by Dan Nadel
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Matt Fox’s work (of which you can see more in Art in Time) has many virtues, not least among them his inking. Here’s a very nice scan (snagged from Heritage) of a page from Journey Into Mystery 101 (1964). This is Fox inking over Larry Leiber. Nothing against Leiber, but his work was never terribly distinctive. Fox takes a pretty generic set of panels and amps them up to operative heights. Look at that final panel — it’s grotesque and visceral. Something I’m struck by in his comics work is that he seemed to be drawing without thinking about reproduction; there’s a tremendous amount of detail here — textures, shadows, volumes — that would simply disappear in the printed piece. And while someone like Basil Wolverton compensated for his inkiness with broad comedic compositions, Fox just crams in the detail — each panel it’s own complete picture. This makes sense, as Fox came from the pulps, but it certainly is an awkward meeting of sensibilities. Fox was of the same generation as Virgil Finlay, and was coming at comics with a distinctly “old world” sensibility. I wish I knew more about him. I’ve heard his family is somewhere in the tri-state area, but I’ve never been able to locate them. If you’re out there, do drop me a line! And for you, dear readers, here’s some more Matt Fox. Bhob Stewart has the only recollection of the man himself that I’ve ever read, and there is tons of great art here.