Fred Hembeck (born January 30, 1953) is an American cartoonist known for his affectionate parodies of Comic Book characters, often commenting on or reminiscing about comic book lore and news. He draws in a very clean and cartoonish style, which contrasts greatly with the more detailed visual style of his targets. His works have been released by numerous comic book publishers and comics-related outlets, including firms whose characters he spoofs. Hembeck himself often appears as a character in his own works, speaking directly to the characters or the reader as appropriate.
Some works by Fred Hembeck:
- "Dateline: @!!?#", a full-page strip in Comics Buyer's Guide
- Marvel Age
- Hembeck series (published by FantaCo)
- Smilin Ed (FantaCo)
- Jimmy Olsen's Pal, Fred Hembeck (DC Comics, 1981)
- The Fantastic Four Roast (Marvel Comics, 1982)
- Fred Hembeck Destroys the Marvel Universe (Marvel Comics, 1989)
- Fred Hembeck Sells the Marvel Universe (Marvel Comics, 1990)
- The Nearly Complete Essential Hembeck Archives Omnibus
His official Web site is here.
Tropes appearing in Fred Hembeck's works include:
- Affectionate Parody: Despite the occasional dark joke, Fred's fond affection for comic books (particularly the Golden and Silver Age eras) is very evident.
- Art Shift: If Hembeck draws your comic, do not expect any consistency with any established art style the title may have. If Hembeck himself appears in your comic, he will appear in his Signature Style, no matter how much it might clash with the style of the rest of the characters.
- Author Appeal: When he was doing regular artwork for Marvel Age, he seemed to have a fascination for Brother Voodoo.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Don't let his cartoonish style fool you — Hembeck is very well versed in the history of the comic book industry, and will often cite issue numbers and dates to make a point (or a joke).
- Creator Cameo
- Distaff Counterpart: Hembeck once introduced a female counterpart for Brother Voodoo, appropriately named Sister Voodoo.
- Running Gag: Hembeck's constant skewering of Marvel's C-list hero Brother Voodoo in Marvel Age Magazine is probably the most renowned.
- Signature Style: In addition to his simple art style, Hembeck's characters are always drawn with curlicues at their elbows and knees.
- Stylistic Suck