Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fabian Nicieza Takes the LSH to the DCnU - Vaneta Rogers

"Can you set up the premise a bit?

Nicieza: The characters come back in time to our present day in order to stop a future terrorist from ravaging Earth. His attempt to do so in their time failed, and he was sent into the past (which might have been the Legionnaires fault).

And even if the Lost succeed in stopping him, they might not be able to return home for fear of carrying a deadly pathogen back with them.

Nrama: The cover doesn't look like things are going well for them. Is that true, and can you explain their dire situation?

Nicieza: The cover to #1, great job by Pete Woods, is symbolic and real at the same time."

3.5 out of 5

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mort Weisinger

Mort Weisinger
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Mort Weisinger
Born Mortimer Weisinger
April 25, 1915(1915-04-25)
New York City, New York
Died May 7, 1978(1978-05-07) (aged 63)
Nationality American
Area(s) Writer, Editor
Notable works Superman

Inkpot Award, 1978
Eisner Award Hall of Fame, 2010

Mortimer Weisinger (April 25, 1915[1] - May 7, 1978)[2] was an American magazine and comic book editor best known for editing DC Comics' Superman during the mid-1950s to 1960s, in the Silver Age of comic books. He also co-created such features as Aquaman, Green Arrow, and Johnny Quick, served as story editor for the Adventures of Superman television series, and compiled the often-revised paperback 1001 Valuable Things You Can Get Free.

* 1 Biography
o 1.1 Early life and SF fandom
o 1.2 Early career
* 2 National Periodical Publications (DC Comics)
o 2.1 Army service
o 2.2 Superman innovations
o 2.3 The Adventures of Superman
o 2.4 Superman editorship
o 2.5 Style and criticism
* 3 Articles and books
* 4 Later life
* 5 Notes
* 6 References

[edit] Biography
[edit] Early life and SF fandom

Weisinger was born in the Washington Heights section of New York City, New York and raised in the Bronx as the son of a Jewish businessman in the garment trade. At 13, he was introduced to science fiction by means of a borrowed copy of the August 1928 issue of Amazing Stories (featuring Buck Rogers and The Skylark of Space). By 1930, Weisinger was active in some of the earliest SF fan clubs and fanzines, including The Planet. In 1931, Weisinger hosted a meeting of pioneer SF fan club "The Scienceers," which was attended by a young Julius Schwartz, who recalled that the two became "very friendly... [and] got along well together."[3] A year later, Weisinger, Schwartz and Allen Glasser joined fellow-future professional editor Forrest J. Ackerman in founding The Time Traveller, which they styled "Science Fiction's Only Fan Magazine". The claim was more than mere youthful bravado, according to SF historian Sam Moskowitz, who described the 'zine as the first devoted entirely to science fiction. Drawing on information they had gleaned from writing letters to the SF magazines and authors of the day, the young fans published interviews with, and short pieces by, established SF writers, and in the process gained increasing familiarity with the personalities and situations of the genre in that era. The first issue featured "a one-page biography of Edward 'Doc' Smith... [and] some news items."[3]
[edit] Early career

After high school, Weisinger attended New York University, where he worked as editor of the college's newspaper and magazine, but left before graduating. With Schwartz, he approached the editor of Amazing Stories (T. Connor Sloane) and "sold his first story": 'The Price of Peace'.[3] In late 1934, Weisinger suggested that he and Schwartz "ought to go into the agency business," noting (according to Schwartz) that the duo had
“ " to know a lot of writers and artists and so on... [Mort explained] 'When a writer writes a story he lives out of town, and he mails it to Amazing Stories. If it's rejected, it has to go all the way back to California. So he sends it to Wonder Stories. Then it goes back and forth, because they send it blind. They don't know what the editor wants. Now we talk to the editors, and he can find out if they want an interplanetary story of about six thousand words, or if they want this or that. Then we can relay this information to the writers. And of course we can become their agents and collect the usual fee of 10%.' "[3] ”

Schwartz concurred, and they formed the Solar Sales Service ("We always believed in alliteration," noted Schwartz[3]), the first literary agency to specialize in the related genres of SF, horror, and fantasy. Edmond Hamilton was the agency's first client, and Otto Binder soon followed.[3] Solar Sales eventually represented many prominent SF and fantasy writers, including John Russell Fearn, Alfred Bester, Stanley Weinbaum, H. P. Lovecraft, and Ray Bradbury. But while Schwartz continued the agency into the early 1940s, Weisinger moved on; he took a job with the Standard Magazine chain, publisher of a range of pulp magazines. Standard had acquired writer-publisher Hugo Gernsback's defunct Wonder Stories and added it to Standard series of "Thrilling" publications (Thrilling Detective Stories, Thrilling Western Stories, and others). Weisinger became the editor of Thrilling Wonder Stories,[4] and bought stories by Hamilton and others from his former partner Schwartz. Weisinger was soon editing a range of other pulps by Standard, including Startling Stories and Captain Future, and "was in charge of no fewer than 40 titles" by 1940.[4]
[edit] National Periodical Publications (DC Comics)
[edit] Army service

In March 1941, Weisinger moved from Standard Magazines to National Periodicals (later DC Comics) primarily as editor of the Superman and Batman titles.[4] Among his earliest jobs, however, was the task of "dream[ing] up some new characters" - these resulted in the line-up of More Fun #73, and took the form of Aquaman, Green Arrow and Johnny Quick.[4] Weisinger's fledgling career was soon interrupted by his World War II military service, during which he served as a sergeant in Special Services. Stationed at Yale (and rooming with Broderick Crawford and William Holden), he wrote scripts for a U.S. Army "radio show called 'I Sustain the Wings' " in New York City.[4]

He met and married (Sept. 27, 1943) his wife, the former Thelma Rudnick. They would have two children, a daughter, Joyce, and son, Hendrie.
[edit] Superman innovations
Adventure Comics #296 (May 1962). Editor Weisinger's Superman and Superboy stories often featured outlandish situations. Cover art by Curt Swan, inks by George Klein.

Weisinger returned to his job at National after his discharge from military service in 1946, and resumed his editorship of the Superman comics, the Batman titles and others. His tenure was marked by the introduction of a variety of new concepts and supporting characters, including Supergirl, Krypto the Super Dog, the Phantom Zone, the bottle city of Kandor, the Legion of Super-Heroes, and a variety of types of kryptonite. Attempting to rationalize Superman's powers, it was under Weisinger's watch that the "concept that in a world circling a yellow sun [as opposed to Krypton's red sun] his [Superman's] powers are multiplied" came to be introduced to the Superman mythology.[4] Realising that "Batman was my favorite [character]," Weisinger realised that the crucial difference was that "Batman can get hurt."[4] In order to better allow the reader to identify with the invulnerable Man of Steel, Weisinger's stories frequently featured stories in which "Superman lost his powers and had to survive on his natural wits."[4] Pitted against Superman's wits was Lois Lane, and under Weisinger's editorship stories in which she sought to prove that Superman was Clark Kent abounded. Weisinger "enjoyed surprising the readers," and to that end introduced a number of "live personalities... real people" into the comics, including Candid Camera's Alan Funt, This is Your Life's Ralph Edwards, Steve Allen, Ann Blyth and Pat Boone among others.[4] Weisinger was particularly "proud of having dreamed up the "imaginary story" gimmick to motivate otherwise impossible stories," (non-canonical 'what if...?' scenarios not bound to series or character continuity, timeframe or logic), and for "having conceived the idea of DC's first giant anthology - The Superman Annual."[4]
[edit] The Adventures of Superman

Weisinger "eventually gave up editorship of Batman and many of the other magazines and concentrated on the #1 superhero," both in the comics and elsewhere.[4] In the early 1950s, he was "called out to California by Whitney Ellsworth . . . to work as story editor for the Superman TV series."[4] Weisinger recalled in 1975 about this experience that
“ On the way out to the coast, we sat in a roomette on a train with a tape recorder and plotted about fifteen stories for the series. I met George Reeves, the actor who played Superman and was one helluva nice guy — very, very unaffected. The amazing thing was that when you met Reeves you said, 'My lord, it's Clark Kent!' It was like seeing Clark step out of the comic pages into three dimensions.[4] ”

Through Weisinger's previous "experience with television," Reeves landed "a guest star spot, "Big Red S" and all, on the I Love Lucy show."[4]

Weisinger's influences on up-and-coming writers in SF and comics also extended, by these means, to television. Jackson Gillis was shepherded from his work on The Adventures of Superman to Perry Mason and Colombo (alongside many, many other credits).[4] Weisinger also highlights David Chantler, William Woolfolk and Leigh Brackett as "examples of proteges and associates who have surpassed him in term of success."[4]
[edit] Superman editorship

Many of Weisinger's ideas were in direct response to his having "talked to kids" in his neighborhood, asking them what they wanted to see, and then attempting to riff on those ideas. Such talks inspired him to create the Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen spin-off titles "over a lot of opposition" from the management who "protested that the characters weren't strong enough."[4] Weisinger certainly wasn't averse to tapping ideas wherever he found them, later buying a story from Jim Shooter while unaware of the writer's age,[5] and hiring him for a popular run on "The Legion of Super-Heroes" even after discovering that he was only 14 years old.

Weisinger encouraged a static picture book style of illustration in his stories,[citation needed] and was known for reusing previously published stories as new story ideas. A noted example of this is a 1950s story featuring Superman encountering an alien being he thought might have been his long-lost brother; this was reused in the early 1960s as a Superboy story introducing Mon-El.[6]

Over time, Weisinger found himself growing disenchanted, and even embarrassed to reveal his primary job, saying "When people asked me what I did for a living, I would suppress the fact that I was editing Superman. I'd tell people that I wrote for Collier's or The Saturday Evening Post."[4] He recalls that he attempted to get himself removed from his editorial position by "asking for bigger and bigger raises," but instead found his demands met - even to the extent that he was given "generous stock options" and "made a vice president of public relations for the company."[4] He did eventually leave, and bought himself a white Cadillac to "bolster my ego."[4]
[edit] Style and criticism

Weisinger was noted by some for having a micromanaging attitude and a heavy-handed, overbearing treatment of his writers and artists.[7][8] Criticism has been levelled at Weisinger for dominating his writers and quashing creativity by dictating storylines. He countered such criticism, however, noting that
“ People have always accused me of being an egomaniac as an editor because I always gave the writers my own plots. I did that for a reason. If I asked a writer to bring in his own plots, and he spent a weekend on four of them, and I didn't like any of the four, then he's wasted a whole weekend.[4] ”

Flipping his earlier reasoning for founding the Solar Sales Service on its head, he noted that with magazine articles, time spent developing an article need not be wasted because there are other avenues (titles) in which to sell such products.[4]
“ Frequently, a writer would come in with a plot that may have been good, but we'd have it in inventory already or else the Comics Code wouldn't pass it. . . . I couldn't pay him for an outline we'd never use. The least I could do was to think of a plot for the writer and if he liked it — I'd never force it down his throat — we'd kick it around and evolve a story.[4] ”

