Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bob Oksner

(Oct. 14, 1916 - Feb. 18, 2007, USA)

Bob Oksner is my favorite Supergirl artist, and was probably so before I started paying attention to creator credits as little of that as existed in the Silver age (1960's-70's).

To qualify that statement, I'm not throwing the net over every artist, be they penciller or inker, who has yet drawn the DC character, but the few who had at least a 24-issue run on the character in her solo titles and Action Comics, and Adventure Comics. This is a short list.

Oksner’s take on Superman’s blonde cousin was a curvaceous Sandra Dee of “Gidget” (1959) and “Tammy Tell Me True” (1961) in a red cape. Cute. Hiding behind a short brunette wig as her alter-ego of Linda Lee Danvers, she was equally as cute, arguably more so. To choose one weakness about his Supergirl art, I would have to point out what is either his inability or his disinterest in drawing flying people in stock glamour poses, often drawing the figure gliding away from the reader with arms and legs paddling widely in the air. Oksner’s best strength is how his inks elevated other artist’s pencil work.

He was involved with every stage of Supergirl’s solo career, drawing her as the feature character in Adventure Comics including many covers and in her first two solo titles (pre-Crisis) (1).

Bob Oksner’s second female comic book character of note is Angel of the very short run Angle and the Ape (DC), which also featured the talents of EC Comics and Mad Magazine artist Wally Wood.

Prior to the super-heroine work, and what brought him to the attention of DC editor, Sheldon Mayer, was his work on the mid-1940’s syndicated newspaper strip, Miss Cairo Jones (2).

Oksner drew the novelty titles Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis, Bob Hope and Dobie Gillis when DC began publishing comics based on TV sitcoms (3).

(2) Mark Evanier,