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Sal Buscema

Sal Buscema
Born Silvio Buscema
(1936-01-26) January 26, 1936
Brooklyn, New York City, New York
Nationality American
Area(s) Penciller, Inker
Notable works
Captain America
The Incredible Hulk
Marvel Team-Up
The Spectacular Spider-Man
Awards Hero Initiative Lifetime Achievement Award 2013
Inkwell Award for The "SPAMI" Award (2013)

Silvio "Sal" Buscema (born January 26, 1936,[1] in Brooklyn)[2] is an American comic book artist, primarily for Marvel Comics, where he enjoyed a ten-year run as artist of The Incredible Hulk. He is the younger brother of comics artist John Buscema.


  • Biography 1
    • Early life and career 1.1
    • Marvel Comics 1.2
    • Later career 1.3
    • Personal life 1.4
  • Awards 2
  • Bibliography 3
    • DC 3.1
    • Marvel 3.2
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Early life and career

Sal Buscema was the youngest of four children, preceded by brothers Al (b. July 28, 1923; deceased) and

Preceded by
John Romita Sr.
Captain America artist
Succeeded by
Frank Robbins
Preceded by
The Defenders artist
Succeeded by
Keith Giffen
Preceded by
Jim Mooney
Marvel Team-Up artist
Succeeded by
John Byrne
Preceded by
Herb Trimpe
The Incredible Hulk artist
Succeeded by
Mike Mignola
Preceded by
John Buscema
Nova artist
Succeeded by
Carmine Infantino
Preceded by
Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man artist
Succeeded by
Jim Mooney
Preceded by
John Buscema
Captain America artist
Succeeded by
Fred Kida
Preceded by
Rom Spaceknight artist
Succeeded by
Steve Ditko
Preceded by
Walt Simonson
Thor artist
Succeeded by
Ron Frenz
Preceded by
Cynthia Martin
The Spectacular Spider-Man artist
Succeeded by
Luke Ross
Preceded by
Al Williamson
Spider-Girl inker
Succeeded by
  • Sal Buscema at the Comic Book DB
  • Sal Buscema at Mike's Amazing World of Comics
  • Sal Buscema at the Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators
  • "Podcast 56: Honoring Sal Buscema with Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz". Spider-Man Crawl Space. January 15, 2009. Archived from the original on February 10, 2011. 
  • "Sal Buscema interview". Comic Zone Radio. June 14, 2004. Archived from the original on February 12, 2011. 

