Jack Kirby (August 28, 1917 – February 6, 1994),born Jacob Kurtzberg, was an American comic book artist, writer and editor regarded by historians and fans as one of the major innovators and most influential creators in the comic book medium.
Growing up poor in New York City, Kurtzberg entered the nascent comics industry in the 1930s. He drew various comics features under different pen names, including Jack Curtiss, ultimately settling on Jack Kirby. In 1940, he and writer-editor Joe Simon created the highly successful superhero character Captain America for Timely Comics, predecessor of Marvel Comics. During the 1940s, Kirby, generally teamed with Simon, created numerous characters for that company and for the company that would become DC Comics.
After serving in World War II, Kirby returned to comics and worked in a variety of genres. He contributed to a number of publishers, including DC, Harvey Comics, Hillman Periodicals and Crestwood Publications, where he and Simon created the genre of romance comics. He and Simon also launched their own short-lived comic company, Mainline Publications. Kirby ultimately found himself at Timely's 1950s iteration, Atlas Comics, later to be known as Marvel Comics. There, in the 1960s, he and writer-editor Stan Lee co-created many of Marvel's major characters, including the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, and the Hulk. Despite the high sales and critical acclaim of the Lee-Kirby titles, however, Kirby felt treated unfairly, and left the company in 1970 for rival DC.
There Kirby created his Fourth World saga, which spanned several comics titles. While these series proved commercially unsuccessful and were canceled, several of their characters and the Fourth World mythos have continued as a significant part of the DC Universe. Kirby returned to Marvel briefly in the mid-to-late 1970s, then ventured into television animation and independent comics. In his later years, Kirby, who has been called "the William Blake of comics", began receiving great recognition in the mainstream press for his career accomplishments, and in 1987, he, along with Carl Barks and Will Eisner, was one of the three inaugural inductees of the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame. The Jack Kirby Awards and Jack Kirby Hall of Fame were named in his honor.
Born: August 28, 1917, New York City
Died: February 6, 1994, Thousand Oaks
Education: Pratt Institute
Children: Neal L. Kirby, Barbara J. Kirby, Lisa R. Kirby, Susan M. Kirby
Parents: Benjamin Kurtzberg, Rose Kurtzberg
John Buscema, born Giovanni Natale Buscema (December 11, 1927–January 10, 2002), was an American comic-book artist and one of the mainstays of Marvel Comics during its 1960s and 1970s ascendancy into an industry leader and its subsequent expansion to a major pop culture conglomerate. His younger brother Sal Buscema is also a comic-book artist.
Buscema is best known for his run on the series The Avengers and The Silver Surfer, and for over 200 stories featuring the sword and sorcery hero Conan the Barbarian. In addition, he pencilled at least one issue of nearly every major Marvel title, including long runs on two of the company's top magazines Fantastic Four and Thor.
He was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2002.
Born: December 11, 1927, Brooklyn
Died: January 10, 2002, Port Jefferson
Appears in: How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way
Awards: Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame
Eugene Jules "Gene" Colan was an American comic book artist best known for his work for Marvel Comics, where his signature titles include the superhero series, Daredevil, the cult-hit satiric series Howard the Duck, and The Tomb of Dracula, considered one of comics' classic horror series. He co-created the Falcon, the first African-American superhero in mainstream comics, and the non-costumed, supernatural African-American character Blade, which went on to star in a series of films starring Wesley Snipes.
Colan was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2005.
Born: September 1, 1926, New York City
Died: June 23, 2011
Books: Predator, Dr. Strange Vs. Dracula, The Curse Of Dracula, The Spider
Movies: Blade II, Blade: Trinity
Awards: Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame
Wallace Allan Wood (June 17, 1927 – November 2, 1981) was an American comic book writer, artist and independent publisher, best known for his work in EC Comics and Mad. He was one of Mad's founding cartoonists in 1952. Although much of his early professional artwork is signed Wallace Wood, he became known as Wally Wood, a name he claimed to dislike. Within the comics community, he was also known as Woody, a name he sometimes used as a signature.
In addition to Wood's hundreds of comic book pages, he illustrated for books and magazines while also working in a variety of other areas — advertising; packaging and product illustrations; gag cartoons; record album covers; posters; syndicated comic strips; and trading cards, including work on Topps' landmark Mars Attacks set.
