John Romita drew Marvel’s Amazing Spider-Man from 1966 to 1972, giving the definitive look to such characters as Mary Jane Watson, the Kingpin, and the Punisher. In 1973, he became Marvel’s art director, a position he held until his retirement in 1996, and where he created the initial designs on such seminal characters as Wolverine. In 1977, Romita also co-created the Spider-Man newspaper strip, along with writer Stan Lee.
Stan Sakai was born in Kyoto, Japan, grew up in Hawaii, and currently lives in California. His creation, Usagi Yojimbo, first appeared in 1984. Usagi has been on television as a guest of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as toys, on clothing, in comics, and in a series of trade paperback collections. Stan is a recipient of numerous awards, including the National Cartoonists Society Comic Book Division Award, six Eisner Awards, five Spanish Haxturs, an Inkpot, an American Library Association Award, a Cultural Ambassador Award from the Japanese American National Museum, and a couple of Harvey Awards, including one for Best Cartoonist.
The prolific Alex Schomburg turned out hundreds of comics and pulp magazine covers in the 1930s and 1940s. His covers for World War II–era titles are noted for their large casts of characters in dynamic action, and his airbrush science fiction covers are prized for their brilliant colors and attractive females.
Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus and Lucy—the late Charles Schulz gave us these characters and more with the most popular comic strip of all time, Peanuts. The strip was adapted into a series of animated specials for television that are still being shown decades after they were first aired. For many, Peanuts is a cultural milestone.
Julie Schwartz served as editor at DC Comics for 49 years, starting in the 1940s. In the early 1950s, he edited DC’s premier science fiction titles, Strange Adventures and Mystery in Space, then went on to usher in the Silver Age with revivals of revised versions of such Golden Age characters as the Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, and the Atom, while the Justice League of America became the Silver Age equivalent of the Justice Society.
Dori Seda was one of the pioneers of the autobiographical comics genre in underground comix. She started her career when she was hired by Last Gasp publisher Ron Turner to do the bookkeeping for the company. Her stories were published in several comics and anthologies, including Wimmen's Comix, Rip-Off Comix, Tits 'n’ Clits, and Weirdo. Dori's only full-length solo book was Lonely Nights Comics. Her work is collected in Dori Stories (1999), which also includes memorial essays by friends. In 1988, Last Gasp established the Dori Seda Memorial Award for Women, whose first (and only) recipient was Carol Tyler.
E. C. Segar originated Popeye, Olive Oyl, Wimpy, and other now-classic cartoon characters in his comic strip Thimble Theater, which debuted in 1919. The strip ran for 10 years before Popeye first appeared; the rest is history.
John Severin was an artist equally at home drawing humorous and serious comics. At EC Comics he drew wacky stories for MAD (“Melvin of the Apes”), and western and war stories for Two-Fisted Tales. After EC he continued both trends, producing humor features for Cracked along with western and war stories for Marvel, Warren, and other companies.
Marie Severin was the colorist for all the EC Comics titles in the early 1950s. In the 1960s, she joined Marvel Comics, where over the next two decades she not only anchored the famous “bullpen” but drew such comics as The Incredible Hulk, Kull, and Not Brand Echh! She went back to coloring in the 1990s, primarily for DC titles.
Cartoonist Gilbert Shelton began his first notable comic strip in the early 1960s, writing and drawing Wonder Warthog for the University of Texas’ satirical magazines Bacchanal and Texas Ranger. He moved to San Francisco in 1968 and became part of the burgeoning underground comix scene. After producing the comic Feds 'n' Heads (published by Print Mint), Shelton created his most famous strip, The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers in 1968, and a spinoff strip, Fat Freddy's Cat, in 1969, when he also co-founded Rip Off Press.
While teenagers in Cleveland, science fiction fans Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created Superman. And a whole industry was born. Siegel continued to write comics into the 1960s, including Superman, and the duo co-created Funnyman in the mid 1940s.
Bill Sienkiewicz started drawing comics professionally at age 19, fresh out of art school. His early style on Marvel titles such as Moon Knight was heavily influenced by Neal Adams. In the 1980s Sienkiewicz broke out into a multimedia style that was revolutionary for comics, combining painting, line art, collage, mimeographs, and other elements. Sienkiewicz’s highly stylized art on Marvel’s Elektra: Assassin, The New Mutants, and his own graphic novel Stray Toasters earned international acclaim. His work has appeared in Brazil’s National Museum of Fine Arts; galleries in Paris, Barcelona, and Tuscany; and advertising campaigns for Nike, MTV, and Nissan. Sienkiewicz received an Inkpot Award in 1981, and his work has won many awards including several Eagles, a Kirby, and an Eisner.
With Jack Kirby, Joe Simon co-created Captain America, invented boy gang comics, and produced the first romance comics. Among the titles they created were Young Allies, Boy Commandos, Young Romance, and Black Magic. On his own, Simon created Prez and Brother Power the Geek for DC.
Walter Simonson began drawing for DC Comics in 1972 and was soon tapped by writer/editor Archie Goodwin to draw a new backup feature called Manhunter, which went on to win three best story of the year awards. Since then, Simonson has written and drawn nearly every major character for both Marvel and DC Comics. Highlights include Star Wars, Fantastic Four, Elric, and Thor, the latter of which would go on to become his most famous work. His run on the series lasted nearly four years and is considered by many to be the defining version of the Thunder God. Most recently he has been writing and drawing the series Ragnarök for IDW.