Mike Sekowsky

Michael Sekowsky (/səˈkaʊski/; November 19, 1923 – March 30, 1989)[1] was an American comics artist known as the penciler for DC Comics' Justice League of America during most of the 1960s, and as the regular writer and artist on Wonder Woman during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Mike Sekowsky
MikeSekowskyPublicityShot
Sekowsky with model Joyce Miller (1969).
DC Comics publicity photo promoting Wonder Woman
BornMichael Sekowsky
November 19, 1923
Lansford, Pennsylvania
DiedMarch 30, 1989 (aged 65)
Los Angeles, California
NationalityAmerican
Area(s)Writer, Penciller
AwardsAlley Award, 1963
Inkpot Award, 1981

Biography

Early life and career

Sekowsky was born in Lansford, Pennsylvania,[2] and began working in the comics medium in 1941,[3] as an artist at Marvel Comics' predecessor, Timely Comics, in New York City. There he worked as both a cartoonist on such humor features as "Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal", and as a superhero artist on such star characters as Captain America and the Sub-Mariner in issues of All Winners Comics, Daring Comics, Marvel Mystery Comics, USA Comics, and Young Allies Comics.[4] Sekowsky developed a reputation as one of the fastest artists in the comics field.[5] Fellow Timely artist Gene Colan commented on his work: "His pencils were something to behold. Very loose, but so beautifully done. At the time, there was no one like him."[6]

During the 1940s, Sekowsky married his first wife, Joanne Latta.[7] Concurrently, he began a complicated relationship with artist Valerie (a.k.a. Violet) Barclay, who was working at the Manhattan restaurant Cafe Rouge. As Barclay recalled in a 2004 interview, "I was 17, and ... was making $18 a week as a hostess. Mike said, 'I'll get you a job making $35 a week as a [staff] inker, and you can [additionally] freelance over the weekend. I'll let you ink my stuff'. He went to editor Stan Lee and got me the job. I didn't know anything about inking. [Staff artist] Dave Gantz taught me — just by watching him".[8] Sekowsky bestowed expensive gifts on her even after his marriage to Latta,[9] causing friction in the Timely bullpen, which she left in 1949. She later described the office environment,

Mike was a very good human being. Everybody at Timely liked Mike. Nobody liked me because they thought I was doing a number on him. Which was true. World War II was on and there were no men around, so I just killed time with him. Everybody, Dave Gantz especially, picked up on that. ... [Mike] once tried to get me fired over my fling with [Timely artist] George Klein. Mike went to Stan Lee and said, 'Stan, I want her fired, and if she doesn't get fired, I'm going to quit'. Well, you couldn't ever tell Stan Lee what to do. Stan said, 'Well, Mike, it's been nice knowing you'.[9]

Sekowsky, one of the nascent Marvel Comics' mainstays, chose to remain and "make George's life hell",[10] Barclay said in 2004. She further described, "I was married before I met Mike, but my husband's divorce was not final. ... [I] had to go to court and get an annulment. Mike paid for it and it cost $350".[11]

Sekowsky continued drawing for Timely in multiple genres through the 1940s and into the 1950s, on such Western characters as the Apache Kid, the Black Rider, and Kid Colt for Marvel's 1950s iteration, Atlas Comics. He later freelanced for other companies, drawing the TV-series spin-offs Gunsmoke and Buffalo Bill, Jr. for Dell Comics; romance comics (for Crestwood, Fawcett Comics, Nedor, Quality Comics, and St. John Publications); the jungle adventure Ramar of the Jungle for (Charlton Comics); war, including Ziff Davis' G.I. Joe, and others. He continued to draw for Dell in particular through the early 1960s.[3]

DC Comics

Brave bold 28
The Brave and the Bold #28 (March 1960): Debut of the Justice League. Cover art by Sekowsky and inker Murphy Anderson.

