Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Jim Aparo, R.I.P.

There have been many artists who have created iconic depictions of The Batman (I liked Bruce Timm's renditions myself). Probably one of the best known was the Neal Adams' version of the 1970's and 1980's.

Neal, of course, was an innovator, and when he left DC a lot of other artists tried to keep Batman up to his standard. Of them all, I'd have to say the most consistent was Jim Aparo.

Jim was the one who illustrated the infamous story that killed off Batman's sidekick Robin (Jason Todd). He was the regular artist on the main Batman title at the time. He also helped to launch the original Outsiders team.

Granted, he was never as flashy as Rob Liefeld or Jim Lee. But he gives hope for the rest of us comics wannabees because he taught himself how to draw:

In a 2000 interview with Jim Amash for Comic Book Artist, Aparo said he went to Hartford Art School for a semester, but was mostly self-taught.

"I just drew as a kid and went with it," he said. "I studied and copied comic strips and comic books. I grew up with Superman, Batman, and Captain Marvel. I really liked Captain Marvel Jr. by Mac Raboy. That was beautiful stuff. I liked Alex Raymond, Milton Caniff ... all of those guys."

He'll be missed.