Richard Joseph "Dick" Giordano (/dʒɔːrˈdɑːnoʊ/; July 20, 1932 – March 27, 2010) was an American comics artist and editor whose career included introducing Charlton Comics' "Action Heroes" stable of superheroes and serving as executive editor of DC Comics.
Dick Giordano by Michael Netzer
|Born||Richard Joseph Giordano|
July 20, 1932
New York City, New York, United States
|Died||March 27, 2010 (aged 77)|
Ormond Beach, Florida, United States
|Area(s)||Penciller, Inker, Editor|
|Action Comics (Human Target)|
Beginning as a freelance artist at Charlton Comics in 1952, Giordano contributed artwork to dozens of the company's comics, including such Western titles as Annie Oakley, Billy the Kid, and Wyatt Earp, the war comic Fightin' Army, and scores of covers.
Giordano's artwork from Charlton's Strange Suspense Stories was used as inspiration for artist Roy Lichtenstein's 1965/1966 Brushstroke series, including Brushstroke, Big Painting No. 6, Little Big Painting and Yellow and Green Brushstrokes.
By the mid-1960s a Charlton veteran, Giordano rose to executive editor, succeeding Pat Masulli, by 1965. As an editor, he made his first mark in the industry, overseeing Charlton's revamping of its few existing superheroes and having his artists and writers create new such characters for what he called the company's "Action Hero" line. Many of these artists included new talent Giordano brought on board, including Jim Aparo, Dennis O'Neil, and Steve Skeates.
DC Comics vice president Irwin Donenfeld hired Giordano as an editor in April 1968, at the suggestion of Steve Ditko, with Giordano bringing over to DC some of the creators he had nurtured at Charlton. Giordano was given several titles such as Teen Titans, Aquaman and Young Love, but none of DC's major series. He launched the horror comics series The Witching Hour in March 1969. and the Western series All-Star Western vol. 2 in September 1970.
He continued to freelance for DC as a penciler and inker. As an artist, Giordano was best known as an inker. His inking was particularly associated with the pencils of Neal Adams, for their run in the early 1970s on the titles Batman and Green Lantern/Green Arrow. Comics historian Les Daniels observed that "The influential Adams style moved comics closer to illustration than cartooning, and he brought a menacing mood to Batman's adventures that was augmented by Dick Giordano's dark, brooding inks."
By 1971, frustrated by what he felt was a lack of editorial opportunities, Giordano had left DC to partner with fellow artist Neal Adams for their Continuity Associates studios, which served as an art packager for comic book publishers, including such companies as Giordano's former employer Charlton Comics, Marvel Comics, and the one-shot Big Apple Comix. Several comics artists began their careers at Continuity and many were mentored by Giordano during their time there.
He had a brief run as penciler of the Wonder Woman series which included a two-issue story in issues #202–203 (October and December 1972) written by science-fiction author Samuel R. Delany. Giordano drew several backup stories in Action Comics featuring the Human Target character as well as the martial arts feature "Sons of the Tiger" in Marvel's black-and-white comics magazine The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu. He was a frequent artist on Batman and Detective Comics and he and writer Denny O'Neil created the Batman supporting character Leslie Thompkins in the story "There Is No Hope in Crime Alley" in Detective Comics #457 (March 1976). Giordano inked the large-format, first DC/Marvel intercompany crossover, Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man (1976), over the pencils of Ross Andru. Giordano inked Adams on the one-shot Superman vs. Muhammad Ali in 1978. Throughout the late 1970s and the early 1980s, Ross Andru and Giordano were DC's primary cover artists, providing cover artwork for the Superman titles as well as covers for many of the other comics in the DC line at that time.
In 1980, DC publisher Jenette Kahn brought Giordano back to DC. Initially the editor of the Batman titles, Giordano was named the company's new managing editor in 1981, and promoted to vice president/executive editor in 1983, a position he held until 1993. DC Comics writer and executive Paul Levitz observed in 2010 that "Giordano held the respect of talent as one of their own, and kept their affection with his reassuring calm and warmth."
