My absolute favorite thing about collecting back issues of comic books is finding neat little gems and ‘discovering’ writers and artists for the first time. My most recent find is Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes. The stories are incredible, much like most of LSH, but what really made me take notice was an artist by the name of James Sherman. And when I was looking at his art for the first time in the pages of Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes 241, my jaw dropped.
Who is this guy? And why have I never heard of him?
When I looked up James Sherman there isn’t a lot of stuff out there except for his comic vine and a wikipedia entries. And that just blows my mind. When I looked through these pages I immediately thought of Neil Adams. Because Sherman’s figures are absolutely beautiful. Interestingly, Sherman also is/was deep in the advertising world so I do wonder if DC was really trying to find the next Adams at the time.
If you look at his style, his figures and anatomy are what stand out. But his use of light and shadow is really what made these characters pop on the page. Because if you look at the final renderings of his stuff, it looks like he must have spent hours on it. Sherman brought real definition to his characters and it ended up giving it a whole 70’s space opera feel.
His Superboy is what really stood out for me. There’s something about Sherman’s depiction of him that gives him a sense of gentleness but still makes him look strong and powerful with his resemblance to the older Superman. When I picture Superboy in my head I didn’t realize I was picturing Sherman’s. Yes, the hairstyle is a bit out of fashion, much like that of the other characters (it’s a book from the 70’s after all) but it’s just so damn polished. Everything about Sherman’s contribution to this line is beautiful.
And then it turns out that Sherman leaves LSH because he wasn’t happy with the end of Earthwar. So he left. Poof. Goodbye. And you’re simply left to wonder what could have been?
And the craziest part about this? The issues he drew are actually pretty easy to find and they’re affordable. This is one of the advantages of loving LSH because everyone else loved them too. So there’s a lot of them out there and they’re affordable. You actually, right now at this moment, can go out and buy these and discover the amazing Sherman for yourself.
Here’s a list of his books from the Superboy line:
James Sherman’s Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes
- #240–242 (first two parts of the classic Earthwar)
Useless Trivia Fact
There’s also a James Sherman, who was the Vice President of the United States to William Howard Taft. He was also the first Vice President to throw a ceremonial pitch at a baseball game.
Our James Sherman contributed to designing the MLB logo.
Think about THAT.