that DC's Silver Age heroes could race into adventure alongside their Golden Age predecessors. It was an idea inspired by science fiction, and one that Schwartz would use for years to come in annual Justice League/Justice Society crossovers, and in stories that introduced Earth-2, Earth-3, Earth-S, Earth-X, and even Earth-Prime, home of DC Comics and Schwartz himself. This depiction of the science ficti on concept of multiple earths became so iconic that it became the basis for a recent cover on a national science magazine.

By 1964, Schwartz's reputation for revitalizing DC's characters had grown so great that he was asked to rework Batman, whose adventures he edited through 1978. The "New Look" Batman first appeared in DETECTIVE COMICS #327 (May 1964). The issue featured the addition of an easily recognized bright yellow oval on the Dark Knight Detective's chest, while the tone of the stories shifted to moody and mysterious.

Schwartz helped move the comics industry forward again in the late 1960s by teaming Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams for the first time in DETECTIVE COMICS #395 (January 1970), which started the collaboration that still informs the portrayal of the Dark Knight today. Under Schwartz's watchful eye, O'Neil and Adams also created an award-winning run of GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW that brought the concept of relevant, contemporary issues into comics.

Following the retirement of his old collaborator Weisinger, Schwartz stepped in as the new SUPERMAN editor from 1971 through 1985. Typically, Schwartz enhanced what made the Man of Steel work while downplaying elements that seemed dated. He pared down Superman's out-of-this-world abilities, introduced a host of new characters into the Man of Steel's milieu, and gave Clark Kent a new job as TV reporter.

Schwartz retired from editing monthly comic books in 1986 with the two-part story "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?," which appeared in SUPERMAN #423 and ACTION COMICS #583. The story, written by Alan Moore with art by Curt Swan, George P?rez and Kurt Schaffenberger, served as a closing chapter to the Silver Age of Superman.

As a coda to his career as a comic book editor, Schwartz edited seven DC SCIENCE FICTION GRAPHIC NOVELS, adapted from classic science fiction works by Harlan Ellison, Robert Silverberg, Bradbury, and others.

Since his retirement in 1987, Schwartz made countless appearances as a goodwill ambassador for DC Comics. He has received awards including the First Fandom Hall of Fame Award, the Shazam, the Eagle, the Alley, the Inkpot and the Jules Verne Awards. In 1998, DragonCon established the Julie Award, whose recipients, including Bradbury, Ackerman, Gaiman, Ellison, Will Eisner, Carmine Infantino and others, are recognized for achievements in multiple genres.

Vanguard founder J. David Spurlock acted as Schwartz' personal appearance agent in the last few years. After attending the funeral Spurlock said, "I miss Julie very much, he was a tough editor but a sweetheart of a man. Julie's last hurrah was when we appeared at DragonCon in Atlanta last September. He had a great time and presented Jim Steranko with the Julie: Man of Two Worlds Award." Spurlock went on to say, "Other recent appearance we made were last year's San Diego ComicCon, Mocca's Harvey Awards presentation and Arlen Schumer's Silver Age of Comic Book Art book premier party, both in New York. I was very proud that Julie regularly appeared at conventions in support of Vanguard. He was particularly involved with our books The Amazing World of Carmine Infantino and Curt Swan: A Like in Comics." About Vanguard Schwartz said, "Just as I served as the vanguard of the Silver Age of Comics, J. David Spurlock's line of books serve as the vanguard of Silver Age comics histories."

Schwartz's memoirs, Man of Two Worlds: My Life in Science Fiction and Comics, co-written with Brian Thomsen, was published by HarperCollins in 2000.

Schwartz is survived by his son-in-law, three grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. The family asks that donations be made to the Julius Schwartz Scholarship Fund c/o DC Comics, 1700 Broadway, New York, NY, 10019.

30/January/2004

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Neal Adams Monsters

Spurlock and Adams at Forbidden PlanetThe reviews are in.

NEAL ADAMS MONSTERS graphic novel is a smash hit!
UPN Ch.9 NYC TV, WIZARD Magazine, PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY, UGO.COM, COMIC SHOP NEWS, Comics Buyers Guide, RUE MORGUE Magazine, and more rave:

"This NEAL ADAMS MONSTERS graphic novel is hands-down the best B-movie you'll never see."
-- -Rue Morgue magazine (60,000 copy circulation)

"DYNAMIC...the sort of tale that made Adams (an) Icon."
-- -Comic Buyer1s Guide (circulation: 8,600)

Legendary Batman, X-Men, Deadman & Green Lantern artist, Neal Adams, explodes back onto the comic scene with a new hardcover graphic novel, Neal Adams Monsters, featuring the most terrifying supernatural creatures in classic-horror history: The Frankenstein Monster, Count Dracula and the Werewolf. Neal Adams Monsters was rendered oversized to take the penciling and inking chores to the max. The end result is a masterwork which features the dramatic linework and exquisite fine rendering Neal Adams has been canonized for. Thrill to a level of unprecedented detail as a comics grandmaster reveals the story of these infamous horror legends as only he can see them: a horror epic guaranteed to thrill.

