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Russ Heath – RIP

Comic book and comic strip artist Russ Heath has passed away.


above image via The Beat

 

RUSSELL DEHART (RUSS) HEATH, JR.
SEPTEMBER 29, 1926 – AUGUST 23, 2018

 

A master of the art of sequential comics, Russ was one of a dwindling few survivors from The Golden Age of Comic Books. His specialty was war and western comics, oh, and sexy girls. But his brilliance shined in all genres. Turn him loose on horror, comedy, adventures of any sort in any era and the result was the same – a creative tour de force.

Russ’ career began in the 1940s and ran into the 2010s.


above: unsuccessful attempt at a Jonah Hex comic strip.

Justly famous for his work on DC and Marvel and Warren comic books, he contributed to many other companies since, for most of his career, he was an artist in demand.

 

Comic Strips

Russ’ comic strip career started as an assistant to George Wunder on Terry and the Pirates in the 1960s. In the 1970s he assisted Dan Barry on Flash Gordon. 1980 saw him helping Stan Lynde on Latigo for a few months.


Latigo by Stan Lynde and Russ Heath – hat tip to buddy Art Lortie.

 

From 1981 to 1984 he drew the revival of The Lone Ranger comic strip.


above: Russ waves as he and Cary Bates say farewell to The Lone Ranger in the final strip.

 

Between Latigo and The Lone Ranger Russ adapted the Walt Disney movie Condorman into a five month installment of the Treasury of Classic Tales Sunday series from November 1980 to April 1981. A rare venture into the superhero genre.

 

Russ, as a birthday surprise, took over the Mort Todd/John Severin Celebrity Biografix comic strip, that ran in the New York Post from 2000 to ????, for a spotlight on John Severin.


not sure if the Severin Biografix actually appeared in the New York Post,
or if it was just a birthday gift from Mort.

 

For an amazing gallery of (not always safe for work) Heath comic art go to The Bristol Board.

 

Victory at Sea“, an early 1950s comic strip idea by Russ and Stan Lee.

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