John Severin, John Byrne, Stan Sakai and more in this second issue of Chronicle!
Chronicle 2: 1972
Editor/Publisher: George Breo
Way back in January of this year, I profiled Chronicle 1 (see the column here) and I am sure I will cover other issues later on, as editor George Breo was kind enough to send me a big package of goodies (including Chronicle as well as other fanzines he had a hand in). From the very beginning, readers could see Breo was on a mission to collect the best of fandom and the pro ranks within the pages of his publication. The second issue is no exception, so let’s dive in!
A simple yet incredibly solid John Severin Kull bust stares sternly into the distance on the front cover (with a separate illustration also gracing the back cover, which you will see as you scroll down), so we can say without argument that we have started on a high note.
Despite starting off with a professional bang, this issue remains a very fannish affair, utilizing artists that would become a mainstay of this particular fanzine. The group includes Rick Williams, Gary Ricker, Gary John Reynolds, James Garrison, Cliff Kurowski, John Adcock, Stanley Chudzik, Jim Engel, and others that you will see samples of strips from as we proceed. Before that I should acknowledge the banner at the top is by fantasy superstar, Clyde Caldwell (who has another illustration you can see on the pdf), with color added by yours truly.
Above you see photos culled from the Nostalgia ’72 Comic Con in Chicago. A report by editor Breo paints the con in a somewhat ambivalent light, however, and a darn funny full page cartoon by Jim Engel illustrates the sometimes disorganized and wacky goings on during this gathering. Additionally, Breo reprints a report on the con from the Chicago Sun-Times, with new cartoons for added flavor.
As I said, there are several strips in this issue of Chronicle. First up is another charming entry from fan favorite, Jim Hanley. In it, Captain Marvel gives us a lesson on pollution, (as well as a lead in to the then new C. C. Beck DC Captain Marvel comic). Below you see a few samples of the 7 page story.
In an immediate about face, the next strip by James Faulkenberg is a visually hallucinogenic (yet somewhat realistically rendered) dream exploration.
The centerfold by Jim Engel, which appears to be a collection of sketches, shows many of his influences along with snippets of cultural icons of the day.
George Breo’s editorial follows. The funniest (or most prescient) thing in it is his reference to one of his contributors, a thank you to then still fan and little known John Byrne,
To John L. Byrne, a Canadian fan, whom we’re sure you’ll be hearing a lot more from in the not too distant future. John will be collaborating with me on a science fiction strip for next issue and as you can see from the profile, John’s artwork is fantastic and you can believe me his graphic storytelling technique is dynamite.
Though Byrne’s work appears late in the zine, you can see it below, along with the accompanying bio.
Most of us know Chuck Dixon as a writer of such incredible comic work as Winterworld, but what you might not know is he fancied himself an artist as well way back in 1972. His cartoony, but dark work was interesting and gave us a taste of the gritty oeuvre that would follow.
Before we get to the last strip of the fanzine, I want to show a few of the smaller, “spot” illustrations peppered throughout. First off is a duo of Paty Greer (later the wife of Dave Cockrum) pieces. These and other illustrations add some visual variety to a mainstay of fanzine columns, Duffy Vohland’s Duffy’s Tavern. Vohland also inked the illustrations below.
Next up is a larger piece by John Onoda that appears early in the page count.
Some artists slowly refine their work, so that work done later in their career shows the essence of their beginnings. Stan Sakai is not one of those! Below you see a few pages from his 6 page strip, Dante. It is interesting to me that although the famed Usagi Yojimbo artist is Japanese, this work would fit nicely within a group of Hawaiian fanzine artists that included Dennis Fujitake and Gary Kato. To my eye, many of the figure stances are reminiscent of both (or it could be the other way around).
As I said earlier, I owe a big thank you to George Breo for donating this and a few other zines to the Ink Stains cause! I think it is fitting that we should end as we began, with a stellar John Severin piece. Please download the pdf by going to my page and scrolling down to the bottom, clicking on the fanzine title.
As always, YOU can donate (or loan, or send pdfs of) any fanzines from years gone by and help to give this column even more variety !
Ken Meyer Jr.