"I always felt that the classic Frankenstein, Dracula and Wolfman movies had missed the boat. They didn1t do the one final movie. You know, the one where the monsters all battle. I developed this Monster Project myself. The ultimate battle of monsters."
-- NEAL ADAMS

26/June/2003

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Vanguard at San Diego!

Vanguard productions will be at booth 1844 for this year's San Diego Comic-Con (July 17-20, 2003). The Vanguard booth is adjacent to Neal Adams/Transcontinuity. Vanguard and Adams will be promoting the new revised edition of the Neal Adams Sketchbok. Fans are encouraged to come by to see Neal Adams, Carmine Infantino, Julie Schwartz and J. David Spurlock.

Flash, Batgirl and Deadman co-creator, Carmine Infantino has agreed to break his own tradition and do some sketches for collectors who pick up his autobiography. Collectors who already have the Amazing World of Carmine Infantino, can get in on the action by picking up Vanguard's new Jesse James graphic novel by Joe Kubert and Carmine Infantino. Other surprise guests at the Vanguard booth could include Michael Kaluta, Kerry Gammill, Dean Motter, Eddy Zeno and/or any of the many talents who got their start in comics thanks to Carmine Infantino.


21/May/2003

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Vanguard at IPPY AWARDS!

Hal Foster: Prince of Illustrators by Brian M. Kane, published by Vanguard Productions (ISBN 1-887591-25-7), was s elected by the 2003 Independent Publishers Book Awards committee as one of the top three books of the year in the Popular Culture category. "I believe this is the first time a biography of a comics illustrator, or any history of the medium for that matter, has received a major book award outside of the comics field." said J. David Spurlock, Publisher and editor of the Vanguard book. "It's a vindication to all of the hard work and research Brian Kane put into it and to the long hours spent by co-designed Meredith Pratt and the entire Vanguard production team. It's the jewel in our publishing crown and we're justifiably proud." The book has received critical acclaim from the New York Times, the Eisner Awards, comics industry and mainstream domestic press alike but, it has really swept Canada who, has rediscovered their lost Halifax-born son. Inspired by the Vanguard book, Foster's home town is now planning to erect a life-size bronze statue honoring the artist and his best known creation, Prince Valiant. The IPPY Awards will be presented to winning publishers at BookExpo America 2003, in Los Angeles on May 30th. More information on the book is available at vanguardproductions.net/halfoster/.


06/May/2003

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Steranko & Spurlock at Big Apple!

Comics artist/writer, escape artist, and musician Jim Steranko was the Guest of Honor at the May 3rd Big Apple convention in New York City. Steranko appeared with his agent, Vanguard publisher J. David Spurlock, in support of their recent projects Steranko: Arte Noir, Visual Storytelling (a deluxe, instructional hardback book signed by Caputo, Ellison & Steranko just released from Vanguard), and their Spirit of America, 9-11 benefit print featuring Captain America.

The classic S.H.I.E.L.D., Captain America, X-Men and Shadow artist exhibited a large selection of never-before-seen original art!

Vanguard's J. David Spurlock also world-premiered the new deluxe hardcover, The Comic Book Makers by Captain America creator and long time Jack Kirby collaborator, Joe Simon!


04/May/2003

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Here's what people are saying about Vanguard's critically-acclaimed book, Hal Foster: Prince of Illustrators by Brian M. Kane:

"SUPERB."
-- Ray Bradbury

"PICK OF THE WEEK"
-- Globe and Mail

"CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT"
-- The Columbus Dispatch

"OUR HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION."
-- Bud Plant Illustrated Books

"PROFUSELY ILLUSTRATED...FOSTER WAS THE MOST VIRTUOSIC COMICS ARTIST OF HIS TIME."
-- New York Times Book Review

"KANE SKILLFULLY BLENDS FACTUAL AND ANECDOTAL INFORMATION TO TELL A WONDERFULLY RICH STORY ABOUT THE MAN WHO GAVE FORM TO SOME OF THE COUNTRY'S MOST BELOVED CHARACTERS."
-- Illustration Magazine

"FASCINATING AND WELL DESIGNED?A VERY HIGH QUALITY BIOGRAPHICAL S KETCH."
-- Barnes & Noble, (BN.COM)

"I CANNOT PRAISE THIS BOOK HIGHLY ENOUGH!"
-- Comic Book Marketplace

"A POWER READ, YET EYEFULS OF NARRATIVE, ILLUSTRATIVE, AND EVOCATIVE DRAUGHTSMANSHIP."
-- AMAZON.COM

"A RICH ME AL. IT'S NOT TO BE MISSED."
-- Maggie Thompson, Publisher, Comic Buyer's Guide

