Got home after seeing Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and saw the sad news on a couple of sites that Jim Aparo had passed away. Aparo was a huge influence on what I laughingly refer to as my artwork, and was one of my absolute favorite illustrators (and letterers, too) in the '70s and early '80s. As a teen, I was captivated by Aparo's dynamic perspectives and expressive figures, especially the faces and most of all the hands he drew- I spent many hours copying the way he drew people gesturing, pointing, punching and so on. And three of my favorite comics series as a teenager were Phantom Stranger, Adventure Comics with the Spectre, and The Brave and the Bold, in which I actually managed to get a letter or two published. I didn't see much of his earlier Charlton work, since I wasn't in the habit of picking up their titles then, but having seen them since I discovered him I liked a lot of what I saw, especially the sci-fi western Wander. As a tribute, here's a cover gallery from some of my favorite Aparo-related comics. Click on the images to see them bigger.
Rest in peace, Mr. Aparo, and thanks for everything.