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Author Topic: Dick Sprang  (Read 8039 times)
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davidelliott
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« on: September 23, 2006, 07:40:30 AM »

Sprang has got to be my all time favorite Bat-artist...

I am doing a Batman and Robin painting with a '50's flavor and of course am trying to do it in the Sprang-style.  I've been studying his art and he had such a dynamic style... it's like even when his people were standing still they were full of energy, just ready to GO into action.

Comparing him with Shelly's art (no slouch there), Moldoff was so static and stiff in comparison.
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2006, 03:28:14 PM »

His figures are a bit stylized but have a lot of personality...what I like most about Sprang stories are the backgrounds and objects, nice work on cars and planes and devices, and I liked his atmospheric takes with large moons and cloud formations and lots of details...
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« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2006, 04:12:38 PM »

Here are some great articles:

http://www.supermanartists.comics.org/batman/Sprang.htm

http://www.povonline.com/cols/COL293.htm
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« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2006, 11:29:26 PM »

I have a super sweet jumbo art print of "Secrets of the Batcave" by Sprang - there's so much goodness in there. Im still finding new treats!

As always I can never resist an opportunity to cry out "Ride Bat Hombre Ride!"

http://bat.mulu.nu/bat-hombre/
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nightwing
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« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2006, 03:26:57 AM »

Yes, that "Secrets of the Batcave" print is pretty much the definition of "sweet."  So glad Sprang got to do stuff like this in his final years, and to realize just what a huge fan base he had out there.

As for Moldoff, I think he just took the job of "Bob Kane's ghost" a lot more literally than Sprang did.  If you look at Shelley's work on "Hawkman," it's a lot more fluid and dynamic (but then, he was cribbing from Alex Raymond, the Master).  Before his health took a recent downturn, Moldoff was doing commissions for fans and the Hawkman and JSA work I saw him do were great stuff (in fact I have a '99 Moldoff Hawkman on my wall right now) while the Batman stuff had that same stiff, anatomically weird "Kane-ness" to them.  I think he's just adept at multiple styles and (sadly I must say) stuck with the Kane approach for Batman.
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« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2006, 07:29:46 AM »

A truly genius artist.  Sprang's is also one of only a handful (pun intended) of great "adult" cartoonist names.
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davidelliott
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« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2006, 08:00:35 AM »

I added a picture into my profile... it is a part of the painting I did in my best "Sprang-style"
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« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2006, 07:58:55 PM »

Nice image, you need to show us the full painting when it's done.

In my book, Sprang is to Batman what Swan is to Superman.  In both cases, looking at their work just plain makes me feel good.  I know that's not a very cerebral analysis of their merits as artists, but sometimes it's best not to over-analyze things.  Sprang just draws Batman the way I want him to look, Swan the way I want Superman.  And even the other people and things in the stories are pretty to look at.  Whenever one of those guys is involved, I find myself lingering longer on each panel and just generally getting a lot more out of every story.

As an example, I was looking at some of the stories in the "Batman in the 50s" TPB and zipped right through the stories until I got to one Sprang drew.  Batman and Robin are going through their crime files, recreating more or less a scene from an earlier story in the same book, but somehow it's just so much more interesting to look at.  All the lines are so fluid and there's all these pleasing curves to everything, and a great use of blacks.  It's not even a fight scene or anything, just some lounging around the Batcave and I must have stared at the panels for a good five minutes.

Similarly, last night I read the story in the Jimmy Olsen Showcase volume where Jimmy takes a "lie serum."  In the splash panel, Superman is flying out the window and Curt Swan, God bless him, went to the trouble of having him reach up with one hand to lift the venetian blinds as he exits.  And it looked wonderful.  I don't know if it's the poses and details themselves that interest me so much, or simply the fact that artists like Sprang and Swan went to the trouble to think each picture through and add these wondeful little touches.  Whatever the case, I think it's the mark of a true master artist, and much more impressive than a thousand modern pin-up pages by today's overpaid "superstar" artists.
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