Pauline and Stan Goldberg at a Berndt Toast Gang lunch a few years back.
Stan Goldberg died on the last day of August 2014 due to the effects of a stroke he suffered about two weeks ago. He was 82 years old.
Like a lot of people, I just found out via email and social media. So many people are calling Stan their friend, and they are right. Stan was a gentleman and when he spoke with you, you got 100% attention. He was generous and enthusiastic about comics, and people. And when it came to comics: he was there. There for everything: the golden age, the anti-comcs crusade of the 1950s, the silver age, and so on.
He could tell you stories of working for Stan Lee. He was there in the Empire State Building as a teenager, in the Marvel bullpen. This was during the 1940s, before Marvel was Marvel. It was called Timely Comics then. As a teen, he assisted Carl Burgos, the creator of the original Human Torch.
Best known for his work on ARCHIE Comics, as well as his coloring work for Marvel. (He chose the colors for the superheroes and super villains.) Stan was also the man behind many issues of MILLIE THE MODEL.
(Above: the cover of ARCHIE #571, December 2006. Of course, Stan drew this. What I didn't know was that he put my wife's name right there on Santa's list. I know, it's hard to see in this tiny image, but it's there. He did this without saying a word and handed me the original art to keep. He knocked my socks off with this act of kindness out of the blue. Whatta guy!)
Mark Evanier cites the number of comics pages he produced during his nearly 60 years as "staggering."
I had the pleasure of knowing Stan as a friend for the past 15 years. He was a fellow member of the Long Island National Cartoonists Society, the "Berndt Toast Gang." We also co-curated an original comic art gallery show in 2005. The show was big and tough to put together, but working with Stan was a pleasure.
Stan drew Archie for over 200 issues. He is considered the seminal Archie artist. If you wanna know how to draw Archie, he's your go-to guy.
When I first met Stan, he and his wonderful wife Pauline were sitting at a table during a Berndt Toast Gang lunch. This was maybe my second time I attended a BTG lunch. I asked if it was OK to sit next to them, and got friendly smiles and they both said, "of course, of course." I told him that I knew his work, and I called him "Mr. Goldberg." To which, he politely, but sternly, replied, "Don't call me Mr. Goldberg. 'Mr. Goldberg' is my father's name. Call me Stan."
Since then, we've become friends and he's invited me to his studio, which overlooks Eastchester Bay. He has a wonderful view of the bridge, but he admitted to me that he is usually looking at his board and not at the water. (Typical cartoonist!) The first time I was there, he showed me many of his originals. He has an amazing collection of original cartoon art by many cartoonists, framed on the wall. We rifled through his bookshelf. At one pint, Stan pulled out a a large, oversized hardcover book by children's illustrator Richard Scarry. "This guy could draw anything." Of course, I had to go and buy a few Scarry books for myself! He was showing me piles of pencils and inked ARCHIE pages. Basically, I was a kid in a candy store and he let me behave like one.
I mentioned about how generous he was. We were in the green room, waiting to go on a Long Island TV show. I think it was in connection with that gallery show. Anyway, Stan was showing me all of the comics he had brought to show, and I had maybe a dozen color printouts of my gag cartoons. He told me, make sure you tell them about how you got into cartooning. I said something like my story is not as interesting or as important as his own life story. He pooh-poohed that idea. He wanted to make sure that the spotlight was on me as well, as an equal. Oh, heck! I'm not worthy!!! See what I mean about generous?
I could go on and on about Stan, and Pauline, and the times I have spent with them since. Okay. One more: They both took time out to come and hear me lecture about 1950s comics a few years ago. I couldn't help but think that the audience would have been better served if we traded places, and they listened to a guy who was actually there at that time. Several cartoonists were there that day, and I remember at the end, after the initial applause, I introduced some of the cartoonists in the audience. Stan got the loudest applause.
I almost forgot to mention his many awards: The National Cartoonists Society Gold Key Award, the Stanley, the Ink Pot. Those are a few and some of the most prestigious. Russ Burlingame writing at Comicbook.com has a good rundown. NCS President Tom Richmond remembers Stan. There are dozens of links out there already, and hundreds more to come.
Stan, I will miss you dearly. My deepest condolences to Pauline, and the Goldberg family.
Pauline and family have sent along a request. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to:
East End Hospice
481 Westhampton-Riverhead Road
PO Box 1048
Westhampton Beach, NY 11978