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RIP Jack Kamen

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Word was going ’round yesterday of the death of EC great Jack Kamen, and Mark Evanier comfirms it. Kamen was 88.

A native of Brooklyn, Kamen was born May 29, 1920 and at one point in his life was heading for a career in illustration and sculpture. In 1941, he began getting work as an illustrator for pulp magazines…an endeavor that was interrupted by a draft notice. Upon his discharge, he found the pulp market in decline and so began picking up work for comic books, primarily for Fiction House where his clean style fit in well with the preferred look of their line. He was especially good at drawing pretty women, a skill that often typed one as an artist for romance comics.

Kamen these days is best known as the father of inventor Dean Kamen.

  1. Jack Kamen was the David Lynch of the 1950s. Sheer brilliance. Whenever I see a movie or TV show about the dark undercurrents of suburban life, it’s like South Park & the Simpsons–“Kamen did it.”

  2. (That second cover is a Graham Ingles cover, not Kamen. He does have a good selection of Crime Suspenstories covers to pick from!)

    Condolences to the Kamen family. It’s always sad when one of the original E.C. artists pass away.

  3. One of the great ones. R.I.P.

    Patrick: I’m not sure why you think the Crime Suspenstories cover was done by Ingles and not Kamen.

    Clue #1 – Ingles *never* did a Crime Suspenstories cover

    Clue #2 – That blonde soooo Kamen

    Clue #3 – Kamen’s signature on the bottom left

  4. I met Jack Kamen in 1965 when I was the art director for a busy ad agency in New York City. Over the active years that I worked with Jack he handled hundreds of projects for our clients on a wide variety of subject matter. Jack could handle any project; and every illustration he did was classic. He always called his amazing ability an educated hand. It was far more than that. Those were great times Jack, old friend.

  5. Just learned of Jack Kamen’s death. The world has lost a truly fine artist but
    I will always remember him as sweet guy… fun loving, gentle and a really
    decent human being. He was my friend.

    My deepest condolences to Evelyn and his talented family.

    Paul Lawrence
    December 23, 2008

  6. I met Jack Kamen in 1965 when I was the art director for a busy NYC ad agency. I needed a good illustrator to back up the many ads, brochures I designed. Jack was the perfect artist. We had many discussions at many meetings and lunches. We worked together on and off for over fifteen years. He will be missed.

  7. I did not know Jack Kamen, but his wife Evelyn was one of my high school teachers. As I read the comments above I get a sense that Jack was a decent and talented human being. His wife was also a wonderful person and one of the kindest and most dedicated teachers I have ever known. My deepest sympathy to Mrs. Kamen.

    Ron Giacone

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