EC publisher William Gaines once stated, "Wally may have been our most troubled artist... I'm not suggesting any connection, but he may have been our most brilliant".
He was the inaugural inductee into the comic book industry's Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1989, and was posthumously inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1992.
Born: June 17, 1927, Menahga
Died: November 2, 1981, Los Angeles
Awards: Jack Kirby Hall of Fame, Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame
Nominations: Hugo Award for Best Professional Artist
Stephen J. "Steve" Ditko (born November 2, 1927) is an American comic book artist and writer best known as the artist and co-creator, with Stan Lee, of the Marvel Comics heroes Spider-Man and Doctor Strange.
Ditko studied under Batman artist Jerry Robinson at the Cartoonist and Illustrators School in New York City. He began his professional career in 1953, working in the studio of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, beginning as an inker and coming under the influence of artist Mort Meskin. During this time, he then began his long association with Charlton Comics, where he did work in the genres of science fiction, horror, and mystery. He also co-created the superhero Captain Atom in 1960.
Ditko then drew for Atlas Comics, the 1950s forerunner of Marvel Comics. He went on to contribute much significant work to Marvel, including co-creating Spider-Man, who would become the company's flagship character.
Additionally, he co-created the supernatural hero Doctor Strange and made important contributions to the Hulk and Iron Man. In 1966, after being the exclusive artist on The Amazing Spider-Man and the "Doctor Strange" feature in Strange Tales, Ditko left Marvel for reasons never specified.
Ditko then worked for Charlton and DC Comics, making major contributions, including a revamp of long-running character Blue Beetle, and creating or co-creating the Question, the Creeper, and Hawk and Dove. Ditko also began contributing to small independent publishers, where he created Mr. A, a hero reflecting the influence of Ayn Rand's Objectivism philosophy. Since the 1960s, Ditko has declined most interviews, stating that it is his work he offers readers, and not his personality.
Ditko was inducted into the comics industry's Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1990, and into the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame in 1994.
Born: November 2, 1927 (age 84), Johnstown
Education: School of Visual Arts
Awards: Jack Kirby Hall of Fame, Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame
Nominations: Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
Marie Severin was born August 21, 1929. She grew up in an artistic household where her father, a World War I veteran, eventually became a designer for the fashion company Elizabeth Arden during the 1930s. In her teens, Severin took "a couple of months" of cartooning and illustration classes, and attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York "for one day and said, 'This is a college', and I wanted to draw and make money".
Severin was working on Wall Street when her comics-artist brother, John Severin, needed a colorist for his work at EC Comics. Marie Severin's earliest recorded comic-book work is coloring EC Comics' A Moon, a Girl... Romance #9 (Oct. 1949). She would contribute across the company's line, including its war comics and its celebrated but notoriously graphic horror comics. She has repeatedly refuted the often told tale that she colored especially gruesome panels a dark blue as a sign of protest.
At EC, Severin worked on the comics' production end, as well as "doing little touch ups and stuff" on the art. When EC ceased publication in the wake of the U.S. Senate hearings on the effects of comic books on children and the establishment of the Comics Code, Severin worked briefly for Marvel Comics' 1950s predecessor, Atlas Comics, until an industry downturn circa 1957 prompted her to seek work with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. She recalled in 2001, "I did a little bit of everything for them — I did television graphics on economics [and] I did a lot of drawing. I did a[n educational] comic book that my brother did the finished art on... about checks".
In 1959, when the industry had picked up again to during the period fans and historians call the Silver Age of comic books, Severin again worked for Marvel Comics in production. Severin recalled in 2001 that when Esquire magazine requested an artist to illustrate a story "on the college drug culture", Marvel production manager Sol Brodsky offered Severin rather than one of the regular artists, all on deadline. Her illustration for the magazine led to Marvel editor-in-chief Stan Lee assigning her to replace Bill Everett, who had succeeded character co-creator Steve Ditko on the feature "Doctor Strange" in Strange Tales.
Severin continued to expand from colorist to do penciling and inking, and occasionally also lettering, on various titles. She drew stories of the Sub-Mariner and the Hulk, and the covers or interiors of titles including Iron Man, Conan the Barbarian, Kull the Conqueror, The Cat, and Daredevil. Additionally, she worked on Marvel's satiric humor magazine Crazy, as well as the company's self-lampooning comic book, Not Brand Echh.
