This past Sunday, MAD Magazine founder and Eisner Comic Industry Hall of Fame artist John Severin died aged 90, according to a statement released by his family.
Severin was a very accomplished artist and had a full career. His artistic achievements extend even beyond his co-creation of MAD magazine. His professional art career started all the way back in his high school days, when he drew and wrote cartoons for Hobo News.
Early in his career Severin co-created the Native American feature American Eagle. Severin's family says that he was known as an "artist's artist," and he "gained a reputation for his historical knowledge and detail in all genres, most notably war and western."
He worked for Marvel Comics, where he contributed to the Incredible Hulk, Kull the Conqueror, Captain Savage and Semper Fi, among others. He also drew for DC Comics, including the popular Suicide Squad and Bat Lash. After leaving MAD, Severin helped start Cracked Magazine.
Stan Lee was a Severin's editor at Marvel comics and considered him a friend. Lee contributed to the family statement. He spoke to Severin's hardworking nature and wide interests, saying, "One of my greatest regrets, as an editor, was the fact that John was so busy doing other things that I couldn't give him as many assignments as I would have wished. If it were up to me, I'd have kept him busy drawing for Marvel seven days a week, fifty-two weeks a year."
In the family's statement, Lee also gave warm words of friendship and praise for Severin. He said, "John Severin's distinguished work is personified by the quality of the man himself. John was one of the nicest, most decent, honorable, straight-shooting men you'd ever hope to meet. Truly, the art world has suffered a great loss with John's passing – but so has the human race."
Lee closed with an attempt to console Severin's fans, saying, "To John's friends and fans worldwide, he has been greatly loved and will surely be greatly missed."