Art For Art’s Sake #80: Eye Spy An ‘Spy Vs Spy’ Special And More
by Richard Bruton
Another Art For Art’s Sake, another week, and probably another herald of the end of the world just turned up. But hey, let’s just enjoy things while we still can, let’s dance in the moonlight and the rain, and enjoy the artwork!
Kicking off things today with just a little of Phil Jiminez‘s work on The Invisibles…
And now a couple of examples of what happens when great creators absolutely fill the page with brilliance… Evan Dorkin…
And Milt Caniff…
The great and much-missed John Hicklenton…
Lee Weeks Hulk…
Jake Wyatt – Ms Marvel
Javier Pulido – She-Hulk
Joelle Jones Spidey…
Fred Hembeck – JLA & JSA meet for the first time – & the original by Mike Sekowsky – Justice League of America #21 (1963)
Jordi Bernet – Torpedo
Jose Luis Garcia Lopez – the artist’s artist
Marc Laming – Moon Knight
Chris Weston – Ministry of Space
Finally, we’ll end with the genius of Antonio Prohias and Spy Vs Spy – the greatest, funniest, weirdest, and all-round best gag strip there’s ever been in Mad Magazine.
I first read it in some copies of Mad that my dad – not a comics fan at all – had in his study so thank you for that Dad. Because your small selection of comics; Mad Magazine, Charles Addams, Ronald Searle, Fred Bassett, and a couple of Tintins, were the things that set me off on a lifetime of comics love.
But back to the greatness of Spy Vs Spy. It began back in 1961 when a Cuban cartoonist, hounded out of his homeland by Castro, turned up at the offices of Mad in New York looking for work. Unable to speak a word of English, he brought along his daughter Marta to act as interpreter, he walked into the Mad Magazine offices and got a place for his wonderfully silly spy gag strip.
Prohias passed away in 1998, but had already retired from the strip in 1987, passing it on to artists Duck Edwing, Bob Clarke, George Woodbridge, Dave Manak, and current artist (from 1997), Peter Kuper. Kuper definitely keeps the spirit of Prohias’ finest creation alive, creating full-colour strips that get very close to the brilliance of the original. Sadly, with the cancellation of Mad Magazine, we might not get the chance to see the black spy and the white spy (and the later creation, the grey spy) again – and that’s a terrible, terrible shame.
And finally, a couple of Peter Kuper‘s Spy Vs Spy…