Sol Harrison

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Sol Harrison
Born 1917
Died November 19, 1989
Nationality American
Area(s) Editor, Colourist
Pseudonym(s) Walter S. Hara[1]
Notable works
President of DC Comics

Sol Harrison (1917-November 19, 1989)[2][3] was an American comic book colorist, production manager, and executive whose career spanned nearly 50 years in the industry.

Career[edit]

Sol Harrison attended high school with Jack Adler and the two men often worked together doing engraving work.[4] In 1933, Harrison did the color separations on Famous Funnies for Eastern Color Printing.[2] Famous Funnies is considered the first true American comic book. Comics historian Ron Goulart calls it "the cornerstone for one of the most lucrative branches of magazine publishing".[5] Writer Martin Pasko noted in 2008 that Harrison was the "guy who helped Charlie Gaines figure out how to produce the modern comics format."[6]

Harrison became production manager for All-American Publications in 1942.[7] When All-American became part of National Comics (later known as DC Comics), Harrison continued to work for the newly merged publisher. He was the colorist for the company's covers for 15 years.[8] In 1972, he suggested publishing comics in an oversized format stating that "We could create a tabloid size comic that would stand out on the newsstand."[9] This led to the launch of the Limited Collectors' Edition series later that year. He developed an internship program at DC which was later nicknamed the "Junior Woodchucks" by Bob Rozakis.[10] In 1973, Harrison became DC's Vice-President in Charge of Operations[3] and developed the idea of the DC Comicmobile, a van which sold comic books "like the ice cream man did".[11] Harrison and Adler were featured on the cover of DC's self-produced fan magazine Amazing World of DC Comics #10 (Jan. 1976).[12] Harrison was promoted to president of the company in 1976 just as Jenette Kahn became publisher.[13] Kahn stated in a 2012 interview that "I can't really say that Sol and I had much of a working relationship. He, more than anybody, resented my being hired because he felt that the job was rightfully his."[14] Harrison served as president of the Comics Magazine Association of America from 1979 to 1980.[1] He retired from DC Comics at the end of February 1981[15] and moved to Florida.[2]

Awards[edit]

In 1985, Harrison was named as one of the honorees by DC Comics in the company's 50th anniversary publication Fifty Who Made DC Great.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bails, Jerry (2006). "Harrison, Sol". Who's Who of American Comic Books 1928-1999. Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved July 19, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Levitz, Paul (2010). "Selected Biographies". 75 Years of DC Comics The Art of Modern Mythmaking. Taschen America. p. 707. ISBN 9783836519816. 
  3. ^ a b Powers, Thom (February 1990). "Sol Harrison Dead". The Comics Journal (Fantagraphics Books) (134): 14. 
  4. ^ Klein, Todd (July 12, 2013). "The DC Comics Offices 1930s-1950s Part 5 (final)". Kleinletters.com. Archived from the original on July 15, 2013. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  5. ^ Goulart, Ron (2004). Comic Book Encyclopedia. Harper Entertainment. p. 144. ISBN 978-0060538163. 
  6. ^ Pasko, Martin (2008). The DC Vault: A Museum-in-a-Book with Rare Collectibles from the DC Universe. Running Press. p. 145. ISBN 0762432578. 
  7. ^ Levitz "The Golden Age 1938-1956" p. 60
  8. ^ Bochi, Kiki (April 11, 1988). "Superman Artist Comes To Young Man's Rescue". Sun-Sentinel. Archived from the original on July 15, 2013. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  9. ^ Wells, John (December 2012). "The Perils of the DC/Marvel Tabloid Era". Back Issue! (TwoMorrows Publishing) (61): 1. 
  10. ^ Rozakis, Bob (October 17, 2011). "A Day at the New York Comic-Con". Anything Goes. Archived from the original on July 15, 2013. Retrieved July 15, 2013. Back in the very early days of our careers at DC Comics, then VP/Production Manager Sol Harrison decided that we "kids" should put together a company-backed fanzine called Amazing World of DC Comics. He came to my desk and said, "Go get the rest of your pals and bring them to my office." So I went to my compatriots and said, "Sol wants to have a Junior Woodchucks meeting." I was making a joke, using the name of the faux-Boy Scouts that Huey, Dewey and Louie of Donald Duck fame belonged to. 
  11. ^ Hamlin, Brad (August 2011). "Mystery Island Interviews DC Comics Super Alumni Bob Rozakis". Archived from the original on March 27, 2012. Retrieved March 27, 2012. The Comicmobile was the brainchild of Sol Harrison, who was the VP at DC at the time. He thought that a good way to sell comics would be to have a fleet of vans that drove up and down the streets like the ice cream man did. 
  12. ^ Amazing World of DC Comics #10 at the Grand Comics Database
  13. ^ Levitz "The Bronze Age 1970-1984" p. 452: "Replacing [Carmine] Infantino in 1976 was a balance of experience and the improbable: 55-year-old production exec Sol Harrison, who had woked on National's very first comics as a color separator before being moved up to president. He was teamed with an unlikely equal partner as publisher, a 28-year-old woman from outside comics, Jenette Kahn."
  14. ^ Greenberger, Robert (July 2012). "The Path of Kahn". Back Issue! (TwoMorrows Publishing) (57): 12. 
  15. ^ Catron, Michael (June 1981). "Harrison Retires From DC Presidency". Amazing Heroes (Fantagraphics Books) (1): 31. 
  16. ^ Marx, Barry, Cavalieri, Joey and Hill, Thomas (w), Petruccio, Steven (a), Marx, Barry (ed). "Sol Harrison DC's Look Crystallized" Fifty Who Made DC Great: 14 (1985), DC Comics

External links[edit]

Preceded by
n/a
President of DC Comics
1976–1980
Succeeded by
Jenette Kahn