Things I adore- Old School Comics
Every body has things that they adore but few people other than their closest friends, either know or care about them therefore I’m starting a series of rants about my personal and private obsessions. I love comic books and the fact that I’m not a comic book artist for a living is amongst my most bitterly obsessed upon regrets; neurosis aside I’m not talking about the comic books everyone knows about but the obscure virtuosity of long dead artists.
Let’ start with Windsor McKay, best known for “Little Nemo” his sublime draftsmanship puts even the most adept manga artist to shame, here’s his Wiki link if interested http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windsor_McKay. This stuff is all before the 1940’s! This is some groundbreaking work.
Wil Eisner is another late legend who brought fantastic cinematic style lighting to comic book art as well as creating “The Spirit”. Ignore the movie since my other comic book hero Frank Miller has sadly lost his fucking mind, but “The Spirit” as well as masterpieces like “A Contract With God” and other slice of life New Youk stories changed the genre. Here is his Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will_Eisner check out his stuff, he’s was one of the first people to give the genre legitamacy.
I’m also going to mention the late great Charles “Sparky” Schultz. True he was far from underrated in life or death, but how many people have created a consistantly funny body of work for 50 years straight? I’ve been obsessively rereading his stuff from strip 1 and it is timeless, look into the guy he is FASCINATING! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Schultz.
I have been an obsessive fan of the next guy since I had my first “Cracked” magazine at 8 years old, John Severin. For want of any more delicate way of putting it this guy’s work is just so fucking fantasitc it is beyond hyperbole, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_SeverinThe. Here is some more since no one seems to be farmilliar with him; http://www.lambiek.net/artists/s/severin_john.htm http://www.samcci.comics.org/_artists/severin_j.htm . Severin was best known for his fantastic workmanship & his obsession with historical accuracy.
The late, great fantastic Jack Kirby must be mentioned. If you have read a comic book in the past 5o years he’s either created or influenced the hell out of it. He is one of those old school guys that had a work ethic that would impress the most hardened of longshoremen; through his 60 year career on average he pencilled and inked 10 pages a day… Holy crap, do you have any idea how much work that is? If I could do 1 complete page a day I’d feel like king shit of poop mountain! Here look at this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Kirby read about him then feel shitty about yourself. In fact the only reason I don’t like the new “Samuel Jackson” based Nick Fury character is that Nick Fury was Kirby’s way of drawing himself into a universe he helped to create and that disrespects his memory & influence in my opinion… I really need a life but I digress. There are loads, ridiculous amouts actually, of artists & writers I can go on about when it comes to comics (Frank Miller, Mazzuchelli, Sergio Aragnones, Dave Gibbons, Dave Baron, Mark Rude, etc) but I feel the old school guys need much more credit than they get in this age of slick computer made comics.