I was sad to hear yesterday that the great comic book artist Richard Corben had recently passed away, following heart surgery. He first made a name for himself in the 1970s, working for various Underground comic publishers as well as for Warren magazines and Heavy Metal, and was a pioneer of the graphic novel form with the likes of Den / Neverwhere and Bloodstar. His comic strips were loud, brash and colourful, filled with brawny musclemen, over-endowed women, creepy creatures and outrageous horror. There was also a poetic, lyrical side to Corben's work which often showed through the fleshy spectacle and ultra-violence. He was a master of colour, achieving stunning chromatic effects with the limited resources of the four-colour comic.
I thought I'd post a few examples of Corben's work from my collection. The first four images are all taken from P.R Garriock's Masters Of Comic Book Art, a wonderful book published way back in 1978 which first introduced me to Corben as well as the likes of Moebius, Druillet and Eisner. The next three images are taken from The Odd Comic World Of Richard Corben, a collection of some of his strips for Warren Publishing. Of course, Corben later went on to work for the likes of Pacific Comics and even went "mainstream" ( -ish ) for Marvel and DC but I'll always go back to the power and raw sensuality of his early material.
Absolutely beautiful artwork from one of the greats of the modern comic book who will be sadly missed.
RIP Richard Corben - 1st October 1940 to 2nd December 2020