Murphy Anderson, American comic book artist, Died at 89

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Murphy Anderson was born on July 9, 1926, and passed away on October 23, 2015.

Murphy was an American comic book artist, known as one of the premier inkers of his era, who worked for companies such as DC Comics for over fifty years, starting in the Golden Age of Comic Books in the 1940s.

He worked on such characters as Hawkman, Batgirl, Zatanna, the Spectre, and Superman, as well as on the Buck Rogers daily syndicated newspaper comic strip.

Anderson also contributed for many years to PS, the preventive maintenance comics magazine of the U.S. Army.

Murphy Anderson was born on July 9, 1926 in Asheville, North Carolina.

He entered the comic-book industry in 1944, drawing the “Suicide Smith”, “Sky Rangers”, and “Star Pirate” features for Fiction House.

From 1947 to 1949, Murphy was the artist on the Buck Rogers comic-book series.

During the 1950s, Murphy worked for several publishers, including Pines Comics, St. John Publications, Ziff Davis, DC Comics, and Atlas Comics, that decade’s predecessor of Marvel Comics.

Murphy succeeded artist and co-creator Carmine Infantino on the superhero feature “Captain Comet” beginning with the story “The Girl from the Diamond Planet” in Strange Adventures #12 (cover-dated Sept. 1951).

Years later, Murphy and writer John Broome created the feature “Atomic Knights” in Strange Adventures #117 (June 1960), which Anderson later described as his favorite assignment.

Murphy and writer Gardner Fox launched the Hawkman series in May 1964 and introduced the Zatanna character in issue #4 (Nov. 1964).

Comics historian Les Daniels noted that “Hawkman really took off when artist Murphy Anderson took over…Anderson came into his own with his elegantly ornamental version of the Winged Wonder.”

The Spectre was revived by Fox and Murphy in Showcase #60 (Feb. 1966) and was given his own series in December 1967.

In the 1960s Anderson proposed that comics pages be drawn at 10×15 inches rather than the prevailing standard of 12×18 inches, which allowed two pages to be photographed at the same time, and this subsequently became the industry standard.

As an inker, Murphy designed the costume of Adam Strange. [vague] With his frequent collaborator, penciler Curt Swan, the pair’s artwork on Superman and Action Comics in the 1970s came to be called “Swanderson” by fans.

He often hid his initials somewhere within the stories he inked. In the early 1970s, DC assigned Anderson, among other artists, to redraw the heads of Jack Kirby’s renditions of Superman and Jimmy Olsen, fearing Kirby’s versions were too different from the established images of the characters.

In 1972, he drew Wonder Woman for the cover of the first issue of Ms. Magazine.

In 1973, he established Murphy Visual Concepts, which provided color separations and lettering for comic books.

Murphy died in October 2015 at the age of 89.

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