Sunday, January 20, 2013

Dark Passage

Sunday Meskin Measures.

Now that my far from complete set of House of Secrets stories by Mort Meskin has run it's course, I am forced to look back at the earlier House of Mystery. And I am glad I did, as it leads me to this terrific, atmospheric story. When things started to go bad at Prize, Meskin returned to DC. It was not a resounding succes. Although he had been a major influence in the forties, his style and possibly his unassuming manner were not what the DC editors were loking for. he did a couple of war stories that were nog well recieved and soon sidestepped to the fantasy books, where he became one of the regulars. This is the third stry he did for House of Mystery and it seems he really gave it his best shot. A couple of years ago I might have suggested he may have had help from another artist on a story like this, but now I am not sure. It may just have been a case of Meskin hiself trying to fit into the DC mold. Still, enough of his own traces remain, including some panel that look they have been carved out of blackness instead of being drawn black on whote - just like his work in the mid forties. Impresive stuff... and ther is more in the next couple of weeks.


jhegenbe said...

As nice as his work here is... I'm thinking this was inked by Len Starr.

Smurfswacker said...

Nice story! I never saw this before. Jhegenbe could be right, though the faces in the last page look especially Meskinian (?). We even get a guest shot by Fightin' Yank's Ancestor.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

There's something to be said for both opinions, I think. First of all, it certainly doesn't feel like a pure Meskin job. On the other hand, once you start looking at details, the Meskin touches abound. On the first page, the right side of the face in the second panel is hidden in a small shadow, the way Meskin used to do. As far as the inking goes, the whole story sows signs of Meskin's multiple strokes style rather than Starr's more fluid work. The foliage on the first panel of page three is Meskian (!) as is the way people are pulled from the shadow in the last panel. On page four are more shortened faces and shadow work. If it wasn't for panelslike the second on eon the last page, I'd suggest Meskin was just inking. But maybe I am wrong, maybe there are specific Starr touches rather than an overall feeling Meskin didn't do this on his own.