Giant Steps

The comics blogosphere is rife with tributes – some ironic, some genuine – to the Silver Age of comics and its creators. Yet for all the talk of Bob Haney and the Composite Superman, I rarely see all that much screen space dedicated to Kurt Schaffenberger.

He’s primarily remembered today for his work on Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane and other “Super-Family” titles, but Schaffenberger’s work literally spanned decades. Before embarking upon a 30-year (!) stint at DC in 1957, he spent the ’40s and most of the ’50s working for such publishers as Prize, Street & Smith, Better/Nedor/Pines, American Comics Group, Marvel and EC.

Schaffenberger’s most notable effort before Superman, however, was illustrating the adventures of the Man Of Steel’s greatest competitor: Fawcett’s Captain Marvel. His work, which effortlessly blurred the boundaries between “cartoony” and “realistic” art, proved to be a perfect fit for the Marvel Family’s exploits.

Schaffenberger produced great quantities of work at a high level of quality throughout his tenures at Fawcett, ACG, DC  et. al. until his retirement around 1980. (Fittingly, his exit coincided with DC’s abandonment of it’s Silver Age continuity and the introduction of John Byrne’s Superman.)

From Master Comics #93 (Fawcett, 1948), here’s a Schaffenberger tale featuring the World’s Mightiest Boy facing off against “The Growing Giant.”


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