Artist John Severin passed away last Sunday at the age of 90 with his family and loved ones by his side. For over 50 years, Mr. Severin’s beautiful work appeared in such magazines as ‘Mad’ and ‘Cracked’ but it was his work at EC that got him noticed and started the legend! Within those pages his realistic and incredibly accurate style separated him from many of the others working in those same books.
I discovered his art some years later in ‘Sgt. Fury # 139’ which was a reprint of a comic that came out in the summer of 1967. What I noticed was the amazing detail that made each panel look like it was right out of a history book. From that moment on it was a race to collect everything he did; Unknown Soldier, Sgt. Rock, G.I. Combat, Our Fighting Forces not to mention his prolific work in the western genre.
For me, Severin broke away from the then current mold of over the top looking characters and unbelievable actions. His characters seemed less superhero even if they were wearing fatigues or a cowboy hat. Following Jack ‘King’ Kirby on ‘Sgt. Fury’ must have felt like a no win situation, but he not only took the challenge and won over this young fan, even if they were 10 year old reprints. But what did I know?
Since I never met him, I will have to remember John Severin for the gift he gave me; his art. I wish I got the chance to tell him how much his work impacted me and really inspired my love of history, especially World War II.
Thank you sir, I’ll miss you!