Monday, November 9, 2015

Episode 19: Murphy Anderson Tribute

Ryan Daly and guest Chris Franklin honor the passing of Murphy Anderson by reviewing The Brave and the Bold #61 and #62 where Black Canary partners with the original Starman.

Flowers & Fishnets is available for download on iTunes by clicking here, or you can check out the show's RSS feed right here.

Find Chris over at the Super Mates Podcast

Sample covers from The Brave and the Bold #61 and #62 written by Gardner Fox and illustrated by Murphy Anderson.

Click here to read my review of issue #61 and here for issue #62 with samples of Anderson's interior artwork.

Music this episode:
"When the Stars Go Blue"
The Corrs (featuring Bono)
Atlantic Records, 2002.



  1. I first learned the name Murphy Anderson from Secret Origins and Who's Who, impressed by his precise fine-lined work. His Who's Who pages of the Quality heroes made me interested in folks like the Ray, etc.

    Later, as I began to get back issues, I acquired a ton of the 'Swanderson' Superman books, including the Kryptonite Nevermore story (one of my all time favorites). It was then that I discovered how well he meshed with Curt Swan.

    I had the luck of meeting him at a very little comic con in Boston in the early 2000s (before the Boston ComicCon was even around). He was a perfect representation of that era. He was in a suit and tie. He had his wife at his table. And he was a perfect gentleman. He answered some questions I had and signed my Superman #233.

    Thanks for this retrospective.

  2. Great episode fellas!

    The first true comic shop I ever visited was called El Dorado Comics, a few minutes from my house. When I got there, I was simply amazed at how many old comics there were to look through. It was a wonderland.

    I tried to buy as many old comics as I could with the few bucks I had, and one of first "back issues" I ever bought was B&B 61. Not sure why, probably it was in terrible condition therefore cheap. But I remember loving it because it seemed like such a portal to comics history that I was (at that time) completely unfamiliar with.

    Good tribute to Anderson, he did tremendous work on these stories. And Robinson using them as a basis for a plot point decades later I thought was clever and cool.


    1. I have a lot of great Silver and Bronze Age Batman comics because of the same thing, Rob. I couldn't touch those now!


  3. Wonderful show honouring a wonderful artists. I loved Murphy Anderson's super-clean, imaginative work - what a craftsman! I think, though, that you accidentally overstated how long Swanderson went for ... it was pretty much a 1971 through 1973 deal, it certainly didn't reach the Eighties.

    These Showcase issues sound, as Shagg would put it, 'boss', though the tautology of 'Girl Gladiatrix' is unforgivable. That's almost as upsetting as the affair retcon - so icky!

    Anyway, great show all round, cheers!

    1. Yeah, I think we may have overstated about the length of the Swanderson team's actual run, but they did re-team from time to time on covers and the occasional interior.

      I can barely pronounce Girl Gladiatrix!!!


  4. Awesome Episode fellas! As much as it pains me to say since I've had the joy of podcasting with Ryan on 9 episodes now, I think Chris makes the perfect co-host. You guys have a great dynamic and play off each other really well and had some great critical analysis of these stories. Chris might have to warn Cindy she has some competition on the Podcasting Partner front. I'm sure Shag would be available to fill-in on Super Mates in Chris's absence. :P

    Onto the issues you gents covered, I love these things. Man there is just so much to love from this era of DC in the Showcase, Mystery in Space, Strange Adventures, and Brave & the Bold titles. I don't think it's any coicidence that Murphy Anderson was cranking out art on these popular titles. His impact and revolutionary page compositions really moved DC forward in their sequential storytelling. I think Anderson, Kubert, and Infantino are really the 3 main guys responsible for moving DC out of the 6 Panel Grid page Layout that was the house style of DC in the 50's up thru mid-60's in some titles. Whatever holdouts to that more..."boring" or tame 6 grid layout were then smashed when Neal Adams came into prominence at DC.

    I've really enjoyed this #RIPMurphy crossover (my episode is dropping soon), great idea Ryan, I hope we can make this an annual thing to celebrate Murphy Anderson's work, cause it's been a blast hearing so many different podcasts cover some classic DC issues from the Atomic Age and Silver Age, two eras that I think get a bit of short shrift often times.

    Fantastic episode.

    -Kyle Benning

  5. It's a good thing there isn't a Starman episode of the Secret Origins Podcast, because I don't remember where I first encountered the character, I don't recall his origin, he never made much of an impression on me, and I don't particularly like any incarnation of the name, even. I find the costume garish and the fin bugs me, so I guess Ted Knight and Son #1 would be on the lower end of my Meh-Starman Scale (I almost typed Sandman. Telling.)

    While it's kind of a shame that you can't seem to have a mixed gender duo without sex coming into it, I liked James Robinson's adultery retcon because it gave Dinah and Ted a flawed humanity both were lacking as a retcon and a third-stringer of the Golden Age, plus Larry's lame. He's the babydaddy, but you don't hang out with a bunch of studs in skintight outfits without thinking thoughts, especially with the male-female ratio in the JSA. A buffet of buff, if you will. As for Robinson's writing, Firearm is the only complete run of his work I ever collected, and his being an obvious Marty Sue helped lend a legitimacy that I couldn't extend to Jack Knight. I bought his Starman when prompted by guest appearances and historical elements and tended to like my visits, but never wanted to live in Opal City (although if I ever wrote Nightwing, I'd make that his new home.)

    Murphy Anderson was DC's Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez before ol'PBHN showed up, and his style is probably closer to John Romita's, the guy I usually tag as Marvel's merchandising king of the Bronze Age. I've enjoyed his work since I was first exposed to it via Atomic Knights reprints and house ads, plus he deserves credit for outselling Joe Kubert during his brief Hawkman run. I expect Anderson became best known as an inker and cover artist for the usual reasons, that he wasn't very fast or prolific.

    The lengthy runs of Mike Sekowsky and Dick Dillin on JLofA are easily explained-- they were fast and had no qualms about drawing large groups of characters in an age before royalties where you were paid the same rate regardless of the title. Even Jack Kirby dropped Avengers and X-Men early on, which is why they suffered under Werner Roth and Don Heck for years. I don't know how Avengers managed to score John Buscema and George Perez in the '70s, but their returns after payment restructuring were a lot less mystifying.