Friday, December 30, 2011

Samm Schwartz: Jughead Artist Supreme

Those who regularly read Eventized will have probably noticed I read a lot of Jughead comics. Samm Schwartz is the reason why.

For over thirty years, Schwartz defined, honed and perfected Jughead using an innovative style which often ignored panel borders and always placed an emphasis on gracefully slapstick body language.

If you recognize the photo of Schwartz, above, it may be because he frequently drew himself into his stories. He also improvised with the scripts he was given and made them his own.

The photo above accompanies an afterward written by Schwartz's daughter, Joanne Colt, published in Archie: The Best of Samm Schwartz, Vol. 1, recently released by IDW. This volume reprints what I consider some of the lesser (but still strong) Schwartz material: his late '50s/early '60s work, which was largely inked by other cartoonists.

In the mid-'60s, Schwartz took a several-year-long break from Archie comics. When he returned, he inked his own pencils in a "clear line" style amazingly similar to (and most likely influenced by) Herge's Tintin books. It was then that Schwartz produced hundreds of stories for Jughead, Reggie and Me and other titles well into the '90s. The '70s were a golden age for Schwartz fans and Archie fans and I'm very much looking forward to Archie: The Best of Samm Schwartz, Vol. 2.

Purchase Archie: The Best of Samm Schwartz, Vol. 1 here:
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