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January 1, 2012

Ink Stains 37: Anomaly 4

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Written by: kenmeyerjr
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If you have read previous installments of Ink Stains, you know that Jan Strnad’s Anomaly delivers! Richard Corben! Robert Kline! Git some!

Anomaly 4: November 1972

Publisher/Editor: Jan Strnad

The last issue of Anomaly by writer Jan Strnad hits us with the one-two punch of artists Richard Corben and Robert Kline, through two gorgeous color covers, three stories, and a pin-up. Like the excerpt above says, “Oh My Goodness! Look at that!”

Now, how about that gorgeous Corben cover to start things off, huh? I ask you, in the fanzine world, does it get any better than that?

I have to warn those two or three fans of my over-the-top praise and sometimes extreme wordiness, that you shall have little of that this time out. My friends, it’s close to Christmas, I have been busy with actual artwork, and there is little time to expound on the obvious virtues of this particular zine! So, I have parsed a plethora of pages (and one pin-up, partner) for you to peruse and pant over!

To start with, the wonderful Richard Corben leads off with a short and funny little ditty of a story seen below. Let’s look!

Those are some horny little rabbits, I must say! Corben did have a great sense of humor, and when I get around to covering his underground comic, Fantagor, you will definitely see a heaping helping of that. For now, let’s switch visual tracks and take a gander at the mastery of the dinosaur form that Robert Kline exhibits below.

It’s no wonder that the animation industry snatched Kline up, never to be seen again in fandom or the comic world after the 70s passed us by. He was just too damn good. Below you see a few pages from one of the few full comic stories Kline gave us before exiting in a poof of dried cell paint, “Leander and the Fat Queen,” written by editor and publisher Jan Strnad.

Next up is a Corben airbrush and ink tour de force (pardon my french), “Encounter at War.” Now, those of you with better memories than I will note that this story appears in a previous issue of Anomaly. However, this version has added pages and added story, as the previous version was told with very few words (some of them in an alien hieroglyphic sort of language). Below, you see a few of the newly added pages.

To end the fourth issue of Anomaly, what better image than one of the most iconic Corben paintings I can think of. This is one that is indelibly etched into my brain, possibly due to those incredibly saturated colors!

Whenever I would see images like this from Corben, whether in fanzines such as this or other art heavy zines like Infinity (or even more life altering to this young brain, his underground comic work), I would always wonder, “how does he do that?” The saturated colors, the soft tones (airbrush was still new to the world of illustration back in 1972, and certainly new to the world of comic fanzines). And of course, when you add in his mastery of the round three dimensional form and, well…those women…you can see why he stood out so starkly against a black and white (or garishly and simply colored) visual landscape. There was simply no one like him then. Don’t forget to download the pdf to see all the stories completely!

As I said, this installment of Ink Stains is a bit short in the word department, and I apologize. Thanks this time go out to Kristin Bomba, the poor woman here at ComicAttack that has to edit all our poorly written columns and make them all pretty-like for youse readers. And of course, thanks go out to you readers, especially those of you that leave comments. The comments make me feel that someone out there actually reads this stuff!

Have a great holiday season, oh fellow fans of the zine! I am outta here!

Ken Meyer Jr.




  1. Kristin

    Aw, thanks for the shout out, Ken!

  2. Was not expecting this to be so crammed with amazing must see comic art- Thanks for sharing, this was a WOW! Agreed about Kline, great stuff- The pacing and choreography of the fight scene was corbenesque! Has this stuff ever been reprinted?

  3. Billy

    Awesome pages Ken!

  4. Another excellent episode, Ken! Thanks for featuring this gem!

  5. ken meyer jr

    Thanks for the comments, guys! No problem Kbomb, you deserve it. Mike, I don’t think any of that stuff has been reprinted, as far as I know.

  6. Richard Arndt

    Nice stuff, Ken! Corben was an eye-opening experience back in the day (still is–check his stuff out on Hellboy and the up-coming Ragemoor) and Anomaly also benefited from Jan Strnad’s excellent scripting and understanding of story. Good pick for the New Year!

  7. ken meyer jr

    Thanks, Rich! Yeah, Corben was singular from the get go…unfortunately, I have missed out on so much since I have not been able to afford to keep up with the comics scene for about the last 5 years…there is so much great Corben out there!

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