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  1. #61
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    Swan reminds me of the old Art Institution commercials that used to run. He's basically from the first generation of comic artists but has an older style, going back to his own dad in observational sketchings of remote nature. His forms are dedicated to the natural to a fault. To where his aliens look like regular people in cheap paint and costumes. Kirby was about the same age but by the 60s developed his extremely elaborate and unique style, where Swan just kept tweaking the old style. He went from the cover guy to having more dynamic artists on the covers for his stories (though he drew at least two stories a month to be fair, so it was probably hard enough). BUT, I can't say anyone was more technically sound and his storytelling was so perfect. His Superman did become better looking with the times and he made great advances in drawing action when that became more important to the books. The most important thing was that he was a total juggernaut and drew practically everything for Superman stories for decades. With DC infamously even having him redraw the Kirby face.

    It's sad that so much devotion to a corporate character didn't earn him much and that many are understandably like you in finding his work a little boring, but in some ways his Superman will never be topped.
    Oh! I meant no disrespect to the artist and what he has done for the character . It's just not my cup of tea, that's all. Regardless of that, people here love it. And i seem to be the exception, not the norm. I am sure people in general are like that as well. It's not like i myself hate it or anything.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    . . . With DC infamously even having him redraw the Kirby face.
    As far as I know, Curt Swan himself never redrew the faces. On Jack Kirby's art it was Al Plastino on a Forever People story and Murphy Anderson on the Jimmy Olsen stories (given Vince Colletta was the regular inker, I saw this as an improvement). That was because DC wanted to have a uniform look for Superman at the time--so it wasn't just King Kirby that got the facelift--many other artists had Swanderson styled faces put on their work.

    Yet not every artist got this standardization treatment--Dick Dillin didn't except for one issue of WORLD'S FINEST I recall where Murph was the inker. Later on Anderson also doctored the art for Howard Chaykin's contribution to WORLD OF KRYPTON (1979)--one page is unabashedly lifted from Pa Kent's deathbed scene in the 1973 Superman origin story for Jor-El senior's deathbed scene.

    Curt himself had his art changed by inks (I made a list of 27 different inkers for Swan in an ancient blog--maybe I'll have to see if I can revive that while we're all in isolation). The Swanderson Superman we had in 1971 is as much Anderson as it is Swan. Bob Oksner's inking style seems closer to how Swan inked his own pencils.

    Of course, inkers "fixing" pencils might be another category--since they were called on to do this all the time by editors (and maybe still are). I could make a long list of stories where the art was changed by the efforts of inkers.And there was at least one time where a different artist was brought in to change characters on Swan and Klein's pages, that being Kurt Schaffenberger who redrew Lois and Lana for "The Amazing Story of Superman-Red and Superman-Blue."

    Back when Joe Shuster was the artist and co-creator, after his eyesight began to fail and the other artists in the Shuster studio did the bulk of the work, Joe would still draw the faces of Superman and Lois on pages. Of course, in those days, many hands working on a single page was pretty standard practice. It happened in the Shuster studio, at the Eisner and Iger shop and even the Simon & Kirby studio. See Siegel, Shuster and Yarbrough's classic "King of the Comic Books" for a funny treatment of this assembly line shop process.

    Hey, even Neal Adams and Dick Giordano formed their own shop in the 1970s (the Crusty Bunkers/Continuity Associates) that would work as a team to produce art for the publishers--many great pencillers and inkers had gigs there.
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  3. #63
    Mighty Member Johnny Thunders!'s Avatar
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    I think the DC and Kirby stuff is just insane. I know they had a house style in mind, and they were just funny-books, but it's such a shame. Anyways, I think Grant Morrison writes about later Curt Swan looking like a parade of wax figures, but his great stuff is undeniably great. I think the 60's are his best decade. Brian Bolland, Mike Allred, there are a couple of artists that remind me of Curt Swan at their best. I am looking at the cover to "The Super Duel In Space", and that Braniac still says it all for me. Ultron or whoever, that pink and green Braniac is just as menacing. I ended up really liking John Romita Jr. on the Geoff Johns New 52 run. He always ends up surprising me.

  4. #64
    Astonishing Member Electricmastro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Thunders! View Post
    I think the DC and Kirby stuff is just insane. I know they had a house style in mind, and they were just funny-books, but it's such a shame. Anyways, I think Grant Morrison writes about later Curt Swan looking like a parade of wax figures, but his great stuff is undeniably great. I think the 60's are his best decade. Brian Bolland, Mike Allred, there are a couple of artists that remind me of Curt Swan at their best. I am looking at the cover to "The Super Duel In Space", and that Braniac still says it all for me. Ultron or whoever, that pink and green Braniac is just as menacing. I ended up really liking John Romita Jr. on the Geoff Johns New 52 run. He always ends up surprising me.
    I think that Kirby’s unused drawings of Superman’s face intended for Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #143 (November, 1971) are what some people would probably describe as being a “caveman face,” and somehow, I can understand why they would say that:



    Last edited by Electricmastro; 03-27-2020 at 05:25 PM.

