February 28, 2012 by staff
John Severin, John Powers Severin (December 26, 1921 – February 12, 2012) was an American comic book artist noted for his distinctive work with EC Comics, primarily on the war comics Two-Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat; for Marvel Comics, especially its war and Western comics; and for his 45-year stint with the satiric magazine Cracked. He was one of the founding cartoonists of Mad in 1952.
Severin was inducted into the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame in 2003.
Born in Jersey City, New Jersey, Severin was a teenager in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, when he began drawing professionally. While attending high school, he contributed cartoons to The Hobo News, receiving payment of one dollar per cartoon. In 1999, Severin recalled the work when he was interviewed by Gary Groth:
I was sometimes selling 19 or 20 of them a week. Not every week, naturally. But I didn’t have to get a regular job to carry me through high school. It was almost every week-not every week-but almost every week. I didn’t have to get a job. I hated to work, I’ll tell you. I didn’t have to get a job then, because I was in high school.
He attended the High School of Music & Art in New York City, together with future EC Comics and Mad artists Harvey Kurtzman, Will Elder, Al Jaffee and Al Feldstein. After graduating from the High School of Music & Art in 1940, he worked as an apprentice machinist and then enlisted in the Army, serving in the Pacific during World War II.
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