Tuesday, February 23, 2016

If I Had a Buck... Mirthful Marie Severin!

Doug: Well, if I don't have egg on my face. And lots of it! Our buddy Martinex1, famous inventor of the $1 Challenge (hey, maybe he's The Man!) alerted me to my senility -- like he had to go and do that... Anyway, today's post was actually emailed to us waaaaaaay back at the end of November. Who knows what I was doing then -- it obviously wasn't readying this post for publication! So today we rectify that, and I think you'll enjoy it. Public apologies to ol' Mike S. -- you'll find this worth the wait!

Guest Post – If I Had a Buck…MARIE SEVERIN 
Mike S.: Last fall in a couple of posts and comments, Marie Severin’s name was mentioned as an underappreciated artist, a great talent on the Incredible Hulk book, and as a go-to mainstay of the Marvel Bullpen.   

So here is a challenge of “If I Had a Buck”, highlighting the varied work of Ms. Severin’s career.  Not only was she a fantastic superhero penciler, but she also handled comedy, mimicry, satire, adventure and horror genres extremely well.   It is actually surprising how many different high level Marvel characters she touched.  The art always reflected the classic house style but often also contained interesting perspective and layouts.   She started as a colorist at EC and headed the color department at Marvel for a time, all the while pitching in on so many aspects of comic art and production along the way.   She was very prolific and I believe she should be listed along with many of the Silver Age greats.  

Take a look at the 14 covers below, all with Marie Severin art, and I think you will get a small taste of a very big talent.   Spend your dollar wisely; there are plenty of 15 cent masterpieces to choose from.  


SonOfCthulhu said...

I did not know that John Severin had a sister who was also a comic book artist. Neat stuff!

Amazon has a book about her career with a section from him about his sister. http://www.amazon.com/Marie-Severin-Mirthful-Mistress-Comics/dp/1605490423

I've always dug John's work, so now I'll be on the lookout for Marie's.

Redartz said...

Great subject for a "buck" post, Martinex1! Marie's work has been a favorite of mine since I first read her classic "Thung vs. Bulk" parody in Not Brand Echh 5. Her versatility is well displayed in your choice of covers. Kull to Spiderman to Muppet Babies; she could do it all!

Going to load down my backpack with:
Amazing Spiderman (of course; great cover )
Arrgh! ( a bronze age gem...)
Chamber of Darkness
Not Brand Echh
Tales to Astonixh (another classic)
Quite a haul for a buck !

david_b said...

She's easily the most underrated artist from Marvel's Silver Age genre.

Humanbelly said...

Boy, this could almost double as a "The Cover Made Me Buy This Book"/$1 Challenge crossover post!

I am going to selfishly eliminate the few issues that I know for sure are already downstairs somewhere (Arrgh#2, Not Brand Echh#3, TtA#93), and go with new purchases.

Amazing Spidey#82
Capt.Marvel #15 (I wonder if she handled the coloring on that as well? Man, what a wonderfully dramatic image-)
Chamber of Darkness #4
Kull #9 (And am I correct that we're looking at Brother John's inks there? Or. . . could it be the other way around? Oh, what a fantastic, underused combo they presented!)
Subby #12 (Boy, there's that go-to stock heartbreaking image again. . . )
Tower of Shadows #5-- Used to have it, I think. Man, just look at the texture and attention to detail she brings to those horror covers. It is SUCH good work!

That's 92 cents.

I'd probably try to talk the dealer into tossing in a tattered Spoof #5 (I did NOT know that book made it to a fifth issue! Have never seen anything past issue #4 anywhere ever. . . !) and round it to the same one dollar total, in a shameless gambit to have everything I want. . .


J.A. Morris said...

I agree that Marie Severin is very underrated.

We talked about Scott Edeleman last week, he's a good friend of Severin and frequently writes about his visits with her:


Martinex1 said...

Glad you like the choices today. I have been a Marie Severin fan since my early interest in Sub-Mariner. As HB pointed out, she had a way with depth, texture, and details. If you look at the Spider-Man cover, notice the amount of figures in the scene, the crowd below and on the balcony are all clear individuals with reactions etched for each, the features of the cameras and the theatre seats, the host’s tipped over chair, etc. It is really quite amazing.

I believe (at least from what I researched), the Kull cover is penciled by Marie and inked by her brother John. It is a nice combination. She did a great job with a mob; I count 15 figures on that cover, plus some nice vines and a crustacean etched in the stone wall. That level of detail with the line art being so clear is one of the reasons I gravitate to this era of covers. And there is no chance under Severin’s guidance that the coloring will muddy it.

