Monday, March 2, 2015


Recently, I had the pleasure of handling and examining up close some original Earl Norem pencil sketches, which the great artist did in the mid-1970's for Marvel's Planet of the Apes comic magazine. Done on incredibly thin tracing paper, it's wonderful to see these delicate pieces preserved and have the opportunity to study the artist's dynamic pencil work in person. My favorite of the pieces I saw today were these two - sketch for the cover of issue #28 (depicting a dynamic showdown between General Ursus and a mutant/Terminator-like hybrid), and an original sketch idea for issue #8, which was eventually dropped in favour of an illustration depicting a tense scene taking place outside the decayed subway train, rather than inside it. Though the original sketch idea was later used as the template for the cover of Marvel's color reprint comic, Adventures on the Planet of the Apes , it's a pity that Norem never got to actually paint this scene for the intended magazine, as I find it a really striking composition, and I would have loved to have seen it done in Norem's lovely and lurid, gaudy pulp magazine style.