Dick Giordano

Dick Giordano
Dick Giordano

Dick Giordano by Michael Netzer
Born Richard Joseph Giordano
July 20, 1932(1932-07-20)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died March 27, 2010(2010-03-27) (aged 77)
Ormond Beach, Florida, U.S.
Nationality American
Area(s) Penciller, Inker, Editor
Notable works Action Comics (Human Target)
Detective Comics
Wonder Woman

Alley Award

  • Best Editor (1969)

Shazam Award

  • Best Inker (Dramatic Division) (1970, 1971, 1973, and 1974)

Richard Joseph "Dick" Giordano (July 20, 1932[1] – March 27, 2010[2]) was an American comic book artist and editor best known for introducing Charlton Comics' "Action Heroes" stable of superheroes, and serving as executive editor of then–industry leader DC Comics. As one of the field's pre-eminent inkers,[3] Giordano was known for his pairings with penciler Neal Adams in a series of comics featuring Batman, Green Lantern, and Green Arrow.



Early life and career

Dick Giordano, an only child, was born in New York City on July 20, 1932, in the borough of Manhattan to Josephine and "Jack," (Graziano) Giordano, where he attended the School of Industrial Art.[4]

Charlton Comics

Beginning as a freelance artist at Charlton Comics in 1952, Giordano contributed artwork to dozens of the company's comics, including such Western titles as Annie Oakley, Billy the Kid, and Wyatt Earp, the war comic Fightin' Army, and scores of covers.[5]

Giordano's artwork from Charlton's Strange Suspense Stories was used as inspiration for artist Roy Lichtenstein's 1965/1966 Brushstroke series, including Brushstroke and Big Painting No. 6. The panels in question came from the story "The Painting," from Strange Suspense Stories #72 (Oct. 1964).[6][7][8]

By the mid-1960s a Charlton veteran, Giordano rose to executive editor, succeeding Pat Masulli, by 1965.[9] As an editor, he made his first mark in the industry, overseeing Charlton's revamping of its few existing superheroes and having his artists and writers create new such characters for what he called the company's "Action Hero" line. Many of these artists included new talent Giordano brought on board, including Jim Aparo, Denny O'Neil, and Steve Skeates.[9]

DC Comics

DC Comics vice president Irwin Donenfeld and editorial director Carmine Infantino hired Giordano as an editor in April 1968, at the suggestion of Steve Ditko, with Giordano also bringing over to DC some of the creators he had nurtured at Charlton.[9] While none of his titles (such as Bat Lash and Deadman) was a commercial hit, many were critical successes.[citation needed] Giordano was given several other established mid-level selling titles,[citation needed] such as Teen Titans, Aquaman and Young Love, but none of DC's major books.

He also continued to freelance for DC as a penciler and inker, most notably embellishing the art of Neal Adams on Green Lantern.[3]

Continuity Associates

By 1971, frustrated by what he felt was a lack of editorial opportunities, Giordano had left DC to partner with artist Neal Adams for their Continuity Associates studios, which served as an art packager for comic book publishers, including such companies as Giordano's former employer Charlton Comics,[10] Marvel Comics, and the one-shot Big Apple Comix. Continuity served as the launching pad for the careers of a number of professional cartoonists, many of whom were mentored by Giordano during their time there.

As a penciller, he drew numerous Batman and Wonder Woman stories for DC, as well as the martial arts feature "Sons of the Tiger" in Marvel's black-and-white comics magazine The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu.

Return to DC

In 1980 new DC publisher Jenette Kahn brought Giordano back to DC.[11] Initially the editor of the Batman titles, Giordano was named the company's new managing editor in 1981,[12] and promoted to Vice President/Executive Editor in 1983 (a position he held until 1993).[9] With Kahn and Paul Levitz, Giordano helped relaunch such major characters as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, the Justice League of America, and the Teen Titans. By the end of the 1980s, they had also created the mature-audience Vertigo imprint, under initial editor Karen Berger, and began an influx of British talent such as Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman.

