Friday, January 30, 2009

To the moon, Alice!

Is it Comic Art Friday already? Holy cats, where did the week go?

For that matter, where did January go?

Michael Dooney
has been one of my favorite artists to commission over the past several years. If Mike isn't the penciler whose work is most abundantly represented in my collection, he's got to be in the top three.

I don't know why it took so long for me to commission Mike for one of my trademark Bombshells! pinups, especially given that he's one of the few present-day comic artists who has created real, honest-to-Vargas nose art. Mike's exquisitely crafted vintage-style emblems adorn the aircraft of the 104th Fighter Wing, a.k.a. "The Barnestormers," based in Mike's home town of Westfield, Massachusetts.

So it shouldn't surprise me that when asked to dream up a Bombshell! featuring Moon Girl, one of my favorite forgotten heroines of comics' Golden Age, Mike flat-out rocked it.

Moon Girl holds a unique distinction as the star of the only superhero comic published by EC Comics, a firm infinitely more notorious for its seminal horror, crime, and sci-fi books (plus a little novelty called MAD) than for fantasy action-adventure.

Moon Girl's short-lived series is also unique in comics history for its near-constant title changes. The masthead morphed from Moon Girl and the Prince to just plain Moon Girl (the Prince having been kicked to the curb after a single appearance) to the sensationalistic Moon Girl Fights Crime and finally to A Moon, A Girl... Romance (at which point Moon Girl herself was dumped in favor of soap-operatic melodrama) in the span of just nine issues.

Like most artists, Michael Dooney relishes the opportunity to draw characters beyond the familiar favorites he's most often called upon to depict. When I tossed Moon Girl his way, Mike was ecstatic — not only had he never drawn the mysterious lunar lass (she never did have an identity other than Moon Girl) before, he'd never heard of her until I commissioned this drawing.

Within mere hours of receiving the assignment, Mike had dashed off a couple of rough sketches to show me what he had in mind.

From these spartan beginnings evolved the magnificently realized artwork seen above.

Although Dooney's creation marks Moon Girl's Bombshells! debut, it's her second appearance in my theme galleries. The sublimely talented James E. Lyle teamed the Selenian siren with Marvel's Moon Knight in this Common Elements tableau.

If you like today's feature debut — and how could you not? — you're in luck. I'll have another Dooney Bombshell! to show you next week.

And that's your Comic Art Friday.


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