Sunday, November 18, 2007
The most beautiful thing in the galaxy
No matter what Russ Heath drew, he drew it well. His work ran the gamut of genres, all of the subjects handled with as much skill as any comic book artist who ever set a Number 2 pencil to bristol board. He could also draw pretty girls, or ugly monsters, like he does in this Stan Lee strip from Atlas Comics' Menace #7.
When you read the introduction you'll notice that even in 1954 Stan Lee was personalizing his work. In the story itself you have to wonder how the cowardly, alcoholic crewman, Derk Collin, was able to keep liquor aboard the ship. You also have to wonder how he passed a psychological exam in order to be able to be part of a spaceship crew, and wonder how a rocket ship under the pressure of 34 g's would allow the crewmen to move around like they do. Oh well…it's a horror comic book, and we only care about how rotten and unredeemable the liquor swilling, sexual harassing main character is, and the ending that writer Lee claims in his intro not to have known until it was written. Sure, Stan. We believe you.
And of course we care about the artwork, which is typical Heath. In other words, typically great.
For those of you who've read this far, here's a Russ Heath treat. Less than a decade after he drew "The Planet Of Living Death," Heath was working on a series I remember fondly, Sea Devils. Here's a 7-pager from issue #5 of that series. Here's also a hope that someday DC will consider putting these stories into one of those phonebook-sized volumes, reprinting their books from the era of the 1960s.