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Wayne Boring

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 1980s.

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.

Michael Vance

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