Artist Murphy Anderson has passed away at age 89, multiple sources including DC Comics have confirmed. Anderson is best known for his vast work at DC in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, including co-creating characters such as Zatanna and the Atomic Knight.
Known for his work as both a penciler and an inker, Anderson’s career dates back to the 1940s, on pulp comics published by Fiction House like “Rangers Comics” and “Planet Comics.” In the early 1950s, he debuted at DC Comics and became a regular illustrator of sci-fi series “Strange Adventures,” drawing Captain Comet and the Atomic Knights (created by Murphy and writer John Broome).
Anderson illustrated many of DC’s famous characters during his time at the publisher, though he’s most closely associated with some of the quirkier and less traditional superheroes, including Zatanna (who he co-created with writer Gardner Fox), Adam Strange (whose distinctive costume he designed), Hawkman and the Spectre; all characters whose visual identity he helped shape.
As an inker, Anderson worked extensively with late Superman artist Curt Swan through the ’70s and into the ’80s.
“Murphy Anderson was a fine man and an immense talent,” comics writer Mark Waid stated on Twitter. “[He] was kind and gracious and the personification of the word ‘gentleman.’ He was also, I think, the earliest fan-turned-pro.”
DC Comics has released a statement on Anderson’s passing:
The DC Entertainment family is deeply saddened by the loss of Murphy Anderson.
Anderson was a giant in the comics industry and one of the driving forces in the evolution of not only DC Comics, but the Silver Age of comics in general. As one of the great artists and inkers at DC Comics, his style helped define the DC look in the Silver Age, and brought to life some of DC Comics’ most prolific characters, including Adam Strange, Atomic Knight, Hawkman and Zatanna, as well as his genre-defining collaborations with Superman artist Curt Swan.
“I’m so glad I had the chance to meet Murphy on several occasions,” said Dan DiDio, DC Entertainment Co-Publisher. “He was true gentleman and was incredibly humble and gracious in regard to the sizable impact he made over a generation of comic fans.”
DC Entertainment extends its deepest condolences to his family, friends and fans.