As a retailer, I generally avoid discussions of whose favorite artist is better. Favorites are always a matter of personal taste, and whatever works for a fan is perfectly fine with me.
But one “Who’s better” discussion concerning Tarzan artists seems to generate an extra amount of heat, when comparing Hogarth to Kubert.
Hogarth’s anatomy was often over-exagerated and unrealistic, but his backgrounds were all fantastic. For some, they were too detailed. Hogarth didn’t use a lot of solid blacks and solid whites.
Kubert, on the other hand, concentrated more on suggestion of detail, rather than intensive line work. His storytelling was excellent, but his rendition of Tarzan could easily have been dropped in the middle of a Sgt. Rock comic, with Rock being lost in the jungle and his hair grown long.
Obviously, both artists had strengths and weaknesses. But nowadays, the pro-Kubert fans seem particularly loathe to Hogarth’s work. All of which is probably an unfair comparision.
There’s one component that’s been overlooked in all the Hogarth vs. Kubert discussions that I’ve read or heard:
Hogarth did newspaper strips, and Kubert worked in comic book form.
As a matter of spacing and timing, of course Kubert is going to look like the better story teller. He didn’t have to start and stop one page at a time on Sundays, like Hogarth did. If Kubert’s work were transferred to the Sunday pages, he’d be panned as the worst strip artist ever… his work considered incomprehensible. So I give Hogarth some leeway when he’s repackaged in a different format.
Everything else is just a matter of personal taste and preference.
For my part, I like(d) them both. For different reasons.