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Manning Mondays

Star Wars...
Russ Mannings' Star Wars newspaper strips were collected, reformatted and colored by Dark Horse Comics...


Toth Tuesdays

Hot Wheels...


Manning Mondays

Star Wars...

Russ Manning illustrated the first Star Wars strip and comics were better for it.


Mark of Kane - pt2

It was Kane's ingenious use of perspective that marked Kane as a true designer. His roughs and layouts for StarHawks clearly show his working methods. Figure placement and background elements, as well as his figure construction. They show quite clearly how he structured the head and face, and why his particular cheeks looked the way they do.

The StarHawks collection is a wonderful source of some of Kane's best work. Humorous and dramatic stories are expertly depicted by Kane.

Another source can be found in Sword of the Atom, as well as his adaptation of the Ring of the Nibelung . In the Ring, he inks all of his work in a constant line weight - a method he often employed. Many young artists today do the same, often coming to use brushes later in their careers. Kane never felt the need to do so.

For a long period, Kane did work here and there for DC, but worked in the animation industry through the 1980s. In the 1990s Kane worked at Topps, and finally at Malibu, for its Bravura line of creator-owned projects.

His animation work was in design and concepts, and one key example stands out.

Looking at the three Centurions, one begins to notice something eerie - you see three of the comics masters that worked on the cartoon. Gil Kane, Doug Wildey, and Jack Kirby. Sea, Air, and Land. And, what was the name of the lady in Sky Vault?


Mark of Kane

The Green Lantern Corps - that was my introduction to Gil Kane, one of the most influential artists upon my work and long interest in comics. John Romita JR and a particular issue of Amazing Spider-Man, being another.
Yes, it really was good enough to steal.

Back to the Lanterns.
The Corps comic series of pre-Crisis DC, led to many years of hunting for Kane's 'barbarian' tale in Sword of the Atom. Only recently, with the widening and shrinking of the world via the internet, did collections and examples of Star Hawks and his Tarzan Sundays, become available.

Savage and Black Mark too, although original editions found their way here.

But Green Lantern and the Atom is where he did the majority of his better known work, as well as numerous Marvel covers...

... And work on the infamous Thunder Agents with the legendary Wally Wood.
Some of his best work from that period, was the hybrid hero, Captain Action. Kane's pages, storytelling and figures marked the style by which he'd be known for, from that point until his death.

Muscles, foreshortening, head montages, and poses that were so recognizably Kane.
His design for boots is pretty much etched in the mind, burned into memory.

His work on Tarzan, exposure to and meeting with Burne Hogarth, and the multitude of Marvel covers, were a melting pot - birthing skills and techniques that would stay with him and be refined.

Depth, deep foreshortening, his unique and constant use of perspective were also hallmarks of his work.

It can be seen in his personal work - Savage, a pioneering graphic novel. The narrative text style aside, the structure of the work, the composition and draftsmanship in each panel, continued from that book. Before then, his DC work closely followed the house style. His art comparable to those who inked and worked alongside him - Carmen Infantino, Murphy Anderson and others. Excellent art, but not as dramatic and not with such a deep sense of scope. In cinema, Kane's later art would be described as "angle with angle" shots; meaning it always included two surfaces (sides) of any object in the image, with a low (or high) camera angle in relation to it.

It was this that cemented Kane's distinctiveness.

Next: part 2.