I'm fighting the clock tonight and tomorrow, with the start of the school year and such. So, I will have to cut today's post short. The good news is that, while I may skimp on my promotional rambling, I will still deliver the usual helping of art scan and commentary!
I have long known about a competent, somewhat dull Superman artist named Win Mortimer. When I discovered Mortimer's work as a strip artist about six years ago, though, it was a revelation. Winslow Mortimer, free to draw and ink his own material, shines in this format. His work is fresh, lively, and completely representative of a bygone era of comics strip art.
I have pulled this panel from a two panel strip from 1958. The strip was called David Crane, and I don't know much about its storylines. I gather the strip was centered around the drama of life in a small, rural American town, but I don't know much more.
The staging in this panel is just remarkable. Mortimer fills the panel without compromising the storytelling. He uses blacks and tones (the tone on the suit on the right side of the panel is drawn by hand, while the suits on the left are zip-a-tone screens*). Also, look at how the spotted blacks in the middle of the crowd draw your eye to the cameraman. This is good stuff, people! Put down the latest over-rendered, magazine photo-referenced, ultra-shiny Adventures of Shinyman and soak this shit up! Look at how Win knows that he doesn't have to render every detail on the camera... that leaving something up to the eye of the reader is more satisfying.
The character acting here is superb, as well. There are no cookie cutter faces here. Every character has his or her own look, and every face tells a story.
I look forward to showing more Mortimer in the future. The guy is a big freaking find... a largely forgotten master.
* If you don't know what the hell zip-a-tone is, keep checking in. I'll cover it in depth at some point.
David Crane is owned by the Hall Syndicate.