Monday, March 31, 2008

Thanks, Mr. Mooney....

...for producing some of my favorite Silver Age comics. I have wonderful memories of your work on Supergirl (it was the first long-form continuity story arc I can remember, in fact; from the time she began in her own backup series until her world debut in Action #285, Supergirl's transition from trainee to heroine was one of my favorite stories, and I remember looking for missing parts to find out what happened next). I thought your work on Tommy Tomorrow was phenomenal. I loved your Superman/Batman stories in World's Finest.

I wish I could have said this to Jim Mooney in person, but he died yesterday at the age of 88 or 89 (I don't know when in 1919 he was born). Mooney was one of a decreasingly small number of comic book legends who helped to shape my love for the medium.

Like Curt Swan, Mooney was a consummate illustrator, a man whose fluid line captured motion and vitality while at the same time depicting emotion and humanity. He could draw te ordinary and make it look dramatic; I always thought he would have been a wonderful comic strip artist, had he chosen to go that way.

I heard rumors one time that, to amuse himself, Mooney would pencil his drawings of Supergirl in the nude, adding the costumes at the inking phase; I have no idea if it's true or not, but it made for a great story.

Mooney worked at Marvel for years, but I will always think of him as a DC artist; along with Curt Swan and Carmine Infantino and Gil Kane and Murphy Anderson and Mike Sekowsky, he helped to define the clean DC look of the early Silver Age.

1 comment:

Charles R. Rutledge said...

I'm with you, Cliff. Though I know Jim Mooney worked on Spiderman, Man-Thing, Marvel Team-Up, and any number of other Marvel comic books, he'll always be THE Supergirl artist to me. Just as Curt Swan is the definitive Superman artist, Mooney set the look and approach for the Girl of Steel. I always think of him as a DC artist too. I was particularly fond of his run on Dial H For Hero. Hope we get a Showcase volume of those at some point.