Superman Through the Ages! Forum

Superman Comic Books! => Superman! => Topic started by: Super Monkey on November 26, 2006, 04:08:37 AM



Title: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: Super Monkey on November 26, 2006, 04:08:37 AM
There were many, so lets show a little love to the rest of the gang!

Kurt Schaffenberger is one of my personal favorites, he was a former Captain Marvel artist and created the look for the Silver Age Lois Lane, his version of Lois Lane was use as the model for all other artists during this time.

I am using his artwork as my Avatar.


(http://www.reuben.org/ncs/members/memorium/schaffenberger.jpg)








Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: davidelliott on November 26, 2006, 04:23:17 AM
Amen to Kurt Schaffenberger... his artwork is like 7-Up.. crisp and clean!  Great facial expressions and a little cartoony withour going overboard!

Jose Luis Garcia Lopez is also up there.. his Superman LOOKS 29, wheras Curt Swan's Superman always looked around 40.

Oh, Nick Cardy's covers get an honorable mention, too... very classic!


Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: nightwing on November 27, 2006, 10:49:45 AM
I've had tributes up on my site for years now.  My faves are probably...

Nick Cardy:
http://nightwing.supermanfan.net/artists/sm-nickcardy.htm
 (http://nightwing.supermanfan.net/artists/sm-nickcardy.htm)

Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez:
http://nightwing.supermanfan.net/artists/sm-garcialopez.htm (http://nightwing.supermanfan.net/artists/sm-garcialopez.htm)



Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: Permanus on November 27, 2006, 12:45:10 PM
Garcia-Lopez certainly drew a very dynamic Superman, and his covers were usually arresting; more importantly, he also drew a very sexy Lois Lane, as evidenced by a Superman/Adam Strange team-up he illustrated once. (Was it an issue of DCCP? Not sure now.) I always thought of Nick Cardy as more of a cowboy artist, though - and there's no shame in that!

Schaffenberger is a favourite because he drew a rather homey, comfortable Superman, ideal for the backup stories we were recently discussing.

It's a bit perplexing that it's so hard to think of good Superman artists when so many have had a go at him; the 400th issue of Superman rather showcased how few artists could really do him. I have to admit a certain fondness the Al Williamson story in that issue, but to be honest, that's because his version of Superman looked a lot like Swan's; I also like Miller's depiction (yeah, I know) in DKR. One of my favourite pictures of Superman was drawn by Gene Colan, in Jemm, Son of Saturn.


Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: nightwing on November 27, 2006, 01:27:17 PM
Quote
more importantly, he also drew a very sexy Lois Lane, as evidenced by a Superman/Adam Strange team-up he illustrated once.

Anyone who could make Lois look sexy back in those days when she wore a Moe Howard haircut is by definition a master artist.  Scratch that, a magician.

But while Supes wasted his time on Lois, I'd have been moving in on Dr Klyburn.  Rowrrr!

Some of my favorite art jobs on Superman were done by guys who just worked on the books once or twice, so I don't know if they belong on this list or not, but here goes:

- Joe Kubert (a chapter in JLA #200 and a great team-up with the Demon in DCCP. Plus that great Vietnam war cover!)

- George Perez (for the OMAC team-up in DCCP, a cameo in Teen Titans and various issues of JLA)

- Keith Giffen and Wally Wood on Earth-2 Superman (All-Star Comics)

- John Buscema on "Superman and Spider-Man" (the 2nd crossover tabloid)

Jim Starlin's version also had an odd appeal to me.  The guys who bugged me were the ones who could never draw the "S" worth spit:  Jim Mooney, Dick Dillin and Mike Sekowsky (though his JLA-model Superman had its appeal).

Oh, and you know what?  Dick Sprang was a fair hand at Superman, too.


Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: MatterEaterLad on November 28, 2006, 12:00:29 AM
Sprang did do a good job...

http://www.supermanartists.comics.org/superart/supermanart.htm


Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: lastkryptonianhere on November 28, 2006, 02:07:11 AM
George Perez did an issue of DC Comics Presents which featured Superman and OMAC and it was one of the best issues of that title ever and one of my favorite Superman stories ever - the story was a simple time traveler from future out to kill someone from the past (this was before the Terminator movie if I am right) but the art was simply spectacular.


Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: Aldous on November 28, 2006, 02:59:36 AM
davidelliott:
Quote
Oh, Nick Cardy's covers get an honorable mention, too... very classic!

An "honorable mention" is probably right; although, I will always think of Nick Cardy as a Superman artist, even though I don't have any Superman comics drawn by him. He was and is my favourite cover artist, and he is the best cover artist in the history of super-hero comics. I loved his work decades before I ever knew his name.

But to get back on topic, a couple of favourite Superman artists of mine are Leo Nowak (Novak) on Superman, and John Sikela on Superboy in particular (and Superman as well). It's hard to explain why I love their work. Partly it's because of the amazing energy they present to us on the comics page. I don't own many works by these two artists, but those I have are treasured.





Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: nightwing on November 28, 2006, 09:39:49 AM
Quote
I will always think of Nick Cardy as a Superman artist, even though I don't have any Superman comics drawn by him.

Don't worry, nobody else does either.  Nick never drew any Superman stories, just covers.

But oh, what covers!

If we're going all the way back to the Golden Age (and why not?), then I have to put in a vote for Jack Burnley, one of the greatest to ever work on Superman or Batman.

Or, for that matter, both at once...

(http://www.comics.org/graphics/covers/216/400/216_4_007.jpg)


Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: JulianPerez on November 28, 2006, 02:28:37 PM
I absolutely love Ross Andru's take on the character, but only post-1978 or so when he returned from his stint on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. When Ross Andru returned to DC, it was absolutely nothing compared to what he was before: he combined his polish with Marvel and Kirby-style action and dynamism. Ross Andru's Superman was handsome and powerful and magnificent to watch, and his women always wore the finest fashoins. Ross Andru's finest work had to have been on those Superman/Spider-Man team-up digests.

Everybody's already shown some love for the incredible Nick Cardy, but my favorite Superboy and the Legion cover artist has to be the incomparable Neal Adams. Compare his photorealistic covers to the Swan art inside, which was wonderful but cartoony, and it was a really shocking turn of events.


Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: Great Rao on November 28, 2006, 07:09:37 PM
I agree with all of the names mentioned so far - especially Kurt Schaffenberger, Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, and George Perez.

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned:

Joe Shuster - the original, the definitive, and still the best.  Just as Siegel understood mythic story in his gut, Shuster  created incredible images without even thinking.
Neal Adams - did some great covers.
Steranko - I liked what I saw in Superman #400.

Not strictly pre-Crisis but worthy of inclusion:
Steve Rude - who should retroactively be awarded pre-Crisis status.
Bogdanove - I like the energy and the Shuster influence.  Although I disagreed with the stories and the characterization during the 90s, I think Bog's love for the character managed to come through in spite of all that and I enjoyed seeing it.


Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: Super Monkey on November 28, 2006, 09:56:46 PM
Going back to Kurt, his artwork looks really great in those Showcase book, it is so clean and perfect that it really stands out in B&W. Did you know that he inked Curt Swan's artwork during the 1970's? And of course his final super book was the New Adventures of Superboy in the 1980's, he also drew great covers, here are some:


http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=18246&zoom=4

http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=36075&zoom=4

http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=17625&zoom=4





Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: TELLE on November 29, 2006, 12:32:53 AM
Reiterating a few things discussed in a previous thread (http://superman.nu/smf/index.php?topic=1630.0):

When I think of the reasons I like the classic Superman, many of them have to do with the aesthetic aspects --the "look" of Superman comics.  So, my favourite artists are those who exemplofy some aspect of the house style at DC.  A mix of the cartoony and the professional advertising art/adventure comic strip/illustrator styles.  Besides the classic linework of Curt Swan and the extremely loveable and clunkily iconic Boring, the other artists from the same time period that I love include Jim Mooney, George Papp, Dick Sprang, Shaffenberger, Shuster and the Shuster studio, etc, etc.