External links

  1. ^  
  2. ^ a b c "He Renders ROM: 'Our Pal' Sal Buscema," "Space Notes," ROM #6 (Marvel Comics, May 1980).
  3. ^ Amash, Jim, with Eric Nolen-Weathington, Sal Buscema: Comics' Fast & Furious Artist (TwoMorrows Publishing, 2010), ISBN 978-1-60549-021-2 (trade paperback), ISBN 978-1-60549-022-9 (hardcover), p. 6
  4. ^ Amash, p. 8, 10
  5. ^ Amash, p. 9
  6. ^ a b c Hatcher, Greg (July 18, 2003). "San Diego, Day One: Sal Buscema Still Having a Ball After All These Years".   (requires scrolldown)
  7. ^ Amash, p. 12
  8. ^ Amash, pp. 6-7
  9. ^ Amash, pp. 10-11
  10. ^ a b c Stroud, Bryan D. (August 30, 2012). "The Silver Age Sage". Archived from the original on August 28, 2013. 
  11. ^ Amash, pp. 12-13
  12. ^ Amash, p. 14
  13. ^ Amash, pp. 14-15
  14. ^ Amash, p. 15
  15. ^ Amash, p 16
  16. ^ Amash, p. 18
  17. ^ Amash, p. 27
  18. ^ a b c d e f g Sal Buscema at the Grand Comics Database
  19. ^ a b Amash, p. 28
  20. ^ Amash, p. 26
  21. ^  
  22. ^  
  23. ^ Sanderson, Peter "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 145: "[X-Men #66] would be the series' last issue by writer Roy Thomas and artist Sal Buscema."
  24. ^ Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 147: "Llyra, the greatest super-villain in the history of the Sub-Mariner series, was introduced by writer Roy Thomas and artist Sal Buscema."
  25. ^ Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 149: "Ellison devised a plot for a two-part story, scripted by Roy Thomas, that began in The Avengers #88 and led into The Incredible Hulk [vol. 2,] #140. In this issue, drawn by Sal Buscema, an insect-like being called Psyklop fought against the Avengers."
  26. ^ Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 156: "The Defenders moved into their own bimonthly comic book with The Defenders #1, written by Steve Englehart and penciled by Sal Buscema."
  27. ^ a b DeAngelo, Daniel (July 2013). "The Not-Ready-For-Super-Team Players A History of the Defenders". Back Issue! (TwoMorrows Publishing) (65): 5–6. 
  28. ^ Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 158: "[The] Enchantress of Asgard, endowed Barbara Norriss with the consciousness, physical appearance, and superhuman powers of Brunnhilde, leader of the Valkyries."
  29. ^ Amash, p. 46: "When Steve and I [Sal Buscema] got on the book ... if I remember correctly, the book hit #5 in sales. It really shot up the charts."
  30. ^  
  31. ^ Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 170: "In this story line by writer Steve Gerber and artist Sal Buscema, the Defenders had traveled to an alternate future, in which they aided the Guardians of the Galaxy against Earth's conquerors, the alien Brotherhood of the Badoon. This issue [#27] introduced a new super-hero, Starhawk."
  32. ^ Sacks, Jason (September 6, 2010). "Top 10 1970s Marvels".  
  33. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2012). "1970s". Spider-Man Chronicle Celebrating 50 Years of Web-Slinging.  
  34. ^ Shayer, Jason (February 2014). "Hulk Smash More!: The Incredible Hulk in the 1980s". Back Issue! ( 
  35. ^ Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 177: "Spider-Man already starred in two monthly series: The Amazing Spider-Man and Marvel Team-Up. Now Marvel added a third, Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man, initially written by Gerry Conway with art by Sal Buscema and Mike Esposito."
  36. ^ Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 179: "In this story by writer Jim Shooter and artist Sal Buscema, physicist Franklin Hall became the Avengers' latest costumed enemy, Graviton."
  37. ^ Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 191: "Prolific writer Bill Mantlo and artist Sal Buscema created a Marvel comics series and a whole mythology around Parker Brothers' toy 'ROM'."
  38. ^ DeFalco "1980s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 199: "Inspired by the 1979 Graham Parker song 'Waiting for the UFOs', the creation of the U-Foes was truly a team effort. Writer Bill Mantlo and artist Sal Buscema produced the first U-Foes story, but editor Al Milgrom helped design the costumes and Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter suggested some of the names."
  39. ^ DeFalco "1980s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 201: "The Soviet Super-Soldiers, the Russian equivalent of the Avengers, were a team of super-powered individuals assembled by the Soviet government in this issue [#258] by writer Bill Mantlo and artist Sal Buscema."
  40. ^ Amash, p. 17
  41. ^ Shayer, p. 57
  42. ^ DeFalco "1980s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 211: Professor Xavier's young students were given their own monthly title. It was written by Chris Claremont...Sal Buscema took over the penciling chores with issue #4.
  43. ^ "Sal Buscema".  
  44. ^ DeFalco "1980s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 238: Created by writer Gerry Conway and artist Sal Buscema, Carlos and Eduardo Lobo possessed the mutant ability to transform into werewolves.
  45. ^ Manning, Matthew K. "1990s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 263: "The 200th issue of The Spectacular Spider-Man, written by J. M. DeMatteis and with art by Sal Buscema, featured the shocking death of Spider-Man's close friend, Harry Osborn."
  46. ^ Epstein, Dan (June 24, 2002). "Interview: J.M. DeMatteis". p. 3. Archived from the original on March 6, 2005. 
  47. ^ "Superman Beyond"DeFalco, Frenz & Buscema Take . Comic Book Resources. May 12, 2011. Archived from the original on January 10, 2012. 
  48. ^ Dueben, Alex (May 9, 2012). & More"Incredible Hulk G.I Joe,"Sal Buscema Discusses . Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on June 18, 2012. 
  49. ^ MacDonnell, Clare (January 1, 1998). "Fit as a Fiddler at Little Theatre". Arlington Catholic Herald ( 
  50. ^ "Inkpot Award Winners". Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012. 
  51. ^  
  52. ^ "2013 Winners".  




