March 5, 2012: Golden Age Comic Book Artist Sheldon Moldoff Dies at Age 91


Multiple media outlets are reporting that Golden Age Comic Book Artist Sheldon “Shelly” Moldoff, whose debut was a sports filler that appeared on the inside back cover of Action Comics #1 which featured the debut appearance of Superman, passed away on February 29th at the age of 91.

During the late-1930s and 1940s Golden Age of comic books, Moldoff became a prolific cover artist for the future DC Comics. His work includes the first cover of the Golden Age Green Lantern, on issue #16 of All-American’s flagship title All-American Comics, featuring the debut of that character created by artist Martin Nodell. Moldoff created the character Black Pirate (Jon Valor) in Action Comics #23 (April 1940), and became one of the earliest artists for the character Hawkman (created by Gardner Fox and Dennis Neville, though sometimes misattributed to Moldoff). Moldoff drew the first image of the formerly civilian character Shiera Sanders in costume as Hawkgirl in All Star Comics #5, based on Neville’s Hawkman costume design.

Beginning with Flash Comics #4 (April 1940), Moldoff became the regular Hawkman artist, following Neville’s departure from the feature the issue before.

In 1953, Moldoff became one of the primary Batman ghost artists who, along with Win Mortimer and Dick Sprang, drew stories credited to Bob Kane, following Kane’s style and under Kane’s supervision.

Kane and Moldoff would go on to co-create the original Bat-Girl (teen Betty Kane), as well as the novelty characters Bat-Mite and Ace the Bat-Hound. Alongside writer Robert Kanigher, Moldoff also co-created the supervillainess Poison Ivy in Batman #181 (June 1966).

Moldoff was let go by DC in 1967, along with Golden Age artists George Papp and Wayne Boring. He turned to animation, doing storyboards for such animated TV series as Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse, and wrote and drew promotional comic books given away to children at the Burger King and Red Lobster restaurant and fast-food chains, as well as through the Atlanta Braves Major League Baseball team.

In 2000, Moldoff illustrated a chapter of the Evan Dorkin project Superman and Batman: World’s Funnest; it was his first work for DC Comics in over 30 years.

Moldoff is survived by his sons, Richard Moldoff and Kenneth Moldoff, daughter, Ellen Moldoff Stein, son-in-law, Jeffrey Stein, grandchildren, Anthony Moldoff, Lizabeth Moldoff Curtis and her husband, Robert Curtis, Kendra Moldoff, Max Stein, great grandchildren, Samantha, Joseph and Brittney Curtis. The family will receive friends on Tuesday, March 6, 2012, 11:00am with a service to follow at Noon at Kraeer Funeral Home Cremation Center, 1655 University Drive, Coral Springs.

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