Heroes, Heavies & Heroines Portfolio, cover

Heroes Heavies and Heroines Portfolio (1981)

Heroes, Heavies & Heroines Portfolio, cover

Released by Paragon Publications in 1981 this portfolio featured artwork by some of the comic book industry’s most popular artists.

Clearly published to cash-in on the mail-order portfolio market that sprang up in the late Seventies and early Eighties, Heroes Heavies and Heroines contained 14 black and white prints measuring 8.5 x 11 inches, shipped in an orange envelope and sold for $6. Contributing artists included Jack Kirby, Gil Kane, John Byrne and George Perez as well as other comic book heavy-weights. Most of the artwork was inked by Paragon’s publisher Bill Black who does a decent, although unexciting, job.

Sadly Paragon clearly decided to focus on quantity over quality as the prints are reproduced on thin matt paper, while many are printed on coloured stock which is a little distracting. Although it’s interesting to see such a diverse selection of artistic talent on show, the quality of the prints doesn’t do the artwork justice, and the set lacks the glossy high-quality feel of other portfolios released at the time, such as those by SQP.

Here are the 14 prints from Heroes Heavies and Heroines with artist credits – click for larger versions.
(Please note: the Conan print features female nudity).

Heroes Heavies and Heroines Portfolio, title card

Heroes Heavies and Heroines, title sheet
Artwork by Bill Black
(Note: misspelling of Ken Landgraf’s name).

Heroes Heavies and Heroines Portfolio: pencils by John Byrne

Wolverine
Artwork by John Byrne and Bill Black

Heroes Heavies and Heroines Portfolio: Mike Zeck

The Punisher
Artwork by Mike Zeck and Bill Black

Heroes Heavies and Heroines Portfolio: Michael Kaluta

The Shadow
Artwork by Michael Kaluta and Bill Black

Heroes Heavies and Heroines Portfolio: Jack Kirby

The Red Skull
Artwork by Jack Kirby and Bill Black

Heroes Heavies and Heroines Portfolio: Gil Kane

Green Lantern
Artwork by Gil Kane

Heroes Heavies and Heroines Portfolio: Michael Golden

Batman
Artwork by Michael Golden and Bill Black

Heroes Heavies and Heroines Portfolio: Jerry Ordway and John Beatty

The Hulk
Artwork by Jerry Ordway and John Beatty

Heroes Heavies and Heroines Portfolio: George Perez

Hawkeye
Artwork by George Perez and Bill Black

Heroes Heavies and Heroines Portfolio: Bill Sienkiewicz and Bob McLeod

Conan The Barbarian
Artwork by Bill Sienkiewicz and Bob McLeod

Heroes Heavies and Heroines Portfolio: Bob McLeod

Moon Knight vs Batman
Artwork by Bob McLeod

Heroes Heavies and Heroines Portfolio: Ken Landgraf

Artwork by Ken Landgraf and Bill Black

Heroes Heavies and Heroines Portfolio, Michael Hernandez

Shanna, the She-Devil
Artwork by Michael Hernandez and Bill Black

Heroes Heavies and Heroines Portfolio: Marshall Rogers

Nightcrawler
Artwork by Marshall Rogers and Bill Black

Heroes Heavies and Heroines Portfolio: Bill Black

Artwork by Bill Black

In 1981 Paragon released another portfolio showcasing the work of comic book artists, the Pretty Girl Portfolio, and I’ve looked at that in more detail here.

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