One concept Weisinger brought to comics from the pulps was creating a story "around a pre-drawn cover," a concept taken up across the industry, most notably by colleague Julius Schwartz.[4] During Weisinger's reign, the Superman comics maintained a reasonably tight internal continuity, but related little to the rest of the DC Universe. Weisinger was succeeded in 1970 by his childhood friend and longtime colleague Julius Schwartz. Weisinger was later immortalized within the Superman comics "as a bust in Clark Kent's apartment."[4]
[edit] Articles and books

In addition to his SF agency and extensive editorial work for DC Comics, Weisinger found time - particularly after his retirement from DC - to write a considerable number of articles for a wide variety of magazines. Weisinger was reported, in 1975, as having "had articles in The Journal of the AMA, Reader's Digest, Collier's, The Saturday Evening Post... [and] Parade."[4] His articles ranged from one on the Comics Code for Better Homes and Gardens to an article entitled "How Ralph Edwards Fools 'Em" for which he "accompanied Edwards on several This is Your Life escapades to get the story of how the clever impressario suckered the celebrities whom he was to honor on his popular '50s show."[4]

Weisinger had a particular interest in Beauty contests, writing an article for Parade on "why certain finalists in the Miss America pageant can never win the crown," as well as a "best-selling novel" entitled The Contest (published in hardback by World, and in paperback by New American Library).[4] Weisinger had once been a "judge in a preliminary Miss America contest," through which he "learned the inside story," later travelling to Europe with the then-"world-famous host of the real-life contest," a friend of Weisinger's at the time who refused to talk to him again after reading the resulting novel.[4] For the author, however, The Contest netted a $125,000 movie option and "printings in several foreign languages."[4]

Weisinger's best known book was "a compendium of freebies available to anyone" entitled 1001 Valuable Things You Can Get For Free, first published in 1955 and which (as of 1975) had "gone through 41 paperback printings and sold over three million copies."[4] Weisinger's book was praised by Abbie Hoffman in Steal This Book, and earned its author a place in "Who's Who".[4]
[edit] Later life

Weisinger lived for much of his life in Great Neck, New York, and stayed there until his death. He was survived by his wife and children.
[edit] Notes

1. ^ "Social Security Death Index". 2010-07-15. Retrieved 2010-12-26.
2. ^ "Biographies," Legion of Super-Heroes Archive, vol. 8 (DC Comics, 1998), ISBN 1-56389-430-0, p. 242.
3. ^ a b c d e f Peel, John, "Julius Schwartz," in Comics Feature (NMP, July/Aug, 1984), pp. 32-41
4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af Lillian III, Guy H., "Mort Weisinger: The Man Who Wouldn't Be Superman," in The Amazing World of DC Comics #7 (July 1975), pp. 2-8
5. ^ Jim Shooter interview, Silver Age Sage (2008). Accessed Apr. 20, 2009.
6. ^ Superboy vol. 1 #89 (1961)
7. ^ Curt Swan, quoted in Zeno, Eddy. Curt Swan: A Life in Comics (Vanguard, 2001): "I was getting terrible migraine headaches and had these verbal battles with Mort. So it was emotional, physical. It just drained me and I thought I'd better get out of here before I go whacko." Zeno notes, "The headaches went away after [Swan] gained Weisinger's respect by standing up to him."
8. ^ Shooter, Jim, quoted in "The Silver Age Sage: Interview with Jim Shooter, part 2" by BDS, on Weisinger's treatment of his assistant editor E. Nelson Bridwell: "Boy, he tortured Nelson. He just was awful to Nelson." Retrieved July 16, 2008.

[edit] References

* Moskowitz, Sam. Seekers of Tomorrow: Masters of Modern Science Fiction. World Publishing, Cleveland, Ohio, 1996. Ballantine Books, New York, 1967; pp. 107–22.
* Schwartz, Julius, with Brian M. Thomsen. Man of Two Worlds: My Life in Science Fiction and Comics. HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 2000
* Legion of Super-Heroes Archive, Volume 8 (DC Comics, 1998, ISBN 1-56389-430-0), p. 242, "Biographies"

Kurt Schaffenberger

Kurt Schaffenberger
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Kurt Schaffenberger

Schaffenberger self-portrait from Jimmy Olsen #155 (January 1973).
Born 15 December 1920(1920-12-15)
Thuringian Forest, Germany
Died 24 January 2002(2002-01-24) (aged 81)
Brick, Ocean County, New Jersey
Nationality Naturalized American
Area(s) Penciller
Notable works Captain Marvel,
Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane
Awards National Cartoonists Society Comic Book Award, 1984.

Kurt Schaffenberger (December 15, 1920[1] – January 24, 2002)[2] was an American comic book artist. Schaffenberger was best known for his work on Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family (during both the Golden Age and Silver Age of comics), as well as his work on the title Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane during the 1950s and 1960s.

* 1 Biography
o 1.1 Early career
o 1.2 DC Comics
o 1.3 Personal life
* 2 Awards
* 3 Notes
* 4 References
* 5 Further reading
* 6 External links

[edit] Biography
[edit] Early career

Schaffenberger was born on a farm in the Thuringian Forest, Germany, where, as a boy, he ". . . tended geese, herded goats, and hoed potatoes."[3] Emigrating to America as a seven-year-old (first to Hartford, Connecticut, and then to New York City),[3] he eventually won a scholarship to the Pratt Institute.[3] After graduation, he joined Jack Binder's studio in 1941, where he worked on key Fawcett titles including Captain Marvel, Bulletman, and Ibis.

While working for Binder's studio, which was located in Englewood, New Jersey, Schaffenberger took over an apartment from the local high school football coach, Vince Lombardi (who had yet to achieve success in the National Football League).[3]

During this time, Schaffenberger's work was also published by Prize, Street & Smith, and Pines.

Schaffenberger served in the U.S. military during World War II, including a stint with the Office of Strategic Services,[3] leaving the military with the rank of Master Sergeant.[3]

Schaffenberger returned to the world of professional sequential art soon after war's end. He resumed his work for the Captain Marvel family of titles, and expanded his reach to an even more diverse group of publishing houses, including EC, Gilberton, Premier Magazines, American Comics Group, and Marvel Comics. At Gilberton, Schaffenberger provided the interior art for Classics Illustrated No. 119, Soldiers of Fortune (May 1954).[4]
[edit] DC Comics
An example of Schaffenberger's art, drawing the young Ma and Pa Kent, from The New Adventures of Superboy #1 (January 1980).

In 1957 Otto Binder recruited Schaffenberger to DC to work on the Superman family. He stayed at DC for the next 30 years, making an especially large contribution to the development of Lois Lane. In this capacity, he was the lead artist on the book, Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane, for the entirety of its first decade. Indeed, Schaffenberger's rendition of Lane became cited by many[5][6] as the "definitive" version of the character, and Schaffenberger was often asked by DC editor Mort Weisinger to redraw other artists' depictions of Lois Lane in other DC titles where she appeared.[6]

He was essentially fired from DC in 1970 for helping to organize other artists to protest bad working conditions.[7] He then briefly freelanced and worked for Marvel, but returned to DC in 1972.

When, in the 1970s, DC acquired the rights to the Marvel Family, Schaffenberger was one of the key players in the revival of those characters. The late 1970s saw him contribute well outside the Superman family of titles, including short-lived runs on titles like Wonder Woman and The Super Friends.

By 1980, Schaffenberger was again leading a Superman family title, The New Adventures of Superboy (the final, post-Legion title for the original Superboy). Somewhat metaphorically, the Superboy- and Supergirl-less DC universe that followed the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths turned out to be a mostly Shaffenberger-less one as well. He largely retired from comics soon after helping with the final pre-Crisis Superman tale "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?"

Schaffenberger was a special guest at the 1996 San Diego Comic Con.
[edit] Personal life

Schaffenberger was married with two children, and spent most of his adult life living in suburban New Jersey.[3]
[edit] Awards

Schaffenberger's work won him the 1984 National Cartoonists Society Award in the "Comic Book" division. He also received an Inkpot Award in 1996.
[edit] Notes

1. ^ Miller, John Jackson. "Comics Industry Birthdays", Comic Buyer's Guide, June 10, 2005. Accessed December 12, 2010. WebCitation archive.
2. ^ Social Security Death Index, Social Security #040-14-9389.
3. ^ a b c d e f g "Jimmy Olsen's Pen-Pals," Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #155 (January 1973).
4. ^ William B. Jones Jr., Classics Illustrated: A Cultural History, with Illustrations (Jefferson, NC, and London: McFarland & Co., Inc., 2002), p. 101.
5. ^ Voger, Mark and Voglesong, Kathy (PHT). "Front Page Romance," Hero Gets Girl!: The Life and Art of Kurt Schaffenberger (TwoMorrows Publishing, 2003).
6. ^ a b Eury, Michael. "Kurt Schaffenberger: Ladies' Man," in "The Superman Mythology," The Krypton Companion: A Historical Exploration of Superman Comic Books of 1958-1986 (TwoMorrows Publishing, 2006), p. 67.
7. ^ Barr, Mike W. "The Madames and the Girls: The DC Writers Purge of 1968," Comic Book Artist Collection Volume 2 (TwoMorrows Publishing, 2002), pp.56–61.

[edit] References

* Kurt Schaffenberger at the Comic Book DB
* Voger, Mark. Hero Gets Girl! The Life and Art of Kurt Schaffenberger (TwoMorrows Publishing, 2003). ISBN 1-893905-29-2
* Jones, William B., Jr. Classics Illustrated: A Cultural History, with Illustrations. Jefferson, NC, and London: McFarland & Co., Inc., 2002.

[edit] Further reading

* Interview, Comic Book Marketplace #59 (May 1998) pp. 18–33. Gemstone Publishing.

[edit] External links

* I Love Lois (Lane) (fan site)

George Papp

George Papp
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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George Papp
Born George Edward Papp[1]
January 20, 1916(1916-01-20)
Died August 8, 1989(1989-08-08) (aged 73)
Oradell, New Jersey
Nationality American
Area(s) Artist
Notable works Superboy
Green Arrow

George Edward Papp (20 Jan 1916—8 Aug 1989)[2] was a U.S. comic book artist. Best known as one of the principal artists on the long-running Superboy feature for DC Comics, Papp also co-created the Green Arrow character with Mort Weisinger and co-created Congorilla along with writer Whitney Ellsworth.

