I believe that first painting was intended as a cover for the Talon visual novel. Steranko ran it in Comixscene #5 (the Sword and Sorcery issue) where it was seen by Leigh Brackett, who asked that it be used for The Ginger Star. This led to Steranko getting the gig to do the next couple of Stark covers, so Comixscene turned out to be a pretty good promotional tool. And this was probably not the only time; Steranko has always been a master of self-promotion. I just wish we had more actual work from him.
Couldnae agree more, and thanks for the education on this painting. I'm adding the scan of the Comixscene cover you mentioned (sorry bout the sad shape) and also the version as a splash in Comic Book Marketplace
That other guy is the fanzine superhero Space Guardian, created by Bob Cosgrove during the sixties, maybe, for a Rich Buckler zine called Intrigue. I hope I've got this right; I recall a crossover in Bill Black's Paragon featuring Marty Greim's Defender, Black's The Shade, and the Space Guardian. Steranko had occasion to draw every one of them for fanzines like Comic Crusader and Paragon. Cool times.
Wow, Che Cool! How can a schmuck like me see these other Steranko illos? By the by, Space Guardian is much cooler than Sightless Guy--I can hear him now, saying "Step off!," y'know, in defense of my space
I checked and actually, you ran them both on 4/6/2013. That's the Shade on the cover of Paragon and David Manning, the Defender on Comic Crusader.
Sheeesh! No wonder they call this blog fun but redundant