Friday, October 25, 2019

The Artistry of John Severin

"I was kind of thrilled when John Severin inked me, because I liked his work for EC comics and he was one of my idols." - Herb Trimpe

A distinguished artist whose career spanned nearly sixty years, John Severin's work also spanned genres: whether it was horror, or comics, or satire, or westerns, or sword and sorcery, or war, his style added eye-catching detail and a sense of realism to the images he would depict. Most of the work I've seen from Severin came from his assignments as a finisher, rather than pencilling; I'd even go so far as to state that it wouldn't be surprising to discover how many of us are able to identify his inking at a glance. That said, he proved to be capable of handling the dual roles of penciller and inker in a good number of publications and stories, while all the while carving out a fruitful and varied career for himself--well-regarded by his peers and by the industry as a whole.

Severin passed away at 90 in early 2012 (followed 6½ years later by his sister, Marie, also a giant in the industry). As much for those of you who haven't had a great deal of exposure to his work as for those who have had that privilege and might wish to simply reminisce, following is a brief collection of panels which hopefully offer a fair sampling of his talent. (Though you'll find it fairly obvious just which body of work stands out for me the most!)


Kid said...

Much as I liked Vince Colletta's inks over Jack Kirby's pencils on Thor, I'd really have liked to see what John Severin would have done with them. I strongly suspect (with little fear of contradiction) that the results would've been magnificent.

Comicsfan said...

Kid, I agree completely!