Jack Abel

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Jack Abel
Jack-Abel-&-Others.jpg
Jack Abel (second from right) with fellow staffers at Marvel Comics circa 1987-88
Born (1927-07-15)July 15, 1927[1]
Died March 6, 1996(1996-03-06) (aged 68)
Nationality American
Area(s) Penciller, Inker
Pseudonym(s) Gary Michaels
Notable works
Superman

Jack Abel a.k.a. Gary Michaels[2] (July 15, 1927 – March 6, 1996)[3] was an American comic book artist best known as an inker for leading publishers DC Comics and Marvel Comics. He was DC's primary inker on the Superman titles in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and inked penciler Herb Trimpe's introduction of the popular superhero Wolverine in The Incredible Hulk #181 (Nov. 1974).

Biography[edit]

Early life and career[edit]

Abel's published work stretches to 1951, when he penciled and inked horror stories for such anthology series as Mr. Publications' Mister Mystery, and Atlas Comics' — the 1950s forerunner of Marvel ComicsJourney into Unknown Worlds, and Western tales in Prize Comics' aptly title Prize Comics Western. He inked, science fiction, romance and war comics for Atlas, American Comics Group, Avon Comics, Harvey Comics, and Hillman Periodicals, and later in the decade became a prolific penciler for the DC war titles Our Fighting Forces, Our Army at War, Star Spangled War Stories and All-American Men of War.[4]

DC and Superman[edit]

Abel inked hundreds of DC stories, and eventually was chosen to succeed longtime "Superman family" inker George Klein as Curt Swan's embellisher on "Legion of Super-Heroes" in Adventure Comics (most issues, #369-406, June 1968 - May 1971); Superman (most issues, #208-219, July 1968 - Aug. 1969); "Superman" in Action Comics (#369-392, Nov. 1968 - Sept. 1970), and occasional issues of Superboy.[4]

Later career[edit]

Jack Abel by Michael Netzer

After a reshuffling at DC c. 1970, Abel went to Marvel. He had already inked Gene Colan there on a long stretch of Iron Man stories beginning with Tales of Suspense #73 (Jan. 1966), under the pseudonym "Gary Michaels".[4][5] As Colan recalled, "He did a lot of Iron Man with me. He had a very slick line, which was okay on Iron Man, of course. Iron Man was made of iron, so you want it to look like metal. But when it came to stone and dark corners and garbage [laughs], he wasn't the man for that".[6]

Later, under his own name, he would embellish Colan on some issues of Daredevil and Tomb of Dracula (including the introduction of Blade, in #10); Trimpe on The Incredible Hulk; George Tuska on Iron Man; and Paul Gulacy on Master of Kung Fu, among other work. From the mid-1970s, Abel inked not only for Marvel and again DC (including its Teen Titans and The Flash), but for the smaller companies Gold Key (Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery, Grimm’s Ghost Stories, Mighty Samson, the licensed title The Twilight Zone); Charlton Comics (Ghost Manor, Ghostly Haunts, Haunted, Midnight Tales); Atlas/Seaboard (IronJaw, Morlock 2001); and Skywald Publications (The Heap, and additionally the black-and-white horror-comics magazines Nightmare and Psycho).[4]

Baseball-fan Abel, who in the 1970s rented studio space at Neal Adams and Dick Giordano's Continuity Associates,[7] organized the Continuity softball team that played league games in Central Park.[8]

After suffering a serious stroke in 1981, Abel rehabilitated his paralyzed right hand to the extent that he was able to ink and draw again[9] — which he did through the rest of the 1980s, primarily for Marvel.

Years later, when in his sixties, Abel inked backgrounds for DC artist Murphy Anderson, and became a proofreader in the Marvel bullpen before being partially debilitated by another stroke.

Comic strips[edit]

Outside comic books, Abel inked John Celardo from 1967-1969 on the syndicated comic strip Tales of the Green Beret, written by author Robin Moore.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "United States Social Security Death Index," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/JTTK-Y46 : accessed 15 Feb 2013), Jack Abel, 6 March 1996; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).
  2. ^ Evanier, Mark (April 14, 2008). "Why did some artists working for Marvel in the sixties use phony names?". P.O.V. Online (column). Archived from the original on November 24, 2009. Retrieved July 28, 2008. 
  3. ^ Jack Abel at the Lambiek Comiclopedia. Archived November 24, 2009.
  4. ^ a b c d Jack Abel at the Grand Comics Database. Archived October 24, 2011.
  5. ^ Evanier, Mark (April 14, 2008). "Why did some artists working for Marvel in the sixties use phony names?". P.O.V. Online (column). Archived from the original on November 24, 2009. Retrieved July 28, 2008. 
  6. ^ Gene Colan interview (May 2001). "The Colan Mystique". Comic Book Artist (3). Archived from the original on November 24, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Bob McLeod". (interview) Adelaide Comics and Books. 2003. Archived from the original on November 16, 2009. 
  8. ^ Gale, Ken. Ken Gale's Pages: The Fandom Fireballs. WebCite archive
  9. ^ Shooter, Jim. "Bullpen Bulletins," Marvel comics cover-dated June 1982.
  10. ^ Jack Abel entry, The Comic Strip Project, "Who's Who of Comic Strip Producers", A-Part 1. WebCitation archive.

External links[edit]