Irwin Hasen at the Big Apple Summer Sizzler (June 13, 2009)
|Born||July 8, 1918|
Hasen grew up in New York City on the Upper West Side, after his family moved from Brooklyn to 110th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. He attended DeWitt Clinton High School. In 1939, he began his art training on the block where he lived, as he recalled:
- Across the street was the National Academy of Design, a huge structure like a garage, an airplane hangar. One of the oldest art schools in America, one of the most prestigious. Classical art. I was always drawing. I was drawing... on the empty pages of books. So my mother, God bless her soul, took me across the street and enrolled me in a course of drawing... I was there for three years, every night during the week, drawing in charcoal all the statues of Michelangelo and all the Bernini and all the classics... During the day, I would hawk, sell, drawings of prizefighters down in New York. That was my first job—boxing cartoonist. I made a very small, very slight living. I was 19-20 years old. I sold my cartoons to the Madison Square Garden Corporation. They were printed all over New York in different newspapers. It was like public relations for the fights.
After study at National Academy of Design, Hasen went to the Art Students League and then entered the comic book field in 1940 with the Harry "A" Chesler shop, contributing to The Green Hornet, The Fox, Secret Agent Z-2, Bob Preston, Explorer, Cat-Man and The Flash. At this time, he created the feature Citizen Smith, Son of the Unknown Soldier. In 1941, he worked for Sheldon Mayer. His art during the 1940s also included Green Lantern and the creation of the National Comics/DC Comics character Wildcat.
During World War II, Hasen was stationed at Fort Dix and managed the Fort Dix Post newspaper: "I edited it, I published it, I took it to the printers, I learned how to set up type, I did the comic strip, I wrote the whole goddam thing, and I interviewed all the celebrities coming in from New York. I worked my ass off, and I wound up in the hospital. But that was my proudest time, editing that newspaper for a year and a half."
He returned to DC after he was discharged from the Army in 1946. In the post-war period, he drew Johnny Thunder, the Justice Society of America, The Flash and Green Lantern.
Hasen received the National Cartoonists Society's Story Comic Strip Award for Dondi in 1961 and 1962.
- Thomas, Roy. "So I Took the Subway and There Was Shelly Mayer...". Alter Ego, vol. 3. no. 1.
- The National Cartoonists Society Album, 1972 p. 66
- "Drawing on a Long Life, for a Short Guy", New York Times, Dec. 17 2011
- World Famous Comics: "Tony's Online Tips", Tony Isabella, May 04, 2007
- "Get Well Soon, Irwin Hasen" by Jennifer M. Contino ComicCon.Com's The Pulse 05-11-2007 - Accessed May 13, 2007
- NCS Awards
- Irwin Hasen Cartoons 1955-1968 at Syracuse University (primary source material)
- Trailer for Irwin: A New York Story on YouTube