Sunday, May 29, 2011
Spotlight On: Jim Aparo
Doug: Jim Aparo is a journeyman sort of artist, and I say that not to denigrate the man, but let's be honest -- he's not going to make most people's "greatest artists of the Silver and Bronze Ages" lists. Nonetheless, Aparo was solid for many, many years, and I'd venture to say that for many of us when we think of Batman in the Bronze Age we see Jim Aparo's work right after we think of Neal Adams. Aparo was that prevalent in this period we love. Aparo was hired by Dick Giordano at Charlton and followed him over to DC a bit later. There's no mistaking the influence of Giordano and Adams on Aparo's work -- Aparo really gives off a pretty seamless appearance on Batman into the 1970's. You can read about Aparo's life and career here and here.
Doug: Aparo is perhaps remembered (I hesitated to say "best remembered") as the artist on the "Death in the Family" arc that saw the 1-900 phone number call-in death of the Jason Todd Robin at the hands of the Joker. While I doubt Aparo had much input on that storyline, I will say that he illustrated it with energy and care. It must have been an emotional tale to spin, and I think his output was not only professional but memorable.
Doug: So what are your thoughts on this stalwart? Who can we compare him to -- Sal Buscema, maybe? Not necessarily for style, but how about longevity and breadth of coverage over the DC Universe, similar to Sal's presence throughout the Marvel Universe. What's your favorite Aparo-drawn character -- Batman, the Spectre, Aquaman, or someone/-thing else? As always, thanks for your opinions!