Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Number 1106

Savorin' Severin

John Severin has died at age 90. Severin has been one of my favorite comic artists since I saw his "Melvin of the Apes" in Mad when I was very young. I have followed his career since. I'm saddened by his death, but also happy that we have so much of his artistic legacy to still appreciate.*

Here are two of my favorite postings of Severin's artwork: "Luck" from Pappy's #590, and "EC @ Atlas" from Pappy's #910.

Had I not read the expert opinion of Michael Vassallo I wouldn't have known that the Black Rider story from Best Western #58 (1949), was by John Severin. This early work just didn't look like the Severin I was used to. After reading Michael's credit in the Atlas Tales website I looked closer at the artwork. Sure enough it’s Severin, and thanks to Doc V for the heads-up.

As much as I love Severin's printed work, his original art is just as fascinating. The now defunct blog, Hairy Green Eyeball, had several Severin postings. This post with Severin originals, mostly from Severin's time at Cracked, is from the very last HGE blog, and you can link to it here.

In a story done a few years and several hundred comic book pages later the more mature John Severin style jumps out from 1955's Western Tales of Black Rider #28, in the short but poignant "The Brothers."


Mike Britt said...

John was so kind and gracious when answering my fan-boy letter back in 1958 and he even sent me the two-page OK Corral art from CRACKED #4! It's hard to believe that I have been collecting his very special art for over a half century! He was his own category in the comic book field.

Kirk said...

I personally preferred Severin's non-humorous work (which is rare for me, as I usually gravitate towards humor). Some obits I've read said he didn't have a flashy style. "Flashy" and "striking" must mean two different things, because whatever he lacked in the former, he cartainly made up for in the latter.


Great tribute to a great artist. Thanks, Pappy! Your comics blog is the best ever!

Pappy said...

Thanks for your comments, guys. Over the past few decades I bought a lot of comic books and issues of Cracked solely because of John Severin.

As the news of his death has slowly sunk into my brain the past couple of days I have gotten more reflective of what he has meant to American comic books and comic art fans. Mike Britt has encapsulated how I feel: "He was his own category in the comic book field."

Thank you, said succinctly what it would have taken me paragraphs to express.