« Classic Ads: Building a Lifelong Friendship (Literally) | Main | The Real-Life Superhero Universe (Part 4) »

May 28, 2008



I can hear John Williams' epic theme playing in my head as I read your post-- this will be very cool. I like Superman, but would like to know more about him than I do, and trust your super-knowledge will do the trick!

Mark Engblom

Thanks, Brian...I'll try my best to make it fun.

Joe Lewallen

Happy Birthday to the Big Guy. Looking forward to your Coverage, Mark.


i never used to like Superman much growing up... i mean he was ok but the Curt Swan/Frank Chiarmonte interiors were always a letdown from the Neal Adams, Jose Garcia Lopez or Andru/Giordano covers and i was a Batman fan from the reruns of the tv show...

but Batman turned into a psycho and Alan Moore & Curt Swan (with a good inker) proved that there was plenty of life in Superman. i've really come to love the Swan stuff from his heydays- all the Silver Age stuff (when he was the Brian Bolland of his era) and just how rich and wonderful all the Weisinger-created mythos is...

looking forward to your coverage and putting in a request for a Superman vs Shazam entry!

Mark. Engblom

"i never used to like Superman much growing up... i mean he was ok but the Curt Swan/Frank Chiarmonte interiors were always a letdown..."

I hear you on that point. I loathed the Chiaramonte inking over Swan's pencils...and it makes me wonder if the whole experience took the wind out of Swan's sails through much of the 80's...until Al Williamson was made his inker shortly before the end of his stint (Al was Swan's favorite inker of his stuff).

"looking forward to your coverage and putting in a request for a Superman vs Shazam entry!"

I'll see what I can do!


yes! i think Al Williamson is Swan's best inker too. it's a shame the Swan/Williamson (Swilliamson?) team was only on a handful of issues while Chiaramonte inked both Action and Superman for almost a decade. so much of my initial impression of Swan's work was tainted by his leaden inking...


The late George Klein was my favorite Swan inker, Anderson a close second; but you know who really destroyed Curt's pencils (IMHO)? Jack Abel...at least in some late '60s Legion stories in Adventure (and I think he inked some Supermans during that time too). Abel's inks absolutely flattened Swan's work. Back then, I was a clueless kid and when Abel started inking Swan on a few LSH stories (prior to Mortimer taking over the pencils), I really thought it was another artist altogether, and not Swan--that's how unrecognizable it was to me.


i'm with you on both points, SLK.

hard to argue with either Klein or Anderson. i recently been buying a lot of silver age Superman's around 145-190 and i just love that era artwork (which i never appreciated a kid). the Swanderson Superman always reminds me of the 70s due to Superman's (very) slightly shaggier hair and longer sideburns.

and ditto on Abel. he's in my bottom tier of inkers...

here's my breakdown (in order):

tier 1
Al Williamson, George Klein, Murphy Anderson, Swan himself

tier 2
Bob Oksner, Dan Adkins, Dave Hunt

tier 3
Stan Kaye, Shelly Moldoff

tier 4
Jack Abel, George Roussos, Frank Chiarmonte, Tex Blaisdell

Mark Engblom

Yeah, Abel was a pretty obnoxious inker....he stomped all over pencils. I think the only guy I liked him inking over was Sal Buscema.

Your tier system matches up pretty close to my own, although I would personally elevate Oksner to Tier 1.

Geez...I'd forgotten about Blaisdell.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Visit My Shop:

Blog powered by Typepad