In 1952, Sekowsky began working at DC Comics, where he drew romance comics and science fiction titles under the editorship of Julius Schwartz. Sekowsky drew the first appearance of Adam Strange in Showcase #17 (Nov. 1958).[12] In 1960, Sekowsky and writer Gardner Fox co-created the Justice League of America in The Brave and the Bold #28 (March 1960).[13] After two further appearances in that title, the team received its own series[14] which Sekowsky drew for 63 issues. Fox and Sekowsky added to the membership of the Justice League by inducting new members Green Arrow,[15] the Atom,[16] and Hawkman.[17] Among the adversaries which Fox and Sekowsky introduced for the team were Amazo[18] and Doctor Light.[19] Justice League of America #21 and #22 (Sept. 1963) saw the first team-up of the Justice League and the Justice Society of America as well as the first use of the term "Crisis" in reference to a crossover between DC's characters.[20] The following year's JLA team-up with the Justice Society introduced the threat of the Crime Syndicate of America of Earth-Three.[21]

Sekowsky married his second wife, Josephine, called Pat, in October 1967.[22]

Sekowsky and writer Bob Haney introduced B'wana Beast in Showcase #66 (Feb. 1967).[23] In 1968, Sekowsky became the penciler of Metal Men. The following year, Sekowsky also became the writer and changed the direction of the series by having the Metal Men assume human identities. The series was canceled six issues later.[3]

At roughly the same time, Sekowsky began working on Wonder Woman with issue #178 (Sept.-Oct. 1968),[24] first as artist and then as writer and editor, until issue #198. His run on the series included a variety of themes, from espionage to mythological adventure. He contributed a story about Wonder Woman and Batman to The Brave and the Bold.[3]

Sekowsky wrote and drew features for the series-tryout comic-book series Showcase during the last three years of its run, including "Jason's Quest", an adventure series about a young man on a motorcycle searching for his family, in Showcase #88-90 (Feb.-May 1970).[3] He became the writer/artist of the Supergirl feature in Adventure Comics as of issue #397 (Sept. 1970) and frequently disregarded continuity by scripting stories which contradicted DC's canon.[25]

Later career

Upon leaving DC, Sekowsky returned to Marvel, where he had gotten his start in the 1940s. From 1971 to 1975, he sporadically provided penciling for stories in Amazing Adventures vol. 2, featuring the Inhumans; and Giant-Size Super-Villain Team-Up.[3]

Sekowsky and writer Greg Weisman planned a Black Canary miniseries in 1984 for DC Comics. After the first issue was pencilled, the project went unpublished due to the character being used in writer/artist Mike Grell's Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters series. Elements were used for Weisman's DC Showcase: Green Arrow short film.[26] Sekowsky returned to Justice League of America to pencil a flashback tale in issue #240 (July 1985), which featured the Justice League from his era.[27]

For the last decade of his life, Sekowsky lived in Los Angeles and worked primarily on Hanna-Barbera animated television series, including Scooby-Doo. After hospitalization with health problems stemming from diabetes, he began freelancing for publisher Daerrick Gross, who was developing a line of skateboard and ninja comics. Sekowsky died before he could complete the assignment.[28]

Awards

Sekowsky won a 1963 Alley Award for Favorite Novel ("Crisis on Earths 1 and 2" in Justice League of America #21 and #22 with Gardner Fox)[29] and a 1981 Inkpot Award.[30]

