Sunday, January 01, 2012

The Last of a True Hero

Sunday Meskin Measures.

And then, Mort Meskin's run on the Vigilante in Action comics ended. His work there was taken over by Joe Kubert, Bob Lubbers, Dan Barry and lesser talents. But that was not all. He would do four more stories with Jerry Robinson in Western Tales #1 to #4. They were not done after the last four Action Comics I showed before, but were all part of the 1947/1949 part of his career Meskin and Robinson joined up. It is all supposed to have ended in 1949, when Meskin hit a wall and had to be hospitalized for a nervous condition. In the publication list of his work there seems to be no gap, but the point is marked by the fact that his collaboration with Jerry Robinson ended. Why Robinson would not help Meskin get back on his feet, I don't know. Robinson left comics for a while, that may have been part of it. I will reread Steven Brower's excellent visuel biography of Meskin and try and cover this tumultuous period in Meskin's life over the coming year.

The official credits for this story read: Robinson on Pencils, Meskin on inks. I think this work represent Mort Meskin's best work in the business, with a possible exception for the early splash pages on the Vigilante. I agree with the credit assesment, although Jerry Robinson has stated several times that their working relationship was more complicated than that. I certainly see touches of Meskin's composition work here and there and he certainly had the freedom to do addition faces in his own manner.


Steven Brower said...

Hi Ger,

Great to see Meskin's final Vigilante work.

To set the record straight, Jerry did indeed help his friend during this period, in fact beyond the pale. He visited Mort at the hospital often during his stay and upon his release Mort lived with him and Jerry's wife Gro, in his NYC apartment for several months until Mort got back on his feet.

Mort actually began working for S&K as an out patient, which is why there is no real break in his output. However the Meskin/Robinson collaboration ended, which is a shame, but Jerry was onto other things professionally.

Daniel [] said...

It's perhaps worth nothing en passant that, when this story was printed, less time had lapsed since the death of Jesse James than has now lapsed since the death of Dillinger.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

And on ooking back, I now see that the GCD has this story as Meskin pencil and ink... and that could very well be true. If so, the amount of Meskin in the work they did together could be even bigger, because there are many faces here I would attribute to Robinson. Maybe very light Robinson pencils?