Friday, April 27, 2007


"Wayne's work was never boring, and he never left you snoring", is my comment about the late cartoonist, not only one of _the_ great illustrators of SUPERMAN, but also a talented painter and syndicated strip cartoonist, Boring had a long career.
According to Wikipedia,

Boring was born in 1905, I recall his passing in 1987, and was struck by the impact his passing had on me, as I knew he had drawn SUPERMAN comic books for 25 years, and had drawn the character CAPTAIN MARVEL for MARVEL COMICS briefly, in the early 1970's, but I had only seen Wayne's cartooning in old comic books or reprints for many years.
To understand this, you must be aware of the two things that most struck me about Wayne's SUPERMAN.
1} He always drew Clark Kent's eyeglasses so they appeared to be way off of his face.
That was one of the first things that, while I was only a six year old child, reading SUPERMAN comic books for the first time, in 1963, that enabled me to recognize cartoonists' art styles.
2} Wayne also had another "signature" in his SUPERMAN jobs that made his work easy to spot, he drew SUPERMAN with an immense, "barrel" chest.
These small points endeared Mr. Boring's work to me, and, that I knew his work so early in life, made for a combination of a nearly lifelong enjoyment of Boring's illustration.
If you look at his depiction of TITANO THE SUPER APE, from the classic story in SUPERMAN # 138, from 1960, you will see a great example of Boring's SUPERMAN, plus it is a truly fun story, and the character, Titano, doubtlessly inspired by the wonderful 1933 movie, KING KONG, you will also see why the story was adapted into animated cartoons _twice_, first in the Filmation series THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN (1966), and more recently, in the mid-to-late 1990's KIDS' WB program, SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES.
It occurs to me now, having reviewed this entry on June 8th, 2007, that I left out another of Wayne's "signatures" in this discussion, his fabulous futuristic cities. When you see his elaborate cityscapes of the planet Krypton (Superman's birthworld), they are truly breathtaking, and, this is helped by the sparkling primary colors these drawings are rendered in. Most often the colorists names are unknown in these older stories, though we often have an inkling of who the colorists are in the more modern eras, it is sometimes purely guesswork for the comic books of the 1930's to around 1970, or, even later. Nonetheless, whoever was/were the colorist(s)on these Wayne Boring SUPERMANs deserves praise. That individual added much to the work of one of the cartoonist greats in SUPERMAN's long history.
Wayne parodied his own work in the pages of NATIONAL LAMPOON following his departure from DC COMICS, in some scathingly funny cartoons focusing on his former DC editor, Mort Weisinger, who had been with DC for many years, and had also been "story consultant" for many of the telvision episodes of THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN.
During the 1960's a bevy of Wayne Boring's SUPERMAN works were reprinted, and I was fortunate to grow up reading many of these adventures. The series of 80 PAGE GIANTS that DC issued in those days provide a cornucopia of non-boring Boring artworks, including one of my favorite stories, "Superman's Return To Krypton".

--additions and edits and much more to come!!!


tebow said...

Wayne Boring was my favorite Superman artist as well. All of the males who were "good guys" were solid-looking, ruggedly built. Broad shoulders, square chins (even Jimmy Olson!) The "bad guys" were rat-like in appearance. These were a few more things about Mr. Boring's work that facinated me.

Photos said...

I agree. I collect ONLY Superman books which have Wayne Boring's art.