Bibliography

DC Comics

Gold Key Comics

Marvel Comics

  • Actual Confessions #14 (1952)
  • Actual Romances #1-2 (1949-1950)
  • Adventures into Terror #1, 3-4 (1950-1951)
  • All Teen #20 (1947)
  • All-True Crime #47 (1951)
  • All Western Winners #3 (1949)
  • All Winners Comics #3 (1942)
  • Amazing Adventures #9-10 (Inhumans) (1971-1972)
  • Amazing Comics #1 (1944)
  • Amazing Detective Cases #12 (1952)
  • Apache Kid #1 (1950)
  • Arrgh #1, 3 (1974-1975)
  • Arrowhead #2 (1954)
  • Astonishing #13 (1952)
  • Battle #12, 18 (1952-1953)
  • Best Love #33, 35 (1949-1950)
  • Black Rider #14 (1951)
  • Blackstone the Magician #2, 4 (1948)
  • Blonde Phantom #19 (1948)
  • Captain America Comics #11, 33, 39, 55, 60, 64 (1942-1947)
  • Combat Kelly #22 (1954)
  • Complete Comics #2 (1944)
  • Cowboy Romances #3 (1950)
  • Crazy #5 (1954)
  • Crime Can't Win #4 (1951)
  • Cupid #1-2 (1949-1950)
  • Daring Comics #11 (1945)
  • Faithful #2 (1950)
  • Frankie Comics #8 (1947)
  • Georgie Comics #10-17, 26 (1947-1950)
  • Giant-Size Super-Villain Team-Up #2 (1975)
  • Girl Comics #3 (1950)
  • Girl Confessions #20-21 (1952)
  • Human Torch #20-21, 26-27, 29-34 (1945-1049)
  • Jeanie Comics #13, 17 (1947-1948)
  • Journey into Unknown Worlds #4-5, 9, 21 (1951-1953)
  • Junior Miss #1, 36 (1944-1949)
  • Justice #20, 41 (1951-1953)
  • Lawbreakers Always Lose #2 (1948)
  • Love Adventures #9 (1952)
  • Love Classics #1-2 (1949-1950)
  • Love Dramas #2 (1950)
  • Love Romances #8 (1949)
  • Love Romances #11-13, 20, 23, 25, 48 (1950-1955)
  • Love Secrets #1-2 (1949-1950)
  • Love Tales #37, 39, 41, 50-51 (1949-1952)
  • Lovers #40, 43, 51-52, 80-81 (1952-19560
  • Man Comics #6 (1951)
  • Margie Comics #45 (1949)
  • Marvel Mystery Comics #47-48, 55, 81, 84-90, 92 (1943-1949)
  • Marvel Tales #96, 98 (1950)
  • Men in Action #9 (1952)
  • Millie the Model #5, 7 (1947)
  • Miss America #22 (1949)
  • My Diary #1-2 (1949-1950)
  • My Love #1, 3 (1949)
  • My Love vol. 2 #16-17 (1972)
  • My Own Romance #5-6, 9-12, 15, 19-23, 29, 31, 33 (1949-1953)
  • Mystery Tales #11, 44 (1953-1956)
  • Mystic #1-2, 4-5 (1951)
  • Mystic Comics #9 (1942)
  • Mystic Comics vol. 2 #3-4 (1944-1945)
  • Namora #2-3 (1948)
  • Our Love #1(1949)
  • Our Love Story #16 (1972)
  • Patsy Walker #11-20 (1947-1949)
  • Romance Tales #7, 9 (1949-1950)
  • Secret Story Romances #3 (1954)
  • Spaceman #4 (1954)
  • Spellbound #5-6, 9 (1952)
  • Sport Stars #1 (1949)
  • Spy Cases #3, 15 (1951-1953)
  • Spy Fighters #2 (1951)
  • Strange Tales #3, 9, 11, 14, 16 (1951-1953)
  • Sub-Mariner Comics #26-28 (1948)
  • Suspense #11, 14 (1951-1952)
  • Teen Comics #21 (1947)
  • Tough Kid Squad Comics #1 (1942)
  • True Adventures #3 (1950)
  • True Life Tales #1-2 (1949-1050_
  • True Secrets #16, 18-19, 23 (1952-1954)
  • Two-Gun Kid #3 (1948)
  • Uncanny Tales #11, 25, 46 (1953-1956)
  • U.S.A. Comics #4-6, 10 (1942-1943)
  • Venus #5, 6, 9 (1949-1950)
  • War Action #11 (1953)
  • War Adventures #12 (1953)
  • War Comics #5, 16 (1951-1953)
  • Western Life Romances #1-2 (1949-1950)
  • Wild Western #23, 29 (1952-1953)
  • Willie Comics #5, 7, 10-12, 16, 19 (1946-1949)
  • Young Allies #11-12, 16, 18 (1944-1945)
  • Young Hearts #1 (1949)
  • Young Men #5, 17 (1950-1952)

