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Ed Hannigan: Covered

Presented by The Cartoon Art Museum and The Hero Initiative

Cartoon Art Museum exhibition:  February 13 – June 20, 2010

Reception and Charity Auction:  April 2, 2010


The Cartoon Art Museum and the Hero Initiative proudly present Ed Hannigan:  Covered, a retrospective exhibition celebrating the art of Ed Hannigan.  This retrospective features a selection of covers and original artwork created by Hannigan for Marvel Comics and DC Comics in the 1970s and 1980s, including such popular characters as Batman, Superman, Spider-Man and The Defenders.

Today, Hannigan is 58 years old and has Multiple Sclerosis.  The Hero Initiative, a charitable organization that provides financial assistance to comic book professionals in need, and Marvel Comics have collaborated on a tribute book, Ed Hannigan:  Covered, that features highlights from Hannigan’s artistic career.  The Cartoon Art Museum will display some of Hannigan’s most notable covers alongside the cover and complete interior artwork for one of his most famous single-issue stories, The Spectacular Spider-Man #64, which introduced the crime-fighting duo Cloak and Dagger.

For a sneak peek at this exhibition, please visit The Hero Initiative’s blog.

Sponsorship for this exhibition has been provided by The Comic Outpost.  The Comic Outpost, located on 2381 Ocean Ave. San Francisco, CA has been fulfilling the needs of comic book lovers for well over 15 years.  Current owners Gary Buechler and Roger Yan firmly believe their customer service and subscriber program is second to none.  For more questions, visit their website, www.comicoutpost.net or call (415) 239-2669.

SAVE THE DATE: An auction of original artwork will be held at the Cartoon Art Museum on Friday, April 2, 2010, in conjunction with San Francisco’s WonderCon comics convention.

About Ed Hannigan:

Ed Hannigan was born on August 6, 1951 in Newport, Rhode Island, the first of eight children. His father was an officer in the U.S. Navy and later an engineer/sales executive for Tidewater Oil.  Growing up in towns throughout the Northeast, he read comic books bought for him by his grandmother. He learned to read at a young age, particularly enjoying the comic World’s Finest, featuring Superman and Batman.

As he grew older, Ed became a Marvel fanatic and decided that he would draw comic books someday. In high school in Ashland, Massachusetts, he practiced drawing constantly, producing his own comics and illustrating his school’s senior yearbook. In 1971, after moving to New Jersey, he wrangled an invitation to the offices of Marvel Comics. He showed his art samples to the artists at the office—Marie Severin, Mike Esposito, Herb Trimpe and others—who were polite, but less than impressed. The young Ed’s persistence paid off when editor Sol Brodsky needed someone to correct some lettering on the British weekly reprint series Mighty World of Marvel. Ed volunteered and, for a short while, worked as a letterer.

Brodsky hired Ed and fellow newcomer Klaus Janson for additional art corrections on Mighty World of Marvel, and the two became friendly rivals while shading photo-stats of old Spider-Man, Fantastic Four and Thor stories. Ed continued to pursue his goal of drawing comics for a living, practicing and learning from the pros at Marvel. He was hired to produce sketches for British reprints before landing his first American assignment, a Planet of the Apes cover.  This led to an apprenticeship under Marvel art director John Romita, with whom he designed covers for other artists (and occasionally himself) to draw for publication. During this time he worked on virtually every Marvel Comics title.

Ed tried to tailor his cover designs to the style of the artist hired to create the final product, but he also introduced some trademark features of his own. He became famous for “messing with the logo” by destroying, distorting, or having characters interact with the title logo. Over time, Ed’s concept sketches became more elaborate and colorful. He also drew interior stories ands even wrote a few (his longest run as a writer was on The Defenders), but he became best known as a cover designer for both Marvel and DC.

In the 1990s, Ed began a second career as a computer graphics designer. During this time he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. At first a minor annoyance, Ed’s MS progressed to a major disability. He now lives in New Hampshire with his wife and two children.

About The Hero Initative

The Hero Initiative is the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strict to helping comic book creators in need. Hero creates a financial safety net for yesterday’s creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. It’s a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment.

Since its inception, The Hero Initiative has had the good fortune to grant over $400,000 to the comic book veterans who have paved the way for those in the industry today. For more information, visit www.heroinitiative.org or call 626-676-6354.


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Time March 19, 2010 at 10:01 am

[...] held Friday, April 2, will go to Mr. Hannigan. Tickets are $10-$35. The museum is currently running an exhibition on the artist, called “Ed Hannigan: Covered,” that will run through June [...]