David Mazzucchelli spent an all too brief period in mainstream superhero comics, but definitely made a big impression. He worked on Daredevil (working with writers like Denny O’Neil and Frank Miller) and Batman (again working with Frank Miller) before eventually leaving mainstream comics altogether to publish his own anthology comic entitled Rubber Blanket.
“My education in comics almost goes sort of backwards and laterally. I grew up with a certain thing, and that’s what I came to comics with, which would have been the comics of the 60’s, and then sort of crept back into, Well, what were people doing right before then? Who was the influence on this person, who was the influence on that person? and back that way. So by the time I was doing Batman I was very interested in Chester Gould and Hergé, and Alex Toth. And the Angel story [in Marvel Fanfare #40] definitely had more of a Kurtzman… I mean, it looks nothing like Kurtzman, but I was thinking about a certain simplicity of shape, a certain kind of expressiveness.”
The image is the cover of Marvel Fanfare 40 (the Angel story mentioned above) which is a favourite of mine. I was hoping to post some of the story art, but the cover was all I could find. It’s a simple tale; Warren Worthington III (Angel) falls from the sky, badly injured from some battle or other, and is found and cared for by an old woman. She is religious, and believes him to be an actual angel, fallen from heaven. While tending to the wounded playboy certain feelings stir within her, feelings she hasn’t experienced for many years. Upon recuperation he leaves, but not before winking cheekily at the old woman who has nursed him back to health. She blushes as he soars off into the sky.
It’s a sweet story but, more importantly, the artwork is absolutely incredible. It has a classical comic book style that, in my opinion, perfectly represents comic’s essential nature (the essence of comics). Visually it’s a tribute. If you ever see it, be sure to buy it.
I miss his work. He is a true modern master.