Sunday, 21 May 2017

Rich Buckler

Following the sad news of comic artist Rich Buckler's untimely death there are many excellent tributes to the man on the net so I won't attempt anything like that here, but I thought I'd just post some of my favourite pieces of his artwork. Above is the one and only issue of his creation Demon Hunter from Atlas Comics, September 1975. This was a very promising supernatural / super hero hybrid which I'm sure could have done very well in the era of Swamp Thing, Ghost Rider et al but which unfortunately disappeared along with its publisher. Buckler, never one to give up on an idea, later recycled the character as Devil Slayer for Marvel.

I've posted the two images above before ( from Fantastic Four no. 142 ) but they're worth repeating because they show Buckler at the top of his game, adapting his chameleonic style to that of Jack Kirby's quintessential Marvel idiom. And, of course, Joe Sinnott's inking helps immeasurably with that.
And here's another graet Fantastic Four cover, depicting one of THE classic Thing / Hulk smack-downs in a suitably Marvel-ous way.
I'll finish with a page of Buckler's pencils from a 1996 Captain America one-shot called The Medusa Legacy as a fine reminder that Rich Buckler was a consummate story-teller. In an age of often self-indulgent, flashy artists who were more concerned with innovative panel arrangements or cosmic spectacle, Rich Buckler was a master of continuity  -  his layouts and finished artwork always clear, concise and readable, with everything perfectly poised to further the story. This is a skill that many modern comic book artists seem to have lost but Rich Buckler had running through his veins.

RIP Rich and thanks for all the wonderful memories...

( All images above are from my own collection apart from the last one which I nicked from Twomorrows' Comic Book Artist no. 7, Feb 2000. If you're interested in 1970s Marvel this is a wonderful resource, featuring great interviews with comic creators from the time and some lovely artwork such as the piece above. Track it down, you won't regret it. )

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