My list would not include anyone who came to the comics after 1970, since dynamic, innovative layouts in the Neal Adams tradition (and I would put George Perez in that category, as well as Garcia Lopez) are really not part of that more-or-less static artisitic tradition --although I do have a soft spot for Neal Adams' Ali book.  Which is not to say the older artists were not innovative or dynamic.  They were, only in a different way.  By the same token, although the dynamic innovator supreme, Jack Kirby, worked on Superman-related stories in the 1970s, he qualifies as neither fish nor fowl in this context.  A mainstay of the Golden and Silver Age, he defined the look of comics for several publishers (but not for Superman).  In the Bronze Age (which he can be credited with starting) his work was still unlike any others --definitely not part of any tradition.

Incidentally, does anyone have a scan of that Boy Commandos cover featuring a Superman parody from 1947 --3 years before Mad?  Kirby drew it.



Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: Super Monkey on November 29, 2006, 01:59:17 AM
There are also a few other artists who rarely ever get any credit at all, yet seem to have drawn many of Superman's best stories! The reason is because they use the house style, so they are not look at as being as original as the others mention here, yet they are rock solid.

The 1st one that come stop mind is Al Plastino. Take a few minutes and just think of all the classic stories he drew. Seriously, make a list, and you will be amaze to find that some of the most important stories were drawn not bu Curt or Wayne, but good old Al! 1st ever Kryptonite story and 1st time Superman finds out he is from Krypton, Al drew it. 1st Supergirl story, Al drew it and co created her. 1st Legion story, that's right good old Al! 1st time Superman fights evil kryptonians, that's right Al! 1st brainiac story and co-created him at that. Same with Metallo! And the list goes on and on and on, so please lets give him more credit and show him some love. BTW, he about 85 and still very much alive.






Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: Aldous on November 29, 2006, 03:05:08 AM
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned:

Well, no one said we had to come up with a comprehensive list.  ;) I suppose a selection of favourites will always snub some very good creators. Whichever old comic I reach for often has more to do with my mood than the intrinsic merits of the artist, and when I read the title of this thread I straight away thought of Nowak & Sikela. Go figure.

Of course any list of the greats should include Al Plastino and Joe Shuster; no debate there.


Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: Sword of Superman on November 29, 2006, 04:02:18 AM
My vote are for Gil Kane an Garcia-Lopez,their dynamic Superman is second to none!


Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: dto on November 29, 2006, 06:24:32 AM

The 1st one that come stop mind is Al Plastino. Take a few minutes and just think of all the classic stories he drew. Seriously, make a list, and you will be amaze to find that some of the most important stories were drawn not bu Curt or Wayne, but good old Al! 1st ever Kryptonite story and 1st time Superman finds out he is from Krypton, Al drew it. 1st Supergirl story, Al drew it and co created her. 1st Legion story, that's right good old Al! 1st time Superman fights evil kryptonians, that's right Al! 1st brainiac story and co-created him at that. Same with Metallo! And the list goes on and on and on, so please lets give him more credit and show him some love. BTW, he about 85 and still very much alive.


