Friday, June 25, 2010

American Eagle-Severin & Elder-1953

One of my absolute all-time favorite western comics was PRIZE COMICS WESTERN featuring American Eagle by the great team of John Severin and Will Elder. Both artists would later make names for themselves separately at MAD and then go on to long an distinguished careers in comics and elsewhere. In fact, just within the past year and a half or so, Mr. Severin was still drawing westerns when he did a BAT LASH mini-series for DC. No idea who the writer on the AMERICAN EAGLE stories was but the art is great fun if you can get past a little political incorrectness.


  1. Richard Hancock writes:Very nice artwork. The inking actually reminds me of Joe Sinnott's work. (I'm assuming it's John Severin inking Will Elder, since the end result is so Severinesque.)

    I loved John Severin's inking of his sister Marie's pencils on Marvel's Kull the Conqueror comic book and his incredible covers and interior artwork (pencils and inks) over many years for Cracked magazine.

  2. It's Elder inking Severin. This combination continued at EC on the Kurtzman war books.

    Also, if memory serves, Colin Dawkins, a friend of Severin's, was the writer on the American Eagle series.

  3. Yes, a wonderful choice. Without fail, ALL of the American Eagle strips were fantastically-well drawn, and--thanks to Dawkins--well written. Dawkins cannot be undervalued, once you've read an episode. These are taut yet colorful dramas, with some comic relief and keenly-observed nuances of human social behavior. I can't help be rave like a fanboy when I get on the subject--well chosen, I say, well chosen!

  4. if memory serves, Dawkins was an ad man who wrote these scripts for the sheer love of it. I seem to recall that he moved to London at some point and continued to write--long distance. That couldn't have been too easy, in those days, and his motivation was surely more than financial...

    I keep thinking I'm reading an EC when I peruse one of these, as the quality is at such a high level, and the art is that supremely distinct combo of the two highly individual stylists. Once you've seen them working together, a lot becomes apparent in retrospect. Probly most of us wd prefer the individual art styles to the combo, but all 3 are highly desirable additions to any collection! I love Severin's solo work so much, I very reluctantly prefer it over the combo, but I really find the combo so intriguing and it brings back so many EC memories. The 2 artists worked together even on SF, at EC. It made such an impression on me when I first saw it--in 1968, at the age of 13--that I never forgot it. Funny how such a thing can affect us more than even the births and deaths of some relatives. I have only the vaguest memories of some of my relatives--couldn't recognize them in a police line up--but I doubt I will ever for get that distinctive art style!!! Uh--maybe my priorities are screwed up...?