Pop Focus: The Aquaman art of Jim Aparo

Just a simple tribute this week to one of my favorite comics artists and his work on a perpetually underrated character.

Yes, Aquaman is a pretty silly concept - an underwater king who can command sea life with telepathy. On "Entourage," he became a running joke. And he's frequently the target of jabs by comic fans and other pop culture fans, as well.

But, in comics, he's enjoyed some great, nicely illustrated runs. Ramona Fradon and Nick Cardy were among the SilverAge greats who penciled his adventures. But the Aquaman I grew up with in the 1970s was portrayed by the great Jim Aparo.

Also one of the all-time best Batman artists, Aparo drew Aquaman in Adventure Comics, World's Finest and, for a time, the character's own series, throughout much of the 1970s and into the 1980s. Most of the time, he also inked and lettered his own work. Aparo's art was at its best when he did the complete job. At the same time, he was drawing Batman and myriad guest stars in the great Brave and the Bold team-up title.

Combing the sharp line of Milt Caniff in his faces and figures with dynamism required in superhero comics, Aparo's art was intense and dramatic, always clearly conveying action and moving the story along. Here's a look at some of that work.

Jim Aparo


  1. My wife and I met Aparo at a Chicago Con back around 1989 or '90. He said it was his first ever convention appearance. He was the most quiet and unassuming superstar comic artist I've ever met.

  2. Nice tribute to Aparo. I didn't know of him until his Batman run. Oddly I rather enjoy the Aquaman character for some reason the underwater environs have some sort of appeal.