Atlas Comics presents


Dan Barry has been all over the map. He has produced comics for Fawcett, Hillman, Lev Gleason, DC and others; superhero, adventure, horror and crime features; and newspaper strips such as "Tarzan" and "Flash Gordon". With a lush, illustrative style, Barry livened up many stories during the 40's and 50's.

SEE: Gang Busters # 6, 8, 9, 10; Adventures of Alan Ladd #1

Dave Gibbons is one half of the team which produced the best-remembered series of the 80's: Watchmen. His controlled, mannered drawing and deliberate finishes helped create a tension that accelerated the script's methodical walk to destruction. Gibbons' other work exhibits the same superb draftsmanship and command of figures which are his hallmark.

SEE: Watchmen #1-12; Super-Soldier: Man of War

Was there ever a better dressed, better looking heroine in comics than Lady Luck? Elegant and glamorous in the extreme, she was Nordling's crowning glory in scores of light, amusing adventure stories during the 1940's. His delicate, fine line style was a perfect compliment to the tone of the strip, both adventurous and whimsical. Nordling had a long association with Will Eisner ("Lady Luck" originally appeared in the weekly Spirit section), and contributed to The Spirit as well.

SEE: "Lady Luck" '42-'46 (in The Spirit section), some reprinted in trade editions by Ken Pierce

Another icon from the 80's, Golden has suffered the fate of many artists who began their career in the "superstar" money era: a spectacular burst of creativity and popularity, a quick decline in output and consistency, and an unsuccessful attempt to recapture lost accolades. When he applies himself, Mike's work is awesome to behold: highly detailed but readable; lushly illustrative but expressively cartoony. He can handle superhero, funny animal, and war stories (his specialty) with equally sharp focus. The spotty nature of his output lowers his rank significantly; were he more active, he could command a lofty perch.

SEE: The 'Nam #1-10; Dr. Strange #55; Avengers Annual #10; Marvel Fanfare (1st series) #1-2

A very obvious devotee of Frank Frazetta, Arthur Suydam has nonetheless crafted a style and substance greater than most of the other Frazetta disciples in comics. His visuals can be alternately tough or whimsical, and his style runs from waiflike finery to bold chiaroscuro when the need fits. One need only look at the delicate charm of his children's illustrations, then contrast them with the teeth-gnashing brutality of Death Dealer to grasp his range as an artist. While his comics career has been spotty, the occasional work he does today is well worth rooting out.

SEE: "Mudwog", Echo of Futurepast #1-3; Death Dealer #4

From the 30's to the 70's, Bill Everett produced some of the best laid out, most inspired stories in comics. Along the way he created the Sub-Mariner and drew the first issue of Marvel's Daredevil. Working first in a simple, exaggerated style, he latterly developed a fuller look, evident in his work on the Hulk, and his return to Sub-Mariner in the 70's. His finishes were at least as important to the overall picture as his drawing, and his unusual, highly detailed inks were unmistakable. Unfortunately, drinking got the better of Bill, and he died at 56, with years of unrealized work within his hands.

SEE: Marvel Mystery Comics #9; Daredevil #1

A protege of Wally Wood, Joe Orlando turned out well-wrought, surehanded stories for EC, Warren, Gilberton and others before becoming an editor and creative director at DC. His earliest efforts were adequate, but uninspiring. It wasn't until he met and worked with Wally Wood that Joe came into his own. Beginning at EC in 1951, he turned out science fiction stories that rivaled the master himself, without being slavishly derivative. Over the intervening years Orlando proved himself a versatile talent, handling humor, horror and historical themes with equal craft.

SEE: "The Worm Turns", Weird Science #11; "The People's Choice", Weird Science #16; "Judgment Day", Weird Fantasy #18

While he was certainly no great shakes as an artist, Bob Kane's early drawings have an unmistakable attraction. Simple and direct, they were almost elemental in their ability to convey a mood of darkness and menace. And, well, he designed and created (with Bill Finger) not only one of comics "essential" heroes in Batman, but a touchstone character who ranks among Tarzan, Sherlock Holmes, and a handful of others with truly universal and long-lasting appeal. His work as an artist is harder to judge, however, due to an extensive use of ghosts over the years. Hundreds of stories prepared under his name bear no relation to the man who gave us such fascinating imagery in those early issues of Detective Comics.

SEE: Earliest stories in Detective Comics (#27-29)

Bill Elder might be comics' funniest artist. If he isn't, he's on the short list with giants like Harvey Kurtzman, Basil Wolverton, Jack Davis, Gilbert Shelton and Robert Crumb. His hilarious cartooning at Mad set a standard for absurdism which stands to this day, and influenced a generation of underground artists such as Shelton and Crumb. While his humor work with Mad (and later, Playboy) is rightly lauded, it is by no means his only avenue of accomplishment. At EC he created tight, neatly rendered science fiction stories, and teamed with John Severin on several top notch war and western yarns. His post-Mad years found him in collaboration with Harvey Kurtzman on "Goodman Beaver", and on "Little Annie Fanny" for Playboy. An American original.

SEE: "King of the Grey Spaces", Weird Fantasy #19 (with John Severin); "A Head of the Game", Weird Fantasy #17 (2nd); "Goodman Beaver" in Help! magazine

#71 L. B. COLE
L.B. Cole is another Golden Age artist chiefly remembered for the supreme impact of his covers. On Suspense alone, three of his eight covers can be considered all-time classics. During his heyday he worked for many publishers, big and small, and in an endless variety of genres: science-fiction, war, humor, superhero and westerns to name just a few. His versatility, singularity, and enthusiasm made him a force to be reckoned with.

SEE: Suspense #8, 9 (covers)

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