Sam Maronies Entertainment Funhouse (Maronie Creative Services, LLC)
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COMICS

March 17, 2015

IRWIN HASEN

hasen portrait 1

hasen portrait 1

 

As  sit and write these words, i can look up above me and view hanging on my office wall the beautiful cover  of All-Star Comics #43, recreated by its original artist, Irwin Hasen. Mr. Hasen left us after an incredible career as an illustrator, spanning some 8 decades of work.

I heard the news of Hasen’s passing this week-end when I was–of all places–at a comic book convention, Planet Comicon in Kansas City. In a grim way it was appropriate, because that’s were most of my numerous meetings with Irwin took place—in the confines of a three-day weekend of four-color fun!

Much has already been written about his work during the Golden Age of Comics and his famous newspaper strip, Dondi, which reached fans all over the world. But I just want to say a few words about what a teriffic person Irwin Hasen was. It was an honor to know him.

 

hasen portrait 2

 

Despite being a wonderful artist, Irwin Hasen was hysterically funny! I called him …’The Henny Youngman of the Comic- Book World’…a title that would always make him laugh. Having him included on a convention panel was guaranteed to put the audience in stitches.

He delighted in needling—sometimes not-s0-good-naturedly—his Golden Age peers and having a laugh or two at their expense. Once there were some convention guests who he felt were ‘freeloading’ off the show producer’s good nature. His quick-wit dubbed them the Yiddish name for ‘moocher’ (the exact word of which I cannot recall), and began writing a comic strip about a family that made a career out of mooching off people.

 

Here's Irwin (r) with his former 'Green Lantern' editor Julie Schwartz at one of Shelton Drum's 1990s Heroes Cons. The two had an interesting love/hate relationship. They would needle each other unmercifully at times.

Here’s Irwin (r) with his former ‘Green Lantern’ editor Julie Schwartz at one of Shelton Drum’s 1990s Heroes Cons. The two had an interesting love/hate relationship. They would needle each other unmercifully at times.

 

I remember one convention where he wore an ascot around his neck and went around telling everyone he was the debonaire actor William Powell. He was the unofficial Court Jester to his contemporaries like Joe Kubert, Julie Schwartz and especially Carmine Infantino. Hasen’s antics and one-liners would reduce these grizzled industry vets to tears of laughter.

 

The usually-stoic artist Carmine Infantino would more often than not, be reduced to hysterics by irwin Hasen's antics. They were two real pioneers of comics' Golden Age!

The usually-stoic artist Carmine Infantino would more often than not, be reduced to hysterics by irwin Hasen’s antics. They were two real pioneers of comics’ Golden Age!

Irwin was a mainstay of many a convention. He was a frequent guest at Shelton Drum’s fabulous Heroes Con. Eventually, ill-health forced him to curtail his appearances until his passing on Friday at age 96.

 

Irwin and I posing with the Wonder Woman cover recreation I had just purchased from him. This photo is from a 1990s Motor City Convention held in, of course, Detroit, Michigan.

Irwin and I posing with the Wonder Woman cover recreation I had just purchased from him. This photo is from a 1990s Motor City Convention held in, of course, Detroit, Michigan.

He is gone now, like so many from his era. Even though Hasen was a diminuitive man, he was a true giant of the industry. I miss him so much already.

#smefunhouse #planetcomicon

 

 

 






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