Murphy Anderson

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Murphy Anderson
Murphy anderson photo.jpg
Anderson in the 2010s.
Born (1926-07-09)July 9, 1926
Asheville, North Carolina
Died October 22, 2015(2015-10-22) (aged 89)
Somerset, New Jersey
Nationality American
Area(s) Penciller, Inker
Notable works
Action Comics
Hawkman
Strange Adventures
Superboy
Superman
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 C. Anderson, Jr. (July 9, 1926 – October 22, 2015) was an American comic book artist, known as one of the premier inkers of his era, who worked for companies such as DC Comics for over fifty years, starting in the Golden Age of Comic Books in the 1940s. He worked on such characters as Hawkman, Batgirl, Zatanna, the Spectre, and Superman, 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.

Early life and career[edit]

Murphy Anderson was born on July 9, 1926,[1] in Asheville, North Carolina, and while in grade school moved with his family to Greensboro, North Carolina.[2] After graduating high school in 1943, he briefly attended the University of North Carolina before moving to New York City seeking work in the comics industry, and was hired by Jack Byrne as a staff artist at the comic-book publisher Fiction House.[2] His first confirmed credit is the 2 2/3-page nonfiction aviation featurette "Jet Propulsion" in Wings Comics #48 (cover-dated Aug. 1944), and his first fiction feature was an eight-page "Suicide Smith and the Air Commanders" story in Wings Comics #50 (Oct. 1944). By the following month he was the regular artist on the Planet Comics features "Life on Other Worlds" and "Star Pirate".[3] Anderson continued doing comics work, as well as illustrations for science-fiction pulp magazines, during his stateside postings while serving in the United States Navy from 1944 to 1945.[2]

From 1947 to 1949, Anderson was the artist on the Buck Rogers comic-book series.[3] During the 1950s, Anderson worked for several publishers including Pines Comics, St. John Publications, Ziff Davis, DC Comics, and Atlas Comics, that decade's predecessor of Marvel Comics.[4]

"Star Pirate" splash page, Planet Comics #50 (Sept. 1947), penciled and inked by Anderson

Anderson succeeded artist and co-creator Carmine Infantino on the superhero feature "Captain Comet" beginning with the story "The Girl from the Diamond Planet" in Strange Adventures #12 (cover-dated Sept. 1951).[3] Years later, Anderson and writer John Broome created the feature "Atomic Knights" in Strange Adventures #117 (June 1960),[5] which Anderson later described as his favorite assignment.[6] Anderson and writer Gardner Fox launched the Hawkman series in May 1964[7] and introduced the Zatanna character in issue #4 (Nov. 1964).[8] 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."[9] The Spectre was revived by Fox and Anderson in Showcase #60 (Feb. 1966)[10] and was given his own series in December 1967.[11] In the 1960s Anderson proposed that comics pages be drawn at 10x15 inches rather than the prevailing standard of 12x18 inches, which allowed two pages to be photographed at the same time, and this subsequently became the industry standard.[12]

Anderson designed the costume of Adam Strange.[13] 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 fans.[14][15] He often hid his initials somewhere within the stories he inked.[16] 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.[17] In 1972, he drew Wonder Woman for the cover of the first issue of Ms. Magazine.[18] In 1973, he established Murphy Anderson Visual Concepts, which provided color separations and lettering for comic books.[19]

Anderson also contributed for many years to PS, the preventive maintenance comics magazine of the U.S. Army.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Anderson and his wife of 67 years, Helen, had two daughters, Sophie and Mary, and a son, Murphy III.[21] Anderson died in Somerset, New Jersey on October 22, 2015, at the age of 89, of heart failure.[21]

Awards[edit]

Anderson's accolades include the 1962 Alley Award for "Best Inker";[22] a 1963 Alley for "Artist Preferred on Justice League of America";[23] 1964 Alleys for "Best Inking Artist" and for "Best Comic Book Cover" (Detective Comics #329, with penciler Carmine Infantino);[24] 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).[25]

Anderson received an Inkpot Award in 1984[26] and was inducted into the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1998[27] and the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in 1999.[28]

In 2013, Anderson was inducted into the Inkwell Awards Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame.[29]

Bibliography[edit]

Comics work includes:

Aardvark-Vanaheim[edit]

