Monday, March 26, 2007

Rest In Peace: Marshall Rogers

Silver Surfer #21
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.

I just saw on Newsarama that artist Marshall Rogers passed away. This is terribly sad news, as Rogers was a class act all the way. Jim and I met him at the Seattle Comicard Show a couple of years ago and he was very nice. He spent quite a bit of time talking to us and did a sketch of Big Barda for me and Kyle Rayner Green Lantern for Jim. It is one of my favorite sketches, and I feel very blessed to have met this kind, talented man.

Here is Newsarama's post about Rogers:

"Comics have lost another luminary. Details are still sketchy, but word came earlier today that Marshall Rogers died yesterday or Saturday. The cause of death was not immediately disclosed.

Rogers was born on January 22nd, 1950 in Flushing, New York.

From “DC Profiles #26” which appeared in 1978 (courtesy of the Marshall Rogers Fan Site):

Of all DC's rapidly rising new stars, Marshall Rogers' ascent has been swiftest of all. In less than a year, Marshall has gone from back feature artist to first-stringer on Detective Comics and Mr. Miracle.

Marshall almost didn't make it to comics. His studies in art school concentrated on architecture, but after two years of studying designing parking lots and shopping centers, Marshall decided "the world wasn't ready for another Frank Lloyd Wright" and left school seeking fame and fortune in the comic field.

Unfortunately, the comics world was not yet ready for Marshall Rogers. For the next two years, he worked in a hardware store while doing occasional illustrations for mass circulation magazines and sharpening his artistic skills.

Apparently, those two years did the trick. Marshall broke into comics, landing a stint pencilling for Marvel's Britain weeklies.

Not long after, Marshall showed up at DC Comics, portfolio in hand, and was given his first assignment: a two part Tales of the Great Disaster story for Weird War Tales. That was followed by some mystery stories, a Tales of Krypton piece and a four part feature in Detective Comics featuring a new villain named The Calculator. His work on the latter led Editor Julie Schwartz to hand Marshall a real plum for a newcomer: pencilling the book length Batman versus the Calculator story in Detective Comics. What came next surprised even Marshall. The powers that be assigned Marshall to Detective as the regular penciller. And he almost immediately picked up the art chores on the newly-revived Mr. Miracle book as well.

"What I try to do," Marshall told DC Profiles, "is first think of what's been done before and then I discard that and try to approach it from a completely different angle." After looking over Marshall Rogers' work, we'd have to say he's found his different angle.

Beginning in the late 1970s, Rogers’ career covered many different characters, Rogers is best known for his Batman work when collaborating with writer Steve Englehart. The two first worked together on the character in Detective Comics #471-#476 (inked by Terry Austin), and for years, their version of the character was considered to be the definitive one – a dark, brooding hero who stayed to the shadows and flowed with a natural grace.

An architect by training, Rogers' work always stood out for its attention to detail, from the cityscapes of Gotham and articulated (and realistic) muscles of the heroes, to the different techniques he would employ, from bold blacks and zipatone to a wide array of others.

Rogers work was seen in many other comics from the major publishers including brief runs on DC's Mr. Miracle, Marvel’s Silver Surfer, and Dr. Strange as well as a wide variety of independent titles: Detectives, Inc., Coyote (again with Englehart), his own Capt. Quick and the Foozle, and Scorpio Rose.

Rogers left comics for a period in the early ‘90s to work in videogames, but returned later in the decade, where his work was seen in projects such as Green Lantern: Evil’s Might and most recently, Marvel Westerns: Strange Westerns Starring The Black Rider, and Batman: Dark Detective, a continuation of his and Englehart’s story from Detective Comics two and a half decades earlier. The two were reportedly considering a third installment of the larger "Dark Detective" story."

We have truly lost a great man. My prayers and thoughts go out to his family at this difficult time.


John Holland said...

That's really sad news, I haven't went to any of the comic sites yet today so I didn't hear yet. He was a great artist.

Carl said...

The first real "serious" Batman stories I can recall as a kid, outside of the Neal Adams ones. It's like the whole world I grew up with is going away a piece at a time every single day. I really loved his Batman and his Mister Miracle and have a lot of his books. I always wanted to meet him. Dammit. What an unreplaceable loss...

Thats a great idea guy said...

Terrible news. His art sold or made plausible many stories.

God bless him and his family.

Heidi Meeley said...

This truly is awful news. My heart dropped when I found out. Marshall Rogers was a wonderful man. His skill as an artist was incredible, yet he was very humble and polite. I will always remember that.

It is terrible to lose this man at such a young age. There was so much more to do...

inkdestroyedmybrush said...

awful news, i agree. I did a longer post on marshall with some new scans and my thoughts as well.

a great artist lost.