Friday, October 16, 2009

R.I.P. George Tuska

Just learned from Danny Boy's blog that George Tuska has died, and it brought back plenty of memories of his Iron Man's, as well as a host of other series that he worked on.

George was the artist on the first issue that I ever brought (Iron Man #64), only the second comic that I had ever seen, and I was completely and utterly perplexed by being thrown into the middle of a confusing Dr. Spectrum story. My seven year old brain was trying desperately to understand some of the visual language native to comics (speed lines, pointers on word balloons, certain visual shorthand that unique to Tuska) and try to understand the story at the same time!

None the less, i did figure it out, and would go on to buy up a ton of back issues with George's work, as well as following the series going forward. George was never my favorite artist, his work as a bit stiff and as he went on in his career ( a career that had been going on for a long time!) he relied on many of the same poses and faces. It was a revelation to come across Iron Man #11-18, where a number of the issues were inked by Johnny Craig, the grand EC veteran, and they brought a finishing skill to Tuska's work that was missing from most of his inkers. I think that George was very poorly served by his inkers over the years, and the evidence is right there.

I have an original from Iron Man #18 that I'll scan and post later so that you can see the work in all its black and white glory.

None the less, I met George for the first time just about 6 years ago, and he was an extremely nice man. I continue to stress going out and meeting your heroes before they pass away, and in this case i'm glad that i got the chance to chat with him. He did a great Iron Man sketch for me that i have to this day.

Someone with more material to scan should really go back and some of George's work from the 1950's so that we can see it. That would be cool.

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