More Weird War Tales
September 9, 1917 – November 28, 1994
Robbins' falls into the category of "an artist's artist" for many, with skills that are admired with many professionals. His cartoony edge makes him seem unsuited for many of the superhero books that he did, but he has clear storytelling skills and an masterful inking ability.
Frank Robbins 1974
At the time of Shadow #8, Robbins was two years from the end of his run on the comic strip he originated in 1944 called Johnny Hazard, and was producing pages for DC's mystery books. He had also had a long run writing and occasionally drawing pages for DC's Detective Comics. In a few years after the Shadow books, though, Robbins would be working for Marvel (i.e., The Invaders).
Robbin's drawing and inking have been a long fascination for comic book artists that particularly value brush work, and in Robbin's dynamic blacking and sense of quirky action there is something more than a Milton Caniff knock-off (the artist for whom Robbin's has often been connected) but instead a weird balance between constant action and a dark, noir sense of lighting.
Robbin's used a great deal of light subtraction to heighten the forms in his stories, particularly in emphasizing some dramatic point. But even more unique are the "silent" panels Robbin's drew, where there is no dialogue, no narration, and no action, but a still image that fixes a point like a painting (for example, the first panel on page 17 from The Shadow #7, DC Comics 1974).
Robbins major flaw in his comic book work is something he probably couldn't help after decades of working with newspaper strips: he sometimes jammed his comic book panels with figures as large as he could make them, a needed technique for the tiny comic strips in a newspaper, but not necessary on the larger pages of a 1974 comic book. At times Robbins has Lamont Cranston ( The Shadow) so cramped for space he is hunching to fit into the page panel.
Frank Robbins Links
House of Mystery #226, 1974, Frank Robbins Art. See page enlarged.
Related: DC Comics' House of Mystery
Batman - Frank Robbins art
From Detective Comics #421, March 1972.
Frank Robbins Batman - 1972
Original page November 2012 | Updated Sept 2015