Friday, 23 October 2015

COMICS GREAT, MURPHY ANDERSON, PASSES AWAY...



Sad news to report - MURPHY ANDERSON, one of the finest
talents ever to grace the comics medium, has passed away at the age
of 89.  SUPERMAN, GREEN LANTERN and The FLASH never
looked better than when Murphy was adding the finishing inks to the
pencils of CURT SWAN, GIL KANE and CARMINE INFANTINO.
Also a fantastic penciller in his own right, Murphy could do just about
anything, artwise.  The world of comics is poorer for his passing, as
is the world on a broader scale, as Murphy was renowned for
being a gentleman and all-round fine human being.

Below are a few examples of Murphy's work over the years.




Below is a Kirby pencilled page side-by-side with the inked result.
As you can see, Murphy managed to capture the 'official' Superman
look without drastically altering Jack's rendition.  The only thing that's
really any different is Supes' 'S' emblem and hair;  Jack was never con-
sistent in keeping the parting on the correct side.  Everything else
on the page was inked by VINCE COLLETTA.
  

And below is the book that every true Murphy Anderson fan should have.


19 comments:

TC said...

As you say, Superman never looked better than when inked by Anderson over Curt Swan's pencils. "Swanderson" may have been one of the most under-rated art teams in the Bronze Age. IIRC, DC assigned Anderson to ink over Kirby's drawings of Superman and Jimmy in the Jimmy Olsen comics, to keep their appearance consistent with the Superman Family titles (Action Comics, Superman, Lois Lane, World's Finest).

I remember seeing his work in "PS" circa 1980, while I was in the Army. It was a digest-sized instruction booklet in a comic strip format. Every one I ever saw was drawn by Anderson, although I've read that lots of artists, including Will Eisner and Joe Kubert, worked on it at various times.

One of my favorite Silver Age comics was Hawkman's self-titled series.



Kid said...

Anderson also inked over Werner Roth's Superman faces in the Lois Lane mags, if I recall correctly, TC, 'though I'll have to check. I've added 'before and after' pages of Murphy's inks over Jack to refresh your memory of what the result was like.

cerebus660 said...

A shame - Anderson was such a talented artist. He was, for me, the definitive Superman artist. There have been, of course, many other great interpretations of the character but, when I think of Superman, it's Anderson's version I "see".

And I agree with TC about Hawkman - a beautifully drawn series. It's strangely underrated... which worked out in my favour because I managed to pick up a few issues at reasonable prices. I could never understand why it's not as highly regarded as Infantino's Flash or Gil Kane's Green Lantern.

Kid said...

I'm not too familiar with the Hawkman tales that Murphy worked on, Cer, but I have a book of Gardner Fox/Joe Kubert Hawkman stories, which I like.

The definitive Superman artist for me was 'Swanderson' - two great artists for the price of one.

Phil said...

I met him two years ago and asked him about the Atomic Knights. Alas they never write a finale story. Anderson was one of the last of the great craftsmen. His brushwork and anatomy were superb. When you look at his work you think/ artist. Find the comedy bit he did of Lois Lane falling out the window ...

Kid said...

Lois was always falling out of windows, Phil. Obviously you think I'm going to live for another 100 years, eh?

cerebus660 said...

Yes, of course I meant to say "my" definitive Superman was by the team of Murphy Anderson AND Curt Swan. I don't think Anderson ever worked on the strip solo.

In my defence I'll say it's Friday night, it's been a long week, my brain cells are melting etc.

Kid said...

He did a few solo Superman covers 'though, Cer - and they were great.

B Smith said...

I suspect that comedy bit with Lois was in an early issue of Plop.

(if it's the one i think it is)

Dougie said...

Hawkman was a favourite of mine when I was wee- some of my very earliest DC memories are of the Thanagarian spaceship, the Man-Hawks and a giant spider in space. I'm also pleased to see the Barsoom poster; Anderson's versions of John Carter, Dejah Thoris and Tars Tarkas were the first I ever saw and the barbaric splendour of their world appears to an extent in Hawkman, too.

Kid said...

Ta, BS. I've got the first 3 issues - I'll see if it's in one of them.

******

I always thought that Murphy was THE John Carter artist, Dougie. The strip didn't seem as attractive to me when drawn by other hands.

Paul McScotty- Muir said...

Some of my earliest comic book memories are of Murphy's work with Curt Swan when Superman ruled the comic world - I was recently re reading an old issue of Action comics with the Swanderson art team it rally was a great book back then. However its on strips like Hawkman (really some fantastic work on that title) Elongated man and Adam Strange that I really remember him from - but my favourite of his work (apart from Supes) was the (early issues) of the Spectre he did (one of my favourite characters) - Didn't he create Zatana? A comic book legend in every sense

Kid said...

Yup, McScotty, Gardner Fox and Murphy created Zatanna, who's been a Babe of the Day on this blog a couple of times. I loved those Carmine Infantino and Murphy Elongated Man stories - top stuff. The first time that I remember seeing an EM strip was in a house in Rutherglen when my mother was visting a friend, with me and my bruv in tow (back in the '60s). I no longer recall the story (although I might if I saw it again), but I always associate the character with that house and that particular time in my life. Hard to believe I was last in that house over 40 years ago.

Another legend gone, alas. He inked a Kirby Jimmy Olsen cover once, but I'd have loved to see him ink an entire JK JO strip.

Colin Jones said...

After reading all these glowing tributes I'm embarrassed to admit that I've never heard of Murphy Anderson - I'll get me coat. I'm a 100% Marvel lad and if he didn't draw for Marvel then I don't know him...sorry.

Kid said...

Who's Colin Jones?

Colin Jones said...

Kid, I'll go and stand in the corner with a dunce's hat on :)

Kid said...

TWO dunces hats. You missed some great artwork by not being aware of him, CJ.

Phil said...

It is but I can't find on the Internet

Kid said...

I'll post it if I find it, Phil.

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