Tower Comics

References

  1. ^ Social Security Death Index, Michael Sekowsky, via Genealogybank.com
  2. ^ "Michael Sekowsky". United States Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 – via Ancestry.com. Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help) (subscription required)
  3. ^ a b c d e f Mike Sekowsky at the Grand Comics Database
  4. ^ "Mike Sekowsky". Lambiek Comiclopedia. 2014. Archived from the original on May 17, 2013.
  5. ^ Lee, Stan (1947). Secrets Behind the Comics. Famous Enterprises. p. 58.
  6. ^ Field, Tom (2005). Secrets in the Shadows: The Art & Life of Gene Colan. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 32. ISBN 978-1893905450.
  7. ^ "Viva Valerie". Alter Ego (Valerie Barclay interview). Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing. 3 (33): 2–16. February 2004.
  8. ^ Barclay interview, Alter Ego, pp. 4-5
  9. ^ a b Barclay interview, Alter Ego, p. 3
  10. ^ Barclay interview, Alter Ego, p. 4
  11. ^ Barclay interview, Alter Ego, p. 11
  12. ^ Irvine, Alex; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1950s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 91. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. Adam Strange debuted in a three-issue trial starting with Showcase #17, which was written by Gardner Fox and featured art by Mike Sekowsky.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  13. ^ McAvennie, Michael "1960s" in Dolan, p. 99: "Editor Julius Schwartz had repopulated the [superhero] subculture by revitalizing Golden Age icons like Green Lantern and the Flash ... He recruited writer Gardner Fox and artist Mike Sekowsky, and together they came up with the Justice League of America, a modern version of the legendary Justice Society of America from the 1940s."
  14. ^ McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 101
  15. ^ Fox, Gardner (w), Sekowsky, Mike (p), Sachs, Bernard (i). "Doom of the Star Diamond" Justice League of America 4 (April–May 1961)
  16. ^ Fox, Gardner (w), Sekowsky, Mike (p), Sachs, Bernard (i). "The Menace of the 'Atom' Bomb!" Justice League of America 14 (September 1962)
  17. ^ Fox, Gardner (w), Sekowsky, Mike (p), Sachs, Bernard (i). "Riddle of the Runaway Room!" Justice League of America 31 (November 1964)
  18. ^ McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 100
  19. ^ McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 105: "In a tale written by Gardner Fox, with art by Mike Sekowsky, Dr. Light's first [story] was almost the JLA's last."
  20. ^ McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 109: "The two-part 'Crisis on Earth-One!' and 'Crisis on Earth-Two!' saga represented the first use of the term 'Crisis' in crossovers, as well as the designations 'Earth-1' and 'Earth-2'. In it editor Julius Schwartz, [writer Gardner] Fox, and artist Mike Sekowsky devised a menace worthy of the World's Greatest Heroes."
  21. ^ McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 112: "Writer Gardner Fox and artist Mike Sekowsky crafted a tale in which the Crime Syndicate ... ambushed the JLA on Earth-1."
  22. ^ Alter Ego #33, interview with wife Pat Sekowsky, p. 9
  23. ^ McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 123: "Africa found itself a helmeted, loinclothed champion of mammals when scribe Bob Haney and artist Mike Sekowsky presented B'wana Beast."
  24. ^ McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan p. 131 "Carmine Infantino wanted to rejuvenate what had been perceived as a tired Wonder Woman, so he assigned writer Denny O'Neil and artist Mike Sekowsky to convert the Amazon Princess into a secret agent. Wonder Woman was made over into an Emma Peel type and what followed was arguably the most controversial period in the hero's history."
  25. ^ Abramowitz, Jack (December 2013). "Adventure Comics #400 ... Really?". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (69): 22–24.
  26. ^ Wells, John (February 2011). "Failure to Launch: The Black Canary Miniseries That Never Took Flight". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (46): 45–52.
  27. ^ Busiek, Kurt (w), Sekowsky, Mike (p), Mandrake, Tom (i). "The Future Ain't What It Used to Be" Justice League of America 240 (July 1985)
  28. ^ Paragraph information per Alter Ego Pat Sekowsky interview, pp. 5-7
  29. ^ "1963 Alley Awards". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on October 24, 2013.
  30. ^ "Inkpot Award Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012.

