As a comic book fan, a humor magazine aficionado, and an obsessive doodler, no matter what era we're talking about, John Severin has always been a favorite. And, yes, I will still use that tense until the day I kick off. In fact, as I grew up with my nose firmly planted in these funny books, Severin was one of the first artists I recognized by style alone, a style I usually tried and failed to mimic or emulate whenever I put pencil to paper. At caricature, he had few equals. Photo-realistic but slightly exaggerated. Amazing. And he really knew his way around an action sequence, too. And whether drawing or inking, he added a lot of weight.
It didn't matter if it was inking Dick Ayres or Herb Trimpe, Severin's contribution to both is why this era is my favorite rendition of old Jade Jaws ever committed in four-colors.
He made the jump from EC, mostly Two-Fisted Tales, to MAD Magazine after Dr. Wertham and the No Fun Brigade ushered in the Comics Code era. Later, his work for Cracked, especially his Monster Issues, was the main reason I always preferred it over MAD.
And so, obviously, I was majorly bummed when the news broke a few days ago that Severin had passed away at the age of 90, leaving behind an exhaustive and often hilarious body of work that will truly speak for itself for generations of fans to come.
(1921 – 2012)