Articles

The 1982 DC Comics Style Guide Of José Luis García-López

by . September 10th, 2015

You may not know your Captain Marvel from your Shazam (Hint: They’re the same) but the fact is we all live and breathe superheroes.

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Metaphor?

Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman enjoys a special place in popular culture, thanks to the slew of comics books, TV series, animated series and movies, video games, and most recently, successful live-action movies.

It’s hard to imagine that a few decades ago, comics and superheroes are reserved for the “nerds” i.e. those who know the reason why people don’t recognize Clark Kent as Supes (Kryptonian hypnosis and spine compression) or that Batman had five Robins (Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown and Damian Wayne).

A lot of things have changed of course, including comic book aesthetics and storylines. Informally, these recognizable transformations have been grouped into four—Golden Age(’30s to ’50s), Silver Age (’50s to ’70s), Bronze Age (’70s to ’85) and Modern Age (’85 to present).

Each comics book company owns dozens of titles one might think that it is hard for different illustrators to keep characters consistent, especially those who crossover to other titles. But all of that is thanks to style guides, such as this 1982 DC Comics Style Guide.

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The fan page of Spanish comic book artist José Luis García-López posted the full 1982 DC Comics Style Guide for comic book fans to peruse. García-López was responsible for illustrating the style guide for DC Comics’ official artwork and merchandise. In addition, this guide is still used for DC’s retro comics line.

“Presented here are pages from the highly sought after, but never published for sale, 1982 DC Comics Style Guide. These images were used for marketing and licensing while also serving as reference material for other artists,” the caption reads.

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It’s noticeable that most costume elements of the mainstream superheroes like Supes, Batsy and Wonder Woman remain largely intact. Some like Supergirl’s and Batgirl’s curls and Green Arrow’s Robin Hood hat were retconned to fit the current “realistic” style.

Check out some excerpts from the book below:

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For the full set of photos, check out the album from the José Luis García-López fan page.

Which superhero style caught your eye? Comment below!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kevin is a reader first, a writer second, and a gamer somewhere in between. When not rooting for Tyrion Lannister for the Iron Throne, he's probably writing some morbid short story. He enjoys some surreal art, clever advertising campaigns, and a warm cup of coffee while reading Murakami.

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