Sunday, July 02, 2006


Mike Parobeck

It was ten years ago today, that one of my favorite artists, Mike Parobeck passed away from complications due to Type 1 Diabetes.

Parobeck's art was a precursor of incredible things to come, employing an open line that many would, at the time, call "cartoon-y." Now, it would be called "clean" or "minimalist." Parobeck accomplished in one line what it would take many of his then-contemporaries twenty crosshatches to do. Parobeck was my very first "gimme" artist, meaning that whatever he drew, be it The Batman Adventures, Robin or Justice Society of America, I had to have it.

At the time of his death, I had no internet connection and read about it weeks after it had happened in The Comcs Shop News. It was the first time I'd ever felt a since of loss for someone not truly close to me. I instantly felt a sense of sadness at the thought of never again holding this man's art in my hands on a monthly basis and it truly, truly made me sad.

Today, I rejoice in this man's work. When prospective comic book artists come into my shop, asking how to become better at their craft, I show them Mike Parobeck's artwork. In his art, they get to see proper page layout, how to tell a story through art, how properly to portray less as more and you know what? They get it.

They get it because great art like great story is timeless. Mike Parobeck's "clean line" art, created something that has become timeless in its simplicity. Ten years on and he's still impacting my life and the lives of others. The comics genre is about storytelling & legacy. Mike Parobeck through his art has left us with a legacy, a body of work absolutely worthy of treasuring.

You said it, I agree wholeheartedly: Parobeck is one of the great underappreciated talents of comics.
Great spotlight. His JSA series is one of the earliest DC books I actually remember reading. Over-rendering just distracts from the story. Guys like Finch and even Jim Lee should be looking to this guy.
Someday DC will get around to a big collection of Parobeck's Batman, so I can finally replace my beat copies. That book was the only good Batman out there during the whole Azbats-replacement period.
Don't forget his work on The Fly for DC's Impact line. That's where I first encountered his work. But you're right, he was ahead of his time and is sorely missed.

Post a Comment

<< Home