I am finding I am not nearly as knowledgeable of Marvel mags as I thought I was. I have always been a fan of “Not Brand Ecch”, but until I was looking for Marie Severin covers that showed the breadth of her talent I did not know that “Spoof” and “Arggh!” existed. Her caricatures rival those that were in “MAD”. Not sure what the interiors contain, but I am curious. These were definitely not on any spinner rack that I encountered back in my youth.

My own choices are: Daredevil (for nostalgic reasons, I always enjoyed the Mr. Hyde, Cobra, Jester team ups and this is one of the best with some truly great Gene Colan interiors. Nobody does amusement parks like Gene the Dean). “Spoof “ and “Arrgh!” for the above listed reasons. “Sub-Mariner” (I’ve said it before that I am a fan of the original Serpent Crown saga; it is a bit dated now, but as a kid I was enthralled), “Captain Marvel” (big fan of his old threads), and “Tales to Astonish” (for more Subby and the Hulk and Surfer to boot). That leaves me a penny for some Hubba Bubba.

Regarding Namor’s pieta pose, a pending $1 Challenge, may have plenty of those piteous postures to pick from! Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Nice one, Martinex.
Although I can't help but think theres something of a built in bias to the dollar challenge, pushing us toward choices from the 12 and 15 cent era.
I'd probably pick a lot of that stuff anyway, but still - aren't you making it a bit easy for us?

I still have that Kull somewhere, and it is by both Marie and John Severin, the story inside as well the cover. They did some really good work on that series which is well worth tracking down.


Edo Bosnar said...

First and foremost, I completely agree about Severin's many talents, and I think all of these are outstanding covers - love the Kull and Luke Cage ones in particular. Great choice of artist and great selection of covers, Martinex.
Man, though, these low prices are making even my usual bang-for-the-buck method a tough call. But here goes:
Spider-man #82
Captain Marvel #15
Chamber of Darkness #4
Daredevil #61
Not Brand Echh #3
Sub-mariner #13
Tower of Shadows #5
...which comes to 99 cents, and gives me a nice assortment of super-hero, horror and satirical comics.

Anonymous said...

I'd definitely pick Spidey, DD, and Luke Cage; to round it out...maybe Thor, Subby, and Tales to Astonish.

I was hoping to see an issue of Spider Woman included in today's challenge; Marie did some great covers for that mag, but it came out later, so it was probably disproportionately expensive compared to these others. I always wished Ann Nocenti had gotten more time on Spider Woman, and I thought Marie Severin would've made a great collaborator with her.

Mike Wilson

david_b said...

Agreed with Martinex1 on the old Kree threads.., I really liked them as a cool, retro Silver Age look.

The '70s costume change definitely fit the era, but in retrospect I've always liked the original white/green combo better. It just had an independent 'Atlas Comics' feel to it.., obviously years before Atlas/Seaboard company came into being.

pfgavigan said...


I don't think it would be of much of a surprise that I definitely would pick up the humor titles. And, in truth, I must state that I have those issues represented and as many more that I could get my greedy little hands upon. Marie was insanely talented at the form and put a lot of effort into her pencils. I can only hope that she took as much pleasure from her work as I did from her efforts.

Hey J.A. Morris, thanks and a shout out for the link. Any additional info like this is much appreciated and always welcomed. Same to SonofChuthlu (bet those family reunions must really be murder)!



Humanbelly said...

Kinda hate to think of what (or, er, whom. . . ) everyone brings to contribute to the pot-luck dinner, too, pfg.

MX1-- speaking to your comment about SPOOF and ARRGH!-- my buddy and I had a fondness for those humor/parody comics ourselves, so we did keep an eye open for them. What's funny is that, although it seemed (at the time) like there was this huge, yawning span of time between each of them. But NBEcch ended in May '69, Spoof#1 popped up that fall. . . and lay dormant for two years until #'s 2-5 stayed on the stands until May '73. Then Aargh! had a sporadic 5 issue run from late '74 into fall of '75. The latter was a much weaker effort, IMO, than its predecessors.


Anonymous said...

Nice discussion here. Marie Severin is definitely one of the most underrated and underappreciated artists of the Bronze Age.

Awright now, I'd pick Spidey, Kull, Luke Cage, Hulk (I still have that very issue against the Surfer) and Thor for a grand total of 94 cents!

John and Marie were definitely a top notch combo; their work in the parody magazines was great too. Nobody could capture the likenesses of a character from a movie quite like Johnny.

- Mike 'lovin' Severin' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Karen said...

My uncle had that issue of Tales To Astonish and I used to stare at it. It was so powerful, and beautiful at the same time. Eventually it became mine. It's still one of my favorite covers. He also had that issue of Not Brand Echh, and I would never have guessed they were produced by the same artist. Marie was indeed a very talented artist who could do it all!

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