Thursday, July 21, 2005

Fat Chance Archives, vol 4

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Jim Aparo

Batman Family #11

I don't intend to get into the habit of noting obituaries, but the loss of Jim Aparo seems to have struck a nerve in the comics-commentary community. Aparo was one of those rare artists, like Curt Swan, Jose Luis Garcia Lopez and John Romita, who work continuously from the moment they break into the business to the moment they choose to retire, artists who can draw any damn' thing and make theirs the definitive look for that character.

Aparo was also one of those artists who never achieved superstar status, but in retrospect it's difficult to see why. I chose the cover above, not because it's particularly significant, but because for all its virtues it is utterly typical of Aparo's style. He's taken a situation that would have looked downright silly in other hands and given it an additional layer of dramatic tension. And there's no doubt that in the unlikely event that Robin and Batgirl (as opposed to Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon) ever did get married, that is exactly what they would wear to the wedding.

A generation of readers got their idea of what Aquaman, the Spectre, the Phantom Stranger and Batman should look like from Jim Aparo. Not too shabby.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

"The Best of the Spirit"

And in the new year, look for THE SPIRIT, the first issue of a new, ongoing series written and illustrated by Darwyn [Cooke]. This new series is set in modern-day Central City, where The Spirit will face villains both old and new.

Also coming in December is THE BEST OF THE SPIRIT, an affordable trade paperback collecting almost two dozen stories by Will Eisner, with a new introduction by Neil Gaiman.