The Real GT
Friday Comic Book Day.
While I was in hospital George Tuska passed away (at a very respectable age). I have been collecting scans of his work for sometime and will try and show some of it in a more complete form at a later date. Tusk was one of the better artists working in the comic book version of the Caniff style. His work for Biro in the forties was very influencial and some of the stuff he did for and with Stan Lee in the early fifties was very good and showed how much of a pure comic book artist he was long before his kills were used by Marvel in the sixties. When he turned to newspaper strips in the late fifties, he was one of the first to simplify the Caniff style into something that could be reprinted and read at a much smaller scale. As such he may have contributed to the shrinking of the realistic comic strip. But is was to darned readable that I can only marvel at his skill. His early work on Secret Agent X-9 deserves much more recognition hat it has been getting and his better know work on Buck Rogers in the early sixties should be seen by those marvelites who only know him as yet another not very satisfactory superhero artist. As for that, he really proved his adaptabillity as an artist when he changed his style in such a way that he did become a very competent superhero artist, ending up doing superheroes for the newspaper page. Here are some quick samples of his work. More later.
For me, Tuska's style in the midfifties is my favorite. A slick and toned down version of the Caniff style, that worked really well on comics and apparently in newspapers as well. His run on Secret Agent X-9 started in 1954 and deserved more attention that it has been getting. From May 1958:
His Buck Rogers was a great sample of balance and design. I have long runs of this strip, which I will share when I have finished doing Tom Corbett:
He did some pretty funny stuff for Joe Simon's Sick in the sixties.Pat of what I like about Tuska's work in the fifties, is his tendency to ad cartooon elements to the Caniff realism. In that regard he is like Will Eisner, Walt Kellly, Albert Uderzo, Ross Andru and all artists I really like from any period. Some of his best stories are the almost satirical things he did for Stan Lee in 1954. For Joe Simon he really acted this out, although it slowly disappeared from his later work: