IN MEMORIAM :: George Tuska, 1916-2009

October 16, 2009 at 7:03 pm By:

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We were saddened to learn this morning that our friend George Tuska passed away last night at the age of 93. George had one of the longest and most incredible careers in comics, starting with the legendary Eisner/Iger studio in the late 30’s, all the way through the 80’s. In recent years he was a prolific commission artist, still with more artistic chops in his little finger–in his 90’s!–than many up-and-comers will have in entire careers. He’s probably most closely identified with characters like Iron Man and Luke Cage, but he worked throughout comics and was as influential as he was well-loved by his contemporaries.  Tom Spurgeon has posted an excellent overview of his life at The Comics Reporter, I highly recommend it.

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(above, George in foreground, next to Nick Cardy and Jim Amash, at HeroesCon 06)

It always hurts when someone passes away, but George in a way represents the entire history of comics–he was there at the very beginning, and according to Tom’s post he was producing art even just weeks prior to his death. Think of that for a minute–George Tuska was making comics before World War II. While he never had the “star” status of a Jack Kirby or Neal Adams, his knowledge of human anatomy let him create some of the most dynamic tussles in comics this side of Kirby himself. I love looking at George’s art, even in books where I’m less interested in the story–his dynamic figures are what make his comics so fun, so energetic.

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Heroes owner Shelton Drum, up in New York this weekend manning a booth at the Big Apple Con, sent me this note when he heard the news:

“George was a tremendous supporter of HeroesCon over the years, and it was always a pleasure to see him and his wonderful wife Dorothy. And of course he was an incredible talent. I will forever cherish the originals he did for me for the HeroesCon programs. I will be eternally grateful to have known him.”

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We bid our most heartfelt condolences to George’s wife Dorothy and his entire family, and to all those others who love him and will miss him.

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