"INDISPENSABLE."
-- Comics Journal

"PART BIOGRAPHY, PART COMIC AND WORLD HISTORY, ALL BEAUTIFUL."
-- The Stars Our Destination

"A CLASSIC 'RAGS TO RICHES' STORY OF A BRILLIANT, SELF-TAUGHT MAN WHO ROSE TO THE PINNACLE OF THE COMIC STRIP HIERARCHY."
-- Edmonton Journal

"A WELCOME AND LONG-NEEDED BIOGRAPHY."
-- South Shore Monthly

"AN UNQUALIFIED DELIGHT."
-- R.C.Harvey's Opus

"SUPERLATIVE."
-- Comic Shop News

"A FULFILLING AND MASTERFUL EFFORT."
-- Erbania

"DEFINITIVE IN ITS DETAILED EXAMINATION OF THE LIFE AND TIMES OF HAL FOSTER."
-- Comic Book Marketplace

"FOSTER DEMONSTRATED MORE THAN ANYBODY HOW IMPRESSIVE AN ILLUSTRATED COMIC COULD BE."
-- National Post


09/April/2003

PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE

Vanguard returns to the Eisner Awards.

Led by publisher, J. David Spurlock, Vanguard Productions has quickly risen to be the top producer of art books and biographies on comics artists. Vanguard's list of critically acclaimed Career Retrospectives include Steranko: Arte Noir, Amazing World of Carmine Infantino, and the Eisner Award nominated books The Art of Nick Cardy(2000) and Hal Foster: Prince of Illustrators(2002).

Vanguard first entered the comics market with their avant-garde EDGETM anthology in 1993. Starting in 1998 they followed with their flagship Sketchbook Series featuring books on Al Williamson, John Romita, John Buscema, Wally Wood, Jeffrey Jones, and Neal Adams. The success of their trademark Sketchbook Series led to a separate Drawings Series which includes books on Books of Magic artist Michael Kaluta, Superman artist Kerry Gammill and Dr. Strange artist Frank Brunner.

Just announced for 2003, Vanguard's career retrospective by Eddy Zeno and designed by Jeff Weigel and Arlen Schumer, on Superman artist Curt Swan entitled, Curt Swan: A Life in Comics, has been nominated for the Eisner Award in the category of Best Comics-Related Publication.

Vanguard's fearless leader, Spurlock said, "The Eisner nomination for the Curt Swan book, the New York Times attention to the Hal Foster book, and other attention, prove that hard work pays off and that the public and the press love to see cartoonists and illustrators receive quality tributes." Spurlock added,"Vanguard is proud to be and plans to continue as the leading producer of books on Illustration and Cartooning."

Vanguard is continuing it's line of Career Retrospectives with Joe Simon's The Comic Book Makers and has launched a new graphic novel line with The Spider by Don McGregor and Gene Colan, Jesse James by Joe Kubert and Carmine Infantino, and Pat Boyette's Nightstand Chillers with an intro by Alex Toth.


10/July/2002

PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE

NEW STERANKO BOOK ANNOUNCED!

STERANKO: ARTE NOIR, very limited, signed by STERANKO with Deluxe Slipcase, published by Vanguard Productions is scheduled to ship mid-August.

Advance Orders now being taken.
$50.00 plus $6.95 Shipping and Handling to anywhere in the Continental US. Double Shipping and Handling for foriegn orders.

ITEM CODE: SAN-SLE-SC
Mail Order Form


09/July/2002

PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE

Vanguard hosts John Romita Sr.,
Nick Cardy & More in San Diego Aug. 1-4 2002

     Vanguard Productions, publishers of the Eisner Award nominated books Hal Foster: Prince of Illustrators and the Art of Nick Cardy, consistently feature top guests and premier major new books at Comicon San Diego. Last year Marvel great John Buscema could be found at the Vanguard booth all weekend signing copies of the world-premiering John Buscema Sketchbook. The year before that Flash, Batgirl and Deadman co-creator Carmine Infantino appeared to premier his Vanguard autobiography the Amazing World of Carmine Infantino. Before that it was Marvel Comics innovator and Shadow book cover illustrator, Jim Steranko!

     This year Vanguard comes through again with legendary Spider-Man, Captain America and Daredevil artist John Romita Sr. The Marvel mainstay will be on hand at the Vanguard booth signing autographs and promoting his new Vanguard hardcover book, the John Romita Sketchbook! Other Vanguard guests include top, Silver/Bronze-Age DC artist Nick Cardy. After starting his career working with Will Eisner in the Golden Age, Cardy replaced Neal Adams in the early-70s as DC's top cover artist and is considered by many as the all-time greatest Aquaman artist. Cardy also produced classic runs on Teen Titans, Bat Lash, and Brave and Bold featuring Batman, before moving on to magazine and movie poster illustration. The Vanguard book the Art of Nick Cardy was nominated for an Eisner Award 2 years ago and Vanguard's Hal Foster biography may take home the Eisner this year.

