Tuesday, 10 May 2016

KID KLASSICS: WHEN SUPERMAN WAS A BUDDING SLAPHEAD - (WELL, ALMOST)...


Images copyright DC COMICS

Every now and again, I'll see a discussion on the merits of
VINCE COLLETTA's inking and the reasons why JACK KIRBY's
SUPERMAN heads were usually inked by MURPHY ANDERSON.
To me it's always seemed obvious that at least one of the reasons was
that Jack couldn't render ol' Supes' kiss-curl very well, often making
his hair look like a comb-over to hide a receding hairline.  (Or an
ill-fitting toupee.)

Don't believe me?  Take a look at the stat of the pencilled pic
below and judge for yourself.  The words 'ARTHUR SCARGILL'
spring to mind.  (Or even 'ISAIAH' - 'cos one 'eyes's higher' than
the other.  Boom-boom!)


5 comments:

John Pitt said...

Flippin 'eck! Is THAT how it started? With me, I noticed that it was taking that little bit longer to wash my face than the previous day!! :-)

Colin Jones said...

Does anybody outside the UK know what "slaphead" means or who Arthur Scargill is ? Actually, Arthur was in the news just recently when he called Jeremy Corbyn a traitor for saying we should stay in the EU.

Kid said...

You're not receding, JP, you've just got flesh-coloured hair.

******

They do now, CJ. I didn't realize that Scargill was still alive.

Rip Jagger said...

From the originals I've seen online and such, Kirby didn't have a tight handle on Superman's face at all. I think your point about his little curl is well taken. I can see why DC wanted to keep the character consistent, but unlike many of the Johnny Romita touch ups we saw all the time at Marvel, the Al Plastino heads really stuck out and clashed with the style Kirby had going. The Murphy Anderson heads were better. Both could've been fixed with more care, but that's not how things were done in those helter skelter days of comics production. Get it done, move on to the next project! It's an exciting approach, but leaves all sorts of oddities in its wake.

Kid said...

A while back, Rip, DC were considering having Kirby's original heads restored and re-inked (by Steve Rude I think), and releasing the Olsen stories in a special collected edition, but it was decided not to proceed with it. While it would've been interesting, I think it was unnecessary - Murphy Anderson's heads are just part of that Kirby 'look' to me now. Al Plastino was the wrong choice to 'fix' Kirby's Superman, and he redrew some of the figures as well, making the discrepancy even more jarring.

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