Friday, August 31, 2018

R.I.P. Mirthful Marie and Groovy Gary

One of the great ladies of comics has left us, Groove-ophiles. Mirthful Marie Severin, by all accounts a wonderful person and of course an incredible artist (colorist, plotter, etc.) passed away yesterday at age 89 after complications due to strokes. She's best remembered as a colorist and for her humor work, as well as her King Kull comics (usually inked by her late brother, John Severin), but Marie was also an artist on strips like Dr. Strange, the Hulk, and the Sub-Mariner. She was also an art director at Marvel during the early 70s, doing cover layouts, touch-ups, coloring, and all kinds of things that helped put our fave Marvel mags on the spinner racks. She also produced many amazing covers for Marvel during the early 70s. These are some of Ol' Groove's faves...













Not long after learning of the passing of Marie Severin, Ol' Groove learned that Groovy Gary Friedrich, co-creator of the blazing-skulled, motorcycle-riding Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze) and all-around brilliant comicbook writer, has also left us due to complications from Parkinsons. He was 75. Besides Ghost Rider, Friedrich wrote scores of Marvel comics like Sgt. Fury, Combat Kelly, the Western version of Ghost Rider, Son of Satan, and (best of all) Frankenstein's Monster/Monster of Frankenstein. He also wrote for Charlton (where he got his start on strips like Blue Beetle and The Sentinels), Skywald, Atlas/Seaboard, and more.  Here's Gary bringing us the (then) new (and still best) Blue Beetle...in tandem with Sturdy Steve Ditko, natch. From Captain Atom #83 (the 1977 Modern Comics reprint)...







Heartfelt condolences to the Severin and Friedrich families and circles of friends.

9 comments:

  1. Marie Severin also coloured *every* E.C. comics story in the '50s & most covers.

    Regards,
    Chris A.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's sad news. Marie Severin was legendary for her warmth and humor, but also some truly amazing artwork.
    I have always found her work on Dr. Strange (under the title Strange Tales, I believe) to be particularly wild and compelling, a perfect fit for that comic.
    Just a great lady all around. R.I.P.

    M.P.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I liked her late '60s run on the Hulk.

      Regards,
      Chris A.

      Delete
  3. Almost exactly a year before Marvel's motorcycle version of Ghost Rider, Friedrich wrote the excessively trashy, quintessentially 70's Hell-Rider book for Skywald, a guilty pleasure of mine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I loved Hell-Rider. But you're right. It was pretty raunchy for its day. Especially issue # 2.

      Delete
  4. Great post honoring Marie Severin and Gary Friedrich.

    ReplyDelete
  5. If , heaven forbid, I could only keep one book, it would be my bound copies. Of Not Brand Echh. Marie Severin's art in that series is perfection to me. It is physically impossible for me not to smile when viewing her artwork. I can scarcely think of another artist whose personality emanated and shown so brightly from their creations. Those that knew her personally were doubly blessed, it is truly a loss for many of us that her health prevented her from doing public appearances in her later years. Her art is her legacy, very thankful we can hold on to that.Condolences to her family.

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  6. Aw, Groove. What a way to start a weekend. I think I loved Marie's Sub-mariner work the best. She and brother John on Kull were the perfect synthesis of 2 dynamic talents and brought a uniqueness combined that they didn't have separately. Sorry I never got to meet her. I didn't get to enjoy as much of Gary Friedrich's work as he mostly worked in genres I shunned at the time, Westerns and War. But I did love his Hell-Rider, Ghost Rider and Hulk work. I don't think he had a long run on any of Marvel's established heroes at the time (Probably because those helming them wouldn't give them up).

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  7. There's a great trade paperback chronicling the life and career of Marie Severin available on Amazon.com and it may be from TwoMorrows Publications, but I'm not certain about that. Definitely worth picking up a copy!

    ReplyDelete

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