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MARIE SEVERIN: THE MIRTHFUL MISTRESS OF COMICS

Marie Severin: The Mirthful Mistress of Comics
By Dewey Cassell with Aaron Sultan
176 8.5x11-inch pages
b/w with a color section
TwoMorrows
paperback
$24.95

A book about Marie Severin is a long-overdue tome. She’s been working in comics for over 50 years: she started in the early 1950s by coloring EC Comics (adding an emotional dimension that sometimes expressed her discomfort with a horror story), and then for 30 years, she worked at Marvel — everything from production to coloring to penciling, inking and art direction, doing preliminary cover sketches among other things (like actually drawing comics, in case that isn’t obvious).

Marie0001Cassell begins the book: “This book is a tribute to one of the icons in the comic book industry ... In an industry dominated by men, Marie Severin made her mark in a way that few, if any, of her male counterparts have equaled. She was not the first lady in comics ... but she is unquestionably the first lady of comics. She shaped the way we saw and thought about comics for multiple generations.”

Cassell assembled the book’s text from numerous interviews with Marie and her brother John, plus Stan Lee, Al Feldstein, Jack Davis, and numerous other artists and friends, all carefully — feelingly — orchestrated into a symphonic acclamation.

Marie0002Throughout the book are many photographs and scores of caricatures and the comedic sketches Severin was famous for—an plentiful visual explanation of why Stan Lee called her “the mirthful mistress.” Indulging her penchant for humor, she worked on Crazy, Coneheads, and Not Brand Echh, Spoof, plus various special projects.

Although noted for comedy and coloring, parody and caricature, Severin also occasionally drew superhero books, straight, without a grin—Crime Suspenstories, The Cat, The Avengers, Captain America, Deadly Hands of Kung Fu, The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man titles, Submariner, and Thor, to name a few that she both penciled and inked.

 An index of her comic book credits—penciling and inking interiors, covers, coloring, and writing — completes the package, altogether a delightful book.



For more Rants & Raves with its comics news and reviews, gossip and cartooning lore, visit www.RCHarvey.com

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