Archie Goodwin (comics)

Archie Goodwin (comics)

Infobox Comics creator
name = Archie Goodwin

imagesize =
caption = Archie Goodwin (left)
birthname =
birthdate = birth date|1937|9|8|mf=y
location = Kansas City, Missouri
deathdate = death date and age|1998|05|1|1937|09|08
deathplace =
nationality = American
area = Penciller, Writer, Editor
alias =
notable works = Manhunter
awards = Shazam Award
*Best Writer (Dramatic Division) (1973, 1974)
*Best Individual Short Story (Dramatic) (1973, 1974, with Walt Simonson)
*Best Individual Story (Dramatic) (1974, with Walt Simonson)

Archie Goodwin (September 8, 1937 – March 1, 1998) was an American comic book writer, editor, and artist. He worked on a number of comic strips in addition to comic books, and is best known for his Warren and Marvel Comics work. For Warren he was chief writer and editor of landmark horror anthology titles "Creepy" and "Eerie", and for Marvel he set up the creator-owned Epic Comics as well as adapting "Star Wars" into both comics and newspaper strips. He is regularly cited as the "best-loved comic book editor, ever."Pilcher, Tim and Brooks, Brad, "The Essential Guide to World Comics" (Collins & Brown, 2005) ISBN 1-84340-300-5, p. 42]

Early work

Archie Goodwin was born in Kansas City, Missouri, Missouri and lived in many small towns along the Kansas/Missouri border including Coffeyville. But he considered Tulsa, Oklahoma — where he spent his teen years at Will Rogers High School and in used magazine stores searching for EC Comics — as his true hometown.

He moved to New York City to attend classes at what became the School of Visual Arts, ultimately finding work as working as an artist both drawing cartoons for magazines, and beginning his comics career as a freelance "writer and occasional art assistant" to Leonard Starr's newspaper strip "Mary Perkins, On Stage". His first editorial work was for "Redbook" magazine, which he worked for both before and after his Army service as a draftee.


In 1962, he joined Harvey Comics, and two years later became the main script writer for Warren's "Creepy" magazine, much of his work (according to Batman editor Mark Chiarello) an "homage to the favorite comics of his youth, the E.C. line." By the second issue he was co-credited (alongside Russ Jones) as editor, and soon became editor of the entire Warren line: "Creepy", "Eerie" and "Blazing Combat". [ [ Comic Book Db: "Creepy" #2 (1965)] . Accessed August 2, 2008] He worked for Warren between 1964 and 1967, as head writer and Editor-in-Chief, in which roles he is credited with providing a mythology for Warren's classic Vampirella character, as well as penning her most compelling stories. "(Additional details about his time at Warren may be found in Jon B. Cooke's book "The Warren Companion".)"

After his departure from Warren in 1967, Goodwin would occasionally contribute stories over the next 15 years and even returned for a short stint as editor in 1974.

Famous name

Archie Goodwin's first prose story was published by "Ellery Queen Magazine" which warned him he could not use Archie Goodwin as a pen name because it was a Rex Stout character in the Nero Wolfe books. They were so delighted to learn that it was his birth name that they used the coincidence as the theme of their introduction. (Goodwin was invited to be the keynote speaker at the 1993 Black Orchid Banquet sponsored by the [ Wolfe Pack] . His topic was "What's It Like to be Archie Goodwin.")

Later work

From 1967 to 1980, Goodwin wrote also wrote scripts for King Features Syndicate, including the daily strip Secret Agent X-9, drawn by Al Williamson, as well as working on other strips including "Captain Kate". Not constrained to newspaper strips alone, he found work at the major comics companies as both writer and editor, working for Marvel Comics on titles including "Fantastic Four" and "Iron Man", and briefly replacing Julius Schwartz as editor of "Detective Comics" at DC Comics between 1973 and 1974.


tar Wars

In 1976, Goodwin replaced Gerry Conway to become the eighth Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics, with the understanding it would only be temporary until a permanent replacement could be found. He ultimately resigned in 1978 and was replaced by Jim Shooter. As Editor-in-Chief he secured the rights for Marvel to publish the "Star Wars" adaptation and tie-in series, which then sold phenomenally well (helped by a dearth of other "Star Wars" merchandise at the time) at a point when the comics industry was in severe decline and many executives at Marvel were contemplating winding things up and leaving comics altogether. While he worked on numerous series throughout his career, it is his "Star Wars" work that he is best remembered for. He adaptated the original film into an on-going comic book, continuing the story (pre-"Return of the Jedi") in both a comic book series and daily comic strip. He also wrote comic book adaptions of the films "Alien", "Blade Runner" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind". Some, including Jim Shooter, have attributed the very survival of Marvel to Goodwin's (and Roy Thomas') efforts in securing the rights.


