In Memoriam: Honoring Those We Lost in 2015
ComicsAlliance would like to salute those creators that the comics community lost in 2015. You work was loved, and you are remembered.
Brett Ewins passed away on February 16, 2015. Fans are most likely familiar with his work from 2000 AD, where he worked on Rogue Trooper and Judge Dredd. He also worked at DC Comics on Swamp Thing, Hellblazer and Secret Origins, at Eclipse Comics with the anthology Strange Days, and co-founded the music and comics magazine Deadline with Steve Dillon. At the time of his passing, he was 59 years old.
Harold “Fred” Fredericks, Jr passed away on March 10, 2015. He is most likely known to fans for taking over for Phil Davis as the artist on Mandrake the Magician in June 1965, collaborating with comics legend Lee Falk, and taking over scripting duties once Lee Falk passed on in 1999. In addition to his work on Mandrake and inking the Sunday strips for The Phantom, he worked on Scholastic Magazine’s “Rebel” strips and was a prolific inker for many newspaper strips and Marvel and DC comics. At the time of his passing, he was 85 years old.
Irwin Hasen passed away on March 13, 2015. His most widely known work is Dondi, a newspaper strip about a war orphan that ran from 1954 to 1986. In addition, his early work included contributions in the 1940s to Green Lantern, The Flash, and Green Hornet. He taught from 1976 to 2007 at the Kubert School in Dover, New Jersey, passing on his craft to a generation of comics artists. At the time of his passing, he was 96 years old.
Yoshihiro Tatsumi passed away on March 17, 2015. He is best known in the U.S. for A Drifting Life, published by Drawn & Quarterly, serving as an autobiography of his life as an artist in post-Hiroshima Japan between 1945 and 1960. Its publication earned the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize in 2009, and an Eisner in 2010 in the category of Best U.S. Edition of International Material, Asia. At the time of his passing, he was 79 years old.
Roger Slifer passed away on March 30, 2015. His most enduring and notable claim to fame is as the co-creator of Lobo for DC Comics, along with Keith Giffen, during his time writing Omega Men. Slifer worked in comics from the 1970s on, with noteworthy work at Marvel as a special projects editor, overseeing the company’s black and white magazines. At DC, Slifer was the company’s first sales manager to specialty stores in the burgeoning direct market. At the time of his death, he was 60 years old.
Herb Trimpe passed away on April 13, 2015. Fans will know him from dozens of projects, but his most noteworthy contributions to comics include a seven year run on Marvel’s The Incredible Hulk from 1968 to 1975, during which time he drew the first appearance of Wolverine. Later in life, after Marvel’s bankruptcy, Trimpe took to teaching, but he returned to the Hulk for a 2008 special, provided pencils for the BPRD series The War on Frogs, and self-published his comic Firehawks. At the time of his passing, he was 75 years old.
Francis Tsai passed away on April 23, 2015. He contributed interiors and covers to several of Marvel’s comics, including Marvel Comics Presents and the Marvel Adventures line. He also contributed to Secret Identities: The Asian-American Superhero Anthology. After losing the use of his hands to ALS, he continued to work using special eye-tracking software. At the time of his passing, he was 48 years old.
Glen Orbik passed away on May 11, 2015. Comics readers will recognize his iconic cover work for Marvel and DC, among others, including Lex 2000 and The Life History of the Flash. He also brought his iconic, pulpy style to the world of novels and magazines, illustrating the covers for books by such authors as Joe R. Landsale, George Axelrod, Barbara Hambly, and Stephen King. At the time of his passing, he was 51 years old.
Seth Kushner passed away on May 17, 2015. Kushner is known for Leaping Tall Buildings, a collection of photographs of comics writers and artists in their native habitats. He also wrote the webcomic Schmuck, which was illustrated by a score of cartoonists. At the time of his passing, he was 41 years old.
Michele Wrightson passed away on June 1, 2015. She was a staple of the underground comics scene of the 1970s and was featured in the first all-women’s comics anthology, It Ain’t Me, Babe, published in 1970, as well as its offspring, Wimmen’s Comix. She also worked as a colorist on several comics for Marvel, Milestone and Heavy Metal and collaborated with her husband, Bernie Wrightson, on the Creepshow graphic novel.
Earl Norem passed away on June 19, 2015. A classical “men’s adventure” cover artist, Norem illustrated Marvel projects ranging from Savage Sword of Conan, Rampaging Hulk, Planet of the Apes and Tales of the Zombie. He may also be familiar to Transformers fans as the distinctive illustrator of several Transformers storybooks. At the time of his passing, he was 92 years old.
Leonard Starr passed away on June 30, 2015. He had a long and prolific career in comics, working everywhere from EC Comics to Fawcett Comics in the 1940s and collaborating with legends Joe Simon and Jack Kirby on titles such as Young Romance. He created the comic strip Mary Perkins on Stage, which ran from 1957 to 1979, then revived the strip Little Orphan Annie, staying with it until its retirement in 2000. At the time of his passing, he was 89 years old.
Alan Kupperberg passed away on July 16, 2015. Making his way into comics via Neal Adam’ Continuity Associates, Kupperberg had a career taking him all over the landscape of the American superhero comics scene starting in 1977. He worked across Marvel’s line, including their custom comics division for specific clients ranging from the U.S. Department of Energy to the Sylvan Learning Center. He may best be known for the writing and illustrating Obnoxio the Clown vs. The X-Men. At the time of his passing, he was 62 years old.
Jay Scott Pike passed away on September 13, 2015. He is best known to comics fans for creating the DC character Dolphin and co-creating the Marvel character Jann of the Jungle. He worked on several horror, war and romance titles at Marvel and DC throughout the 1960s, then went into pinup art and advertising, returning in the 1990s to DC Comics to pencil an issue of Scarlett and the comics adaptation of the Star Trek: The Next Generation series finale. At the time of his passing, he was 91 years old.
Ken Feduniewicz passed away on September 18, 2015. Fans will know him as a colorist at Marvel Comics and First Comics, coloring Captain America, Dreadstar, The West Coast Avengers and Marvel Saga. He was also the organizer for Altoona Con and Nittany Con. At the time of his passing, he was 63 years old.
Denis Eichhorn passed away on October 8, 2015. He is reknowned for his autobiographical comic Real Stuff, which was published by Fantagraphics in 1993 and won an Eisner that year. Real Stuff reflected a life that started with birth in a state prison and remained forever eccentric, as Eichhorn worked many jobs ranging from licensed minister to gonzo journalist. At the time of his passing, he was 70 years old.
Murphy Anderson passed away on October 22, 2015. A longtime artist at DC, Anderson created or co-created such enduring characters as Zatanna and the Atomic Knight, and is probably best known for his extensive work with Curt Swan on Superman through the 70s and early 80s, to the point that many fans abbreviated their collaborations as “Swanderson.” Murphy Anderson helped define the iconic look of many DC heroes, to the point that he was tasked with redrawing Jack Kirby’s Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen to make it more in line with the company’s house style. At the time of his passing, he was 89 years old.
Shigeru Mizuki passed away on November 30, 2015. The horror manga artist is best known for the manga GeGeGe no Kitarō, which is based on yōkai myths, and for his memoirs about the Second World War. He was a veteran of the war, and lost his left arm in battle. Despite this he persisted with his goal of becoming an artist. His career earned him numerous accolades, including the 2003 Tezuka Osamu cultural prize and the 2012 Eisner award for Best U.S. Edition of International Material, Asia. At the time of his passing, he was 93 years old.