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Month of Art Stars: Artist’s Choice – Everett Raymond Kinstler

Every day this month I’m going to feature the work of a great artist, only instead of me picking the artist to feature, they will be picked by their peers, fellow professional comic book artists who are picking out artists (from the past and present) who they think deserve special attention. Do note that most artists I asked about this gave me multiple answers and I picked out one choice out of a number of suggestions, so these are not definitive answers, like “Artist X likes Artist Y and he thinks all other Artists are terrible!” Here is an archive of the artists featured so far!

Today, we have the pick of Tom Mandrake, longtime comic book artist, perhaps best known for his work with John Ostrander on Firestorm, Martian Manhunter and, most especially, The Spectre. Tom just recently did work for a Batman and Superman mini-series and the Wildstorm adaptation of the TV series Fringe. Check out Tom’s website here.

Tom’s pick is Everett Raymond Kinstler.

Kinstler is a particular strange pick for this feature, because he may be one of the most famous comic book artists there ever was – he just isn’t really famous FOR his comic book work, but rather his portrait work that he began primarily doing in the late 1950s and has continued to this day, doing official portraits for every United States President from Richard Nixon until Bill Clinton.

So while he has become a legendary artist as a maker of portraits, his early comic book work IS quite good.

Kinstler started working in comics in the early 1940s when he was only sixteen years old.

Here is a Hawkman story he did in the mid-40s for DC Comics…

Here, then, are a variety of comics he did for Dell during the 1950s while he was still in his 20s….

A Zane Grey western…

A Zorro story…

A Max Brand western….

and a Luke Short western….

Really impeccable design work and exquisite storytelling ability. Plus, his character work IS quite striking, it’s not much of a surprise that he’d be great at drawing portraits.

Check out Kinstler’s website here (although I take it that he’s mostly retired from the art world nowadays).

Thanks to Tom for the pick!

8 Comments

Wow! That’s beautiful work! Equal parts Alex Raymond and Joe Kubert. I’ve never even heard of the guy.

This run of Artists’ Artists is really bringing up some wonderful art that I’d never seen or heard of! A real treasure trove.

What a marvellous idea, Brian!

I was really enjoying that Hawkman story until the “Confucius Say” line. And it’s not even the racism that bothers me, although that’s bad too. It just doesn’t make any sense, even by Golden Age kid comic standards!

The art is great in all three stories. I never even heard of this guy, so it’s quite a discovery. As good as all three stories are though, something about the art in the second one really “pops” the most. I don’t know if it’s the inking or the coloring but wow.

There’s a lot of great Kinstler art in Avon’s titles from the early 50s. The Sci-fi books can be expensive – but the romance and western books can be found for a decent price in lower grades.

He would often draw the 1 page forewore to many Avon books during that era.

For the past 40 or 50 years Kinstler has been one of the leading portrait artists in the country. He still speaks with pride regarding all the fields of art he worked in before settling on painting. He also illustrated for the pulp magazines, most notably the SHADOW. I first met him at a pulp convention then later at a portrait conference. Wonderful man, great storyteller!

elbichoemboscado

June 26, 2009 at 3:33 pm

I know it’s odd for my part… I know…

But the horses are absolutely stunning…

I’ve never heard his name before but it’s really interesting…

Great Work! Your last comment that Everett Kinstler as far as you know is fairly retired from the art world is far from true. Mr. Kinstler works every day and is one of the sharpest minds you could meet. He continues to produce stunning and challenging portraits and works of art for a long list of waiting clients. He is truly one of America’s greatest living artists.

Kinstler is a full-time portrait artist. He mentors, travels with his wife Peggy for meeting with clients or “his next victim” as he calls it. A great story teller, baudy sense of humor and lover of artists and actors. He has more energy than a man half his age.

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