Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Perlin Of Great Price!


Don Perlin is one of those journeyman artists who have been the backbone of the comic book industry, but rarely get the attention and appreciation they deserved. Perlin's style features first rate storytelling, but lacks the over-the-top dynamism that marks many artists who become "stars".

Above is a cover for Fightin' Army #106 by Perlin which shows off his skills to great effect. I love the textures in this cover. The figures are arranged in a particularly effective way, the foreground and middle ground working together to focus the action. The background is less developed to control the movement of the eye and to guarantee it looks at the right things. Nothing fancy in this image, just good draftsmanship.

Below is the cover in its original form.


And here is a 1979 reprint of the image, this time with somewhat brighter colors which frankly don't well serve the drama of the moment.


Perlin was a worker at Marvel at the same time and after he worked for Charlton, on such notable series as Werwwolf by Night, Ghost Rider, and later The Defenders. I don't remember a Perlin book ever missing deadline, in a time when such things were all too common. In the 90's this company man as tapped by Jim Shooter to help the young artists he'd employed to bring Valiant to the public.

I'm not sure what Don Perlin is doing these days, but I'm positive it's being done with grace and skills and consummate professionalism.

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4 comments:

  1. I looked up Perlin and found a great story from Jim Shooter's blog

    http://www.jimshooter.com/2011/11/thanksgiving-with-don-perlins-father.html

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  2. Shooter really has a lot of respect for Perlin, and apparently so does Perlin for Shooter.

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  3. Don Perlin is the backbone of the industry? Really? WHAT industry? It sure isn't comic books, where Perlin is a C-level talent at best who had virtually no impact on the industry. You might as well say Don Heck outdid Kirby.

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  4. What I mean is that talents like Perlin are the backbone of the industry. To use your phrase, it's the "C-Level" talents who spin away making enough comics to fill the maw of the public.

    That maw has diminished of course today, but still and all the superstar artists get the nods and applause, but it's the lower echelon guys who get the job done most of the time.

    And that would indeed include the likes of Don Heck as well. Oh and at times Heck did outdo Kirby. I submit that Don Heck's women were much prettier than the dames Kirby produced.

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