Even though many fans consider Jim Mooney THE Silver Age Supergirl artist, I somewhat prefer Al Plastino's original Kara Zor-El as seen in Action Comics #252.  (Seen at http://superman.nu/supergirl/introducing/ , of course.)   ;)
Mooney's Supergirl was a bit too "dewy-eyed" for my tastes, even when she WASN'T going *choke*, *sob*.   ;)

Compare these two nearly identical retellings of Kara's origins, particularly their depictions of Supergirl:


Al Plastino --

http://superman.nu/supergirl/introducing/?page=2 (I particularly love Kara's portrait in the last panel.)

http://superman.nu/supergirl/introducing/?page=3

http://superman.nu/supergirl/introducing/?page=4



Jim Mooney

http://superman.nu/tales3/greatest/?page=58 (Compare Linda's face in panel 4 to Plastino's close-up.)

http://superman.nu/tales3/greatest/?page=59

http://superman.nu/tales3/greatest/?page=60


Comparing their faces, Mooney's Kara has softer features and larger eyes for a more "innocent" and "sentimental" look.  His Supergirl actually appears slightly younger than 16 years old in this story.  Plastino's sharper cheekbones and general demeanor seem appropriate for an older teen ready to take on the role of Supergirl -- see the very last panel of http://superman.nu/supergirl/introducing/?page=8 and you can detect Kara's general self-confidence despite her inner qurestions.  And in the previous Plastino close-up, you can easily see her winning charm in Kara's eyes and smile. 

It's a pity that Al Plastino didn't draw more Supergirl adventures, but at least he was the one who started Kara's long journey.  And for that, I'm very grateful.


Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: nightwing on November 29, 2006, 10:01:39 AM
JulianPerez writes:

Quote
I absolutely love Ross Andru's take on the character, but only post-1978 or so when he returned from his stint on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. When Ross Andru returned to DC, it was absolutely nothing compared to what he was before: he combined his polish with Marvel and Kirby-style action and dynamism. Ross Andru's Superman was handsome and powerful and magnificent to watch, and his women always wore the finest fashoins. Ross Andru's finest work had to have been on those Superman/Spider-Man team-up digests.

Well Julian we long ago agreed to disagree on Andru's version of Superman, but you should know that some facts have come to light in recent years regarding "Superman vs. Spider-Man."  Namely, the fact that Neal Adams went in and re-drew a great deal of Andru's pencils on that book.  This was revealed by Dick Giordano (who inked the book) a couple years ago and confirmed again in the new "Krypton Companion."

Giordano did say he regretted letting this "secret" slip, as it implies Andru was somehow sub-par.  And he added that Neal did his best to draw "Andru style," with that quirky anatomy and bizarre foreshortening Ross was known for, but in the end much of it is Neal's work.

It's also hinted that another artist (Romita? I forget) tweaked some of the Spidey images.



Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: Aldous on November 30, 2006, 12:57:19 AM
Neal Adams has some "bizarre foreshortening" of his own.

I feel I must put in a good word for Ross as some of my favourite comics are drawn by him. When I was a kid I loved him on "Amazing Spider-Man" when it was being written by the great Len Wein. Sometimes Ross's art was perfect for a certain type of comic, and that's the most any reader can ask for.


Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: Lee Semmens on November 30, 2006, 08:20:47 AM

If we're going all the way back to the Golden Age (and why not?), then I have to put in a vote for Jack Burnley, one of the greatest to ever work on Superman or Batman.

Jack Burnley is my favorite Golden Age Superman (and Batman - along with Dick Sprang) artist. He and Al Plastino are apparently the only two living Golden Age Superman artists.

Relatively recently, on another message board a poster mentioned that he thought that Burnley's work very much reminded him of my all time favorite Superman artist, Curt Swan, and, on thinking about it, I agree with him!

The quirky Wayne Boring is also another one of my favorites.


Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: JulianPerez on December 01, 2006, 12:49:17 PM
Quote from: nightwing
Well Julian we long ago agreed to disagree on Andru's version of Superman, but you should know that some facts have come to light in recent years regarding "Superman vs. Spider-Man."  Namely, the fact that Neal Adams went in and re-drew a great deal of Andru's pencils on that book.  This was revealed by Dick Giordano (who inked the book) a couple years ago and confirmed again in the new "Krypton Companion."

