Today's main feature is Michael Dean's extensive obituary on Marie Severin, who passed away this week.
Severin’s 1967 run on Doctor Strange continued until Strange Tales #160. She drew Incredible Hulk in Tales to Astonish from issue #92 to #101, including the crossover issue with the Submariner series, and went on to draw the Hulk in his own 1968 solo title, issues #102-105, as well as the 1968 Incredible Hulk annual #1. She was a mainstay artist for the entire 13-issue run of Not Brand Echh.
But these runs were exceptions. Severin was given no signature series and had no opportunity to create a series from scratch. Instead, throughout her career at Marvel and elsewhere, her talent, speed and energy were used to save her employers’ bacon. She was a go-to emergency responder whenever a regular artist unexpectedly left a job or missed a deadline. Whenever spot illustrations were needed for letters pages, fan-club materials or ads, Severin was brought in to do the job in a manner that was both quick and faithful to the house style established by Marvel’s more celebrated artists. She was a frequent inker and was Marvel’s head colorist until 1972, but most of her work was uncredited: roughing covers, fixing faces, redrawing panels, adding bridging sequences and making corrections to the art of the credited artists. She eventually came to fill John Romita’s role as cover designer, but was never offered Romita’s art-director title — a classic case of a female “hidden figure” whose contributions remained in the shadow of her male colleagues.
Along with Severin (and Russ Heath earlier), the longtime Marvel Comics writer Gary Friedrich passed away this week. We will publish an obituary on him in the coming days.
What a week! Our pal Karl Stevens closes it out with a reminder of the world's natural beauty, and how sometimes, you need some of that nature to fuck off so you can enjoy the beauty.
Meanwhile, we've got a review for you: Brenna Thummler's Sheets, from Lion Forge. The review is by longtime contributor Noah Berlatsky. His feelings on the book are mixed.
That self-reflexive shallowness is indicative of Thummler's graphic novel as a whole, for better and worse. Thummler is a young creator, but she's already gotten a number of high profile gigs, including drawings for the New York Times and Washington Post. Her skill, when utilized as here in the interest of an unambitious narrative, can come off as glib. But Thummler's also attuned to the limitations of the comics form in a way that adds resonance to a story about grief and loss. Sheets is a comic that doesn't quite connect, while also using comics as a metaphor for the things you wish you could touch, but can't.
In other news, the CBLDF and the SPX Festival has established a legal aid fund of $20,000 to assist the 11 individuals involved in the Cody Pickrodt defamation lawsuit previously covered by Alec Berry last week.
Wendy Pini is no stranger to a good interview, and this one with Women Write About Comics, conducted during the most recent San Diego Comic Con, is no exception.
Wendy: Well explain what you mean, politically incorrect. You mean because I told women to stand up for themselves? I’m not backing off of that position.
I was wondering if you had anymore thoughts now that the #MeToo movement is really taking off, and—
Wendy: The #MeToo movement is no joke; it’s absolutely real. I still I entirely advocate that women help each other in learning how to stand up to harassment and bullying. I still find that some women, for reasons I can’t figure out, if they are harassed by a guy or guys, they will just back up and get upset about it. Rather than… there’s nothing that turns a guy off more than a direct stare, and there are girls who haven’t learned the direct stare yet, and I advocate that they do.
Another rock solid interview subject? Lisa Hanawalt. She's over at Jezebel, talking all things Coyote Doggirl. And also this:
I am wondering, though, what you think of the bizarre fascination with all these young women who become obsessed with horses. I don’t know if you consciously thought of past representations of women and horses in media when you were writing this, but how did you incorporate that into the story?
I didn’t think about it too much, because I was just trying to think from my own perspective: what I think about when I’m riding a horse. But I feel like people who aren’t into horses have a tendency to sexualize that relationship because they don’t understand it, and they’re like, “Oh it’s definitely a sex thing, ‘cause women and horses.” But it’s way more complicated than that. Obviously, I don’t like horses because I want to fuck one; that’s just stupid. But I don’t know, there is something to little girls controlling this big, powerful beast that is so intuitive that it listens to them. You can sort of tell a horse all your secrets. And in some ways, I think it is a surrogate for a relationship. But it’s emotional; it’s not sexual.
I've never seen any of Sequart's documentaries, but they recently uploaded two of them to Youtube. Of the two, the Grant Morrison one is the more frequently talked about.