Marie Severin’s death was announced on August 30, the day she suffered a stroke. Severin is perhaps best remembered as a colorist for Marvel Comics in the 1960s as well as being one of the co-creators of Spider-Woman. Severin’s passing was first announced in a Facebook post from Marvel Comics’ Irene Vartanoff. Vartanoff wrote, “I’m very sorry to report that Marie Severin, the funniest and nicest woman in the comic book biz ever, is no more. Here’s a pic from happier days only a few years ago. I would have cropped myself out of this photo, but notice where Marie’s left hand is. Incorrigible! Love you, Marie.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Severin Was Regarded as the ‘First Lady of Comics’
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund wrote of Severin’s work in March 2016, “… Marie Severin has led on of the most interesting lives in the American comic book industry. Despite the myth that the industry was no place for a gal, her numerous achievements both in pre-code comics as well as in mainstream superhero fare proved time and time again that comics were in no way simply a boy’s club.” That same tribute referred to Severin as the “First Lady of Comics.”
In 2001, Severin was inducted into the Will Eisner Comics Hall of Fame as well as receiving the Comic Con Inkpot Award in 1999. That was followed up in 2017 with an Comic-Con Lifetime Achievement Award, joining luminaries such as Neil Gaiman, Ray Bradbury, Stan Lee and George Lucas, to have received the award. In their tribute to Severin’s work and life, Comic Book Resource wrote on the day of her passing, “Severin was a particularly gifted artist when it came to likenesses.”
Severin Left What Was to Become Marvel Comics in the 1950s to Work for the Federal Reserve for a Time
That same tribute told the story of Severin beginning in comic books when her brother, John Severin, asked her to color in one of his EC Comics stories. Severin left the comic world for a brief period in the 1950s to go and work for the Federal Reserve. She returned to work for Atlas Comics in the latter part of the decade. Atlas would later become Marvel. Severin left Marvel in the 1970s, when she was working as their head colorist. She continued to work in the industry, notably co-creating Spider-Woman, until the mid-2000s.
Severin’s death was announced on the same day as the death of Gary Friedrich. Friedrich was the co-creator of Ghost Rider. A friend of Friedrich’s, Roy Thomas, wrote on Facebook that the comic book creator passed away due to the effects of Parkinson’s disease.