Friday, February 17, 2012

Rest in peace John Severin...




I was probably around 14 years old and the year was maybe 1981. I was already hooked on CONAN and had already read 4 or 5 novels as well as a nice collection of Savage Sword and CTB comic books. I used to hoof it up to my local comic shop and spend hours browsing through back issues and just generally getting lost in a world of fantasy. Then I came across it…KULL number 2…a comic book I had no idea existed…I snatched it out of the box and asked HOW MUCH…I was told 2 dollars…well all I had was 2 dollars…so I bought it right up.
I got home and read that comic book from page to page…every word and even the ads. Then I read it again. Then…I looked at the cover mesmerized for maybe 15 minutes straight…then opened it up and read it one more time. I repeated this process two more times.
I could not get over the art. The storytelling and action and the snake men and the sealed chamber and the ghost of the former king roaming the halls. It was one of the greatest comic books I had ever read and to this day remains so.
I brought it to school and showed my friends who played DnD and loved the “Lord of the rings” and used to talk about the books and the old Bakshi cartoon for hours on end.
They all took a turn reading it…between the pages of an open composition notebook so it did not get soiled and they all loved it. Then I told them about REH and CONAN and the ACE books and John Buscema and Frazetta and YES…even John Severin whose name I had recognized from some of the western comics and SGT FURY reprints in my collection.
It may not be commonly known but John and Marie Severin the brother and sister dynamic duo of Marvel are two of the greatest artists in Marvels History…they were there from the earliest times.
Many years later John and Marie once again worked together on an REH creation…this time on the Graphic novel "CONAN the REAVER" for Marvel comics…it was a sequel of sorts to the story in KULL number 2…KULL sealed the chamber and Conan breaks the seal unloosing eternal evil….once again we see John and Marie producing breathtaking beautiful artwork.
( Now I have to go read those comics again )
A few years ago John did a fill in issue I believe it was CONAN 18 for DARK HORSE….the story was called the HELMET…or HELM…Dahhh I can’t recall but it was awesome…John's work was as immaculate as ever and the story ironic and entertaining. John Severin is and always will be part of me in spirit. I never met the man but his work will be with me forever. I’ll never forget how I was entertained and enthralled by his look and style and attention to detail. He was 90 years old when he died February 12, 2012. He lived a long life.
Rest in peace Sir…

3 comments:

Dominic said...

I'll second all of the above. I just read "The Helm" a couple of weeks ago and was amazed at how well his work has stood the test of time, and how well it stands up against the hot artists of today. Severin had a way with detail and crowd scenes that was second to none. I first discovered his work in "Cracked" magazine, and enjoyed it in many books before and since. He was one of those distinctive artists whose work is irreplacable, and comics is better for having had him.

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Jack Badelaire said...

I've actually got that Conan the Reaver sitting on a shelf next to me. It's one of my favorite Conan "graphic novels" and now I definitely need to re-read that story. If memory serves, it was the first time I ever heard the term "Priest's Robe Cut". Badass...