Giordano did say he regretted letting this "secret" slip, as it implies Andru was somehow sub-par.  And he added that Neal did his best to draw "Andru style," with that quirky anatomy and bizarre foreshortening Ross was known for, but in the end much of it is Neal's work.

Interesting. I don't deny this story is true, however...it's a stretch to interpret this as Andru being an uninspired artist with weird anatomy that is made readable by Adams and others touching him up.

Also I can't get out of my head now the mental image of Adams and Romita pulling a "Shoemaker and the Elves" by jumping out of the closet when Andru leaves at night, and finishing his pages, all to the tune of Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies."

Quote from: Sword of Superman
My vote are for Gil Kane an Garcia-Lopez,their dynamic Superman is second to none!

I'm with you on the incredible Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, and I don't think enough people mention how great he was at capturing expressions and faces, and what a wonderful, playful sort of sense of humor he had.

Kane on the other hand...Gil Kane is one of the greatest adventure artists that ever lived, but when he tried to write Superman as well as draw, the result was embarassing. A whole while back, I called Gil Kane's 1983 Superman Special "the worst Pre-Crisis Superman story ever." And as inevitably happens to artists that write their own stuff (Kirby comes to mind here) when he plotted his own comic, Kane's art got lazier and far less detailed and busy.


Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: Super Monkey on December 01, 2006, 07:02:48 PM
And as inevitably happens to artists that write their own stuff (Kirby comes to mind here) when he plotted his own comic, Kane's art got lazier and far less detailed and busy.

Actually Jack Kirby plotted most of his old marvel comics. Jack just wasn't very good with words, but his ideas however were some of the greatest ever, he just couldn't write dialogue to save his life. However, that said, in some ways his dialogue was so over the top and weird that it was actually fun and cool, I mean let's face it he is fun to quote :)

 


Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: Permanus on December 02, 2006, 10:39:58 AM
I've tried to like it, honestly I have, but frankly, I find Kane's art deadly boring.


Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: Sword of Superman on December 03, 2006, 09:36:50 AM


Quote from: Sword of Superman
My vote are for Gil Kane an Garcia-Lopez,their dynamic Superman is second to none!

I'm with you on the incredible Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, and I don't think enough people mention how great he was at capturing expressions and faces, and what a wonderful, playful sort of sense of humor he had.

Kane on the other hand...Gil Kane is one of the greatest adventure artists that ever lived, but when he tried to write Superman as well as draw, the result was embarassing. A whole while back, I called Gil Kane's 1983 Superman Special "the worst Pre-Crisis Superman story ever." And as inevitably happens to artists that write their own stuff (Kirby comes to mind here) when he plotted his own comic, Kane's art got lazier and far less detailed and busy.
Julian i forgot to mention the Neal Adams Superman,another good interpretation,i agree with you about the story of Superman special by Kane,but i still remain of my opinion about is versione of the Man of Steel,maybe is not the best out there,but is still one of my favorit.


Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: nightwing on December 05, 2006, 12:58:48 PM
JulianPerez writes:

Quote
Interesting. I don't deny this story is true, however...it's a stretch to interpret this as Andru being an uninspired artist with weird anatomy that is made readable by Adams and others touching him up.

I hadn't meant to imply that, exactly.  I was just saying that if "Superman vs Spider-Man" is your favorite Andru book, you may want to pick a new favorite.

From my reading of Giordano's comments, it's not totally clear why the stuff was redrawn, but the implication is that the higher-ups at both companies ordered the changes.  If that seems to insult the late Mr Andru's talents, keep in mind that DC, at least, had a long history by 1976 of redrawing Superman images to fit a company-approved look, most (in)famously with those Anderson and Plastino heads on Kirby's figures, but he wasn't alone.  I read somewhere that even Curt Swan (!) had his Lois Lane heads sometimes re-drawn by Kurt Schaffenberger, whose version was considered more "on model."

