Starbuck Jones…was the brainchild of Batom Comic’s first official writer Flash Freeman…Freeman had reached out to Phil Holt, an artist he had worked with from time to time on his various freelance jobs. Part illustrator, part cartoonist, Phil was the perfect artist for the job. His clean exciting style set the tone for the series right out of the gate.
“Batom Comics – The Untold History Chapter 3” at the official FW blog
So there’s the backstory, for those of you who understandably can’t be arsed to follow the 11-part (and counting) history of Batiuk’s cloud cuckoo land comics empire. I shall use the rest of my time to share some observations about Rick Burchett’s artwork. Where Batiuk often would eschew busy backgrounds in favor of a crosshatched, encroaching black void, RB likes to cram in lots of detail, and today’s strip is a case in point. The kid sitting for a caricature resembles bratty Angelica from Rugrats, but Phil depicts her, as he probably depicts everyone he draws, as a flying superhero. In the background, a kid inexplicably goes sailing ass-over-teakettle through the air.
As Chyron HR pointed out in the comments yesterday, Phil Holt bears a resemblance to legendary comics artist Jack Kirby, born one hundred years ago this month. According to Batom’s “history,” Phil drew the first SJ comic in 1954; he’d be in his mid-eighties by now, which makes his having to work kids’ parties a little depressing. But in a universe where a nonagenarian actor is feted at Comic Con and a WWII vet still drives a schoolbus, I suppose this is totally plausible.