Murphy Anderson passes


Very sad to hear of the passing of artist and friend Murphy Anderson. He was one of the first artists at DC Comics whose name I knew because he was occasionally allowed to sign his work on stories such as “The Atomic Knights” in STRANGE ADVENTURES. I loved his precise style and crisp inking. When I started working at DC Comics in 1977, I met Murphy, and found him to be a terrific person, kind and generous, and full of great stories about the comics business, which he loved as I did. We soon discovered that we lived near each other in central New Jersey, and since I was commuting to the DC offices by train every day, I would often carry some of Murphy’s DC work in for him. Then, when Murphy was visiting the offices and was ready to leave when I did, he would give me a ride home in his large car (Lincoln perhaps?), and regale me with stories about working with Julie Schwartz and his writers, or on the Buck Rogers newspaper strip, or PS Magazine for the army. Sometimes he would talk about his early days breaking in to comics, too. We soon developed a friendship through helping each other and mutual interests. When my car was in the shop and I needed a ride somewhere, Murphy would often volunteer to take me, and I helped him from time to time on his freelance projects or DC color separations. When John Workman was the art director at HEAVY METAL, he asked if I had any ideas for the one-page strip he was running called “June 2050.” I asked Murphy if he’d be willing to draw something I wrote, and when he agreed, I made it an homage to his favorite newspaper strip and pulp character, Buck Rogers, with Murphy and his wife Helen playing the leads. It was the only time we worked together on a comics project, and great fun.

In later years, after I moved to southern New Jersey, I would only see Murphy occasionally at comics conventions, or call him on the phone infrequently. I’m going to miss his art, his friendship, his deep, friendly voice, and his kindness. Rest in peace, Murphy.

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