Murphy Anderson, R.I.P.


His name won’t mean anything to you unless you’re a comic book fan, and maybe not then if you only started during the last twenty years and weren’t interested in the history of the field. Murphy Anderson, who has died aged 89, was one of my favourite artists during the Sixties, a comsummate professional, with a smooth, clear line, consistently excellent as penciller, inker or cover artist.

Anderson was part of Julius Schwartz’s little ‘stable’ throughout that part of the Sixties that saw the return of the superhero after a decade in the doldrums. He was in constant demand from Schwartz to ink the likes of Carmine Infantino and Gil Kane, and later Curt Swan, when Schwartz added Superman to his roster.

Anderson was also a penciller on Adam Strange, the space hopping Archaeologist who became the Defender of the Planet Rann. He was the artist who converted the revived  Hawkman from a flop to the star of his own four-year running series, and it was he who drew those wonderful, though commercially unavailing Golden Age revivals that I adored so much.

He was never an innovative artist, but he was a steady, reliable, and clear artist who told a story in a traditional fashion, with crisp panels unfolding infallibly. And he could draw bloody good redheads, which is why there’s a drawing of Hawkgirl up top.

Rest well, Mr Anderson, and thank you for all the fun and excitement you brought to me.

Worth seeing again.
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