July 20th, 2005

New

Personal: Jim Aparo 1932-2005

On the heels of James Doohan's death, I just now hear word of the death of yet another artist who helped define my childhood. In this case, as the definitive artist in the 1980s of magazines starring the Batman, like Batman, Detective Comics, and The Brave and the Bold, it was Jim Aparo's art that both entertained me and in these stories in some way began to provoke me into dwelling on questions like, "What is the difference between the law and justice?" Although I'm not an ethicist by trade, I can't discount even this kind of fiction as playing its own small part in the road that led me to becoming an historian and theologian, of all things. Certainly he was one of many who gave me a beginning education in art long before I was taught to conceive of "art" as a thing of value. Aparo was an artist whose face I'd never seen, but whose name, style, and signature was as familiar to me as anyone's.