Friday, September 23, 2005

Heavenly Heath

Sir Kicks Alot
Ok – I don’t know if Kat and I are having a boy or a girl, but I just couldn’t pass up on this nickname. The kicking and bumping has been getting quite out of control lately – but it’s a hell of a lot of fun. I keep picturing the baby pounding on the walls yelling “Let Me Out of Here!” I have no idea how Kat is getting any sleep these days – except that maybe she is growing accustomed to the little earthquake inside of her. Weird stuff – but great.

Russ Heath
I was reading Star Spangled War Stories #122 last night. These are normally fun little stories with some energetic Andru/Esposito art. The lead story in this issue, however, was drawn by Russ Heath, and he (and I can’t believe I am typing this) raises the U.S. Military vs. Dinosaurs genre to a whole new level. Seriously, this is just gorgeous stuff. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. Anyone who has read early Sea Devils issues knows that Heath can take a fairly silly premise and turn it into a thing of beauty. This issue is no different – perhaps aided by the fact that half of the action takes places in one of Heath’s favourite places; underwater. As each year passes, I appreciate Russ Heath’s artwork more and more. He has become one of my top 10 favourite artists and will likely crack the top 5 at some point.

Heath has his own style, and it may have been slightly unconventional in the 60s (I can’t see him being successful in the Marvel Bullpen back then), but from today’s perspective his artwork is nothing short of classic. I would have loved for one of the comic book companies to have thrown big money at Heath to do a ‘period piece' book during the 70s. Can you imagine him telling WW2 based Captain America stories, or tackling a long run on the Unknown Soldier? That would have been incredible.


dan bailey said...

the early '60s star-spangled war stuff is exactly the sort of thing i'd love to eventually see show up in dc's new showcase presents line (the first 2 volumes of which are, i hope, waiting for me at my lcs even as i type). i imagine heath's pencils -- i've noted elsewhere that he's my 2nd favorite artist ever, behind only john severin -- would look great in b&w (i can't cite chapter & verse, but i have a pretty strongimpression of seeing his work in creepy or eerie way back when ... & off the top of my head i think his recent legend series, adapting philip wylie's gladiator with chaykin scripting, was b&w as well).

not that i would particularly mind having the color originals, of course.

Scott M said...

Damn - I just started a DC Showcase wish list at CBR and didn't include any of this Silver Age war stuff. You are right about Heath in b&w - I was flipping through some 70s b&w mags last night and his stuff looked great.