Monday, March 31, 2008

Jim Mooney, R.I.P.



Mark Evanier has posted that comic book artist Jim Mooney passed away yesterday.

Here's an interview from COMIC BOOK ARTIST #7 from a few years ago, focusing on his Marvel years but touching on the other stuff as well, with some nice artwork.

The first place I'd have seen Mooney's art is probably when he was one of the main artists on various Spider-Man titles in the early 1980s, usually as the inker or finisher over a variety of artists, bringing a consistency to the line. Later on I became familiar with his earlier stuff through some back issues and reprints, including his long run as the artist on Supergirl's solo feature in the 1960s and other work on features like Tommy Tomorrow and Robin and Dial H For Hero. By the time 1990 rolled around, I normally wouldn't have been interested in a comic based on the Superboy TV show of the era, but the fact that it was drawn by Mooney and Ty Templeton was enough. Later on in his retirement years I enjoyed his run inking Claypool's SOULSEARCHERS AND COMPANY over various artists, especially his work with Dave Cockrum.

More recently I've been picking up some of the recent reprints of his work, like the SHOWCASE PRESENTS SUPERGIRL volume and some Marvel books of the 1970s like OMEGA THE UNKNOWN and enjoying them immensely. I'm glad he lived long enough to see a fair amount of his work reprinted and enjoy some conventions and meeting his fans.

A selection of Jim Mooney illustrated pages spanning over a half-century:
       



Wildfire, some early Mooney work for Quality Comics from SMASH COMICS #28, 1941 (scan from here)

BATMAN #56, 1950 (inks by Ray Burnley, original art scan from here)

Tommy Tomorrow from WORLD'S FINEST #113, 1960

Supergirl from ACTION #263, 1960

Dial H For Hero from HOUSE OF MYSTERY #166, 1967

OMEGA THE UNKNOWN #1, 1976

SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #51, 1981 (over Marie Severin)

SUPERBOY THE COMIC BOOK #1, 1990 (Ty Templeton inks)

UNTOLD TALES OF SPIDER-MAN '97 ANNUAL, 1997

SOULSEARCHERS AND COMPANY #28, 1997 (over Dave Cockrum)

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