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  1. Latest Comic Guest Announcement - Rich Buckler FIRST APPEARANCE OUTSIDE AMERICA Attending: Friday, Saturday & Sunday Writer/artist/editor: Deathlok; Fantastic Four; Superman vs Shazam!; All-Star Squadron; Spectacular Spider-Man; World's Finest; Red Circle Comics WHILE he is renowned for his ground-breaking creation of Deathlok the Demolisher, Rich Buckler had been working in comics for years before his 1974 introduction of the futuristic cyborg in Marvel's Astonishing Tales #25. Buckler – who had been producing work for fanzines and organising conventions in his native Detroit from the age of 15 – made his professional debut as an 18-year old with a four-pager for King Features' Flash Gordon #10. That was in 1967 but it would be another four years before the artist's career really kicked into gear. Although he wrote and drew a seven-page contribution to a 1970 issue of Warren'sEerie [#29], Buckler had to wait until 1971 for regular assignments to start coming his way. Initially hired by DC to illustrate strips for House of Secrets and The Unexpected and subsequently by Skywald to contribute to Hell-Rider, he ended the year drawing a back-up in DC's Superman and beginning a five-part Rose & Thorn feature in the back of Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane. Then, in 1972, he added a four-issue run on the Robin strip in the back of Batmanbefore moving across to Marvel. There he initially pencilled four issues of The Avengers, two of Astonishing Tales and one of Fear. While remaining at the House of Ideas throughout the following year (primarily as a cover artist although he filled-in on a handful of titles, Daredevil and Jungle Action among them), Buckler did spread his wings to contribute to an issue of Gold Key's Twilight Zone anthology, make a one-off return to Eerie and provide a Hawkman back-up in Detective Comics #434 for DC. At the beginning of 1974, the artist embarked on his first major assignment. As regular penciller of Fantastic Four, he drew 21 issues across the next two-and-a-half years but still found time not only to produce covers and provide contributions to various anthologies but also to orchestrate Deathlok's debut. As already mentioned, Buckler introduced his innovative hero in 1974's Astonishing Tales 25, continuing to work on the concept (with co-writer Doug Moench on board early on) until the title itself was cancelled two years later with #36. Incredibly prolific, the artist also produced a four-issue run on Thor alongside his cover work and various one-offs and fill-ins. While still concentrating on Fantastic Four and his other Marvel work, in 1975 he once again took to producing back-ups and the odd fill-in for DC. He also created Demon Hunter, a character he introduced in the one and only issue of his own 1975 Atlas/Seaboard comic. Two years later he reworked the supernatural hero, bringing him into the Marvel Universe as Devil-Hunter in Marvel Spotlight #33 and then, reinventing him yet again as Bloodwing, who appeared in the first (and as it happened last) issue of Galaxia Magazine (published in 1981 on the artist's own Astral Comics label). From 1976 when his Fantastic Four stint was over, Buckler focused on cover art (often inking artists he had admired growing up) while also drawing an occasional story for Marvel and DC for which he not only illustrated 1978's tabloid-sizedSuperman vs Shazam! (aka All-New Collectors' Edition C-58) but also a five-issue run on Secret Society of Super-Villains in 1977 and five issues of Justice League of America four years later. Additionally for the latter –while becoming virtually a resident contributor to World's Finest Comics (with Buckler-drawn strips appearing in 19 issues of that anthology between 1979 and 1982) – he also launched All-Star Squadron, illustrating the first five issues of that 1981 title. By early 1983 Buckler – who'd illustrated The Incredible Hulk newspaper strip during 1979 – was working for neither Marvel nor DC. Instead he'd migrated to Archie Comics, which was re-establishing its superhero-centric Red Circle imprint. Although the revival was short-lived, Buckler was involved across the line, editing, writing, drawing and/or providing covers for many of the comics published before a second revamp was implemented in 1984. At that point the artist returned to DC, where he again took to drawing fill-ins before, in 1985 pencilling a four-issue run on Tales of the Teen Titans. After that he bounced back to Marvel to draw five straight issues of Spectacular Spider-Man. Continuing to be in demand for his covers (including for Solson for which he'd authored How to become a Comic Book Artist and How to Draw Superheroes in 1986), it wasn't until 1988 that the artist took on his next major project. That was the 12 issues of The Saga of the Sub-Mariner. In 1989, midway through that series, he made a four-issue return to The Avengers, after which he revisited Fantastic Fourfor a seven-issue run alongside which he pencilled a Havok seven-parter serialised inMarvel Comics Presents. Then came 1990's The Saga of the Original Human Torch but that Marvel four-parter was the last of Buckler's significant works. After it and throughout the '90s the artist continued a steady stream of stories but it was primarily fill-ins for not only Marvel but also for DC's Milestone imprint, Topps, Malibu, Continuity, Now Comics and Tekno Comics. Since the turn of the century the artist has dramatically changed direction, establishing himself as a surrealist painter of some repute. As a result his comics output has been reduced to almost nothing. Even so over the course of his career Buckler has produced an enormous body of work, one that has seen him draw virtually all of Marvel and DC's major characters and many of their minor ones as well.
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