Giordano provided art for several anniversary issues of key DC titles. He and television writer Alan Brennert crafted the story "To Kill a Legend" in Detective Comics #500 (March 1981). Giordano was one of the artists on the double-sized Justice League of America #200 (March 1982) as well as Wonder Woman #300 (Feb. 1983) He was promoted to Vice-President/Executive Editor in 1984, and with Kahn and Levitz, oversaw the relaunch of all of DC's major characters with the Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series in 1985. This was followed by Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen in 1986. Giordano inked several major projects during this time such as George Pérez's pencils on Crisis on Infinite Earths and John Byrne's pencils on The Man of Steel and Action Comics, though during this period he always employed assistants for inking backgrounds, filling in large black areas, and making final erasures.
From 1983 to 1987, Giordano wrote a monthly column published in DC titles called "Meanwhile..." which much like Marvel's "Bullpen Bulletins" featured news and information about the company and its creators. Unlike "Bullpen Bulletins," which was characterized by an ironic, over-hyped tone, Giordano's columns ". . . were written in a relatively sober, absolutely friendly voice, like a friend of your father's you particularly liked and didn't mind sitting down to listen to." Giordano closed each "Meanwhile..." column with the characteristic words, "Thank you and good afternoon."
The Vertigo imprint was launched in early 1993 built upon the success several titles edited by Karen Berger including Swamp Thing, Hellblazer, Sandman, Doom Patrol, Animal Man, and Shade, the Changing Man. Giordano inked six issues of The Sandman in 1991-1993.
Beginning in 1987, Giordano was in the middle of an industry-wide debate about the comics industry, ratings systems, and creators' rights. Veteran writers Mike Friedrich, Steven Grant, and Roger Slifer all cited Giordano in particular for his hard-line stance on behalf of DC. This debate led in part to the 1988 drafting of the Creator's Bill of Rights.
Giordano left DC in 1993, and still did the occasional inking job, but later returned to freelancing full-time. In 1994 Giordano illustrated a graphic novel adaptation of the novel Modesty Blaise released by DC Comics, with creator/writer Peter O'Donnell. He was one of the many artists who contributed to the Superman: The Wedding Album one-shot in 1996 wherein the title character married Lois Lane.
In 2002, Giordano launched the short-lived Future Comics with writer David Michelinie and artist Bob Layton. Since 2002, Giordano had drawn several issues of The Phantom published in Europe and Australia. In 2004, Giordano and writer Roy Thomas completed an adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula novel. They had begun the project in 1974 but the cancellation of many of Marvel's black and white magazines put it into limbo. The finished story was collected into a hardcover edition in 2005 and a colorized hardcover edition in 2010. In 2005, F+W Publications Inc. published the instructional art book Drawing Comics with Dick Giordano, which he wrote and illustrated. His last mainstream work appeared in Jonah Hex vol. 2, #51 (March 2010) for which he drew the interior art and the cover. His last comics work was pencilling and editing Baron Five, published by Hound Comics.
Giordano married the former Marie Trapani, sister of fellow comics artist Sal Trapani, on April 17, 1955. She died from complications of her second stomach cancer surgery in February 1993. They had three children together; Lisa, Dawn, and Richard Jr. Marie's death, combined with Giordano's increasing hearing loss, hastened his decision to retire from DC. Following the death of his wife, Giordano split time between homes in Florida and Connecticut. In 1995, he moved to Palm Coast, Florida, where he continued to work full-time freelancing, until his death. Giordano had suffered from lymphoma and later from leukemia, secondary to the chemotherapy. He died on March 27, 2010 due to complications of pneumonia.
Shortly after Giordano's death in 2010, The Hero Initiative created "The Dick Giordano Humanitarian of the Year Award", which debuted at the 2010 Harvey Awards ceremony held at the Baltimore Comic-Con. The award recognizes one person in comics each year who demonstrates particular generosity and integrity in support of the overall comic book community.
Giordano received recognition in the industry for his work, including the Alley Award for Best Editor in 1969. He won the Shazam Award for Best Inker (Dramatic Division) in 1970 (for Green Lantern), 1971, 1973 (for Justice League of America), and 1974. He won the 1971 Goethe Award for "Favorite Pro Editor." Giordano received an Inkpot Award in 1981. In 2009 he was awarded the Inkwell Awards Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award.
Comics work (interior full art – pencils and inks, except where noted) includes:
Editor Dick Giordano conjured up a triumvirate of witches to host an anthology series produced by some of comics' biggest names.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
It was Dick Giordano who, among many other similar feats, drew the March 1976 fan-favorite issue #457 of Detective Comics to illustrate the fabled Denny O'Neil yarn "There is No Hope in Crime Alley".
Giordano was also frequently partnered with penciler Ross Andru, and for several years, the duo illustrated virtually every Superman cover published, and a host of other covers.
| Aquaman editor
Paul Levitz (in 1977)
| Teen Titans editor
| Batman editor
| The Brave and the Bold editor
| Detective Comics editor
| Action Comics inker
| DC Universe Executive Editor
The Academy of Comic Book Arts (ACBA) was an American professional organization of the 1970s that was designed to be the comic book industry analog of such groups as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Composed of comic-book professionals and initially formed as an honorary society focused on discussing the comic-book craft and hosting an annual awards banquet, the ACBA evolved into an advocacy organization focused on creators' rights.
The ACBA award, the Shazam, was a statuette in the shape of a lightning bolt. In addition to the creative awards, the ACBA also established the Academy of Comic Book Arts Hall of Fame award, inducting Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster as its initial honorees.Continuity Associates
Continuity Studios (formerly Continuity Associates, originally known as Continuity Graphics Associates) is a New York City and Los Angeles-based art and illustration studio formed by cartoonists Neal Adams and Dick Giordano. Still in business after more than thirty years, the company showed that the graphic vernacular of the comic book could be employed in profitable endeavors outside the confines of traditional comics.
At its founding in 1971, Continuity primarily supplied motion picture storyboards and advertising art. As times changed, Continuity adapted its services to offer animatics, 3D computer graphics, and conceptual design.
Over the years, Continuity has also served as an art packager for comic book publishers, including such companies as Charlton Comics, Marvel Comics, Adams' own Continuity Comics, and the one-shot Big Apple Comix. The company served as the launching pad for the careers of a number of professional cartoonists. Notable names who worked at Continuity include Terry Austin, Pat Broderick, Howard Chaykin, Larry Hama, Bob Layton, Val Mayerik, Bob McLeod, Al Milgrom, Michael Netzer (Nasser), Carl Potts, Joe Barney, Joe Rubinstein, Walt Simonson, Jim Starlin, Greg Theakston and Bob Wiacek. When doing collective comics work, the artists were often credited as "Crusty Bunkers."
More established cartoonists like Win Mortimer found work at Continuity profitable enough that they left the comics industry to work exclusively on Continuity projects.Dracula Lives!
Dracula Lives! was an American black-and-white horror comics magazine published by Magazine Management, a corporate sibling of Marvel Comics. The series ran 13 issues and one annual publication from 1973 to 1975, and starred the Marvel version of the literary vampire Dracula.
A magazine rather than a comic book, it did not fall under the purview of the comics industry's self-censorship Comics Code Authority, allowing the title to feature stronger content — such as moderate profanity, partial nudity, and more graphic violence — than color comics of the time. featuring Dracula stories.
Running concurrently with the longer-running Marvel comic The Tomb of Dracula, the continuities of the two titles occasionally overlapped, with storylines weaving between the two. Most of the time, however, the stories in Dracula Lives! were standalone Dracula tales by various creative teams. Later issues of Dracula Lives! featured a serialized adaptation of the original Bram Stoker novel, written by Roy Thomas and drawn by Dick Giordano.Future Comics
Future Comics was an American comic book publishing company founded by industry all-rounder Bob Layton, and his creative partners — Layton's mentor, artist/editor Dick Giordano and his frequent writing-partner David Michelinie, CFO Allen Berrebbi — and publisher Skip Farrell.Nevada (comics)
Nevada is the title of an American comic book limited series published by DC Comics under its Vertigo imprint in 1998. The series was written by Steve Gerber and with art from Phil Winslade, Steve Leialoha, and Dick Giordano.
