Artist Earl Norem, remembered for his painted covers for Marvel and his Mars Attacks! cards for Topps, passed away Friday at age 91. Comics fans will most likely recognize his work from the 1978 Silver Surfer graphic novel by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott.
“He was a true super hero to me and to all who knew him,” wrote daughter Andrea Norem-Thompson. “A kind gentle, modest soul, his legacy will last a lifetime. We thank all of his fans far and wide who have meant so much to him throughout his career. As the great Jack Benny was quoted to say, Thanks for the memories, Earl, Daddy, Pop and loving. Husband. You were one of a kind.”
A World War II veteran, Norem began his illustration career after leaving the service, working throughout the 1950s and ’60s for men’s adventure magazines, including some of those published by Martin Goodman’s Magazine Management Company. By the 1970s, he was creating cover for such Marvel magazines as The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu, Dracula Lives, The Haunt of Horror, The Hulk, Planet of the Apes, The Savage Sword of Conan and Tales of the Zombie, as well as Charlton’s Six Million Dollar Man.
Longtime fans of Masters of the Universe and Transformers will undoubtedly recognize Norem’s contributions to the multimedia franchises, even if they didn’t realize he was the artist responsible for many He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Magazine covers and four of the Transformers Big Looker Storybooks.
You can view a gallery of his work below.
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