After Marvel Comics passed on publishing the American incarnation of "Metal Hurlant" ("Heavy Metal"), Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter was charged with producing an alternate title, which became "Epic Illustrated". Initially edited by Rick Marshall, Shooter ultimately recalls approaching Stan Lee to tell him:Goodwin was at the time still working for Marvel as a writer, and Shooter recalls concocting a plan whereby the company "pretended that Archie reported to Stan. In fact, I was doing all the paperwork and all the employee reviews and the budgets," so that Goodwin could have the illusion of not working for his successor.

In addition to Marvel's first creator-owned imprint "Epic Illustrated", Goodwin set up the Marvel Graphic Novel series, giving a number of artists and writers their first break as well as allowing established Marvel staff to work with material too difficult or 'adult' for the monthly titles. Walt Simonson's "Star Slammers" and Jim Starlin's "Dreadstar" were two of the earliest creator-owned graphic novels, and Shooter claims that Frank Miller's "Ronin" was slated to be released alongside them before he was wooed by DC.

As Shooter recalls events, he approached Goodwin after the moderate success of the "Epic" magazine and creator-owned graphic novels to produce a full-fledged line of creator-owned comics, Epic Comics. Baulking at the additional workload, Shooter turned to Al Milgrom, before Goodwin reportedly berated Shooter for giving control to another editor, ultimately taking responsibility for the line himself.

Goodwin also introduced the first English translation of Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira and published early English translations of the work of Jean Giraud aka Moebius. In addition, Shooter recalls that:


Having worked briefly for the company during the 1970s, where he edited a handful of issues of the war comics "G.I. Combat" and "Star-Spangled War Stories", Goodwin returned to DC Comics as an editor and writer in 1989. He wrote the graphic novel " [ Batman: Night Cries] " painted by Scott Hampton and published in 1992. Throughout the 1990s, Goodwin edited a number of Batman projects, including the Elseworlds miniseries "", and the Alan Grant-written/Kevin O'Neill-illustrated parody one-shot "Batman: Mitefall", a take-off of the saga, filtered through the character of Bat-Mite. [ [ ComicBookDb: "Batman: Mitefall" (1995)] . Accessed August 2, 2008]

Among Goodwin's most notable last editorial projects were Starman, written by James Robinson and first published by DC in 1994 and DC's ' by Tim Sale and Jeph Loeb. It is a testament to Goodwin that Loeb has said that Goodwin inspired their portrayal of Gotham police chief Jim Gordon in "The Long Halloween" and its sequel ', while Robinson (who considered Goodwin both a mentor and close personal friend), continued to list Goodwin as a "Guiding Light" on later issues of "Starman". Goodwin also helped oversee many issues of the out-of-continuity Batman title "", and the on-going series "Azrael", spinning out of the Knightfall saga.

Goodwin, and particularly his "Creepy" work, is cited by editor Mark Chiarello (who also considered Goodwin a personal mentor) as informing the creation of the comics, for which Goodwin also penned several stories.Chiarello, Mark "Introduction" in Chiarello, Mark and Peterson, Scott (ed.s) "Batman: Black and White" (DC Comics, 1998) ISBN 1-56389-439-4]

Last days

Goodwin died unexpectedly in 1998; few people knew he had been battling cancer. Goodwin was honored in a special tribute issue of the magazine "Comic Book Profiles"; more information is available at [ [ Comic Book Profiles: Archie Goodwin Tribute Issue ] ] Further personal information is also available in Blake Bell's book "I Have to Live with this Guy".


His work won him a good deal of recognition in the industry, including both the 1973 Shazam Award for Best Writer (Dramatic Division), and the 1974 Shazam Award for Best Writer (Dramatic Division) for the Manhunter series running in "Detective Comics" #437 - 443, in addition to winning Shazam Awards for Best Individual Short Story for "The Himalayan Incident" in "Detective Comics" #437, "Cathedral Perilous" in "Detective Comics" #441 and "Götterdämmerung" in "Detective Comics" #443 (all with Walt Simonson; all for "Manhunter" episodes). Goodwin's work on "Manhunter", in which he both updated an obscure Golden Age hero, and, in the series' last episode, took the daring approach of killing him off (one of the few comic book deaths that has actually "taken" and not been reversed or retconned away in the decades since it occurred) is very well-regarded by both fans and other comics professionals.

He won the 1992 "Bob Clampett Humanitarian" Eisner Award, and was named Best Editor by the Eisners in 1993. In 1998 he was entered into the Eisner Hall of Fame.

Appearances within comics

In "The Batman Adventures" -- the first DC Comics spinoff of "" -- Goodwin appears as Mr. Nice, a super-strong but childishly-innocent super-villain. He is one of a screwball trio of incompetent super-villains that also includes The Mastermind (a caricature of Mike Carlin) and The Perfessor (a caricature of Dennis O'Neil).

He is also name-checked in issues of Marvel's "Star Wars" comics (later rebranded "Classic Star Wars"), including in the Alien-language words "Niwdoog Eihcra," his name in reverse.


Jim Shooter:

Mark Chiarello:


succession box | title="Wolverine" writer| before=Peter David
after=Jo Duffy| years=1989–1990

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