Art For Art’s Sake # 96 : It’s AMAZING!

by Richard Bruton

Welcome one and all to the thing we oh so imaginatively call Art For Art’s Sake. Truth be told, this was going to be a typical A4AS that was going to end with an extended look at Amazing Heroes covers. And then I started looking for them and found SO much incredible artwork that it’s ended up being the All Amazing Heroes Art For Art’s Sake!

If you aren’t aware, Amazing Heroes was a magazine about comics published by Fantagraphics Books from 1981 to 1992 and running for 204 issues, ending with the double issue #203/204. Published alongside The Comics Journal, this one was sort of the bastard sibling, focusing unashamedly on the more commercial side of comics and allowing the Journal to do its own thing.

John Byrne on the cover of issue #1

And Paul Chadwick bidding farewell on the cover of issue #204

Alongside the regular issues, there were also a couple of regular special issues – the ‘Swimsuit Special’ which was often a lot funnier and cooler than a lot of similar sort of books which ended up being horrible leery things.

Here’s the cover to the first Swimsuit Special by Kevin Nowlan

And a few of those funnier and cooler swimsuit entries I was talking about, beginning with Bruce Timm

Rian Hughes

Mike Mignola

And then we had the Amazing Heroes Preview Special which ended up appearing twice a year from Summer 1985 and presented previews of comics coming out over the next six months or so. And that was essential reading, often giving us glimpses of what might have been.

The 1985 Preview issue with art from Jaime Hernandez

And then from summer 1985, the very first Preview Special with cover art from Scott McCloud

Right, now for the Amazing Heroes covers…

Alan Davis

Howard Chaykin

George Perez

Brian Bolland

Adam Hughes

June Brigman

Bo Hampton

Terry Austin

Will Eisner

Ernie Colon

Gil Kane

Ed Hannigan and Klaus Janson

Ian Gibson

Jaime Hernandez

Jim Aparo

Jim Lee

Kevin O’Neill

Steve Leialoha

Matt Howarth

Matt Wagner

Scott McCloud

Dave McKean

Mike Dringenberg

Frank Miller

Kevin Nowlan

Rick Veitch

Rich Hedden & Tom McWeeney Roachmill

Steve Rude and Bernie Mierault

Sandy Pluckett

Sergio Aragones

Bill Sienkiewicz

Steve Bissette

Steve Purcell and Art Adams

Michael Cherkas

Todd McFarlane

Willie Blyberg

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