Dewey Cassell brings sad news:
George Tuska, renowned Golden and Silver Age comic book artist, passed away around midnight on October 16, 2009. He was 93 years old.
George Tuska was born on April 26, 1916, the son of Russian immigrants. He attended the National Academy of Design and in 1939 went to work for Will Eisner in the studio he shared with Jerry Iger. Tuska later worked for Harry “A” Chesler, Fiction House and Standard Publishing. He was drafted into World War II and served in the 100th Division at Fort Jackson drawing artillery plans. Following the war, he achieved notoriety working for Lev Gleason illustrating Crime Does Not Pay, a true-crime comic book with a monthly circulation of over one million copies. When the advent of the Comics Code brought an end to the violent comics of the fifties, George turned to newspaper comic strips, drawing first Scorchy Smith and later Buck Rogers. He also did some work for Tower Comics on the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents.
Then, in the mid-sixties, Tuska went to work for Stan Lee and Marvel Comics, working on Captain America, the Hulk, and the X-Men, before taking over the reins of Iron Man. Tuska remained the primary artist on Iron Man for ten years, bringing to it the creative layouts and explosive action that defined the character for a generation. Also while at Marvel, George illustrated one of the first African American heroes, Luke Cage.
Tuska left Marvel in the late seventies to start The World’s Greatest Superheroes newspaper strip for DC Comics, which featured Superman and other heroes from the Justice League of America. George later drew comic book stories for DC, including Green Lantern, World’s Finest, and the Justice League of America. He retired from professional work in the mid-eighties, but continued to draw up until his death, illustrating commission requests for fans from all over the world. He got up every morning at 6:30 a.m. and would start drawing in his studio, bringing heroes to life in a way that only George could. He was a kind and gentle man, with a wry sense of humor and a remarkable imagination. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Dorothy, and their three children, as well as grandchildren, great-grandchildren, friends, and a legion of fans.