Sunday, April 17, 2016

Setting A High Barr!


Ken Barr is a name I immediately associate with Earl Norem and Bob Larkin as one of the key cover artists for Marvel during their 70's magazine heyday. Barr's work though seemed to have more drama than either Norem or Larkin, his colors seemed richer and his shadows darker. Barr painted images that oozed drama. Sadly the Scottish born artist passed away a few weeks ago. But his work lives on many a vintage Marvel mag.


He did many covers for the Doc Savage magazine, as Barr's style evoked a distinctive James Bama vibe. Something which was put to the test when he supplied a 1981 cover for Doc Savage - His Apocalyptic Life by Philip Jose Farmer, cover that replaced the 1975 Bama original.

Take a look at his Marvel covers and enjoy!






















And a special belated treat--here is the 1971 wraparound Phase 1 fanzine cover mentioned in the comments section. It's a sweet image indeed.


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4 comments:

  1. My first sighting of Barr was in Sal Quartuccio's stunning 1971 fanzine Phase 1, surely one of the standouts during a golden age of lavishly produced zines. Art by Adams, Brunner, Jones, Kaluta, deZuniga, Morrow, Sutton and probably a few others. Much of the material ended up reprinted in Marvel Magazines like Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction. Barr's terrific wraparound cover painting was also used as the cover for Zelazny's Guns of Avalon. I'm not a huge fan of Doc Savage, but for me the Marvel Magazine is still my favorite of all the attempts to adapt pulps to comics. Barr was a significant part of that; the whole package was a class act.

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    1. What a tour de force -- I added that cover to my little gallery. Couldn't resist. You're right on the Doc Savage comics front, no one has ever done Doc better in comics than the B&W run from Marvel. It felt proper the whole way.

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  2. Great artist. I believe he did some movie posters as well.

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    1. He was. I'll have to look for posters. He did some strong paperback covers as well.

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