Friday, September 20, 2013

the magnificent severin

Comparing the great Jack Kirby to the magnificent John Severin is like comparing apples to oranges.   Both were incredible artist with their own individually incredible style of illustration.  My introduction to them wasn't through superhero comics, but rather through an unusual war comic 'Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos' that first came out fifty years ago.  Sgt Fury was the concept of Jack Kirby and Stan Lee.  John Severin came in later and took on the inking of the war mag with 'Darling' Dick Ayers as the penciler.

Kirby and Lee had defined the Fury characters.  No one after Kriby and Lee changed the characters, but defined them.  John Severin later came along and gave those Kirby/Lee characters more definition ~ added realism. Some folks didn't like it and I won't argue, because the original Howling Commandos was a WWII war comic on steroids - with a lot of fun comic book exaggeration.  I can't help but be drawn to Severin's way, making each little panel a magnificent work of art.   I appreciate both Kirby's and Severin's talents.  It was Severin's version of Nick Fury that I started trying to mimic.  Still today I see Severin's influence in much of my ink work.  His sister Marie was just as good as John - the Hildebrandts of the comic book universe.

John Severin's work made me feel as if I were watching a movie, rather than reading a comic book.  I appreciate the details, the movement, the action of his inking.  I am no longer a child with a flair, I'm a seasoned artist with over 30 years of graphic design experience under my belt.  Still today I look at John Severin's work and marvel at it.

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