Tentacle Tuesday Masters: Wally Wood

If your little heart desires babes with form-fitting clothing (or wearing nought but their birthday suits) and tentacled monsters with sad, expressive eyes, look no further than Wallace Allan Wood (1927-1981). Famously advising fellow cartoonists to “never draw anything you can copy, never copy anything you can trace, never trace anything you can cut out and paste up”, he would return to the beloved theme of buxom girl + tentacles again and again.

Without further ado, let’s take a gander at some of Wally Wood’s tentacled offerings.

WallyWood-1954
This opulent, splendi-tentacular painting has been spawned by Wally Wood in 1954. It’s called Dweller in the Dungeon, and was originally presented as a gift to EC publisher Bill Gaines. I don’t know about you, but I’m rooting for the cephalopod, who has unquestionably good taste in women.
The Magazine of MailOrderCollectorsPress Newsletter16
The cover Wally Wood drew for a mail order catalog (to be more precise, The Magazine of Mail Order Collector’s Press Newsletter no. 16, 1979. Phew, that’s a mouthful.)
WallyWood-Eerie60-TheManHunters
Original art from The Man Hunters (published in Eerie no. 60, 1974 – you can see this issue’s cover in our previous post.)

This theme is returned to again several years later:

Cover-Comic BookPriceGuide 9
It may have reflected Wood’s mental turmoil, but his tentacled monsters have pleading eyes that just beckon to the viewer. Maybe it’s a form of hypnotism. You’re grabbing the wrong human, buddy! Go for the girl! This Wally Wood painting was used as the cover of The Comic Book Price Guide no. 9 (1979).
WallyWood-LP-WaroftheWorlds
Wood cover art for an LP (Bell Records, 1965). Here the green-brain-with-tentacles is almost unbearably cute.

There’s also this poignant scene…

WallyWoodTentacles1
Cover for EC Portfolio no. 5, 1974.

Wally Wood was a tremendous influence on artists who came after, and there’s a myriad of parodies, imitations, and derivations of his style… But I’ll wrap up this post with one well-executed hommage that fits in well with the theme, I think.

WorldOfWood#1-DaveStevens
World of Wood no. 1 (Eclipse, April 1986). Cover by Dave Stevens.

~ ds

11 thoughts on “Tentacle Tuesday Masters: Wally Wood

  1. nealumphred September 6, 2021 / 10:51

    Ahhh, Woody. Perhaps my fave comic book artist ever—even more than Kirby and Ditko.

    I had the pleasure of meeting him at the 1972 EC Fan Addict Convention in New York. After the panel discussion on the science fiction titles, I stayed behind and asked him for a sketch in my convention program book. He had made it clear that he wasn’t doing sketches for anybody but I had the prettiest girlfriend at the time and when he looked at her, he smiled and did a quick sketch of Pipsqueak for me!

    Like

    • gasp65 September 6, 2021 / 12:58

      Hi Neal! Funny you should mention that panel — I recently picked up a copy of Squa Tront 8, which features transcripts of the panel discussions, and thinking that the fans in attendance must have been thrilled to bits.

      Great story, and I can confirm that the hot girlfriend technique is a proven, nearly foolproof one! Plus I’m sure you were polite and friendly when you made the sketch request, which never hurts.

      Like

      • nealumphred September 6, 2021 / 14:43

        GASP65

        Thanks for the response.

        As I said, somewhere along the line he had said he wouldn’t so sketches although all the other artists in attendance (Jack Davis was far and away the friendliest of the artists) were gleefully drawing on fan’s programs.

        After the panel, he walked off the platform and sat down in one of the fold-open chairs set up for the audience. When i approached him, I was polite but I could see he was a little put-off. Then he saw my girlfriend and that did the trick.

        He asked me what I wanted him to draw.

        “My favorite character of yours …”

        He asked who that might be.

        “Pipsqueak, of course!”

        He pulled out a black marker and drew me a Pipsqueak!

        Despite how great the event went and how much fun I had meeting all those EC folk, that was the highlight of the weekend for me.

        NEAL

        Liked by 1 person

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