Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Wednesday... El Diablo, and the Amazing work of Jesse Marsh!

EL DIABLO HITS STORES TOMORROW!!! I mean, c'mon people! You should probably be lined up outside a comic book store, and not wasting time reading this damn blog! Okay... you can read this post, but then you really should start making plans to get El Diablo #1 into your hands as soon as possible.

Here's another li'l sneak peek, from Mister Hester and myself:

El Diablo is owned by DC Comics.

I have to confess up front that this is a touch day for me to keep this post streak rolling. I'm tired from working too late last night. I have too many things to do, and I have an appointment soon that I have to run out for. Yeah, I know... who gives a shit. You're right! Just wanted to explain up front why this post may be brief. Ah... who am I kidding? I'm sure I'll get on a roll and ramble on and on, like always.

So, today we're going to talk about one of the truly great, overlooked comic artists, Jesse Marsh (look, usually I offer these links without comment, but you really should check this one out... it's fantastic). As his wiki article points out, Jesse is best known for his work on Tarzan, and he was the first artist to ever draw original comic book Tarzan stories. Jesse was an incredibly consistent and prolific artist. Off the top of my head, I would put him behind only Kirby in that category. He produced twenty straight years of Tarzan comics, and I'm talking pencils, inks, and letters!

Marsh is a hero of mine, because he makes incredibly effective comics without great draftsmanship. I'm not sure how the fact that I love that combination speaks to my own skills as a draftsman (okay, that's a lie... I am sure), but it doesn't matter. Marsh's work is magical to me. I love how he throws around black spaces on the page, thinking far more about how to direct the reader's eye than any realistic concern. I love the inking, particularly on panels like this, where he just attacks the page with his brush.

Look at the jungle that surrounds (and perfectly frames) the characters. Marsh's way of rendering that jungle is wild, crazy, and completely effective, particularly given the printing and coloring of the day. The figures are solidly built, but not pretty. There is no prettiness here to distract you from the telling of the story, and I like that. For the record, so did Alex Toth. He was a huge fan of Jesse Marsh.

I also love the lettering, the square balloons, the open panel borders. It's all part of the unique universe that Marsh created for Tarzan, and it all works for me!

Okay... enough outta me. Enjoy the genius, and come back for more tomorrow!


I looked into it a little bit, and it's unclear to me who owns the publishing rights to Tarzan in the states. It's either public domain or owned by the Burroughs estate. Do me a favor, huh? If you wanna makes a Tarzan comic, go look into it your own damn self.


Jason Arnett said...

Hi! I'm going to try and make it up to Elite tomorrow night, but in case I don't, I'm looking forward to the book.

Thanks for all these scans. They're beautiful!

Aaron Gillespie said...

Ande, thank you so much for turning me on to Jesse Marsh. I wasn't aware of his work before this post but you've instantly made me a huge fan.

Marc Bryant said...

I just read the preview at Newsarama. Between that and the KILLER logo on the first page, I'll be giving this a shot today. And I've shot most of my shopping list down like a dog in the last few weeks.