Dick Giordano: 1932 – 2010
It is with profound personal regret that I report comics legend Dick Giordano died this morning.
The man who guided two comics companies, Charlton and then DC, to greatness and served as collaborator, friend and mentor to more people than I’d have capacity to recall in a week – Neal Adams, Dennis O’Neil, Jim Aparo, Joe Rubinstein, Terry Austin, Steve Ditko, Frank McLaughlin, Klaus Janson, Al Milgrom, Bob Layton, Steve Skeates, and every young artist, writer and editor who passed through Continuity Associates and DC Comics during his tenure at those companies, to name but a very few. His own gifts as an editor and artist were nothing short of breathtaking.
Dick always defended creative freedom and aesthetic opportunity, sometimes putting him heads-on with management powers, often representing not his own work but that of the editors in his charge, most certainly including myself, for which I will be forever grateful. He knew the good stuff when he saw it, he knew how to improve it, he knew how to incubate it. Projects he saw through included Ditko’s Blue Beetle, Bat Lash, Deadman, Superman Vs. Muhammad Ali, The Dark Knight, Watchmen... really, way too many to list in one place.
As an artist, he drew virtually every major and most minor characters for Charlton, Marvel and DC, including his own early work with Joe Gill on Sarge Steel. Best known as an inker on Batman, Green Lantern, Green Arrow (separately and together), and Superman Vs. The Amazing Spider-Man. One of his very last creative projects was the forthcoming graphic novel White Viper with Erin Holroyd and Frank McLaughlin, serialized on ComicMix and to be released shortly by IDW/ComicMix.
Much of Dick’s best known efforts were done in collaboration with artist Neal Adams, with whom he partnered in a commercial art studio, Continuity Associates, in 1971. A great many comics artists both young and old worked in that studio, often collaborating under the name “the Crusty Bunkers.” He authored the book Drawing Comics with Dick Giordano and served on the board of directors of The Hero Initiative. Even in his corporate capacities, Dick always championed the cause of creator’s rights.
A very warn, opinionated, feisty man with a disarming sense of humor and a knowledge of illustration history second to none, Dick suffered through many health difficulties, including asthma, hearing loss, and ultimately leukemia.
Dick was my friend and my mentor as well; I had the privilege of serving under him for seven years at DC Comics where we worked on Green Arrow, Modesty Blaise and numerous other projects. Dick did a public service piece for me in promotion of The National Runaway Switchboard, and I was proud to be his editor on The White Viper.
I’ll miss him a lot; in this, I will not be alone.