George Tuska: 1916-2009

George Tuska
Veteran artist George Tuska has passed away at age 93. Tuska’s career spanned the Golden Age with work for the Iger/Eisner shop, Lev Gleason, Fox and the Harry “A” Chesler Studio. In the 60s he was best known for a long run on IRON MAN and later, a 16-year-stint on The World’s Greatest Superheroes Present Superman comic strip, ending in 1993.

With a solid, dynamic style, Tuska can truly be said to be one of the architects of the Marvel Universe — integrating influences from his more innovative peers, Tuska’s work boiled down the essence of ’60s and ’70s superheroes to its purest elements. While the Onion called it “flavorless,” it’s also basic. Look at the two covers below: clichés that have become archetypes.

Spurgeon and Evanier have more.

Tuska is survived by his wife of 61 years, Dorothy, three children and numerous grand and great-grandchildren.


  1. Phil Hester says

    The Onion embarrassed itself with that take. Tuska’s gestures and layouts were energetic and free, like a combo of Kirby and Colan. He didn’t clog the page with superfluous nonsense. As I tweeted earlier today- He was a journeyman, not a hack. Makes me hot that I have to defend his work upon the news of his death.


  2. Synsidar says

    Tuska could also draw unconventional scenes — or is that characters acting unconventionally? From AVENGERS #137:

    Vizh and Wanda -- honeymoon

    Tuska decided to retire just recently. Here’s a tribute to Tuska and his artwork.

  3. Al says

    I have always liked Tuska’s work. His figures were consistently well drawn, and he knew how to tell a visual story. He lived a very long, productive life, and brought a lot of enjoyment to us. RIP George.

  4. says

    For my money, George Tuska- and Curt Swan- were the definitive Superman artists.
    I just spent the last hour going through comics I hadn’t opened in maybe ten years. I think we lost more than an elder statesman here. As the article says, Tuska was one of the guys who set the standard for comic book iconic.

    I’d love for somebody to put together a tribute book soon, in similiar vein to the current book spotlighting Ed Hannigan’s work via Heroes Initiative.

  5. says

    What a talent. I’m reading Bob Greenberger’s Iron Man paperback right now – and so much of the imagery in my mind’s eye is pure Tuska.
    And seeing that Vision/Wanda panel reminds me how sexy I thought his women were. Such great smiles.

    Thanks for all the fun times, George!

  6. says

    I think he set the record for most buck-toothed gangsters. He was one of the greats in comics’ history, and he did it all before all the gimmicks, glossy paper and computer-generated color and text. He will be missed!

  7. says

    I loved George Tuska’s work. Not in the way I loved John Byrne or Alan Davis’s work, but in the way it was recognizable as his and in the great way he told a story. I knew that he showed up as a fill-in artist a lot of the time, but,damn, he was great. Good effective layouts, excellent storytelling skills, a nice clean style… People used to highly detailed renders don’t get it, but everything you’d need in a story was right there.

    Rest in peace, Mr. Tuska!

  8. Max Gottfried says

    At on of George Tuskas’s last con appearances in NY, some 10 years ago, I told him, his wife and grand daughter that dedicated comic fans were enthralled with him as if he were Brittany Spears!

  9. says


    What is up with all the Tuska bashing since he died? I’m in my forties, so I was reading Tuska my entire childhood and young adulthood, primarily on Iron Man, but also on Justice League, Planet of the Apes, Avengers, CRIME Does Not Pay (reprints, obviously), Champions, Power Man…I could probably go on all day. The man never did a bad job on any of the hundreds and hundreds of books that he did–at least that I own a copy of. Other than Curt Swan and Jack Kirby, I’ll bet George Tuska comes in third in my collection for sheer numbers of issues.

    I wan’t buying those books because they were “workmanlike” or “competent”–I have ’em cause they’re good, good comics.

    It was probably all that inking that Vinnie Colletta did over Tuska that have caused people to underrate him. Let’s blame it on Vinnie. There’s someone we can all get behind underrating.

    (Actually I don’t mind Vinnie, but he didn’t do Tuska any favors…)

    Ty the Guy

  10. Dave Miller-lad says

    Marvel seemed to have a policyat the time to team strong artists with weak artists so that there would be an even-ness across the line.

    Unfortunately, a great artist like George Tuska often got bad inkers because they thought he could survive it.

    Strangely, since comic art is about the right pairing of talents, some of Tuska’s best artwork was with Vinnie Colletta. I loved those Avengers they did together. I just finished reading them in Essential Aveners #6.

    He was great! End of story.

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