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James Winslow "Win" Mortimer
Win Mortimer
Birth:May 1, 1919
Place of Birth:Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Death:January 11, 1998
Place of Death:
Nationality:Canadian / American
Marital Status:

James Winslow "Win" Mortimer (May 1, 1919 – January 11, 1998) was an American graphic artist and illustrator. He was best known for his work on Superman for DC Comics, but also worked at many other publishers, including Marvel Comics amd Gold Key Comics.

Biographical information

Early life

James Winslow Mortimer (nicknamed "Win") was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada in 1919. His father, who work in the poster department of a lithography company, trained him in being an artist from an early age. Upon graduating high school, Mortimer continued his graphic education at the Art Students League of New York. When World War II erupted, he enlisted in the Canadian Army but returned to civilian life in 1943. He then found work designing posters, following his father's example, until being contracted to become an illustrator by DC Comics in 1945.[1]

Career in comics

At DC Comics, Win Mortimer worked as a cover artist for comic titles featuring such iconic characters as Superman, Superboy and Batman.[1] He soon became one of DC's most prolific cover artists and by the 1950s had become the main artist for Superman and Batman cover art.[1]

His first known interior work—albeit uncredited—came late in 1945, when he served as both penciler and inker for the 12-page Batman story, "The Batman Goes Broke" in Detective Comics #105 (Nov. 1945).[2] This first step would lead to a series of jobs for the company's characters and eventually he inherited the job as artist of the Superman newspaper strip from Wayne Boring in 1949. He would draw the strip until 1956, when he left DC to create his own daily Christian[1] adventure strip, David Crane for the Prentice-Hall Syndicate.[2]

Later, he would do a seven year stint on the Larry Brannon for the Toronto Star, from 1961 to 1968.[2]Also during that time, Mortimer continued to contribute work for many of DC Comics' titles, in a variety of genres.[2]

Later years

In the 1970s, Mortimer began to freelance for other publishers, including Marvel and Gold Key, while still working for DC Comics (e.g., Supergirl, Lois Lane). At Marvel, he would be responsible for nearly all of the illustrated stories in Spidey Super Stories, a title based on the Spider-Man cartoon for its entire 57-issue run (Oct. 1974 - March 1982). For Gold Key Comics, he would work on such titles as Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery, Ripley's Believe it or Not and The Twilight Zone.[2]

By the 1980s, Win Mortimer began to reduce his output in comics. In 1983 he started work for Neal Adams' studio, Continuity Associates, creating advertising and commercial art. His last superhero art for comics would appear in 1988's World of Metropolis mini-series for DC Comics, although he would also contribute some pin-up art for the company's reference series Who's Who in the Legion of Super-Heroes #7 (June 1989). His last work for the entire industry came in 1989, with the submission of his pencil layout for Triad Comics' The Honeymooners #11, also released in June 1989. He had previously worked on the title based on the hit TV series featuring Jackie Gleason and Art Carney for issues #3-9.[2]

Awards and honors

In 2006, Mortimer was inducted into the Joe Shuster Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame.[2]


Notes and references


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Win Mortimer." Lambiek Comiclopedia.August 21, 2009.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Wikipedia contributors. "Win Mortimer." Wikipedia, the freea. Version: July 7, 2009. Retrieved: August 21, 2009.


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