Papp began his comic book career with the occasional feature and cartoon in early issues of the Superman family of comics. Pep Morgan, Congo Bill (later Congorilla) and Clip Carson were the first features he worked on for Action Comics. The Green Arrow feature made its first appearance in the More Fun Comics #73 (November 1941). Papp joined the American army during World War II. He drew the Superboy feature from 1958–1967, working on a variety of memorable characters, including early appearances of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Papp was fired by DC in 1968 along with many other prominent DC writers and artists who had made demands for health and retirement benefits.[3]
[edit] Notable stories

* Adventure Comics #258: "Superboy Meets the Young Green Arrow"

[edit] Collections

These books contain stories illustrated by Papp:

* Legion of Super-Heroes: Archives 1
* Legion of Super-Heroes: Archives 3
* Legion of Super-Heroes: Archives 4
* Legion of Super-Heroes: Archives 5
* Legion of Super-Heroes: Archives 6
* Legion of Super-Heroes: Archives 8
* Showcase Presents: Green Arrow 1
* Superboy #147 80-Page Giant
* Superman in the Sixties
* Superman vs. Lex Luthor
* The Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told
* The Seven Soldiers of Victory: Archives 1

[edit] References

1. ^ Papp entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999.
2. ^ Social Security Death Index, SS# 063-16-5777.
3. ^ Barr, Mike W. "The Madames & the Girls: The DC Writers Purge of 1968," Comic Book Artist #5 (Summer 1992).

Jerry Coleman

A writer.

Sheldon Moldoff

Sheldon Moldoff
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Sheldon Moldoff

Born April 14, 1920 (1920-04-14) (age 91)
New York City, New York
Nationality American
Area(s) Penciller
Notable works Batman, Poison Ivy
Signature of Sheldon Moldoff

Sheldon "Shelly" Moldoff (born April 14, 1920, New York City, New York) is an American comic book artist best known his early work on the DC Comics characters Hawkman and Hawkgirl, and as one of Bob Kane's primary "ghost artists" (uncredited collaborators) on the superhero Batman. He co-created the long-running Batman supervillainess Poison Ivy. Moldoff is not to be confused with fellow Golden Age comics professional Sheldon Mayer.

* 1 Biography
o 1.1 Early life and career
o 1.2 Golden Age
o 1.3 1950s and '60s
o 1.4 Later life
* 2 Awards
* 3 References
* 4 External links

[edit] Biography
[edit] Early life and career

Born in Manhattan but mostly raised in The Bronx, Sheldon Moldoff has two brothers, Sonny and Stan Moldoff.[citation needed] He was introduced to cartooning by future comics artist Bernard Baily, who lived in the same apartment house as Moldoff. "I was drawing in chalk on the sidewalk — Popeye and Betty Boop and other popular cartoons of the day — and he came by and looked at it and said, 'Hey, do you want to learn how to draw cartoons?' I said, 'Yes!' He said, 'Come on, I'll show you how to draw.'"[1]

Moldoff sold his first cartoon drawing at age 17. "My first work in comic books was doing filler pages for Vincent Sullivan, who was the editor at National Periodicals",[2] one of the three companies, with Detective Comics Inc. and All-American Comics, that eventually merged to form the modern-day DC Comics. Moldoff's debut was a sports filler that appeared on the inside back cover of the landmark Action Comics #1 (June 1938), the comic book that introduced Superman.[3]
[edit] Golden Age
All-American Comics #16 (July 1940), cover art by Moldoff.

During the late-1930s and 1940s Golden Age of comic books, Moldoff became a prolific cover artist for the future DC Comics. His work includes the first cover of the Golden Age Green Lantern, on issue #16 (July 1940) of All-American's flagship title All-American Comics, featuring the debut of that character created artist Martin Nodell.[3] Moldoff created the character Black Pirate (Jon Valor) in Action Comics #23 (April 1940),[3] and became one of the earliest artists for the character Hawkman (created by Gardner Fox and Dennis Neville,[3] though sometimes misattributed to Moldoff). Moldoff drew the first image of the formerly civilian character Shiera Sanders in costume as Hawkgirl in All Star Comics #5,[4] based on Neville's Hawkman costume design.

Beginning with Flash Comics #4 (April 1940), Moldoff became the regular Hawkman artist, following Neville's departure from the feature the issue before.[3] Moldoff recalled in 2000 that All-American publisher Max Gaines

...took a shine to me. ... He's the one who said, 'We're going to put you on "Hawkman", and do whatever you want with it. Do a good job; I know you can do it." And that was it! ... But when I looked at H'awkman' and read a couple of stories, I said to myself, 'This has to be done in a[n Alex] Raymond style.' I could just feel it.... I [had] saved [Raymond Flash Gordon] Sunday [comic strip] pages and the daily papers for years! ... [Gaines] liked my style; he liked the realism. We were competing with the newspapers. When he picked up the Sunday papers, he saw Flash Gordon, Prince Valiant, Terry and the Pirates. When he picked up a comic book, there was a tremendous difference in the quality of the art. And then, all of a sudden, he saw me — an 18-year-old coming around, and I'm almost a student of Raymond, and by God, the stuff looks good — it looks like Raymond! We all leaned on these guys to learn — and we were very lucky, because while we were learning, we were selling the product.... I spent a lot of time on it. I had books on anatomy and shadows and wrinkles; I studied, and I worked very hard on it, and I think it showed.[1]

Moldoff did military service in World War II.[citation needed]

When superhero comics went out of fashion in the postwar era, Moldoff became an early pioneer in horror comics, packaging two such ready-to-prints titles in 1948. He recalled in 2000 that, "I had shown This Magazine Is Haunted and Tales of the Supernatural to [Fawcett Comics'] Will Lieberson before I showed them to [EC Comics'] Bill Gaines, because I trusted Will Lieberson much more. He showed it to the big guys at Fawcett, and he said, 'Shelly, Fawcett doesn't want to get into horror now; they don't want to touch that'".[1]

Moldoff then did approach Bill Gaines with the package, signing a contract stipulating that he would be paid a royalty percentage if the books were successful. Several months later, when EC's Tales From the Crypt hit the newsstands, Gaines reneged on the deal, Moldoff recalled in 2000, with EC attorney Dave Alterbaum threatening to blacklist Moldoff if he took legal action.[1] Afterward, said Moldoff, "Will Lieberson said, 'Let me bring it back to Fawcett again, and see if they'll take the title'. And so they did; they took This Magazine Is Haunted and Worlds of Fear and then Strange Suspense Stories. What they did was pay me $100 for the title, and give me as much work as I wanted, and I also did the covers. So that went on that way".[1]

Moldoff, who received no royalty there, either, created the cadaverous host Doctor Death, and was a major influence[citation needed] on Fawcett's horror line, which also included Beware! Terror Tales, and Unknown World.
[edit] 1950s and '60s

In 1953, Moldoff became one of the primary Batman ghost artists who, along with Win Mortimer and Dick Sprang, drew stories credited to Bob Kane, following Kane's style and under Kane's supervision. While Sprang ghosted as a DC employee, Moldoff, in a 1994 interview given while Kane was alive, described his own clandestine arrangement:

I worked for Bob Kane as a ghost from ' 53 to ' 67. DC didn't know that I was involved; that was the handshake agreement I had with Bob: 'You do the work don't say anything, Shelly, and you've got steady work'. No, he didn't pay great, but it was steady work, it was security. I knew that we had to do a minimum of 350 to 360 pages a year. Also, I was doing other work at the same time for [editors] Jack Schiff and Murray Boltinoff at DC. They didn't know I was working on Batman for Bob. ... So I was busy. Between the two, I never had a dull year, which is the compensation I got for being Bob's ghost, for keeping myself anonymous.[2]

Kane and Moldoff co-created the original Bat-Girl (teen Betty Kane), as well as the novelty characters Bat-Mite and Ace the Bat-Hound. All three were largely phased-out in 1964 after a change in editors. Writer Robert Kanigher and Moldoff co-created the supervillainess Poison Ivy in Batman #181 (June 1966).

Moldoff was let go from DC in 1967, along with such other Golden Age artists as George Papp and Wayne Boring.[5] He turned to animation, doing storyboards for such animated TV series as Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse, and wrote and drew promotional comic books given away to children at the Burger King and Red Lobster restaurant and fast-food chains, as well as through the Atlanta Braves Major League Baseball team.[5]
[edit] Later life

Moldoff retired to Florida with his wife Shirley,[5] and continued to appear as a guest at comic-book fan conventions as late as the July 2009 Comic-Con International.[citation needed]

In 2000, Moldoff illustrated a chapter of the Evan Dorkin project Superman and Batman: World's Funnest; it was his first work for DC Comics in over thirty years.[citation needed]
[edit] Awards

* Inkpot Award: 1991
* Xanadu Award: 1997

[edit] References

1. ^ a b c d e "A Moon... A Bat... A Hawk: A Candid Conversation With Sheldon Moldoff", Alter Ego vol. 3, #4, Spring 2000. WebCitation archive.
2. ^ a b 1994 Sheldon Moldoff interview, first published in Alter Ego # 59 (June 2006), p. 15
3. ^ a b c d e Sheldon Moldoff at the Grand Comics Database
4. ^ Hawkgirl at the Grand Comics Database
5. ^ a b c Sheldon "Shelly" Moldoff at the Comic Art & Grafix Gallery, n.d. (site maintained 1992-2006). WebCitation archive

[edit] External links

* Sheldon "Shelly" Moldoff (official site). WebCitation archive.
* Sheldon Moldoff at the Lambiek Comiclopedia
* Sheldon Moldoff interview, Alter Ego #59 (June 2006), pp. 14–23; previously unpublished interview conducted in 1994 for Comics Interview magazine.

Milt Snappin

A letterer.

John Forte

John Forte
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the rapper, see John Forté.

John Forte (1918-1965) was an American comic-book artist, active from the early 1940s on, best known as one of the primary pencilers of DC Comics' early Legion of Super-Heroes stories.

Forte additionally drew for Timely Comics and Atlas Comics — the 1940s and 1950s predecessors, respectively, of Marvel Comics — as well as for the American Comics Group. Fiction House, Lev Gleason, and Quality Comics. He worked primarily for DC Comics beginning 1958, penciling Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane stories for the Superman family of titles. Aside from his work on the far-future teen-superhero team the Legion of Super-Heroes in Adventure Comics, Forte also drew that comic's backup feature "Tales from the Bizarro World".
[edit] References

* John Forte at the Grand Comics Database
* The Lambiek: Comiclopedia
* DC Indexes checklist

Jerry Siegel

Jerry Siegel
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Jerry Siegel

Jerry Siegel in 1976
Born Jerome Siegel
October 17, 1914(1914-10-17)
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Died January 28, 1996(1996-01-28) (aged 81)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Area(s) Writer
Pseudonym(s) Joe Carter,
Jerry Ess,
Herbert S. Fine
Notable works Superman, Action Comics #1
Awards Inkpot Award, 1975
Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame, 1992
Jack Kirby Hall of Fame, 1993
The Bill Finger Award For Excellence In Comic Book Writing, 2005
Spouse Joanne Siegel

Jerome "Jerry" Siegel (October 17, 1914 – January 28, 1996[1]), who also used pseudonyms including Joe Carter,[2] Jerry Ess,[2] and Herbert S. Fine, was the American co-creator of Superman (along with Joe Shuster), the first of the great comic book superheroes and one of the most recognizable of the 20th century.

He and Shuster were posthumously inducted into the comic book industry's Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1992 and the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1993.