Born: August 21, 1929 (age 82) Long Island
Area(s): Penciller, Inker, Colorist
Notable works: Dr. Strange, Sub-Mariner, Hulk, Not Brand Echh
Awards: 1974 Shazam Award: Best Penciller (Humor Division); Will Eisner Comics Hall of Fame, 2001
Great stuff! Another one you might want to research is Mike Manleey (sp?). I believe he was the creator of The Black Knight. It was said that he would have been bigger than Buscema & Romita had he lived. Unfortunately, he met a VERY tragic death!
Silvio "Sal" Buscema (born on January 26, 1936,in Brooklyn, New York City, New York) is an American comic book artist, primarily for Marvel Comics, where he enjoyed a ten-year run as artist of The Incredible Hulk.
The younger brother of comics artist John Buscema, he is known as "Our Pal Sal" in the language of Marvel Comics' old "Bullpen Bulletins" page.
Sal Buscema was the youngest of four children, preceded by brothers Al (b. July 28, 1923; deceased) and John (1927–2002), the latter of whom become a celebrated comic-book artist; and sister Carol (b. June 22, 1929; deceased). Their father, who was born in Italy and died in 1973, was a barber. Buscema grew up a fan of Hal Foster's Prince Valiant comic strip, of George Tuska's comic-book art, and of commercial illustrators such has Robert Fawcett, Al Parker, and Norman Rockwell, and called his artist brother John "greatly responsible for me pursuing drawing. ... John was definitely an inspiration". Like John, Buscema attended the High School of Music & Art, graduating in 1955. He got his start as a comic-book inker in the early 1950s when his brother agreed to let him ink comics pages; this led to Sal helping John by doing occasional background art on Dell Comics series John was drawing.
After high school, Buscema found work at "a small, two-man advertising art studio in Manhattan" but was fired after three months of doing mostly production work. He went on to a larger commercial-art studio, where he was a gofer and a delivery person. He quit, then spent less than a year filling wedding-ring orders for the jewelry manufacturer J. R. Wood and Sons before being drafted into the peacetime U.S. Army in 1956. Classified as an "illustrator", he served with the Army Corps of Engineers stationed at Fort Belvoir in Virginia. He spent 21 months doing film strips and charts as training aids before discharged after two years. He attained the rank of specialist 3rd class, which he called "equivalent to corporal." After briefly returning to New York City to assist at a one-man art studio, an Army connection found him work at the large Creative Arts Studio in Washington, D.C.. There he did illustrations for government agencies, including the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Defense. After living with his godparents for three months, Buscema and an Army buddy became roommates in Alexandria, Virginia.
He started dating Joan, a secretary where he worked, in February 1959, and the two were married in May 1960. Their first son, Joe, was born in 1968, followed by Tony and Mike.
In 1961, a call from his brother John brought Buscema to New York City to work with him at the advertising agency Alexander Chaite, Inc. Buscema and his wife stayed for a year-and-a-half before it became evident that the company was not doing well and would close down. John Buscema returned to the comic-book industry while Sal Buscema joined a friend and colleague from Creative Arts Studio, Mel Emde, who was opening his own company, Design Studio. There Buscema worked until 1968, when he broke into Marvel Comics, for which his brother was already established as a freelance artist
Born Silvio Buscema (1936-01-26) January 26, 1936
Brooklyn, New York City, New York
Area(s) Penciller, Inker
Joseph "Joe" Maneely (born Feb. 18, 1926, Pennsylvania, United States; died June 7, 1958) was an American comic book artist best known for his work at Marvel Comics' 1950s predecessor, Atlas Comics, where he co-created the Marvel characters the Black Knight, the Ringo Kid, the Yellow Claw, and Jimmy Woo.
An exquisite draftsman whose delicate yet solid, fine-line figures made his work both distinctive and well-suited to the medium, Maneely was one of the relative stars of Atlas, along with such soon-to-blossom talents as Steve Ditko and John Romita. Talented and well-respected, he died in a commuter-train accident shortly before Marvel's ascendancy into a commercial and pop-cultural conglomerate.
