Mar 5, 2012

RIP Sheldon Moldoff

Sometimes I do the Reclaiming History section for myself as much as I do it for anyone else, because, damn, every day I read about comics, the more I learn. (Seriously. I sometimes look at my old articles and think about how wrong I actually was.)

Sheldon "Shelly" Moldoff died Wednesday night at the age of 91. As I grew up learning about comics, I always knew that Shelly Moldoff was an important figure, but I never had any idea of the scope of his contributions. According to Mark Evanier,:

  • Shelly Moldoff was one of the artists who worked on the historic Action Comics #1 (1938) which featured the first appearance of Superman.  He didn’t work on the Superman material in that issue but he did have artwork in what some call the most important comic book ever published.  And he was the last surviving person who did.
  • Shelly Moldoff worked as an assistant and ghost artist to Bob Kane on the earliest Batman stories that appeared in Detective Comics.
  • Shelly Moldoff drew the cover of Flash Comics #1 (1940) which introduced the original Flash to the world.
  • Shelly Moldoff drew the cover of All-American Comics #16 (1940) which introduced the original Green Lantern to the world.
  • Shelly Moldoff was the artist of the original Hawkman feature beginning with the character’s fourth appearance and continuing for several years.
  • Shelly Moldoff was by some accounts the inventor of the horror comic book, having proposed the idea to EC Comics publisher William Gaines before Gaines came out with his own Tales From the Crypt.
  • Shelly Moldoff was the ghost artist for Bob Kane on the Batman comic book stories and covers that Kane allegedly drew between 1953 and 1967.  He also worked for DC Comics directly, often as an inker of covers on all their key titles including the Superman books.
  • Shelly Moldoff also worked for Kane as the main artist/designer of the animated TV series, Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse.
  • Shelly Moldoff was a very nice man and as you can tell, a very important person in the history of the American comic book.
 I never knew.

Rest in peace, Shelly Moldoff. Thank you for everything.

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