* 1 Early life
* 2 Superman
* 3 Legal issues
o 3.1 Siegel & Shuster v. Time Warner
o 3.2 Siegel estate v. Time Warner
o 3.3 Superboy lawsuit
* 4 Notes
* 5 References
* 6 External links

[edit] Early life

The son of Jewish immigrants from Lithuania, Siegel was the youngest of six children. His father Mitchell Siegel (née Mikhel Segalovich) was a sign painter who opened a haberdashery and encouraged his son's artistic inclinations. Mitchell died of a heart attack brought on by the robbery of his store, when Jerry was in junior high school.[3][4] Siegel was a fan of movies, comic strips, and especially science fiction pulp magazines. He became active in what would become known as fandom, corresponding with other science fiction fans, including the young future author Jack Williamson. In 1929, Siegel published what might have been the first SF fanzine, Cosmic Stories, which he produced with a manual typewriter and advertised in the classified section of Science Wonder Stories. He published several other booklets over the next few years.

Siegel attended Glenville High School in Cleveland, Ohio and worked for its weekly student newspaper, The Torch. He was a shy, not particularly popular student, but he achieved a bit of fame among his peers for his popular Tarzan parody, "Goober the Mighty." At about age 16, while at Glenville, he befriended his later collaborator, Joe Shuster. Siegel described his friendship with the similarly shy and bespectacled Shuster:
“ When Joe and I first met, it was like the right chemicals coming together.[1] ”

The writer-artist team broke into comics with Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson's landmark New Fun, debuting with the musketeer swashbuckler "Henri Duval" and the supernatural-crimefighter strip Doctor Occult in issue #6 (Oct. 1935).
[edit] Superman

Siegel and Shuster created a bald telepathic villain named "The Superman," bent on dominating the entire world. He appeared in the short story "The Reign of the Super-Man" from Science Fiction #3, a science fiction fanzine that Siegel published in 1933.[5] The character was not successful. Tossing and turning in bed one night in 1934, he came upon the more familiar version of the character.[1][6] Siegel and Shuster then began a six-year quest to find a publisher. Titling it The Superman, Siegel and Shuster offered it to Consolidated Book Publishing, who had published a 48-page black-and-white comic book entitled Detective Dan: Secret Operative No. 48. Although the duo received an encouraging letter, Consolidated never again published comic books. Shuster took this to heart and burned all pages of the story, the cover surviving only because Siegel rescued it from the fire. Siegel and Shuster each compared this character to Slam Bradley, an adventurer the pair had created for Detective Comics #1 (March 1937).[7] In 1938, after that proposal had languished among others at More Fun Comics — published by National Allied Publications, the primary precursor of DC Comics — editor Vin Sullivan chose it as the cover feature for National's Action Comics #1 (June 1938). The following year, Siegel & Shuster initiated the syndicated Superman comic strip. Siegel also created the ghostly avenger The Spectre during this same period.

In 1946, Siegel and Shuster, nearing the end of their 10-year contract to produce Superman stories, sued National over rights to the characters. In 1947, the team had rejoined editor Sullivan, by now the founder and publisher of the comic-book company Magazine Enterprises; there they created the short-lived comical crime-fighter Funnyman. Siegel went on to become comics art director for publisher Ziff-Davis in the early 1950s, and later returned to DC to write uncredited Superman stories in 1959 under the control of Silver Age Superman editor Mort Weisinger. When he sued DC over the Superman rights again in 1967, his relationship with the hero he had co-created was again severed.

Siegel's later work would appear in Marvel Comics, where under the pseudonym "Joe Carter" he scripted the "Human Torch" feature in Strange Tales #112-113 (Sept.-Oct. 1963), introducing the teenaged Torch's high school girlfriend, Doris Evans; and, under his own name, a backup feature starring the X-Men member Angel, which ran in Marvel Tales and Ka-Zar.[8] Siegel wrote as well during this time for Archie Comics, where he created campy versions of existing superheroes in Archie's Mighty Comics line; Charlton Comics, where he created a few superheroes; and even England's Lion, where he scripted The Spider. In 1968, he worked for Western Publishing, for which he wrote (along with Carl Barks) stories in the Junior Woodchucks comic book. In 1970s, he worked for Mondadori Editore (at that time the Italian Disney comic book licensee) on its title Topolino, listed in the mastheads of the period as a scriptwriter ("soggettista e sceneggiatore").

In 1986, Siegel was invited by DC Comics' editor Julius Schwartz to write an "imaginary" final story for Superman, following Marv Wolfman's Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series and John Byrne's The Man of Steel miniseries, which reintroduced Superman. Siegel declined, and the story was instead given to writer Alan Moore, and published in September 1986 in two parts entitled "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?" (the story was published in Superman #423 and Action Comics #583).

In 2005, he was posthumously awarded the Bill Finger Award For Excellence in Comic Book Writing. He was inducted into the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1993.
[edit] Legal issues
[edit] Siegel & Shuster v. Time Warner

Siegel in 1975 launched a public-relations campaign to protest DC Comics' treatment of him and Shuster;[9] ultimately Warner Communications, DC's parent company, awarded Siegel and Shuster $20,000 a year[10] each for the rest of their lives and guaranteed that all comics, TV episodes (which would eventually include the popular Smallville show), films, and (later) video games starring Superman would be required to credit Superman was "created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster."
[edit] Siegel estate v. Time Warner

On April 16, 1999, Siegel's widow Joanne Siegel, and their daughter, Laura Siegel Larson, filed a copyright termination notice.[10] Warner Bros. contested this copyright termination, making the status of Siegel's share of the copyright the subject of a legal battle. Warner Bros. and the Siegels entered into discussions on how to resolve the issues raised by the termination notice, but these discussions were set aside by the Siegels and in October 2004 they filed suit alleging copyright infringement on the part of Warner Bros. Warner Bros. countersued, alleging, among other arguments, that the termination notice contains defects.[11][12] On the 26th March, 2008, Judge Stephen G. Larson of the Federal District Court for the Central District of California ruled that Siegel's estate was entitled to claim a share in the United States copyright.[13] The ruling does not affect the international rights which Time Warner holds in the character through its subsidiary DC Comics. Issues regarding the amount of monies owed Siegel's estate and whether the claim the estate has extends to derivative works such as movie versions will be settled at trial, although any compensation would only be owed from works published since 1999.[14] The case was currently[update] scheduled to be heard in a Californian federal court in May, 2008.[15]
[edit] Superboy lawsuit

Superboy was the subject of a legal battle between Time Warner, the owner of DC Comics and the estate of Jerry Siegel. The Siegels argued that Jerry Siegel was an independent contractor at the time he proposed the original character, which DC declined at the time. After returning from World War II, Siegel found that DC had published a Superboy story which bore similarities to his proposal.[16]

On March 23, 2006, federal judge Ronald S. W. Lew issued a summary judgment ruling that the Siegel heirs had the right to revoke their copyright assignment to Superboy and had successfully reclaimed the rights as of November 17, 2004. Warner Bros. and DC Comics replied that they "respectfully disagree" with the ruling and will seek review. Warner Bros. and DC Comics filed a motion for reconsideration of Judge Lew's ruling in January 2007. On July 27, 2007, federal judge Larson (who had replaced Lew upon his taking "senior status") issued a ruling reversing Judge Lew's ruling that the Siegel heirs had reclaimed the rights to Superboy.[17]
[edit] Notes

1. ^ a b c Roger Stern. Superman: Sunday Classics: 1939 - 1943 DC Comics/Kitchen Sink Press, Inc./Sterling Publishing; 2006
2. ^ a b Rozakis, Bob. "Secret Identities", "It's BobRo the Answer Man" (column), Comics Bulletin April 9, 2001. Retrieved November 14, 2010. WebCitation archive.
3. ^ Last Son, a documentary film about the creation of Superman which shows Mitchell's death certificate
4. ^ Colton, David. "Superman's story: Did a fatal robbery forge the Man of Steel?," USA Today (Aug. 27, 2008). Accessed Feb. 17, 2009.
5. ^ Daniels, Les (1998). Superman: The Complete History (1st ed.). Titan Books. ISBN 1-85286-988-7.
6. ^ Gross, John (December 15, 1987). "Books of the Times". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-01-29.
7. ^ Daniels (1998), p. 17.
8. ^
9. ^ Graham, Victoria. "Originators of Superman Destitute: Sold Rights in 1938 for $130," The State Journal (Lansing, Mich.), (November 25, 1975), p. D-3.
10. ^ a b Dean, Michael; De Giovani, Wagner F.; Moyer, Bruce A.; Meyer, Thomas J. (2004-10-14). "An Extraordinarily Marketable Man: The Ongoing Struggle for Ownership of Superman and Superboy". The Comics Journal 49 (263): 13–17. doi:10.1021/jo00199a043. Archived from the original on December 1, 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-22.
11. ^ Vosper, Robert (February 2005). "The Woman Of Steel". Inside Counsel. Archived from the original on 2007-05-06. Retrieved 2007-01-26. "DC isn't going to hand over its most valued asset without putting up one hell of a legal battle"
12. ^ Brady, Matt (March 3, 2005). "Inside The Siegel/DC Battle For Superman". Newsarama. Retrieved 2007-01-26. "While the complaint, response and counterclaim has been filed, no one even remotely expects a slam-dunk win for either side. Issues such as those named in the complaint will, if it goes to trial, possibly allow for an unprecedented referendum on issues of copyright." [dead link] Archived 13 Aug 2008.
13. ^ "This Month in History," Smithsonian (June 2008).
14. ^ Ciepley, Michael. "Ruling Gives Heirs a Share of Superman Copyright" The New York Times, March 29, 2008. Accessed on 2008-29-03. Archived on 2008-29-03.
15. ^ Coyle, Marcia. "Pow! Zap! Comic Book Suits Abound," The National Law Journal, February 4, 2008. Retrieved on 2008-02-17. Archived on 2008-02-17.
16. ^ McNary, Dave (5 April 2006). "Super snit in 'Smallville'. (Skein faces copyright infringement charges)". Daily Variety. Retrieved 2008-08-12.
17. ^[dead link]

[edit] References

* Jones, Gerard (2004). Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters and the Birth of the Comic Book. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 9780465036561. OCLC 55019518.
* Comic Book Awards Almanac
* Jerry Siegel Attacks! Translation of Nazi SS article attacking Siegel and Superman
* NY Times Obituary

Ira Schnapp


Ira Schnapp
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ira R. Schnapp
Born Israel R. Schnapt[1]
10 October 1892(1892-10-10)
Sassow, Austria
Died July 1969 (aged 76)
Nationality naturalized American citizen[3]
Area(s) Letterer, Designer
Notable works Action Comics logo
DC Comics house style

Ira R. Schnapp (October 10, 1892-July 1969)[4] was a logo designer and letterer who defined the DC Comics house style for thirty years. He designed the world-famous Action Comics logo, as well as scores of others for the company.

