Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Marie Severin

Though I wasn't looking for additional reasons for why comic creator Marie Severin is one of my heroes, I recently came across one:

Dan Johnson's article in Back Issue #17 ("Marvel's Dark Angel," pp. 57-63) reveals that Severin was the (until now uncredited) designer of Spider Woman's killer costume in 1977.

Why the costume works:

— It just looks cool. (Superheroes have got to look cool.)

— It is distinctive: red with yellow accents.

— It draws upon all of the cool visual elements associated with spiders.

— Webs are not referenced.

— It immediately establishes that the character is distinct from Spiderman.

There are two particularly nice Severin quotes from Back Issue.

MS on designing Spider Woman's costume:
When it was that long ago, you don't think you're making history when you're doing these things.
MS interviewed by Dewey Cassell; on pencelling the first two issues of The Cat (a character who eventually morphed into Tigra):
Cassell: I understand they deliberately put a team of women creators on The Cat.

Severin: Absolutely. They were hoping to capture female readers. After all, fifty percent of the population is female.

Cassell: I guess female inkers were hard to come by, though, because Wally Wood inked the origin story.

Severin: Yes, I remember saying, "My God, I drew this woman and Wally inked her like she's wrapped in Saran Wrap." His storytelling always had lovely inking, nice blacks and everything, but I didn't have her that revealing. The boys loved his work, though. She was hot stuff.
The deftness with which Severin compliments Wood, while simultaneously distancing herself from what he's done, is a work of art.

oh, very cool! Like the costume, and I didn't realize she had drawn so many of the comics I read as a kid.

Also, that comic is 30 cents.

- Nida, who thinks the blogger team needs a lesson in live-to-site procedures. Bah.
Uhm. Pardon me but what is growing out of Spider-Woman's armpits if not web references? :)
Nida: Man, that makes me feel a bit old.

Dane: You're excused. :) Given the major design elements of SW's bodysuit, I stand by what I wrote.
Marvel had women working on a comic book in an attempt to appeal to women? That sounds sensible.

Imagine if that were proposed today. Joe Q. would have giggle fits.

Dawn (from "I wanna be a comic book artist)

I upgraded to Blogger beta and ever since have had a horrible time trying to leave comments!
Imagine if that were proposed today. Joe Q. would have giggle fits.

Dawn: Sad, but true, given JQ's statements on this topic.
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