If you’re anything like me, you’ll consider the first 28 issues of the comic book version of MAD the best comic book ever published. John Severin was one of the main contributors to that notion.
There was no one like him for inking and rendering the real world as easily as breathing. His sense of gray tones, textures, light and shadow and human expression were unparalleled. When I teach inking classes at the TCW, John Severin is mentioned at least once an hour as one of the best who ever did this comic book stuff.
I first encountered Severin’s work on his stellar run of Sgt. Fury comics. John was inking over Dick Ayers at the time, but the inks were so distinctive, Severin was the leading hand in the look of that title. From there I discovered Cracked Magazine and John’s mind-boggling skill at likenesses. Once I had found a reprint of an early Mad Comics spoof of Melvin of the Apes, I was hooked for life. Without a word of exaggeration, I was reading a John Severin comic book yesterday, and marveling at how perfect every line was, every stroke of that pen or brush.
Damn this deal with the universe that guys like Severin don’t get to go on forever.
Ty the Guy OUT!