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Dick Giordano (born Richard Joseph Giordano on July 20, 1932) is an Americanmarker comic book artist and editor best known for introducing Charlton Comics' "Action Heroes" stable of superheroes, and serving as executive editor of then industry-leader DC Comics. As an inker, Giordano is well known for his pairings with penciler Neal Adams in a series of critically acclaimed comics featuring Batman, Green Lantern, and Green Arrow.

Biography

Early life and career

Dick Giordano was born in New York City, in the borough of Manhattanmarker. Beginning as a freelance artist at Charlton Comics in 1952, Giordano rose to editor-in-chief by 1965. He made his first mark in the industry with Charlton, overseeing the revamping of its few existing superheroes and having his artists and writers create new such characters for what he called the company's "Action Hero" line. (Many of these artists included new talent Giordano brought on board, featuring such names as Jim Aparo, Denny O'Neil, and Steve Skeates.)

DC Comics

DC Comics' then-publisher Carmine Infantino hired Giordano as an editor in 1967, with Giordano also bringing over to DC many of the creators he had nurtured at Charlton. While none of his titles (such as Bat Lash and Deadman) were a commercial hit, they were critical successes.

Continuity Associates

By 1971 Giordano had left DC to partner with artist Neal Adams for their Continuity Associates studios, which served as an art packager for comic book publishers, including such companies as Giordano's former employer Charlton Comics, Marvel Comics, and the one-shot Big Apple Comix. Continuity served as the launching pad for the careers of a number of professional cartoonists, many of whom were mentored by Giordano during their time there. Notable inkers who worked at Continuity include Terry Austin, Bob Layton, Al Milgrom, Joe Rubinstein, and Bob Wiacek.

Return to DC

In 1980 new DC publisher Jenette Kahn brought Giordano back to DC. Initially the editor of the Batman titles, Giordano was named the company's new managing editor in 1981, and promoted to Vice President/Executive Editor in 1983 (a position he held until 1993). With Kahn and Paul Levitz, Giordano helped relaunch such major characters as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, the Justice League of America, and the Teen Titans. By the end of the 1980s, they had also created the critically acclaimed, mature-audience Vertigo imprint, under initial editor Karen Berger, and began an influx of Britishmarker talent such as Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman.

During this period, until he left the company, Giordano wrote a monthly column published in DC titles called "Meanwhile..." which (much like Marvel's "Bullpen Bulletins") featured news and information about the company and its creators. (Giordano closed each "Meanwhile..." column with the characteristic words, "Thank you and good afternoon.") Giordano also continued to ink, such as over George PĂ©rez's pencils on the 1986 crossover Crisis on Infinite Earths, and John Byrne's pencils on The Man of Steel and Action Comics.

Creators rights

Beginning in 1985, Giordano was in the middle of an industry-wide debate about the comics industry and creators' rights. Veteran writers Mike Friedrich, Steven Grant, and Roger Slifer all cited Giordano in particular for his hard-line stance on behalf of DC. This debate led in part to the 1988 drafting of the Creator's Bill of Rights.

Later career

Giordano left DC and went into semi-retirement in 1993, still doing the occasional inking job. In 1994 Giordano illustrated a graphic novel adaptation of the novel Modesty Blaise released by DC Comics (ISBN 1-56389-178-6), with creator/writer Peter O'Donnell.

In 2002, Giordano helped launch Future Comics with writer David Michelinie and artist Bob Layton. Future Comics closed down after only two-and-a-half years in business in 2004.

Since 2002 he has also drawn issues of The Phantom comic book published in Europe and Australia. In the mid-2000s, he began sitting on the board of directors of the comic industry charity A Commitment To Our Roots (ACTOR), renamed in 2006 The Hero Initiative. In 2005, F+W Publications Inc. published Drawing Comics with Dick Giordano (which he wrote and illustrated), a book in which he shares his drawing methods and techniques that he used in comics.

Personal life

Giordano was married for many years to the former Marie Trapani (sister of fellow comics artist Sal Trapani), who died from stomach cancer in 1993. Marie's death, combined with Giordano's increasing hearing loss, hastened his decision to retire from DC.

Giordano splits time between homes in Florida and Connecticut.

Legacy

As an artist, Giordano is best-known as an inker, where his realistic brushwork and eye for detail defined the Bronze Age style. His inking is particularly associated with the pencils of Neal Adams, for their influential run in the late 1960s and early 1970s on the titles Batman and Green Lantern/Green Arrow for DC Comics. Giordano also inked the large-format, landmark DC/Marvel Comics intercompany crossover Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man (1976), over the pencils of Spider-man specialist Ross Andru. Giordano also inked Adams on the one-shot Superman vs. Muhammad Ali in 1978. Throughout the late Seventies and Eighties, Andru and Giordano were DC's cover artists of choice, providing cover artwork for almost every title in the DC line at that time.

Giordano served as mentor or inspiration to an entire generation of inkers, including Terry Austin, Klaus Janson, Bob Layton, Steve Mitchell, Joe Rubinstein and Mike DeCarlo. As a penciller, he drew numerous Batman and Wonder Woman stories as well as the martial arts feature "Sons of the Tiger" in Marvel's black-and-white comics magazine The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu.

Bibliography

Interior pencil art includes:

DC Comics



Marvel Comics



Books



Awards

Giordano has received recognition in the industry for his work, including the Alley Award for Best Editor in 1969 and the Shazam Award for Best Inker (Dramatic Division) for Green Lantern and other DC titles in 1970, again in 1973 for Justice League of America, and the Shazam Award for Best Inker (Dramatic Division) in 1971 and 1974.

Notes

References

  • Eury, Michael. Dick Giordano: Changing Comics, One Day at a Time (TwoMorrows Publishing, 2003). ISBN: 1893905276
  • The Grand Comics Database


External links




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