Comic Legends: Does Michael Golden Never Sign His Artwork?

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the seven hundred and twelfth installment where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

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Michael Golden has never signed his cover artwork.


False as a general point, but currently True

Reader Dave L. wrote in with this very interesting legend. He wanted to know if it was true that the amazing comic book artist, Michael Golden, never signs his name on his published artwork.

It's a weird one, Dave, in that it is CURRENTLY true, but he used to.

Golden, of course, broke into the comic book scene in a BIG way in the late 1970s, with his dynamic and stylized artwork shocking the industry and influencing a whole generation of comic book artists (Arthur Adams, Todd McFarlane, Rob Liefeld - they all were hugely influenced by Golden's work, and since those artists, in turn, influenced a whole OTHER generation of artists, then obviously Golden's influence is still being felt in comic books to this very day).

One of Golden's only major ongoing assignments early in his career was as the artist (and then cover artist) on Micronauts with writer Bill Mantlo.

And, as you can see, Golden DID sign these covers, with his distinctive "G"...

Even when he began to do other cover work for Marvel in the early 1980s, he kept the signature...

Like his famous launch of Marvel Fanfare in 1982...

However, right when he was becoming a superstar, Golden began to take issue with the cult of personality that he felt that comic books had become. He had attended a few comic book conventions but the whole thing sort of disturbed him. So he stopped doing interviews, he stopped going to comic book conventions (he eventually started going again decades later) and he did, in fact, eventually stop signing his cover work.

First, though, as reader Ollieno noted, he came up with a new signature, which he used on The 'Nam...

By the 1990s, though, he dropped the signature all together, like on his notable run on Detective Comics covers....

Golden's theory was that the comic book companies were paying for his artwork, not for his name. So he did not want them using his name as a selling point. It is all part of that cult of personality thing he was talking about.

Golden continues this practice today. Here is a cool series of connecting covers he did for the last volume of Fantastic Four, all with no signature on them...

So yeah, it's false only in the specific sense of what Dave asked me, but in general, it is something that Golden has done for, like, thirty years now.

Check out my latest Movie Legends Revealed - Why was Die Hard 2 sued by Black and Decker?

OK, that's it for this week!

Thanks to the Grand Comics Database for this week's covers! And thanks to Brandon Hanvey for the Comic Book Legends Revealed logo, which I don't even actually use on the CBR editions of this column, but I do use them when I collect them all on legendsrevealed.com!

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