Ever wondered what the exact Pantone shade of Batman’s cowl is (circa 1980)?  How about Superman’s skin?  Or perhaps what parts, exactly, are visible in Wonder Woman’s invisible jet?  Well look no further, because legendary DC artist Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez has you covered.  He posted the 1982 DC Comics Style Guide on his Facebook page today.

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The Style Guide is an incredibly rare collectible item that offers unique insight into the inner workings of the house that brought you Batman, Wonder Woman, and Bizzarro.  The cheapest one I could find on eBay is going for $500.  It’s an interesting look back on a classic era of DC comics, heavily influencing the style of certain house books like 1985’s Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Some of these images are very interesting, albeit nonsensical.  Check out Bruce Wayne pulling a Clark Kent:

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Wonder Woman’s invisible jet is more transparent than invisible:

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Captain Marvel gets some nice typography work:
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Other images are just plain dated (although it looks like Superman was Metron before Batman was):

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Finally some of these images are just plainly awesome, giving us looks at the DC universe we don’t see in most comics of the age:

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Check out the full set of images here.

12 COMMENTS

  1. He’s a great, under-rated talent. I won’t say his skills were “wasted” on things like this and his merchandising work (because having good work on t-shirts and whatnot is important to promoting the characters), but they certainly could be put to good use on more, higher-profile comics work.

  2. In a day where DC is said to be in shambles and sales are plummeting, it’s always interesting to consider how folks tend to respond to iconic representations of the DC characters in their stripped down form, the essence of the characters. Something DC is pretty good about putting on T-shirts, but hasn’t seen in their own comics in years.

  3. Man, he’s such a good artist. How could those drawings not bring a smile to your face? Clarity, energy and such attractive lifework. He’s still one of the best cartoonists to ever render Wonder Woman.

    And he’s still got it, as the special issue of Batman ’66 recently proved, where he illustrated an old Harlan Ellison TV story adapted by Len Wein featuring Two Face. Beautiful work. Please let him do some more projects if he wants to, DC!

  4. His versions are still the ones that come to my mind when I think of these characters. His work has an effortless quality to it – well drawn, solid figures in a classic illustrative style. It’s great stuff and it’s easy to see why it has endured, and why these depictions remain popular on t-shirts, lunch boxes, etc.

  5. I’ll double what Charlie says above: JLGL’s work on that Batman ’66 special was great. Yes at $10 it was a bit pricey, but after the story they reproduced his pencils from the entire story and if you’re any sort of geek for comics art you’ll find it fascinating.

    If you’re looking for some classic JLGL stories, DC released a hardcover collection of his Superman stories a couple of years ago. And if you ever find his issues of Atari Force haunting a back issue bin, by all means grab them!

  6. This makes me happy. Perfect nostalgia. Much love for the Wonder Woman illo and Daily Planet front page up there. And yes, that Batman ’66 special is phenomenal.

  7. I’m saying this everywhere I can, but if DC would publish this as a hardcover, I’d be all over it. So would just about anyone who enjoyed these characters in the seventies and eighties (and probably a lot more beyond that range, too).

  8. I agree with everyone else. Jose Luis Garcia Lopez is one of the greatest comics artists of all time, full stop. The TWILIGHT mini-series he ilustrated (with Chaykin writing) was a master class in comics art. A living legend.

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