Friday, June 11, 2010

Beautiful horror

Friday Comic Book Day

Two weeks ago old time comic book and newspaper strip artist Tony DiPreta died. Many abotuaries popped up on the internet, but none of them mentioned his prolific stint as a horror comic artist for Stan Lee's outfit, Timely/Atlas. hroughout his career DiPreta showed capable of handling many types of comics in all sorts of styles. He went from kiddy comics to crime to horror, back to kiddy and on to his final thirty year run as the artist on Joe Palooka. It's his Joe Palooka style that is most remembered and shown. Some blogs are surprised at his prowess at kiddy comics in the forties or his crime comics for Gleason soon after that. But the stuff he did for Stan Lee was all of it's own. In a fully matured slightly funny realistic style, he created many believable horrors. He was one of Lee's favorites and therefor appeared in Menace, the book Lee wrote all by himself and for which he kept all the good artists.

But as soon as he took over Joe Palooka, his unique style started to disappear. At first he tried to make his work look like that of his predesessor Sam Leff, as much as possible. But some of his own unique character designs shone through. DiPreta was a master at character design and he created some really ugly people for his horror work. But ugly people have no place on the newspaper page and soon he settled down into a more pleasing and frankly quite band style. Most importantly, he left behind the rich brush lines of his horror work and started using an almost lifeless pen line.

So sit back and enjoy some of what I consider Tony DiPreta's best work and after that spread the word: DiPreta could be an impressive artist when he wanted to be.

Journey Into Mystery #1:

Journey Into Mystery #4:

Journey Into Mystery #5:

Uncanny Tales #20:

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