The origin of the character is to be found in a Howard the Duck story that contained a "mandatory fight scene" between a Las Vegas chorus girl, an ostrich and a standing lamp. Writing on the CompuServe comics forum, Neil Gaiman said he'd like to see that story. So when Gerber was asked to come up with something original by Vertigo editor Karen Berger (who rejected his Vertigo take on Inferior Five), he created Nevada.Paul Levitz
Paul Levitz (; born October 21, 1956) is an American comic book writer, editor and executive. The president of DC Comics from 2002–2009, he has worked for the company for over 35 years in a wide variety of roles. Along with publisher Jenette Kahn and managing editor Dick Giordano, Levitz was responsible for hiring such writers as Marv Wolfman and Alan Moore, artists such as George Pérez, Keith Giffen, and John Byrne, and editor Karen Berger, who contributed to the 1980s revitalization of the company's line of comic book heroes.Sarge Steel
Sarge Steel is a detective/spy character published by Charlton Comics during the 1960s. As he was published during the time of Charlton's Action Heroes line of superheroes, and had loose ties to some, he is sometimes included with that group. He was purchased by DC Comics along with the other "Action Heroes".
Sarge (short for "Sargent," as in "Sargent Shriver") Steel has a mechanical left hand. As Dick Giordano stated in the editorial page of L.A.W. #4 he was created by Pat Masulli, and later written and drawn by Joe Gill and artist Dick Giordano. Other artists, including the team of Bill Montes and Ernie Bache, would later take over.Savage Sword of Conan
The Savage Sword of Conan was a black-and-white magazine-format comic book series published beginning in 1974 by Curtis Magazines, an imprint of American company Marvel Comics, and then later by Marvel itself. Savage Sword of Conan starred Robert E. Howard's most famous creation, Conan the Barbarian, and has the distinction of being the longest-surviving title of the short-lived Curtis imprint.
As a "magazine", Savage Sword of Conan did not have to conform to the Comics Code Authority, making it a publication of choice for many illustrators. It soon became one of the most popular comic series of the 1970s and is now considered a cult classic. Roy Thomas was the editor and primary writer for the series' first few years (until issue 60), which featured art by illustrators such as Neal Adams, Dick Giordano, Barry Windsor-Smith, John Buscema, Alfredo Alcala, Jim Starlin, Al Milgrom, Pablo Marcos, and Walter Simonson. Painted covers were provided by such artists as Earl Norem, Bob Larkin, and Joe Jusko.
Savage Sword of Conan was published under the Curtis imprint until issue 60, when it became part of the Marvel Magazine Group. Stories from the comic were reprinted in the Marvel UK title of the same name. The original run of Savage Sword of Conan ran until issue #235 (July 1995).
Marvel Comics reacquired the publishing rights in 2018, and started a new run of Savage Sword of Conan beginning in February 2019.Snowbirds Don't Fly
"Snowbirds Don't Fly" is a two-part anti-drug comic book story arc which appeared in Green Lantern/Green Arrow issues 85 and 86, published by DC Comics in 1971. The story was written by Dennis O'Neil and Neal Adams, with the latter also providing the art with Dick Giordano. It tells the story of Green Lantern and Green Arrow, who fight drug dealers, witnessing that Green Arrow's ward Roy "Speedy" Harper is a drug addict and dealing with the fallout of his revelation. Considered a watershed moment in the depiction of mature themes in DC Comics, the tone of this story is set in the tagline on the cover: "DC attacks youth's greatest problem... drugs!"Superman vs. Muhammad Ali
Superman vs. Muhammad Ali is an oversize celebrity comics comic book published by DC Comics in 1978. The 72-page book features Superman teaming up with the heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali to defeat an alien invasion of Earth. It was based on an original story by Dennis O'Neil which was adapted by Neal Adams, with pencils by Adams, and figure inks by Dick Giordano with background inks by Terry Austin.Ten-Eyed Man
The Ten-Eyed Man is a fictional character in DC Comics. He first appeared in Batman #226 and was created by Frank Robbins, Irv Novick, and Dick Giordano.The Hero Initiative
The Hero Initiative, formerly known as A Commitment to Our Roots, or ACTOR, is the first federally recognized not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping comic book creators, writers and artists in need. Founded in late 2000 by a consortium of comic book and trade publishers, including Marvel Comics, Image Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Wizard Entertainment, CrossGen Comics and Dynamic Forces Inc., the 501(c)(3) charity aims to assist comic creators with health, medical, and quality-of-life assistance.The Man Who Falls
"The Man Who Falls" is a 1989 comic book story by Dennis O'Neil and Dick Giordano. It is an overview of Bruce Wayne's early life, including his parents' murder, his time spent traveling and training throughout the world, and his return to Gotham City to become Batman.