Have Peace, Dick Giordano
Via Joe Rubinstein, Bob Layton and Newsarama:
It wasn’t a big surprise as Dick Giordano had been hospitalized for some time with a deteriorating condition, but we never seem to be prepared for such news. It’s a big loss for the comics industry and for everyone who knew him.
My acquaintance with Dick, while working at Continuity studios in the mid-1970s, was a humbling affair. From the beginning, I was thrust into Crusty Bunker inking on the Charlton magazines Continuity was producing. Space 1999, Six Million Dollar Man, and others. It was thought that because I’m a penciler, I’d be suitable for inking secondary characters. Though it was soon discovered that my inking was quite crude for the studio look and that, unlike penciling which I’d been practicing since childhood, I had little experience to speak of as an inker. After the first few attempts, Neal suggested I pull out a lot of Dick Giordano reference and re-acquaint myself with how to approach diverging textures and forms in ink.
I spent a lot of time doing just that in those early days. But even better than the reference, Dick himself had a vibrant and daily presence at the studio. For the most part he was inking various studio projects at his desk. From time to time, he’d take time off for business consultations with Neal or for helping out other artists. But he was always available to talk about his approach to inking, storytelling and comics in general. Such conversations were of the most informative and eye-opening for me from that period. Working so close to Dick revealed an entire world about the craft that I was in need of understanding at the most essential level of that early stage of my career.
Dick was the consummate professional in everything he did. He adapted his craft from the Charlton days as he moved over to DC Comics and took on inking the illustrative work of Neal Adams, becoming perhaps the best inker to have embellished his pencils. In time the two became partners at Continuity as Dick rounded off the artistic vision of the studio with a pragmatic business approach to help run a smooth operation. Dick’s outlook on his work, life and art was one of grace, rhythm, and eloquence – qualities which endowed him with a warmth that attracted his colleagues, gave his art a unique memorable quality and made him the wonderful embellisher known for his graceful line that especially complimented his renditions of the fairer sex. Rounding out the artist in the man, Dick Giordano the businessman handled managerial affairs with the same eloquence he invested into his art. It was in no small measure to his credit that Continuity rose to the surface of NY corporate advertising, from a small two man studio when he began his partnership with Neal, to a multi-million dollar business venture employing tens of artists, and becoming a hub for the comics community of its time. Dick went on to an editorial position at DC Comics where the invaluable experience he’d gained became a beacon to a new generation of artists emerging into the industry during the 1980′s.
It was nothing less than a great privilege to have known and worked with Dick Giordano, an undisputed legend of the comics craft and one of the medium’s more significant and notable contributors. Mere words cannot begin to balance the debt owed him for the invaluable guidance, professionalism and grace he imparted to many of our generation of aspiring artists in our formative years, and to so many more since.
Have peace, good friend, with much gratitude for having made our world and craft all the better.
Dick Giordano: Portraits of the Creators Sketchbook.