* 1 Biography
o 1.1 Early life and immigration
o 1.2 Stonecutter, engraver, intertitle designer, and lobby card designer
o 1.3 DC
o 1.4 Personal life
* 3 Notes
* 4 References

[edit] Biography
[edit] Early life and immigration

Schnapp was born in Sassow, Austria, in a region called Galicia. A Jew, he came to America with his family some time before 1910, when he was 18 years old. Although his exact schooling is unknown, Schnapp was apparently well-educated. According to DC colorist Jack Adler, "Ira Schnapp was a very nice guy who had a classical background. He'd talk about things a lot of people wouldn't know about."[1]
[edit] Stonecutter, engraver, intertitle designer, and lobby card designer

Upon his arrival in the United States, Schnapp was already a skilled stonecutter, engraver, and graphic designer. In 1911, while still only 19 years old, Schnapp was hired to hand-carve the engraving on the front of the main branch of the New York Public Library: "MDCCCXCV • THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY • MDCCCCII". He then worked designing and engraving stamps for the United States Post Office Department, and in 1914 was hired as a stone carver for the post office. Schnapp personally designed the lettering, and hand-carved, the famous slogan "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds" in the facade of the James Farley General Post Office. In the later years of the 1910s, Schnapp found work as a silent movie intertitle designer and movie theater lobby card designer.[1]
[edit] DC
The Action Comics logo, designed by Schnapp in 1938.

Little is known about Schnapp in the 1920s, but by 1934 he was working as a title designer for Trojan Publishing Corporation, a pulp magazine publisher. Shortly thereafer, in 1938, Schnapp was hired by comic book publisher DC Comics for his first job. It was an association that lasted for thirty years. Schnapp worked for DC from 1938 to 1968, creating scores of logos and lettering countless covers and interiors, yet ironically he only received a single in-print credit (in Inferior Five #6, published in 1966).[5] Most of Schnapp's work was done on front covers, and "mere" cover letterers (or interior letterers, for that matter) were never credited in the era in which Schnapp worked.[2]


In the early summer of 1938, Schnapp created the iconic Action Comics logo for DC. He also refined and perfected the Superman logo in 1940. Over time, Schnapp designed scores of logos for the company's comic books, virtually defining DC's look for 30 years. In addition to the Action and Superman logos, some of the more celebrated logos Schnapp designed include:

* Adventure Comics
* The Atom
* The Flash
* Green Lantern
* Hawkman
* Justice League of America
* Metal Men
* Secret Origins
* Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane

DC house ads

With Superman editor Mort Weisinger, Schnapp designed and hand-lettered the DC house ads "Coming... Super-Attractions!" which proliferated throughout the pages of the company's comics.
Roy Lichtenstein's Drowning Girl (1963), adapted from the lead story in Secret Hearts #83, lettered by Schnapp.


Among many other books, Schnapp was the original interior letterer on Superman and Green Lantern. Despite his brilliance as a logo and title designer, however, in the words of comics historian Kirk Kimball, "Schnapp's word-balloon lettering was . . . surprisingly pedestrian."[6] Most of Schnapp's interior lettering was done for DC's line of romance comics. In fact, pop artist Roy Lichtenstein used the splash page of a romance story lettered by Schnapp in Secret Hearts #83 (November 1962) as the basis for one of Lichtenstein's most iconic works. Lichtenstein slightly reworked the art and dialogue, and re-lettered Schnapp's original word balloon. Drowning Girl (1963) is now part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
The Comics Code seal, designed by Schnapp.

Comics Code Authority seal

In 1955, with changes brought about by Dr. Fredric Wertham and the adoption of the Comics Code, Schnapp designed the Comics Code Authority seal, which became a fixture on comic book covers for over forty years.[6]


Carmine Infantino's appointment as DC's editorial director in 1966 brought about a major shake-up in the company. One of the first things Infantino did was bring in Gaspar Saladino as the new cover letterer for the company's entire line of comics. Long-time DC writer Marv Wolfman recalled that "DC kept Ira employed doing miscellaneous things around the production department because . . . management felt they owed him for all his great work."[7] Saladino called Schnapp "'Mr. DC.'" . . . It was sad that when he left it was as though he'd never been there at all. So much of it all came down to business, though. It was to make money."[8]

Schnapp left DC in 1968 and retired to Florida.
[edit] Personal life

According to census documents, Schnapp married a woman named Beatrice in 1919, and the couple took up residence in the Bronx, New York. They had two children, Martin and Theresa. Schnapp died in New York in 1969.[4]
[edit] Quotes

Mark Evanier, on the Superman logo:

It's probably the best logo ever designed for a comic book, and maybe for anything, anywhere.[2]

Kirk Kimball of Dial B for Blog:

Readers — designers — look upon the work of Ira Schnapp, and despair! You will never surpass it! You will never equal it! You will never even come close to it! Try to imagine a world where Schnapp's work never existed... It simply can't be done, because Schnapp's designs are inextricably woven into the very fabric of American pop culture. That is a legacy most designers can only dream of.[2]

[edit] Notes

1. ^ a b c Kimball, Kirk. "Present at the Creation," Dial B for Blog (Oct. 10, 2006). Retrieved July 21, 2008.
2. ^ a b c d Kimball, Kirk. "The Big Fall," Dial B for Blog (Oct. 10, 2006). Retrieved July 21, 2008.
3. ^ Kimball, Kirk. "The Ira Schnapp Story," Dial B for Blog (Oct. 10, 2006). Retrieved July 21, 2008.
4. ^ a b Social Security Death Index. Retrieved February 22, 2009.
5. ^ Mike Tiefenbacher in Kirk Kimball's "The Big Fall!" Dial B for Blog (Oct. 10, 2006). Retrieved July 21, 2008.
6. ^ a b Kimball, Kirk. "The Big Chill," Dial B for Blog (Oct. 10, 2006). Retrieved July 21, 2008.
7. ^ Kimball, Kirk. "The Big Fall!" Dial B for Blog (Oct. 10, 2006). Retrieved July 21, 2008.
8. ^ B.D.S. Interview with Gaspar Saladino in "Silver Age Sage," The Silver Lantern: A Tribute to the Silver Age of DC Comics (May 25, 2007). Retrieved July 19, 2008.

[edit] References

* B.D.S. Interview with Gaspar Saladino in "Silver Age Sage," The Silver Lantern: A Tribute to the Silver Age of DC Comics (May 25, 2007)
* Evanier, Mark. Living La Vida Logo, News From Me (Oct. 5, 2006)
* Kimball, Kirk. Dial B for Blog (Oct. 10, 2006)

Jim Mooney

Born August 13, 1919(1919-08-13)
Died March 30, 2008(2008-03-30) (aged 88)
Nationality American
Area(s) Penciller, Inker
Pseudonym(s) Jay Noel
Notable works Action Comics (Tommy Tomorrow, Supergirl)
Spectacular Spider-Man
Star Spangled Comics (Robin)

James Noel "Jim" Mooney[1] (August 13, 1919 – March 30, 2008) was an American comic book artist best known as a Marvel Comics inker and Spider-Man artist, and as the signature artist of DC Comics' Supergirl, both during what comics historians and fans call the Silver Age of comic books. He sometimes inked under the pseudonym Jay Noel.[2]

* 1 Biography
o 1.1 Early life and career
o 1.2 Supergirl and DC
o 1.3 Spider-Man and Marvel
o 1.4 Later life and career
* 2 Bibliography
o 2.1 DC
o 2.2 Marvel
* 3 Footnotes
* 4 References

[edit] Biography
[edit] Early life and career

Jim Mooney was raised in Los Angeles, California.[3] After attending art school and working as a parking valet and other odd jobs for nightclubs,[4] Mooney went to New York City in 1940 to enter the fledging comic-book field. Following his first assignment, the new feature "The Moth" in Fox Publications' Mystery Men Comics #9-12 (April–July 1940), Mooney worked for the comic-book packager Eisner & Iger, one of the studios that would supply outsourced comics to publishers testing the waters of the new medium. He left voluntarily after two weeks: "I was just absolutely crestfallen when I looked at some of the guys’ work. Lou Fine was working there, Nick Cardy ... and Eisner himself. I was beginning to feel that I was way, way in beyond my depth...." [4]

Mooney went on staff at Fiction House for approximately nine months, working on features including "Camilla" and "Suicide Smith" and becoming friends with colleagues George Tuska, Ruben Moreira (a future Tarzan comic-strip artist), and Cardy. He began freelancing for Timely Comics, the 1940s predecessor of Marvel, working on that company's "animation" line of funny animal and movie-cartoon tie-in comics.
Super Mystery Comics #5 (Dec. 1940): Jim Mooney's first cover art

As Mooney describes his being hired by editor-in-chief and art director Stan Lee:

I met Stan the first time when I was looking for work at Timely. . . . I came in, being somewhat young and cocky at the time, and Stan asked me what I did. I said I penciled; he said, 'What else?' I said I inked. He said, 'What else?' I said, 'Color.' 'Do anything else?' I said, 'Yeah, I letter, too.' He said, 'Do you print the damn books, too?' I guess he was about two or three years my junior at that point. I think I was about 21 or 22.[5]

Mooney also wrote and drew a funny-animal feature, "Perky Penguin and Booby Bear", in 1946 and 1947 for Treasure Chest, the Catholic-oriented comic book distributed in parochial schools.[6]
[edit] Supergirl and DC

In 1946, Mooney began a 22-year association with the company that would evolve into DC. He began with the series Batman as a ghost artist for credited artist Bob Kane. As Mooney recalled of coming to DC,

[T]he funny animal stuff was no longer in demand, and an awful lot of us were scurrying around looking for work . . . and I heard on the grapevine that they were looking for an artist to do Batman. So I buzzed up there to DC, talked to them and showed them my stuff, and even though they weren't so sure because of my funny-animal background, they gave me a shot at it. I brought the work in, and [editor] Whitney Ellsworth said, 'OK, you're on'. . . . [I]t was ghosting. [Prominent Batman ghost-artist] Dick Sprang [had] taken off and wanted to do something else. So Dick took off for Arizona, and DC was looking for someone to fill in. So, that's where I fit in, and I stayed on Batman for quite a few years. . . .[5]

Mooney branched out to the series Superboy, and such features as "Dial H For Hero" in House of Mystery, and Tommy Tomorrow in both Action Comics and World's Finest Comics. He also contributed to Atlas Comics, the 1950s iteration of Marvel, on at least a handful of 1953-54 issues of Lorna the Jungle Queen.

