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John Severin

Posted by Nathan Strum, 16 March 2012 · 461 views

Well, they say death comes in threes... Ralph McQuarrie, Moebius, and one I missed a month ago... John Severin, who passed away February 12th.

I grew up reading Mad and Cracked magazines. There were numerous Mad knock-offs over the years, but the longest-surviving one was Cracked, and that was in no small part due to Severin's excellent work. His draftsmanship was something I aspire to even to this day. During a period from about 1977-1981, his work in Cracked was a huge influence on me. His ability to caricature people was amazing, and something I've never been good at. What set him apart, was that his caricatures were more realistic and less exaggerated than most - which makes them all the more difficult to do. Even when the writing faltered (which was fairly often with Cracked) his work was always excellent, always funny, and always masterfully drawn. He was also an accomplished comic book artist for Marvel and others, but I'll always associate him with his time at Cracked, and that particular time in my life when my best friend Paul and I would ride our bikes over to 7-11 after school, eager to see if the latest issue of Cracked had come out yet, with his latest parody of Star Wars, Dukes of Hazzard, or whatever else was his target that month.

I think I'll dig out my old Crackeds, and do some reading this weekend. I still have them, even all these years later.

Maybe I'll even learn a thing or two.