Friday, July 10, 2009

The Missing Ink

Friday Comic Book Day

Last two fridays I showed he work of a unjustly forgoten Marvel artist, Paul Reinman. This week, I'd lke to share some atories by another artist who is better than his reputation makes him out to b. Best known by the fans as the second artist on the X-men, Werner Roth was actually one of Stan Lee's mainstays in the fifties. He always drew elegant stories about elegant people. Even in this period , he is best know for his mor mundane work on several western titles and one of those jungle girls (pretty as they were). But in my opinion he did his best work in one off stories across the genres, as you can see from this sampling. I especially like his framing and staging, as he was at his best when he tried to cram as much information as possible into a panel.

A pre-code war story:

A pre-code romance story:

A post-code fantasy story:


Smurfswacker said...

I agree that Werner Roth is a sadly-underrated artist. The X-Men was far from his best work. It wasn't helped by the Kirby layouts or the Dick Ayers ink jobs.

I recognize Roth immediately in the latter two strips, but I have difficulty finding his typical mannerisms (especially the way he drew eyes and faces) in "Danger Zone." It's a beautiful piece of work. Lots of hatching and detail that shows he put special care into the job.

"Danger Zone" is a first-class example (or should I say "last class?") of the rabid jingoism the media filled our heads with when I was a kid. No wonder I ended up phobic about fire sirens--I was in my thirties before I finally stopped "checking" distant sirens to make sure they weren't air raid alerts.

The ultimate expression of this demonizing of "the enemy" was in a Carl Barks story. Remember? The Brutopian representative tries to outbid Uncle Scrooge by throwing in "all five of the kitchen sinks of the happy people of Brutopia." Unfortunately Barks was probably serious.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

I don't now what it is that makes me recognize Roth in the first story. Maybe it is the framng I mentioned. Like that on panel five of page five. There's also somthing inthe faces. I went back and I suddenly saw it reminded me of the faces and expressions of John Byrne. Funny enough, I have other stories where Roth totally fails to deliver a good close-up. as you can see here in the overworked close-ups of the soldiers, he didn't have the tools in his box of trick to pull it off.