Remembering Comic Book Creator John Buscema on His Birthday, December 11

If you were to ask long time comic book fans to put together a Mount Rushmore of comic book artists, one of the names I am confident you’d hear repeatedly is John Buscema.  Buscema was born December 11, 1927, and we were fortunate enough to have him work prolifically until his final days, passing away January 10, 2002.  In those 74 years, John Buscema turned out a body of work still admired by fans and professionals alike. 

Imperius Rex! The cover to Sub-Mariner #1 – May 1968
There was a lot of controversy over John Buscema illustrating the Silver Surfer series over creator Jack Kirby. The cover to Silver Surfer #1 – August 1968

John Buscema was born in Brooklyn, NY, and along with his brother Sal Buscema, would become a staple at Marvel Comics for much of his adult life.  He originally worked for Marvel’s predecessor, Timely Comics.  However, it was his time at Marvel that really sparked his creativity and artistic inspiration. 

John Buscema co-created The Vision along with writer Roy Thomas. The cover to Avengers #57 – October 1968
Although over 50 years old, this iconic cover still resonates with fans as one of the greatest in the history of Marvel comics. The cover to Silver Surfer #4 – February 1969
A cover image like this was sure to capture the fascination of any comic book reader at the time. The cover to Fantastic Four #112 – July 1971

Illustrating for some of Marvel’s most popular titles, Mr. Buscema would make a name for himself with long runs on titles such as The Avengers, Fantastic Four and Silver Surfer.  Stan Lee was so taken by John Buscema’s work, he selected him to illustrate the universally praised How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way.  Still, if there was one character I’d say is most associated with John Buscema’s work, I’d say it was Conan the Barbarian.  Buscema worked on as many Conan projects as he could, including: Conan the Barbarian, The Conan Movie Special, King Conan, Savage Sword of Conan, and numerous other graphic novels, mini-series and one-shots. 

Marvel was exploring licensed properties in the 1970s, with titles such as Conan, Star Wars, and Tarzan. The cover to Tarzan #1 – June 1977
My favorite issue of the Conan the Barbarian comic book series. The cover to Conan the Barbarian #100 – July 1979
Another of of Mr. Buscema’s famous co-creations. The cover to She-Hulk #1 – February 1980

Today is the day we remember and celebrate one of the true greats of this wonderful medium.  John Buscema was a titan in the history of comic book artists.  He was a master of his craft and a true legend.  We welcome you to help us remember his works by posting your favorite titles and issues in the comments section below. 

Eventually re-titled Conan The King here was another Conan property that John Buscema illustrated. The cover to King Conan #1 – March 1980
Mephisto was another of John Buscema’s co-creations, and he was able to explore the character more in depth in this series. The cover to Mephisto vs. #4 – July 1987

Art is too important not to share – Romero Britto

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