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Encyclopedia > Gil Kane
Showcase #22 (Oct. 1959), the first appearance of the modern Green Lantern. Cover art by Gil Kane.

Eli Katz (born April 6, 1926, Riga, Latvia; died January 31, 2000, Florida, United States), who worked under the name Gil Kane and in a few instances Scott Edwards, was a comic book artist whose career spanned the 1940s to 1990s. Cover to Showcase #22 (October 1959). ... Cover to Showcase #22 (October 1959). ... April 6 is the 96th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (97th in leap years). ... 1926 (MCMXXVI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... Map of Latvia Coordinates: Founded 1201 Mayor Aivars Aksenoks Area    - City 307. ... January 31 is the 31st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year 2000. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... A comic book is a magazine or book containing the art form of comics. ... Look up artist in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Contents

Biography

Early life and career

Kane was born to a Jewish family that emigrated to the U.S. in 1929, settling in Brooklyn, New York City. At the age of 16, while attending the High School of Industrial Arts (now the High School of Art and Design), he began working in the comics studio system as an assistant, doing basic tasks such as drawing panel borders. The word Jew ( Hebrew: יהודי) is used in a wide number of ways, but generally refers to a follower of the Jewish faith, a child of a Jewish mother, or someone of Jewish descent with a connection to Jewish culture or ethnicity and often a combination... Brooklyn (named for the Dutch city Breukelen) is one of the five boroughs of New York City. ... Nickname: Big Apple; City that never Sleeps; Gotham Location in the state of New York Coordinates: Country United States State New York Boroughs Bronx (The Bronx) New York (Manhattan) Queens (Queens) Kings (Brooklyn) Richmond (Staten Island) Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) Area    - City 1,214. ...


"During my summer vacation, I went up and got a job working at MLJ in 1942," Kane recalled [1], working there for three weeks before being fired. "Within a couple of days I got a job with Jack Binder's agency. Jack Binder had a loft on Fifth Avenue and it just looked like an internment camp. There must have been 50 or 60 guys up there, all at drawing tables. You had to account for the paper that you took." There Kane began pencilling professionally, but, "They weren't terribly happy with what I was doing. But when I was rehired by MLJ three weeks later, not only did they put me back into the production department and give me an increase, they gave me my first job, which was 'Inspector Bentley of Scotland Yard' in Pep Comics, and then they gave me a whole issue of The Shield and Dusty, one of their leading books." Kane soon dropped out of school to work full-time. Archie Comics is an American comic book publisher known for its many series featuring the fictional teenagers Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, Reggie Mantle and Forsythe Jughead Jones characters created by Bob Montana. ... Street sign at Fifth Avenue and East 57th street Fifth Avenue is a major thoroughfare in New York City. ... In producing a comic book, the penciller (or penciler) draws the comic based on the script created by the writer. ... The Shield is the name of several patriotic super heroes created by MLJ (now known as Archie Comics). ...


The Silver Age

During the next several years, Kane drew for about a dozen studios and publishers including Timely Comics, a predecessor of Marvel Comics, and learned from such prominent artists as Jack Kirby and Joe Simon. He interrupted his career briefly to enlist in the Army during World War II, where he served in the Pacific theater. In the post-war years, on his return to comics, he used pseudonyms including Pen Star and Gil Stack before settling on Gil Kane. 1. ... Timely Comics is the 1940s comic book publishing company that would evolve into Marvel Comics. ... Marvel Comics is an American comic book line published by Marvel Entertainment, Inc. ... Jack Kirby (August 28, 1917 – February 6, 1994) was one of the most influential, recognizable, and prolific artists in American comic books. ... Joe Simon (born 1915) was a comic book author and cartoonist who created or co-created many memorable characters in the Golden Age. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Combatants Major Allied powers: United Kingdom Soviet Union United States Republic of China and others Major Axis powers: Nazi Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Harry Truman Chiang Kai-Shek Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tojo Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead... The Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO) is the term used in the United States for all military activity in the Pacific Ocean and the countries bordering it, in World War II. Pacific War is a more common name, around the world, for the broader conflict between the Allies and Japan...

Captain America #180 (Dec. 1974). Cover art by Gil Kane.
Enlarge
Captain America #180 (Dec. 1974). Cover art by Gil Kane.

