DC Comics, 1700 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
DC Comics Hotline (212) 636-5461
March 2, 1998 #5
ARCHIE GOODWIN DIES AT AGE 60
The comic book industry has lost one of its dearest members with the
death of Archie Goodwin, who passed away on Sunday, March 1 at the age of
60, following a long battle against cancer. A veteran of over thirty
years in comics, Goodwin spent the past nine years as a Group Editor for
DC Comics, overseeing a team of editors and personally editing titles
including STARMAN, AZRAEL, and BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT.
Looking back over his long and distinguished career, it seems that he
managed to work with almost every existing comics professional, either
directly or indirectly, and inspire all of them to reach new heights in
their chosen fields.
Goodwin was born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1937 and grew up in Tulsa,
Oklahoma. After graduating from New York City's School of Visual Arts in
1958, he began his comics career in 1965 as both a writer and Editor in
Chief for the Warren-published black-and-white magazines Creepy, Eerie,
and Blazing Combat. He would divide his time between writing and editing
comics for the rest of his life, excelling at both and continually
raising the standards for the medium as a whole. As an editor, in
addition to his time at Warren and DC, he served a term as Editor in
Chief of Marvel Comics, and went on to found and edit Marvel's
groundbreaking anthology magazine, Epic Illustrated, and the Epic Comics
imprint that followed it. As a writer, he worked on nearly every major
super-hero character, including Batman, Wolverine, Spider-Man, and the
Incredible Hulk, and also wrote for the syndicated newspaper comics
strips Secret Agent X-9, Star Wars (with artist Al Williamson) and Tarzan
(with artist Gil Kane). His last major writing project was the highly-
praised graphic novel Batman: Night Cries with artist Scott Hampton.
"Archie Goodwin was the consummate professional and as true a gentleman
as anyone I've ever met," remembers DC's Executive Vice President &
Publisher Paul Levitz. "His humor kept everyone around him from becoming
too full of themselves, their problems, or every forgetting how lucky we
all were to be here.
"If the ultimate test of an editor is the quality of work produced under
his auspices, Archie goes unchallenged as the ultimate editor. In almost
four decades behind an editor's desk, the best talent in comics
consistently did their best work for him, and asked for the opportunity
to do more. And yeoman talent often rose to heights they would not equal
in their careers.
"As a writer, he stood atop his profession longer than anyone. He won the
earliest awards bestowed by his peers, the Academy of Comic Book Arts'
Shazam Awards, in 1975 for his work on MANHUNTER with artist Walter
Simonson. And he won in the most recent awards voted by industry
professionals, the Eisner Awards last summer, for his contribution to
BATMAN BLACK & WHITE.
"As both writer and editor, he taught and shared his gifts liberally with
collaborators and co-workers. But try as we might to dissect his success,
no amount of knowledge, craft, or ever talent could adequately explain
it. He was simply Archie."
Goodwin is survived by his wife, Anne T. Murphy, and his two children,
Jennifer and Seth. Funeral and memorial service arrangements will be
Photos and a selection of self-caricatures by Goodwin are available upon
request. A full list of Goodwin's awards, which was not yet compiled at
press time, will also be made available.