Thursday, March 21, 2013

Quick Look: Hulk Special #1 Cover by Jim Steranko

While i'm on this Adams and Steranko kick, I wanted to share one of the most iconic images from that era, one that has gotten lost over the years as time has marched by. Steranko's Hulk cover was an astonishing design, with the integration of the logo into the artwork, and the fact that Hulk's head is really too large for his body. But it works, and it works beautifully since it allows the expression to be read better at this size, a triumph of getting the artwork to fit the message rather than be a slave to any one master (such as pre-designed proportions).

It isn't a wonder that Stan gave Jim all this freedom when it came to his work at Marvel, after all, he was looking at the stuff and knew that Steranko was on that enviable upward curve where the artwork experiences rapid leaps almost every month. What I don't get is how he didn't realize how Jim getting the writer credit and freedom to experiment would hurt Kirby. That lack of emapthy was a huge miscalculation at best, or a huge blind spot at worst. I suspect the latter.

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