There is a tendency to place comics creators of the Golden and Silver Age somewhere between folk artists and idiot savants, now and then managing something of real originality and value largely due to their complete ignorance of the way art is supposed to look. Call it the Fletcher Hanks model.
But for every Hanks there were any number of artists who were highly literate about the visual arts. Here's what the great Golden Age artist Mort Meskin said about the role of cinema in the field:
"Citizen Kane (1941) influenced us a great deal, all of us. We were very excited about it and spent quite a bit of time discussing it, employing its elements in our work. There was a contest as to who saw it the most times"
Some, like A.C. Hollingsworth even went on to great success in the world of fine art.
Which leads me to this wonderful piece from perhaps the best scholarly comics blog, the Comics Detective, about the blogger's search for the artist behind an extraordinary set of expressionist covers in the Fifties. Definitely worth a look:
With special thanks to Frank M. Young.