Tuesday, July 19, 2005

A giant lays down his pencil

I'm very sorry to hear of the passing this morning of longtime DC Comics artist Jim Aparo, at the age of 72.

I was always much more a Marvelite than a DC partisan, but one of my favorite comics of the 1970s — by either publisher — was The Brave and the Bold, the Batman teamup series. Jim Aparo illustrated nearly every issue of B&B beginning in 1971 through the end of the series.

After B&B was canceled in the early '80s, Aparo became one of the key artists for DC's other Batman titles (Batman and Detective Comics). He is credited as co-creator of the series Batman and the Outsiders. He also was noted for his work drawing such superheroes as Aquaman, the Phantom Stranger, and the Spectre.

Aparo's drawings were always clean, smoothly delineated, and expressive. He coupled the sturdy classicism that typified the DC house style with the sleek, modern realism of such artists as Neal Adams and John Buscema. He was also a rarity in that for much of his career, he both inked and lettered his own pencil art — a trifecta few mainstream artists have tackled even briefly, much less for as many years as Aparo did.

Although he was rarely lauded as one of the superstars in the comic art pantheon (despite a lengthy and incredibly prolific career), many fans — myself included — consider Jim Aparo the definitive Batman artist of the Bronze Age. He was truly one of the giants, and his loss will be tragically felt.

Our condolences to Jim's wife, children, grandchildren, and many friends.

2 insisted on sticking two cents in:

Blogger Sam offered these pearls of wisdom...

His Batman was the one I grew up on, even though there were others. Aparo was the man for me, so when I found out that he was going to do the regular books other than Brave and Bold I was excited. I am really gonna miss that guy.

9:50 PM  
Blogger Joel offered these pearls of wisdom...

Mr. Aparo passed on? While I knew his art was considered old school, I always liked it. I have many of his Outsider stuff and thoroughly enjoyed looking over his pencils.

Support vibes sent to his family, friends, and fans.

8:23 AM  

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