     Other Vanguard plans for this year's Comicon include the world premier of their new SPIDER graphic novel by Don McGregor and Gene Colan.


09/July/2002

PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE

STERANKO TO PERFORM AT SPAIN'S FESTIVAL OF DARKNESS

     Spain's gala Semana Negra festival of the arts has announced the appearance of this year's special Guest of Honor, writer-artist-entertainer Jim Steranko. Sponsored by the Gijon Museum of Modern Art, the event will showcase the largest exhibition of his work ever to be shown in Europe.

     From his ground-breaking Marvel comics to his evocative full-color paintings and his conceptual film work, the creator's entire career will be commemorated in STERANKO: ARTE NOIR, a 200-page catalog annotated by pop-culture historian J. David Spurlock and exhibit curator Angel de la Calle. Published in bi-lingual format, the volume promises to be the most significant book ever published about Steranko and includes essays by prominent European art critics, plus commentary by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon.

     To highlight the event, Steranko has agreed to return to the theatrical stage --for the first time in 35 years-- to recreate one of the escape stunts that brought him early fame as a daredevil magician and influenced many world-class celebrities, including illusionist David Copperfield and comic-book colossus Jack Kirby, whose super escape artist Mister Miracle was inspired by the Steranko performances. Additionally, he will also participate in a discussion of his many media careers, which range from one of the top ten most-influential comic-book artists in the world to vintage rock-and-roll musician to international magazine publisher to cinematic collaborator with Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Francis Ford Coppola.

     Originally founded to celebrate Mystery Literature, the festival's title roughly translates to Mystery Week or Festival of Darkness. Extending from July 5-14, the ten-day celebration currently focuses on a wide variety of cultural arts and activities. Italian, French, German, Spanish, American, and Latin-American publications, radio, and TV stations will both cover and participate in the event. In recent years, the Discovery Channel produced a program on Semana Negra and The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post have also reported on the festival, which will have an attendance of 1,000,000 visitors.

NOTE: STERANKO: ARTE NOIR, very limited, signed by STERANKO with Deluxe Slipcase, published by Vanguard Productions is scheduled to ship mid-August.


04/July/2002

PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE

STERANKO AND CAPTAIN AMERICA
PLEDGE $100,000 FOR TERRORIST VICTIMS...

AND NEED YOUR HELP!

     In the wake of terrorist death and destruction, America has rallied with a renewed sense of patriotism and a powerful resolve to protect the nation's freedom. United in that cause, four factions from the comics world have joined forces to bring hope and courage to the victims of the 9/11 tragedy. Heralded for his spectacular patriotic covers and action-packed panoramas, Jim Steranko delivers the definitive image of the classic star-spangled hero in THE SPIRIT OF AMERICA, a breathtaking vision celebrating the legend of comics' fighting Sentinel of Liberty, from his battle-born WW2 creation through the Cold-War revival to today's turbulent crusade. "Captain America has always been my favorite character and I know he holds a unique place in the hearts of all comics fans. It's a great honor to be associated with him again in this special cause", Steranko says, referring to his innovative series that redefined the American gladiator. The painting has now been released exclusively as a superb 18" X 24" LIMITED EDITION PRINT signed and numbered by the artist and reproduced on high-quality 100-pound Archival Matte Paper Stock. In a joint venture with M arvel Comics, Vanguard Productions, and Diamond Comic Distributors, Steranko has pledged a 100% DONATION to WTC Charities with a goal of $100,000. Join their fight to maintain liberty and justice among all Americans! Click Here! to learn how.


25/May/2002

PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE

Joe Simon's The Comic Book Makers will be released Fall of 2002


12/April/2002

PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE

Author Brian M. Kane and Publisher, Editor and Art Director, J. David Spurlock will be on the "Nuff Said" radio show, in New York City April 16, 2002 from 10PM-11PM on WBAI, 99.5 FM.

The topic will be Hal Foster and Vanguard's Eisner Award nominated biography Hal Foster: Prince of Illustrators.


09/April/2002

PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE

Vanguard's HAL FOSTER: Prince of Illustrators has been nominated for an Eisner Award in the category of,
Best Comics-Related Book


07/April/2002

PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE

Vanguard's HAL FOSTER book is favorably reviewed and highlighted in TODAY's (4-7-02) NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW!

"...Brian M. Kane's contention, in the profusely illustrated HAL FOSTER: Prince of Illustrators (Vanguard Productions, $19.95), that Foster was the most virtuosic comics artist of his time, (has) merit"

- THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW


02/April/2002

PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE

Jim Steranko, J. David Spurlock,
Peter [MONKEES] Tork, and original Beatles drummer Pete Best are appearing at the supermegashow.

