Jim Mooney: THE Supergirl Artist Passes

Back in the mid-1960s, the last week of every month (either on the last Tuesday or Thursday, I don’t remember which) I would head to the local liquor store to pick up three comic books: Detective Comics (Batman), Adventure Comics (Legion of Super-Heroes) and Action Comics (Superman and Supergirl).

Action Comics would have one Superman story, usually drawn by Al Plastino and one Supergirl story, always drawn by Jim Mooney. The Supergirl story would take up about 8-10 pages, whereas the Superman story would take up about 12-15 pages.

The Supergirl stories back then, usually because of the number of pages assigned to them, tended to be two-parter stories with a cliff-hanger at the end of the first part. They were well-written and well-drawn. Jim Mooney’s work complimented Supergirl very nicely. To me, Mooney was to Supergirl as Curt Swan was to Superman. Both were equally definitive to those characters.

The only thing that bothered me about Mooney’s work was that he drew the oddest-looking "S" shields on Supergirl and Superman. But the rest of his art was superb.

Jim Mooney passed away yesterday. He lived a long life as he was born in 1919. Up until the last few years when his health started to fail, he remained active and appeared at comic book conventions.

The thought occurred to me that nobody will really remember today’s crop of comic book artists (with very few exceptions) as they do the ones from the Golden Age and Silver Age of comics.

Mooney stacks up right with the greats of the the Silver Age: Jack Kirby, John Romita, Curt Swan, Gil Kane, Carmine Infantino, et al.

It is sad to lose people whose work we grew up with, at least we still have our old issues to pull out on occasion and savor those pages all over again.

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