Monday, March 26, 2018
Number 2159: Harvey K. lashes that lightning!
Kurtzman worked for Louis Ferstadt, a WPA artist* who took up drawing comic books in their early days. I have shown some early Kurtzman before, but when I checked it against the Grand Comics Database I saw they had “Harvey Kurtzman ?” for pencil and inking credits. They just aren’t sure. Can I be 100% sure? No, but I am leaning strongly toward Kurtzman being the artist. One, his initials are on the tombstone on the right hand side of the splash panel. It is hard to read, but it is an H.K. The other thing I noticed immediately is a youthful appropriation of Jack Kirby’s style for exaggerated action. Kirby was a master of action poses, and I visualize a young Harvey at a drawing board with copies of open Jack Kirby comic books.
This would have been a great school for Kurtzman, working against deadlines, drawing superheroes in action. He was drafted, served, came home, re-entered the comic book business, and by then had developed his own style.
*WPA — Works Progress Administration