Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bask in (Frank) Robbins! Bronze Age Artistic Great! Captain America!

Sorry for that opening title pun...Ouch.

Frank Robbins (1917-1994) was a famed comic strip and comic book artist who worked providing artwork well into the 1980s.

Robbins was inspired by the all-pervasive Milt Caniff school of comic art, using heavy shadows, exaggerated body language, and dramatic close-ups in his work.

I didn't know what to think of his work when he appeared at Marvel Comics in the mid-70s. It seemed ugly and frantic. Now, I adore his artwork. It's easy to see he was a master of storytelling, drama, and manipulating the figure for any purpose, be it action, or just emoting...

Take a look at these gloriously oddball panels to the right, from his 1975 issues of CAPTAIN AMERICA. Cap has, in the wake of Watergate, taken on the identity of Nomad,man without a country (get it?).
Here we see him escaping from some well-meaning cops, and into a super-villain siege. Is he bouncing on his butt/lower back? Ouch!

Dig how he also twist his body into that rounded pose atop the utility pole! Ouch again!

Outside of Jack Kirby, only Robbins could twist and turn a body in motion or flight for the most exciting effects.

Take a look especially at the panels at the start of this section, and think of today's economic crisis. The more things change..

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