And as far as anatomy, etc, Giordano stressed that Adams was trying to make the stuff look as Adru-like as possible.  Which is weird, really.  It's almost as if they wanted to re-do the art in such a way that the readers, and even Andru himself, wouldn't know the difference.  So why bother???

I don't know that I'd call Andru "uninspired," but for my money he did have a certain look, as did Gil Kane, George Tuska and a few others, that I grew tired of.  Those guys had certain tricks, facial types and favorite poses and once I'd seen them about 1000 times, I was ready to move on.

SuperMonkey writes:

Quote
Actually Jack Kirby plotted most of his old marvel comics. Jack just wasn't very good with words, but his ideas however were some of the greatest ever, he just couldn't write dialogue to save his life.

I haven't gotten to the Kirby-penned tales in the "Challengers of the Unknown" Showcase volume yet, but it'll be interesting to see if he was better at it in the 50s than the 70s.  (Til then, I'm enjoying the heck out of Dave Wood's writing.  Who IS this guy?  Didn't he do some of the THUNDER books for Tower?  If so, the Challs beat that stuff all hollow).



Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: Genis Vell on December 24, 2006, 09:27:43 AM
JosŤ Luis Garcia Lopez, Neal Adams and John Sykela.


Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: jamespup on December 24, 2006, 09:53:36 AM
Jack Burnley

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Burnley

A fine example of his work appears in the DC Christmas TPB


Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: lastkryptonianhere on July 23, 2015, 07:13:06 PM
Bump


Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: Nykor on August 05, 2015, 09:39:58 AM
An artist that gets little respect for his penciling on the Legion, but was terrific inking Curt Swan, was John Forte. I believe Kurt Schaffenberger, in a biography of Swan, opined that Forte was the best Swan inker of all.


Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: Nykor on June 13, 2018, 10:37:58 AM
I just dug my "Curt Swan: A Life in Comics" paperback out, and, on page 151, Schaffenberger is described as preferring Forte's inks on Swan to those of George Klein; not quite the same thing, but high praise indeed.
And now, for no discernible reason, I will end this post with an afro   O0


Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: Adekis on September 08, 2018, 03:54:18 AM
Obviously Joe Shuster is a classic. Big fan of Gil Kane and Neal Adams, and of course Jack Kirby is an all time great. I definitely dislike that so much of his Superman work was altered by others to preserve brand uniformity! And Great Rao mentioned (over a decade ago, but still rightly) that Bogdanove was great and should get an honorable mention despite not being pre-Crisis.

I want to talk about an artist who hadn't been brought up before, and perhaps the reason I like him goes a bit against the overall theme of the site but screw it. Mike Grell's Superboy is probably my favorite visual take on the Man of Steel, bar none. The reason? Despite the name "Superboy" he's visibly a young man, full of vigor and passion. I think "young Superman" as a concept doesn't get enough traction after the early Golden Age (when he was often described as a young man), as Superman is usually drawn to look well into his 30s. I like the Golden Age idea of a passionate young man driven to fight injustice, and for my money, Grell manages to update that concept visually for the 70s, even though his Kal-El wasn't native to that decade and barely spent any time away from the future in his stories! Oh, and he didn't have to enact any stupid changes to the costume to make him look contemporary either.


Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: nightwing on September 12, 2018, 11:41:04 AM
Quote
Oh, and he didn't have to enact any stupid changes to the costume to make him look contemporary either.

Just as well, since a "costume change" in this period of LSH history would likely have put him in speedos and a fishnet tank top.  :D

I loved Grell's Legion (and Green Lantern) as a lad, but I soon developed an aversion to his bizarre take on human anatomy and all those weird, stiff poses that by logic should have ended with people falling over.  By the time he got to "Warlord" I was totally over him, though I loved his writing on the eventual Green Arrow solo book.

