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 Dick (Richard Joseph) Giordano  (1932 - 2010)

/ jor-DAH-noe/
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Lived/Active: New York/Florida      Known for: comic strip artist and editor

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Ad Code: 3
Dick Giordano
from Auction House Records.
Detective Comics #435 Batman vs. The Spook Cover Original Art (DC, 1973)
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following obituary is from The New York Times, March 31, 2010 by George Gene Gustines

Dick Giordano, a comic book artist and former executive editor at DC Comics who helped revive longstanding comic book characters and re-imagine them for new audiences, died on Saturday at the Memorial Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Fla. He was 77 and lived in Palm Coast, Fla.

The cause was complications of treatment for leukemia, Pat Bastienne, a longtime friend and colleague, said in an e-mail message.

Mr. Giordano worked in the comic book industry for more than 40 years. As an editor at DC, he oversaw projects that signaled a new level of maturity in the medium, including The Dark Knight Returns, about an aging Batman, and Watchmen, about heroes in a world on the brink of nuclear war. During his tenure, DC Comics also introduced its first graphic novel collections, a format that has grown increasingly popular and profitable.

His skills as an inker — the artist who interprets the penciled page — influenced a generation of comic book creators.

One of Mr. Giordano’s first jobs was in 1952 at Charlton Comics, where he began as a freelance artist, illustrated many covers and worked his way up to editor-in-chief.

At Charlton, he helped come up with a line of action heroes, including Blue Beetle, the Question and the Peacemaker, that would later be purchased by DC Comics and become the basis for the characters in Watchmen, which was adapted into a feature film last year.

In 1967, Mr. Giordano moved to DC Comics, where he worked as an artist and an editor.

Mr. Giordano left the company in 1971 and co-founded, with the artist Neal Adams, Continuity Associates, which handled commercial artwork and supplied illustrations to comic book publishers.

He returned to DC Comics in 1980 and eventually became vice president/executive editor, a title he retained until 1993. During that period he worked with the artists George Pérez and John Byrne on, respectively, Crisis on Infinite Earths, an epic story conceived to simplify the accumulated histories of the DC heroes, and on The Man of Steel, which restarted the Superman myth for a new generation of fans.

As an editor, Mr. Giordano uniformly credited writers and artists on the covers, the first such policy by a major comic book publisher, Paul Levitz, the president and publisher of DC Comics from 2002 to 2009, wrote in an e-mail message.

"Richard Joseph Giordano was born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan to Graziano and Josephine Giordano on July 20, 1932. He discovered comic books early.  Dick fell in love with comics as a kid when he had scarlet fever and his cabdriver dad brought them home for him to read during his long recovery."

As a teenager, Mr. Giordano attended the School of Industrial Art in Manhattan, later called the High School of Art and Design.

Mr. Giordano was well regarded for his work as an inker. “As far as those who keep track can tell, he inked more pages for DC than anyone else,” wrote Mr. Levitz, who added that Mr. Giordano, with his fine lines, and Joe Sinnott, with his broad brush work, are seen as "two of the industry’s pre-eminent inkers in the Silver Age of comics, from the late 1950s to the early 1970s."

Mr. Giordano retired from DC Comics in June 1993, a few months after Marie, his wife of 37 years, died of stomach cancer. He is survived by his daughters Lisa Giordano-Thomas and Dawn Arrington, both of Palm Coast, Fla.; his son, Richard Jr., of Stratford, Conn., and two grandchildren.


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