Marty Nodell co-created the Green Lantern in 1940 with writer Bill Finger. He drew Green Lantern in various titles until leaving DC in 1947 to work for Timely Comics. At Timely he drew Captain America, The Human Torch, and the Submariner, among others, until 1950 when he left the comics business for good.
Joe Orlando started out as an assistant to Wally Wood in the late 1940s and became one of EC’s top sf/fantasy illustrators in the early 1950s. After a stint drawing for Classics Illustrated, he freelanced for MAD and Warren Publications in the 1960s. In 1968 he went on staff at DC, where he edited such titles as House of Mystery, The Witching Hour, Weird War Tales, and Plop! and went on to become vice president and coordinator of special projects. Orlando is credited with designing much of DC’s distinctive typography.
Jackie Ormes was the first, and for a long time only, black female newspaper cartoonist. From 1937 to 1938 she wrote and drew Dixie in Harlem comics featuring Torchy Brown. After returning to her roots in journalism, she published Candy, a single-panel cartoon about a witty housemaid in 1945. Then she created Patty-Jo ’n’ Ginger, another single-panel cartoon about a pair of sisters, which ran for 11 years through 1956. Finally, from 1950 to 1954, Ormes revamped Torchy Brown into Torchy in Heartbeats, an 8-page color comic insert, including many paper dolls as was popular in the time.
In addition to Osamu Tezuka, Katsuhiro Otomo is the creator most responsible for popularizing anime and manga in the Western world. Akira, his landmark achievement, revitalized the anime and manga industry, building an entire new anime empire on the groundwork laid by Tezuka. Otomo’s other famous work is Domu, which began being serialized in 1980 and ran for two years. Next came Akira, which ran to over 2,000 pages serialized over eight years (1982–1990). The anime adaptation was released in 1988. Following the success of Akira, Otomo continued work in film as a director and screenwriter.
In 1968 DC editor Julius Schwartz asked Dennis O'Neil to revamp Batman. O’Neil and artist Neal Adams took the character back to his roots and created the version of Batman that has been an inspiration for many of the Warner Bros. films and current comics. In 1970, Dennis again collaborated with Adams and Schwartz to produce the Green Lantern/Green Arrow series. Among his other lauded works for DC are The Shadow with Michael Kaluta and The Question with Denys Cowan.
Rose O’Neill was an American cartoonist and writer who, at a young age, became the best-known and highest-paid female commercial illustrator in the United States. A four-panel comic strip by O'Neill was featured in a September 19, 1896, issue of Truth magazine, making her the first American woman to publish a comic strip. She earned her international fame and fortune by creating the Kewpie, the most widely known cartoon character until Mickey Mouse. Her Kewpie cartoons, which made their debut in a 1909 issue of Ladies’ Home Journal, were made into bisque dolls in 1912 by J. D. Kestner, a German toy company. The dolls became immediately popular and are considered to be one of the first mass-marketed toys in the United States.
The first issue of Harvey Pekar‘s American Splendor appeared in 1976. Between then and 1991 he self-published 16 issues, drawn by a variety of artists, most notably R. Crumb and Frank Stack. Subsequent issues were published by Dark Horse and Vertigo. His book with Joyce Brabner Our Cancer Year garnered numerous awards, and Harvey became somewhat of a celebrity by appearing on the Letterman show. In 2003 a film version of American Splendor brought Harvey back into the spotlight.
George Pérez started drawing comics at Marvel in 1974. After working on such titles as Fantastic Four, The Inhumans, and The Avengers, he developed a reputation as the artist who liked to draw group books. In addition to his Marvel stints, he is best known for his work on DC’s The New Teen Titans,Wonder Woman, and Crisis on Infinite Earths.
At age 61, Harry G. Peter began drawing Wonder Woman, collaborating with writer William Moulton Marston. Peter started with the Amazon’s first appearance in Sensation Comics in 1941 and continued drawing the feature for close to two decades. Wonder Woman #97, cover dated April 1958, was Peter's last issue.
Lily Renée Wilhelm Peters Phillipswas the star artist for comics publisher Fiction House, where she worked from 1943 until 1948. She drew such strips as Werewolf Hunter, Jane Martin, Senorita Rio, and The Lost World. She was known for her striking covers and “good girl” art. She later drew Abbott & Costello Comics with her husband at the time, Eric Peters, and Borden’s Elsie the Cow comics. She left comics in the 1950s; she is still living and was a guest at Comic-Con in 2007.
Richard and Wendy Pini created the much-loved fantasy series Elfquest, widely regarded as the first manga-influenced graphic novel series with a high fantasy theme published in the U.S. The Pinis were among the first independent publishers of their own comics, founding Warp Graphics in 1978. Richard ran Warp full-time from 1981 until 2003. In 2018, Elfquest concluded its 40-year run with Dark Horse Comics. The series has millions of readers around the world and continues to gain new fans. Wendy has also drawn and written comics for Marvel, DC, First Comics, and other publishers, including two graphic novels based on the 1980s TV series Beauty and the Beast. More recently, she created a graphic novel and animated webcomic based on the Edgar Allan Poe horror story “Masque of the Red Death,” which has been adapted into a musical.
Wendy and Richard Pini created the much-loved fantasy series Elfquest, widely regarded as the first manga-influenced graphic novel series with a high fantasy theme published in the U.S. The Pinis were among the first independent publishers of their own comics, founding Warp Graphics in 1978. Richard ran Warp full-time from 1981 until 2003. In 2018, Elfquest concluded its 40-year run with Dark Horse Comics. The series has millions of readers around the world and continues to gain new fans. Wendy has also drawn and written comics for Marvel, DC, First Comics, and other publishers, including two graphic novels based on the 1980s TV series Beauty and the Beast. More recently, she created a graphic novel and animated webcomic based on the Edgar Allan Poe horror story “Masque of the Red Death,” which has been adapted into a musical.
Hugo Pratt was an Italian who grew up in both Venice and Ethiopia. The aspiring cartoonist moved to Argentina in 1950, where he created a number of adventure comic strips. He returned to Italy in 1965, and in 1970 he created Corto Maltese, an adventure series set in the South Seas, for the French comics weekly Pif. This strip became very successful, and Pratt’s distinctive art style became highly influential on cartoonists around the world.
Photo from The Spy vs. Spy Omnibus (MAD Books, 2011)
Antonio Prohías is best known for his 30 years of work with MAD magazine on his comic feature “Spy Vs. Spy,” which has been adapted into a series of animated shorts, several video games, a series of live-action television commercials, and a Sunday strip. In the late 1940s Prohias began drawing cartoons for the prestigious Cuban newspaper El Mundo. His wordless material enjoyed international appeal, and by the late 1950s he was the president of the Association of Cuban Cartoonists. On May 1, 1960 (just three days before Castro gained control of El Mundo and the rest of Cuba’s free press) Prohías fled Cuba for New York City.