Born in Minneapolis, MN, Curt Swan (1920 – 1996) became the preeminent Superman artist during the Silver Age and much of the Bronze Age of Comics.
After being drafted into the Army in 1940, he worked on the G.I. magazine Stars and Stripes until World War II ended in 1945. He then began working for DC Comics, penciling Boy Commandos and moving on to Tommy Tomorrow and Gangbusters before he gravitated to Superman.
For DC’s flagship character, he drew not only for Superman and Action Comics but also Superboy, Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, and Legion of Super-Heroes for Adventure Comics. He also drew the daily newspaper Superman Strip from the late 1950’s until it ended in 1964. In all, he produced hundreds of covers and stories with his frequent inker Murphy Anderson. The team became so well known and beloved by comic fans that the pair’s collaborative artwork came to be called “Swanderson.”
Swan retired in 1985 at the time DC comics put their characters through a major revamp in Crisis on Infinite Earths. His last Superman story was Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?, a critically and popularly acclaimed story written by Alan Moore that tied together and concluded the Man of Steel’s pre-Crisis history into a two-part story spread over Superman and Action Comics. Not only did this issue clear the way for John Byrne’s revamp of Superman, it brought to a close not only a much-beloved era in the ongoing Superman mythos but a more innocent one as well. Swan remains one of the most, if not the most, popular Superman artist of all time.
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