Thursday, July 16, 2015

King Of The Deep!


Of all the exceedingly talented Golden Age artists Bill Everett's images might well be the most stunningly beautiful. Certainly his work stands the test of time and as far as I can tell he never stopped developing, growing in many respects stronger as the years rolled by.


Here's the classic image of the young Everett at work in his studio, looking at once like a sturdy craftsman and a mildly debonair intellectual.


Of course he always came back to his greatest creation the Sub-Mariner, rendering the quixotic Atlantean across five decades. Namor is according to many scholars the first Timely hero, his strip having been produced and distributed even before the launch of Marvel Comics #1.



While Captain America is the darling of today's movie goers and the Torch at least gets noticed in whatever FF movie is out, the Sub-Mariner has never hit the big screen, never been realized in anything other than cartoon form. That's the situation despite Namor being one of the most durable and inventive variations on the superhero template ever imagined.


Falling on hard times as a result of alcoholism, Bill Everett often made his living as an inker and in the opinion of his fan was arguably the finest inker that Jack Kirby ever had at Marvel during the King's original tenure. The work they did together on Thor is just outstanding.


Thankfully Everett was able to return to Namor one more time in the early 70's before his untimely death. Those issues are magnificent visual feasts, though many fans of the time thought the storytelling was terribly dated. No one has ever rendered underwater environments with the grace and visual splendor Everett brought to the page. The sea was a character in these stories, always present and affecting the scene.


I don't know, certainly the zany tone of the comics did feel like something not quite like the somber Marvel norm, but the effusive nature of the stories and art were compelling nonetheless.


Bill Everett was truly one of the giants of the industry, a massively talented gentleman who is missed even to this day.

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2 comments:

  1. Well done! Subby & Bill Everett were the Men! Imperious Rip !!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you sir. Bill Everett was a great but tragic figure in comics.

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