Sunday, April 7, 2013

Nights of Wonder...Con! Jim Steranko

WonderCon 2013, Day 2, Spotlight on Steranko - "You know it?"

Inspiration.  It's different for everyone.  But when you see it, you know it.  Such was the case for Jim Steranko.  Already a fan of his work on Marvel's Nick Fury:  Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., seeing him live was a shock of the lightning.  Here's a guy that worked as a magician and escape artist before becoming one of the most influential comic book artists of all time.  And he only did 29 issues.  Later he worked for directors like Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola.  At 70 something years old, he's busier than ever by his own estimation.

- Loves movies and would spend days and nights at the theater, brought that visual flair to comics
- Was on a hot streak one day in NY having sold his work to a small time publisher, then Paramount TV before deciding on a whim to visit Marvel and attempt to meet Stan Lee
- Chose Nick Fury because it was a title no one cared about and could go nowhere but up
- In those days, comic artist wages were shit.  Like below shit
- Fought with Stan Lee constantly who pleaded, "can't you just do it like Kirby or Romita?"
- Where Kirby worked in the moment of explosion, Steranko works in the tense moment before
- Left Marvel after one of his usual spats with Stan Lee.  Months later, Lee called and the two made up without an apology made by either side
- Stan Lee considers Steranko the son he never had
- Introduced over 100 never before seen artistic techniques to comics

The man was just brimming with enthusiasm, passion, knowledge, confidence and humor.  It's always refreshing and reminding to see a person who says what they feel and does what they say.  Everything isn't for everybody and that's just fine.

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