Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.19: Jack Cole

No.19: Jack Cole

Jack Cole’s creation Plastic Man for Quality Comics in 1941 has proven to be a pivotal marker in comics, a hybrid of super heroics and humour which was both compulsive, hugely influential and a key slice of Americana. Channelling the offhand, subversive wit and style of Damon Runyon and Ring Lardner, Cole’s Plastic Man, who first appeared in Police Comics before moving to his own title, echoed the invention and genius of colleague Will Eisner’s The Spirit. Words: Andrew Colman…

Having served his apprenticeship at early golden age publishers Centaur, Chesler, MLJ and Gleason, Cole was hired by Quality Comics where he immediately began working with Will Eisner as an assistant on one of comics’ defining strips, The Spirit. During this period, Cole was commissioned to come up with a title that was at first glance The Spirit in all but name, Midnight,  but the title had more in common with the soon to arrive Plastic Man. He also ghosted, along with Lou Fine, on The Spirit while Eisner was away on military service.

Plastic Man however was Cole’s tour de force, a series so brimming with zany, madcap energy that it built a dedicated readership, with the character having periodic revivals for decades afterwards. Art Spiegelman was so taken by Cole’s work that he co-created a biography about the artist and his creation in 2003. Cole worked on his character for most of the 1940s, his time with Eisner imbuing him with a desire to play fast and loose with the form and medium, experimenting with graphics and text, breaking rules while developing new ones that would be a permanent fixture in comics thereafter. Bordering on caricature with a skewed, satirical edge, Cole’s tales of underworld goons, femme fatales and witless villains dispensed with the rules, his credo being that in comics you could do anything, especially with a protagonist made of putty who could assume any shape or form.

After his tenure at Quality ended, Cole freelanced before beginning his time in 1954 as a cartoonist on Females by Cole for Playboy, specialising in gag pages about beautiful women and older men’s attempts to woo them that proved to be extremely popular, mainly due to the risqué material and Cole’s virtuoso, idealised, pin-up style illustrations. He also worked on similar projects such as Millie and Terry as well as his own semi-autobiographical strip, Betsy and Me, which started in 1958 for the Chicago Sun-Times. This only lasted a few months due to Cole tragically taking his own life in August 1958, at the age of 43. One wonders how much the world of comics and strip cartoons was robbed by this sudden and unexplained event, but without question it would be considerable. Nevertheless, his works still inhabit a central place in fandom.

Here’s links through to the other entries in our 101 Greatest so far as well

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.20: Bernie Krigstein

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.21: Graham Ingels

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.22: Al Williamson

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.23: Barry Windsor-Smith

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.24: Alex Ross

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.25: John Byrne

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.26: Mike Mignola

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.27: Basil Wolverton

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.28: Howard Chaykin

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.29: Moebius

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.30: Dave Gibbons

 

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.31: Creig Flessel

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.32: Milt Caniff

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.34: Burne Hogarth

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.35: LB Cole

 

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.37: Bill Everett

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.38: Robert Crumb

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.39: Mac Raboy

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.41: Jim Starlin

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.42: Mike Zeck

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.43: Adam Hughes

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.44: Daniel Clowes

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.45: Gene Colan

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.46: George Perez

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.47: Michael William Kaluta

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.48: Cary Nord

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.49: Frank Quitely

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.50: Mike Ploog

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.51: Johnny Craig

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.52: Darwyn Cooke

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.53: Steve Dillon

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.54: Gil Kane

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.55: Michael Zulli

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.56: John Romita

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.57: Joe Maneely

 

 

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.58: Marshall Rogers

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.59: John Severin

 

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.60: Alex Toth

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.61: Brian Bolland

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.62: David Mazzuchelli

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.63 Reed Crandall

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.64 Harry Anderson

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.65 Nick Cardy

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.66 Matt Wagner

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.67 Bryan Hitch

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.68 Shawn Martinbrough

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.69 Al Feldstein

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.70 Nestor Redondo

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.71 Tarpe Mills

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.72 Eduardo Risso

 

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.73 JH Williams III

 

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.74 Irv Novick

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.75 Dan Zolnerowich

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.76 Gilbert Shelton

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.77 Tommy Lee Edwards

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.78: Sean Phillips

 

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.79: Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.80: Dan DeCarlo

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.81: Marie Severin

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.82: John Paul Leon

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.83: Jim Lee

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.84: Denys Cowan

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.85: Ross Andru

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.86: Paul Gustavson

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.87: George Evans

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.88: Michael Golden

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.89: Matt Baker

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.90: Todd McFarlane

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.91: Fiona Staples

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.92: Carl Barks

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.93: Carmine Infantino

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.94: Alan Davis

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.95: CC Beck

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.96: Syd Shores

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.97: Bob Fujitani

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.98: Tim Sale

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.99: Jim Aparo

https://tripwiremagazine.co.uk/headlines/tripwires-101-greatest-comic-artists-of-all-time-no-100/

https://tripwiremagazine.co.uk/headlines/tripwires-101-greatest-comic-artists-of-all-time-no-101/

 

The post Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.19: Jack Cole appeared first on TRIPWIRE MAGAZINE.

No.19: Jack Cole Jack Cole’s creation Plastic Man for Quality Comics in 1941 has proven to be a pivotal marker in comics, a hybrid of super heroics and humour which was both compulsive, hugely influential and a key slice of Americana. Channelling the offhand, subversive wit and style of Damon Runyon and Ring Lardner, Cole’s Plastic Man, who
The post Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.19: Jack Cole appeared first on TRIPWIRE MAGAZINE.Read MoreTRIPWIRE MAGAZINE

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