Monday, 19 August 2013

Avengers #23

Cerebus #272 (November 2001) by Dave Sim & Gerhard
Avengers #23 (December 1965) by Jacob Kurtzberg
(Click image to enlarge)
(from Cerebus #272, November 2001)
After Jacob Kurtzberg's original cover to Avengers #23... (or 'Jack Kirby' if you prefer) (By me? He is Jacob Kurtzberg) (May God rest his soul)


Anonymous said...

I find the Sim tribute MUCH better than the Kirby original...

Tony Dunlop said...

I'm sorry, I can't let Anon's statement go without dissent. Kirby at the top of his game, which the cover of Avengers #23 is, simply takes my breath away (really, I'm talking audible gasp stuff) in a way Dave and Gerhard, good as they are/were, simply never did.

Anonymous said...

In the spirit of thesis, antithesis and synthesis, I will say that they are both great in their respective ways and quintessential of each artist.

The Sim-Gerhard version is more "designy" and is geared towards telling a story. It focuses more on guiding the eye around the page, especially through the expressive lettering. The whole thing seems very controlled and intentional. There is a slow and deliberate pace to the page. In fact, except for the Cerebus figure at the bottom right, the whole thing seems still, or at most to gently float. That little Cerebus also leads the reader to the next page. It also seems quite ominous, otherworldly, and dreamlike. The Sim-Gerhard version looks like a stately work of art.

Kirby's is typically explosive. The page barely contains the figures. Kirby's original is also otherworldly, but in a cosmic, monumental and even cataclysmic way. Kirby's has movement, but it's more like an intense pulsation; the page practically vibrates there is so much energy. The page invites you to picture the next events. I can picture Captain America throw that shield with all his might and that star in the background go supernova.

Quite amazing how a similar layout, albeit with significant changes, can be used to such different effect.

Both are obviously masterful.

Reginald P.

David Birdsong said...

I tend to agree that most are brilliant for very different reasons. One bigger difference is that Sim and Gerhard probably spent a day or longer on their page. I suspect Kirby banged that thing out in less than an hour.