Wallace Wood Presents Shattuck Original Art Edition

Along with Wallace Wood’s trademark 1970s Sally Forth and Cannon strips that ran in the Overseas Weekly military newspaper, Wood created a super-rare third strip, a sexy western, produced in 1972, named Shattuck. Wood originally conceived of, co-wrote (with Nick Cuti), and drew the layouts for Shattuck as a vehicle for his studio-mate, Golden Age Captain America artist Syd Shores, but turned it over instead to two young up-and-comers —Howard Chaykin (American Flagg!, Black Kiss) and the now-legendary X-Men artist, Dave Cockrum. Shattuck, the historic, very first credited ongoing feature for both Chaykin and Cockrum, has never been re-published or collected since it first appeared in Overseas Weekly more than 40 years ago. Full of gun-toting femmes fatale, fast-drawing lawmen, and snarling outlaws, Shattuck is a Western romp published in the same format as Fantagraphics’ bestselling Wood production of Cannon. As a bonus, while appearing to be in black and white, the entire book has been scanned from the carefully preserved originals in full-color to mimic as closely as possible the experience of viewing the actual original art, complete with paste-overs, notes, art corrections, etc. 

Become a Patreon patron

As with all AE format material (Artist’s Editions, Artifact Editions, Gallery Editions, Art Editions, Studio Editions, etc), this is a collection of classic comic material and I’ll be reviewing the book and not the story. For a complete list of all current and announced editions, with review links, please visit our Index. Also, see What is an Artist’s Edition and our Artist Index.

Well, this time is a little different since this is the first reprint of this material. I included the full publisher description since it contains most of the pertinent information. It’s a cowboy romp with an adult slant; what that appears to mean is lots of topless women. Cockrum says in the afterword “the object of the assignment was to get the girls out of their clothes as quickly as possible”.

There’s no character development, other than Shattuck wanting to learn how to be around how to act around a fine lady since he only knew whores. Then there’s this troubling dialogue (see strip above):

All my life I been looking for a real man. A man that could make me feel something. When I walked into your room and you raped me…I knew that you were him! Please take me with you!

The art is by a raft of talent: Chaykin, Cockrum, Shores, Abel, and some layouts and inks by Wood. It gets the job done, and the second half has a strong Cockrum feel when he must have done the majority of the work and a strip style emerges.

The story ends abruptly, mid story. Cockrum says “Woody finally just decided to drop the strip“.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this slim hardcover, as the mention of scanning from original art wasn’t part of the solicitation. I was leery of a 72 page hardcover at $25 USD, and there was no preview online, but since I had the Cannon hardcover I put my order in at my local comic shop. And opening it up came as a complete surprise: every page a scan of the original art.

Let’s jump right to the salient point: these are not are original size. Judging from auction sales last year Shattuck originals, always with two divided sections per strip, were 10.25″ x 17″ and 12.5″ x 17″. All the images in this volume are 7″ x 9.25″, a significant reduction. In no way does this detract from the reading experience, it’s always preferable to have the art at original size.

The scans are clean and clear. There is yellowing from age but it’s very mild. Very few corrections visible; some correction fluid on a few strips but that’s it. Interesting to see pencilled lines in the word balloons for nice straight text lines. Lots of zip-a-tone.

Production is superb. Sewn binding allows the book to lay completely flat. Thick paper stock and a heavy cardboard cover. Design by Michael Heck is bright and eye catching, putting up a wonderful contrast to the black and white art pages. The checkerboard pattern moves from the cover to the endpapers and then into the font colours of the title page and afterword.

There’s no introduction: we jump right into the story. An entertaining afterword gives biographical information related to the strip, with colour images from other works. Finally it closes out with brief biographies of all involved, including J. David Spurlock who didn’t work on the strip but must have wrote the afterword.

Wallace Wood Presents Shattuck HC

from Things From Another World