Most notably, Mooney drew the backup feature "Supergirl" in Action Comics from 1959 to 1968. For much of this run on his signature character, Mooney lived in Los Angeles, managing an antiquarian book store on Hollywood Boulevard and sometimes hiring art students to work in the store and ink backgrounds on his pencilled pages.[3] By 1968, he had moved back to New York, where DC, he recalled, was

... getting into the illustrative type of art then, primarily Neal Adams, and they wanted to go in that direction. Towards the end there I picked up on it and I think my later 'Supergirl' was quite illustrative, but not quite what they wanted. I knew the handwriting was on the wall, so I was looking around.... The reason I hadn't worked at Marvel for all those years was because they didn't pay as well as DC. ... I think at that time [it] was $30 [a page] when I was getting closer to $50 at DC".[4]

[edit] Spider-Man and Marvel
Penciler-inker Jim Mooney drew himself into these three panels from The Spectacular Spider-Man vol. 1, #41 (April 1980).[4]

By now, however, the rates were closer, and Mooney jumped ship. Marvel editor Stan Lee had him work with The Amazing Spider-Man penciler John Romita. Mooney would go on to ink a classic run of Amazing Spider-Man (#65, 67-88; Oct. 1968, Dec. 1968 - Sept. 1970), which he recalled as "finalising it over John’s layouts".[4] Mooney, who combined a slick, polished line with a down-to-earth, Everyman feel,[citation needed] also embellished John Buscema's pencils on many issues of The Mighty Thor.

As a penciler, Mooney did several issues of Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man, as well as Spider-Man stories in Marvel Team-Up, and he both penciled and inked issues of writer Steve Gerber's Man-Thing and the entire 10-issue run of Gerber's cult-hit Omega the Unknown, among many other titles.

Mooney also worked on Marvel-related coloring books, for the child-oriented Spidey Super Stories, and for a Spider-Man feature in a children's-magazine spin-off of the PBS educational series The Electric Company, which included segments featuring Spider-Man. On the other end of the spectrum, he drew in the late 1960s and early 1970s for Marvel publisher Martin Goodman's bawdy men's-adventure magazine comics feature "The Adventures of Pussycat": "Stan [Lee] wrote the first one I did, and then his brother Larry [Lieber] wrote the ones that came later".[5]

In 1975, Mooney, wanting to move to Florida, negotiated a 10-year contract with Marvel to supply artwork from there. "It was a good deal. The money wasn't too great, but I was paid every couple of weeks, I had insurance, and I had a lot of security that most freelancers never had".[5] That same year, Mooney and his wife, Anne, had a daughter, Nolle.[7]
[edit] Later life and career

In Florida, Mooney co-created Adventure Publications' Star Rangers with writer Mark Ellis, and worked on Superboy for DC Comics, Anne Rice's The Mummy for Millennium Publications, and the Creepy miniseries for Harris Comics. When Harris editor Richard Howell left to co-found Claypool Comics in 1993, Mooney produced many stories for the 166-issue run of Elvira, Mistress of the Dark and became the regular inker on writer Peter David's Soulsearchers and Company, over the pencils of Amanda Conner, Neil Vokes, John Heebink, and mostly Dave Cockrum. Mooney also inked four covers of Howell's Deadbeats series. Mooney's other later work included the sole issue of writer Mark Evanier's Flaxen, over Howell pencils; a retro "Lady Supreme" story for Awesome Entertainment; and commissioned pieces.

Mooney's wife Anne died in 2005.[3] Mooney died March 30, 2008 in Florida after an extended illness.[3]
[edit] Bibliography

Comics work (interior pencil art) includes:
[edit] DC

* Action Comics (Tommy Tomorrow) #172-196, 199-251; (Supergirl) #253-342, 344-350, 353-358, 360-373 (1952-69); (Superman) #667 (among other artists) (1991)
* Adventure Comics #91, 284 (1944-61); (Legion of Super-Heroes) #328-331, 361 (1965-67)
* Adventures of Superboy (based on TV Series) #18-20 (1991)
* Adventures of Superman #480 (among other artists) (1991)
* Batman #38, 41, 43-44, 48-49, 53-54, 56, 59-60, 72, 76, 148, 150, (1946-62)
* Detective Comics #126, 132, 134, 143, 163, 181, 296, 299, 311, 318 (1947-63)
* Flash, vol. 2, #19 (1988)
* House of Mystery #2, 5-6, 10, 20, 23-24, 27, 30, 32-35, 39-40, 46-47, 49, 51, 56, 70, 83, 85, 156-170, 178 (1952-69)
* House of Secrets #1, 3-4, 9 (1956-58)
* Jimmy Olsen #92 (1966)
* Star Spangled Comics (Robin) #74, 76-95, 97-130 (1947-52)
* Superboy The Comic Book (based on TV series) #1-8 (1990)
* Superman #185 (1966)
* Superman: The Wedding Album (among other artists) (1996)
* Tales of the Unexpected #10, 17-19, 23-25, 28, 32-33, 35-37, 39-46, 48-49, 53 (1957-60)
* World's Finest Comics (Batman) #27, 37, 39-40, 42, 44; (Tommy Tomorrow) #102-120; (Superman and Batman) #121-130, 132-134, 136-140 (1947-64)

[edit] Marvel

* The Amazing Spider-Man #65, 68-71, 73-82, 86-87 (1968-70)
* Avengers #179-180 (1979)
* Battlestar Galactica #14 (1980)
* Crypt of Shadows #3, 5, 16 (1973-75)
* Ghost Rider #2-9 (1973-74)
* Incredible Hulk #230 (1978)
* Invaders #16 (1977)
* Journey Into Mystery, vol. 2, #8 (1973)
* Man-Thing #17-22 (1975)
* Man-Thing, vol. 2, #1-3 (1979-80)
* Marvel Comics Presents #16, 73 (1989-91)
* Marvel Spotlight #14-17, 27 (1974-76)
* Marvel Team-Up #8, 10-11, 24-31, 72 (1973-78)
* Ms. Marvel #4-8, 13, 15-18 (1977-78)
* Omega the Unknown #1-10 (1976-77)
* Solarman #1 (1989)
* Son of Satan #1 (1975)
* Spectacular Spider-Man #11, 21, 23, 25-26, 29-34, 36-37, 53, 125 (1977-87)
* Spectacular Spider-Man Magazine #1-2 (1968)
* Spider-Man, Firestar and Iceman at the Dallas Ballet Nutcracker (1983)
* Sub-Mariner #65-66 (1973)
* Thundercats #1-6, 19 (1985-88)
* Web of Spider-Man #5-6, 10 (1985-86)

[edit] Footnotes

1. ^ Full name per Treadway, Tyler, "Illustrator in Port Salerno was 'one of the nicest guys you'd ever meet'", TC Palm / Scripps Newspaper Group Online, April 1, 2008. WebCitation archive.
2. ^ Evanier, Mark. "An Incessantly Asked Question #5", "P.O.V. Online" (column), April 14, 2008. Retrieved July 27, 2008. WebCitation archive.
3. ^ a b c d Evanier, Mark. "News from Me" (column): "Jim Mooney, R.I.P." (March 31, 2008). WebCitation archive.
4. ^ a b c d e Adelaide Comics and Books: Jim Mooney interview. Web archive.
5. ^ a b c d Jim Mooney interview, Comic Book Artist #7, February 2000. archive.
6. ^ Jim Mooney (WebCitation archive) at WRLC Libraries Digital and Special Collections (WebCitation archive): Treasure Chest of Fun and Fact. (WebCitation archive) Note: List of contributors is not comprehensive.
7. ^ Bullpen Bulletins: "A Gargantuan Gallery of Garulous [sic] Goings-On Guaranteed to Garner Your Gratitude!", in Marvel Comics cover-dated November 1975, including Fantastic Four #164

[edit] References

* Jim Mooney at the Lambiek Comiclopedia. WebCitation archive 11-25-09
* Supergirl at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. WebCitation archive 11-25-09
* The Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators
* Jim Mooney at the Grand Comics Database

Leo Dorfman

Leo Dorfman
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Leo Dorfman
Born February 17, 1914(1914-02-17)
New York, NY
Died July 0, 1974(1974-07-00) (aged 60)
Nationality American
Area(s) Writer
Pseudonym(s) Geoff Brown
Notable works Superman

Leo Dorfman (1914–1974)[1] (also credited as Geoff Brown[2]) was a writer of comic books throughout the Silver Age; although the majority of his work was for DC Comics, he also wrote for Dell Comics.

Dorfman grew up on New York's Lower East Side.[3] He began working for National Periodical Publications in the 1950s; Mark Evanier has estimated that Dorfman may have been "the most prolific scripter" for Superman during the 1960s.[4]

Dorfman's work included the creation of Pete Ross in 1961 and the Ghosts anthology series in 1971; he also wrote the 1963 "Superman Red/Superman Blue", which inspired a year-long plot arc in 1998.[5]

Dorfman produced supernatural stories for Gold Key Comics' supernaturally themed Twilight Zone, Ripley's Believe it or Not, Boris Karloff Mystery and Grimm's Ghost Stories. One of Gold Key's editors at the time told Mark Evanier "Leo writes stories and then he decides whether he's going to sell them to DC [for Ghosts] or to us. He tells us that if they come out good, they go to us and if they don't, they go to DC. I assume he tells DC the opposite."[4]
[edit] References

1. ^ Social Security Death Index, SS# 052-05-6867.
2. ^ Action Comics #396, DC Comics, January, 1971
3. ^ Letters page, Action Comics #397 (Feb. 1971).
4. ^ a b Evanier, Mark. "More on Leo Dorfman," News From Me (May 29, 2005).
5. ^ The Krypton Companionby Michael Eury (via Google Books).

[edit] External links

* Leo Dorfman interviewed on Two for the Money
* Analysis of Dorfman's work on Superboy, as compared to that of other writers

Curt Swan

Curt Swan
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Curt Swan

Portrait of Curt Swan by Stan Drake
Born Douglas Curtis Swan
February 17, 1920(1920-02-17)
Willmar, Minnesota
Died June 17, 1996(1996-06-17) (aged 76)
Wilton, Connecticut
Nationality American
Area(s) Penciller
Notable works Action Comics
Adventure Comics
Awards Inkpot Award, 1984
Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame, 1997

Douglas Curtis Swan (February 17, 1920, in Willmar, Minnesota - June 17, 1996)[1] was an American comic book artist. The artist most associated with Superman during the period fans and historians call the Silver Age of comic books, Swan produced hundreds of covers and stories from the 1950s through the 1980s.

* 1 Biography
o 1.1 Early life and career
o 1.2 Superman
o 1.3 Later life and career
* 2 Art style
* 3 Legacy
* 5 References
* 6 External links

[edit] Biography
[edit] Early life and career

Curt Swan, whose Swedish grandmother had shortened the original family name of Swanson, was the youngest of five children. Father John Swan worked for the railroads; mother Leotine Hanson had worked in a local hospital.[2] As a boy, Swan's given name — Douglas — was shortened to "Doug," and, disliking the phonetic similarity to "Dog," Swan thereafter reversed the order of his given names and went by "Curtis Douglas," rather than "Douglas Curtis."[3]

Drafted into the army in 1940, Swan spent World War II working on the G.I. magazine Stars and Stripes. During his period he also married the former Helene Brickley, who was stationed near him in Paris in 1944.[2] Shortly after returning to civilian life in 1945 he moved from Minnesota to New Jersey and began working for DC Comics.[2] Apart from a few months of night classes (at the Pratt Institute)[2] under the G.I. Bill, Swan was an entirely self-taught artist.[4] After a stint on Boy Commandos he began to just pencil pages, leaving the inking to others.
[edit] Superman
Adventure Comics #296 (May 1962), cover art by Swan, inks by George Klein.

