Friday, 23 May 2014

The Artt of Diving

This post features a Jughead page by Samm Schwartz. He seems to have done a bit more research than fellow artist Dan DeCarlo (whose work will feature in future entries) who often just drew hoses coming straight out of the cylinder with no obvious regulator in sight!

Samuel Schwartz was born in New York in 1920. Known as Sam, he added the second m to his name to make it more unusual. He joined publishers MLJ in 1942, shortly after the creation of Archie, the character that would eventually give his name to the company.

Schwartz was the main artist on the spin-off comic Jughead through most of the 50s and 60s before joining Tower Comics where, in addition to editorial duties, he created the humour title Tippy Teen. After Tower ceased publishing he spent a year at DC, working on their teen character Debbi, before returning to Archie Comics where he once again worked on Jughead.

Schwartz had a looser, simpler style than contemporaries such as DeCarlo and he liked to play with the design of the pages. Characters would be drawn in silhouette, panel borders would be omitted and a favourite trick was to have heads, arms and feet extending into neighbouring panels. You can see an example of two of these in the first panel of the page below which comes from Archie Giant Series Magazine #157 -  The World of Jughead, published in 1968. This is actually a reprint from Archie's Pal, Jughead #99 (1963) and Veronica's hair has been subtly changed from the original, with a curl added to the ends.

Samm Schwartz died in 1997 aged 77.

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