Saturday April 6, 2002
355 plaza drive, Secaucus NJ
phone 201 223-1000
supermegashow.com


27/March/2002

PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE

CARTOONIST WALLY WOOD HONORED WITH SCHOLARSHIP FUND

Glenn Wood brother of cartoonist Wally Wood and J. David Spurlock compiler of the Wally Wood Sketchbook, announce that a scholarship fund has been set up in Wally Wood's name at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.

"This fund is intended to perpetuate Wally's profound and long-lasting influence on the comic-book art medium as well as the field of commercial illustration," said Wally's brother Glenn, a retired engineer living in Connecticut.

WALLACE (Wally) WOOD was one of the most important comic book creators of the '50s & '60s and continued to produce inspired work until his death in 1981. He was born June 17, 1927 and later studied at the Minneapolis School of Art, and at the Cartoonists and Illustrators School (now known as the School of Visual Arts).

Wood entered the comics field as a letterer, inker and background artist on Will Eisner's The Spirit in 1949. He went on to illustrate crime, romance, science fiction and horror stories for many of the top comics and pulp magazine publishers.

In 1950, Wood's talents blossomed at William Gaines' EC Publications, and it was here that he became Mad magazine's first star cartoonist. Wood's work for Tales From the Crypt and Weird Science comic books also led to him being considered one of the greatest science fiction artists of all time. He assisted Dan Barry on the Flash Gordon daily strip, and George Wunder on Terry & the Pirates. Wally also worked with Jack Kirby on the Sky Masters strip and DC Comics' Challengers of the Unknown.

In 1965, Wally Wood revolutionized Daredevil for Marvel Comics before going on to create the beloved T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents for Tower.

An award-winning member of the National Cartoonist's Society, Wood was instrumental in the creation of the Mars Attacks property for the Topps company. Mars Attacks started as a revolutionary series of Bubble Gum Cards and went on to be developed as toys and a major motion picture. Wood pioneered adult comics and self-publishing with Sally Forth, Cannon, Vampirella, Witzend and his Wizard King graphic novels.

Originally founded in the late '40s by Silas Rhodes and Burne Hogarth as the Cartoonists and Illustrators School, the School of Visual Arts has grown to be one of the foremost art colleges in the world. SVA alumni include Al Williamson, Roy Krenkel, Angelo Torres, Barron Storey, MAD magazine editor, Nick Meglin, Flash co-creator and DC publisher, Carmine Infantino and of course, Wally Wood. The college has had a distinctive teaching history. The list of prestigious artists who have taught at SVA include Burne Hogarth, Milton Glaser, art spiegleman, Will Eisner, Barron Storey, Harvey Kurtzman, Marshall Arisman, Carmine Infantino, J. David Spurlock, Angelo Torres, Joe Orlando, Nick Meglin, Robert Weaver, Klause Janson and Walt Simonson.

Glenn Wood explained, " I was thrilled when Vanguard released the Wally Wood Sketchbook and was discussing other options to further Wally's legacy with J. David Spurlock. When I mentioned the possibility of a scholarship fund, David reminded me how many of Wally's friends and colleagues had attended and taught at SVA. David convinced me that the School of Visual Arts was the perfect college for the Wally Wood Scholarship Fund."

Your support of this effort to show appreciation for Wood's important legacy to the comic book artform is now being sought. Wally Wood fans can join early donators Glenn Wood, Vanguard Publisher J. David Spurlock and long-time Wood associate and Witzend publisher Bill Pearson in this tribute to one of the all-time comic art greats.

All tax deductible checks should be made payable to the
WALLY WOOD SCHOLARSHIP FUND, sent to:
Visual Arts Foundation
15 Gramercy Park South
New York, New York 10003

31/January/2002

PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE

Vanguard Book Inspires Statue Honoring Hal Foster & Prince Valiant

Cal Johnson owner of "Strange Adventures" book shop in Halifax, Nova Scotia, reported that Vanguard's Hal Foster: Prince of Illustrators was presented by himself and other citizens to the Halifax City Council. The Council members were so impressed with the well researched book and how Hal's family dated back to the time of Lord Halifax, that the Council approved the building of a Prince Valiant statue to honor their favored son. The statue will also contain a plaque with a short biography of Hal and his famous creation.

This is a practically unheard of honor for a cartoonist or illustrator and shows how influential this (Award deserving) book has proven so quickly to be.

Hal Foster: Prince of Illustrators, Father of the Adventure Strip has also been added to the collections of several prestigious Canadian institutions including Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, National Archives in Ottawa, National Gallery Library in Ottawa, Glenbow Museum, Library and Archives in Calgary, and Alberta College of Art. In addition, rave reviews for the book have come in from top professionals including Joe Kubert, Harlan Ellison, Michael Kaluta and Jim Warren, among many others.


