Wednesday 2 March 2011

His Name Is Savage - Doc Savage!!!

Many thanks to my old friend Simon for sending through these incredible hi-res scans of Ken Barr's complete run of Doc Savage covers, which he created shortly after moving Stateside from his native Scotland, where as you will doubtless recall he had been working tirelessly to create the covers and look that launched Commando pocket library fifty years ago.

I know I am not alone in thinking that Barr was one of the finest talents to work on the Doc Savage series and he had some pretty stiff competition including Walter Baumhofer, James Bama and Jim Steranko.

Anyway enough waffle, here they are:

All images © Marvel Characters Inc. 1941-2011


  1. Have you seen the seven page strip illustrated by Barr over on the Diversions of The Groovy kind site?

    Well worth checking out - and thanks for this latest bunch of scans!

    B Smith

  2. Many thanks kind sir!

    I'll scoot over there right now, so many sites to visit these days!

  3. I love the way Ken quoted the style of James Bama's distinctively rendered shredded shirts, and yet still made those Doc Savage covers very much his own. He really did seem to hit the ground running upon his arrival in America, drawing the first episode of a major new war series for Joe Kubert, collaborating with the great Archie Goodwin during his memorable stint as editor of GI Combat, and painting all those fantastic pulp-style covers for Marvel. However, the work that most impressed me at the time was his amazing showpiece cover (and three-page strip) for Phase 1. Not being aware that he was already a ten-year veteran of British comics I automatically associated him with all those other young turks like Brunner, Adams, Seuling, Kaluta, O'Neil, Wolfman, Wein, Skeates, Buckler, Colon, Sutton, Jones, etc, who contributed to Sal Quartuccio's ground-breaking independent title. And given the stellar careers that many of those gentlemen went on to enjoy in the industry I've often wondered why he seemed to drop out of the comics scene altogether so soon afterwards - not reappearing on my radar until his surprising return to Commando within the last year.

  4. I know Phil, I think a lot of Barr devotees would be keen to know what he has been up to since - and we're talking here a lot of since.

    I did try and get him to agree to an interview in my Achtung Commando days, but he didn't respond and I heard subsequently that he just doesn't do interviews anymore.

    I do know however that he did return to these shores and in fact did three Commandos in the mid nineties - cover artwork and interiors and then nothing more until recently. He is also working on an epic treatment of Bram Stoker's Dracula in graphic novel format.