Sunday, 29 April 2018

Frank Robbins' Shadow

Love this issue of The Shadow, not least because it sports ( yes, I'm saying it ) one of the top 10 covers of the Bronze Age.
It's easy to overlook Frank Robbins' Shadow, following on as it did from Mike Kaluta's groundbreaking run, especially as poor old Frank STILL divides opinion as to the merits of his artwork. But I'm increasingly of the opinion that anything by Robbins is to be applauded, and with something he was perfect for, like here, that's even more the case.
Yeah, I guess Denny O' Neil's script is a little hokey, but you won't care, as Frank was born to draw this time period, and the whole thing drips with atmosphere and moves like a freight train.
Plus, who can resist a spooky hero who spouts lines like: 'You fired first! You CHOSE this fate!'


  1. I am so glad to have an ally in the loving of Frank Robbins artwork. I've been defending the guy practically since I got onto the internet two decades ago. Folks love to poke fun at his drawing for its "flaws" in anatomy, and overlooking the the sheer kinetic wonder of his storytelling. His pages rumble like no one else except maybe Jerry Grandenetti.

    Rip Off

  2. Grandenetti? I tend to think of him him being Mike McMahon to everyone else's Bolland. Not precise, but full of life. Count me among the Robbins fans.

  3. I remember the day I bought the first issue of the shadow. I bought it off the spinner rack. The art was brilliant and like most people I was shocked when frank started to draw the shadow. I was able to live with Frank's version of the shadow because of the nostalgic affect. It reminded me of terry and the pirates from the 1940s which is roughly the setting for the shadow. Likewise with the invaders. But I think Frank's art is best suited for black and white and/or newspaper strips... just my thoughts.

  4. Well, there certainly seems to be a lot of love for Frank's work out there - this post got the best response on twitter today of anything I've put up there.
    Back in the day, I was the only one among my friends who liked Robbins' stuff, and now I'm an adult I absolutely love it.
    I must put up some of his great newspaper strip, Johnny Hazard, real Canniff influence there.
    But then every artist of Frank's generation wanted to be Canniff, Foster or Raymond.
    The first time I read Prince Valiant, I could see John Buscema everwhere...

  5. As much as I love Kaluta's Shadow...THIS is absolutely my favorite issue of DC's Shadow comic. One of my favorite comics, in fact. Add me to the list of Frank Robbins Fans!

  6. I enjoyed that, and while I like the art it does feel a bit squashed in places.

    Did the unfortunate Pile remind anyone else of this poor chap?

  7. Well...all Denny O'Neil scripts are a littlr hokey. I love Frank Robbins and his take on Caniff. Worked great in the Invaders in particular. He wrote a lot of great Batman stories; ironically his hold up better than O'Neil's of the same era.