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Thursday, November 12, 2009

COMIC BOOK ARTIST OF THE WEEK (and 1/2) - Marie Severin

"The humorous artwork of Marie Severin is sure to bring a smile to any face, and if it doesn't, your face must be broken."
- The APOCOLYTE Speaks

Since beginning this blog ( for the past month or so) I have been trying to begin a regular 'Artist Of The Week' feature, but lightning storms and computers don't mix, my friend, so I have been forced to use my old computer (made of paperclips, chewing-gum foil, and old coffee cans) while the Geeks at that squad repaired my better computer (the fancy expensive one that got fried by one of Odin's mighty thunderbolts last month...)

So, working on a junky PC makes things a little slower (a lot slower) than one would like, therefore some of my hopes and plans have been delayed...until now! No longer does my computer run on hamster power...the good one is finally back, and it plugs right into the wall socket! Wow!

So, rather than wait another 3-4 days, I am declaring that, starting right this very moment, Marie Severin is the 1st officially featured COMIC BOOK ARTIST of the WEEK (and 1/2)!  I have a lot of cool stuff to show ya, so a week or so may be enough time! Now, let me start the way I was gonna last month  --

drum roll...................................................
[ Spotlight on! Every week the Apocolyte plans to focus on one of those creative individuals who warp the minds of so many -- the comic book creators! Lately I have been re-enjoying the work of Marie Severin, and I discovering that she has so much worthy material, that it would be better to spread the posts out all week (and 1/2) and thereby not overwelm any haphazard souls who may chance upon this old blog! ]
- The Apocolyte speaks

(and 1/2)
- Marie Severin -



A little over two months ago, on August 22, the talented Marie Severin celebrated her 80th birthday.

On behalf of The Blog At The End Of Time I would like to extend to Marie a (belated) Happy Birthday, and all the best wishes for good health, happiness, and joy. That doesn’t even begin to repay the joy and happiness she has provided throughout her years as one of histories greatest humorous illustrators at Marvel comics.

Mirthful Marie! The First Lady Of Comics! Queen Of Comics! Sweetest Person In The World! Although I have never personally met this talented lady, The Apocolyte asserts that all of the preceding statements are true in regards to Marie Severin. I am not ashamed to say here that …I LOVE Marie Severin!! ... I... LOVE... HER!! I don’t care who knows it! (Yup! Sorry, fella, the Apocolyte likes GIRLS!) Yeah!!

As a time-traveling youth, I would do anything I had to in order to get my hands on her comics! Anything! Things I’m not proud of…things that scarred my psyche for life…but it was worth it, boy! Those are great comics! I am excited (ping! ping!) to post some wonderful examples of Marie Severin’s humorous comic covers and stories this upcoming week.


When it comes to drawing something funny or cute, some artists have it, and some artists don’t. For example, Walt Kelly had it, and Bernard Bailey did not. [Disclaimer: I am not speaking of here on artistic talent, merely what I have dubbed ‘The Cute Factor’]  For example, if you look at a couple of well-known names from EC comics like Wally Wood and Joe Orlando, on the surface they have similar styles. If I remember right, Wood helped Orlando get hired at EC based on the years of penciling and inking each others work and Orlando was expected to be another ‘Wood’ for EC, and in the beginning their dramatic style was very similar. But, on the other hand, when it came to the humorous comic style required in both MAD and PANIC, Wood had it in spades, while Orlando couldn’t draw cute to save his life. Another example can be found in the world of underground comics. Looking at Robert Crumb, his art undoubtedly has that 'cute factor'. S. Clay Wilson, on the other hand, not so much.

Now let’s talk about Marie Severin.

