A Champion For Marie Severin?

By | Thursday, May 21, 2009 3 comments
In late 2007, comic book veteran Marie Severin suffered a hospitalizing stroke. In February 2008, Cliff Meth reported that she'd moved to an assisted living facility on Long Island, but that's apparently been the last anyone online had seen/heard of her. My understanding is that she's still at the same facility and, at this point, not expected to improve appreciably.

I'm generally okay with the whole cycle of life thing. You're born, you grow up and make your mark, you grow older and more feeble, and then you die. That's the way this whole Life business works. I'm fairly certain Marie's had a generally healthy and happy life, and I've never gotten the impression that she harbors any regrets. I've never had the pleasure of meeting or speaking with her, but I've never seen a picture or video of her where she wasn't having a good time. If she's happy with how her life has turned out (which I think she is) I've got no right to feel sorrow or pity for her no longer being at the top of her game.

(Clearly, by the way, I'm projecting here. Like I said, I've never met her, so I can only guess how happy she's been with her life based on the portions of her life that I've seen.)

Marie was a prolific comic creator for decades -- it took me all of ten seconds to find a list hundreds of comics she's worked on. But her work wasn't appearing as frequently in the past decade, and it's (not surprisingly) dropped entirely since her stroke. Which means that a lot of "these kids today" aren't familiar with her work and she's not exactly as top-of-mind as someone who's seen as more hip. Which would explain why there hasn't been much (any?) clamoring for a status update, asking how she's been doing over the past year.

It seems that a lot of fandom (and, for that matter, people at large) tend to forget the great works of years past, unless they've got a current "champion" who's able to continually remind people. Dave Stevens did that for Bettie Page. Paul Karasik has been doing that for Fletcher Hanks. I tried (rather unsuccessfully) to do that for Tom Fagan. Marie needs a champion, too. Someone who's able to go out and remind the world, "Hey! Marie Severin kicked ass!"

I'd offer to do it myself but, frankly, I'm really bad at that type of thing (note my efforts thus far for Fagan) and it wouldn't be nearly what Marie deserves. But she ought to have somebody out there reminding everyone how great she's been over the years, and relaying to her all the messages of appreciation and goodwill that I'm sure would accumulate. (Heck, put my name at the top of the list of those who enjoy her work and wish to thank her!)

She's not working on comics any more, and I'm guessing she won't be doing the convention circuit any longer like other comic veterans. But I hope she knows that she's loved by at least some of us out here, and that she'll always remain in the halls of comic luminaries like Kirby, Ditko, Romita and Wood. And I daresay her legacy will outshadow, in the long run, even the likes of her brother John.
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Living said...

I don't forget about fandomming old books and movies. Just I get very lonely. :P

Living said...

oh and if you're on live journal, check out the community heard_of_it

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, comics fans tend to only like things they're told to like by someone they're a fan of.

Which is to say, if you can get someone like Warren Ellis or Neal Gaiman in your corner, you can probably reach your goals of getting someone who isn't Ditko or Kirby recognized.