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Five For Friday #55—Trademarks
posted November 11, 2005

Name Five Creators and a Signature Stylization

Presented by Evan Dorkin

1. Jack Kirby, The Kirby Crackle
2. Steve Ditko, Splayed Hands
3. Gil Kane, Up the Nose Shot
4. Hank Ketcham, Swirl Knees and Elbows
5. Winsor McCay, Deep Perspective

This Category is Closed. Thanks to All Who Participated!

Charles Hatfield

Jim Woodring, The Wavy Line
Joe Kubert, Brooding Eyes (in Close-Up)
Harold Gray, The Empty Eye
Elzie Segar, The Perfect Sock (or Smack!)
Carol Lay, The Chinless Grin


Gary Chaloner

1. Paul Gulacy's funky realism.
2. Gene Day's ancient statues and uber-choreographed double spread fight scenes.
3. Gene Colan's wonky anatomy and loose clothing.
4. Alfredo Alcala's subtle inking (particularly on John Buscema).
5. A no-brainer: Will Eisner's buildings, sewers, cityscapes... and Eisnerschpritzes.


Bill Beechler, MD

Carl Barks – eye-triangles directing line of vision
Charles Schulz – mouths open in anguish
George Perez – kinda freaky doll's eyes
John Byrne – the half-smirk
Frank Quitely – Campbell's soup kids-like chubby faces


Cole Odell

Carmine Infantino: flat rows of distant skyscrapers
Jim Aparo: nose shadows
Jack Kirby: close-ups of wildly uneven eyes
Will Eisner: rain splatters
Carmine Infantino: caption hands


Fred Hembeck

Carmine Infantino's disembodied talking hands
Wayne Boring's the flying walk
George Tuska's row of prominent upper choppers
Irving Tripp's razor-sharp noses
S.Clay Wilson's severed penises


Michael Grabowski

1. Gene Colan, shadows on figures
2. Fred Hembeck, curlicue knees & elbows
3. Matt Groening, overbite
4. Harold Gray, hollow eyes
5. Charles Burns, black & white


Peter MacDonald

Fred Hembeck's knobby knees and elbows
Carmine Infantino's elongated profiles
Stan Lee's alliteration
Johnny Hart's jutting upper jaws
Sam Henderson's penis-shaped people


Devlin Thompson

Here's the first things that came to mind for me:

1. Rob Liefield: Faces depicted in 3/4 profile from the nose up, but nearly full frontal below (usually coupled with the portrayal of 40-60 evenly-sized teeth).
2. Harry Lucey: Surprise or other strong emotion depicted by rows of ellipses projecting from the head like "Spidey-sense".
3. Jack Kirby: Use of astmmetrical eyes to indicate madness (or sometimes just anger or aggression), long before it was popularized in mainstream comics in the '80s by Berke Breathed by way of Bill Sienkiewicz.
4. Carmine Infantino: The "caption box with gesturing hands" technique that he first used in "Strange Sports Stories".
5. Dan Clowes: Prominent rendering of the philtrum.

And a bonus:

6. Dick Malmgren: frequent portrayal of Archie characters with half-lidded eyes, in opposition to standard bug-eyed practice.


Jeff Lester

Mr. Dorkin got a lot of the good ones. For me, the problem isn't thinking of them, it's describing them.

1) Steranko--bodies in free-fall;
2) Alan Moore--The "walking tour." I can't think of a major work of Moore's that *doesn't* have one character traveling with another character and explaining the significance of that location (It sort of reaches near-parodic heights in "Promethea.");
3) Chester Gould--his use of physiognomy, particularly as it applied to villains;
4) Stan Lee's relentless hyperbole and his fourth wall breaking bonhomie. 'Nuff said?
5) Evan Dorkin--panels jammed with maximum visual information, maybe to compensate for an unchangingly flat perspective--and I never would have figured that out if he hadn't mentioned Windsor McCay.


Ralf Haring

Walter Simsonson and John Workman - big THOOOOM letters
Jack Kirby - the chin groove/shading thing
Arthur Adams - energy effect with lots of long rectangles emanating from acenter
Frank Quitely - puffy faces
Kia Asamiya - pointy noses


Sean T. Collins

1. Chris Ware: "And," "But," "So," etc.
2. John Romita Jr.: Extravagantly crinkly clothes
3. Frank Quitely: Squinty faces
4. Anders Nilsen: Three-dimensional title lettering
5. Dave Kiersh: Sentence fragments

(I love this one! It has the added benefit of not outing myself and everyone else for [our] bad taste.)


Rob Schamberger

1. Fred Hembeck -- Spiral elbows and knees
2. Jim Starlin -- Stars and galaxies and stuff in the shadows on characters
3. Milt Caniff -- Mad big black brushstrokes just FLYING out of the panel borders
4. Bernie Krigstein -- Saying "F You" to Al Feldstein and putting in MORE panels on the pages of his EC stuff, rather than going in with the set panels and dialogue placement that was the house style
5. Will Eisner -- Just giving up on using panel borders altogether


Gary Esposito

1. Fred Hembeck, Swirl Knees and Elbows
2. Ross Andru, Psycho Eyes
3. Charles Schulz, One-Point Perspective
4. Howard Chaykin, Male characters that kinda look like Howard Chaykin
5. Bill Sienkiewicz, way too many to list, but you know its him when you see it


Mark Spedding

John Costanza - box to show page 13 reversed-out
Johnny Craig - beads of sweat
Carmine Infantino - talking hands
Alex Toth - figures in silhouette (among many others)
Wallace Wood - high contrast lighting (among many others)


Jeffrey Meyer

1. Daniel Clowes: Bad teeth
2. Alex Toth: Silhouettes
3. Bil Keane: Dotted-line walking path
4. John Stanley: Asterisks for expression
5. Ernie Bushmiller: Repetition of objects (three rocks, three cakes, etc.)