Saturday, August 25, 2018

Russ Heath - The Greatest Comic Book Technician Of All Time

And by 'technical' I mean precise, detailed, dense and intelligent. He knew how characters moved through space and his never varied from panel to panel through page after page. Each story is a masters class in drawing and what Russ Heath drew best were War Comics. I have a stack of G.I. Combat in much loved condition.

He could replicate each model and design of every vehicle and weapon and munition and piece of equiptment and uniform and locations. He replicated the time. The moment. And he did it with class. He learned his craft and gave your work like this. Fantastic stuff.

He knew how to make anything exciting to read about. A day off for the crew of the Haunted Tank could turn into the worst day of the war for them. Russ Heath could surprise you and teach you and make you feel the waste of war and the sadness of war. He was a master from a time when his value could only be realized and appreciated long after it should have been. He was a workman like Kirby and his art can stand proudly alongside all the greats.

Heath also drew these two ads for toy soldiers. He drew them so well that we looked at them for hours to soak up each detail. All of us thought of ordering them for that low price but only one kid ever did. What he got back was a box of sadness. 2 dimensional mono colored bits of plastic sadness. But damn that art was seductive.

At least they picked the right colors for each army.
But it's still sad.
Thanks to Debra for pointing me towards this post that also talks of the man and his talent.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Another blog that I read did a major tribute to him today too. Here's the link, if you're interested:

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Cool. I will go right to that.