Wayne Boring

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Wayne Boring
Wayne Boring.jpg
Wayne Boring by Michael Netzer
Born (1905-06-05)June 5, 1905[1]
Died February 20, 1987(1987-02-20) (aged 81)
Pompano Beach, Florida
Nationality American
Area(s) Penciller
Pseudonym(s) Jack Harmon
Notable works
Action Comics
Awards The Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame, 2007

Official website

Wayne Boring (June 5, 1905,[2]–February 20, 1987,[3])[2] was an American comic book artist best known for his work on Superman from the late 1940s to 1950s. He occasionally used the pseudonym Jack Harmon.


Early life and career[edit]

Boring attended the Minnesota School of Art and the Chicago Art Institute. In 1937, he began "ghosting" (drawing for hire without credit) on such comic-book features as Slam Bradley and Doctor Occult for the Jerry Siegel-Joe Shuster studio. In 1938, Siegel and Shuster's character Superman was published in Action Comics #1, for the DC Comics predecessor National Allied Publications, and Boring became a ghost on the soon spun off Superman comic strip, eventually becoming the credited artist.[4]

Superman comic books[edit]

In 1942, the by-then-named National Comics hired Boring as a staff artist, teaming him as penciler the following year with inker Stan Kaye. The two would work together for nearly 20 years. In 1948, following Siegel and Shuster's departure from the company over a Superman rights lawsuit, Mort Weisinger, new editor of the Superman line, brought in Boring as well as Al Plastino and Curt Swan. During this mid-1940s period, he often signed his work for rival Novelty Press' Blue Bolt Comics as Jack Harmon.[5]

Superboy #1 (March/April 1949). Cover art by Boring.

Boring became the primary Superman comic-book penciller through the 1950s. Swan succeeded him the following decade, though Boring returned for sporadic guest appearances in the early 1960s and then again in late 1966 and early 1967.[6] As one critic wrote of Boring's 1950s Superman art, "Comics legend Wayne Boring played a major role in visually defining the most well known super-hero in the world during the peak of Superman's popularity.[7] As another writer echoed, "Boring's bravura brushwork defined many of its key elements and made Superman look more powerful and imposing, now standing a heroic nine heads tall, and brought a fresh realism, a sleek sci-fi vision and a greater seriousness of tone.[8]

Boring was let go from DC in 1967,[8] along with other artists from the 1930s and 1940s period fans and historians call the Golden Age of comic books. From 1968 to 1972, Boring ghosted backgrounds for Hal Foster's Prince Valiant Sunday comic strip,[8] and took over the art on writer Sam Leff's 1961–71 United Feature Syndicate strip Davy Jones.[9] Afterward, Boring did a small amount of work on Marvel Comics' Captain Marvel, then left the field to semi-retire as a bank security guard, though he would continue to draw commissioned work.[10] He briefly returned to DC to pencil some stories in Superman #402 (1984), and Action Comics #561 & 572 (1984–85).[6] In 1985, DC Comics named Boring as one of the honorees in the company's 50th anniversary publication Fifty Who Made DC Great.[11]

Boring died of a heart attack,[10] following a brief comeback announced in one of his last published works, penciling a Golden Age Superman story written by Roy Thomas and inked by Jerry Ordway in Secret Origins #1 (April 1986).[12] His final work was All-Star Squadron #64 (December 1986) a recreation of Superman #19.[13]

Selected Bibliography[edit]

Comics work (interior pencil art) includes:




  1. ^ "United States Social Security Death Index," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/JYWM-WMC : accessed 21 Feb 2013), Wayne Boring, February 1987; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).
  2. ^ a b While some sources give 1916 as a birth year, the Social Security Death Index gives 1905.
  3. ^ "Superman artist Wayne Boring dead" The Comics Journal #116 (July 1987) p. 23
  4. ^ Wayne Boring at the Lambiek Comiclopedia. Retrieved October 18, 2011. Archived October 18, 2011.
  5. ^ Jack Harmon at the Grand Comics Database
  6. ^ a b Wayne Boring at the Grand Comics Database
  7. ^ Vance, Michael (December 13, 2000). "Comics Legend Wayne Boring". "Suspended Animation" (column), Starland.com. Archived from the original on July 23, 2010. 
  8. ^ a b c Gravett, Paul. Curt Swan: A Superman Walked Among Us. Comic Book Marketplace[volume & issue needed] (2002). via PaulGravett.com. Archived from the original on July 23, 2010. Retrieved March 28, 2009. 
  9. ^ Agena, Eric. "Davy Jones, by Sam Leff and Al McWilliams". ComicStripFan.com. Archived from the original on July 23, 2010. 
  10. ^ a b Eury, Michael (2006). The Krypton Companion. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 18. ISBN 978-1-893905-61-0. 
  11. ^ Marx, Barry, Cavalieri, Joey and Hill, Thomas (w), Petruccio, Steven (a), Marx, Barry (ed). "Wayne Boring Superman Remodeled" Fifty Who Made DC Great: 26 (1985), DC Comics
  12. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1980s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 218. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. "The heroes of the DC Universe got a little more exposed thanks to the new ongoing effort Secret Origins, a title offering new interpretations to the backgrounds of some of comics' biggest icons. [Its] debut issue featur[ed] the origin of the first true super-hero – the Golden Age Superman – by writer Roy Thomas and illustrator Wayne Boring." 
  13. ^ All-Star Squadron #67 at the Grand Comics Database