What I’m Reading, by RUBEN PROCOPIO

One of our favorite artists, sculptors and all-around comics gentlemen gives you his recommendations for this week’s column!


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One of my favorite of American illustrators is Albert Dorne. For many years I wondered why wasn’t there any comprehensive book on Dorne and his work. I know I’m not alone in thinking he was one the greatest artists and influences during the Golden Age of American illustration. Finally, there’s a book about him published by Auad Publishing, and this book doesn’t disappoint as it is chock full of illustrations and stories about the artist.

I particularly liked the memories by his daughter Barbara Dorne Bullas, which give an insight to the man and artist that was her Dad. I also enjoyed seeing photos of his studio, his house and garage with his custom-made Mercedes Benz.

He was also the founder of the Famous Artist course in the ’50s, to which many of his contemporaries also contributed. It’s now regarded by many professionals as one of the best art courses around.

Much like himself, easily caricatured, with that handsome “man’s man” look and bushy eyebrows, his work walks that fine line between realism and cartoony. He captured expressions not only in the faces of his subject but throughout their body as well, all well worth studying and very inspiring.

I remember Alex Toth telling me how he was one of his influences; just in this cover illustration you can easily see why.

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Any book about John Buscema I’ve got to have… and this one is a great one for the collection!

It’s a book published by IDW and what looks like in conjunction with Spanish publisher Casal Solleric. So to my surprise the book is printed in two languages, each page divided in half, the left side in English, the right side in Spanish.

There are some great stories and beautiful finished color pages in the book, but what stands out to me is that it’s peppered with thumbnails, sketches, layouts and pencil and inks drawings as well.

It’s always great to see the behind-the-scenes thinking and process of another artist, and Buscema’s powerful dynamism to his drawings are on every page of this book. I met John shortly before he passed away. I was with my animation colleague Joe Haidar at the time, and will never forget his reaction when I told him how so many of us in animation admired his work and what a big source of inspiration he was to us and our colleagues. He was pleasantly surprised.


One of the neatest Christmas gifts I received this past year was from my wife: a subscription to Illustration magazine. The first one arrived a few weeks ago. It’s Issue #43, for sale now, and I don’t think there is an issue in the series that is not a source of great stories, background and full of wonderful illustrations by so many wonderful artists.

Many of the back issues are sold out, but I highly recommend looking into those still available. At any given time you can pick up any of these and get a dose of inspiration and motivation instantly.

This one is no exception, highlighting the works of two incredible illustrators, Henry Patrick Rieghly and Victor Kalin. What’s wonderful about the issues is that once in awhile, or in my case often, I discover illustrators I’ve never heard of and such is the case with these two.

Rieghly’s sketchy, loose and lively style is a reminder that you don’t have to be so precisely clean in one’s final illustrations, and Kalin’s sensitive-yet-classical approach brought elegance and design to every piece. Check out all the issues available if you can!

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“Violent Minds,” from Adventures of Superman, DC (digital-first). Written by one of the best writers in the business, Jeff Parker, drawn by one of the best artists in the business, Chris Samnee, and colored by one of the best colorists in the business Matthew Wilson, and I think many would agree with me.

What a great start to the online series Adventures of Superman! Jeff’s very simple yet deep smooth flowing story coupled with Chris’ simple yet masterfully classic art and enhanced by Matt’s beautiful sculptural palette make this a joy to read and look at.

Worth the download. Pure enjoyment. I’ve had the pleasure to work with both Jeff and Matt on Batman ’66, and hope to one day do a project with Chris. Hat’s off to all three! Also … looking forward to the upcoming collaboration in this series with my great friend and amazing writer Ron Marz, and colleague, the very talented and amazing Evan “Doc” Shaner.

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Just in time! Anyone who knows me knows I’m a big fan of old time movies, in fact if you walk into my house and turn on the TV, most likely it will be set on TCM. One of my favorite parts is the intro and follow-ups by legendary movie critic Robert Osborne.

I recently received this beautiful tome as a gift from my father-in-law’s wife, “85 Years at the Oscars.” by none other than Robert Osborne! This nearly 2” thick book is a great reference guide, year by year, showing the winners and the list of nominees, accompanied by photos and that year’s Best Picture movie poster. This book will also come in handy for trivia games for those Oscar night parties.

Great selections, so leave a comment!



Author: 13th Dimension

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  1. GOTHAM TRIBUNE: Chuck Dixon Picks Five Great Batman Stories | 13th Dimension, Comics, Creators, Culture - […] racks. My Hot Pick, though? Easy: Batman ’66 #8, featuring King Tut, with art by our friend Ruben Procopio…

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