Comics legend Wayne Boring played a major
role in visually defining the most well known super-hero
in the world during the peak of Superman's popularity.
Born in 1916, Boring attended the Chicago
Art Institute and the Minnesota School of Art before joining
Superman's creators in their first office in Cleveland,
Ohio in 1938. He was 22. With artist Paul Cassidy, Boring
was the first to ghost Superman when the demand for the
character outstripped the supply from creators Jerry Siegel
and Joe Shuster. His thirty year stint as Superman's artist
on both the comic books and newspaper strip remains unequaled.
Stiff is the first word that leaps to mind
when most critics describe Boring's style. Melodramatic
is often the second adjective. While it is true that Superman
and his cast were often drawn with exaggerated and dramatic
gestures and stances, two words cannot adequately describe
Boring's unique style.
Boring's art was BIG.
It added a heroic quality to his characters
beyond their actions, and almost a mythological stature
to his already larger-than-life protagonist. Reporters Lois
Lane and Jimmy Olsen, villain Lex Luthor and cast were all
players in a paper opera who represented human types as
well as individuals. Boring's art added an epic quality
to their paper lives.
He made readers feel they were a part of
a much larger human drama, a struggle not only of individuals
but of a species that could reach for and attain the stars.
Boring's comic book work included: Superman,
Action Comics (1938--68, DC), Slam Bradley (1937-'39, DC),
Spy (1937-'38, DC), Superboy (c1950, DC), Toni Gayle and
Blue Bolt (1945-'48, Novelty), Gullivar of Mars, Captain
Marvel (1972, Marvel).
Boring also worked on the Prince Valiant
and Davy Jones comic strips (1968-'71). He died in the late
Some older comics are expensive or difficult
to locate. Price guides or comics dealers help. Comics shops,
conventions, mail order companies and trade journals are
good sources. Prices may vary, be sure you shop around.
Boring's work is highly recommended.