On June 16, 2022, legendary comic artist, Tim Sale, died at age 66, and many in the comics industry shared their feelings of love and admiration for Sale and his work. As one of the most experienced comic book artists the industry has ever seen, Sale leaves behind a vast legacy that includes notable work with many superstar characters like Batman, Spider-Man, and Daredevil.
Recognized as one of the most versatile comic book creators of all time, few in the comics industry can say they’ve worked with as many iconic characters as Tim Sale. In fact, Tim Sale has not only worked with many great characters, but he’s helped craft legendary fan-favorite stories for just about everyone.
ten The Long Halloween Is A Must-Read
Recognized by diehard Batman fans as one of the best Batman stories of all time, Batman: The Long Halloween is a thirteen-issue series written by Sale’s frequent creative collaborator Jeph Loeb. Featuring artwork by Sale, the story revolves around Batman as he investigates a series of murders that begin on Halloween night.
A hugely influential Batman comic, original elements of Batman: The Long Halloween appear in popular Batman adaptations like Christopher Nolan’s film, The black Knightas well as the popular batman arkham series of video games. Throughout the story, panel after panel, Sale’s art consistently captures Gotham’s dark, gothic atmosphere and Batman’s dutiful demeanor.
9 Dark Victory is an underrated classic
A direct sequel to Batman: The Long Halloween, Batman: Dark Victory is a fourteen-part series written by Jeph Loeb and drawn by Tim Sale. One of the most underrated comics in its own right, Batman: Dark Victory, is often overshadowed by its predecessor. However, dark victoryThe narrative of is equally strong, and Sale’s artistry remains at its peak in this story.
Taking place several months after the end of Batman: The Long Halloween, the story follows Batman as he adopts more of a lifestyle of self-isolation, shunning the shame of letting Harvey Dent fall into evil. Throughout the comic, Sale’s ability to use negative space is on display, as well as his legendary ability to portray the iconic Batman figure.
8 Daredevil: yellow pays homage to the character’s roots
A six-issue miniseries set in the early days of Daredevil to help the people of Hell’s Kitchen, Daredevil: Yellow was the first of four comics in Loeb and Sale’s “color” series for Marvel. Using Daredevil’s original yellow outfit, which only lasted the first seven issues of the original daredevil comedic run, Sale’s Daredevil instantly visually separates itself from the rest of the pack.
Through Daredevil: Yellow, the story revolves around the street hero as he attempts to write a letter to his deceased friend, Karen Page. A moving story that honors Daredevil’s roots as a character, Daredevil: Yellow is often considered one of the best Daredevil comics ever made.
seven Spider-Man: blue is an emotional reflection
The second book in the “colour” series by Loeb and Sale, Spider-Man: Blue, tells the story of a thoughtful Peter Parker as he visits the location where Gwen Stacy, his late girlfriend, was killed. An account of the emblematic events of amazing spider man numbers 40 to 48, Spider-Man: Blue introduced new plot stipulations that delved deep into the events of previous comics.
An artistic homage to legendary comic book artist John Romita Sr., Sale’s art style fits perfectly with the flashback sequences featured in the book. Similar to the use of yellow in Daredevil: YellowUse of shades of blue in Sale Spider-Man: Blue does a great job of the feelings Gwen Stacy’s memory evokes for Peter Parker.
6 Wolverine/Gambit: The Victims Are A Memorable Murder Mystery
A series around two of the greatest members of the X-Men, Wolverine/Gambit: casualties is a four-issue miniseries from the creative team at Loeb and Sale. In the story, Gambit investigates a murder and finds evidence that implicates Wolverine as the perpetrator. Hoping to bring his fellow X-Men member to justice, Gambit follows a mysterious lead, with pieces of the investigation coming to light along the way.
As Batman: The Long Halloween, Wolverine/Gambit: Victims is a murder mystery tale that keeps the reader guessing. In typical Tim Sale fashion, the art for the entire series perfectly captures Wolverine and Gambit’s behavior, focusing on facial detail and body language.
5 Batman: Haunted Knight is a horror anthology based on The Dark Knight
An anthology series containing three different comics, Batman: Haunted Knight is a collection of Halloween-themed Batman comics created by Loeb and Sale in the early and mid-1990s. Featuring comics like Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special #1 and Batman: Phantom Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special #1, Batman: Haunted Knight serves as a thrilling look at Sale’s early Batman work.
For the story of Batman: Phantom Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special #1, Loeb and Sale crafted a dark take on the classic Dickens novel, A Christmas Carol, twisting the story to fit a Halloween theme. Throughout the story, Sale’s work is consistently haunting and chilling, distorting the iconic imagery of A Christmas Carol in a dark world à la Batman.
4 Hulk: Gray is a tribute to the Silver Age Hulk
The third comic in the “color” series by Loeb and Sale, Hulk: Grey, is set in the early days of the Hulk and features untold stories from the era. Using concepts pioneered by Legendary Pontoon the writer Pierre David, Hulk: Gray refers to Hulk’s first appearances in Gray before a printing glitch caused Marvel to go green.
A six-issue series with all the Hulk action required, Hulk: Gray delivers a deeply emotional story perfectly complemented by the art of Tim Sale. A clear homage to Jack Kirby’s Hulk, the first version of the Hulk ever drawn, Sale’s version of the monster-man in Hulk: Gray uses a simple design and minimal coloring to maximize dramatic effect.
3 Catwoman: When In Rome Explores The Antihero’s Quest For Identity
Another massively influential book from the creative team at Loeb and Sale, Catwoman: When in Rome, is considered a must-read for all Catwoman fans. Set during the events of the above Batman: Dark Victorythe story shows Catwoman taking a trip to Rome alongside her friend, The Riddler.
About to meet a local mob boss, Don Verinni, Catwoman is on a mission to find information about her long-lost relatives, whom she believes to be crime lord Carmine Falcone and his wife. Drawn in a style similar to The Long Halloween and dark victory, Catwoman: When in Rome features an Audrey Hepburn-style design for Catwoman featured by Sale in this book.
2 Captain America: white
The fourth and final book in Loeb and Sale’s “color” series, Captain America: white is a six-issue series that focuses on the origins of Captain America and Bucky Barnes during World War II. Considered one of Sale’s most innovative works, Captain America: white presents the ink wash technique, an artistic technique that requires immense patience.
In fact, the drawing process Captain America: white took so long that a gap of seven years occurred between its first release and the release of its final issue. Sale’s creative choices paid off, however, as the dramatic effect of the ink wash is undeniable, especially during the action sequences.
1 Superman: For All Seasons gives a unique portrayal of the Man of Steel
Considered one of the comics every Superman fan should read at least once, Superman for all seasons is a four-issue miniseries from none other than Loeb and Sale. With each issue of the story set in a different season throughout the same year, the comic tells first-person accounts of different people in Superman’s life.
Revered for his beauty and understanding of Superman as a character, Superman for all seasons shows Sale’s incredible ability to constantly switch between expansive landscapes and dramatic close-up superhero imagery. With minimal, soft detailing on Superman’s face combined with his towering stature, Dirty captures both the tough and soft sides of Superman’s personality.
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