Thursday, May 14, 2009

I've Looked At Mort From Both Sides Now

Friday Comic Book Day.

The second of three Tom Corbett stories from the third book of Mort Meskin's shortlived run on the series.

The next story is from Al-America War #17, the third or fourth story Meskin did for DC.

In the mid-fifties Mort Meskin finally was exepted by DC. They had been expanding their war line and were looking for new artists to join the company. But none really fit the bill, except may be versatile duo of Ross and Esposito. Others had to be fit into the DC House style, which was slicker and cleaner (and therefor to the eyes of the DC editors better). Some were paired with inkers that removed all traes of a personal style, like Joe Giella (a nice guy and a great interview subject who is still doing some great newspaper strip work, but boy did he ruin a lot of perfectly good art in his day). Gene Colan and Bernie Krigstein are good samples of this. His work for DC at that time is no where near as good as the stuff he did for half the price (and inked himself) for Timely. And worse, they even convinced him that he couldn't or shouldn't do his own inking, because for a long time he thought he only did his best work after that period. Bernie Krigstein wouldn't accept another inker, but tried to do it on his own. Pretty oon it got to a point where he walked away and looked for another career. Even Gil Kane and Carmen Infantino complained about the fact that they weren't allowed to ink their own work. Infantino completely lost the wild side of his work and never again produced the psychadealic work he did for some of the earlier Timely horror books or somethig like the Kirby influenced stuff he did for Prize's Charlie Chan. Mort Meskin was alllowed to ink his own work, but was forced to slick it up. He ended up with a style that was miles way from the loose style he had developed at Prize. They also mae him feel inferior. He had always had a problem with presenting himself and expecially Bob Kanigher seems to have had in in for him. There is a famous anecdoe about Kanigher forcing Meskin to show how a soldier crawls under a barrage of gun fire, when he ddn't like the way that Meskin had drawn that. How humiliating. This may be the story that gos along with that anecdote.

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