Thursday, September 13, 2012

ROCK Sex: JIM STERANKO, Agent of Style!

Jim Steranko, 1968

JIM STERANKO is a powerhouse of graphics innovation whose legacy is continually reflected today.

One of his most iconic works is the cover to "Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D" #4 (September, 1968).

This has become a classic work of Pop Art. It came from varied inspirations, and continually inspires many tributes.


Steranko looked for inspiration in all other media to expand the comics palette.

He was responding to the latest advances made in the arts, film, magazines, and graphics.


From the fine arts scene he admired Pop Art, Op Art, and collage.

Robert Rauschenberg, "Retroactive I", 1964.

Eduardo Paolozzi.

Bridget Riley, "Britannia" (1961)

Op artist Bridget Riley>.


One certain influence on his Nick fury work -and the entire era- is the JAMES BOND films, with their stylish Pop opening titles (Maurice Binder), gargantuan layered sets (Ken Adam), and male power fantasies.

Maurice Binder,
"007 -gun barrel main titles", 1963.

"Dr. No" (1962).


He favored the bold modernist graphics of film posters.

Saul Bass, "Vertigo" (1958).

"if..." (1968)

"Barbarella" (1968)


All of these influences were also reflected in the magazine and poster art of the celebrated BOB PEAK.

Bob Peak, magazine illustration.

Bob Peak, "Modesty Blaise" (1966)

Bob Peak, "Stop the Mark".
Click image to enlarge

Distill this Molotov cocktail, shaken not stirred, and you get a unique masterpiece.

Click image to enlarge


Steranko's cover has been homaged many times by artists since.

Dave Johnson, July 2000.

Danny Miki, June 2005.

Greg Horn, March 2007.

Adi Granov, April 2007.

Barack Obama support art, 2008.

Tomm Coker, September 2009.

Daniel Olson, 2009.

Damian DeMartino, 2011.
(the Samuel Jackson version of Nick Fury)

Paul Gulacy "Modesty Blaise" commission,
channeling Bob Peak.

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