Wednesday, June 14, 2017

John Severin: Beyond EC Part Two

In 1947 John Severin joined the Charles William Harvey Studio, where he worked with Harvey Kurtzman and Will Elder. This was fortuitous because for the next few years, his work in comic books were strongly tied to these two individuals. In the early 50's, Kurtzman created Two Fisted Tales, Frontline Combat and MAD (the comic book) for the renowned EC Comics. All three titles had a strong Severin and Will Elder presence. In the early days of EC Will Elder inked John Severin's pencils. They were known as the Severin-Elder team (obviously). This collaboration actually began at Prize comics, where Elder was inking Severin on many Western, Crime and Romance stories. Their most well known title was Prize Comics Western, which starred the character American Eagle. American Eagle was the creation of writer Colin Dawkins and John Severin and ran from 1951 through 1956, where it was mostly drawn by Severin. Around 1953 or so, the team split up and Elder began drawing stories of his own, most notably the humor stories for MAD and Panic for EC, and Severin began inking his own work.

Below is a set of stories post Elder. I wanted to focus solely on Severin and his own inking. As I posted previously, Elder added a thick lush grittiness to his pencils, but Severin's own ink line is thinner and completely unique. It contains it's own brand of earthiness and grit. So much so, that when he inks other pencilers, his style shines through and almost swallows the other artist whole. 

Prize Comics Western #104, 1954

Prize Comics Western #108, 1954

Prize Comics Western #110, 1955

Prize Comics Western #111, 1955

Fargo Kid #3, 1958

Fargo Kid #5, 1958

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