Comic Industry News & Gossip
One of the finest western and military comic book artists of all-time, John Severin, passed away Sunday at the age of 90.
RIP, John. Our condolences to his family.
Severin and his sister, Marie, were longstanding artists for Marvel Comics, drawing a variety of projects. He worked for many other companies, though, including Warren, Charlton and DC.
Severin is most well-respected for his work on military comics (here is a sample of his work from Warren’s Blazing Combat)…
and western comics (here is a sample of his work from the Two-Gun Kid)…
Severin was also a masterful humor artist, working extensively for Cracked and Mad. Here is him doing a parody of Shane from the pages of Mad…
One of his most amazing skills was his work with faces, both expressions on original characters (how strikingly powerful is just the work on the EYES in the Blazing Combat piece!!) and in drawing likenesses of famous people for humor parodies.
Severin was also a well-respected inker, and his powerful inks are what most superhero comic book fans recognize him from. Here he is inking Herb Trimpe on the Incredible Hulk…
And here he is finishing Jack Kirby’s layouts on Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD in Strange Tales…
He continued working in comics until just last year. His career is nearly unparalleled in its length and continued high level of skill. Here is a page from his Witchfinder mini-series last year for Dark Horse…
Amazing work for a man nearly 90 years old at the time. As our pal Dan Bailey says in the comments, he somehow managed to never lose it. He was just as good in 2011 as he was in 1961. Stunning.
- RORSCHACH (4 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: Lee Bermejo
- MINUTEMEN (6 issues) – Writer/Artist: Darwyn Cooke
- COMEDIAN (6 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: J.G. Jones
- DR. MANHATTAN (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artist: Adam Hughes
- NITE OWL (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artists: Andy and Joe Kubert
- OZYMANDIAS (6 issues) – Writer: Len Wein. Artist: Jae Lee
- SILK SPECTRE (4 issues) – Writer: Darwyn Cooke. Artist: Amanda Conner
Plus Len Wein and John Higgins will be doing two-page back-up stories in each of the books (which will be shipping weekly) telling the story of the CURSE OF THE CRIMSON CORSAIR.
Plus, there will be one big EPILOGUE one-shot where everyone will come together.
Alan Moore finds the whole thing “completely shameless” and pointed out that, “As far as I know, there weren’t that many prequels or sequels to ‘Moby-Dick.’ ” Dave Gibbons wishes the creators well, while noting that he and Moore said everything they wanted to say with the original book (Gibbons is awesome. What a sweet guy).
Now on the one hand, this surely is not going to taint the legacy of Watchmen, anymore than Scarlett…
tainted Gone With the Wind.
Plus, the talent involved really is quite impressive. People who you’d never see doing a full comic for DC Comics otherwise.
On the other hand, while projects like Scarlett don’t taint their original works, they tend not to leave a positive mark on the original, either. No one is rushing to package S. Darko with Donnie Darko, ya know?
The comics world just lost one of its greatest living legends as Jerry Robinson has passed away. Robinson, the long-time Batman artist, was 89 years old.
After Robinson left the world of comic books, he worked as a newspaper cartoonist for years. He was active in protecting the rights of artists, and served as the President of both the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC) and the National Cartoonists Society (NCS).
Yes, I’m going to rant a bit. There’s nothing more fun than that!
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Everyone’s pal, Alex Cox (co-founder of this here comic book blog) just got promoted to the Deputy Director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund!
Here are a few notable links for you comic book history fans out there.
Marvel released the Avengers trailer today. It is only a trailer, of course, but it looks quite cool.
What did you folks think?
Woohoo! Word out of FanExpo is that James Robinson and Nicola Scott will be doing a brand-new Justice Society of America comic book set…on Earth 2!
Will it be set during World War II or in present day – that is the pressing question now. Robinson has said that it will allow him to use characters that were previously killed, so this should be a lot of fun (Sandman, Atom, Starman, Doctor Mid-Nite and more should be back now).
Either way, very cool news to hear of the return of the JSA.
Here’s George Zapata’s Line it is Drawn piece from this past week’s installment…
I imagine she’ll be wearing a mask at some point in the film.
Warner Brothers just released the first picture of Henry Cavill as Superman.
That’s pretty darn cool looking.
Some spoilers for this Wednesday’s Ultimate Fallout #4 follow (and the identity of the new Ultimate Spider-Man). So don’t read any further if you don’t want to learn the spoilers.
In the first episode of David E. Kelley’s Boston Legal, James Spader’s character, Alan Shore, is representing a little girl who was turned down for the role of Little Orphan Annie because she was black. The case is not going well when, all of a sudden, Al Sharpton walks in making a dramatic speech. He finishes with:
You talk about racial equality, how we’re making progress. The problem with that progress is it’s always a day away. Tomorrow, tomorrow-you love that!-because it’s always a day away. I’m here to stick out my chin today! Today! Give us an African-American Spider Man! Give us a black that can run faster than a speeding bullet and leap over tall buildings in a single bound! Not tomorrow-today! Today! The sun needs to come out today! Not tomorrow, your Honor! God Almighty! Give the American people a black Orphan Annie. It’s just not good enough to say she doesn’t look the part.
I thought of this today with the news from USAToday that the new Ultimate Spider-Man will be revealed in this Wednesday’s Ultimate Fallout #4.
Read to see the new Ultimate Spider-Man!
We knew that it was an uphill battle for Jack Kirby’s estate to reclaim the copyright on the characters he created for Marvel, and today a judge sent them back down the hill with her decision to grant Marvel’s request for summary judgment on the case, thereby stating that Jack Kirby did, in fact, create these characters for Marvel on a “work for hire” basis.
This is what I figured would happen when I first heard about the case, but I’ll admit that the lawyers for the Kirby estate did a strong job arguing with what they had to work with. Still, the evidence that Kirby’s work was “work for hire” was just too strong.
Friday night, the Eisner Awards were announced, and I think that the voters did a fine job. It was too bad that our own Line it is Drawn artist Caanan Grall did not pick up an Eisner, but the webcomic that won, Karl Kerschl’s brilliant Abomindable Charles Christopher is, well, brilliant, so at least Caanan lost to a worthy opponent!
Meanwhile, Comic Book Resources won its second Eisner Award! Congratulations to Jonah Weiland and, I suppose, all of us at this here blog, right?
For the full list, check out the Eisner Awards page here.
It took five issues the last time Jim Lee drew Batman to pit the Caped Crusader against the Man of Tomorrow, but the idea is so neat that it appears to be showing up in the second issue of the new Justice League!
We have lost another comic book great, as the legendary Gene Colan has passed away at the age of 84.
Besides being an amazing comic book artist, I personally corresponded with Mr. Colan on a few occasions, and he was a really generous and intelligent fellow.
My condolences to his friends and family.