Every day this month I’m going to feature the work of a great artist, only instead of me picking the artist to feature, they will be picked by their peers, fellow professional comic book artists who are picking out artists (from the past and present) who they think deserve special attention. Do note that most artists I asked about this gave me multiple answers and I picked out one choice out of a number of suggestions, so these are not definitive answers, like “Artist X likes Artist Y and he thinks all other Artists are terrible!” Here is an archive of the artists featured so far!
Today, we have the pick of Tom Mandrake, longtime comic book artist, perhaps best known for his work with John Ostrander on Firestorm, Martian Manhunter and, most especially, The Spectre. Tom just recently did work for a Batman and Superman mini-series and the Wildstorm adaptation of the TV series Fringe. Check out Tom’s website here.
Tom’s pick is Everett Raymond Kinstler.
Kinstler is a particular strange pick for this feature, because he may be one of the most famous comic book artists there ever was – he just isn’t really famous FOR his comic book work, but rather his portrait work that he began primarily doing in the late 1950s and has continued to this day, doing official portraits for every United States President from Richard Nixon until Bill Clinton.
So while he has become a legendary artist as a maker of portraits, his early comic book work IS quite good.
Kinstler started working in comics in the early 1940s when he was only sixteen years old.
Here is a Hawkman story he did in the mid-40s for DC Comics…
Here, then, are a variety of comics he did for Dell during the 1950s while he was still in his 20s….
A Zane Grey western…
A Zorro story…
A Max Brand western….
and a Luke Short western….
Really impeccable design work and exquisite storytelling ability. Plus, his character work IS quite striking, it’s not much of a surprise that he’d be great at drawing portraits.
Check out Kinstler’s website here (although I take it that he’s mostly retired from the art world nowadays).
Thanks to Tom for the pick!