Comics work (interior art) includes:


[52] Buscema received the


Buscema acts in community theatre. He was recognized for his portrayal of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, in which he appeared at the Little Theatre of Alexandria, Virginia in 1998.[49]

Personal life

[48][10] Buscema returned to Marvel inking

From 1988 through 1996, he penciled and mostly inked a 100-issue run on The Spectacular Spider-Man.[18] This included such story arcs as the "Lobo Brothers Gang War" with Gerry Conway[44] and "The Child Within", written by J. M. DeMatteis, featuring the death of longtime Spider-Man supporting character Harry Osborn in #200 (May 1993).[45] In a 2002 interview, DeMatteis said, "I really loved the two years on Spectacular Spider-Man that I wrote with Sal Buscema drawing. Talk about underrated! Sal is one of the best storytellers and a wonderful collaborator. I loved that run."[46] Buscema worked for rival DC Comics, including penciling Batman, Superman, and Superboy stories, and inking Creeper, Wonder Woman, and other characters' stories in 1997-1999.[18] He recalled, "[T]he short time I worked for DC, they were giving me all these young guys that could hardly hold a pencil in their hands, and asking me to 'tweak it.' In cases like that I would definitely put a lot of myself into it and change whatever I felt needed to be changed."[19]

Later career

An early creative pairing with writer Bill Mantlo in Marvel Team-Up #48 (Aug. 1976) saw the first appearance of the Jean DeWolff supporting character.[33] Mantlo, a frequent collaborator, later said that Buscema was a formative influence on his plotting.[34] Buscema was the original artist on The Spectacular Spider-Man which debuted in December 1976.[35] He and Jim Shooter created Graviton in The Avengers #158 (April 1977).[36] The Rom series was launched by Mantlo and Buscema in December 1979.[37] The Mantlo/Buscema collaboration on The Incredible Hulk included the creation of the U-Foes[38] and the Soviet Super-Soldiers.[39] Buscema had a 10-year run on that Hulk series,[40] which he described as "[p]robably one of the most enjoyable experiences of my career. The fact that the Hulk is my all-time favorite character might be a contributing factor. I never tired of the character. Every story was a new challenge."[41] He became the artist on New Mutants, beginning with issue #4 (June 1983).[42] Buscema usually inked his own work, starting in the late 1970s.[43] In 1986, he began drawing Thor working with Walt Simonson.[18] In the late 1980s, he returned to inking others' work, again notably over his brother John Buscema's work on an Englehart-scripted run on Fantastic Four. His ability to meet quick deadlines and produce fast work has meant that in addition to his numerous regular titles, he has pencilled or inked many fill-in issues for Marvel.[2]

Sal Buscema and writer Roy Thomas introduced the Squadron Sinister in The Avengers #69 (Oct. 1969) as a homage to the Justice League.[21][22] The Thomas/Buscema team produced the last new story for The X-Men title before that series became all-reprints for several years[23] and created the super-villain Llyra in Sub-Mariner #32 (Dec. 1970).[24] Buscema drew an Avengers story plotted by novelist Harlan Ellison which featured the debut of Psyklop.[25] Writer Steve Englehart and Buscema launched The Defenders as an ongoing series in August 1972[26][27] and introduced the Valkyrie to the team in issue #4 (Feb. 1973).[28] In addition to The Defenders, Buscema worked with Englehart on Captain America, their 1972–1975 run on that title saw it become one of Marvel's top-sellers.[29] The pair teamed on several issues of The Avengers as well[18] and Engelhart has described Buscema as being one of his "all-time favorites" and "a perfect comic book storyteller."[30] After Englehart's departure from The Defenders series, Buscema remained on the title and worked with writers Len Wein and Steve Gerber.[27] Buscema and Gerber crafted a story which saw the Defenders meet the Guardians of the Galaxy and added Starhawk to the latter team's roster.[31] In 2010, Comics Bulletin ranked Buscema's collaboration with Gerber on The Defenders first on its list of the "Top 10 1970s Marvels". In addition, Buscema's work with Englehart on Captain America and The Avengers was ranked fourth and eighth, respectively, on the same list.[32]

Within a year, Buscema was penciling the superhero-team comic The Avengers, and for the next thirty years, he was one of the most prolific artists at the company. He recalled in the late 2000s, "At first I was very slow. If I knocked out six or eight pages a week I was happy. Then I started getting a little bit better, and I could probably do a couple of pages a day. But once I hit that five-year transitional period, I was like a machine. I could grind the stuff out. ... Everything just fell into place, and all of a sudden I found it very easy to do."[20]

Joe Sinnott inked the first three Silver Surfer [issues]. John was not happy with the inking Joe was doing on that. Joe is ... one of the greatest [inkers] of all time. But he did not ink John well ... because Joe's style of inking was somewhat overpowering, and at the end it ... didn't look like John Buscema anymore. John did not like that, because he was knocking himself out on this character, because this was a very important project that Stan had come up with. ... John told [Stan], 'I don't want Joe inking my work. He's losing my penciling.' ... Stan was very reluctant, but he said, 'Okay, who do you want?' He said, 'I want my brother,' and that's how I got it. ...[H]e knew that I knew how to ink his work. He was a little spotty on my first issue, but after that he was absolutely delighted with what I did.[19]

