Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Curt Swan Gave Us the Finger(s)


Well, figuratively!

One of the trademarks of this great Super-Artist’s work was his occasionally quirky method of drawing characters’ hands with the middle finger and ring finger touching, and the index finger and pinky finger separated from this grouped pair.

The top three rows are from covers drawn in the 1960s.

The bottom three examples are from later on. Even though Curt had died earlier in the year, 1996’s Superman: The Wedding Album still was able to print some of his art, drawn from an earlier, unprinted tale. It was printed in the Wedding Album as a flashback. In this way Curt’s great artwork was able to appear in this landmark in comics history.

Speaking of landmarks in comics, the last two examples are from the Alan Moore tale printed in 1986, “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” which was printed in the “final” issues of Superman and Action. Alan Moore’s deep, resonating-with-history story was perfectly accompanied by Curt’s penciling, inked by George Perez in Superman 423 and by Kurt Schaffenberger in Action 583. The covers were both inked by another DC great, Murphy Anderson.
Ah, when the arts of adulthood are thus applied to memories from childhood, great and moving, even inspiring pieces of art can be created, and absorbed, by the young in spirit.

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