Grell's Superboy, like the rest of his Legion, did indeed seem to have crossed that line from teen to adult, but to me, he was growing into someone different from the adult Superman appearing elsewhere.  His bone structure, his jawline, his frame were difficult to reconcile with what we knew from Superman, Action and World's Finest.  I was tempted to view the LSH character as "alternate Universe Superman" instead of "Superman when he was a boy."

All that said, if we're allowed to include SuperBOY artists here, I really liked Dave Cockrum's take on the character in LSH.  And though it seemed bland to me as a kid, I've developed a real fondness for George Papp's version, as well.


Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: Adekis on September 17, 2018, 11:36:56 AM
Quote
Oh, and he didn't have to enact any stupid changes to the costume to make him look contemporary either.

Just as well, since a "costume change" in this period of LSH history would likely have put him in speedos and a fishnet tank top.  :D
Haha, no doubt! Lightning Lad's costume looks pretty amazing during this period really, but I can never figure out what the hell they were thinking for Cosmic Boy and Saturn Girl!

I don't mind Grell's otherwordly and unrealistic poses any more than I mind Kirby's giant proportions - huge heads with huge teeth, giant hands on beefy arms, etc. It's just part of the stylization.

Quote
Grell's Superboy, like the rest of his Legion, did indeed seem to have crossed that line from teen to adult, but to me, he was growing into someone different from the adult Superman appearing elsewhere.  His bone structure, his jawline, his frame were difficult to reconcile with what we knew from Superman, Action and World's Finest.  I was tempted to view the LSH character as "alternate Universe Superman" instead of "Superman when he was a boy."
I don't know about the art, but I definitely started feeling that way about the character to a certain extent. The Legionnaires were inspired by Superboy, but occasionally don't seem to know Superman exists, that kind of thing. The writers developed Superboy in the Legion a way not entirely different from how Dick Grayson evolved in the New Teen Titans, but since Kal already had a future self ready to go, it's definitely a little weirder, less linear.

You know, I said that Superboy's sideburns don't quite work given that he's not actually from the '70s, but like... maybe he is.

Anyway, Byrne made reading Superboy as a totally different character much more cromulent - but breaking a whole lot of the Superman Mythos in the process. Maybe it's best not to read too much into that stuff, haha!  ;D


Title: Re: Favorite Pre-crisis Superman Artists besides Curt Swan and Wayne Boring
Post by: nightwing on September 21, 2018, 08:58:37 AM
You don't have to be a telepath from Titan to know what they were thinking with Saturn Girl.  >:D  But Cosmic Boy was weird.  I confess I went my entire youth without noticing there was no collar to his costume, and it was the same color as his skin.  I just recently realized he went bare-chested aside from those two black areas around either side of his rib cage.  I have no idea how they would have stayed up.  Maybe they were partly made of metal and he held them up with his superpower.

Garth did win the "best male costume" in the Bronze Age Legion, which is only fair considering how uninspired his original togs seemed.  I also liked the blue and green iteration of Element Lad's outfit, though it may have been a little over-detailed.  Imra's outfit held obvious appeal to us young lads, but it doesn't seem very practical to go into battle in a bikini.  The one that always brought the story to a screeching halt while I stared goggle-eyed was Dawnstar.   :o

As far as the sideburns go, I suppose there's always a balance between temporal logic and commercial appeal.  Would kids of the 70s have wanted to read about a kid with a 50's wardrobe and haircut?  Anyway, we were used to these anachronisms as TV watchers:  60s-era TV heroes used hair tonic whether their adventures were set in the Old West or the 23rd Century.  The Happy Days gang started with authentic looks but soon sported Disco-era hairdos, wide lapels and bell-bottoms in the "50s".  Heck, pioneer family patriarch Pa Ingalls had a perm!  O0

Anyway, Grell only ever drew one hairdo for male characters, and that included sideburns.  When Ollie shaved his goatee over in GL/GA, we were totally dependent on the colorist to differentiate him from Hal.  If Ollie ever met Travis Morgan in a black-and-white Showcase volume, I'd be completely lost.