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June 26, 1921|
The Bronx, New York, United States
|Died||July 24, 2003
Glen Ridge, New Jersey
Warren Kremer (June 26, 1921 – July 24, 2003) was an American comics cartoonist best known for his creation of the Harvey Comics characters Richie Rich, Hot Stuff the Little Devil and Stumbo the Giant. His style is known for big, bold compositions, and a keen sense of contrast and color.
Childhood and early career
Kremer was born in The Bronx, the son of a sign painter. He had a sister, Anita. Kremer counted Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon and Hal Foster's Prince Valiant among his influences.
He attended the High School of Music and Art and the School of Industrial Art in New York City. Kremer then did layout, lettering, and illustrations for pulp and aviation magazines for ten years. He gradually took on more comics work in Ace Publications, his first title being Hap Hazard. He married that title's letterer, Grace. Due to a hernia, Kremer did not serve in World War II.
Harvey Comics (1948–1982)
Steve Mufatti, a friend and colleague of Kremer's, had a part in getting him work at Harvey Comics, starting with freelance work in 1948. Harvey editor Sid Jacobson was frustrated by the poor design of most comics at the time. He watched animated films and wanted to know why his comics couldn't look as good. So Kremer was brought on board to bring an animation design to comics. Kremer improved the layout of the panels, creating a much greater depth of field. His characters were better constructed, which added mass and allowed the books to look more "real". Eventually, Kremer's influence was felt throughout the entire comic book industry.
Kremer created or defined many of the most well known Harvey characters, including Casper the Ghost, Hot Stuff, Joe Palooka, Little Audrey, Little Max, Richie Rich, and Stumbo the Giant. Kremer also excelled at realistic treatments, producing top-quality work for Harvey's romance, war, and horror genre titles. He was the top artist at Harvey, where he worked for 35 years mostly as an art editor.
Later career (1983–2003)
Kremer was married to wife Grace, with whom he had two sons, Richard W. and Peter R., and two daughters, Maryanne Kremer-Ames and Suzanne Petrozzino.
In 1989, a stroke left him paralyzed on his left side, which included his drawing hand. Kremer died July 24, 2003, in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. He was living in nearby Bloomfield at the time of his death.
- Warren Kremer at the United States Social Security Death Index via FamilySearch.og. Retrieved on October 20, 2015.
- Nash, Eric P. (September 10, 2003). "Warren Kremer, Who Drew Richie Rich, Dies at 82". The New York Times. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
- Warren Kremer at the Lambiek Comiclopedia. Retrieved on October 20, 2015.
- "In Memoriam: Warren Kremer". Scoop newsletter, Diamond Galleries. September 12, 2003. Archived from the original on March 10, 2007.
- Gravett, Paul (September 7, 2003). "Obituary:Warren Kremer". Retrieved 27 April 2016.