Fifty Who Made DC Great

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Cover art by Curt Swan, Murphy Anderson, and Arne Starr.

Fifty Who Made DC Great is a one shot published by DC Comics to commemorate the company's 50th anniversary in 1985. It was published in comic book format but contained text articles with photographs and background caricatures. As explained by DC's then President and Publisher Jenette Kahn, the profiles were of "fifty people and companies who have helped make DC Comics great." Kahn stated "[W]e have chosen representatives from those who have pioneered new territory and who, by doing so, have shaped our past or our future." The articles were written by Barry Marx, Thomas Hill, and Joey Cavalieri and caricatures were provided by Steven Petruccio. Barry Marx was also the book's editor. Neal Pozner was the design director. The cover art, featuring Clark Kent holding the "DC Bullet", was drawn by Curt Swan, Murphy Anderson, and Arne Starr.[1]

The Fifty[edit]

Name Field Notes
M.C. Gaines publisher co-owner of National Allied Publications
Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson writer, entrepreneur founder of National Allied Publications, the precursor company to DC Comics
Harry Donenfeld publisher co-owner of National Allied Publications
Jack Liebowitz publisher co-owner of National Allied Publications
Jerry Siegel writer co-creator of Superman
Joe Shuster artist co-creator of Superman
Bob Kane writer, artist creator of Batman
Bill Finger writer "a contributing force" in the Batman's creation.[2]
Warner Publishing Services distribution company DC sister company responsible for newsstand distribution, formerly known as Independent News Company, Inc.[3]
Sheldon Mayer writer, artist, editor creator of Sugar and Spike
Sol Harrison executive DC's President 1976-1980
Erwin M. "Bud" Budner distribution agent founder of Delmar News Agency
Gardner Fox writer co-creator of the Justice Society of America and the Justice League of America
William Moulton Marston writer creator of Wonder Woman
Emile Keirsbilk publisher publisher of DC Comics in France
Carroll Rheinstrom publishing agent responsible for licensing DC's international publishing rights
Fleischer Studios animation studio produced the 1940s Superman cartoons
Bud Collyer actor portrayed Superman in the The Adventures of Superman radio program
Kirk Alyn actor portrayed Superman in the 1948 film serial Superman, and its 1950 sequel Atom Man Vs. Superman
Mort Weisinger editor editor of Superman during the mid-1950s to 1970; co-creator of Aquaman, Green Arrow, and Johnny Quick.
Whitney Ellsworth writer, editor producer and story editor on the The Adventures of Superman television series.
George Reeves actor portrayed Superman in The Adventures of Superman television series
Wayne Boring artist artist on Superman from the late 1940s through the 1950s.
Curt Swan artist artist most associated with Superman during the Silver and Bronze Ages of comic books.
Bernard Trout editor editor of DC Comics in France
World Color Press printing company In 1985, the largest player in the comic and newsstand special-interest publication market.[4]
Robert Kanigher writer, editor co-creator of Sgt. Rock
Julius Schwartz editor oversaw the revival of characters such as the Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, and the Atom; longtime editor of the Batman and Superman comic book lines
Jerry Bails popular culturist a primary force in establishing 1960s comics fandom.
Roy Thomas writer, editor co-creator of All-Star Squadron and Infinity, Inc.
Adam West actor portrayed Batman in the 1960s television series
Burt Ward actor portrayed Robin in the Batman television series
Licensing Company of America licensing company merchandising rights for DC's characters
Carmine Infantino artist, executive co-creator of the Silver Age Flash; editorial director and publisher
Neal Adams artist artist of Batman and Green Lantern/Green Arrow features of the 1970s
Denny O'Neil writer, editor writer of Batman and Green Lantern/Green Arrow features of the 1970s
Adolf Kabatek publisher publisher of DC Comics in Germany
Hanna-Barbera Productions animation studio producer of the Super Friends television series
Ilya Salkind film producer co-producer of the Superman film series
Alexander Salkind film producer co-producer of the Superman film series
Christopher Reeve actor portrayed Superman in the film series
Lynda Carter actress portrayed Wonder Woman in the 1970s television series
Phil Seuling distributor,
fan convention organizer
developed the concept of the direct market distribution system for getting comics directly into comic book specialty shops
Bud Plant distributor early direct market distributor
Marv Wolfman writer, editor co-creator of the New Teen Titans, writer of Crisis on Infinite Earths
George Pérez artist co-creator of the New Teen Titans, artist of Crisis on Infinite Earths
Frank Miller writer, artist creator of Ronin
Helen Slater actress portrayed Supergirl in the 1984 film
Superman Peanut Butter product DC's first food related licence
Kenner Products toy manufacturer manufacturer of the Super Powers Collection toyline

Celebrity reminiscences[edit]

Brief statements made by several prominent individuals were included as "Celebrity Reminiscences". These included comments by Daniel P. Moynihan, Richard Corben, Ray Bradbury, Gloria Steinem, Mort Walker, Milton Glaser, Walter Koenig, Gene Siskel, Stephen King, Gene Simmons, Jim Henson, David L. Wolper, Stan Lee, Susan Stamberg, Roger Ebert, Brooke Shields, Carol Bellamy, and Whoopi Goldberg.

Legacy[edit]

Fifty Who Made DC Great has been used as a cited reference source for several books. Among these are the following:

  • The All-Star Companion Volume 1 by Roy Thomas.[5]
  • Comic Book Nation: The Transformation of Youth Culture in America by Bradford W. Wright.[6]
  • American National Biography: Supplement by Paul R. Betz and Mark Christopher Carnes.[7]
  • Of Comics and Men: A Cultural History of American Comic Books by Jean-Paul Gabilliet, Bart Beaty, and Nick Nguyen.[8]
  • 75 Years of DC Comics The Art of Modern Mythmaking by Paul Levitz[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Marx, Barry, Cavalieri, Joey and Hill, Thomas (w), Petruccio, Steven (a), Marx, Barry (ed). Fifty Who Made DC Great (1985), DC Comics
  2. ^ Kane, Bob; Andrae, Tom (1989). Batman & Me. Eclipse Books. p. 44. ISBN 1-56060-017-9. 
  3. ^ "FTC Docket Nos. National Comics/Independent, 7614 Independent, 7611". Federal Trade Commission. June 16, 1995. Retrieved November 22, 2011. "The Federal Trade Commission has set aside 1960 orders against Warner Publisher Services, Inc. (formerly, Independent News Company, Inc.)." 
  4. ^ Rozanski, Chuck. "Tales From the Database: Evolution of the Direct Market Part II," Mile High Comics (2003).
  5. ^ Thomas, Roy (2000). All-Star Companion Volume 1. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 23. ISBN 1893905055. 
  6. ^ Wright, Bradford W. (2003). Comic Book Nation: The Transformation of Youth Culture in America. Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 326. ISBN 0-8018-6514-X. 
  7. ^ Betz, Paul R.; Carnes, Mark Christopher (2005). 'American National Biography: Supplement. Oxford University Press. p. 350. ISBN 0-19-522202-4. 
  8. ^ Gabilliet, Jean-Paul; Beaty, Bart; Nguyen, Nick (2009). Of Comics and Men: A Cultural History of American Comic Books. University Press of Mississippi. p. 325. ISBN 1-60473-267-9. 
  9. ^ Levitz, Paul (2010). 75 Years of DC Comics The Art of Modern Mythmaking. Taschen America. p. 718. ISBN 978-3-8365-1981-6. 

External links[edit]