Tuesday, June 23, 2015

RIP Earl Norem (1924-2015)

One of the prolific, yet unsung, painters who helped define the visuals of sci-fi/fantasy of the 60s-2000s...
...whose true genius in design and illustration was often obscured by poor design work.
(They really couldn't have put the lightsaber in front of the logo?
The printed cover looks like he's holding up a sign, for chrissakes!)
Besides numerous romance and "mens' adventure" paperback and magazine covers, Earl Norem was one of the mainstays of the Marvel b/w magazine line of the 1970s, doing everything from Planet of the Apes to Savage Sword of Conan to Tales of the Zombie with equal aplomb.
He also did paperback novel covers for DC characters including Batman.
He never achieved the notoriety of fellow cover painters like Boris Vallejo, or Bob Larkin, but we art directors knew of his talent to work from sometimes very rough concepts with minimal reference and ability to meet almost-impossible deadlines.
(I used him on several comics covers for licensed properties, where sometimes nit-picky changes had to be made to get approvals.
He always came through without complaint.)
Though suffering from arthritis, he continued to do occasional projects after most people would have happily retired.
In fact, at the time of his passing, Earl was working on a trading card assignment for Topps' Mars Attacks!

1 comment:

  1. That's a shame - he was a great artist. I think I first saw his work on Planet of the Apes, Conan, and The Rampaging Hulk magazine. I won't be throwing away any mags with his covers on them, that's for sure.

    ReplyDelete

Thanx for posting!

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