In the late 1950s, Kane, freelancing for DC Comics, helped to usher in the Silver Age of comic books when he became the chief artist for a series of new superhero titles loosely based on 1940s characters, notably Green Lantern and the Atom. Image File history File links CaptainAmericaV1-180. ... Image File history File links CaptainAmericaV1-180. ... 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday. ... DC Comics is one of the largest American companies in comic book and related media publishing. ... Showcase #4 (Oct. ... Batman and Superman, two of the most recognizable and iconic superheroes. ... Cover to Green Lantern: Rebirth #6, art by Ethan Van Sciver. ... // History The Atom introduced during the Silver Age of comic books in Showcase # 34 (Sep-Oct 1961) is physicist and university professor Ray Palmer (named for real-life science-fiction writer Raymond A. Palmer, who was himself quite short). ...


He also continued to work for Marvel and illustrated many of Marvel's leading titles during the 1960s and '70s, becoming the company's preeminent cover artist for a time and serving as regular penciller during an important period on The Amazing Spider-Man in the early 1970s. Cover to The Amazing Spider-Man #530. ...


During that run he drew a landmark three-issue story arc that marked the first challenge to the rigid Comics Code since its inception in 1954. The Code forbade any mention of drugs, even in a negative context. However, The Amazing Spider-Man #96-98 (1971), written by Stan Lee, showed the negative effects of drug abuse in a storyline conceived at the request of government drug-prevention authorities. The three issues were sold without the Comics Code approval, but met with such critical acclaim and high sales that the industry's self-censorship was undercut, and the Code was revamped. The Comics Code Authority (CCA) is an organization founded in 1954 to act as a de facto censor for American comic books. ... Cover to The Amazing Spider-Man #530. ... Stan Lee at the 1973 San Diego comic con Stan Lee (born Stanley Martin Lieber on December 28, 1922, New York, New York) is an American writer, editor, Chairman Emeritus of Marvel Comics, and memoirist, who — with several artist co-creators, especially Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko — introduced complex, naturalistic... opium alkaloids, and minor tranquilizers. ...


In addition, Kane drew the landmark story arc "The Night Gwen Stacy Died" in #121-122 (June-July 1973), in which Spider-Man's fiancée Gwen Stacy was killed. His depiction of her death scene remains controversial as the direct cause of her demise is ambigously depicted [2]. Cover of graphic novel The Death of Gwen Stacy The Night Gwen Stacy Died is a famous story arc starring the Marvel Comics character Spider-Man, published in 1973. ... Spider-Man swinging around his hometown, New York City. ... Gwendolyne Gwen Stacy[1] was a supporting character in Marvel Comics’ Spider-Man series. ...

A Star Hawks daily strip. Art by Gil Kane, script by Ron Goulart.
A Star Hawks daily strip. Art by Gil Kane, script by Ron Goulart.

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (837x545, 122 KB)Star Hawks double-tier daily strip. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (837x545, 122 KB)Star Hawks double-tier daily strip. ... See also Comic strip and Sunday strip. ... Ron Goulart (born 1933) is an American pop-culture historian and mystery, fantasy, and science fiction author. ...

Pioneering new formats

Kane's distinctive style, which combined the detailed figure drawing of Frank Frazetta with the stylized violence and exaggerated motion of Jack Kirby, greatly influenced other Marvel superhero artists during this period. Characters he helped create for Marvel include Iron Fist and Morbius the Living Vampire. Frank Frazetta (born February 9, 1928) is one of the worlds most influential fantasy and science fiction artists. ... Iron Fist (also Daniel Danny Rand or Daniel Thomas Rand-Kai) is a fictional superhero martial artist in the Marvel Comics universe created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane. ... Morbius the Living Vampire, full name Michael Morbius, is a fictional character in the Marvel Comics universe, intended as a tragic anti-hero with vampire-like powers that actually had a biochemical origin. ...


Kane's side projects include two long works that he conceived, plotted and illustrated, with scripting by Archie Goodwin: His Name is... Savage (Adventure House Press, 1968), a self-published, 40-page, magazine-format comics novel; and Blackmark (1971), a science fiction/sword-and-sorcery paperback published by Bantam Books. The latter represents, arguably, the first American graphic novel, a term not in general use at the time; the back-cover blurb of the 30th-anniversary edition (ISBN 1-56097-456-7) calls it, retroactively, "the very first American graphic novel." Whether or not this is so, Blackmark is, objectively, a 119-page story of comic-book art, with captions and word balloons, published in a traditional book format. It is also the first with an original heroic-adventure character, conceived expressly for this form. Archie Goodwin (September 8, 1937 – March 1, 1998) was an American comic book writer, editor, and artist. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... Blackmark is a 1971 Bantam Books paperback that is arguably the first graphic novel. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... This article is about a fantasy sub-genre. ... Bantam Books (established 1945), owned by Random House, is a member of the Bantam Dell Publishing Group. ... Sabre (1978), one of the first graphic novels. ... Four different shapes of speech or thought balloons Speech balloons (also speech bubbles or word balloons) are a graphic convention used in comic books, strips, and cartoons to allow words (and much less often, pictures) to be understood as representing the speech or thoughts of a given character in the...

