I'm not sure Mahatma Gandhi would approve, but you have to admit this is some pretty lively comic art.
Need to cool off after all that combat? Let's go for a swim:
Though his career spanned a major revival of superhero comics (today referred to as the "Silver Age"), Heath surprisingly drew very few of those, but here's one he did do:
I knew she was a tease.
On an assignment for Mad, Heath parodied a superhero...
...who was pretty much a parody to begin with (comics history buffs will note a certain alligator, a certain cat, a certain phantom, a certain sandwich gourmand, and a certain hyena--there might be others I can't identify, so if you can, please let me know in the comments section.)
...The Lone Ranger! Heath drew the comic strip version of the famous Western hero (I'd say his Tonto is more Jay Silverheels than Johnny Depp.)
In recent years, Heath drew pretty girls for Glamourpuss, a satirical black-and-white comic book in Canada.
I must have missed the bondage episode, because I don't recall Marlo Thomas ever looking like that. "Oh, Donald!"
Probably the Russ Heath art that was seen by the most eyeballs was not anything on the front or on the inside or a comic book but on the back cover:
Bluecoats vs Redcoats. Literally. It's a far cry from that Russ Heath drawing, but I suppose it's just as well. If gunpowder actually did burst forth from those muskets and cannons, it might make a mess of the rec room, and then what would Mom say?
In 1962, this panel drawn by Heath appeared in the DC comic book All American Men at War. A short time later...
...Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein produced this painting:
Now, you can go back and forth on this (as I have to myself.) You can argue Lichtenstein, a very well-known artist in his day and certainly not forgotten now, was nothing more than a plagiarist, who achieved fame by ripping off work that at the time was looked down upon and deemed to be more a mass-produced product than actual art, or you can argue he was actually making a statement about America's militaristic culture in much the same way that fellow pop artist Andy Warhol was making a statement about America's consumerist culture with his Campbell soup cans. It's hard to say which, but I do know one thing. The money that changed hands between Lichtenstein and the people (or institution) that bought his painting was much, much greater than the money that exchanged hands between work-for-hire artist Russ Heath and DC comics. Here's what Heath himself had to say about it in 2014:
I'm afraid the then-84 year old Heaths's memory was a bit off concerning his own work. The "Whaam!" painting he refers to was actually ANOTHER Lichtenstein work based on a comic panel drawn by Irv Novick that also appeared in a 1960s DC war comic. Nevertheless, the point is well-made. Heath and Novick unwittingly helped advance Lichtenstein's career without getting any compensation in return.
If case you're wondering about the Hero Initiative that Heath mentions, it's an organization that helps aging comic book artists, many who spent their careers as benefits-deficient freelancers, help make ends meet. And, as you just read, not only did it make Heath's ends meet, he even got a bottle of wine. Speaking of wine:
A toast to Russ Heath. Rest in peace.