Thursday, 17 October 2013

Murphy Anderson

The First Invention Of Armour (Cerebus Jam #1, April 1985)
Art by Murphy Anderson, with Dave Sim & Gerhard
(100 Hours Internet Tour at MillarWorld, February 2008)
...The Raymond School, as filtered through some primary adherents (it was said that Julie Schwartz used to say he wanted everything in his books to look as if it was drawn by Dan Barry) used to BE the comic-book field, and now it’s something of a specialized interest. And the more realistically you draw, the more time it’s going to take to do a page so you have a much higher “burn-out” rate than you do with guys a step down on the realism scale. How many times has Adam Hughes or Frank Cho done a monthly title and for how long? Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson probably never made more than $35 a page on anything they did with DC so they had to follow the dictum: first you get good, then you get fast, then you get good and fast. And to put food on their families’ tables, roofs over their heads, shoes on the kids’ feet, braces on their teeth they needed to produce x number of pages to Julie Schwartz’s satisfaction every month.

Compare that to today where a top name realist guy can make his reputation onthe X-MEN or something similiar, do four or five issues and then make a good living doing prints, commissions, selling his originals, living off his royalties from the five issues, royalties off the collected version. The way the business was set up made marathon guys, the way the business is set up now it favours wind sprinters.

Murphy Anderson (born July 9, 1926) is known as one of the premier inkers of his era, who has worked for companies such as DC Comics for over fifty years, starting in the 1930s/40s Golden Age of Comic Books. With his frequent collaborator, penciler Curt Swan, the pair's artwork on Superman and Action Comics in the 1970s came to be called "Swanderson" by their fans. He was inducted into the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1988.


Geoffrey D. Wessel said...

Hah! That was an answer to one of my questions to him! (I'd had a lot - I collected them into a coherent "interview" on but I don't have a direct link handy right now...)

Tony Dunlop said...

Superman looks the way Swanderson drew him. Anybody who doesn't look like that, isn't Superman. (Take that, John Byrne.)