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)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Iola, Wisconsin. Archived from the original on October 29, 2010. Retrieved December 12, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Schelly, Bill (October 27, 2015). "Murphy Anderson, 1926 – 2015". The Comics Journal. Seattle, Washington: Fantagraphics Books. Archived from the original on October 28, 2015. Retrieved October 29, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Murphy Anderson at the Grand Comics Database
  4. ^ "Murphy Anderson". Lambiek Comiclopedia. October 19, 2007. Archived from the original on September 28, 2013. Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  5. ^ McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1960s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 100. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. '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. 
  6. ^ Levitz, Paul (2010). "The Silver Age 1956–1970". 75 Years of DC Comics The Art of Modern Mythmaking. Cologne, Germany: Taschen. p. 282. ISBN 9783836519816. The Atomic Knights were developed by John Broome and artist Murphy Anderson, both of whom considered it their favorite assignment. 
  7. ^ McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 113
  8. ^ McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 112
  9. ^ Daniels, Les (1995). DC Comics: Sixty Years of the World's Favorite Comic Book Heroes. New York, New York: Bulfinch Press. p. 130. ISBN 0821220764. 
  10. ^ McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 117: "Scribe Gardner Fox and artist Murphy Anderson recruited the ethereal entity in time for #60 of Showcase."
  11. ^ McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 125
  12. ^ Almond, Bob (August 23, 2013). "Murphy Anderson". Inkwell Awards. Archived from the original on October 25, 2015. Retrieved October 23, 2015. 
  13. ^ Amash, Jim (2004). "Foreword". The Adam Strange Archives Volume 1. DC Comics. pp. 5–8. ISBN 978-1401201487. 
  14. ^ 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. 
  15. ^ Gelbwasser, Mike (September 25, 2008). "Interview: Comics Legend Murphy Anderson". Attleboro, Massachusetts: The Sun Chronicle. Archived from the original on April 1, 2009. Retrieved February 13, 2009. 
  16. ^ 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. 
  17. ^ 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. 
  18. ^ a b "In Memoriam: 27 Classic DC Covers by Murphy Anderson". Heavy Metal. Archived from the original on October 25, 2015. Retrieved October 24, 2015. 
  19. ^ Harvey, R. C. (2003). The Life and Art of Murphy Anderson. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 129. ISBN 978-1893905214. 
  20. ^ "WonderCon Special Guests". Comic-Con Magazine. San Diego Comic-Con International: 18. Winter 2010. Archived from the original on October 25, 2015. 
  21. ^ a b Gustines, George Gene (October 27, 2015). "Murphy Anderson, Longtime Artist for DC Comics, Dies at 89". The New York Times. Retrieved October 29, 2015. . Note: DC Comics gives death date as October 23 in Shelling, Michael (October 23, 2015). "Murphy Anderson: July 9, 1926 – October 23, 2015" (Press release). DC Comics. Archived from the original on October 25, 2015. Retrieved October 24, 2015. 
  22. ^ Hahn, Joel, ed. "1962 Alley Awards". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on September 10, 2015. Retrieved October 24, 2015. 
  23. ^ Hahn, Joel, ed. "1963 Alley Awards". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on September 6, 2015. Retrieved October 24, 2015. 
  24. ^ Hahn, Joel, ed. "1964 Alley Awards". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on September 6, 2015. Retrieved October 24, 2015. 
  25. ^ Hahn, Joel, ed. "1965 Alley Awards". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on September 6, 2015. Retrieved October 24, 2015. 
  26. ^ Hahn, Joel, ed. "Inkpot Award Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012. 
  27. ^ Hahn, Joel, ed. "Harvey Award Winners Summary". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved August 22, 2015. 
  28. ^ Hahn, Joel, ed. "1999 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees and Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on September 7, 2015. Retrieved October 24, 2015. 
  29. ^ Almond, Bob (October 23, 2015). "Murphy Anderson: 1926–2015". Inkwell Awards. Archived from the original on October 25, 2015. Retrieved October 24, 2015. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
n/a
Hawkman artist
1964–1967
Succeeded by
Dick Dillin
Preceded by
Mike Esposito
Superboy inker
1970–1973
Succeeded by
Vince Colletta
Preceded by
Mike Esposito
Action Comics inker
1970–1974
Succeeded by
Vince Colletta
Preceded by
Dan Adkins
Superman inker
1971–1973
Succeeded by
Bob Oksner
Preceded by
John Beatty
Action Comics Weekly inker
1988–1989
Succeeded by
various