From Shadow to Light: The Life & Art of Mort Meskin

From Shadow to Light: The Life & Art of Mort Meskin

by Steven Brower


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Career-spanning biography-cum-artbook on near-forgotten golden age comics master.

“Mort Meskin was a consummate professional, dedicated to his work. A great talent.”—Jack Kirby

From Shadow to Light: The Life and Art of Mort Meskin is a coffee table art book and critical biography of one of the twentieth century’s most influential comic book artists. Meskin’s career spanned both the Golden and Silver ages of comics, from the 1940s to the 1960s. His drawing, chiaroscuro technique, and storytelling are considered by connoisseurs of the form to be among the most sophisticated of his time. His passion for his artwork was equaled by his skill, and the quality of his overall oeuvre blurs the artificial distinction between high and low art. Yet he is known mostly among hard-core aficionados today, eclipsed by many of his peers, some of whom he profoundly influenced. Among Meskin’s fans and admirers are Jim Steranko, Joe Kubert, Alex Toth, Carmine Infantino, Steve Ditko, Jerry Robinson, and Jack Kirby. From Shadow to Light: The Life and Art of Mort Meskin will finally give this neglected artist the recognition he’s due.

The first artist to draw Sheena of the Jungle, Meskin’s work appeared in such diverse genres as romance, true crime and western comics. Following World War II he formed a studio with the legendary Jerry Robinson, co-creator of The Joker and Robin. He later worked for Joe Simon and Jack Kirby’s company S&K Studio and with Stan Lee at Atlas (Marvel). During the 1950s and ’60s he helped DC Comics define their mystery and science fiction lines. And there is one aspect of Meskin’s voluminous creative output that has yet to be examined: his personal art. From Shadow to Light compiles for the first time the best of Meskin’s art from his comic book career, his post-comics career bin advertising, and his fine art. Many of the comics pages are scanned form the original art, thanks to the cooperation of the Meskin estate.

Mort Meskin’s story is one of perseverance and overcoming personal demons. It is the tale of the indomitable spirit of a true artist and innovator. From Shadow to Light: The Life and Art of Mort Meskin will finally set the record straight and add his name to the pantheon of comic book artists who helped create this distinctly American art form.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781606993583
Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
Publication date: 10/04/2010
Pages: 220
Product dimensions: 12.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 13 - 16 Years

About the Author

Steven Brower is an award-winning former Creative Director for Print, a former art director at the New York Times and The Nation, co-author and designer of Woody Guthrie Artworks (Rizzoli, 2005), and author of Satchmo: The Wonderful Art and World of Louis Armstrong (Abrams, 2009). He is on the faculty of Kean University in Union, NJ, Marywood University in Scranton, PA, and The School of Visual Arts in New York City.

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