Saturday, August 5, 2017

Notes on Alex Nino

Alex Nino
I first encountered Alex Nino's work in House of Secrets #101 (1972). The drawings were strange and even harsh at times. He would occasionally distort faces and figures, creating a mildly disturbing effect. Still, there was definitely something unique about his style. Like Bernie Wrightson, he used contrast between light and dark to form characters and settings. Nino became a mainstay of DC's horror titles, including Weird War Tales, House of Mystery, House of Secrets, Secrets of Sinister House and more (including an admirable stint drawing back-up tales on Rima the Jungle Girl). His later work increasingly focused on composition and sequencing, resulting in some of the most contemporary page designs in bronze age comics (Frank Miller would make similar advancements in the 1980s). This culminated in later efforts for 1984 (later retitled 1994), a Warren magazine showcasing adult-themed science fiction. While his draftsmanship varied in quality, Nino's complex spreads and layouts were magnificent, bordering on the surreal. Only later did I discover that he was an accomplished comic book artist in the Philippines, long before his contributions to DC (similar to Nestor Redondo). For fellow collectors, I also recommend Nino's work in Omega Men, Tarzan and Savage Sword of Conan. See today's posts or more Nino issues. See also this blog's Nino checklist.

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