A list of comic book artists inspired by Russ Manning would be a long one, and the fact that San Diego Comic Con gives out an annual award in his name is testament to that influence. Truly, Manning is a comic artist’s “artist,” one whose influence clearly exceeds his stature. Thankfully, the Dark Horse reprints of his Edgar Rice Burroughs works, as well as his own Magnus Robot Fighter series, are rectifying that.
Korak, Son of Tarzan, Vol. 2 is the second Dark Horse volume collecting Manning’s Gold Key Korak comics, and as with the first volume, these are original stories, written by Gaylord Dubois. They’re fun, imaginative, and move along at a brisk pace. However, as with those previous volumes, this collection is really all about the art. Simply, Manning is one of the medium’s masters. His line work is confident and expressive, and his command of the human (and animal) form is right up there with the likes of Hal Foster. Clearly, there wasn’t anything he couldn’t draw, and when one compares him with numerous artists of today who rely on photographic reference, that distinction becomes much more impressive.