Murphy Anderson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Murphy Anderson
Born (1926-07-09) July 9, 1926 (age 89)
Asheville, North Carolina
Nationality American
Area(s) Penciller, Inker
Notable works
Action Comics
Strange Adventures
Awards Alley Award 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965
Inkpot Award, 1984
Jack Kirby Hall of Fame, 1988
Inkwell Awards Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame (2013)

Murphy Anderson (born July 9, 1926)[1] is an American comic book artist, known as one of the premier inkers of his era, who has worked for companies such as DC Comics for over fifty years, starting in the Golden Age of Comic Books in the 1940s. He has worked on such characters as Hawkman, Batgirl, Zatanna and the Spectre, as well as on the Buck Rogers daily syndicated newspaper comic strip. Anderson also contributed for many years to PS, the preventive maintenance comics magazine of the U.S. Army.[2]


Murphy Anderson was born in 1926 in Asheville, North Carolina.[3] He entered the comic book industry in 1944 drawing the "Suicide Smith", "Sky Rangers", and "Star Pirate" features for Fiction House. From 1947 to 1949, Anderson was the artist on the Buck Rogers comic book series.[4] During the 1950s, Anderson worked for several publishers including Pines Comics, Marvel Comics, St. John Publications, Ziff Davis, and DC Comics.[3]

The Strange Adventures series was home to one of the last superheroes of the pre-Silver Age of Comic Books era, Captain Comet, created by writer John Broome and artist Carmine Infantino in issue #9.[5] Anderson became the artist of the "Captain Comet" feature with the story "The Girl from the Diamond Planet" story in issue #12 (Sept. 1951).[4] A combination of the "Captain Comet" feature with the "gorilla craze" was presented in issue #39 (December 1953).[6] Another Strange Adventures feature drawn by Anderson was the Atomic Knights which debuted in issue #117 (June 1960)[7] and which Anderson later described as his favorite assignment.[8] Anderson and writer Gardner Fox launched the Hawkman series in May 1964[9] and introduced the Zatanna character in issue #4 (Nov. 1964).[10] Comics historian Les Daniels noted that "Hawkman really took off when artist Murphy Anderson took over...Anderson came into his own with his elegantly ornamental version of the Winged Wonder."[11] The Spectre was revived by Fox and Anderson in Showcase #60 (Feb. 1966)[12] and was given his own series in December 1967.[13]

As an inker, Anderson designed the costume of Adam Strange[14] With his frequent collaborator, penciler Curt Swan, the pair's artwork on Superman and Action Comics in the 1970s came to be called "Swanderson" by the fans.[15][16] He often hide his initials somewhere within the stories he inked.[17] In the early 1970s, DC assigned Anderson, among other artists, to redraw the heads of Jack Kirby's renditions of Superman and Jimmy Olsen, fearing Kirby's versions were too different from the established images of the characters.[18] In 1973, he established Murphy Anderson Visual Concepts, which provided color separations and lettering for comic books.[19]


Anderson's accolades include the 1962 Alley Award for "Best Inker"; a 1963 Alley for "Artist Preferred on Justice League of America"; 1964 Alleys for "Best Inking Artist" and for "Best Comic Book Cover" (Detective Comics #329, with penciler Carmine Infantino); 1965 Alleys for, again, "Best Inking Artist" and "Best Comic Book Cover" (The Brave and the Bold #61), as well as for "Best Novel" (an untitled story in Showcase #55, with writer Gardner Fox).

Anderson was inducted into the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in 1999.

In 2013, Anderson was inducted into the Inkwell Awards Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame.


Comics work includes:


Aida-Zee Comics[edit]

  • Aida-Zee #1 (inker, assisted by Dan Zolnerowich; also color separations)(1990)

Comico Comics[edit]

DC Comics[edit]

Image Comics[edit]

Marvel Comics[edit]

  • Suspense #7 (1951)


  1. ^ Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Archived from the original on October 29, 2010. Retrieved December 12, 2010. 
  2. ^ "WonderCon Special Guests". Comic-Con Magazine (San Diego Comic-Con International): 18. Winter 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Murphy Anderson". Lambiek Comiclopedia. October 19, 2007. Archived from the original on September 28, 2013. Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Murphy Anderson at the Grand Comics Database
  5. ^ Irvine, Alex; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1950s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. In an attempt to revive readers' interest in super heroes, writer John Broome and artist Carmine Infantino introduced 'Tomorrow's Man of Destiny', Captain Comet, in Strange Adventures #9. 
  6. ^ Irvine "1950s" in Dolan, p. 71: "'The Guilty Gorilla', by writer John Broome and artist Murphy Anderson in Strange Adventures #39, was a foray into the intelligent-gorilla craze that flourished in DC comics in the 1950s."
  7. ^ McAvennie, Michael "1960s" in Dolan, p. 100: "'The Rise of the Atomic Knights', ushered in by scribe John Broome and illustrator Murphy Anderson, transported fans to a post-World War III Earth ravaged by atomic radiation."
  8. ^ Levitz, Paul (2010). "The Silver Age 1956-1970". 75 Years of DC Comics The Art of Modern Mythmaking. Taschen America. p. 282. ISBN 9783836519816. The Atomic Knights were developed by John Broome and artist Murphy Anderson, both of whom considered it their favorite assignment. 
  9. ^ McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 113
  10. ^ McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 112
  11. ^ Daniels, Les (1995). DC Comics: Sixty Years of the World's Favorite Comic Book Heroes. Bulfinch. p. 130. ISBN 0821220764. 
  12. ^ McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 117: "Scribe Gardner Fox and artist Murphy Anderson recruited the ethereal entity in time for #60 of Showcase."
  13. ^ McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 125
  14. ^ Amash, Jim (2004). "Foreword". The Adam Strange Archives Volume 1. DC Comics. pp. 5–8. ISBN 978-1401201487. 
  15. ^ Zeno, Eddy. (2002). "Swanderson and Beyond". Curt Swan A Life in Comics. Vanguard Productions. p. 33. ISBN 978-1887591393. The term 'Swanderson' aptly described the seamless melding of Curt's pencils with Murphy Anderson's inks. 
  16. ^ Gelbwasser, Mike (September 25, 2008). "Interview: Comics Legend Murphy Anderson". The Sun Chronicle. Archived from the original on April 1, 2009. Retrieved February 13, 2009. 
  17. ^ Cronin, Brian (October 30, 2012). "Comic Book Easter Eggs – Murphy Anderson Hidden Signatures!". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on October 31, 2013. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  18. ^ Evanier, Mark (August 22, 2003). "Jack Kirby's Superman". News From ME. Archived from the original on April 22, 2012. Retrieved April 22, 2012. Jack [Kirby] drew Superman and Jimmy Olsen his way, and Murphy Anderson did the adjustments. Sometimes, Anderson would re-pencil and then [Vince] Colletta would ink the entire page. More often, Colletta would ink the pages and leave the Olsen and Superman drawings for Anderson to finish. 
  19. ^ Harvey, R. C. (2003). The Life and Art of Murphy Anderson. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 129. ISBN 978-1893905214. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Hawkman artist
Succeeded by
Dick Dillin
Preceded by
Mike Esposito
Superboy inker
Succeeded by
Vince Colletta
Preceded by
Mike Esposito
Action Comics inker
Succeeded by
Dave Cockrum
Preceded by
Dan Adkins
Superman inker
Succeeded by
Bob Oksner
Preceded by
John Beatty
Action Comics Weekly inker
Succeeded by