Initially, Swan drew many different features, including "Tommy Tomorrow" and "Gangbusters", but slowly he began gravitating towards the Superman line of books. His first job pencilling the iconic character was for Superman #51 (March–April 1948).[5] Many comics of the 1940s and 1950s lacked contributor credits, but research shows that Swan began pencilling the Superboy comic book with its fifth issue in 1949.[4] Swan always felt, however, that his breakthrough came when he was assigned the art duties on Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen, in 1954.[4]

It wasn't all smooth sailing, as Swan at first didn't take to line editor Mort Weisinger's controlling style.[2] Swan discussed this period in an interview: "I was getting terrible migraine headaches and had these verbal battles with Mort. So it was emotional, physical. It just drained me and I thought I'd better get out of here before I go whacko." After leaving comics for the advertising world in 1951, Swan soon returned, for National's higher paychecks. And as biographer Zeno notes, "The headaches went away after [Swan] gained Weisinger's respect by standing up to him." There were other times when Swan got frustrated at DC, and years later Marvel Comics attempted to lure him to their company, but he stayed loyal to DC, as their benefits were good and the work was steady.[4]

Around 1954, Swan unsuccessfully pitched an original comic strip for newspaper syndication. Called Yellow Hair, it was about a blond boy raised by Native Americans.[4] A couple of years later, starting with the episode of June 18, 1956, Swan drew the Superman daily newspaper comic strip, which he continued on until November 12, 1960.[4]

Over the years, Swan was a remarkably consistent and prolific artist, often illustrating two or more titles per month.
[edit] Later life and career
Swan's cover for Superman #423 (September 1986), the first half of "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?".

After DC's 1985 12-issue limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths and with the impending 1986 revision of Superman by writer/artist John Byrne, Swan was released from his duties on the Superman comics. Critic Wallace Harrington summed up Swan's dismissal this way:
“ . . . the most striking thing that DC did was to completely turn their back on the one man that had defined Superman for three decades. . . . They closed the door and turned out the lights on the creator that had defined their whole line. With no real thanks, no pomp nor circumstance, DC simply relieved Curt of his artistic duties on Superman. Curt Swan who had drawn Superman in Action, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Superman, and World's Finest, and drew Superboy in Adventure Comics, who was the quintessential Superman artist of the 1960s, '70s and '80s. He became was just another victim of the 1980's implosion. Gone.[6] ”

Swan's swan song on Superman was the non-canonical 1986 story "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?", written by Alan Moore.

After this, Swan continued to do occasional minor projects for DC, including an Aquaman limited series and special in 1989, and various returns on illustrating Superman. Unfortunately, he had not planned well for retirement, and needed to keep working to survive. His marriage dissolved, in some ways due to a recurring drinking problem.[2] Swan's last published story was five pages published posthumously in the 1996 special Superman: The Wedding Album.

Swan was living in Wilton, Connecticut, at the time of his death. He was survived by his former wife Helene, daughters Karen and Cecilia, and son Christopher.[2]
[edit] Art style

Swan's artwork on Superman was a contrast to Wayne Boring, his Golden Age predecessor.[2] Critic Arlen Schumer praises Swan's ability to depict "the spectrum of human emotion, from agony to anger, mournful to mirthful."[4] As characterized by critic Paul Gravett, Swan's Superman made ". . . Krypton's last son in exile, the alien in our midst, into someone like us, who would think and feel as well as act, who was approachable, big-hearted, considerate, maybe physically superpowerful yet gentle, noble yet subtly tragic."[5] In a similar vein, Swan biographer Eddy Zeno calls Swan "the Norman Rockwell of . . . comics."[4]

With his frequent inker Murphy Anderson from 1970–1974 (and then again from 1988–1989), the pair's collaborative artwork came to be called "Swanderson" by the fans.[5] (Despite his and Anderson's success together, however, Swan's favorite inker was Al Williamson, with whom he only worked a short time, from 1985–1986.)[4]
[edit] Legacy

Swan's favorite story — one of the few he both pencilled and inked — was "I Flew With Superman" from Superman Annual #9 (1983), in which Swan himself appears and helps Superman solve a case.[4]

In a story titled "Swan's Way," issue #92 of the Legion of Super-heroes (May 1997) memorialized Swan with a cameo appearance as an art teacher.

In the Superman-based television show Smallville (TV Series), Christopher Reeve made a guest-appearance in two episodes as character Dr. Virgil Swann, who knows all about Kal-El and his origins. This was an allusion to Swan.[citation needed]

Mark Hamill's character "Don Swan" in Comic Book: The Movie is likely a tribute to Swan.
[edit] Quotes

Wallace Harrington:
“ When it came time for Warner Brothers to do a decent film of Superman, it was Swan's figure that Christopher Reeve emulated. It was that grace, that strength, that humanity that Swan brought to the character. When asked whether he had a 'model' for his Superman, he said that he was a combination of many things. Part Johnny Weismuller, part Raymond "Rip" Kirby and part George Reeves, 'although I didn't want him to look exactly like Reeves, even though I got a profile or two correct. . . . I drew him to look like a nice guy, someone you'd want on your side.' . . . When Clark looked at you and winked, it was as if he were letting you in on the big joke that no one in the story could see except you and him. Swan made Superman come to life for the reader.[2] ”

Elliot S! Maggin:
“ We were both philosophical products of the message we spent a career delivering to the hero-worshippers of the world. We both believed in truth, justice and the American way: a personal torah. It was good finally to learn that we had so much in common when finally we gave each other the space to reveal it.[4] ”

Alan Moore:
“ I'd like to have asked him how much [Swan] identified with Superman, how much of himself he put in there. I feel that he probably did on some private level; that there was some sort of a moral strength that he aspired to, that he drew into those figures. Something almost indefinable, but some essence of himself.[4] ”
[edit] References

1. ^ Curt Swan, Social Security Death Index details, FamilySearch gives June 17, 1996, as the date of death, and was verified by a family member; verification date can be the same as the death date, or one or more days afterward.
2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Harrington, Wallace. Curt Swan, Superman Super Site. Accessed March 28, 2009.
3. ^ Swan's former wife Helene, in Zeno, Eddy. Curt Swan: A Life in Comics (Vanguard Productions, 2002). ISBN 1-887591-40-0
4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Zeno, Eddy. Curt Swan: A Life In Comics (Vanguard Productions, 2002).
5. ^ a b c Gravett, Paul. "Curt Swan: A Superman Walked Among Us". Comic Book Marketplace (2002). Accessed March 28, 2009.
6. ^ Harrington, Wallace. "Commentary: A Fine Way to Say Thank You", Superman Home Page. Accessed March 28, 2009.

[edit] External links

* Curt Swan at the Grand Comics Database
* Curt Swan at the Comic Book DB
* Curt Swan at Lambiek's Comiclopedia
* Swan, Curt. "Drawing Superman", Superman Through the Ages (1986)
* Curt Swan, Superman Home Page
* Broertjes, Harry. "Curt Swan, 1920–1996", Interlac (August 1996)
* Nightwing of Kandor, "Curt Swan!", Confessions of a Superman Fan
* Reed, Bill. (July 22, 2007) "365 Reasons to Love Comics: #203", Comics Should be Good, Comic Book Resources

* Curt Swan at Vanguard [1]
* Hogan, Billy. "Curt Swan: I Flew With Superman!", Superman Fan Podcast #61 (February 19, 2009)
* Hughes, Bob. "Who Inked Curt Swan on Superman", Who's Whose in the DC Universe?
* Kimball, Kirk. "Super Artist Curt Swan!", Dial B for Blog #231
* Gravett, Paul. "Curt Swan: A Superman walked among Us"

George Klein

George Klein

Born c. 1915 or 1920
Died 1969
Nationality American
Area(s) Inker
Pseudonym(s) Nick Karlton
Mark Midnight[1]

George D. Klein[1] (c. 1915[2] or 1920[3] – 1969) was an American comic book artist and cartoonist whose career stretched from the 1930s and 1940s' Golden Age of comic books. He was best known as an inker for DC Comics, where he was an integral part of the Superman family of titles from 1955 to 1968, and for Marvel Comics, where he was the generally recognized, uncredited inker on industry legend Jack Kirby's pencil art for the landmark comic book The Fantastic Four #1.[4]

* 1 Biography
o 1.1 Early career
o 1.2 Superman family
o 1.3 Marvel Comics
o 1.4 Death
* 2 Inking style
* 3 References
* 4 External links

[edit] Biography
[edit] Early career
Sub-Mariner Comics #5 (Spring 1942): Rare George Klein inks on one of Timely's "big three" heroes. Pencils by Al Gabriele.

Klein attended the Kansas City Art Institute and New York's Cartoonists and Illustrators School.[1] At Marvel Comics' 1940s precursor, Timely Comics, Klein was both a penciler and an inker, initially on superhero features. He was among the pencilers of the super-speedster the Whizzer, in All Winners Comics #8-9, Spring-Summer 1943). He had inked that early Marvel character, over Mike Sekowsky's pencils, as early as All Winners #3 (Winter 1941/42). Klein also worked on the characters Miss America (inking the premiere issue in 1944), the Young Allies, the Black Marvel, the Golden Age Black Widow, the Defender, and, under the pseudonym Nick Karlton, the Challenger.[5] Klein found himself more utilized, however, in what was called Timely's "animator" bullpen, which created such movie tie-in and original funny animal comics as Mighty Mouse and Animated Funny Comic-Tunes.

Because he was on staff, Klein frequently did not sign his artwork — a typical though not ironclad industry habit at the time — making it difficult to assess his Golden Age output.

In the post-war era, Klein drew for a variety of publishers. For DC Comics, nearly ten years before teaming with penciler Curt Swan on various Superman titles, Klein inked him on a "Boy Commandos" story in World's Finest Comics #21 (March–April 1946). For American Comics Group (ACG), Klein worked on such horror/suspense titles as Adventures into the Unknown, Forbidden Worlds, and Out of the Night. For Atlas Comics, Marvel's 1950s iteration, Klein penciled but mostly inked stories for such comics as Marvel Tales, Sports Action, Wild Western, and Space Squadron, for which he drew the backup feature "Blast Revere". By late in the decade he was also doing stories for Prize Comics' Black Magic.[5]
[edit] Superman family
Adventure Comics #360 (Sept 1967): Klein's inking brings polish to Curt Swan's pencil art.

In 1955, Klein began his long association with penciler Curt Swan on a variety of titles in DC Comics' "Superman family", edited by Mort Weisinger. Starting with uncredited but generally recognized inks over Swan in Superboy #38 (Jan. 1955) — on a backup story featuring the Boy of Steel vs. "Public Chimp Number One!" — Klein soon took on the lead features there and in Adventure Comics starring Superboy; Superman, starting in late 1961; and DC's flagship title, Action Comics starring Superman, in 1962. Later in the 1960s, Klein became the chief inker on Adventure's lead feature, the Legion of Super-Heroes, by writer Jim Shooter and penciler Swan,[5] helping set the visual foundation for what would become one of DC's most popular series.

