Retro Thursday: Russ Heath
I talked to artist Russ Heath at the Planet Comicon in Kansas City in 2001. This article ran June 1, 2001, about the time that Heath’s issue of Garth Ennis’ “Enemy Ace: War in Heaven” was hitting the stands.
One of the greatest artists of war comics has returned to the genre with the “Enemy Ace: War in Heaven” No. 2. Russ Heath, perhaps best-known for his work on DC’s “Sgt. Rock” and “Balloon Buster,” is considered among the finest war artists ever.Heath got started in the comics industry’s early days because his “father knew a friend of somebody.”
After the summer of drawing comics, Heath returned to high school and later joined the Air Force.
When he returned from the Air Force, he began working at advertising agencies, “sharpening the art director’s pencils.”
“I started looking for better jobs at lunch time,” Heath said, “which is not the best time to look for jobs, because everyone’s at lunch.”
In 1947, he met with Stan Lee at what was then Timely Comics. Heath was making $35 a week and travel cost him $15. Lee offered him $75, and Heath was back in comics.
He started working in animation in 1978. But in animation, “no body of work exists. You ship it off with a guide overseas.”
Heath also prefers comic fandom, where individual artists often have large groups of fans. When the residual payments in comics got better, he returned.
Heath recently finished a six-page story for WildStorm’s “Tom Strong” title, written by Alan Moore (“Watchmen,” “V for Vendetta”).
The issue, No. 13, is on sale now.
“It was difficult,” Heath said. “I’m trying to update my technique.”
Heath said he had adapted a lot of “cross-hatching” into his work while working on DC’s series of “Big Books,” books on a single theme that have several stories. The black-and-white books have lots of nine-panel pages. Cross-hatching is an art technique in which intersecting lines are used to indicate light, shade, etc.
Message Sent Successfully
Be Sure to Check Out Our Top Headlines
- 72931Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 14541Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms drink in success of 'Hangover' series
- 8647Hobby Lobby argues case before federal judges
- 7401How to help tornado victims
- 6540Oklahoma tornadoes: Thunder reverses the role, takes a turn at cheering on the community
- 6504Oklahoma tornadoes: Rams quarterback Sam Bradford leading aid effort
- 6358Rock, pop, country acts give talents and time to help Oklahoma tornado victims
- 6112Carrie Underwood donates $1 million to Red Cross for disaster relief in wake of deadly Oklahoma tornadoes
- 5411Blake Shelton's "Healing the Heartland" televised tornado benefit set for Wednesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena
- 5319Details emerge about memorial service for Oklahoma tornado victims
Back to share with a friend form.
Add More Recipients