Murphy Anderson, R.I.P.

anderson RIP dccomicsnews

Silver Age Great, Murphy Anderson passed away this week at the age of 89!

Murphy Anderson (July 9, 1926–October 23 2015)

Murphy Clyde Anderson was an American comic book artist, known as one of the premier inkers of his era. Heavily influenced by artists Lou Fine and Will Eisner, Anderson worked for DC Comics for over fifty years. Signing up with DC Comics in the early 50’s , Anderson became the artist of the “Captain Comet” feature with the story “The Girl from the Diamond Planet” in issue #12 (Sept. 1951). Another Strange Adventures feature drawn by Anderson was the Atomic Knights which debuted in issue #117 (June 1960) and which Anderson later described as his favorite assignment. Anderson with Infantino created many of the iconic Flash covers including the famous “Flash of Two Worlds” in issue #123. Though he inked only a few of Mike Sekowsky’s first Justice League pages in Brave and the Bold issue #28, Anderson would go on to produce the covers of The Justice League of America for several years. Anderson and writer Gardner Fox launched the Hawkman series in May 1964 and introduced the Zatanna character in issue #4 (Nov. 1964). The Spectre was revived by Fox and Anderson in Showcase #60 (Feb. 1966) and was given his own series in December 1967.

 

Anderson’s love of comics started at an early age!

“When I was four or five years old, I’d bug my mother to read the comics so much that she taught me to read”

Andersons inks partnered with Carmine Infantino’s pencils produced DC Comics dream team during the late 50’s and early 60’s. He often hide his initials somewhere within the stories he inked. Anderson designed the costume of Adam Strange With his frequent collaborator, penciler Curt Swan, the pair’s artwork on Superman and Action Comics in the 1970s came to be called “Swanderson” by fans.

In the 1960s Anderson proposed that comics pages be drawn at 10″x15″ rather than the prevailing standard of 12″x18″, which allowed two pages to be photographed at the same time, and subsequently became the industry standard.

In 1973, he established Murphy Anderson Visual Concepts, which provided color separations and lettering for comic books.

Sadly, Murphy Anderson passed this week at the age of 89. DC Entertainment released the statement below!

The DC Entertainment family is deeply saddened by the loss of Murphy Anderson.

Anderson was a giant in the comics industry and one of the driving forces in the evolution of not only DC Comics, but the Silver Age of comics in general. As one of the great artists and inkers at DC Comics, his style helped define the DC look in the Silver Age, and brought to life some of DC Comics’ most prolific characters, including Adam Strange, The Atomic Knights, Hawkman and Zatanna, as well as his genre-defining collaborations with Superman artist Curt Swan.

“I’m so glad I had the chance to meet Murphy on several occasions,” said Dan DiDio, DC Entertainment Co-Publisher. “He was true gentleman and was incredibly humble and gracious in regard to the sizable impact he made over a generation of comic fans.” 

Writer Paul Levitz (Dr. Fate) shared this on his FaceBook page…

At DC he became one of the standard-setters: creating the visuals for CAPT COMET, which some have argued was the first super-hero of the Silver Age; contributing to almost 600 covers over a 40 year span, many as penciller and inker; creating visuals for characters from the Atomic Knights to Zatanna, and virtually every letter in between; helping change the whole field by leading the charge to shift to a smaller original art size in the 60s and better color separations in the 80s; and becoming one of the handful of people who defined the DC “look” for the Silver Age of comics. His powerful Wonder Woman was the image on MS. MAGAZINE #1, making a statement that forever aligned that character with the feminist cause.

A moment of Murphy Anderson, from art he did for the cover of my fanzine, The Comic Reader:

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Some of Anderson’s awards include:

  • 1962 Alley Award for “Best Inker”
  • 1963 Alley Award for “Artist Preferred on Justice League of America
  • 1964 Alley Award for “Best Inking Artist”
  • 1964 Alley Award for “Best Comic Book Cover” (Detective Comics #329, with penciler Carmine Infantino)
  • 1965 Alley Award for “Best Inking Artist”
  • 1965 Alley Award for “Best Comic Book Cover” (The Brave and the Bold #61)
  • 1965 Alley Award for “Best Novel” (an untitled story in Showcase #55, with writer Gardner Fox).

Anderson was inducted into:

  • The Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1998.
  • The Will Eisner Hall of Fame in 1999.
  • The Inkwell Awards Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame in 2013. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Hero Initiative.

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Thomas ODonnell

Thomas ODonnell

My love of comics started at the age of 5, when visions of mythic beings fought their way across my TV screen. Batman '66, Super Friends, Wonder Woman, and Superman '78 filled my early childhood with imagination and adventure. Soon enough I found the spinner rack! Batman, Justice League and DC's Who's Who kept me coming back for more. I've seen the death of hope, justice broken, a light extinguished, and a universe torn! A kingdom come, the lightning return, a triumph of evil and a multiverse reborn!
  • mbradleyc

    Thank you Murphy Anderson for years and years of great art. You are a master.