Monday, March 29, 2010

RIP - Dick Giordano

Some very sad news in the world of comics, as legendary industry veteran Dick Giordano passed away over the weekend after a long battle with leukemia. He was 77.

Giordano began his career in comics in 1952, when he was hired as a freelance inker and artist for second-tier publisher Charlton Comics. He was mentored by Steve Ditko, the legendary penciller who would later co-create Spider-Man during his time at Marvel. Working steadily at Charlton, Giordano would rise through the ranks until he eventually become Editor-in-Chief and oversee the creation of Charlton's "Action Line", which included new or revamped super-hero titles such as Captain Atom, The Question, The Peacemaker, Judomaster, Peter Cannon...Thunderbolt, and The Blue Beetle.

In 1968, he moved over to DC Comics, where he would take over editing a number of mid-level titles. Though few of them were commercial successes, he would shepherd a number of titles that were critical successes and have since become classic runs, such as Deadman. He would also begin a lucrative partnership with artist Neal Adams, becoming his regular inker on their classic runs on Deadman, Green Lantern and Batman. Giordano would become a DC star, easily being the most famous inker of his day.

He left his exclusive gig at DC in 1971, to partner with Neal Adams in the creation of their ground-breaking studio, Continuity Associates. During this time, he began to work heavily as a penciller, doing classic work on Batman and Aquaman. In 1980, he returned to DC Comics as an inker, penciller and Executive Editor, a role he would fill until 1993. During this time, he also wrote a regular column that appeared in the letter pages of all DC Comics called Meanwhile... Beginning in the late 80s, Giordano began working hard for creator's rights, a cause he fought for for the rest of his life.

In 1993, following the passing of his wife, and due to his age and increasing hearing loss, Giordano entered retirement. For many fans of DC comics over the years, it was the end of an era, and his influence would be missed.

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