Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Students of comic art take note of this nice page. A short intro to the career of the incredible Frank Robbins complete with some scans of his gone artwork. The writeup is kinda nerdy but also enjoyable - to wit: "With Robbins there is not long dwelling upon abdominal muscles – something you can certainly find in abundance elsewhere."
I've been meaning to post some favorite Robbins pages to my "library" so this may inspire me to get my ass in gear.
Robbins was the best latter-day Batman artist, period. And by latter day I mean post Sprang, Robinson, etc. Check out the splash page I'm posting (click image above) to see what I mean.
It's a little hard to find Robbins' work since editors often didn't let him do the covers of the books he worked on. This is because his material was so fresh it literally blinded people. Certain comics editors found this blinding quality uncomfortable and relegated his work to be shuttered behind lame Neal Adams-esque covers. But that just makes the longbox crawling that much more intriguing.
Robbins was one of the great adventure strip artists before getting into comics. His stuff on Batman was probably his best comics work. He also did great turns on the Shadow and Capt. America before seemingly getting worn down by the system.


David King said...

Shit, that Batman suicide page is great! I wanted to get some Robbins comics at Comicon this year, but like you said you can't tell what comics have his stuff in 'em.

Nice to see some new stuff on here, by the way

Ted May said...

Whatta you mean, you don't have a CHECKLIST? Dave I'm shocked!
Actually - yeah, I had the same problem a while back in Chicago trying to figure out which issues of Human Fly Robbins pencilled. Of course the other dude who worked on that mag was my second favorite cartoonist from Manchester, England: Lee Elias.

David King said...

I really like Elias, too--I wish there were more reprints of his stuff. I got the Green Arrow Showcase book, but those are so dull...if you want my copy you can have it

Ted May said...

Thanks!! But I've already got it. I haven't "read" it per se, but I've looked at it a ton. The best stuff in there is Kirby's take on Green Arrow. I think Elias was more of a cover man, but I have yet to see much of his comics work outside of that GA book. His latter day stuff for Marvel was pretty crappy. For some reason they didn't let him ink his own stuff! What's the point of THAT??

Pops Gustav said...

Robbins was one of those artists I HATED as a kid and grew to absolutely LOVE as an adult. If only DC would get on the stick and start doing their own "visionary" series, there's some incredible work waiting to be collected: The Best of Frank Robbins... Alex Toth... Bob Oksner... Nick Cardy.... Mike Kaluta... sigh.