Monday, April 06, 2009

Frank Springer 1929-2009

Frank Springer died April 2, 2009 in a Maine hospital. The cause was prostate cancer.

Frank was a journeyman cartoonist, with his work seen by millions.

Just looking at his resume (and this is a partial list) —
Terry and the Pirates
New York Daily News
National Lampoon
comic books (DC, Marvel, Western Publishing)
The Adventures of Phoebe Zeit-Geist
The Heart of Juliet Jones
Space Ghost
— it's easy to see that pretty much everyone experienced his inky lines.

Of his freelance career, he once said
"There were some raggedy times, but I always had work, raised five kids, bought some houses, bought some cars...I've been lucky."
I'm quoting Mark Evanier's blog (link below), and I agree with Mark's opinion: luck had little to do with it; talent and drive was his secret of success. (Drive was a big part of his life. The number of times he had biked RAGBRAI, an annual 7 day, 472 bike ride thru Iowa, was in the double digits.)

Mark is also right about the NCS. Frank was a much loved guy amongst the members. To a lot of people (including me), Frank exemplified the NCS.

I was fortunate to know Frank and his wife Barbara. Frank, a past National Cartoonists Society president, advised me about NCS issues. When I rang, he always picked up the phone and, treating me like an equal, gave me his opinion. I shall miss him.

My heartfelt condolences to Barbara, and the Springer children and grandchildren. Frank shall be missed and he'll be remembered.

Related:

NY Newsday obituary

Mark Evanier remembers


Dan Best interviews Frank
from January 10, 2008

ComicBookCollectorsBlog: In Memoriam... Frank Springer

John Kovaleski: Cartoonists I Dig - Frank Springer

Lambiek bio


Above: Frank draws caricatures at the Manhattan Savings Bank's 1987 NCS show.


Above: Grand Ballroom, The Plaza, New York City, April 21, 1970.


Frank's bio page from the NCS Album, revised edition, 1972, compiled by Mort Walker.


Above: a November 20, 2005 photo of Frank and Ashley Smith-Piraro. Behind him is the Overlook Lounge cartoon mural in progress. You can see the head of Phoebe Zeit-Geist bottom left.

5 comments:

Leif Peng said...

It was a great honour and pleasure to meet Frank for the first time at last year's Reubens and shake the hand of someone's whose work I'd long admired... I'm greatly saddened to learn that he's gone. Thanks for this beautiful tribute to a terrific artist, Mike.

Brian Fies said...

I was sad to see this yesterday. I never met him, but Mr. Springer was a big talent. To me his passing represents the passing of a cartooning era he embodied: great skill, mastery of storytelling, love of craft, rock-solid professionalism. They just don't make them like that anymore--haven't for a decade or two--and some of us will mourn when they're all gone.

Daryll Collins said...

So sorry to hear this.

Only met and spoke to Frank briefly at recent NCS weekends.

A real pro and a great guy.

Jeff Jaworski said...

I was honored to work with Frank the last couple of years via my comicbook-art.com site. He was a gentleman in every sense of the word and had a great sense of humor. I am a better person for having known him.

Thanks for taking the time to remember him.

My heart goes out to his family.

Jeff

Maine Comics Arts Festival said...

I had the pleasure of sitting next to Frank at a local convention a few years ago. He was very pleasant with everyone that he spoke with that day. I enjoyed his work and was sorry to hear this news.