The Art of Earl Norem: Planet of the Apes #8, #22, and #28 (1975 – 1977)

Norem Original Pencils 1975

Norem POTA #8 1975

Norem POTA #22 1976 original

Norem POTA #22

norem pota 28 1977

POTA #28

Many of Earl Norem’s original pencils and paintings, from the ’60s through the ’90s, are popping up on eBay. (The original pencils for Planet of the Apes #28 went for over $1000.) A lot of it is in pretty rough shape—multiple folds, tattering, yellowing. Illustration was a tough gig, and artists had to crank out page after page of quality work to make a living. Even for Norem, who was well established by this point, there was no time for sentimentality. It was all business.

The more I see from Norem, the more I realize how much he contributed to the vision of almost every major kid’s property from the late ’70s through the late ’80s, including Conan, The Six Million Dollar Man, Indiana Jones, Planet of the Apes, Buck Rogers, Masters of the Universe, D&D, Marvel Comics (superhero and horror), G.I. Joe, and the Transformers.

The amount of detail he squeezes into his cover paintings is staggering. See the control panels in #28, the chimp’s hair in #22, and the dense, layered colors he uses to fill the big spaces in #8.

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