Earl Norem

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Earl H. Norem
Earl Norem.jpg
Earl Norem
Born(1923-04-17)April 17, 1923
Brooklyn, New York
DiedJune 19, 2015(2015-06-19) (aged 92)
Danbury, Connecticut

Earl H. Norem[1] (April 17, 1923 – June 19, 2015), who signed his work simply Norem, was an American artist primarily known for his painted covers for men's-adventure magazines published by Martin Goodman's Magazine Management Company and for Goodman's line of black-and-white comics magazines affiliated with his Marvel Comics division. Over his long career, Norem also illustrated covers for novels and gaming books, as well as movie posters, baseball programs, and trading cards.

Early life[edit]

Norem was born on April 17, 1923.[1][2] He saw military action in World War II with the 85th Regiment of the 10th Mountain Division. He trained in Colorado and Texas, and fought the Germans in the Northern Apennine Mountains of Italy. By age 20, Norem was a squad leader and staff sergeant who in the Italian Campaign fought alongside famed skier Torger Tokle, whom he had seen ski jumping at Bear Mountain, New York when Norem was 12. After Tokle was killed in action on March 3, 1945, Norem was one of the men assigned to retrieve his body from the mountain. Norem himself later was wounded going into the Po Valley, ending his military stint.[1][3]

Upon returning to the US, Norem embarked on an illustration career.


Norem throughout the 1950s and 1960s worked extensively for men's adventure magazines, producing covers and interior-art spreads. In addition, he produced illustrations for such magazines such as Reader's Digest, Field and Stream, Ski, Real West, and Discover.

Norem's cover for The Silver Surfer (Fireside, 1978).

He worked on such Marvel Comics projects as Savage Sword of Conan, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Magazine, Marvel Preview, Tales of the Zombie, Monsters Unleashed, Planet of the Apes, Rampaging Hulk, The Silver Surfer, and storybooks featuring Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four.

His Transformers work consisted of four Marvel Big Looker storybooks (published 1984–1986), some of which were later adapted into "read along" storybooks: Battle for Cybertron, The Great Car Rally, Car Show Blow Up, and The Story of Wheelie, The Wild Boy of Quintesson

Covers and trading cards[edit]

In addition to his work for Marvel, Norem painted illustrations and covers for the Worlds of Power, Wizards Warriors & You book series, Mars Attacks comics and trading cards, and Charlton Comics' The Six Million Dollar Man. The U.S. release of the Wizards Warriors & You series illustrated by Norem included covers in color.

In 2013, he had contributed paintings to the company's "Mars Attacks: Invasion" card set.[4] At the time of his death, he was working on a trading card assignment for Topps' Mars Attacks franchise,[5] presumably the "Mars Attacks" Occupation" set being produced in 2015.[6]

Other work[edit]

Men (Oct. 1967) from Zenith Publishing / Magazine Management. Cover art by Norem, an example of his extensive work for men's adventure magazines.

Norem also painted movie posters for Conforte Graphics; package designs and artwork for Mego Toys, Mattel, and Hasbro; murals for the Military Museum of Southern New England, in Danbury, Connecticut;[1] and two New York Yankees program covers.

Personal life[edit]

Norem favored painting in acrylics.[1] Suffering from arthritis, he had retired as of 2005, only painting for his own amusement and for his grandchildren. He said in a 2005 interview, "All the contacts that I had in the commercial art field are either retired or dead, and the younger art buyers don't want anything to do with an 81-year-old artist."[1]

According to posts on Facebook accounts attributed to Norem family-members, the artist died in Danbury, Connecticut[7] on June 19, 2015, shortly after undergoing surgery. His family announced the news on Norem's Facebook fan page.[5][8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Yzquierdo, Ryan (December 2, 2005). "Earl Norem and the Big Looker Storybooks". (Interview) Seibertron.com. Retrieved August 21, 2008. [I am] an 81-year-old artist.
  2. ^ Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide (1485). Archived from the original on December 15, 2013. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
  3. ^ Anderson, Carol Lee (2011). The History of Gunstock: Skiing in the Belknap Mountains. The History Press. p. 63. ISBN 978-1609491369.
  4. ^ Phegley, Kiel (September 6, 2013). "Exclusive: Topps, Earl Norem Tell the Origin of 'Mars Attacks: Invasion'". ComicBookResources.com. Archived from the original on June 22, 2015. Retrieved June 22, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Hello everyone, ... I am Earl Norem's Grandson". Michael Andre Cappiello on Facebook. June 20, 2015. Retrieved June 21, 2015. Friday, June 19th my grandfather passed away, he was 92 years old. Pop was currently working on a trading card job for Mars Attacks.
  6. ^ Barton, Steve (March 18, 2015). "Mars Attacks – Topps Heads to Kickstarter for New Series". DreadCentral.com. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved June 22, 2015.
  7. ^ "Earl H. Norem," NewsTimes (June 28, 2015).
  8. ^ "As my son has so eloquently posted, it is true that my father, Earl Norem, ... has passed on". Andrea Norem-Thompson on Facebook. June 20, 2015. Retrieved June 21, 2015. As my son has so eloquently posted, it is true that my father, Earl Norem, a member of the greatest generation, has passed on.

External links[edit]