|Birth Day:||April 6, 1926|
|Death Date:||Jan 31, 2000 (age 73)|
As per our current Database, Gil Kane died on Jan 31, 2000 (age 73).
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He went to Manhattan's School of Industrial Art but left in his senior year to work for MLJ Comics.
Gil Kane was born Eli Katz on April 6, 1926, in Latvia to a Jewish family that immigrated to the U.S. in 1929, settling in Brooklyn, New York City. His father was a struggling poultry merchant. Kane attended high school at Manhattan's School of Industrial Art, but left in his senior year when he saw an opportunity to work at MLJ Comics (later Archie Comics). He recalled in a 1996 interview,
In 1944 he did his first work for the future Marvel Comics, as one of two inkers on the 28-page "The Spawn of Death" in the wartime kid-gang comic Young Allies #11 (March 1944), and the future DC Comics, as the uncredited ghost artist for Jack Kirby on the Sandman superhero story "Courage a la Carte" in Adventure Comics #91 (May 1944). That same year Kane either was drafted or enlisted in the Army and served in the World War II Pacific theater of operations. After 19 months in the service, he returned to in December 1945. All-American Publications editor Sheldon Mayer hired him in 1947, for a stint that lasted six months. He contributed again to the "Sandman" feature in Adventure Comics and, as penciler Gil Stack and inker Phil Martel, to the "Wildcat" feature in Sensation Comics. Around this time, he said, he "worked with director Garson Kanin when he was involved in TV," drawing storyboards.
In 1949, Kane began a longtime professional relationship with Julius Schwartz, an editor at National Comics, the future DC Comics. Kane drew stories for several DC series in the 1950s including All-Star Western and The Adventures of Rex the Wonder Dog.
During that run, he and editor-writer Stan Lee produced in 1971 a three-issue story arc in The Amazing Spider-Man #96-98 (May–July 1971) that marked the first challenge to the industry's self-regulating Comics Code Authority since its inception in 1954. The Code forbade mention of drugs, even in a negative context. However, Lee and Kane created an anti-drug storyline conceived at the behest of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and upon not receiving Code Authority approval, Marvel published the issues without the Code seal on their covers. The comics met with such positive reception and high sales that the industry's self-censorship was undercut, and the Code soon afterward was revamped. Another landmark in Kane's Spider-Man run was the arc "The Night Gwen Stacy Died" in issues #121–122 (June–July 1973), in which Spider-Man's girlfriend Gwen Stacy, as well as the long-time villain Green Goblin were killed, an unusual occurrence at the time.
In 1971, Kane met Michel “Greg” Regnier, then the editor of French-Belgian comics anthology Tintin Weekly. He ended up creating a science fiction/fantasy tale called Jason Drum, about an astronaut stranded on a sword and sorcery world. The series debuted in Tintin weekly, making the cover of #202 (July 1979). Due to a medical emergency Kane reached out to Joe Staton to help with layouts and, starting with Tintin #205, uninked penciled pages were sent to France. Belgian artist Franz inked five pages of Kane’s pencils and pencilled and inked the last pages of the story himself (in #206 and 207 [Aug. ’78]). After his recovery, Kane lost contact with Tintin. In 2006 Kane´s friend Gary Groth and publisher at Fantagraphics discovered that Kane did evidently finish the Jason Drum project with 44 fully linked pages with dialogue. The project had never been published in English, but the original 27 page version assisted by Staton and Franz was published in some other languages including Swedish (as back-up in Lee Falk's The Phantom in 1980.
He also received the comic book industry's Shazam Award for Special Recognition in 1971 "for Blackmark, his paperback comics novel" and was given an Inkpot Award in 1975. Kane was named to both the Eisner Award Hall of Fame and the Harvey Award Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1997.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Kane did character designs for various Hanna-Barbera and Ruby-Spears animated TV series including The Centurions which he co-created with Jack Kirby. In 1974 he contributed to redesigning the obscure Marvel Comics character the Cat into Tigra, and three years later created the newspaper daily comic strip Star Hawks with writer Ron Goulart. The strip, which ran through 1981, was known for its experimental use of a two-tier format during the first years. During this decade he also illustrated paperback and record-album covers, drew model box art, and co-wrote, with John Jakes, the 1980 novel Excalibur! He drew the John Carter, Warlord of Mars series for Marvel beginning in June 1977.
Kane was one of the artists on the double-sized Justice League of America #200 (March 1982). and had a brief run on The Micronauts series in 1982 In the early 1980s, he shared regular art duties on the Superman feature in Action Comics with Curt Swan and contributed to the 1988 Superman animated TV series. The Brainiac character, a nemesis of Superman, was revised by Kane and Marv Wolfman in Action Comics #544 (June 1983). He was one of the contributors to the DC Challenge limited series in 1986. Kane was the artist on the early Green Lantern serial in the short-lived anthology Action Comics Weekly from issues #601–605 with writer James Owsley, and illustrated the Nightwing cover for issue #627 in 1988. He returned to drawing the Atom in the Sword of the Atom limited series, a collaboration with writer Jan Strnad. In 1989–1990 Kane illustrated a comic-book adaptation of Richard Wagner's mythological opera epic The Ring of the Nibelung.
He remained active as an artist until his death on January 31, 2000, in Miami, Florida from complications of lymphoma. He was survived by his second wife, Elaine; as well as a son and two stepchildren, Scott, Eric and Beverly. For a time the family lived in Wilton, Connecticut, where he was drama chairman of the Wilton Arts Council. His final home was Aventura, Florida.
Kane's work has been extensively reprinted. Marvel Comics released Marvel Visionaries Gil Kane in 2002 and DC Comics published Adventures of Superman: Gil Kane in 2013. IDW Publishing released an "artist's edition", a reproduction of the original art, of Kane's Spider-Man work in 2012.
Conway, Kane's collaborator on the death-of-Gwen-Stacy storyline and elsewhere, described Kane in 2009 as
In the late 1950s, freelancing for DC Comics precursor National Comics, Kane illustrated works in what fans and historians call the Silver Age of Comic Books, creating character designs for the modern-day version of the 1940s superhero Green Lantern, for which he pencilled most of the first 75 issues of the reimagined character's comic. Comics historian Les Daniels praised Kane's work on the character, stating "The design was part of an approach that emphasized grace as well as strength, an approach especially notable in Kane's flying scenes ... Green Lantern appeared to soar effortlessly across the cosmos." DC Comics writer and executive Paul Levitz noted in 2010 that Kane "modeled the Guardians on Israeli founding father David Ben-Gurion, even as the human figures in the cast tended to mimic Kane's own tall, elongated build." Kane and writer John Broome's stories for the Green Lantern series included transforming Hal Jordan's love interest, Carol Ferris, into the Star Sapphire in issue #16. Black Hand, a character featured prominently in the "Blackest Night" storyline in 2009–2010, debuted in issue #29 (June 1964) by Broome and Kane. The creative team created Guy Gardner in the story "Earth's Other Green Lantern!" in issue #59 (March 1968).
Currently, Gil Kane is 96 years, 6 months and 0 days old. Gil Kane will celebrate 97th birthday on a Thursday 6th of April 2023.
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