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Robert Kanigher (1915-2002)

Long-time comics writer/editor Robert Kanigher died yesterday, of undisclosed causes. Kanigher had worked in comics since the 1940s, when he started with Fox Features Syndicate, writing Blue Beetle and other characters. He soon found his way to All-American, one of the companies that would later merge into the modern DC comics, and he stayed with the company, invarious capacities, almost exclusively though his retirement in the 1980s.

Even in context of a field that demanded a high level of output, Kanigher was prolific. He wrote and/or edited WONDER WOMAN, GREEN LANTERN, FLASH and the Justice Society feature in ALL-STAR COMICS, as well as other super-heroes and countless romance, love, crime, horror and war stories. He is consideredone of the more visual comics writers, having created at least one signature page breakdown technique (three interlocking panels, with segments progressing in time, typically used for landscapes). He will probably be best remembered by most for his creation of SGT. ROCK, but he was also a major player in the 1950s/60s "Silver Age" of super-heroes, inaugurating the modern Flashand creating METAL MEN.

Kanigher and Tom Sutton (who passed away May 1) had worked together at least once -- as writer and artist (respectively) of the early 1970s version of THE HEAP, one of Skywald's brief flurry of color comics.

Even though he did most of his work for DC, Kanigher worked for many others -- Fox, MLJ/Archie (on super-hero titles), Marvel (briefly), Renegade, etc. He also wrote magazine articles and books on writing, comics and other subjects. Some bios say he wrote for radio.

And he went out in harness, having written a short Batman story published last year. He was also working on his autobiography, excerpts of which have seen print.

Reported and written by Pierce Askegren

May 7, 2002

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