The original 1971 Bantam paperback Blackmark, arguably the first American graphic novel.
The original 1971 Bantam paperback Blackmark, arguably the first American graphic novel.

During the 1970s and '80s, Kane did character designs for various Ruby-Spears Enterprises and Hanna-Barbera animated TV series. In 1977, he created the newspaper comic strip Star Hawks with writer Ron Goulart. The daily strip was known for its experimental use of a two-tier format during the first years. The strip ended in 1981. He remained active as an artist right up until his death. Image File history File links Blackmark_paperback. ... Image File history File links Blackmark_paperback. ... Animation is the filming a sequence of drawings or positions of models to create an illusion of movement. ... A television program is the content of television broadcasting. ... This article is about the comic strip, the sequential art form as published in newspapers and on the Internet. ... Star Hawks is the name of a comic strip written by Ron Goulart and drawn by Gil Kane. ... Ron Goulart (born 1933) is an American pop-culture historian and mystery, fantasy, and science fiction author. ... See also Comic strip and Sunday strip. ...


He died of complications from cancer. Kane is survived by his second wife, Elaine, and children Scott, Eric and Beverly and two grandaughters. He is buried in Aventura, Florida. Cancer is a class of diseases or disorders characterized by uncontrolled division of cells and the ability of these cells to invade other tissues, either by direct growth into adjacent tissue through invasion or by implantation into distant sites by metastasis. ...


Awards

He received numerous awards over the years, including the 1971, 1972, and 1975 National Cartoonists Society Awards for Best Story Comic Book, and their Story Comic Strip Award for 1977 for Star Hawks. He also received the Shazam Award for Special Recognition in 1971 "for Blackmark, his paperback comics novel". To honor his more than five decades of achievement, Kane was named to both the Eisner Award Hall of Fame and the Harvey Award Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1997. The National Cartoonists Society is an organization of professional cartoonists created in 1946. ... Blackmark is a 1971 Bantam Books paperback that is arguably the first graphic novel. ... The Will Eisner Comic Industry Award is given for creative achievement in comic books. ... The Harvey Awards are given for achievement in comic books. ...


Trivia

  • Served in World War II in the Pacific Theater
  • Car-pooled with Julius Schwartz into work at DC before moving to Connecticut.
  • A homage to him as well as writer John Broome, appeared in novelization of the Justice League Cartoon. In the novel In Darkest Night, a place in Coast City is mentioned to be Kane/Broome Institute For Space Studies.

Julius Schwartz, editor for DC Comics Julius Julie Schwartz (June 19, 1915 - February 8, 2004) was a comic book and pulp magazine editor, and a science fiction agent and prominent fan. ... John Broome (aka: pen names John Osgood and Edgar Ray Meritt) was a writer-contributor to DC Comics. ... Justice League is an American animated television series about a team of superheroes which ran from 2001 to 2004 on Cartoon Network. ...

References

Excerpt from the above

The Comics Journal is an American magazine of news and criticism pertaining to comic books and strips. ... Fantagraphics Books is an American publisher of alternative comics, classic comic strip anthologies, magazines, graphic novels, and the adult-oriented Eros Comix imprint. ...

External links

  • Photon Torpedoes - Gil Kane Marvel Cover Gallery
Preceded by:
John Romita, Sr.
Amazing Spider-Man artist
1970–1972
Succeeded by:
John Romita, Sr.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Fanzing 25 - Feb/Mar 2000 - Gil Kane: In Memorium (851 words)
Kane's work on the covers of the "western" comics of the Marvel line, during this period, was particularly fine and evocative stuff; full of "worm's-eye" POVs and tilted, slightly askew backgrounds.
Gil Kane applied a restless and painstaking analysis to these, and half a hundred others, in turn; and seamlessly wedded the best of their numerous storytelling "tricks" to his own ever-burgeoning bag of same.
All of this, mind, was accompanied by a sly, wicked sense of humor with which the inexhaustible Mister Kane suitably leavened even the direst of storytelling proceedings; with the end result being as idiosyncratically cheery and accessible as it was eye-catching and engaging.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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