The great American journeyman comic book artist George Tuska has passed away at the age of 93. Tom Spurgeon’s obit is your one-stop for info (update: Mark Evanier now has a fine piece up too), but I just wanted to pay my respects here.

I always associated Tuska’s style with toughness. There was a visceral quality to his draughtsmanship. His work spans almost the entire history of the comic book and there’s tons I have never seen, but some of my favorite stuff by him are the Captain America stories where he worked over Kirby layout (Tales of Suspense #70-74, 1965-66) — the King’s raw power and fluid storytelling rendered in long, resilient brushstrokes. A strange, rough break with the beautiful work by Kirby and Giacoia/Ayers that dominated that great run of comics, but still memorable. His subsequent work on Iron Man (#5-25, 1968-70) was also a high point, even if somewhat knocked off Gene Colan’s great example; strangely frenetic storytelling (nothing ever seems to be entirely at rest in those drawings) given an elegant less-is-more counterpoint by the inks of the great Johnny Craig.

Rest in Peace.

…Oh, another thing. I have wondered for a while whether that hilarious “Where’s My Money Honey” Luke Cage-story

From Heroes for Hire #9, 1972, by Englehart and Tuska

…inspired what is perhaps the greatest Judge Dredd punchline ever, where the good Judge after being confronted with his dark counterpart Judge Fear’s “Gaze into the face of fear!”, reacts thusly:

From 2000AD prog 227, 1981, by John Wagner, Alan Grant & Brian Bolland

Perhaps not? Probably just a case of good ideas being hard to keep down! ‘Nuff said.