12/January/2002

My thoughts about John Buscema

...I am overwhelmed by the loss of John Buscema.

I've spent a lot of time on the phone with many, many of John's friends and admirers including, Jim Steranko, Gene Colan, Roy Thomas, Neal Adams, Carmine Infantino and John Romita.

I think it was very good that John made it to San Diego this past year. I was one of the few that knew he was ill, but we all trusted that it was no worse than the first 2 doctor's diagnosis of a herniated esophagus. Though I spoke to him every few weeks, I don't know all the details of his cancer, I do know this:

In 1970, when Jack Kirby left Marvel to work with Carmine Infantino at DC, John Buscema, more than any other, saved Marvel from what could have been devastation for their line of super-hero comics. But he didn't stop with super heroes. John Buscema is the most prolific Conan artist of all time. He illustrated Conan's adventures for a quarter century in comic books, magazines and newspaper strips.

John Buscema was not just
a great artist,
a great family man,
a great entertainer, and
a great provider.
He was a good man,
who had for a half century, perfectly balanced his artistic integrity with his commitments to both his family and his employer.

He was great man.
We need more like him.

John fought his cancer valiantly and heroically, with a strength of character matching the strength of his work. I imagine him exiting this world like a silver shooting star, out into the cosmos.

J. David Spurlock
co-author, The John Buscema Sketchbook


04/December/2001

PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE

Captain America Creator Signs Publishing Deal with Vanguard

Joe Simon, legendary comic book writer, editor, artist, publisher, and creator of such well-known characters as Captain America has announced his signing of a new publishing contract with Vanguard Productions. Under the guidance of publisher J. David Spurlock, Vanguard has quickly risen to be the top producer of books on comic-book art and history with titles focusing on Carmine Infantino, Neal Adams, Wally Wood, Jim Steranko, Hal Foster, Nick Cardy, Al Williamson and many more. Vanguard will be publishing a revised edition of Simon's classic, long out of print, autobiographical, eye-witness account of th e history of the comics, The Comic Book Makers.

"The production quality of Vanguard's books are excellent," said Simon. "David Spurlock takes great pride in his work. I am really looking forward to a beautiful book, with top quality art and photographic reproductions. I am sure everyone will be impressed with the updated Vanguard edition."

The Comic Book Makers is scheduled for a Spring 2002 release. Vanguard books are distributed by Diamond Comic Distributors to comic shops and by Watson-Guptill to major bookstores. Simon noted that discussions are underway with Vanguard about possible follow up releases to The Comic Book Makers.

Simon was one of the pivotal creators of comics right from t he early days. He is still creating and his work is still being acquired, although no longer limited to the comic medium. So influential has Simon been to the world of comics and popular culture, that Michael Chabon referenced and acknowledged Joe Simon and The Comic Book Makers in his Pulitzer-winning novel, The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. When others speculate that Joe Simon is the inspiration for one of the characters in The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Simon responds, "I've yet to read the novel, but I lived the life."

Vanguard Publisher J. David Spurlock said, "Readers have been enchanted with the Golden Age of American Comics through Michael Chabon's Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. Isn't it time for the real stories of the era, written by an eyewitness and participant of the age? The Comic Book Makers is exactly such a book." In his book, filled with real-life anecdotes and insights, Simon, tells the compelling, definitive history of the creators who gave us Superman, Captain America, Archie, Captain Marvel, Spider-Man and others who shape comic book history.

Simon started his art and writing career in the newspaper field and in the late 1930s moved to comics, doing free-lance work for the Funnies, Inc shop and producing art and stories for Fox, Novelty, Centaur, and others. After creating Captain America, Simon became the first editor of the Timely (Marvel). Simon also created, as part of the legendary Joe Simon and Jack Kirby team, Fighting American, The Boy Commandos, Newsboy Legion, Blue Bolt, Boys' Ranch, The Fly, and produced the first Captain Marvel comic book. Simon created and published Sick Magazine, for nearly 20 years. With Young Romance and Young Love, Simon created the entire genre of romance comics. Simon is recognized among veterans of the comic book industry as the creator of the original Spiderman. He was an editor for Fox, Harvey, and Crestwood, and Marvel and DC Comics have reprinted his classic work in deluxe hardcover editions. Simon produced many educational and commercial comics, work for The New York Times and the Olympics and is a member of the International Comic Book Hall of Fame.

Joe co-wrote The Comic Book Makers with his son Jim. Jim Simon, having worked closely with Joe Simon and his Studios, grew up knowing many of the great comic book artists, writers, and publishers personally. Jim Simon has written several books and is a member of the Author's Guild.

Will Eisner, creator of The Spirit and author of Comics & Sequential Art commented, "The Comic Book Makers is like a school reunion, lavish with anecdotes that fill in the gap of threadbare memory." Eisner continued by saying, "The Comic Book Makers is a very valuable work by a member of one of the most important teams in comic book history. Joe Simon deserves applause."

