Sunday, March 28, 2010

RIP: Dick Giordano

The comics industry lost a giant on Saturday when Dick Giordano passed away. If you grew up reading comics in the 1970s and 1980s, you saw his handiwork as an inker (often with Ross Andru pencilling) on just about every cover during those years, as well as inking Neal Adams in the early 70s on Batman and Green Lantern/Green Arrow (and the soon to be re-released Superman vs Muhammad Ali). And in the 1980s he moved up into being an executive editor at DC, which you may recall with his "Meanwhile..." columns in the back of the comics. It's fair to say that between the talent he either brought over from Charlton in the early 1970s and the artists he helped develop in the 1970s-80s on the creative side, and the changes in the comic marketplace he helped usher in during the 1980s and 1990s, the industry wouldn't be what it is today without him.

Giordano wouldn't be considered a Legion artist, but like I mentioned he did ink the covers of many issues starting in the late 1970s. According to the Grand Comics Database, he did over 30 Legion covers (pencils and/or inks).

  • His first work was inking Neal Adams for a pinup of the Legion as a group, for the 1976 DC Calendar (that was later reprinted on the Tempo paperback).
  • He inked the lead story in "Superboy & the LSH" #246, pencils by Joe Staton, that took place on  Mercury
  • Inks on S&LSH issues 247-258 in 1979 over Joe Staton and his own pencils
  • Issues 259-276 (minus a handful) of "LSH v2", from 1980-81 (over his own, Jimmy Janes, and Rich Buckler pencils). He contributed Saturn Girl to the jam cover of issue 300 in 1983 and inked the "Dark Man" episode in that issue
  • Inks on "Secrets of the LSH" in 1981 on issue 1 over Janes and issues 2 and 3 over his own
  • Then he returned in 1982 for the LSH Annual 1 cover featuring Computo (over Giffen), "Tales" 314 in 1984 (inking over Larry Mahlstedt, who was normally Giffen's inker), 348 (over Ron Frenz), and 351 (over Curt Swan), both in 1987. 
  • His last Legion work was in 1988 in "Who's Who in the LSH" 2, where he inked a few pages of Steve Lightle in the history of the Legion timeline at the front, and LSH v3 45 where he pencilled two pages (inks by Mike DeCarlo).
The BEAT, Newsarama, CBR, and Mark Evanier have more on Giordano's career, as do many others.

The Legion in 1976, pencils by Neal Adams and inks by Dick Giordano, from the DC Calendar.


Brainy Pirate said...


I normally don't notice the differences between inkers, but Giordano was so ubiquitous that I easily realized I preferred his inks on almost every artist he covered. I especially liked his inks on Dick Dillon's JLA art.

I also remember the first time I ever noticed Giordano's skill as a penciller: his Wonder Woman-Zatanna chapter for JLA 200, which I still think is one of the most beautifully drawn stories I've ever seen.

Dave said...

I have never been, nor will I ever be, mistaken for an artist, but when I was a kid and I tried to draw Superman, Batman, or the Legion, I tried to copy Dick Giordano's style. Not emulate, just flat-out COPY. To me, his pencils and inks were just very clean. Put him together with Neal Adams and WOW. The "Limited Collector's" Tabloid with Batman and Ra's Al Ghul is still some of my favorite art ever.
BTW, his was the only artist's name /initials on Superboy/LSH #'s 252-269 (except for 262 and 268), after inking Staton's work on prior covers.
RIP indeed, he was a treasure.

Brainy Pirate said...

I just looked back at S&LSH 246, and I notice that Giordano made Karate Kid look legitimately Asian -- which I never noticed with other artists (Staton included).

Greybird said...

You overlooked his inking on several Legion appearances in DC Comics Presents, such as this multi-character cover, where Giordano worked with Dick Dillin.

nyrdyv said...

Dick Giordano will be sorely missed to all of us comic book enthusiasts.


Steven G. Willis