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Author Topic: Comics legend Irv Novik dies  (Read 4814 times)
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Super Monkey
League of Supermen
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« on: October 17, 2004, 05:45:36 PM »

Comics legend Irv Novik died this morning following a long illness. He was 88 years old.

Novick began his career in comics in 1939 at MLJ (now Archie), drawing many of the company’s superhero characters. Novick’s art graced the debut of Pep Comics #1, which also served as the first appearance of The Shield. Years after, Novick moved to DC thanks to Robert Kanigher, and illustrated several of the publisher’s war comics.


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Lee Semmens
Last Son of Krypton
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« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2004, 11:34:14 AM »

From just about when I first started reading DC comics (about 30 years ago), I have always regarded Irv Novick as the most underrated comic book artist of all time.

I love all his DC work at least, from Silent Knight to Lois Lane to Batman to the Flash.

To my way of thinking, he is the quintessential Batman artist, barring only Neal Adams.

I also think he is/was a far superior artist than many more highly fancied names.

Rest in peace, Irv, from a fan who has had many hours of enjoyment from your work
Defender of Kandor
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Semper Vigilans

« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2004, 01:39:05 AM »

I agree Irv Novick was terrifically talented and one of those artists who gave the DC books of my youth a certain touch of class that Marvel never matched.  I think the 70s-era bullpen of Novick, Neal Adams, Nick Cardy, Curt Swan and Dick Giordano, just to name a few, went a long way to establishing the DC pantheon's enduring rep as the more regal, Olympian stable of characters as compared to Marvel's more down-to-Earth, working class superheroes.  And yes, that's a good thing.

Irv's Batman was graceful and athletic always, spooky when he needed to be and above all, human.  A lot of artists these days take the anatomy much further and accent the spookiness heavily, but when Irv drew him you never forgot he was a flesh-and-blood human being underneath that outfit, and that's something that's mostly lost today.  It also happened to be a big part of the character's appeal to me.

I came along too late for Infantino's Flash, so for me Irv was "the man" on that book, too.  One of my earliest comics was a Novick-drawn showdown between Barry, Heat Wave and Captain Cold, two villains I still like in spite of their lame-ness, primarily because Irv made them look so cool.

I never thought Irv melded as well with Superman, really.  Not sure why, except that those slender arms and legs that looked so natural on a runner like Barry or a playboy athlete like Bruce just seemed awkward and gangly on a Man of Steel, especially in flying scenes.  I did enjoy some of his "Lois Lane" issues with whatever inker he had then, as compared to his later "DC Comics Presents" tales with the likes of Frank McLaughlin inking.

It's a testament to Novick's skills that he worked so incredibly long despite the fickle, changing tastes of fans.  On the other hand, his relatively anonymity compared to flash-in-the-pan "superstar" artists was unfortunately typical of a lot of great, underappreciated artists over the years.

Thanks for the pretty pictures, Irv.  We miss you already.

This looks like a job for...
Spaceman Spiff
Superman Family
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« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2004, 03:28:18 AM »

The very first comic I bought, way back in the summer of 1973, was Flash #223. I was only nine, and I didn't pay any attention to the names of the writers and artists at the time. But I did notice that the art was fantastic. The action leapt out at me from every page. The incredible speed of the Flash was magnificently captured in every frame. The artist was, of course, Irv Novick.

Even thirty years later, Mr. Novick's rendition of the Flash still impresses me. In fact, I consider Irv Novick to be the Flash artist just as I consider Curt Swan to be the Superman artist. And Mr. Novick did a great job on the Batman, too!

Thanks for the many enjoyable comics, Mr. Novick.
Superman Squad
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« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2004, 07:35:08 PM »

One of DC's greats. I have the same fondness and admiration for Irv's work that you all share. His art features heavily in my comic book collection. As with you, Nightwing, Irv was the Flash artist I grew up with. I liked very much the way he drew Green Lantern as well when Flash and GL had their terrific team-ups. I don't know his work on Superman (maybe I have a small number of examples somewhere; not sure), but he also was up to the job when it came to Batman. We all know how good his caped crusader was. Irv's work holds up today and is just as enjoyable as when I read the comics as a wide-eyed kid.

In some ways I don't know if saying he was underappreciated is right... I haven't been bothered with American comics for many years because the hype over the work and the creators has got to a level that inevitably leads to disappointment. Like with the films coming out of Hollywood, the whole focus of the exercise seems to be the marketing.... The marketing people put everything into getting the customer to buy the product (a comic or a movie ticket), and that is really the achievement they're shooting for. The actual comic or movie is more often than not garbage, ie. the customer's experience of the actual art is secondary and of not much importance.

I agree the point of it all from a business standpoint is to sell and make money, but if that is the sole aim, or the only goal of the artists, it all comes out a little hollow. You can't build a solid reputation through marketing alone, because eventually you'll be found out, and when you look back on your body of work, you'll be just as disappointed as the customers. No matter how much fanfare you attach to something, or how many times you tell the masses how wonderful it is, they still have to eat the pudding.

So maybe Irv didn't have the big, hollow, hype machine backing him, and maybe he didn't get chased down the street by rabid fans... but his work has a more enduring appeal, a solid appeal, and definitely dignity. His work will last. My kids will enjoy it, and so will their kids (if they like comics). I won't need to try to sell it to them or hype it. You just read a comic as a kid and think, "Wow, it's that good artist!"

Underappreciated? Nope.
Klar Ken T5477
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Metropolis Prime, NYC, NY USA

« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2005, 12:53:37 AM »

Well put, guys.
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