Gil Kane Essay Essay Research Paper Gil

Gil Kane Essay Essay, Research Paper Gil Kane Eli Katz was born in Latvia on April 6, 1926. His family emigrated to New York in 1929, while he was still 3 years old. An avid reader of comics and pulps, gil broke into the comic field in

Gil Kane Essay Essay, Research Paper

Gil Kane

Eli Katz was born in Latvia on April 6, 1926. His family emigrated to New York in 1929, while

he was still 3 years old. An avid reader of comics and pulps, gil broke into the comic field in

1941 as an assistant in the Jack Binder shop erasing pencils and eventually became an inker

and penciler while still there

Also during this time he began drawing comics for MLJ, the publishers of Archie. He drew

the Scarlet Avenger for almost two years at MLJ and at the same time free-lanced at Street

and Smith, Quality, Holyoke and then Timely Comics as well.

He worked for Joe Simon and Jack Kirby during 1943-44, and here he said he learned many

things from Kirby.

Then he made a career move that would mark his future in comics and inextricably tie his name to the field. That

move was to begin working for DC National shortly before going into the army in 1944.

When he returned home he went back to DC, illustrating whatever characters they gave him. He drew Wildcat and

the Sandman and still he free-lanced at other companies as well. There was barely a company that didn’t benefit

from his services during this period.

click the art to see a larger image of this panel

All through the fifties, Gil continued to free-lance work, but through out this time he maintained a steady paycheck

working at DC, illustrating everything from mysteries and science fiction to Rex the Wonder Dog and his favorites,


Gil was one of those versatile artists whose career was not

particularly disturbed by the comic witch-hunt of the period

and the subsequent forming of the Comics Code Authority in

1954. He continued working steadily and was on hand when

the next big moment in comics would arrive.

During this period that he would gain his recognition

however. In 1956 DC editor Julius Schwartz let artists Joe

Kubert and Carmine Infantino revive the golden age

character, the Flash. Immediately thereafter, Jack Kirby

introduced the Challengers of the Unknown, followed by

several other new super heroes, including Adam Strange in

Showcase Comics #17, illustrated by Gil Kane.

The character proved to be very popular and was given his own regular feature in Mystery in Space – BUT

DRAWN BY CARMINE INFANTINO! Somehow, Gil had not retained the character, an oddity at DC.

Then he helped to re-introduce another golden age

character. The Green Lantern first re- appeared in

Showcase #22. He was very simply, a smash! Not long after

Green Lantern appeared in his three issue run of Showcase

(#’s 22-24), he appeared on the newsstands in his own title,

and Gil illustrated the covers and the interiors. It was to

become one of the most popular books of the silver age era.

A couple of years later, Gil helped re-introduce another

golden age super hero – the Atom – in Showcase #34. He had

another hit on his hands and began illustrating another

character in his own title. Gil was now the lead artist on two

super hero comic titles, and still he drew sci-fi and fantasy

stories for DC. Finally however Gil had “burned out” on the

DC titles and began doing free-lance work at Tower Comics for Thunder Agents, and over at King for Flash

Gordon. He also started working at Marvel again.

Then he left DC doing his last regular Green Lantern with issue #61 coming back for #’s 68-75. He would not be

associated with this title again for about ten years. His last issue of the Atom is #38.

He stayed at Marvel for a period doing the Hulk, Conan, Captain Marvel, Spider-Man, Captain America, the

Avengers and many others. He produced work of such high quality at this time that it was obvious that Gil had

become one of the masters of the comic field, and many began to emulate his stylized interpretation of the comic

medium. Dave Cockrum’s artwork for the New X-Men is one of the most obvious examples of this emulation.

In 1971, Gil wrote and illustrated what would be recognized

as the first Graphic novel. Titled Blackmark, the sci-fantasy

epic was a financial disaster, but it was a critical success.

He also created the Morbius villain in Spider-Man #101, and

Iron Fist in Marvel Premiere. Iron Fist was an interesting

creation as it preceded the martial arts explosion of the

middle seventies due to the popularity of Bruce Lee’s and

Jackie Chan’s films.

After leaving Marvel Gil created and drew the Starhawks

comic strip for almost five years, maintaining an absence

from comic books.

He came back to DC doing all sorts of comic titles, not being identified with any particular character at this time.

Then he moved out to California, becoming closely associated with the development of cartoons for

Hanna-Barbera. During the last five years, he has re-entered the comic book field doing a book here and there, but

his greatest contribution today is his constant appearances at comic book conventions around the country.