Dave Hunt and Mike Esposito ‘s splash page for Super Spider-Man #179, published in 1976. The weekly UK reprint mag needed a new splash page to open the story “Betrayed!” from Amazing Spider-Man #130 and Hunt and Eposito oblige with a great recreation of the original Ross Andru/ Frank Giacoia/ Dave Hunt piece in a horizontal format instead.
Following up on our report on how some art created for British comics helped Heritage Auctions profits soar in 2017, a number of early Marvel UK published pieces go under the hammer next month as part of their upcoming auction in Dallas over 22nd – 24th February 2018.
A number of the artworks are by Dave Hunt, who died last year, whose autobiography, completed by Lee Benaka, will be published soon – more details below.
Some of the art on offer – covers and recreated splash pages for UK titles – is from Super Spider-Man, a weekly title published in the mid 1970s, and is offered alongside some other great Marvel US work, including John Romita Sr.’s iconic cover for Amazing Spider-Man #100 (see below) and a recreation of the cover of Silver Surfer #4, when he battled Thor.
Sal Buscema and Mike Esposito (art team attributed) Spider-Man Comics Weekly #88 Cover, published in 1974. A great original cover for the UK reprint of Amazing Spider-Man #70.
Dave Hunt Super Spider-Man #177 Splash Page 1, an all-new splash page was created to introduce the reprint story “The Vulture Hangs High”, which first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #128 in 1974. One of the original inkers on the story, Dave Hunt, handled this recreation of the splash page to reformat it to the horizontal UK weekly publication.
Dave Hunt and Frank Giacoia Super Spider-Man #165 Cover Original Art. A very spot-on redux of John Romita Sr.’s cover for Amazing Spider-Man #116, which this issue reprints in part. The story of the Smasher (the big guy on the cover) actually started as the story of the Man-Monster in Spectacular Spider-Man magazine #1. That story was reformatted, and his name was changed, to reprint in ASM issues #116-118.
Dave Hunt – Super Spider-Man #188 Splash Page 1 Thor and Hela. Fans of her encounter with Thor Odinson in the Marvel movie Thor: Ragnarok should be interested in this splash page for sure, as it has three of the major players from the movie in one scene. Titled “If Death Should Die!”, this all-new splash page opened the second part of the story “…And So, To Die!” which originally was published in Thor #190, originally illustrated by John Buscema. Dave Hunt does a great job with the Kirby Krackle around Hela.
Pablo Marcos Super Spider-Man #248 Cover Original Art (Marvel UK, 1977). A dynamic Pablo Marcos image. The logo, which includes “Captain Britain” and corner box are paste-up. There is an included star-burst paste-up that proclaims “All this plus a surprise Super Villain!” It is loose. It fits the glue residue shape perfectly, but does not match the text on the published cover. This could have been changed during production after the cover was shot. There are production oil stains in the top margin.
Larry Lieber and Frank Giacoia (art team attributed) The Titans #51 Cover. Marvel’s ‘First Family’, the Fantastic Four, get the cover for this UK weekly that was reprinting their adventures half of a story per weekly issue. This cover was an homage to the John Buscema/John Verpoorten cover for Fantastic Four #108, which this issue was reprinting.
Dave Hunt, who died last March, was an American painter, comic book inker and occasional penciler during the so-called “Bronze Age of Comic Books” (1970-1985) and who later worked mainly on properties related to the Disney company and Hanna-Barbera. He was mainly active for Marvel Comics and DC Comics, and drew a number of artworks for Marvel UK titles and his work for the company is detailed in his autobiography, to be self-published by art collector Lee Benaka in 2018.
Lee has been advising Dave Hunt’s estate on some art sales, and they were very happy with the results from auctions of his work last year, especially his cover for Super Spider-Man Issue 171.
Lee worked with Dave for three or so years on his autobiography. “It was pretty much wrapped up when he passed away,” he told downthetubes. “I have been working with a designer colleague on final corrections recently.I shopped it around to a few publishing houses, but they felt Dave was too obscure for them.
Lee tells us two pages of the book are devoted to Dave’s work for Marvel UK comics, and the book has some nice images of the work Dave did for those comics.
• Check out progress on the book on Facebook here
• View the auction items here on Heritage Auctions
• The Beat – Dave Hunt obituary
John Romita Sr. and Frank Giacoia Amazing Spider-Man #100 Cover, published in 1971). One of the most iconic covers from Marvel’s (at the time) most well-known character! Fans were excited to see pencils by John Romita Sr., a spider-artist revered for his nearly five-year long run on the title from issue #39 through #95. This is also possibly Marvel’s greatest “floating heads cover” ever, as this beauty featured pretty much anyone who was anyone in the Spider-verse! His supporting cast (Aunt May, Gwen Stacy, Mary Jane, Harry Osborn, J. Jonah Jameson, Betty Brant, etc.) are all present as you would expect, along with the major spidey-villains: Doc Ock, Vulture, Scorpion, Rhino, the Lizard, the Beetle (.. ever notice how many of Spider-Man’s enemies are based on animals?), Sandman, Kingpin, Kraven the Hunter, Doctor Doom, Green Goblin, and Mysterio. There are also many of his more obscure friends and foes… the Prowler, Captain Stacy, Robbie Robertson, Ringmaster, the Shocker, and a guy named Joe! You can pour over this piece for a long time and still notice someone new!
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.
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