MORTIMER James Winslow
James Winslow Mortimer was born May 1, 1919 in Hamilton Ontario where he attended Hamilton Central Collegiate. He was trained as an artist by his father who headed the poster department at Howell Lithographic. After high school he went for one and a half years to the Art Students League of New York. He joined the Canadian Army in 1940 but was discharged for medical reasons after a brief training period. In 1941, he worked for Otis Elevators in Hamilton where his morale posters caught the attention of the federal ministry of information who made them available to plants across Canada. For a short period in 1941he drew a comic strip called “Wilbur and the Colonel” for the services pages in the Toronto Star. In the same year he started “Pictures in Poetry” which ran in the Star from 1941 to 1943. .
He moved to New York where he worked for Superman Inc., ghosting the “Superman” comic strip between 1948 and 1955.For DC Comics he became a cover artist for comics featuring Superman, Superboy and Batman. In 1948 he became an American citizen. In 1949 he succeeded Wayne Boring on the Superman comic strip. He left it in 1955 to create the adventure strip “David Crane” which debut February 27, for the Prentice-Hall Syndicate. It was a strip about a protestant minister which he drew for five years. Then he left “David Crane” to devote all his energies to “Larry Brannon”.
Actually the idea for “Larry Brannon” came to Mortimer before he started working on “David Crane”. Mortimer conceived him as a twenty-eight year old trouble shooter for a mining company a “dynamic young Canadian in a dynamic Canadian environment.” The idea was syndicated to 60 newspapers. Mortimer drew the strip from 1961 to 1968. During this period Mortimer returned to work on a variety of comics for DC.
By the early 1970’s he freelanced for a number of publishers including Marvel. He drew almost all of the stories for the 57 issue run of Spidey Super Stories and he worked on Gold Key’s Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery and Twilight Zone. He left comics in 1983 to do advertising and commercial art for Neal Adam’s studio, Continuity Associates.
However, he continued to do some individual work in comics: the four issue DC World of Metropolis (August to November 1988, The Honeymooners issues 3 to 9 (1987 to July 1988) and Honeymooners issue 11 (June 1989) among others.
He died January 11, 1998 of cancer.
“Wilbur and the Colonel.” Toronto Daily Star, 1941.
“Pictures In Poetry” Toronto Daily Star, 1941-1943.
“David Crane” Prentice-Hall Syndicate, 1956- 1960.
“Larry Brannon” Toronto Star Syndicate, 14 Nov.1960 to 12 Oct.1968.
“The small but lively propaganda war of comic strips.” Maclean’s, 28 Jan.1961:54.
“Ex-Hamilton Artist To Draw Spec Strip.” Hamilton Spectator, circa. 1960..
“Adventurer ‘Larry Brannon’ Is Brainchild of Hamiltonian.” Brantford Expositor, 10 Nov. 1960.
“Spectator Will Feature David Crane.” Hamilton Spectator, circa. Feb.1956..
Mietkiewicz, Henry.“ Mortimer Win (1919-1998) The Joe Shuster Awards. n.p. n.d. Web. 28 Jan. 2010. <http://joeshusterawards.com/hof/hof-win-mortimer-1919-1998/>
Wilson Paul. “Paul Wilson: Superman’s Hamilton story.” CBC News,. CBC. 10 Jan. 2013. Web. 20 Sept. 2013. <http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/talk/paul-wilson-superman-s-hamilton-story-1.1361447>
See LARRY BRANNON