Thursday, February 12, 2015

Let's Rap About Art!

Doug: Hey, friends -- just a quick post today. Hopefully in the next few days I'll be able to grab a couple of minutes to write some more Sales Tales. I have news.

I just want to throw the doors wide today to any discussion about comic book art -- favorite works by a given artist, favorite penciler/inker combinations, and those that weren't a match. Anything is fair game.

I decided to use some of my recent proceeds (and there have been a lot of proceeds, but more on that over the weekend) to purchase two of IDW's famed Artist Editions -- Gil Kane's Amazing Spider-Man and John Buscema's Silver Surfer. Before getting the courage to hit "Order" (from the nice folks at InStock Trades - check 'em out!), I watched this review of the Kane book and was sold. Once I get these gems (and sorry Garett -- I didn't get the Joe Kubert Tarzan edition!) I will give them the BAB Book Review treatment. Personally, I can't wait to write it!


Humanbelly said...

Oh, if wishes was fishes. . .

I would like to do a shout-out for beloved Marie Severin. And the example I would like to use-- which I've NO CLUE how to find a link to or paste in an image of here-- is the last page of the HULK story in Tales to Astonish #99. After a three issue arc with the painfully uninspiring "Legion of the Living Lightning" (sort of a 4th-rate Hydra/AIM/Sons of the Serpent wannabe organization), Stan clearly told Marie to just wrap the thing up somehow on the last page-- which she does brilliantly. That page, IIRC, is entirely snap-shot moments-- none of them visually sequential-- and it plays like a wonderfully breathless, edge-of-your-seat movie trailer. It's one of my favorite visual Hulk sequences ever, as it perfectly depicts the unleashed, righteous chaos he was capable of, and Stan wisely let the pictures largely speak for themselves. Almost no dialog (other than a panicked "Run! Run!" from a minion), and more impressively, almost no major sound effects written/lettered in. There's a particular image of the Hulk in the heart of a nuclear explosion which levels the mountain base that conveys the enormity in one tiny, 6-per-page box. Heck, I've probably talked about it before-- but it still makes my adreniline surge and paste's my face with the doofy grin of a 13-year-old, going "Oh MAAAN!!!"
I think it's the first instance where I completely recognized the role that a great artist's choices make in conveying the story itself. 'Cause that story had been a dog under Stan's laborious scripting for about 3 months. . .


Karen said...

I have mixed feelings about Marie Severin's work. At times I find it beautiful and capable of a sense of majesty; at other times, it seems stiff and even a bit crude. I've been reading the Sub-Mariner Masterworks, volume 3 and now onto number 4, and the transition from John Buscema to Marie was a bit tough, I have to say. Now I think some of my problem may be attributed to who inked her; but I also wonder if there were times where she might have been called upon to do a quick job, taking over for another artist. In any case, I don't think she's ever received the credit she's due.

J.A. Morris said...

My favorite pencil/ink combinations are fairly obvious choices. Byrne/Austin, Miller/Janson, Perez Sinnott.
But other than them:
It's hard to narrow it down, but pretty much any 1960s Gene Colan-drawn Daredevil art still makes me smile. While it's pre-Bronze Age, his DD issues were among the first back issues I ever purchased, so they feel like "my" era in some ways. DD Annual #1, featuring Electro's Emissaries of Evil (a poor man's Sinister Six!) is a story I've read dozens of times and Colan's action scenes are still great 30+ years after I discovered that issue.
I still enjoy the Silver Age works of Kibry/Sinnott, Romita and Ditko. But I've bought every Masterworks volume (so far) of 1960s Colan Daredevil, I haven't done that for Masterworks that feature those more famous artists.
Sure, most of the 60s DD stories are silly (I roll my eyes at the Matt/Karen/Foggy soap opera stuff) but Colan's art enough to make me recommend the Masterworks collections.

Edo Bosnar said...

Karen, I think Marie Severin did do a lot of last-minute work when deadlines were tight, etc. I generally like her art, although I think it works best in satirical stories (think Not Brand Echh), and I love what I've seen of her inking her brother John's art - mainly some King Kull stories.

