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Robert Kanigher
Born June 18, 1915(1915-06-18)
Died May 7, 2002 (aged 86)
Fishkill, New York[1]
Nationality American
Area(s) Writer, Editor
Pseudonym(s) Bart Regan
Dion Anthony
Jan Laurie
Robert Starr[2]
Jed Corby[3]
Notable works Wonder Woman
DC war comics
Sgt. Rock
Silver Age Flash

Robert Kanigher (June 18, 1915 - May 7, 2002)[1] was a prolific comic book writer and editor whose career spanned five decades. He was involved with the Wonder Woman franchise for over twenty years, taking over the scripting from creator William Moulton Marston. In addition, Kanigher spent many years in charge of DC Comics' war titles, as well as creating the popular character Sgt. Rock. Kanigher also scripted what is considered the first Silver Age comic book story, "Mystery of the Human Thunderbolt!" in Showcase #4.

Contents

Biography

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Early career

Kanigher's literary influences included Dostoyevsky, Maxim Gorky, Seán O'Casey, Eugene O'Neill, François Villon, Freud, the Old Testament, James Joyce, Sophocles, and Shakespeare.[2]

Kanigher's career as a writer started early, with his short stories and poetry being published in magazines. He won The New York Times Collegiate Short Story Contest in 1932. In the late 1930s and early 1940s, Kanigher also wrote for radio, film, and authored several plays.[2]

Comics

Kanigher's earliest comics work was in such titles as Fox Feature Syndicate's Blue Beetle (where he created the Bouncer, MLJ/Archie Comics's Steel Sterling and The Web, and Fawcett Comics Captain Marvel Adventures.

In 1943 Kanigher wrote How to Make Money Writing, which included a section on comics, making it one of the earliest works on the subject.[4]

Kanigher joined All-American Comics, a precursor of the future DC Comics, as a scripter in 1945, and was quickly promoted to editor. He wrote for The Justice Society of America, Hawkman, Green Lantern, and edited Wonder Woman in addition to scripting the title. (In fact, Kanigher was Wonder Woman editor for well over twenty years.) He created a number of new characters during this time, including Black Canary, Lady Cop, Rose and Thorn and The Harlequin.

Starting in 1952, Kanigher began editing and writing the "big five" DC Comics' war titles: G.I. Combat, Our Army at War, Our Fighting Forces, All-American Men of War, and Star-Spangled War Stories. His creation of Sgt. Rock with Joe Kubert is considered one of his most memorable contributions to the medium.[4] Later in his career he also created other popular action series features, such as Enemy Ace, The War that Time Forgot, The Losers, The Unknown Soldier; and, with Russ Heath, The Haunted Tank and Sea Devils. His stories have been republished in Showcase Presents and DC Archives.

In the late 1950s and 1960s, Kanigher had a hand in creating many other characters, including Viking Prince, Balloon Buster, the Metal Men and the Batman villain Poison Ivy. Kanigher also scripted the first appearance of the Barry Allen Flash in Showcase #4, the comic generally credited with reviving superheroes and launching the Silver Age of Comics. In 1974, drawing on a classic novel, he introduced Rima the Jungle Girl to the DC Universe in her own title.

Around the year 1977 Kanigher taught for a year at the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art.[2]

Posthumous Tributes

Streets and buildings have been named in his honour in several of DC Comics' fictional cities, including Keystone[5] and Central[6] Cities.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b Social Security Death Index, social security #116-07-5117.
  2. ^ a b c d Bails, Jerry. Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1929–1999.
  3. ^ Cronin, Brian. "Test Your Comic Book Knowledge for 10/25," Comics Should be Good! Comic Book Resources (Oct. 25, 2006). Accessed May 8, 2009.
  4. ^ a b Mangus, Don. "In Memory of Robert Kanigher, 1915–2002," ComicArtVille Library (2002).
  5. ^ Flash (second series) #94.
  6. ^ Flash (first series) #314.

References

External links

Preceded by
William Moulton Marston
Wonder Woman writer
1947–1968
Succeeded by
Dennis O'Neil
Preceded by
N/A
The Brave and the Bold writer
1955–1959
Succeeded by
N/A
Preceded by
Bob Haney
All-American Men of War writer
1959–1966
Succeeded by
Bob Haney
Preceded by
Dennis O'Neil
Justice League writer
1970
Succeeded by
Mike Friedrich
Preceded by
Bob Haney
Teen Titans writer
1970
Succeeded by
Steve Skeates

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