During this period, until he left the company, Giordano wrote a monthly column published in DC titles called "Meanwhile..." which (much like Marvel's "Bullpen Bulletins") featured news and information about the company and its creators. Unlike "Bullpen Bulletins," which was characterized by an ironic, over-hyped tone, Giordano's columns ". . . were written in a relatively sober, absolutely friendly voice, like a friend of your father's you particularly liked and didn't mind sitting down to listen to."[4] Giordano closed each "Meanwhile..." column with the characteristic words, "Thank you and good afternoon."

Giordano also continued to ink, such as over George Pérez's pencils on the 1986 crossover Crisis on Infinite Earths, and John Byrne's pencils on The Man of Steel and Action Comics.

Creators rights

Beginning in 1985, Giordano was in the middle of an industry-wide debate about the comics industry, ratings systems, and creators' rights.[4] Veteran writers Mike Friedrich, Steven Grant, and Roger Slifer all cited Giordano in particular for his hard-line stance on behalf of DC.[13][14][15][16][17] This debate led in part to the 1988 drafting of the Creator's Bill of Rights.

Later career

Giordano left DC in 1993, and still did the occasional inking job, but later returned to freelancing full time.[18] In 1994 Giordano illustrated a graphic novel adaptation of the novel Modesty Blaise released by DC Comics (ISBN 1-56389-178-6), with creator/writer Peter O'Donnell.

In 2002, Giordano helped launch Future Comics with writer David Michelinie and artist Bob Layton.[3] Future Comics ceased publishing in 2004.[citation needed]

Since 2002, Giordano had also drawn several issues of The Phantom published in Europe and Australia.[citation needed] In the mid-2000s he began sitting on the board of directors of the comic industry charity A Commitment To Our Roots (ACTOR), renamed in 2006 the Hero Initiative.[citation needed] In 2004, Dick Giordano and writer Roy Thomas completed an adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula novel. They had begun the project in 1974 but the cancellation of many of Marvel's black and white magazines put it into limbo.[19] The finished story was collected into a hardcover edition in 2005[20] and a colorized hardcover edition in 2010[21] In 2005, F+W Publications Inc. published the instructional art book Drawing Comics with Dick Giordano, which he wrote and illustrated. His last work appeared in Jonah Hex vol. 2, #51 — published in March, 2010 — where he did interior art and cover.

Personal life

Giordano was married for 38 years to the former Marie Trapani, sister of fellow comics artist Sal Trapani, who died from complications of her second stomach cancer surgery in 1993. They had three children together; Lisa, Dawn and Richard Jr.[22] Marie's death, combined with Giordano's increasing hearing loss, hastened his decision to retire from DC.[23]

Following the death of his wife, Giordano split time between homes in Florida and Connecticut.[9] In 1988, he moved to Palm Coast, Florida, where he continued to work full time freelancing, until his death.[citation needed]

Giordano had suffered from lymphoma and later also from leukemia, secondary to the chemotherapy.[24] He died on March 27, 2010 due to complications of pneumonia.[24]


As an artist, Giordano was best-known as an inker. His inking was particularly associated with the pencils of Neal Adams, for their run in the late 1960s and early 1970s on the titles Batman and Green Lantern/Green Arrow for DC Comics. Giordano also inked the large-format, first DC/Marvel Comics intercompany crossover, Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man (1976), over the pencils of Ross Andru. Giordano also inked Adams on the one-shot Superman vs. Muhammad Ali in 1978. Throughout the late 1970s and the 1980s, Andru and Giordano were DC's primary cover artists, providing cover artwork for almost every title in the DC line at that time.[citation needed]

Giordano served as mentor or inspiration to a generation of inkers, including Terry Austin,[25] and Bob Layton,[26]


Giordano received recognition in the industry for his work, including the Alley Award for Best Editor in 1969 and the Shazam Award for Best Inker (Dramatic Division) for Green Lantern and other DC titles in 1970, again in 1973 for Justice League of America, and the Shazam Award for Best Inker (Dramatic Division) in 1971 and 1974.


