Comics' Line KingThe instantly recognizeable comic-book style at left and all over this page (familiar to any boomer DC Silver Age collector, anyway) -- the crisp, clean lines, the fabulous imagination, the sexy people portrayed -- is a Kurt Schaffenberger hallmark.
Schaffenberger, artist on DC's Superman family of comics for more than four decades from the 1950s onwards, died January 24, 2002 at the age of 81. He passed away at the Shorrock Garden Nursing Home in Brick, New Jersey. He was 81 and died due to ailments related to diabetes and a heart condition.
Born in Germany, he settled with his family here in the States, and his inborn talent won a scholarship to Pratt in New York in 1941. After graduation, a fellow Pratt alumnus led Kurt to his employment at Jack Binder's studio in New Jersey. It was in Binder's barn that Schaffenberger honed his craft on the backgrounds for Captain Marvel, one of the Fawcett titles Binder handled. Pages were done piecemeal by various artists, each contributing his specialty. Kurt quickly graduated to drawing character figures. Interrupted by a stint serving Uncle Sam during WWII, during which he worked for the OSS (since he knew German and could translate) and did posters, several of which are regarded as classics), he returned and went freelance, working on all the Fawcett titles, including Whiz Comics, Captain Marvel, and Captain Marvel Jr. When Fawcett threw in the towel after a legal battle with DC over the character of Captain Marvel (in the early 1950s; the Cap had been the only other superhero to achieve Superman's level of popularity), Schaffenberger worked wherever he could find it, including ACG Comics Group (Unknown Worlds and others), Marvel, Classics Illustrated, and ultimately DC in the late fifties. The rest, as they say, is herstory. Lois Lane's, that is.