Joe Maneely, born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was one of at least five children born to a poor couple, Robert and Gertrude Maneely. He attended Ascension BVM Elementary School and North Catholic High School; at the latter, he created a school mascot, the Red Falcon, that also starred in a comic strip in the school newspaper. After dropping out in his sophomore year, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving three years as a specialist in visual aids and contributing cartoons to ship newspapers. In 1947, after his discharge, Maneely married his childhood sweetheart, Elizabeth "Betty Jean" Kane (died April 16, 2003).
Maneely then found work at publisher Martin Goodman's Marvel Comics predecessor, Timely Comics, as it was transitioning to its 1950s incarnation as Atlas Comics.
Maneely hit his stride at Atlas, for which he freelanced before going on staff "in about 1955". Until 1953, when Maneely and his family moved to the Flushing neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens, he traveled from Philadelphia to New York three times weekly to pick up scripts. In either 1954 or 1955, the family movie to suburban New Shrewsbury, New Jersey.
With speed to match his style, he became a favorite of editor-in-chief Stan Lee, who assigned Maneely covers and stories throughout virtually the entire range of Atlas comics.
With superheroes experiencing a lull in popularity, Maneely drew Westerns, war, horror, humor, romance, science fiction, spy, crime, and even period-adventure stories — that last most notably with the medieval series Black Knight, co-created by Maneely and writer and editor-in-chief Lee, and first reprinted in 1960s Marvel Comics at the behest of editor Roy Thomas, who as a teen had "devoured the Black Knight comic, and became an immediate fan."
Other Atlas work reprinted widely by Marvel in the 1960s and 1970s include Yellow Claw #1 (Oct. 1956) — starring a Fu Manchu-inspired villain and the Asian FBI agent pursuing him, created by Maneely and writer Al Feldstein — and the Old West Ringo Kid #1-21 (Aug. 1954 - Sept. 1957), co-created with an unknown writer.
The covers of Sub-Mariner Comics #37, 39 and 41 (Dec. 1954, April and Aug. 1955) were Maneely's only superhero work for Atlas, during the company's short-lived mid-1950s attempt to revive superheroes.
By the summer of 1957, Atlas was experiencing difficulties and began shedding freelancers. Shortly afterward, Martin Goodman stopped distributing his own titles and switched to American News Company, which soon closed, temporarily leaving Atlas without a distributor and resulting in all staff other than Lee being fired. Maneely continued to work with Lee on the Chicago Sun-Times-syndicated comic strip Mrs. Lyons' Cubs, which debuted in newspapers February 10, 1958. He also "bought a new home in [New] Jersey for his young wife and small daughters" and did a limited amount of freelancing for DC Comics (Gang Busters #62, House of Mystery #71-73, House of Secrets #9, Tales of the Unexpected #22, cover-dated from February to April 1958); Charlton Comics (Cowboy Western #67, Wyatt Earp, Frontier Marshal #20, both March 1958); and Crestwood Publications.
On the night of his death, "past midnight of what was early Sunday morning," June 7, 1958, Maneely had dined hours earlier with fellow laid-off Atlas colleagues, including George Ward and John Severin, in Manhattan. He did not have his glasses with him, and was killed when he accidentally fell between the cars of a moving commuter train on his way home to New Jersey.
Fellow Atlas artist Stan Goldberg recalled that on the night of Maneely's death,
...Joe [told] me that he'd been in the city the week before and had lost his glasses. He didn't even know how he'd gotten home that day. So this day came and he went out drinking and went out to get some air between the trains, and he fell off the train. When they found him, he was still clutching his portfolio. I remember [production staffer] Danny Crespi calling me on Saturday morning to break the news. [...] The family had a rough time after he died. The Maneely’s had daughters and a lot of bills. They had just bought a big house, too, and didn't have any money put away.
His last original published story was the five-page Ringo Kid tale "One Bullet Left" in Gunsmoke Western #53 (July 1959), and his final comics work was the cover of Gunsmoke Western #55 (Nov. 1959), featuring Kid Colt and Wyatt Earp. Marvel editor-in-chief Stan Lee opined in the early 2000s that had Maneely lived, "he would have been another Jack Kirby. He would have been the best you could imagine".