Further reading

  • Evanier, Mark. "Mike Sekowsky and the Silver Age Justice League of America". Comic Art #3 (2003)
  • Bubnis, Bernie. "Chicken Scratchings: A 1964 Meeting of Mike Sekowsky and a Comics Fan", Alter Ego #33, February 2004, pp. 3–4

External links

Preceded by
n/a
Justice League of America artist
1960–1968
Succeeded by
Dick Dillin
Preceded by
Win Mortimer
Wonder Woman artist
1968–1971
Succeeded by
Don Heck
Preceded by
Dennis O'Neil
Wonder Woman writer
1969–1971
Succeeded by
Dennis O'Neil
Preceded by
Robert Kanigher
Adventure Comics writer
1970–1971
Succeeded by
John Albano
Preceded by
Win Mortimer and
Kurt Schaffenberger
"Supergirl" feature
in Adventure Comics artist

1970–1972
Succeeded by
Tony DeZuniga
Appellaxian

The Appellaxians are a fictional alien race in DC Comics.

Brain Storm (comics)

Brain Storm is the name of three fictional characters appearing in the comics published by DC Comics. The first Brain Storm appeared in Justice League of America #32 (December 1964) and was created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Mike Sekowsky.

Brainstorm made his live appearance on the fourth season of The Flash played by Kendrick Sampson.

Demons Three

Abnegazar, Rath and Ghast are three fictional characters in the DC Universe who are collectively known as the Demons Three.

Despero

Despero () is a fictional supervillain that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. The character first appears in Justice League of America #1 (October 1960) and was created by Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky.

Debuting in the Silver Age of Comic Books, the character has appeared in both comic books and other DC Comics-related products such as animated television series and feature films, trading cards, and video games. He is an enemy of Martian Manhunter, Booster Gold, and the Justice League.

In 2010 IGN named Despero the 96th greatest comic book villain of all time.

Doctor Cyber

Doctor Cyber is a fictional character appearing in DC Comics publications and related media, traditionally as an adversary of the superhero Wonder Woman. She first appeared in 1968 as the head of a vast global criminal and terrorist group in Wonder Woman, vol. 1, issue #179, written by Dennis O'Neil and illustrated by Mike Sekowsky and Dick Giordano. In her early appearances, Dr. Cyber was a beautiful and elegantly-attired woman. Later, after her face was disfigured in an accident, she donned a gold muzzle-mask and technologically advanced full-body exoskeleton. These cybernetic enhancements increased Cyber's physical strength, and gave her the ability to absorb and redirect energy, as well as to fire energy blasts from her hands. Despite the resulting upgrades to her power, Dr. Cyber's disfigurement also wrought a mounting emotional instability. She became obsessed with recapturing her beauty by transferring her mind into Wonder Woman's body, a project she attempted several times with the help of her operative Doctor Moon.

Doctor Destiny

Doctor Destiny is a supervillain appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics.

