Friday, September 23, 2011
Brush and pen: two by Lee Elias
Readers, I see the scrolling viewer that has given me so much heartburn this past week is gone. Did Blogger get feedback that convinced them to go back to the old way? My biggest complaint was when going into my archives it was a hassle to read my old postings. StatCounter showed that total readership for this blog was down by 1/3 this past week. I suspect it might have been that viewer.
And now, as they say, back to our regularly scheduled program...
Lee Elias had a varied comics career from the 1940s to the '80s: artist's assistant (George Wunder, Al Capp), syndicated strip (Beyond Mars), comic book artist (Fiction House, Harvey, DC, Warren, among others), and in his later years, a magazine illustrator and painter. In comic books Elias' work shows up in love, war, science fiction, horror and mystery comics, not to mention the sexy masked Black Cat, or a space hero like Tommy Tomorrow. The two stories here are a couple of those little gems from DC's mystery-science fiction comics of the '60s. "My Brother Is A Robot" evokes the Adam Link stories of Eando Binder, and is a poignant tale from 1960's My Greatest Adventure #42. It has a gorilla, too. A plus for me!
"Bang! Bang! You're Dead!" is from Tales Of the Unexpected #102, 1967. This story has a young protagonist able to see invisible monsters with a pair of mysterious glasses, and not believed by his parents.
Elias' versatility as an artist shows in both these stories. "Robot" is inked with a brush, the favorite tool of comic artists since the days of Milton Caniff, a style with which Elias excelled. He used a pen for inking "Bang!", filling in black areas with the brush. Either way works, although "Robot" appears smoother and slicker with its tight brushwork. The pen brings out some dynamics in "Bang!" with the shorter, looser strokes of the pen.
Elias was born Leopold Elias in the UK in 1920, emigrated to the US, and died in 1998 at age 77.