In 1968, with new art director and soon-to-be editorial director Carmine Infantino given the mandate to revitalize DC in the wake of rival Marvel's pop-cultural and industry ascendancy,[citation needed] Klein was eased out along with such other Superman-family artists as Wayne Boring, Jim Mooney, and George Papp, and writers Otto Binder, Edmond Hamilton, and Jerry Siegel (Superman's co-creator with Joe Shuster). Klein's "Swan song" was Adventure Comics #367 (May 1968).[5]
[edit] Marvel Comics

Ten years earlier, Klein had inked DC Comics Showcase #12 (Jan.-Feb. 1958), featuring Jack Kirby's Challengers of the Unknown — four unmasked adventurers in jumpsuits who each issue faced the fantastic. Three years later, penciler Kirby and writer-editor Stan Lee together created a superpowered foursome in jumpsuits, the Fantastic Four. Published without formal creator credits, in the manner of times, the first two issues' inker has never been definitively established. Before the mid-2000s and the maturity of comics scholarship, inking credit for the landmark issues The Fantastic Four #1-2 (Nov. 1961 - Jan. 1962) was generally attributed to Dick Ayers, a frequent Kirby inker before and after. Since that time, further scholarship has given tentative credit to Klein. The standard Grand Comics Database, for example, lists the inker credit for issue #1 as "George Klein?; Christopher Rule? ... George Klein, or Chris Rule have been suggested as the inker but there is no consensus".[6] That database credits Klein as inker for issue #2 with the caveat, "Inking often attributed to Dick Ayers and occasionally to Art Simek. The credit given reflects the current consensus."[7] Another standard reference, the Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators, gives "George Klein?" as inker for issue #1 and "Sol Brodsky? George Klein?" for #2, with the additional note, "On the letter page of Fantastic Four (I) #272 and #281, Sol Brodsky is said to be the inker of this issue."[8]
Daredevil #47 (Dec. 1968): Art by Gene Colan and George Klein

Regardless, Klein was working almost exclusively for DC Comics during this time, until that company's 1968 shakeup (see above). Klein then became one of Marvel's most high-profile inkers in the short time before his death. He embellished John Buscema on a classic run of the The Avengers; Gene Colan on that penciler's signature series, Daredevil; and, in a tragic but fitting last assignment, his Fantastic Four #1 colleague Jack Kirby on The Mighty Thor #168-169 (Sept.-Oct. 1969).[5] Among the significant Silver Age issues he inked were the Avengers stories that introduced the Vision, Yellowjacket, and the Clint Barton Goliath, and another with the marriage of Henry Pym and the Janet Van Dyne; "Brother, Take My Hand" in Daredevil #47 (Dec. 1968), cited by Stan Lee as one of his favorites among the comic-book stories he wrote;[citation needed] and the cover and interior of one of Barry Windsor-Smith's first U.S. comic books, Daredevil #51 (April 1969). Formal Marvel editor-in-chief Roy Thomas, who wrote The Avengers at the time, described Klein's inking as "a Joe Sinnott kind of style. ... [He] could do that Sinnott style that was very popular then."[9]
[edit] Death

Klein died of cirrhosis of the liver, six months after getting married.[2]
[edit] Inking style

In its list of "The 20 Greatest Inkers of American Comic Books", the retailer Atlas Comics (no relation to the comics publishers) listed George Klein at #17:

Most likened to Murphy Anderson, George Klein may have had an even more mannered and precise style. Klein, like Anderson (and to a lesser extent, Joe Sinnott) would create wonderful rounded shadows by dropping a well-weighted line and then creating a series of beautifully tapered feathers coming off of it, conforming to the contour of the object he was delineating. It gave those objects volume, and always let you subconsciously know the size, shape and form of what you were looking at. Many modern inkers miss this elementary style of 'investing' two-dimensional objects with the appearance of three dimensions. Often, their lines will be in direct opposition to forms they are supposed to define, or will throw shadows in a way which is counterintuitive to how we see them. Most of them would do well to study George Klein and simplify, simplify, simplify.[10]

[edit] References

1. ^ a b c Klein entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928-1999.
2. ^ a b Interview with Pat Sekowsky, Alter Ego #33 (Feb. 2004), pp. 5-20.
3. ^ The closest "George Klein" with a 1969 death at the Social Security Death Index is Social Security Number 051-09-0859, born June 14, 1920, died September 1969, death certificate issued in New York state.
4. ^ Evanier, Mark. "Who Inked Fantastic Four #1?" POV Online (column), "The Jack FAQ", p.2, n.d. WebCitation archive.
5. ^ a b c d e George Klein at the Grand Comics Database
6. ^ The Fantastic Four #1 at the Grand Comics Database
7. ^ The Fantastic Four #2 at the Grand Comics Database
8. ^ Fantastic Four (I) (1961-1996) at the Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators
9. ^ "An Avengers Interview — Sort Of — with John Buscema", conducted by former collaborator and Marvel editor-in-chief Roy Thomas, Alter Ego vol. 3, #13, March 2002.WebCitation archive.
10. ^ "Atlas Comics Presents the 20 Greatest Inkers of American Comic Books": #17 — George Klein. WebCitation archive.

[edit] External links

* The Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators
* Vassallo, Michael J. "A Timely Talk with Allen Bellman",, 2005. WebCite archive.
* Nevins, Jess. The Black Marvel, "A Guide To Marvel's Golden Age Characters". WebCitation archive.
* Creators of the Silver-Age Superman Family (fan site; anonymous author). WebCitation archive.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Drawns and Designs For Adventure Comics - Phil Jimenez

"Phil Jimenez: When I received the script for Legion #6, there were several characters in the new Legion Academy, but they were essentially just names and powers, with a few suggestions for backgrounds. I had the opportunity to run with them, because they were new. I changed their backgrounds a little bit as well.

Nrama: How did you approach their costumes and overall design? Was it more about giving them a modern spin, or honoring the established look of the Legion? Or was it both?

Jimenez: A little bit of both. I tend to be really inspired by fashion, particularly European fashion, couture fashion. I think in designing costumes, particularly for the future, two things occurred: First, I used the costume sensibility that existed previously, the one established by Mike Grell and later elaborated on and transformed by Keith Giffen. Then I used fashion to sort of tweak the costumes to make them look, I'd like to say, a little bit more "hip.""

Teenagers from the Future: Essays on the Legion of Super-Heroes - Timothy Callahan

An excellent anthology of essays dealing with Legion history roughly in chronological order, and looking at various facets, from the writers to fashion, race and sexuality. Very much worth getting.

Teenagers From the Future : Foreword - Matt Fraction
Teenagers From the Future : Introduction - Timothy Callahan
Teenagers From the Future : The Perfect Storm: The Death and Resurrection of Lightning Lad - Richard Bensam
Teenagers From the Future : Liberating the Future: Women in the Early Legion - John G. Hemry
Teenagers From the Future : The Silver Age Legion: Adventure into the Classics - Christopher Barbee
Teenagers From the Future : The Often Arbitrary Rules of the Legion - Chris Sims
Teenagers From the Future : Shooter's Marvelesque - Jeff Barbanell
Teenagers From the Future : The Legion's Super-Science - James Kakalios
Teenagers From the Future : Bridging Past and Present with the Future: The Early Legion and the JLA - Scipio Garling
Teenagers From the Future : Decades Ahead of Us to Get It Right: Architecture and Utopia - Sara K. Ellis
Teenagers From the Future : Those Legionnaires Should Just Grow Up! - Greg Gildersleeve
Teenagers From the Future : Thomas Altman Levitz and the 30th Century - Timothy Callahan
Teenagers From the Future : The Amethyst Connection - Lanny Rose
Teenagers From the Future : Revisionism Radical Experimentation and Dystopia in Giffen's Legion - Julian Darius
Teenagers From the Future : Coming Out of Future Closets: Gender Identity and Homosexuality in the Legion - Alan Williams
Teenagers From the Future : Diversity and Evolution in the Reboot Legion - Matthew Elmslie
Teenagers From the Future : Fashion from the Future or I Swear Computo Forced Me To Wear This! - Martín A. Pérez
Teenagers From the Future : Generational Theory and the Waid Threeboot - Matthew Elmslie
Teenagers From the Future : A Universe in Adolescence - Paul Lytle
Teenagers From the Future : The Racial Politics of the Legion - Jae Bryson
Teenagers From the Future : Afterword - Barry Lyga

Not being a Legion fan as such he talks about working in a comic shop and old back issues, for one.

"Because Legion comics are crazy. Craaazy. Capital koo-koo crazy."

4 out of 5

Gives an overview of the Legion and the reason for the book.

4 out of 5

Talking about editorial methodology at the time with Weisinger - and actually killing off a character and having multi-part stories.

4.5 out of 5

Talking about the influence of the early Legion - and having a female leader, for example.

3.5 out of 5

On the nicking of plots from old novels, e.g. The Super Moby Dick of Space.

3.5 out of 5

On the avoiding of editorial edicts and whacky constitutions.

3 out of 5

On introducing a different style of writing to DC, teen prodigy and all.

4 out of 5

A physicist reflects on the possibilities of force fields and flight rings.

4 out of 5

Discussing the Legion predating the JLA and the differences between amateurs like the JSA and the writing of artiifical roles by power.

4 out of 5

A formal academic style article, relating the forward looking style of the past to the Legion.

3 out of 5

On the problems of aging your cash cows, and the fact that the Legion has gotten older in some versions. As have other heroes.

3 out of 5

Lengthy essay about Levitz and his influences and his working style and methods, with excerpts from correspondence and interview. Altman being the movie maker, Thomas being Roy Thomas of Marvel fame.

5 out of 5

Or what is up with Princesses and that Sorcerer's World.

3.5 out of 5

Talking about changing the tone completely, reboots, and how perhaps the world would have been a better place if all the people fighting over all the various different versions of Superman in different media had never been born.

4.5 out of 5

American comics: very biphobic and homophobic until recently, and how this has been handled in the Legion - by implication until recently.

3.5 out of 5

The problems of dealing with fans who cry when you change things like skin colour - looks at other things a little like the cartoon series.

4.5 out of 5

Disco but no legwarmers please.

3.5 out of 5

Four cycles of generations and history and how they interrelate based on a particular historian's theories - and relating this to the threeboot.

3.5 out of 5

The problems of Utopian existence and being not ready for conflict as par as the Threeboot Legion and the adult society around them goes.

3.5 out of 5

On finally getting black Legionnaires. Tyroc, and the fact that Jim Shooter wanted to make Ferro Lad black, but they wouldn't let him because they were worried the racist Southerners would refuse to sell the comics.

4 out of 5

On the density of Legion material and may it and fans live long.

3.5 out of 5

4.5 out of 5