Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Leiber and Fox
Someone did me a big favor by posting online the backup stories from Marvel's Journey Into Mystery #83 to 104. I bought that comic regularly. Among the stories I remember were the five-pagers by Larry Leiber and Matt Fox.
I thought Leiber's art in those days was kind of rough, and combined with Fox's busy pen inking gave the stories their own oddball look. Like a lot of other fanboys in those days I dismissed it as not being up to the standards of Marvel artists like Kirby and Ditko. I didn't know that Leiber would find a career at Marvel, but at the time I also didn't know he was Stan Lee's brother. To his credit Leiber built a career in comics. He worked at it and got better. I also didn't know that Matt Fox's art was what we'd now call outsider art. He had a particular and peculiar vision. His Weird Tales artwork is considered classic, and here are three of my favorite covers by him:
Fox had also done interior drawings for Weird Tales, and comic book work in the early '50s for Stan Lee and a couple of other publishers.
Nowadays I find the Leiber/Fox team's artwork charming, if I may use that word. I like it and appreciate it more now than when I first saw it.
Here are four of the stories from that online source. "The Purple Planet" is from Journey Into Mystery #98, "The Unreal" from JIM #100, "The Enemies" from JIM #101, and "The Menace" from JIM #102.
The panel reproduced on the top of this page gave my high school buddy Ron and I a big laugh in 1963. We thought it looked like some kind of weird alien urination. It was the interpretation of immature minds, but hey, I still think that's what it looks like.