Longtime comics artist Dan Spiegle has passed away, and his frequent creative partner Mark Evanier has an extended remembrance of the man and his work.
I met Dan Spiegle once. He had come into my previous place of employment a couple of decades back, trying (if I recall correctly) to find out if an art job of his that he’d completed for another publisher (which had gone under) had been published by someone else. I don’t remember the exact thing he was looking for, now, all these years later. My vague memory is that he had done something for Classics Illustrated, maybe, just prior to CI’s then-publisher First Comics going under, and was trying to see if someone else put it out. Not this issue, which was published, but, like, something much later in the run. Ah well, whatever it was, I don’t recall, but I did enjoy that brief time I got to speak with him and at least try to help him out.
What helped me recognize him right away was a couple of things: one, I’m pretty sure I’d seen a self-caricature or two of him around by that time, though trying to Google one up now didn’t turn up the picture I remember. Two, there was the then-recent “Famous Comic Creators” trading card set which featured the card pictured above. Those cards were handy mugshots for funnybook stars back in those pre-widespread common-use-of-the-Internet days.
Also, I should mention that Mr. Spiegle had a big, friendly smile. I can still picture just how happy a guy he seemed to be.
Anyway, I enjoyed Mr. Spiegle’s work over the years, as I’m sure many of you did as well. I think I first ran into his art in the back-up “Nemesis” stories from Brave and the Bold in the early 1980s, though I’m sure I’d seen it before. There was a strange one-shot story in the Omega Men run that still sticks with me after all this time. And should Mr. Evanier happen to read this, he can add me to the list of people who read Hollywood Superstars. The one series he worked on that I did not read extensively is his collaboration with Evanier on Blackhawk, which is one of those runs I always meant to get around to gathering and reading but never had the opportunity, unfortunately. I still intend to…the one or two stories I have read were great, and I certainly want to see more. I may have to wait for a reprinting, or a digital version, or for a full run to fall into my lap in a collection I purchase. Maybe someday!
So long, Dan…thanks for all the great comics, and I look forward to finally getting around to that work of yours I haven’t read.
In other comic creator news, as I’m sure you’ve heard, Swamp Thing cocreator Bernie Wrightson as retired due to health reasons, leaving him essentially unable to draw. You can read the announcement at his official site. That really is a shame that someone so talented is left unable to do what he does so well, and I very much hope that someday there’ll be improvement enough to let him back back to it. Best wishes to Mr. Wrightson and his family.