Dick Giordano was the kind of artist that everybody in the comic book industry wanted to work with — and for almost sixty years, nearly everybody did, from Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams to John Byrne and George Perez. He excelled in just about every genre in the comic book industry — including the super-hero genre, working for some of the most famous and influential comic book companies of all time, including DC Comics, which will be forever linked to Giordano. At DC, Giordano worked on nearly all of the company’s leading characters, including Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern — and of course, Batman, a character that truly brought out the best in Giordano’s talents. With apologies to Bob Kane, Neal Adams, and other Batman artists (both past and present), Dick Giordano may have been the definitive Batman artist, either as an inker for other pencillers, or as a penciller himself, or doing the artwork all by himself — his work on the character raised the bar of excellence, and remains an inspiration to today’s comic book artists.
Giordano was also a great editor, working first at Charlton in the mid-1960’s, bringing us Blue Beetle, Captain Atom, and The Question, among others (and who are now owned by DC). From 1967-71, Giordano worked as a DC editor, helping to launch the careers of such talents as Denny O’Neil and Jim Aparo. In 1980, Giordano returned to DC, first as an editor on the Batman books — and from 1983 until his retirement in 1993, became one of the company’s vice-presidents, as well as its executive editor, playing a key role in the success of such landmark comic books as Crisis On Infinite Earths, The Dark Knight Returns, and Watchmen — not to mention helping to introduce a new generation of writers and artists, including Alan Moore.
I never met Dick Giordano, but I think I received a few letters from him back in the 1980’s, when I was trying to launch my writing career. I admired Giordano so much that if my comic book writing career ever took off, I wanted to work with him on a story or two. But fate and circumstances said otherwise — and it wasn’t until yesterday that I learned that Giordano died last weekend, leaving the comic book industry a lot poorer. And yet, Giordano’s talents as both an artist and editor enriched the industry greatly — and at the same time, set standards that changed the face of comic books forever.
Thank you, Dick Giordano — and good night. Rest in peace — we’ll never forget you and what you’ve done for the comic book industry.
April 1, 2010
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