A previously undiscovered Jim Steranko swipe


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/11/27/a-previously-undiscovered-jim.html


I don’t see the swipe from the detective cover to the Shadow. Really, the only similarity is the blond in a very classic “damsel in distress” pose.

What am I missing?


Sometimes pulp/comic artists would even swipe from their own previous work. Here are two covers by Alex Schomburg created in the same year (also the first known appearance of Bender from Futurama.)


Swiping is nothing new in the commercial art field and it was part of the artist’s kit to have a huge filing cabinet of swipe files.

As mentioned in the post event The King swiped!

From Fantastic Four 22 1964 and a Vargas pin-up published in Playboy around the same time.


Hey, i have a signed print of that…

But yes, artists swipe all the time. Usually it is “OK”.

Only when it is done too often does it get to be a bit eye rolling. This one comic artist, Greg Land, uses references from magazines - and, uh, porn screen grabs - waaaaayyyy too much to the point it is a crutch more than a tool. While it does add to some of the realism, people find him reusing panels all the time, and a lot of times the characters features change base on the source materials…


Two contemporaries I can think of…the oil painter Malcolm Leipke (who self-admittedly swipes from magazines and advertising), and the comic writer Scott Kurtz, who has jokingly referenced how he recycles images in his strip, PvP.

One of Leipke’s most recognizable subjects…



It’s so similar it was pretty clearly used as a reference. I think Steranko made it his own. And like Mark said, this isn’t really a dig at Steranko. He is a great artist.

Hell it might even be considered a homage in a way, as I know Steranko is a big fan of the pulps in general.


Well I was inspired enough to update my avatar.


And there are only so many human poses - especially when the intent is to use the image to communicate a specific action or predicament

“All great art …” etc.


I see a little more anatomical information in the Steranko swipe than I do in the original. Often in swipes the copy is more vague.


In particular, I see a clarification of the clavicular head of the pectoralis as it tucks into the humerus just above the biceps that is missing in the original.

^ that little triangular wedge of skin

(Drawn roughly with my thumb on my phone)


That’s what I thought when I saw the image. It looks like a homage to me. It’s not like it was traced.

But maybe this is a culture-of-comic-artists thing that I don’t understand. Movies are full of homages just as blatant as this, but no one things of it as “swiping”.


If you’re gonna steal, steal from the best.

Also, “Good artists copy, great artists steal” attributed to Picasso, but I know for a fact he stole it from Mozart.


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.