I could seriously put in over four or five HUNDRED amazing covers from this guy. I met Curt at a convention years and years ago, and he was the nicest guy ever, and I have to say that at the time I wasn’t actually a huge fan. You have to understand that I was a “Marvel” guy when I was growing up. It wasn’t until Curt and I were shaking hands that I had a revelation of how much I really DID enjoy his work. His hand was in mine and I looked down at it and thought, “That’s the hand that’s drawn the iconic Superman TENS OF THOUSANDS of times!” It was like a jolt of electricity. I’d say that it was from that moment on that I’ve been a huge fan of Curt’s work, but, obviously I’d been a big fan even before then, and I just didn’t know it.
Oh look! Iconic covers. I love the Supergirl cover, of course, because I love Supergirl and would LOVE to write her comics one day, but I’ve always loved that Adventure cover because of that little motion swirl around Superboy’s head. That motion swirl is shorthand for, “WTF? You’re turning ME down? Seriously, jerkwads, in not long from now it’s going to be SUPERBOY & THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES, so take that you teen bastards. Also, Saturn Girl, you are HOT.”
A selection of “fatty” covers.
Monkey / Ape covers (a personal favorite genre of mine)
And, speaking of a look at Swan’s art, click on this link for a nice look at a Wonder Woman story that was begun by John Rosenberger and finished by Swan. The story is unpublished, and only in the pencil stage, and I always find such behind the scenes looks to be interesting.
And now… it’s GALLERY TIME!
Parts you’ve probably read in earlier posts:
You might not see your favorite artist during this countdown. That’s okay. Don’t get mad. Some of MY favorite artists aren’t here. Hugo Pratt, Bernie Krigstein, Mike Wieringo… these guys (and others) are fantastic artists, but their covers just don’t strike me. Some people need sequential panels in order to have their art sing… and that’s okay. Furthermore, this list is subjective to my moods of the moment, so if you disagree with me, then rest assured that I probably disagree with me, too. That said, I welcome any and all comments as this list progresses over time.
THE FINE PRINT: (Why I’m doing this)
Recently, on a trip to a comic store, I was DISGUSTED by the overall lack of design on covers. Most covers were nothing more than two or three characters punching each other and snarling, the exact kind of design that I would have worked out when I was eight years old, and spat on by the time I was ten. So, why do such covers proliferate the shelves? One reason is for trade dressing… so that any cover can be put upon almost any trade compilation, which is one of the reasons behind the other Far Too Common cover design… that of the character or team standing at attention, looking tough, staring at the viewer. Fuck that. I’m lucky enough to work largely with editor Nate Cosby, who does very good work at hiring talented cover artists and creating covers that don’t piss me off, but in consideration of my other less lucky friends, and the industry as a whole, I’m going to spend the next few weeks counting down my own personal Top 40 Comic Book Cover Artists… the ones who got it right.
7 Responses to Favorite Cover Artists Countdown # 19: Curt Swan
Great gallery, thanks! Even after all these years, whenever I visualise Superman, it’s a Curt Swan illustration I see in my head.
However, the Lois Lane 80 page giant cover up the top is by the equally wonderful Kurt Schaffenberger.
The Lois Lane 80 pg Giant cover looks like Kurt Shaffenberger. Maybe he inked Swan pencils?
Also, Saturn Girl, you are HOT
It’s the look of frosty disdain that does it.
Oops. Thanks much to Paul McCall and Spike-X for pointing out my Swan / Schaffenberger gaffe. I knew sooner or later I’d goof up on these cover artist blogs. A lot of research goes into these posts, and it’s good to know I’ve got backup.
Super nice post Mr. Tobin!
Hope everything is well in Portland and please also say “Hi!” to your wife.
from Montreal where its already TOO COLD,
CANT BELEIVE YOU CONFUSED A KURT FOR A CURT. KURT.S WAS A GREAT ARTIST IN HIS OWN RIGHT,I’AM A BIG FAN. FANTASTIC AT DRAWING THE FEMALES BUT UNFOURTUNATLY HE MADE SUPERMAN LOOK SLIGHTLY EFFEMINATE. CURT TOOK A LESS STYLISED APPROUCH TO BOTH THE FEMALE AND MALE FORM, HE WAS IN FACT THE ULTIMATE ‘HOUSE’ ARTIST.CAN’T THINK OF BAD COVER HE EVER DREW, A COUPLE OF FAVOURITES’THAT COME TO MIND ARE:ODDLY ENOUGH THE LAST COVER YOU FEATURED, ACTION COMICS FEATURING COSTUME X, I’M LUCKY ENOUGH TO OWN BOTH PARTS OF THIS HIGHLY BELEIVABLE STORY.DON’T HAVE THE COMIC TO HAND BUT WORLD’S FINEST, FROM THE SAME ERA,DIG NOW, DIE LATER. COVER FEATURING SUPERMAN AND BATMAN FORCING OLSEN AND ROBIN TO DIG THEIR OWN GRAVES.FANTASTIC PEICE OF WORK [THE STORY INSIDE WAS OF COURSE BULL]. THERE ARE JUST SO MANY GOOD’N’S. I ALLWAYS THOUGHT OF CURT AS THE OTHER SIDE OF THE KIRBY COIN [OR VIS VERSA]. KIRBY COULD NEVER DRAW SOMEONE RELAXED, CURT COULD. CURT COULDN’T DRAW DYNAMIC SCENCES’ KIRBY COULD. BUT I MUST SAY, CURT SAWN’S TALENT NEVER WANED THRUOGH THE YEARS AS JACKS’ DID [I THINK HE BURNED HIMSELF OUT IN THE MID 60S].
Weel, ImO Curt was much better with action sequences than Kirby was with faces and relaxed characters and realistic human beings.
and Kurt was THE face master, while Johny Storm and Steve Rogers could have been twins every member of the legion had his own unique look.