Win Mortimer (1919-1998 )
Born in Hamilton, Ontario, James Winslow Mortimer was trained from the age of two by his father in the poster department of a Canadian lithography firm. As a teenager, Win became a recurring contributor to the Toronto Star’s Pictures And Poetry feature. After high school, he studied art in New York, returning in 1939 to join the army when Canada entered World War II. Resuming civilian life in 1943, Mortimer designed posters for the Canadian Ministry of Information, then landed a job at DC in 1945. Soon he was chief cover artist for most of the Superman, Superboy and Batman titles, including World’s Finest. From 1949 to ’55, he drew the Superman newspaper strip, but left in 1956 when a syndicate purchased his David Crane strip. In 1960 Mortimer left Crane to return to the Toronto Star, producing the Larry Brannon strip from 1961 to ‘68.
In 1960 Mortimer was also back at DC, penciling The Legion of Super Heroes, Supergirl and Plastic Man. From 1968 to ’83, he showed amazing versatility, contributing to a wide range of DC, Marvel and Gold Key titles such as Scooter, Stanley And His Monster, Spider-Man, Boris Karloff’s Tales of Mystery, The Twilight Zone and Supernatural Thrillers. In 1983, Mortimer joined Neal Adams’ Continuity Associates to work on various advertising and commercial projects including editorial cartoons and a religion oriented comic.
Though not as flashy as many of his comic-book colleagues, Mortimer was an accomplished craftsman whose deceptively low key style prized characterization and storytelling over elaborate artistry. For this reason, Mortimer became one of DC Comics’ most extensively utilized cartoonists during the 1940s and ’50s. His extensive involvement in drawing Superman and Superboy also made him one of Joe Shuster’s natural successors, as well as a “bridge” between the Golden and Silver Ages.
Bio compiled by Henry Mietkiewicz.