St John and Zoe Mozert: A Comparative Analysis of the Two Artists

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Compare two artists J. Allen St. John is best known for his portrayals of Tarzan in Edgar Rice Burroughs' series of books about the man raised by apes. He created vivid, muscular images for action-oriented stories, spanning from Tarzan to Alice in Wonderland. He also illustrated popular magazines like Women's Day. St. John's greatest asset as an artist was his ability to convey character with a few, vivid brushstrokes. St. John's pictures are idealized in that his heroes and heroines have few physical flaws, but are realistic in the sense that they tell a story. Although artistic, the primary impetus behind his commercial creations was story-telling, rather than self-realization. He seldom used caricature, and his works are always recognizably human, seldom humorous or grotesque. St. John never knew that Tarzan would come to define his works. "In 1916, The Beasts of Tarzan was just one of a half-dozen books that St. John was called upon to illustrate. There was no reason to believe that it would be any different than The Boss of the Lazy Y or The Corner Stone" (Vadeboncoeur 2011). Virtually all realistic comic book creations, spanning from Prince Valiant to modern comic books like Superman and the X-Men show the legacy St. John's realistic style of illustration. St. John's creations remain compelling, and "had he not been so closely associated with ERB, western fiction" and boy's pulp novels, "he could easily have developed a classical reputation as one of the period's

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