Monday, August 03, 2020

I Flew With Superman!

The comics in my collection span a ten year time period from 1974 through 1983. That period plus a few years on either side is collectively known in comic collector circles as: the Bronze Age. (Comic Book Historian Alex Grand places the Bronze Age of Comic Books from 1970 to 1984.)

Throughout the Bronze Age of Comics one artist was most associated with the look of DC’s most iconic character: Superman. That artist was Curt Swan. He drew Superman for the entire time that I was reading comics from age 9 to 18. What’s more remarkable is that Swan was also the face of Superman for the entire Comic Book Age prior to that: the Silver Age. Truly, when it comes to artists and comic books, Curt Swan and Superman were synonymous.

You might remember that I identified Jose Luis Garcia Lopez as my favorite Superman artist. I did, but not because Lopez is a “better” artist for Superman than Swan. Quite the opposite. I think that Swan was so connected with the Man of Steel, that I just yearned to see something different over the years. If Swan had moved to another title, (I vote Wonder Woman) I would have eagerly followed him. I find his artwork to be beautiful. (Especially, his eyes. Swan draws great eyes.)

Given how inseparable Swan and Superman are, I find this 10 page back-up story in Superman Annual #9 to be especially touching. Given the way the credits are listed, I believe Curt took this story idea to his editors and asked if he could do it. Also, this is one of the rare examples (It might be the only example in my collection.) of the artist inking his own pencil work. So, this artwork is 100% Curt Swan. The story is clearly a labor of love, and it’s one of my favorites.

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