Thursday, November 8, 2012

Paul Reinman 1933 Drawing

Some time ago I was contacted by Gideon Remez asking for information about Paul Reinman's background. He discovered I had written an article on Reinman for Alter Ego some years ago and hoped I could assist him. I told him there were few Reinman interviews I was aware of, but Reinman wrote a brief memoir for Alter Ego in the early 1960s, which I passed onto him. In that same period I was over Timely-Atlas expert Michael Vassallo's house, and what does he have on his desk? A Paul Reinman interview that appeared in The Burroughs Bulletin # 13, 1962 (Reinman drew the Tarzan strip a number in 1949-1950). Serendipity! I asked Mike to pass on the info to Gideon, as well as information on Reinman's Atlas work, which he gladly did.

                           Reinman Tarzan strip, 1949. Image from Heritage Auctions.

Gideon is not a comics fan, but his interest in Reinman overlaps with my interest in the lives and history of creators, which extends to many areas, as the article will reveal.

I've always found Reinman's work intriguing. I enjoyed his quirky qualities, his sometimes crude, imperfect figures figures and  that spoke of. Crude, perhaps, but with an underlying mood. His background work often overshadowed his figures, and this likely speaks to his primary interests. In the few paintings I've seen his backgrounds and scenery showcased strengths that were only touched upon in his comics work.

An attractive Reinman page that includes impressive rendering of buildings, trees, animals and figures. "The Temptation of Jesus", Bible Tales for Young Folk # 3,  December 1953 

Original artwork to Reinman's cover for The Shadow # 1, August 1964. His use of blacks and scratchy lines provides an atmospheric touch.

Much or Reinman's work outside of comics remains a mystery. It certainly includes undiscovered paintings and advertising art (a field he moved to after he left comics; he was also a courtroom artist), but could include book or record cover illustrations and movie posters, such as the one below. Further research into the work of Paul Reinman may open the door for a better assessment of him artistic talents.


                     Reinman Bustin' Loose movie poster, circa 1981


Kid said...

Interesting stuff, Nick. I actually liked Reinman's inking on Kirby's X-Men. It had 'spontaneity'. It's strange how some people consider comicbook work the ultimate in artistic achievement. There are (and have been) some great artists who might not have been suited to the sequential art side of comics, or who could have met the deadlines, but nevertheless were master craftsmen in other artistic arenas. (Like advertising, cinema posters, book illustration, etc.)

Nick Caputo said...


I agree. I also liked some of Reinman's inking over Kirby. It was not as good as Ayers or Ditko, but was more impressive than most of Roussous output. Reinman's work in fine art remains largely unknown, but what little I've seen is impressive.

Martin Gray said...

I've only really seen Reinman in the UK's Alan Class reprints but always liked his clean line (the books were black and white). It'd be worth being in court to be drawn by him.

Nick Caputo said...

Hi Martin,

The crisp linework is often complimented by being printed in black and white, as you've probably noticed quite a bit with the Alan Class reprints.

Thanks for your thoughts,

Anonymous said...

Hi There! The BUST'IN LOOSE poster was done by me, Mick Reinman...