Comics work (interior pencil art) includes:




Star Reach


  • Drawing Comics with Dick Giordano (F+W Publications Inc., 2005)


  1. ^ Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comic Buyer's Guide. Archived from the original on October 29, 2010. http://www.webcitation.org/5trAbNQWw. Retrieved December 12, 2010. 
  2. ^ Doran, Michael (March 27, 2010). "Legendary Comics Creator Dick Giordano Passes Away". Newsarama. http://www.newsarama.com/comics/dick-girodano-1932-2010-100327.html. Retrieved March 27, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c "Dick Giordano Passes" Comic Shop News #1192
  4. ^ a b c Spurgeon, Tom. "Richard Joseph Giordano, 1932-2010," The Comics Reporter (March 28, 2010).
  5. ^ Giordano data, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Accessed August 8, 2011.
  6. ^ Schjeldahl, Peter. "The Art World: Lucky Strokes," The New Yorker (Nov. 19, 2001).
  7. ^ Waldman, Diane. Roy Lichtenstein (Guggenheim Museum Publications, 1994), p. 151.
  8. ^ Antonia Boström, Christopher Bedford, Penelope Curtis, John Dixon Hunt. The Fran and Ray Stark Collection of 20th-Century Sculpture at the J. Paul Getty Museum (Getty Publications, 2008), p. 96.
  9. ^ a b c d e "Contributors: Dick Giordano," The New Teen Titans Archives, Volume 1 (DC Comics, 1999).
  10. ^ Hatcher, Greg. "Friday at the License Bureau," Comic Book Resources (Feb. 25, 2006). Accessed March 7, 2009.
  11. ^ "Changes at DC Comics: Giordano Named Editor, Levitz and Orlando Promoted," The Comics Journal #59 (October 1980), pp. 8-9.
  12. ^ "Jack Adler Retires, Dick Giordano Promoted," The Comics Journal #67 (October 1981), p. 15.
  13. ^ Friedrich, Mike. "Ownerous Differences," The Comics Journal #121 (April 1985), p. 21.
  14. ^ Grant, Steven. "What Dick Said," The Comics Journal #121 (April 1985), p. 24.
  15. ^ Slifer, Roger. "Screwed by DC," The Comics Journal #121 (April 1985), p. 25.
  16. ^ McEnroe, Richard S. "Lies, Damned Lies, & Dick Giordano," The Comics Journal #121 (April 1985), pp. 25-27.
  17. ^ McEnroe, Richard S. "Packaging: Work-For-Hire in the Real Publishing Industry," The Comics Journal #121 (April 1985), p. 44.
  18. ^ "Newswatch: Dick Giordano Retires Role as DC VP: Editorial Director Closes Out Position, Returns to Freelancing Full-Time", The Comics Journal #161, August 1993, p. 21.
  19. ^ McLelland, Ryan "The Return of Dracula, Thomas, Giordano" Newsarama September 28, 2004 Retrieved January 16, 2011
  20. ^ Stoker's Dracula Marvel Comics 2005 ISBN 0785114777
  21. ^ Dracula Marvel Comics 2010 ISBN 9780785149057
  22. ^ Eury, Michael. Dick Giordano: Changing Comics, One Day at a Time (TwoMorrows Publishing, 2003).
  23. ^ Eury, p. 130.
  24. ^ a b Melrose, Kevin (March 27, 2010). "Legendary Artist and Editor Dick Giordano Passes Away". Comic Book Resources. http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2010/03/legendary-artist-and-editor-dick-giordano-passes-away/. Retrieved 2010-03-28. 
  25. ^ "Reinventing the Rules," in Eury, Michael. Dick Giordano: Changing Comics, One Day at a Time (TwoMorrows Publishing, 2003), p. 135.
  26. ^ "Reinventing the Rules: Bob Layton on Giordano," in Eury, Michael. Dick Giordano: Changing Comics, One Day at a Time (TwoMorrows Publishing, 2003), p. 146.


External links

Preceded by
Joe Orlando
DC Universe Executive Editor
Succeeded by
Mike Carlin

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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