Saturday, June 10, 2017

John Severin: Beyond EC Part One

I'm not certain if I can pinpoint exactly when I became aware of John Severin, but I can assure you it was in the pages of Cracked Magazine and Monsters Attacks in the mid 80's. Both were published by the same company, Cracked was, of course, the longest running MAD Magazine imitator, and Monsters Attack was influenced by the Warren horror magazines that had passed away a few years previous. I do know that his art hit me hard even in those pages. Later, in the early 90's, when I discovered EC Comics from the 1950's through reprints, I saw a new side to his art and could place him within the context of the history of comics better. He was a giant in the field, as giant as a cartoonist toiling in the slums of comic book alley could have been at the time (not very). His work at EC was initially inked by Will Elder (himself a giant), but soon began inking himself. As much as Elder's thick line is beautiful to look at, and works well on Severin's art, nothing can substitute the beautiful chiseled perfectly composed ink line from Severin's own hand. After EC was run out of business (another story for another time, but they persevered with MAD Magazine, so take heart), Severin worked for other companies as the 50's wore on, most notably Atlas (and a continued account at Prize Comics, more on that later). Below are a few war comics as well as his version of Ringo Kid, a comic that Joe Maneely drew early on but left after issue 5 (he still drew the covers, and returned later). Enjoy.

Marines in Battle #22 , 1958.

Battlefront  #32, 1955.

War Comics #26, 1954.

Ringo Kid #6, 1955.

Ringo Kid #9, 1955

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