Award-winning comic artist Russ Heath passes away at 91

On Thursday, comic book artist Russ Heath passed away at the age of 91 after a battle with cancer. An award-winning artist and a member of the Will Eisner Hall of Fame, Heath is best known for his work on patriotic war stories.

Heath joined the U.S. military in 1945, but even during his service he remained an artist, drawing a comic strip for his camp newspaper. After returning to civilian life, Heath worked as an illustrator for several publishers including Timely Comics, DC Comics, and even occasionally for Playboy Magazine. His catalogue of books included Westerns (Black Rider, Western Outlaws), superheroes (Marvel Boy, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight), and sci-fi (Journey into Unknown Worlds). However, perhaps his best known comic work was on several war stories, including Frontline Combat, Our Army at War, and his own creation, The Haunted Tank (seen in G.I. Combat).

Heath’s final comic story illustrations were in issue 20 of The Immortal Iron Fist in 2009, though he illustrated a few covers after that. Heath also revealed in an interview this past February that he was still doing commissions.

Heath was an incredibly influential talent who maintained a love of his craft and an appreciation of his fans for the duration of his life. He will be missed by many.

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