Superman Fan Podcast Episode #130: Happy Birthday, Ross Andru!

Ross Andru was born on June 15, 1927 and died on November 9, 1993. He was a comic book artist and editor who worked mostly with inker Mike Esposito. Andru is most well known from his five year stint as the penciller for THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN during the 1970’s. During that decade he was the penciller on the first DC/Marvel cross-over, SUPERMAN VS. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. Andru is also credited as the co-creator of the Punisher with writer Gerry Conway. He also had a long career working for DC Comics on a variety of titles in different genres.

Andru also drew stories for the Superman titles. His first Man of Steel story was for SUPERMAN 204, February 1968. He drew various issues of the title through issue 216, May 1969. For ACTION COMICS he drew stories for various issues from 363, May 1968 through 393, October 1970. For WORLD’S FINEST COMICS, Andru pencilled stories for issues 180, November 1968 – 195, August 1970. And for SUPERMAN’S GIRL FRIEND LOIS LANE he drew stories for issues 105, October 1970 – 110, May 1971.

The featured Ross Andru Superman story for this episode is THE CASE OF THE LETHAL LETTERS, which was published in SUPERMAN 204. the 13 page story was written by Cary Bates and inked by Mike Esposito. The only reprint of this story I am aware of is LIMITED COLLECTOS’ EDITION PRESENTS SUPERMAN C-31, November 1974, which I have and was where I first read this story. The cover for this edition was a photo of a painting of Superman, done by the artist H. J. Ward. It hung in DC Publisher Harry Donenfeld’s offices for many years, and can now be found at the Lehman College library in the Bronx, New York City.

For more information about the comic book career of Ross Andru, read the book ANDRU AND ESPOSITO: PARTNERS FOR LIFE, written by Mike Esposito and Dan Best, published in 2006.

Next Episode: AL WILLIAMSON: SUPERMAN INKER!

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