Saturday, January 29, 2011

Steranko Redux!

Jim Steranko

Jim Steranko's influence on modern mainstream comic books is immense, and actually staggering when you consider the relatively tiny number of books he actually worked on. His stint on SHIELD is his most famous, but he also had short runs at Marvel on Captain America and X-Men. He dabbled in genre stories contributing both horror and romance stories. But that's about it, save for some exotically beautiful covers he did. Some of those are gorgeous.

I want to focus on a couple. Above is arguably his finest cover featuring the H.G.Wells creation "the Invisible Man" for Supernatural Thrillers #2. That in fact is argued at this site.

Dan Adkins

But here's that cover again, this time rendered by Dan Adkins, clearly cleaving closely to Steranko's original. The similarity is so close, that I assumed Steranko painted until recently.

Rafael Lopez Espi

Here's that cover again in a foreign edition where an unknown artist has once again "adapted" Steranko's original design. UPDATE: I was informed the artist of this work is a Spanish artist named Rafael Lopez Espi. Thanks for the info.

Jim Steranko

This cover for Supernatural Thrillers #1 is another beaut.

Gray Morrow

And here's another version of this Steranko classic by Gray Morrow.

As I said, Steranko's influence on comics is immense. He was able in a tiny number of outings to leave a lasting impression on the lucky fans who were able to sample his exquisite renderings.

I got to be one of those lucky ones.

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6 comments:

  1. Interesting to see those painted versions of Steranko's covers. I wonder if Steranko was offered the chance to redo them himself, or was he too busy/expensive by this point?

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  2. I wonder if price has ever been that much of a consideration with Steranko. I'm sure it comes into it at some point, but he's always seemed to me to be an artist who does what he wants when he wants.

    Likely Marvel owned the covers, wanted them painted for the magazine reprints and handed them off to artists to do the job. I think Adkins did the story that the cover relates to, so that might be the motive there. Clearly though they are working right off the Steranko originals in both instances.

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  3. The foreign painted version is from Spain. It was painted by Rafael Lopez Espi.

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  4. Thanks very much for the information. I'll update the post.

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  5. like many fans ,I was pumped up for his "talon' book, announced both in savage tales 3,and in his comicsene paper, back in the fall of 1973.I recall after waiting some five years to see the book, reading in an early 1979 comio reader,that he had"lost interest" in the project. At that point, I lost interest in Steranko. He burned his old fan base.I knew one extreme fan of his who walked away from comics, who might have stuck around, if Steranko did.

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  6. Interesting comment David, and I am sure it is true to some degree. However, since I started my website (The Drawings of Steranko), I have heard from Steranko fans from across the globe who are still interested in Steranko's art.

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