Friday, April 15, 2011

Dan the Man

Friday Comic Book Day.

In the last few years some quite few books have been written about the great old comic book masters. Will Eisner, Jack Cole, Jack Kirby, Bill Everett, Mort Meskin, Jerry Robinson, they've all had their turn. New books about Joe Maneely and Lou Fine appear to be on their way. One artist who would deserve a book, or at least a good career overview article is Dan Barry. He is well know enough, but I'd say his importance to the history of comic book art has been lost over the years. I see two rasons for that. First of all, his style of slickness was the basis for much of DC's 'house style'. And unlike Alex Toth he didn't reinvent himself later in his career, so all the later baby boomers got to see of him is some rather tired later career work, when his brillinace was overshone by his reliance on assistants and guest pencillers. But when he was at the top of his game, in the late forties and early fifties, there was hardly anyone better. I don't know if you have ever gone back and read those first few years of his Flash Gordon, but they are really very very good.

Anyway, I have quite a lot of his stuff, which he sold to many publishers. Of course some of his best ork was don efor DC, which makes collections by publishers who are looking for copyright free material rather impossible. Rather than just dum whole runs of his Gang Buster, Vigilante or other DC strips I thought I'd start with a sampler with some of his stories from a few different publishers, starting with his earliest (sort of) work for Gleason to some of the stuff he did for DC before taling over the daily Flash Gordon.

By the way, Barry also provided stories for the early issues of Buster Brown's Comic Book give-away and here is one I almost picked...

From Daredevil #41:

From Airboy Vol 4 #11:

From Real Clue Crime V3 #03:

From Gang Busters #11:

From Strange Adventures #3:

From Action Comics #131


jhegenbe said...

Yeah, we're those Vig stories beautiful (in a non-Meskin way, of course).

Jack said...

I like the way he drew the splash page in "Stranger from the Stars."

Ger Apeldoorn said...

I have many more Vigilante pages and wanted to wait after I had finished with Mort Meskin. But I just couldn't. Barry first caught my eye with his work in Real Facts, which I will have to scan in myself some day.

jhegenbe said...

Lots of fun Sprang and Fred Ray in those Real Facts, too.