Vanguard Publisher J. David Spurlock said, "Adding Joe Simon to our line is a natural. Among our books on comic art greats Carmine Infantino, Neal Adams, Wally Wood, Jim Steranko, Hal Foster, Nick Cardy, and Al Williamson, Joe Simon is in perfect company."


29/August/2001

PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE

VANGUARD (Spurlock and Gammill) to appear at the UncommonCon

November 23-25, 2001
Wyndham Anatole Hotel, Dallas, TX
Single Day: $15, Weekend Pass: $40
for info go to: UncommonCon.com

23/March/2001

PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE
VANGUARD TO PUBLISH HAL FOSTER:
Prince of Illustrators
Father of the Adventure Strip
By Brian M. Kane

In the first comprehensive biography of Hal Foster, author Brian M. Kane examines the 70-year career of one of the greatest illustrators of the twentieth century. Superman was modeled after Foster's drawings of Tarzan, Flash Gordon's Alex Raymond borrowed compositions from Prince Valiant and thousands of artists, including the famous contemporary Western painter James Bama, count Foster among their greatest influences.

Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1892 of a seafaring family, Hal naturally took to the sea. At the age of eight he paddled a twelve-foot plank across Halifax Harbor to the consternation of large Cunard liners. In his youth he was a catalogue artist, a trapper, a professional boxer, a gold prospector, and a hunter-guide in the uncharted forests of Canada. In 1921 with a wife and two children to support he peddled his one-speed bicycle 1,000 miles across dirt and gravel roads from Winnipeg to Chicago to attend the Art Institute and later find permanent employment.

The young illustrator's work appeared on the covers of Popular Mechanics and in hundreds of magazines for clients such as Northwest Paper, Jekle Margarine, Southern Pacific Railroad and Illinois Pacific Railroad. In 1929 Foster illustrated the first newspaper adaptation of Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The comic strip was the first of its kind and it was Foster's sense of realism, composition, draftsmanship, and understanding of fluid anatomy that would forever mark him as "The Father of the Adventure Strip."

The famous newspaper tycoon, William Randolph Hearst, wanted Foster and made the artist an unheard of offer. If Foster would leave Tarzan and come to work for Hearst's King Features Syndicate he could do anything he wanted and have co mplete ownership of the new series. The first episode of Prince Valiant in the Days of King Arthur appeared on February 13, 1937. Foster would chronicle the exploits of his greatest creation for the next 43 years.

Prince Valiant became one of the most successful comic series of all time, winning the prestigious Banshees' "Silver Lady" award and both the National Cartoonists Society's coveted "Reuben" award and "Gold Key" award. The strip also generated merchandise outside of the Sunday funnies such as toy knights complete with castle, a board game, paper dolls, candy bars and even a briefcase. In 1954, 20th Century Fox took Foster's creation to the silver screen in Prince Valiant, directed by Henry Hathaway, starring Robert Wagner, James Mason and Janet Leigh. Foster's fame led to him being the subject of an episode of the popular TV series, This is Your Life which aired April 14, 1954. At age 73, Foster was elected to membership in Great Britain's Royal Society of Arts - an honor very few Americans can claim. Foster's classic portrayal of Britain's history inspired England's King Edward, who abdicated to become Edward, The Duke of Windsor, to call Prince Valiant the "greatest contribution to English literature in the past hundred years."

Hal Foster's work has inspired generations of artists including Jack Kirby, Lou Fine, Frank Frazetta, Al Williamson, Wayne Boring, Joe Kubert, Russ Manning, Wally Wood, Dave Stevens, Carmine Infantino, Charles Vess, William Stout, John Buscema, Mark Schultz and the great Disney artist, Carl Barks. The book will feature quotes and sidebars from many of these artists. His originals are highly prized works of art, which sell for thousands of dollars, and Prince Valiant continues to encourage new artistic interpretations in a wide variety of mediums. Without realizing it Foster had created a bridge between the Golden Age of Illustration and modern sequential art.

Hal Foster: The Father of the Adventure Strip is being produced with the full cooperation of the Foster family and The National Cartoonists Society.


23/March/2001

PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE
VANGUARD TO PUBLISH The Art of Nick Cardy
By John Coates with Nick Cardy

Nick Cardy has been both a creative and dynamic cartoonist and illustrator for over 50 years. Spanning the Golden Age to the present, Cardy1s career began in 1939 with the Eisner/Iger shop, which produced the Spirit newspaper supplement, Plastic Man comic books and more. Cardy went on to illustrate newspaper strips, including Tarzan, and enjoyed a 25 year association with DC Comics before moving on to magazine and movie poster illustration. As well as being one of DC Comics' top Batman and Superman cover artists, fans remember that in the 1960s, Nick helped define comics' Silver Age with stunning sequential artwork on Aquaman, Teen Titans, and Bat Lash. The artist1s contributions to the comic book industry earned him the prestigious "Ink Pot Award" for Outstanding Achievement.

