Legendary Artists of Pre-Code Horror : Jack Kamen
Jack Kamen ( May 29 1920 – Aug 5 2008 ). Illustrated EC Comics, and 1982 Horror Anthology ” Creepshow”.
His first professional job was as an assistant sculptor. He began illustrating Western and Detective magazines, before he served in the Army, in 1942.
After World War II he drew comicbook stories for Fiction house and Eisner & Iger studios.
He paid his tuition* by decorating mannequins ( fashion), painting scenery for theatre and creating sculptures. He studied sculpture with Agop Agopoff, and trained under William C McNulty, Harvey Dunn and George Brandt Bridgman.
[*Art Students League; Grand Central Art School ]
After World War II – EC Comics
Kamen became friends with Al Feldstein at Eisner & Iger studios, when he resumed his illustration career after his service in World War II, it was through Feldstein that Kamen met Bill Gaines of EC comics and began illustrating Romance comics. Kamen became EC’smost prolific artist: doing humor, sci-fi, crime, horror and suspense.
Tale’s from the Crypt #31, is a self-satire, penned by Kamen, about the transition from Romance to Horror comics – featured on the HBO show ( Tales from the Crypt), as the episode: ” Korman’s Kalamity” ( which Kamen said was his? favorite).
Comics Code of Authority 1955 Censorship: The End of EC Comics
In 1954- 1955, the industry fell victim to censorship?, and despite changing to a pricier magazine format, the EC line was soon canceled, and Kamen went on to do advertising art and illustrations for many clients. He once described one of his painting techniques to artist Tom Palmer:
Kamen: “Did you know I used Prismacolor pencils along with an acrylic paint wash to create my paintings? I would use a smooth illustration board and apply my basic color in a very watery wash of acrylic, and after it dried I would start rendering with Prismacolor pencil.
Then I would take an electric eraser, with a particular eraser, that when you erased anything, before you got down to removing color, you could mix the color pencil very, very smooth, almost like an oil painting.
For instance, I would mix a puddle of acrylic paint flesh color and put that down as a watercolor wash. As soon as it dried, I would add all the details in colored pencil. In areas that needed correction I would paint opaque white acrylic and then go back and do color pencil again. The electric eraser blended all the pencil into a smooth look.
If you look at a painting of Santa Claus, the beard is opaque white acrylic, put down as a watercolor wash, then the shading and gray tones were added in color pencil, the electric eraser gave the fuzzy look to all that. ”
“Creepshow” – the 1982, horror anthology film, was Stephen King and George Romero’stribute to EC Comics – which Kamen did all the comicbook artwork for. Berni Wrightson did the art for the graphic novel adaptation – Kamen did the cover.
Kamen’s Son Dean invented the Segway ( Jack drew the patent renderings):
Kamen had four children from wife Evelyn, (married 1946). Kamen died (cancer) in Boca Raton, on Aug 5 2008.
Jack Kamen’s son Dean Kameninvented the Segway – which Jackdrew the patent renderings for. Oldest son Barton was successful in the medical industry. And the youngest, twins – Mitch Kamen, a musician in New York, and daughter Terri, general manager of an insurance agency in Palm Beach