A John Severin Gallery

Sad news: the passing of John Severin (1921-2012), veteran cartoonist  and illustrator, founding Mad artist, and comic book hall-of-famer—a great craftsman with a long, storied career that launched in the late 1940s and continued right up to this past year. A news release can be found at The Beat.

Thanks to the dedicated indexers and scanners at the Grand Comics Database for making possible the following too-brief sample of Severin’s art:

Two-Fisted Tales 37

Prize Comics Western 113

Kid Colt Outlaw 55

Annie Oakley 11

Mystic 56

Kid Colt Outlaw 74

Undersea Commandos 2

Billy the Kid 23

Strange Tales 137

Sgt Fury 44

Kull the Conqueror 5

War is Hell 3

Cracked 15

Cracked 21

Cracked 26

Cracked 30

Cracked 35

Cracked 35

Cracked 35

Cracked 68

Cracked 89

Cracked 160

Cracked 336

Monsters Attack 1

Semper Fi 7

Action Comics Weekly 630

Desperadoes 4

2 responses to “A John Severin Gallery

  1. Hey Charles, this seems as good a place as any to express that I really love a lot of John Severin’s work…mainly the serious stuff, I admit. But this guy could draw and he could tell a story in a compelling way. From his work with Harvey Kurtzman on EC’s war books, to his black and white pieces for Warren, to his amazing masterpieces for Marvel’s Savage Tales (Vol 2), to his recent epics for a variety of companies where he proved that a good artist can continue to grow past a point where most people retire to their leisure. I wish he’d recieved more appreciation while he was alive. The best he got were the two-part interview in TCJ, up on their website currently, and a wonderful issue of Squa Tront a few years ago. He provides an example of dedication to the artform of comics and an quest for authenticity that we can all aspire to.

  2. charleshatfield

    Hear, hear!

    Looking closely at the Cracked covers on GCD, I was really impressed by the compositional elegance, exquisite rendering, and visual wit of the early ones. Take for example the “archaeological” and bullfighting examples above. But the pity of it is that the later Cracked covers are so rote and boring. There came a time when the magazine’s editors must have decided that caricatures of TV stars and ripoffs of popular TV shows were the only thing that mattered. (How many Mork and Mindy covers did Severin have to do? How many Diff’rent Strokes? Ugh.)

    By contrast, the latter-day examples of Severin’s work in adventure and horror comics, for example the BPRD/Mignolaverse book he did last year, are still superb.

    I love the texture of Severin’s inking. Particularly enticing on period adventure tales, or even the Kull sword ‘n’ sorcery stuff.

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