Comic Book Art: Jerry Ordway

Jerry Ordway: JSA

Someone started a meme on Facebook, which I first saw on Theron Bretz’ profile:

To help us appreciate comic book art we have this Facebook game. Click “like” and I will will assign you a comic book artist. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know their work; just Google the artist and choose an image of the one you like most, and put it on your timeline with this message. Make comments or just let the art speak for itself.

Theron assigned me Jerry Ordway, and I wanted to share a little more than just one image, because I love comic book art and artists.

I associate Jerry Ordway primarily with his extensive work on Superman titles, but I know his work first-hand from the Batman and Huntress titles, as well as covers for a number of other titles. But Ordway has worked mostly for DC, and I never followed DC titles as much as Marvel ones.

Having started his career as a young unknown no one wanted to hire and progressed to being trusted with the DC core titles, Ordway is now speaking out against ageism and the difficulties faced by older creators, pushed out by publishers in favour of younger, presumably cheaper and more pliable artists.

He is known for his ink work but he also has significant credits for pencils, colour paintings, and writing. So in my typical inability to “pick just one“, I thought I’d give a few samples of his work that I particularly liked.

1. Classic Inking

You can find several examples of Orway’s classic work on famous titles thanks to ComicArtFans.com. Here is one that I like because of the clarity and variations of line weight.

Pencils by George Perez, inks by Jerry Ordway, Crisis on Infinite Earths #12

2. Ink Sketch

He’s been doing a lot of these in recent years, and they hit the sweet spot for me because of their fluid yet precise strokes.

Jerry Ordway sketch, Batman with batarang

3. Cover Work

Ordway finally had an opportunity to show off his pencil and colour work when he worked on the graphic novel adaptation of the 1989 Batman movie.

Jerry Ordway, Batman movie adaptation

4. Colour Paintings

After this, Ordway’s work on The Power of Shazam! gave him a chance to stretch his portfolio to include writing and colour work, and to bring Captain Marvel back to action in the DC Universe.

Jerry Ordway, The Power of Shazam!

5. The Huntress

Ordway did a good bit of work on The Huntress, one of the rare DC titles that women geek feel addresses them, so I’m giving it a special mention here.  In fact, his work on other women superheroes was refreshing, like his delightfully non-bimbo version of Power Girl.

Jerry Ordway: The Huntress sketch

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