Tim Sale: Pretty Great

Marking the first anniversary of American artist Tim Sale’s passing in 2022, taken far too young, Comicraft’s Richard Starkings pays tribute to his friend…

Bat Signal by Tim Sale

Pretty Great

Tim Sale was a lovely human being. Everyone that knew him knew that. He was generous to a fault. Of course he was also a terrific, and unique, artist whose body of work included Batman: The Long Halloween, Superman For All Seasons, which is being re-released as an “Absolute” edition in August, Daredevil Yellow, a new edition out in November, Hulk Gray and Spider-Man Blue; work so popular they are still in print — and finding new readers — today.

I worked with Tim on all those titles and a few more over the course of the last 25 years. In that time, we developed a close friendship, based on our mutual love for Gillian Anderson, The Beatles, Robert E. Howard, John Buscema, Billy Bragg and innumerable TV shows and films, all of which we covered in the book we put together about Tim’s life, Tim Sale: Black and White.

It was his partner, the equally lovely Susan Bailey, that told me I was Tim’s Best Friend. I hadn’t realised that for myself until she told me, but of course I was, and he was my Best Friend too.

I realised recently, some months after Tim passed, that I was posting pictures of Gillian Anderson on Facebook, not for the masses, but for Tim. And if Tim liked one of those pictures, or art by John Buscema, Frank Frazetta, Elephantmen cover artist Boo Cook or my Ask for Mercy partner in crime, Abigail Jill Harding, Tim would invariably comment just two words; “Pretty Great.”

And those two words sum up Tim completely. His Art, his Life and his Sensibilities. Tim Sale: Pretty Great.

Richard Starkings

Comicraft founder Richard Starkings is the creator/writer of Elephantmen and co-creator of The Beef and Ask for Mercy! He loves Yorkshire Tea, Betty’s Tearooms and Lori Perkins, but not necessarily in that order

• Tim Sale 1st May 1956 – 16th June 2022

The next issue of Britain’s SHIFT anthology, Volume Two #7, on sale soon, features a cover by Tim Sale and Boo Cook

The brilliant Bill Sienkiewicz drew this incredible portrait of Tim Sale, which brought a smile to the artist’s face, shortly before he passed in 2022
The brilliant Bill Sienkiewicz drew this incredible portrait of Tim Sale, which brought a smile to the artist’s face, shortly before he passed in 2022

Tim Sale: A Gallery…

Compiled with thanks to Richard Starkings

Tim Sale was an award-winning comic book artist, best known for his work on the DC Comics characters Batman and Superman and for influencing depictions of the Caped Crusader in numerous films. His death last year was caused by kidney failure.

Many of Tim’s most notable series were collaborations with the writer Jeph Loeb, a partnership that began in 1991, including Batman: The Long Halloween, a murder mystery set during the hero’s early days, Gotham City overrun with mobsters and supervillainy. The team also explored Clark Kent and his evolution from farmboy to superhero in Superman for All Seasons.

Sale was also the artist on the first season on the NBC TV show, Heroes.

Batman: Dark Victory - art by Tim Sale
Batman and Catwoman by Tim Sale
Hulk Gray art by Tim Sale
Robin by Tim Sale
Siperman by Tim Sale

Further Reading…

Tim Sale: Black and White

Tim Sale: Black And White 
By Richard Starkings, John Roshell and Tim Sale
First published by Active Images, 2008 Revised Edition released by Image Comics
ISBN: 978-1582408804

A lavishly illustrated and fully comprehensive collection of artwork from the career of comic book artist Tim Sale, best known for his work on Batman: The Long Halloween, Superman For All Seasons, Daredevil: Yellow and Spider-Man; Blue.

This retrospective covers the years beginning with his Grey Archer Press illustration work through to his most recent Marvel work, Hulk: Gray.

The New York Times, 18th June 2022: Tim Sale, Comic Book Artist Who Reimagined Batman, Dies at 66

Mike’s Amazing World: Tim Sale Credits

Fans of Tim Sale Facebook Group

Categories: Comic Art, Comics, Creating Comics, downthetubes News, Features, Obituaries, US Comics

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