Friday, 21 August 2009
Today's the birthday of the First Lady Of Comics, Marie Severin. Mirthful Marie's career stretches through a huge chunk of the history of comics, from being colourist at EC ( and being Harvey Kurtzman's researcher on his legendary war books ) to working as part of Marvel's then tiny production staff alongside Sol Brodsky, to great runs on Incredible Hulk, Sub-Mariner & Kull The Conquerer.
Marie was one of those ridiculously underrated artists I think we all took for granted a little bit. In amongst the flashier stylists like Gene Colan, she always got ignored slightly, and let's face it, Subby was never a big seller. But her work definitely needs reassessing, particularly the humour stuff, like Not Brand Ecch.
Marie's work for Marvel's short lived satire book shows the influence from Kurtzman's Mad, and would've fitted in beautifully there next to Wood, Elder & Davis. We've all read Gnatman & Rotten a million times, but it's still an absolute classic, not least the pitch-perfect John Romita impersonation in the last panel. As Stan himself said: "Calling Marie the best woman artist in the business is an injustice. Marie was one of the best artists in the business, period."
And just 'cos I like it, here's a pic from FOOM with Chris Claremont, Len Wein & Dave Cockrum facing the ire of the fans for daring to come up with something called The All-New, All-Different X-Men ( before anybody'd actually seen the thing ). Let's have a Marvel Visionaries : Marie Severin right now.