Jeremy Davies portrays the character in his live-action television debut on The CW's 2018 Arrowverse crossover "Elseworlds".

Doctor Light (Arthur Light)

Doctor Light is a bipartite character, comprising supervillain Arthur Light and superhero Jacob Finlay, appearing in comic books published by DC Comics.His stint as Doctor Light is concurrent with that of a superheroine using the same name and nearly identical costume, Kimiyo Hoshi. In 2009, Doctor Light was ranked as IGN's 84th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.

Drusilla (DC Comics)

Drusilla is an Amazon who appeared in Wonder Woman Vol 1, #182 to #184, of DC Comics in 1969. Created by Mike Sekowsky, she was modified as Wonder Woman's younger sister when she was featured on the Wonder Woman television series played by Debra Winger.

Epoch (DC Comics)

Epoch, also known as The Lord of Time, is a comic book fictional character published by DC Comics. He first appeared in Justice League of America #10 (March 1962) and was created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Mike Sekowsky.

A powerful being from the year 3786, the Lord of Time attacks the Justice League of America, using his chrono-cube to peel back the fourth-dimensional veil of time. Since his initial defeat by the JLA, this fugitive from the future learned to move laterally and diagonally through history, accessing armies and armaments spanning millions of years. He desires to conquer space and time.

To make sure his bid to rule all reality is successful, he is capable of eliminating the JLA's ancestors, erasing them from existence. At some point, the Lord of Time created a frozen moment in history called Timepoint, and he will eventually evolve into a being known as Epoch who desires to master the timestream, changing events to grant him power.

Epoch seemingly died in the JLA/WildC.A.T.s crossover. However, he recently returned, once again as the Lord of Time, in the series The Brave and the Bold. Epoch also made an appearance in the Justice League of America 80-Page Giant #1 comic (November 2009), where he battled the JLA and tossed all the superheroes back in time.

Faceless Hunters

The Faceless Hunters are an alien race in the DC Comics universe that first appeared in Strange Adventures #124, (January 1961). They were created by Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky. The Faceless Hunters hail from Klaramar, the word Klar-a-mar breaks down into "clear of imperfection". Klar is the German language term for "clear", and "mar" can mean either blemish or imperfection.

Felix Faust

Felix Faust is a fictional supervillain who appears in stories published by DC Comics. The character first appeared in 1962 as an adversary of the Justice League of America.

Hyathis

Hyathis (also known as Hyanthis) is a fictional extraterrestrial monarch published by DC Comics. She first appeared in Justice League of America vol. 1 #3 (February 1961), and was created by Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky. In all her World's Finest Comics appearances she is referred to as Hyanthis.

I Ching (comics)

I Ching (often spelled I-Ching) is a fictional, blind martial artist published by DC Comics. He first appeared in Wonder Woman vol. 1 #179 (November 1968), and was created by Denny O'Neil and Mike Sekowsky.

Kanjar Ro

Kanjar Ro is a fictional supervillain appearing in comic books published by DC Comics.

Queen Bee (comics)

Queen Bee is the name of six different DC Comics supervillains.

Shaggy Man (comics)

Shaggy Man is the name of several fictional characters that appear in comic books published by DC Comics.

Starro

Starro (also known as Starro the Conqueror) is a fictional supervillain that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. The character first appeared in Brave and the Bold #28 (February–March 1960), and was created by Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky.

Starro is the first villain to face the original Justice League of America. Debuting in the Silver Age of Comic Books, the character has appeared in both comic books and other DC Comics-related products, such as animated television series and videogames.

The Maniaks

The Maniaks are a fictional rock band published by DC Comics. They first appeared in issue Showcase #68 (May 1967), and were created by E. Nelson Bridwell and Mike Sekowsky.

Weapons Master

Weapons Master is a supervillain, who appears in various DC Comics publications. He was created by artist Mike Sekowsky and writer Gardner Fox. He first appeared in Brave and the Bold #29.

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