Writer Mark Evanier delivered sad news this morning, reporting that legendary artist Kurt Schaffenberger has died at the age of 81. Kurt has been suffering from an array of illnesses including diabetes and heart trouble.
According to Evanier Schaffenberger was born in 1920 in Germany, but grew up in Hartford, Connecticut. After finishing school Schaffenberger got into comics working at Fawcett Comics, "Captain Marvel" and "Bulletman" for the publisher. After Fawcett closed up shop Schaffenberger ended up at DC becoming the main artist on "Lois Lane."
In the sixties Schaffenberger was thrown out of DC when he joined with a group of writers who protested the poor working conditions at DC Comics at the time. After DC Schaffenberger did some romance comics work for Marvel, then left comics entirely and got into commercial illustration. Schaffenberger eventually returned to DC to draw Superman, Super-Friends, Wonder Woman, Superboy and other books. Schaffenberger was also instrumental in DC Comics revival of "Captain Marvel" in the 70s.
"Kurt himself was a charming gentleman who reminded you of a classic character actor of the forties," Evanier said. "He was handsome, gallant and impossible to dislike. My most vivid memory of him is from a convention in the mid-seventies when he started doing freebee sketches for fans. Instantly, he was mobbed and, fearing someone would be trampled, he announced that he would stay until everyone around him got a drawing...and he did. He stayed there for at least three hours, whipping out the neatest-looking Lois doodles you ever saw, complete with her classic pillbox hat and the famous Schaffenberger smile. If you knew Kurt, you knew where that smile came from."
For more on Schaffenberger visit Mark Evanier's Web site for his full eulogy.