  5. #65
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    As far as I know, Curt Swan himself never redrew the faces. On Jack Kirby's art it was Al Plastino on a Forever People story and Murphy Anderson on the Jimmy Olsen stories (given Vince Colletta was the regular inker, I saw this as an improvement). That was because DC wanted to have a uniform look for Superman at the time--so it wasn't just King Kirby that got the facelift--many other artists had Swanderson styled faces put on their work.

    Yet not every artist got this standardization treatment--Dick Dillin didn't except for one issue of WORLD'S FINEST I recall where Murph was the inker. Later on Anderson also doctored the art for Howard Chaykin's contribution to WORLD OF KRYPTON (1979)--one page is unabashedly lifted from Pa Kent's deathbed scene in the 1973 Superman origin story for Jor-El senior's deathbed scene.

    Curt himself had his art changed by inks (I made a list of 27 different inkers for Swan in an ancient blog--maybe I'll have to see if I can revive that while we're all in isolation). The Swanderson Superman we had in 1971 is as much Anderson as it is Swan. Bob Oksner's inking style seems closer to how Swan inked his own pencils.
    Ah, can't believe I forgot it was Plastino. Sadly I never think of him as his era wasn't my favorite.

    Oksner is definitely one of my favorite old school artists and partners for Swan. I never thought Oksner or Williamson were quite as much as Anderson when it came to overpowering the pencils, though they're both so distinct. The comics from around 73 to 76 are my favorite from Swan.
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  6. #66
    Fantastic Member Jon-El's Avatar
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    I sing Bob Oksner’s praises any chance I get. I love Murphy Anderson but Oksner is my absolute favorite inker for Swan!
    0C0304AB-EA98-47BA-81F0-F679C799503F.jpg


    Swan is my #1 by a slight margin over Garcia Lopez. After those two, I’d have:

    Neal Adams
    John Byrne
    Jerry Ordway

  7. #67
    Mighty Member Johnny Thunders!'s Avatar
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    Superman really does have a ton of great artists. I am reading 80 Years of Superman The Deluxe Edition and every era is awesome. Kirby as caveman face totally works. Kirby hits on a primordial level while also referencing the cosmic. It just looks so jarring to see that Barbie/Ken Superman face on Kirby's Proto Frank Miller gesture sketches. I think theres a Jimmy Olsen black and white trade with a Kirby Superman that kills. It looks like golden age Superman but he's still the Man of Tomorrow.

  8. #68
    Astonishing Member Electricmastro's Avatar
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    Other favorites:

    Gene Colan (1982):



    Alex Toth (1983):



    Curt Swan (1985):


  9. #69
    Astonishing Member Electricmastro's Avatar
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    Klaus Janson (1985):



    Trevor Von Eeden (1985):



    Bernie Wrightson (1988):


  10. #70
    Astonishing Member Electricmastro's Avatar
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    Jerry Ordway (1988):



    Steve Rude (1990):



    José Ladrönn (1999):


  11. #71
    Mighty Member Johnny Thunders!'s Avatar
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    Wow, what a gallery of artists. Holy Cow! How many terrifying apocalyptic Superman stories are there? I thought I knew a few just from the late 60's and 80's, but these are all beauties. Superman is underrated as a classic Sci-Fi character.

  12. #72
    Fantastic Member Gaius's Avatar
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    While I prefer Swan, there is something "rough and tumble" I like about Kirby's Superman.

  13. #73
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Electricmastro View Post
    I think that Kirby’s unused drawings of Superman’s face intended for Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #143 (November, 1971) are what some people would probably describe as being a “caveman face,” and somehow, I can understand why they would say that:
    Well, isn't that sort his m.o? He always gives characters he draws someparts of himself.The eyebrows are always something that kirby leaves behind and something to look forward to.

    Which reminds me what happened to dan turpin?
    Also, who did this?
    It says, rude, evenier and reinhold.
    This looks pretty kirby-esque.
    Last edited by manwhohaseverything; 03-27-2020 at 11:19 PM.

  14. #74
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    That was Steve Rude. He's done a number of Superman stories over the years, World's Finest and Hulk vs Superman being the biggest.

    We never really got Kirby on the actual character but the list of artists with strong Kirby influences on Superman is impressive: Rude, Simonson, Giffen, Frenz, and even Ladronn there.

    Kane though was really the one to bring that energy. He drew great faces and regular things, his layouts were generally plain compared to JLGL and even Swan, but every time his Superman showed up it was a party. He really understood the superheroic figure and particularly sold what Wolfman was going for well in their stories. The Ultimate Man and Brainiac specials are some of my favorite comics, too, and he wrote the first one.






    He's hardly even cutting loose in these scenes. It's not even the Cthulhu or Savage. Obviously any character he draws is going to look good but this thread makes me think of the artists who have Superman standing among their best examples in work.
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  15. #75
    Astonishing Member Electricmastro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    Well, isn't that sort his m.o?
    An mo which may have not been one of the better/more popular approaches for Superman.

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