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Swan’s family had Swedish roots, Curt being the youngest of five children. During the Second World War he did his military service and was an illustrator for the Army magazine Stars and Stripes. Entering Paris in 1944 with the American troops, he married there with nurse Helene Brickley. Back to civil life after the war, Swan moved to New Jersey working for DC Comics in the titles Tommy Tomorrow and Gang Busters. Apart from a period of several months studying art at the Pratt Institute in New York, he was for the most part a self-taught cartoonist.
In March 1948 he began to draw Superman in # 51, as well as Superboy in 50 issues. In 1951 he leaves DC Comics and becomes a commercial illustrator for advertising agencies, but after getting better salary and benefits, Swan returns to DC Comics. In 1954, he works on the Superman’s Pal series, Jimmy Olsen ‘.
Curt Swan was a very prolific and consistent cartoonist, getting to illustrate up to two comic numbers per month. He also drew from 1956 to 1960 the daily Superman series that appeared in the newspapers. His most frequent collaborator was the inker Murphy Anderson from 1974 to 1989.
When in 1986 DC Comics decided to renew its comic book characters, Curt Swan was chosen to illustrate the series Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? that would close the original saga of Superman. This story has acquired a cult status, however it also marked the retirement of Swan who would continue to draw sporadically until the end of his life when he needed to earn money. His last work was five pages for the Superman story: The Wedding Album of 1996.
Winner of the Comic Con International Inkpot Award in 1984 and the Eisner Award in 1997 which also assured him his induction into the cartoon Hall of Fame that same year. During his 40-year career as a cartoonist (1946-1986), Curt Swan was the artist most associated with the image of Superman.
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