Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Jim Mooney

Jim Mooney interviewed by Chris Knowles:

Certainly I wasn't terribly enthusiastic about the nine years I spent on Supergirl. First of all, it was a strip that wasn't terribly challenging. After a while, you were pretty much doing the same thing over and over. The other thing I didn't like about it was, before that I was doing some stuff for DC, House of Mystery and so on, in a much more sophisticated style. When I started on Supergirl, Mort Weisinger insisted it had to be what he considered the "house style." It had to look the way he wanted it, which was much simpler than the way I'd been drawing previously. So, I was pretty much fenced in by that particular requirement that Mort had. If I changed my style at all, he'd call me into his office and say, "What are you trying to do, make a million bucks? Do you have somebody ghosting for you?" I said, "No, I was just trying something a little different." He said, "Well, don't! Draw it the way you were drawing it before."

Steve Gerber interviewed by Dan Best:

I first became aware of Jim Mooney without even knowing that the person drawing it was Jim. That’d be Tommy Tomorrow back in Action Comics in the mid ‘50s. With the Planeteers in their purple and red Bermuda shorts. I first became aware of him at DC in one of Mort Weisinger’s letter columns. They were having a vote for a new hair-style for Supergirl and in the lead up Mort wrote that the drawings were all done by Supergirls’ regular artist, Jim Mooney. Then all of a sudden it was, Oh, that’s who this guy is! He’s been drawing this stuff for ten years and I’ve been loving it as a kid and now I know who it is.

Omega was a departure for Jim, although it had all of the elements that made a strip like Supergirl really appealing. The way he drew kids was just remarkable. I’m sure that an editor brought up his name and I agreed to it immediately of course, but I don’t recall the exact process of his selection. We did have a lot of phone conversations and I liked him a hell of a lot, he’s a wonderful guy to talk to and he really understood what Mary (Skrenes) and I were going for with Omega, and what I was trying to do with Man-Thing. He was a very, very perceptive artist with a keen appreciation of story.

Above, just a couple of my favorite sequences by Jim Mooney. However he may have felt about working on Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes for Mort Weisinger, he still managed to do some exceptional work...and Gerber was exactly right in seeing a direct line from the strengths of that earlier work to his later accomplishments with Omega and Man-Thing and Son of Satan and even to his final work for Claypool Comics.


  1. I'm in complete agreement with you. In fact, his work on Supergirl is a major reason why I like that character so much. He drew her so expressively that Kara seemed much more than your typical cardboard cut-out heroine. (Unlike today's model, I'm afraid.)

    That same quality, I believe, made Gerber's Man-Thing and Omega work that much more creepy.

  2. Blast.

    And, absolutely right: terrific storyteller.


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