Tuesday, October 26, 2010

In Memorium: Mike Esposito

Legendary comic book artist & inker, Mike Esposito passed away on October 24, 2010 at the age of 83. His career spanned more than fifty years on titles such as Men’s Adventures, Mister Mystery, The Unseen and Joe Yank during the 1950s. During the Silver Age, when working for a competitor could have cost him regular assignments for one publisher, Esposito sometimes used pseudonyms such as "Mickey Demeo", "Mickey Dee", "Michael Dee", and "Joe Guadioso."

As an inker he regularly teamed with his childhood friend Ross Andru. Andru and Esposito drew hundreds of tales of combat under editor and frequent writer Robert Kanigher on such major DC Comics titles as All-American Men of War, Our Army at War, Star Spangled War Stories, G.I. Combat and Our Fighting Forces. With Kanigher, they co-created the non-superpowered adventurers the Suicide Squad in The Brave and the Bold #25 (Sept. 1959). They also drew early issues of Rip Hunter, Time Master in 1961. The pair were highly regarded for their collaboration on Wonder Woman (cover of WW #111,above; top) and The Amazing Spider-Man.

Mike Esposito formed two publishing companies (with Andru), Mikeross Publications in 1953 & Klevart Enterprises in 1970; both were fairly short-lived efforts. Another venture into self-publishing, in 1990, failed before start-up funding could be found.

Esposito was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2007. The Catacombs extends its heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and worldwide fans. I was a major admirer. [Marvel Team-Up page above pencilled by Kerry Gammill & inked by Esposito.]

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