Saturday, January 14, 2012

Marv Levy 1925-2012

Golden age comic book artist Marv Levy (Marv Lev) died Friday morning, January 13. 2012.There is no word on cause of death at this time.

There will be a graveside military service at Wellwood Cemetery in Rockville Centre, NY, Sunday January 15, 2012.

Born in Albany, Georgia on February 21, 1925, Marv grew up in New York City. He attended the High School of Music and Art. After school hours, teenaged Marv drew comics for Harvey Publications, Centaur Comics and Timely. He apprenticed in the studios of Bernard Baily and Harry "A" Chesler. 

After graduation, he enlisted as an infantryman and was part of the 1944 Invasion of Normandy. After the war, he studied at Pratt Institute. He opened his own Manhattan studio specializing in humorous advertising in 1950.

In 1952 he drew "The Snowman's First Christmas" comic strip, which was written by Jim Miele. He also created the Woolworth Christmas Giveaway Comics, among others. The busy artist found time to marry the love of his life; former piano teacher Barbara, in 1957. By 1966, he gave up the studio and was an art director with BBDO, and other advertising firms.

He retired in 1988, but he did not stop. Continuing to freelance, he worked in the fields of television and illustration. Marv produced a film about his Normandy experiences, combining his war time drawings and video of a 1982-83 visit to France.

Marv was an artist member of the legendary National Cartoonists Society Berndt Toast Gang chapter.

He is survived by his wife Barbara, their children Alan, Madelaine, Suzanne, and three grandchildren.

Related Links:

ALTER EGO #75, January 2008, has a career-spanning "fascinating and occasionally revelatory" interview with Marv, conducted by the great Jim Amash. You can order a PDF of the entire issue for a few dollars at the link. The reproduction of the first "Snowman's First Christmas" strip is taken from that issue. There are some great stories Marv tells.

Woolworth's Christmas Giveaway 1952 - was a promotional comic book, produced by Western Publishing, for the Wordsworth's national chain of dime stores. The book features a Marv Levy-drawn story of Santa, zooming around in a ribbon candy spaceship.

The story behind "The Snowman's First Christmas," related by Herb Rogoff, here.

Above cover image of WINKY DINK #75 by Marv Levy from the Comic Collector Live site.


Above: from the July 27, 2006 Berndt Toast Gang lunch: Here's Marv Levy (Harvey Comics, Snowman's First Christmas), Dan Danglo (Felix the Cat, Casper the Friendly Ghost), Joe Edwards (Archie, Lil Jinx) and Marty Macaluso (Caricaturist),

No comments: