Mark Evanier reports on the death at age 96 of artist Dan Spiegle. The two were collaborators on Crossfire, a delightful Superhero meets Hollywood Babylon series from the 80s, but Spiegle was a prolific artist on Blackhawk, Star Trek, Scooby Doo and about a million other comics. He could and did draw anything with a solid, lively style.
In my days at Disney I actually worked with Spiegle on a number of short comics, including a series of Lego advertorials. (!) HE was the consummate professional and someone you knew would get the job done on time and better than you needed.
John Trumbull at Atomic Junkshop has a nice remembrance.
Spiegle was a uniquely talented guy. He could do it all. He could go from the jungle adventures of Korak and Tarzan, to the humor and mystery of Scooby Doo, to doing dead-on likeness in licensed comics like Maverick or The Green Hornet, to war comics like Blackhawk, to the modern day tinseltown adventures of Crossfire and Hollywood Superstars. You don’t find many people in comics who are that versatile.
I combed through my collection of Dan Spiegle comics, and scanned a few of my favorite pages for you folks to enjoy. I hope they give you a hint of the variety and breadth of his work. Distinctive characters, expressive poses, detailed and well-researched backgrounds, atmospheric lighting, imaginative costuming, beautiful women, terrific likenesses, cool-looking aliens… He was great at everything you’d want a comic book artist to be great at.
Spiegle was one of the last of the generation of comics workmen who just took jobs as they came in every genre. In the dictionary next to “comic book artist” there’s probably a picture of him.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.