I’m saddened to hear about the passing of Murphy Anderson, at the age of 89. He was one of those artists whose work was so perfect that, when I was a young kid and reading my first comics, it never dawned on me that a human hand could be behind those pictures. They just had to magically roll off of a printing press somehow.
Eventually I got to meet Murphy and saw him once in a while, back when I was doing a few Superman stories for our mutual editor, Julius Schwartz. I never saw him without a coat and tie, and he was one of the more soft-spoken and unassuming giants I’ve met.
When Murphy learned I was from Cincinnati, he got as excited as I’d ever expect to find him. He recalled for me his past visits to Cincinnati, and in particular to the Ohio Book Store on Main Street, his area destination for buying vintage cartooning and art books.
At the time that I met him, Murphy was currently doing a series of stories featuring Golden Age characters for DC’s Secret Origins title, an assignment he said he really enjoyed.
Murphy inked one cover (pencils by Howard Bender) for a story I wrote, an Action Comics issue. That was a big fat checkmark on my bucket list, to be able to count him among my collaborators, but more importantly, to have been able to get to know him even just a bit.
This weekend, Saturday, October 17, I’ll be doing my thing at Suburbicon 2015 in Kettering, Ohio (near Dayton). This is the second year for this great, family and comics creator-oriented show. Free admission, lots of activities. I’ll have my books, prints, art, and will be doing caricatures. See you there!
Got these in the mail yesterday: The first two issues of a comic zine, The German Spider-Man, produced by my friend Peter Stangenberg, whom I first met at the Pittsburgh Comic Book Show in, I think, 2013. I LOVED finding these zines in my mailbox, as I so seldom receive stuff like this through the mail these days. Now it’s all online or down at the comics shop. But these take me back to my early fanzine-collecting days of Star-Studded Comics, Trumpet Magazine, Dallascon Bulletin, The Buyer’s Guide For Comics Fandom, The Comics Reader, Stan’s Weekly Express — all that stuff that had the smell of ‘homemade,’ the days before it all became too slick and institutionalized and the line between fan and pro became so blurred.
Anyway, Peter sent me these because I contributed some art for the April issue, and he was nice enough to feature me in an extensive interview for the August issue. My knowledge of the German language is nil, so reading the pages is a bit of a trick, but I love browsing and looking at the illustrations, and Peter’s love and enthusiasm for the subject matter comes through loud and clear. I have owned many of the comics, books and magazines pictured and discussed in the pages, so these issues of The German Spider-Man were a fun time capsule for me.
I’ll add additional links when I get them from Peter.
Continuing with my sketches from Cincinnati Comic Expo.
A drawing from this past weekend’s great Cincinnati Comic Expo.