Friday, 14 August 2015


Image copyright MARVEL COMICS

A dramatic poster for sure, but JACK KIRBY's art was far
looser and more 'blocky' than had once been the case.  To me,
The SILVER SURFER doesn't have the grace and fluidity with
which Jack had previously been able to imbue him.  STAN LEE
was right to give the Surfer's own mag to JOHN BUSCEMA,
in my opinion - big John had it nailed.


Britt Reid said...

"To me, The SILVER SURFER doesn't have the grace and fluidity with
which Jack had previously been able to imbue him."

In truth, a lot of the "grace and fluidity" was attributable to Joe Sinnott's inking and "smoothing" of Kirby's incredibly-dynamic, but sometimes rushed, pencils.
When the original art size was reduced from twice-up printed size to 1 and 1/2, Kirby's art appeared less-detailed.
In addition, Sinnott stopped doing things like redrawing womens' faces and inked what was on the page.
And there are a lot more 1/2 page and full-page shots per issue!
Compare FF #48-50 (old size) to #71 or so onward (new size) and you'll see a major difference!

Kid said...

I'm not convinced it was all down to Sinnott's inking, Britt, because I was thinking more of the external shape of Kirby's early drawings of the Surfer, rather than the detail within. I get the impression that JK used photos of actual surfers as reference to begin with, but later just drew ol' Norrin's poses from memory. I think you're right about the change in size affecting his drawing to an extent, but I don't believe that was the main reason for the Surfer losing his 'graceful' posture. Buscema was drawing at the same size as Kirby, yet he managed (for the most part) to retain Whitey's fluidity.

Philip Crawley said...

Agree Kid. The Surfer seemed much more athletic and streamlined in the early FF issues than later on, say even in issue 18 of his own mag, which Jack drew for some reason instead of big John, who'd done the preceding 17. Although even Buscema took a couple of issues to nail the Surfer as we know and admire, co-inciding in my opinion with the transition in his art from the slightly stiffer style to the really dynamic look he had at his peak. There was a similar transition with Gil Kane from his earlier work into the Kane look that became so much his own.

Kid said...

You're right, PC - in the first two or three issues of the Surfer's own mag, ol' Norrin was a bit too bulky, although I wonder how much of that was down to Joe Sinnott's inks? Also, on the cover of SS #1, Surfy was a bit stiff and static, but Big John hit his stride with issue four.

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