Otherwise, since Doug brought him up, I love Gil Kane's art, especially from the '70s and '80s. All those great covers, all that great interior work on Spider-man, etc. My personal favorite examples of his art are the Blackmark graphic novel, those Superman Specials from the early 1980s, DC Comics Presents Annual #3, Sword of the Atom, an obscure one-shot (also published by DC) called Talos of the Wilderness Sea and What If? #3 - which also features beautiful inks by Klaus Jansen.
And that allows me to segue into my love of Jansen's inks. He's one of my favorite inkers on one of my favorite pencilers, Sal Buscema - for example, I loved all of the Defenders stories drawn by Sal, but the ones inked by Jansen are extra-special.

Garett said...

Hey Doug, I'm happy you ordered these two. I already know what the Tarzan book is like-- I want to see your review on these others!

I'm reading the Thor omnibus #2 again. Love these stories with Thor and Hercules. Vince Colletta inks, and he does a pretty good job here. Colletta's not my favorite inker, but he puts in some nice fine detail and adds interesting texture to Kirby here.

I finished reading New Teen Titans omnibus 2. Perez's art just got better as this series rolled along. There are a couple fill in issues by Keith Pollard, and he does an ok job, but it's hard to compete with Perez at the top of his game. There's also an issue of Aparo art in a crossover with the Outsiders.

I'd highly recommend both these books, for art and writing. Special treat: the letters pages included the Thor book.

Redartz said...

Edo, good call on Klaus Jansen! He can nake the mediocre penciller look good, and the good penciller look incredible. Those Defenders issues certainly were nice...

Another favorite inker is Tom Palmer. Gene Colan has recieved some justified love above, and Palmer's inks matched his (Gene's) pencils flawlessly. Dr. Strange and Dracula would not have been the same without them. Think of that great crossover between those two books!

Finally, just want to mention another oersonal favorite; Bill Messner-Loebs. Though known equally well as a writer, his own creation "Journey" kept me engrossed through much of the 80's. His loose, Eisner- inspired art wonderfully depicted the old Michigan frontier, with it's rugged people and natural beauty.

pfgavigan said...


Strangely enough, I'm getting a collection of Severin together so that I might present it to our most gracious and wise overlords. . . pardon me, hosts of this blog for either a single posts or series of such.

As to comparisons between Marie and other artists, I tend to think, and this is only my opinion, that she suffers more for the vastness of her talents. Let me explain, how do you best use someone who is a good artist, great inker and one of the best colorists ever. Marie could do everything and when you have someone like that you use them, often behind the scenes where they don't get the recognition they deserve.

As a quick example, check out the Marvel Team-Up with Spiderman and the Original (and only darned good) Not Ready For Prime Time Players, the issue of Thor set in the Rutland Halloween Parade, or various comics where the characters have to resemble real people other than fictional ones.

Marie Severin; she could do it all, do it well and do it fast.

Thank you for your kind indulgence.


Dr. Oyola said...

Here is where I admit my profound lack of knowledge about comics artists. I mean, I know the big names of course, but I am routinely so impressed by the ability of many regulars on here to not only identify different pencilers, but know the best pencil and inker (or colorist) combinations. It is an area I am working to develop and be more knowledgeable about.

This is something I also had to do with comics writers when I got back into comics (and collecting back issues) in the early 00s. As a kid, I never paid attention to writers and artists names (unless again it was a "big" name), I just followed characters and if the writing and/or art got shitty I would just wait and see if it got better. These days I know writers from the silver through contemporary age very well, but I still struggle with artists.

Martinex1 said...

I forgot about my all time favorite costume on Hank Pym's Yellowjacket, but even though I love it, I still don't understand his wings at all. It has to be one of the strangest, most original, yet totally impractical design I can imagine. We think the feathered bird wing characters are unrealistic, but the aerodynamics of YJ are entirely baffling. (Not to mention that he probably needs rear view mirrors for his blind spot).

On another note, I am not sure if those are actually wings but I like Guardians of the Galaxy's Starhawk's gliding apparatus. Very cool.

And I also like how the Micronauts would strap on glider packs / mechanical wings. Those were pretty clever and any character could use them.

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