John Buscema specifically asked for his brother as inker on The Silver Surfer, at the time a high-profile project dear to writer-editor Lee, who gave the character an unprecedented for the time double-sized, 64-page (with ads and covers) solo series priced at 25 cents, more than twice the price of the standard 32-page, 12-cent comic. Sal Buscema recalled,

The interview had come about after Buscema, at his brother's urging, had first written to Marvel production manager Sol Brodsky to introduce himself and his work. Brodsky had no assignments for him at the time, and Buscema "called him a couple of times just to bug him a little bit and let him know that I was still alive, and eventually the first job came through" in June 1968.[17] That job, from Brodsky, was a 10-page Western feature, "Gunhawk". "I think they just said, 'Sal, here's the plot, go to it,'" Buscema recalled in 2003.[6] That story, "The Coming of Gunhawk", by writer Jerry Siegel and penciler Werner Roth, was eventually published in the omnibus title Western Gunfighters #1 (cover-dated Aug. 1970). Buscema's first published comics work had come before that: inking John Buscema's pencil art on four 39- to 40-page stories in the superhero comic The Silver Surfer #4-7 (Feb.-Aug. 1969); and inking Larry Lieber's pencils on the regular-sized, 20-page Western The Rawhide Kid #68 (Feb. 1969).[18]

Once I got the hang of it I made up ... six sample pages of pencils [i.e. penciled, uninked art pages], which I regret, because I wanted to be an inker. I didn't want to pencil. My first few jobs for Marvel were inking jobs, but I did those while working for Design Center. I wanted to work full-time for Marvel, so it was out of necessity that I penciled. [Editor-in-chief Stan Lee] loved [the samples]. He asked me to come on up to New York, which I did, and I went through the most fantastic interview of my life. Stan was leaping on his chair and his desk, just to relate to me physically what he wanted on a comic-book page. It was fascinating and it was charming all at the same time. He made the sound effects, the whole nine yards. ... He demonstrated every other way you could possibly demonstrate what he wanted on those pages — the dynamics and so on.[16]

Buscema by this time had spent "every night for about a year" teaching himself "how to produce a dynamic page" in the Marvel Comics storytelling style, enduring harsh critiques from his Marvel-artist brother John. As Buscema recalled in the late 2000s,

Marvel Comics

In 1961, a call from his brother John brought Buscema to New York City to work with him at the advertising agency Alexander Chaite, Inc. After a year-and-a-half, John Buscema returned to the comic-book industry while Sal Buscema joined a friend and colleague from Creative Arts Studio, Mel Emde, who was opening his own company, Design Studio. There Buscema stayed until 1968, when he began working for Marvel Comics, for which his brother was already established as a freelance artist.[15]

He started dating Joan, a secretary where he worked, in February 1959, and the two were married in May 1960. Their first son, Joe, was born in 1968, followed by Tony and Mike.[14]

After high school, Buscema found work at "a small, two-man advertising art studio in Manhattan" but was fired after three months of doing mostly production work. He went on to a larger commercial-art studio, where he was a gofer and a delivery person. He quit, then spent less than a year filling wedding-ring orders for the jewelry manufacturer J. R. Wood and Sons before being drafted into the peacetime U. S. Army in 1956. Classified as an "illustrator", he served with the Army Corps of Engineers stationed at Fort Belvoir in Virginia.[10] He spent 21 months doing film strips and charts as training aids before discharged after two years.[11] He attained the rank of specialist 3rd class, which he called "equivalent to corporal."[12] After briefly returning to New York City to assist at a one-man art studio, an Army connection found him work at the large Creative Arts Studio in Washington, D.C. There he did illustrations for government agencies, including the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Defense. After living with his godparents for three months, Buscema and an Army buddy became roommates in Alexandria, Virginia.[13]

[9] series John was drawing.Dell Comics in the early 1950s when his brother agreed to let him ink comics pages; this led to Sal helping John by doing occasional background art on inker He got his start as a comic-book [2], graduating in 1955.High School of Music & Art Like John, Buscema attended the [8] and called his artist brother John "greatly responsible for me pursuing drawing. ... John was definitely an inspiration".[7],Norman Rockwell, and Al Parker, Robert Fawcett and of commercial illustrators such has [6]

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