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Don Heck (American, 1929-1995)

Comic Book Art

New Yorker Don Heck (1929-1995) got his start in the comic book business in the early 1950s, illustrating War, Romance, and Horror stories for Allen Harvey’s offshoot comic company, Comic Media, where his best work was probably his horror covers for such titles as Horrific and Weird Terror. He really came into his own during the late 1950s, when he became a staff artist at Atlas, alongside Jack Kirby. There, he did lots of those wild “Giant Monster” stories, as well as plenty of Science Fiction and Mystery tales. But for most fans of the man, it was after Atlas morphed into Marvel that Don’s true talents began to shine. His Silver Age output included some of the very first stories featuring Iron Man (where he designed the look of the original armor and main characters like Tony Stark and Pepper Pots). He worked on The Avengers series, beginning with issue #9 and up to #40, penciling and inking most issues. The X-Men was another popular series blessed with Don’s dynamic art, on issues #38-42. Don also had a hand in various issues of Amazing Spider-Man, Captain Marvel, Captain Savage, Tower of Shadows, and Chamber of Darkness. He even did the occasional Romance story for Marvel. Somehow he found time to “ghost” Lee Falk’s classic newspaper strip, The Phantom from 1966 until 1971, and also worked on the daily Terry and the Pirates strip. Don moved to DC in 1970, and made his Bronze Age mark on The Flash, Batgirl, Rose and Thorn, Wonder Woman, Justice League of America, and in the company’s horror title House of Secrets. He still found time to create more work for Marvel, drawing issues of Daredevil, Sub-Mariner, Ghost Rider, The Champions, and solo Hawkeye stories. His last known comics work was a Thor story featured in Marvel Super-Heroes V2#15, in 1993. In more recent years, there have been several books focusing on his art, including Don Heck – A Work of Art, published by TwoMorrows, and the upcoming Horror by Heck, due in 2016 from IDW/Yoe Books.

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