Strange Portfolio by Marshall Rogers (1979)

Strange Portfolio by Marshall Rogers cover

This Strange portfolio was illustrated by comic book artist Marshall Rogers and released by Schanes & Schanes in 1979.

Marshall Rogers began his comic book career in the mid-1970’s, where he eked out a modest living working on some of Marvel Comics’ black and white martial arts magazines. In 1977 he achieved some fame as artist on DC’s Detective Comics, pencilling a successful run of Batman stories written by Steve Englehart (one story, The Laughing Fish is now considered a minor classic).

Strange Portfolio by Marshall Rogers inside cover
The inside flap of Strange

The Strange portfolio was the first of only two dedicated collections to feature Rogers’s artwork (the second — The Batman Portfolio #1 — was published in 1981). Strange featured six black and white plates that measured a generous 11 x 16 inches printed on thick linen paper stock. The plates shipped in a fold-out cardboard folder that also included an inlay sheet with biographical information about the artist. The portfolio was limited to 1,200 editions of which this is number 676 — Rogers signature appears on the first plate.

Strange Portfolio by Marshall Rogers inlay
The biographical inlay sheet

And apart from that there’s not much more I can tell you about this collection. I don’t know if Strange is the name of the tattooed character who appears on the cover, or a reference to the general vibe of the collection. There appears to be some attempt at telling a story: ‘Strange’ arrives at a castle; he meets some people; he leaves; he gets chased and then he ends up in space. With a blonde girl. And a cat.

Strange Portfolio advert
Strange portfolio advert from Fantastic Films magazine, July 1980

Rogers’ artwork is OK but it’s not particularly amazing (although he did possess an impressive grasp of perspective). He was an artist with whom I wasn’t really that familiar with, mainly because I was much more of a Marvel Comics fan in the late 1970’s. I actually bought the portfolio because I was intrigued by the full page adverts I’d seen for it in magazines such as Fantastic Films, and because I liked the artwork on the cover.

Rogers did contribute artwork to a few other portfolio collections published in the late 70’s and early ’80s. He donated artwork to the F.O.O.G (Friends of Old Gerber) benefit portfolio in 1982, which featured some of the same characters from his Strange portfolio. And he contributed a plate to Paragon Publications Heroes, Heavies & Heroines portfolio published in 1982.

Here are all six plates from Strange, click for larger images.

Strange Portfolio plate 1

Strange Portfolio plate 2

Strange Portfolio plate 3

Strange Portfolio plate 4

Strange Portfolio plate 5

Strange Portfolio plate 6

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