Dick Giordano (1932-2010)

Dick GiordanoDick Giordano has died and today is a sad day for everyone in the comic book industry.

In these days where just about every press release touts everyone as an industry great, Dick Giordano was truly a comic book legend. While primarily known as one of the great all-time inkers (often pairing with Neal Adams, another legend), Giordano also spent 10 years as DC Comics's Vice President/Executive Editor, a position he held from 1983-1993, arguably the most critical time frame in DC Comics history. He oversaw Crisis on Infinite Earths and the rebooting of the entire universe and its iconic characters, one of the more ambitious moves ever taken by a major comic book company. He was also there when DC launched their Vertigo line of mature readers comics, possibly the most influential move DC Comics has made in the modern age.

His loss is being felt throughout the industry, but most especially at DC Comics. "When I was just trying to break into comics back in 1986, I received a lot of form rejection letters, including a very gracious one from Dick at DC Comics. On the DC letterhead, he took the time to pen an additional personal note which I still cherish today. "Looking good–keep working at it." Those few words kept this often dejected young artist hanging in there as it took many many more submissions before I finally broke into comics," said Jim Lee, Co-Publisher, DC Comics  "Thank you, Dick, for your words of encouragement, all the years of amazing art and editorial leadership at DC. And finally, for showing us artists how a great inker gets it done."

Dick Giordano Art"Dick Giordano was an inspiration for me when I first joined DC Comics," said Dan DiDio, Co-Publisher, DC Comics. "He was an innovator and an industry leader as both a creator and a creative executive. He was truly one of the greats in the business."

"Dick Giordano has left a lasting legacy as a comic book artist and as a DC Comics executive," said Diane Nelson, President, DC Entertainment. "I join the industry in recognizing his tremendous contribution to DC Comics and send my sympathy to his family and friends."

To me, he and DC Comics were synonymous. I hardly ever thought of one without thinking of the other. I came of age as a comic book reader during his tenure as DC Comics's Vice President/Executive editor so his name was on every DC comic book that I read (and there were a lot of them) from the time I was 6 to 16. And for years it seemed like Giordano was the artist on all the promotional material that DC Comics put out. Things like official DC Comics calendars (see left) seemed to always be drawn by Giordano, and in my head, when I picture certain DC Comics characters, I still picture them the way that Giordano drew them. I distinctly remember being a kid and wondering who the guy was who drew all this cool stuff for DC Comics, and it wasn't until I was much older that I found out it was Giordano.

Jonah Hex #51Dick Giordano never stopped working. Just recently he penciled Jonah Hex #51. I remember being completely surprised to see his name and being very happy about it. It's always nice to see that even in retirement, the legends never lose their passion of the art. It makes me appreciate books like Jonah Hex, and guys like Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, even more because their commitment to showcasing art by an eclectic mix of industry greats meant we got to see Dick Giordano shine one more time.

It's always tough when we lose someone like Dick Giordano. From an industry perspective it's tough because he is was one of the few genuine legends in the field, from both the creative and business sides. From a fan perspective, it's tough not only because he brought so much joy to readers but because he was a constant. His name has been there for my entire comic book reading life. He has just always been there, in some form or another, and now he's not.

We salute you, Dick Giordano. May you rest in peace.


  1. 🙁

  2. RIP

  3. When I told my dad Giordano died, he stopped everything he was doing.  And this is a man who I’ve only seen get sentimental about only three other creators.

    Sadly, while the name sounded familiar, the only accomplishments of his I knew came from Tom VS The JLA.  I have a few Green Lantern comics in my collection that he was editor on, so I might have to give them a read tonight.

  4. That issue of Jonah Hex looked pretty damn good.

  5. He was a giant. He will be missed. One of the greats.

  6. The depth & breadth of his influence was remarkable. The entire landscape of the comics industry today would be dramatically different, and certainly poorer, if he had never made his mark. I can only hope and I am as vital and relevant as he was when I reach 77.  

  7. In retrospect my largest regret is never having the opportunity to meet him at cons. It would have been a great experience because from what I heard he had a heart of gold. Can only hope he’s happier where he’s at.

  8. I didnt realize this was the same guy who penciled Jonah Hex 51 untill just now. I remember really liking that issue and it’s really sad that the industry has lost such an amazing talent.

  9. It’s a sad day for comics as he was a legend.

  10. Awful news. A true legend who will absolutely be missed…

  11. If Giordano had done nothing but inks his entire career, it would still be a sad day for the comics industry. But for what he did for DC Comics as a whole, he has to go down as one of the most brilliant executives in comics history. RIP Dick.

  12. This is so sad. I just ordered the first volume of Man of Steel (John Byrne) trade and Giordano’s pencils are beautiful.


  13. Truly one of the towering legends of the industry. He oversaw and put his mark on so many great comics. I don’t know anything about his personal life, but I hope he had a great one.

  14. The comics industry loses another legendary figure. RIP and congratulations on a great career.

  15. He worked on many of the comics I grew up with.  His art is part of the reason I’m a DC fan to this day.  I’ll miss you, Dick.

  16. R.I.P. 🙁

  17. His name is synonymous with DC to me. He will definitely be missed. My condolences to all his family and friends.

  18. This comics giant’s name was on so many comics that I read growing up, I can’t help but feel extremely saddened when I hear this kind of news.  But at least a contribution so great will never, ever be forgotten.

  19. RIP Dick, as others have sad it is truly a sad day for comics. My thoughts go out to his friends and family.

  20. We’ll miss you, Dick.

  21. I was so sad to see this news.  I got a chance to see Giordano (along with Roy Thomas and some other industry veterans) on a panel at Heroes Con last year, talking about Charlton Comics.  I could have listened to his stories all day.  Not only was he a major talent, but a great source of oral history for the industry.  I’m really glad I had that opportunity, and the comics community will be poorer now that he’s gone (but richer that he was part of it).   

  22. Dick Giordano was a genius and from everythingI have heard a true gentleman . There will never be another like him Rest in Peace .

  23. that sucks

  24. RIP Dick, you’ll live on forever in the wonder work you left us.

  25. A very sad day. Condolences to family and friends. I am 40 now and been Reading dick giordano’s work since I was a child for me he was always an assured sign of quality and always a delight to see in the insignia at the bottom of page one. Thank you for your work an talent