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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Billy Graham's Power and Energy

Jungle Action was a title I picked up when I could find it back in the Bronze Age. The Rich Buckler and/or Gil Kane covers usually drew my attention, but it was the interiors that cemented the deal. And most often, those interiors were drawn by Billy Graham. While I had had a relationship with the Panther over in the Avengers, I was less in tune with Luke Cage. My encounters with the so-called Hero for Hire tended to focus on his guest appearances in the Defenders or that short little stint in Fantastic Four. So I really didn't get a load of Graham's inking prowess (over the pencils of George Tuska) until later in life. And his work on Vampirella? Forget it! I only just found out about that material in the past few years.

For around a year or so around the release of Marvel's Black Panther film, Graham's family was running a Twitter account. It appears to have gone inactive, but it was nice to have it around and to see the pride they took in honoring his work.

Enjoy today's retrospective, and thanks again to all the fans and dealers who own these works, presented in this space for all our enjoyment.




  1. What a great artist to highlight, Doug. And as usual, you found some images that are simply a visual feast.
    In my opinion, Graham is one of those criminally underrated and oft-forgotten comics artists. I guess part of it is due to the fact that he left the field for other types of work by the mid-1980s and that he quite tragically died at a relatively young age (61) in the late 1990s, before the days of social media or even the comics blogosphere that could have helped spread knowledge and awareness of him and his work. (It's also unfortunate that he shared a name with a certain televangelist.)
    His work is fantastic, though. Obviously, I love his tenure on the Black Panther stories in Jungle Action, and what I've seen of his work on Power Man is similarly fantastic. In fact, if you're interested in sampling it, I would suggest getting Giant-size Power Man #1, which reprints the three-part story from Hero for Hire #s 14-16, and which was not only drawn but also co-plotted and co-scripted by Graham.

  2. Agreed, he was great. His work had such raw energy. He also did, by the way, a great little series in the Marvel b/w's called Gabriel: Devil Hunter. I think I've put some on my blog ( or if I haven't I will ). Well worth seeking out.
    BTW, I follow Don McGregor on facebook, and this week he's been dropping hints about something quite big happening. All he'll say is that Marvel visited him to go through his files and that they're planning something which'll do a lot for Gene Colan, Rich Buckler & Billy Graham.
    I asked Don if the unpublished Killraven was involved and all he'd say was: 'Not just Killraven...', so I'm thinking we may be seeing some stuff that's been in the vaults...

  3. Yeah, his work on the Panther was great. Images from that issue of Jungle Action with the pterodactyl - #15? - really stuck in my mind as a kid, very distinctive for its time.
    It came as a pleasant surprise last year to find the Irreverent Billy Graham - as he was apparently known around the Marvel bullpen - remembered in a New York Times piece.


    1. *Duh, looks like I messed that link up. Apologies, it should be



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