Despite the acclaim, I never did cozy up to Frank Robbins’ artwork. The characters that were meant to be attractive always seemed a little off to me, with their beady eyes, tiny mouths and rigid jaws. In a way, Robbins reminds me of Kirby. Unlike The King, who had unique talents in areas outside of rendering beautiful people, many of Robbins’ peers were more than capable of accomplishing what he couldn’t, and then some. With one exception.
I was leafing through a collection of Johnny Hazard strips when I realized that I was approaching them from the wrong direction. The stylization that turned me off of the heroes and femme fatales of Robbins’ work enhanced his grotesques, namely the villains and the occasional supporting character. It’s as if Chester Gould collaborated on Terry and the Pirates.