Ramona Fradon

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Ramona Fradon
Fradon at the New York Comic Con in Manhattan, October 9, 2010.
Born (1926-10-02) October 2, 1926 (age 89)
Nationality American
Area(s) Artist
Notable works
Super Friends
Brenda Starr
Awards Women Cartoonists Hall of Fame, 1999
Eisner Award Hall of Fame, 2006

Ramona Fradon (born October 1, 1926)[1][2] is an American comic book and comic strip artist, known for her work illustrating Aquaman and Brenda Starr, and co-creating the superhero Metamorpho. Her career began in 1950.


Fradon entered cartooning just after graduating from the Parsons School of Design.[3] Comic-book letterer George Ward, a friend of her husband (New Yorker cartoonist Dana Fradon),[3] asked her for samples of her artwork to pitch for job openings. She landed her first assignment on the DC Comics feature "Shining Knight".[4] Her first regular assignment was illustrating an Adventure Comics backup feature starring Aquaman.[5] She and writer Robert Bernstein co-created the sidekick Aqualad in Adventure Comics #269 (Feb. 1960).[6][7]

Following her time with Aquaman, and taking a break to have her daughter, Fradon returned to co-create Metamorpho.[7][8] She drew the character's two try-out appearances in The Brave and the Bold and the first four issues of the eponymous series[9] and returned briefly to design a few covers for the title. Fradon drew The Brave and the Bold #59 (April–May 1965), a Batman/Green Lantern team-up, the first time that series featured Batman teaming with another DC superhero.[10]

From 1965 to 1972, Fradon left comics to raise her daughter.[11] In 1972, she returned to DC where later in the decade she would draw Plastic Man, Freedom Fighters and Super Friends which she penciled for almost its entire run.[4] She also worked for Marvel Comics during this period, but left after only two assignments: a fill-in issue of Fantastic Four and the never-published fifth issue of The Cat.[12] Fradon recounted:

First of all, I was really rusty. And [on The Cat #5] I was totally confounded by not drawing from a script. They gave me this one paragraph and said go draw this 17-page story. I don’t think I did my best work by any means. I think I had a script on Fantastic Four, but I just don’t think they were satisfied with my work. Then I went back to DC and started doing mysteries with Joe Orlando. I really had a lot of fun doing that. It suited my style, I think.[11]

In 1980, Dale Messick retired from drawing the newspaper strip Brenda Starr, and Fradon became the artist for it, until her own retirement in 1995.[3][7]

Fradon was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2006.[13]

She contributed pencils to the 2010 graphic novel The Adventures of Unemployed Man, the 2012 graphic novel The Dinosaur That Got Tired of Being Extinct,[14] and the collection The Art of Ramona Fradon.[15]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ U.S. Public Records Index Vol. 1 (Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.), 2010.
  2. ^ Horn, Maurice (1996). 100 Years of American Newspaper Comics. Gramercy Books. p. 64. ISBN 978-0517124475. 
  3. ^ a b c Bails, Jerry (2006). "Fradon, Ramona". Who's Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999. Archived from the original on July 4, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Ramona Fradon at the Grand Comics Database
  5. ^ Levitz, Paul (2010). "The Silver Age 1956–1970". 75 Years of DC Comics The Art of Modern Mythmaking. Taschen America. p. 347. ISBN 9783836519816. She drew the strip from 1951 to 1961, the longest unbroken tenure any artist has had on the character. 
  6. ^ McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1960s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 98. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. Writer Robert Bernstein and artist Ramona Fradon provided a lifelong pal for Aquaman in a backup tale in this issue. 
  7. ^ a b c Keller, Katherine (May 2000). "The Real Ramona". Sequential Tart. Archived from the original on February 1, 2015. 
  8. ^ McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 114: "Scribe Bob Haney and artist Ramona Fradon were truly in their element...Haney and Fradon's collaborative chemistry resulted in [Rex] Mason becoming Metamorpho."
  9. ^ Stroud, Bryan (May 2013). "Metamorpho in Action Comics". Back Issue! (TwoMorrows Publishing) (64): 23–24. 
  10. ^ McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 115: "By issue #50, The Brave and the Bold developed into the ultimate team-up book. The Brave and the Bold #59 added one final element to the team-up theme, when writer Bob Haney and artist Ramona Fradon partnered Batman with Green Lantern."
  11. ^ a b Cassell, Dewey (August 2006). "Talking About Tigra: From the Cat to Were-Woman". Back Issue! (TwoMorrows Publishing) (17): 26–33. 
  12. ^ Cassell, Dewey (February 2011). "The Lady and the Cat: The Story Behind the Unpublished Fifth Issue of Marvel Comics' The Cat". Back Issue! (TwoMorrows Publishing) (46): 3–7. 
  13. ^ "2000s Eisner Award Recipients". San Diego Comic-Con International. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. 
  14. ^ Baker, Bill (February 14, 2012). "Books: Ramona Fradon on The Dinosaur That Got Tired of Being Extinct". The Morton Report. Archived from the original on October 31, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Dynamite Announces The Art of Ramona Fradon Hardcover". Comic Book Resources. February 7, 2012. Archived from the original on August 19, 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

  • The Art of Ramona Fradon (February 2014), Dynamite Entertainment, 144 pages, ISBN 978-1606901403
  • Career Retrospective, Gold & Silver: Overstreet's Comic Book Quarterly #6 (December 1994). p. 114. Overstreet Publications.
  • Interview, Comics Forum #20 (Autumn 1999), pp. 17–22. Comics Creators Guild.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Metamorpho artist
Succeeded by
Joe Orlando
Preceded by
Pablo Marcos
Freedom Fighters artist
Succeeded by
Dick Ayers
Preceded by
Ric Estrada
Super Friends artist
Succeeded by
Romeo Tanghal