Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Gee Bee

Dave Stevens' adventurous The Rocketeer was a way cool graphic novel that took place in the way cool '30s, with way cool aviation themes, including the (last time, I promise) way cool Gee Bee Series aircraft. The Gee Bee (stands for Granville Brothers, its designer & manufacturer) was a dangerous racing plane that only the most skilled pilots could handle — perfect for an adventure series. The 1991 film of The Rocketeer opens with a test flight (and crash) of a Gee Bee (Model Z) plane.

Below are several of Stevens' panels showcasing the Gee Bee, along with a couple of photos of the real thing.

Dave Stevens is certainly missed in the world of graphic storytelling.



Above, this rendering of the Gee Bee looks a lot like Russ Heath's art style. Knowing they were buds, I wonder if there was collaboration. Perhaps not.


Above, the Gee Bee Sportster was a less lethal version of the Gee Bee planes, but was also less maneuverable and less popular among the speedsters. A version of this plane also showed up in The Rocketeer.

7 comments:

Kid said...

I bought the hardback book, The Complete Adventures, when it first came out - terrific stuff. Dave died far too young.

Michael Dooney said...

I live near Springfield,MA where the plane was built I guess. If you drive though Springfield at night on RT.91 you can see a well lit GB hanging from the ceiling inside a local museum ...coolness!

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

Kid, I've got the early limited edition hardback with signature, a book I'll never give up until the estate sale after my demise.

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

Michael, WAY coolness.

Artman2112 said...

i couldnt agree more Thomas! Dave is dearly missed! actually just this week i got a copy of The Dave Stevens complete sketchbooks, man what a great book! i had never seed any of the previous sketchbook collections so the majority of this was all new to me!

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

Artman, my money is allocated so tightly these days that I'll not be able to lay my hands on those sketchbooks. I'm sure I'm missing out on good stuff!

CoryJay said...

You are, I picked up the book last weekend at a small comic and toy con.
I love the GeeBee design.