She was certainly able to draw straight superhero action wonderfully, as she drew many of Marvel’s top titles such as the Hulk, Dr, Strange, and the Sub-Mariner, as well as drawing hundreds of covers over the years for nearly every comic title published by Marvel. Nevertheless, it was when Marvel came out with their ‘MAD’-style parody comic featuring Marvel’s own characters, “NOT BRAND ECHH” in the mid-sixties, that Marie showed the world that she owned ‘cute’ and ‘funny’. Like her brother John Severin, who used his talent for MAD and later, CRACKED, Marie was gifted with the uncanny ability to draw realistic and recognizable celebrity portraits, or parodies of the well-known stars of the day, in a way like no one else could. Almost every issue of NOT BRAND ECHH featured covers and stories by Marie, each one of her contributions being utterly charming and entertaining. Later on, Marvel would utilize her skills for another pop culture parody comic, “SPOOF”, where yet again Marie contributes lioness-share of the art and is clearly the star artist. Marie would continue to be called upon, as Marvel ventured into the black and white humor magazine market with it's publication of “CRAZY”, which also highlighted her considerable talents.

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NOT BRAND ECHH # 3 Cover by Marie Severin.
A hilarious take on three big names in Marvel Comics. Give yourself an extra second ...did you notice that, besides the money that's being 'laundered', there is a shirt with four sleeves, a glove with six fingers, and a pair of long-johns with three legs! Pure Marie Severin extra-loving wackiness!

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SPOOF # 2 . Cover art by Marie Severin.
Here she displays the amazing Severin gift for caricature.

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NOT BRAND ECHH # 6. Cover art by Marie Severin.

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NOT BRAND ECHH # 8. Cover art by Marie Severin.

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NOT BRAND ECHH # 9. Cover art by Marie Severin.

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NOT BRAND ECHH # 10. Cover art by Marie Severin.

For now in this initial post, just to whet your appetite, we're only taking a look at some of Marie Severin’s exquisite covers.  Lots more fun things coming up ALL WEEK (and 1/2)!

-click on image to enlarge-

NOT BRAND ECHH # 9. Cover art by Marie Severin.


  1. Apocolyte: Great, great post about a great person. I have always loved Marie Severin for her work on the Hulk, but also because she was such a good, solid soul. I used to lover her coloring on the old EC line, and whenever she spoke of those days, she always spoke with such a generous spirit.

    Thanks for this post, and Happy Birthday, Ms. Severin, where ever you are! -- Mykal

  2. Marie Severin single-handedly re-inspired me to be an artist ! Circa 1974-75, I used to toil away on my drawing board, alongside my architect Father... I would struggle to render a superhero character or dorky cartoon. I briefly threw in the towel... until channel 6 Action News (Philadelphia) ran a story about a local comic book convention, with guest artist Marie Severin. She did a quick sketch with a magic marker~ of the Incredible Hulk~ while talking to the Reporter~ and never paused~ never skipped a beat~! I was amazed. I had just witnessed, in real time, a PROFESSIONAL ! I thought to myself, 'If she can draw like that, why can't I ?' Now, I have never achieved her level, but my own abilities increased exponentially as a direct result of witnessing her talents in action. Can't wait to see tomorrow's post~ Lysdexicuss

  3. Thank you, my friends! I'm glad you enjoyed this appetizer. We have many varieties of the main course cooking in the kitchen and getting ready to serve you in the days ahead... (and although the 'artist of the week' may not be featured in every single post, there will be a definite delicious dose of magical Marie Severin's comic stories here each and every day! (sniff sniff - ahhh! Yup, good stuffs almost ready...y'all can go play in the yard, I'll holler for ya when it's done. Go'wan, go play now, just stay away from the sink-hole, y'hear, and watch out for the Perkinson's dog, it's got the rabies!

    L - That's a great anecdote about Marie Severin inspiring you. How many of us have been inspired by her at one point or another, I wonder, hmmm?

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  5. Why, thank you the compliment, friend, and the pleasure is all mine! Now that you've found your way, take off your shoes! You don't have to leave! Here, I just made hot cocoa...I hope you like marshmallows...careful, it's hot!

  6. Marie Severin was, & continues to be one of my all time art heroes! She was also responsible for my all-time favorite comicbook cover ever,... "Not Brand Echh #2"!!

    I'm truly honored to have had the distinctive honor of having worked with her back at Marvel during the early 1990's!

    She's a wonderful & truly funny person also!