Murphy Anderson (1926-2015)

Comics artist Murphy Anderson died last Friday, aged 89, a man with a long and distinguished career who I invariably associated with Golden Age characters, not because he worked on any strips I remember from the era, but because he did so many Golden Age pieces in Who's Who and Secret Origins, integral parts of my comic book education in the mid-80s. And he did work on some Golden Agers in the Silver Age, case in point the following, which happens to be one of my favorite comic book covers ever:
I suppose I would come to know Anderson best as Curt Swan's main inker on Superman from the 60s through the 80s, also inking a massive amount of Silver Age DC Comics over such luminaries as Carmine Infantino, Mike Sekowski and Gil Kane, as well as drawing Hawkman himself. His delicate line work has an old-fashioned illustrative quality that perhaps could never have benefited from fan favoritism in the modern era, but was nonetheless has a timeless quality. It's what you WISH Golden Age artwork looked like.

Among his greatest hits, he designed Adam Strange's costume, co-created the Atomic Knights (his favorite strip, apparently) and Zatanna, proposed the more efficient 10x15 comics page which would become the industry standard, and drew the famous 1972 Wonder Woman cover for Ms. Magazine!
He's more infamous than famous for redrawing Superman's face over Jack Kirby's art in the Fourth World Jimmy Olsen book, but the King's fans seem to have forgiven him, as he was nonetheless inducted into the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1998. They'd make a place for him in the Will Eisner Hall of Fame the next year. Only two years ago, he was inducted in the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame (for inkers), because apparently, there is no dearth of Halls of Fame in the comic book world.

Putting his fine lines at work drawing clouds up in Heaven now, you'll always be fondly remembered down here, Mr. Anderson.


Moonrock1973 said...

He was a great artist who I didn't appreciate as a kid in the 80's, but now really appreciate his work as an adult.


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