The comics industry is mourning a pioneer in the industry with the death of longtime Marvel Comics artist (and Spider-Woman co-creator) Marie Severin on Thursday. Severin, who passed away at age 89 following a stroke, is being remembered as a talented, versatile, and prolific artist who helped break barriers in the male-dominated industry.
Bob Larkin, a celebrated Bronze Age artist and painter who worked closely with Severin, opens up exclusively to SYFY WIRE about his memories of the late artist. The two collaborated on the original painted covers for a number of Marvel's trade paperbacks and novels in the 1970s (which helped bring iconic comics to a wider audience), and looking back at their time as colleagues, he fondly recalled Severin’s “sweet” nature as well as her “fantastic” creative gifts.
"Marie would give me rough sketches, sometimes 10, for different paperback covers, which I would then have to paint and turn around in a week and a half," Larkin shares. "I remember one time, we had a tight deadline on a Marvel paperback novel featuring Daredevil. She did the rough sketch for it, gave it to me, and I went home did the painting in 24 hours. She loved it, and gave me a big hug. One sweet lady and a fantastic artist!"
Larkin also marvels at the speed Severin worked, as well as her understanding of positive and negative space: "That's what made her so good at designing covers."
In addition to designing Spider-Woman's iconic costume, Severin contributed to numerous Marvel titles in a variety of roles, including penciller, colorist, letterer. A rare female creator in the company's famed bullpen, she worked with many of the company's best-known characters in the 1960s and '70s, including the Hulk, Doctor Strange and the Sub-Mariner.