When I saw that Sheldon Moldoff passed away, the name didn’t immediately ring a bell, but once I saw his artwork, I knew who he was right away.
Sheldon illustrated Batman and many other superheros back in the day, often without credit, but if you looked at old school Batman comics, just like I did when I was growing up, you’ll recognize his style immediately.
When the New York Times ran his obituary, the publication included a panel from the 1963 comic, Robin Dies at Dawn, and like I mentioned above, I remembered the artwork of Batman carrying Robin away in his arms.
Moldoff started submitting his art to DC when he was 17, and became Bob Kane’s assistant. Essentially, he was a “ghost artist” for Batman creator Bob Kane from 1953 to 1967, and went unacknowledged for his art for years.
As the Times tells us, most artists of Moldoff’s time wouldn’t get credit for their work, and wouldn’t sign their art either.
In fact, the NYT notes he didn’t get acknowledgement for his work until the 80’s. Moldoff also worked on the first issue of Action Comics, the most valuable comic in history because it had the debut of Superman, and he illustrated Hawkman, Green Lantern, The Flash, and The Black Pirate.
As DCComicArts reported, “For most fans of the Silver Age generation, Sheldon Moldoff ‘was’ Bob Kane. Moldoff began aping Schwartz’s style closely, but soon developed more depth and greater variety of staging.”
Moldoff was clearly Batman’s secret weapon for a good fourteen years, and as his son Ken posted on Sheldon’s official website, he was still drawing up until he passed. “He loved his fans,” Ken wrote, and thankfully, the comic fans sought Moldoff out and made sure he got his due during his lifetime.