Cardy did occasional non-comics illustration work throughout the decades in which he focused primarily on comic books and strips. But in 1975 the artist decided to focus on illustration, particularly movie and television work. Some of the properties he worked on include Bad News Bears, Return of the Pink Panther, Meatballs II, California Suite, and even Apocalypse Now.

Cardy along with author John Coates, have signed with Vanguard Productions to produce for wide release, the critically acclaimed, Art of Nick Cardy. Vanguard1s success with similar products including Amazing World of Carmine Infantino and The Wally Wood Sketchbook, made the New Jersey based publisher Cardy' and Coates' first choice to handle the project.

Originally self-published by author John Coates, the book was issued as a paperback in the Winter of 1999. Limited to a print run of only 1,000 copies, the mail-order-only item sold out within 6 months of its publication. The book, expertly designed by Comic Book Artist magazine's Jon B. Cooke, received critical acclaim by the comics media, professionals and fans alike. This appreciation culminated in the book being nominated for Best Comics-Related Book at the prestigious Eisner Awards 2000.

Long-time DC Comics artist and publisher Carmine Infantino said, "It's not an understatement that one of my greatest pleasures in this industry is having known Nick and his work. He deserves every accolade."

"Nick and I are thrilled!" stated author John Coates. "Vanguard Productions is well-known for producing quality work. We couldn1t be happier about the new trade edition." Coates continued, "We've been inundated by collectors and retailers, all eagerly seeking copies of the book. The Vanguard edition will please retailers, historians and fans alike."

Vanguard publisher Spurlock added, "In discussing this deal we all agreed that it was important to respect the fans who purchased the original release. If anything, I think those fans will be even more pleased with having purchased that book, given its original low price-point and first edition value in today1s collectible market. This book is just too important not to have mass-market distribution."


01/February/2001

PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE
VANGUARD SIGNS DEAL WITH WATSON-GUPTILL

Vanguard Productions recently signed an agreement for Watson-Guptill Publications to represent and distribute Vanguard books to the major book trade. Vanguard, publishers of ECHOES: The Drawings of Michael Wm. Kaluta, Steranko: Graphic Prince of Darkness, Neal Adams: the Sketch Book and more, has been described by Diamond Comic Distributors1 Brand Manager, Steven Leaf as "one of the more promising, up-and-coming art book publishers for the comic book market." Leaf went on to say, "The success of Vanguard's new art book line, combined with (Vanguard Publisher, J. David) Spurlock1s marketing knowledge and product quality, promises only greater success to come from Vanguard in 2001 and beyond." It was similar observations that brought Vanguard to the attention of Watson-Guptill Publications.

Beginning in Spring of 2001, Watson-Guptill (known to com ics fans for their Burne Hogarth and Joe Kubert instructional books) will distribute and represent Vanguard's books to the major book trade market including Borders, Barnes & Noble, B. Dalton Booksellers, etc.

Watson-Guptill Publications has been in business since 1937, and is now well-established as the foremost English language publisher of Illustrated books in the subjects of fine art, cartooning and art instruction, architecture, decor & design, music, theatre, film, crafts, and popular culture.

Watson-Guptill Publications is a multi-million dollar company that services booksellers worldwide. Ali T. Kokmen, Marketing Manager for Watson-Guptill, said " Vanguard's books are so complimentary with our own that distributing them was a natural decision, a win-win situation for all involved. And of course we're thrilled to be part of the process that brings these incredible books about these talented artists to a new and broader audience. "

The first of Vanguard's trade paperback editions to be distributed Through Watson-Guptill will be the Wally Wood Sketchbook, a revised edition of the critically acclaimed Amazing World of Carmine Infantino and Drawing Monsters & Heroes for Film & Comics by Superman, X-Men and Hollywood artist, Kerry Gammill.

Watson-Guptill will handle sales of Vanguard paperbacks to the book trade, libraries, gift trade, art supply stores, and other markets outside the direct-sales comics market. Vanguard will continue to exclusively offer all editions, including deluxe, limited edition hardcover books to the direct comics market including Diamond Comic Distributors, FM International Inc. and Red Route Distribution as well as comics related retailers such as Bud Plant Comic Art.

Vanguard's Publisher, J. David Spurlock said, "Not only can the wider distribution opportunities afforded Vanguard through Watson-Guptill help to present the great artists of the comics to new audiences but, a wealth of former comic book readers might also be reached through the book trade. We're very excited about working with the fine people at Watson-Guptill and expect the relationship will help us to focus more on producing the most beautiful comic-art and illustration related books possible."


Vanguard Productions ~ 732-748-8895 ~ vanguardpub@att.net

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