Legendary comic book creator Dick Giordano passed Saturday morning at the age of 77.
Giordano, whose career began in 1951 and spans work for DC, Marvel, Dell, Valiant and other publishers is perhaps best known as his work as Editor-in-Chief for Charlton Comics, overseeing the creation of the now enduring DC Comics-owned characters such as Blue Beetle and Captain Atom, as well as his time as Executive Editorial Director of DC Comics, during which time DC published such landmark works as Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon's Watchmen and Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns.
Other career highlights include serving as inker to penciler Neal Adams and George Perez on DC's Crisis On Infinite Earths.
An introduction to Giordano's website dickgiordano.com entitled "Welcome To My World" perhaps best exemplifies the creator’s outlook on the world he contributed so much to. The intro reads:
"WELCOME TO MY WORLD--
...A world I entered enthusiastically more years ago than I care to remember. It has served as the means to earn my keep as well as allowing me to leave the real world behind and explore the realm of my fantasies. In my world, I am always the wide-eyed child!
My world is The World of Comics."[For much more on the career and legancy of Dick Giordano, please click here]. The comic book community's response to Giordano's passing is coming swift. DC Comics just issued these statements from Co-Publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio:
"When I was just trying to break into comics back in 1986, I received a lot of form rejection letters, including a very gracious one from Dick at DC Comics. On the DC letterhead, he took the time to pen an additional personal note which I still cherish today. "Looking good--keep working at it." Those few words kept this often dejected young artist hanging in there as it took many many more submissions before I finally broke into comics," said Lee.
"Thank you, Dick, for your words of encouragement, all the years of amazing art and editorial leadership at DC. And finally, for showing us artists how a great inker gets it done."
“Dick Giordano was an inspiration for me when I first joined DC Comics,” said DiDio. “He was an innovator and an industry leader as both a creator and a creative executive. He was truly one of the greats in the business.”"Dick Giordano has left a lasting legacy as a comic book artist and as a DC Comics executive," said Diane Nelson, President, DC Entertainment. "I join the industry in recognizing his tremendous contribution to DC Comics and send my sympathy to his family and friends." Writes former DC President and Publisher Paul Levitz, "Dick Giordano was a teacher (we have a generation of talented inkers whose hands he literally held as they learned their craft), a leader (it is no coincidence that one of DC's finest creative periods came during his time at the head of editorial, and Charlton's only noteworthy period likewise), and a quiet crusader (helping found ACBA, working with the Hero Initiative, and so much more).
"His firmest belief was that if you create the right atmosphere, people will find their way to their creativity...and he proved it, again and again. His most foolish belief was that he wasn't an artist, merely a craftsman.
"Dick was a gentleman, an artist with an eye for all that's beautiful in the world, and a consummate professional. But most of all I miss the dear friend who encouraged me, debated with me, and from the early moments of every day before dawn to when he slept, loved comics and made them a better place to be."Hero Initiative President Jim McLauchlin issued this statement Saturday afternoon:
"Dick was one of the most forward-thinking, kind, and gracious men I've ever met. He was a tremendous creator, a great teacher, and a fascinating storyteller. I consider myself very fortunate that I got to know him, and count him as a friend.""Getting to work with Dick on Jonah Hex #51 was a highlight in my career for me." wrote writer/artist Jimmy Palmiotti Saturday afternoon. "At the time, Dick had some health issues but you would never have known because of the enthusiasm and life be breathed into every single frame of that book. This was work done by a man who only got better as time went on and that alone is an accomplishment on every level in my eyes. "Both Justin [Gray] and I were blessed to have the opportunity to not only write for him but I got to spend some quality time with him as well discussing the work he was doing as well as some great stories from his past. Dick had millions of them. He will always be remembered by me as a generous, sweet and loving man that was a true professional in every sense of the word. "The field of comics lost a giant. He will be missed." [For much more comc book community reaction to Giordano's passing, click here]
Many members of the comic book community first received the news of Giordano’s passing from an email sent Saturday afternoon by veteran comic book creator Bob Layton.
"It is my sorrowful duty to announce that legendary artist/editor entrepreneur Dick Giordano passed away today," reads Layton's email.
"Few could ever hope to match what he accomplished in his chosen profession, or to excel while maintaining great humor, compassion for his peers and an unwavering love for the art form.
"His unique vision changed the comic industry forever and all of those who work in the business continue to share in the benefits of his sizable contributions.
"I have been honored to call him a business partner, mentor and dear friend throughout the majority of my lifetime.
"We will not see his like again.
Look for further details and reaction as it becomes available.