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his would prove to be a transition year for
Don. He had his regular Batman gig in Detective and his regular Shazam! gig in
World's Finest, but he had a lot of free time on his hand as evident by the 29
stories he would pencil this year. That's 337 pages of new Newton art in 1980,
all for DC. But a large part of this output was in stories of 10 pages or
less; these are the fillers stories that DC gave Don so that he always had
something to draw and the large number of them that appear this year shows that
Don was in dire need of another strip. His Shazam! duties were for 10 pages
every two months and his only other regular strip this year was the Batman strip
in Detective, normally a 17-pager every month.
One of Don's
"filler" strips was becoming a regular gig; the science-fiction anthology
Time Warp had a Newton story in every issue. Thought no longer than eight
pages a pop, Don was the only artist to have a strip in every issue of Time
Warp, and the only artist to appear in every issue except cover artist
Michael W. Kaluta. I know that Don was a real science fiction fan, but I didn't
find any of Don's Time Warp work to be compelling. I'm not going to lay
it on Steve Mitchell (who inked most of Don's Time Warp work), I just
don't think Don was very well suited for the task. I'm not sure why either,
since his earlier Star Hunters books and later Green Lantern
strips proved he could do interesting science fiction art.
his wonderful work in Detective through the entire year turning out 15 to
17 pages of Batman on the normal months and 22 to 25 pages on the heavy Batman
months Most of his Detective work this year was inked by Dan Adkins. It
was a great year to be a Newton fan. It was a great year to be a Batman family fan too;
the large Dollar Comic Detectives were just choked full of great artwork
and interesting strips.
first comic of the year, Detective #487 for example. It started off
with a great looking Garcia Lopez cover featuring Batman, Robin and Batgirl and
then charged right into a 17-page Batman story, "The Perils of Sergius"
written by Denny O'Neil, penciled by Don and inked by Dan Adkins. That is
followed by a Roy Raymond strip by Bob Rozakis and Dave Hunt, a robin strip by
Jack Harris, Kurt Schaffenberger (misspelled in the credits as Schaffenber) and
Joe Giella, an Odd Man strip by Ditko, and a beautiful Batgirl strip by Jack
Harris, Dick Giordano and Steve Mitchell. If you don't own a copy, you should.
Time Warp #2,
with a 6-page science-fiction strip, "Cultural
Exchange" written by George Kashdan, penciled by Don and inked by Dave Simons
also came out in January 1980 to be followed by World's Finest #260 with another
Newton Shazam! strip. This one, "There Goes the
Neighborhood" written by E. Nelson Bridwell, penciled by Don and
inked by Dave Hunt sported some of Hunt's better inks.
More to come!
DC Comics 1979 DC Comics Home
DC Comics 1981
Batgirl, Captain Marvel, Green Lantern, Odd Man, Robin, Roy Raymond. The Star Hunters
and all associated characters are copyright 2006 by DC Comics.
The Art of Don Newton
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