Saturday, October 10, 2009

George Tuska Officially Retires

Dewey Cassell has just sent this email out to the world at large notifying people that, sad to say, George Tuska has officially retired.

"Citing his age, George Tuska has decided to no longer do any active drawing or commission work," says Dewey, "he feels that he would rather stop drawing than to produce work not up to his usual standards. He will be spending his remaining time with family and friends enjoying life! At 93 he feels it's time to retire!"

George Tuska is a name that virtually anyone who's ever read Marvel or DC comics and is over the age of 40 knows instantly. He did some brilliant, if very under-rated and understated, work at both Marvel and DC and left his mark on characters such as Iron Man, Luke Cage, The Avengers, Batman and the Justice League of America. During a lengthy and illustrious career which began in the 1940s and continued into the 1990s he managed to draw virtually every character that both of the big companies had to offer, and quite a few others as well. He was also the artist of choice for the Superman syndicated newspaper strip for a number of years. George was always one of those artists who could be elevated to great heights by the right inker - when he wasn't inked by himself that is. George was always an artist who could successfully pencil and ink, both on his own and in tandem with another artist. Sadly such skills are almost lost these days as artists appear to focus on the one aspect of their art to the detriment of the other.

George leaves behind a lot of happy people and I'm one of those. A few years back I managed, via Dewey, to obtain my own Tuska art in the form of a signed copy of Dewey's excellent Tuska biography along with a small Iron Man sketch and an ink wash illo done by Tuska sometime in the 1950s of a man standing on a beach. It might sound pedestrian, but believe me, as you can see, it's anything but.

George turned 93 this past March and seriously, I doubt anyone is going to begrudge him his retirement. it's well earned and well deserved - George, if you ever read this, thanks for all of the memories that you've left behind. I know that when I was a youngun your name was one of those that meant the comic book was going to be a delight to read as the artwork was going to be good, no matter how ridiculous the story might have been. Thanks for everything George!







4 comments:

Anonymous said...

A wonderful tribute to George, Daniel.

BRIAN POSTMAN said...

i'm sorry to hear he's retiring,but george is definetely one of the unsung greats of the silver age,and most certainly an influence on my work....both great at drawing and telling a story,he also met his deadlines like a pro...very rare today....

Booksteve said...

Even as a young child I really liked the feeling of excitement in his art on CAPT AMERICA and IRON MAN. Pass on thanks and best wishes from all of us fans, please!

Tim Perkins said...

Fantastic tribute, Daniel.

George's artwork on Iron Man was one of the reasons I bought the comic as a kid and I loved his Luke Cage.

Like you say, comics drawn by George were always going to be great.

His storytelling was clear and uncluttered, although often deceivingly detailed.

A true professional - he did meet deadlines and he could ink, as well as draw.

The change in the industry to being one or the other is IMHO to the detriment of comics as a medium. Artists should be able to do the lot, including colouring/painting and lettering too.

You only need to look at the best guys in the business and they all did that and they wrote too, because they were storytellers first and foremost.

Like the rest of you guys I hope George has a great retirement amongst his family and although he will be missed by his fans, I too echo the sentiments here on your Blog.

Thanks George your work continues to inspire!
(''j)