Archie Comics Artist Resides In Queens
“Drawing comics is like creating a silent movie,” said Stan Goldberg who has been drawing Archie comics for almost 45 years and is the creator of the color scheme for such comic book legends as Spiderman, The Hulk and the Fantastic Four.
He got his first job at age 17 in 1949, working as a colorist for Timely Comics, which became Marvel.
“I went down there and asked to be a colorist after someone I knew just left that position,” Goldberg remembered. “They basically looked at me and said, ‘What are you doing here?’”
Within three years, Goldberg was head of the coloring department. Eventually he was instrumental in helping create some of Marvel’s most famous characters, choosing the color schemes for the Fantastic Four, Spiderman and the X-Men. He was having trouble getting a consistent grey for a new character, so he decided to turn him green, and that’s the way The Incredible Hulk came to be, a half century ago.
As Marvel, under the leadership of its founder, and Goldberg’s colleague, Stan Lee, moved forward with a focus on creating superhero-themed comics, Goldberg wanted to get back to working on comics that catered to a younger audience.
“Marvel started switching all their books over to superheroes. So I called the editors at Archie to see if they had any work and they told me to come down,” he said.
And the rest, as they say, is history. In more than four decades, Goldberg has put his own mark on the beloved Archie series. In the winter of 2010 the compendium, Archie: The Best of Stan Goldberg featuring work spanning his 40 plus years, was published by IDW.
Goldberg credits living in Queens as the inspiration for keeping Archie comics and the fictitious town of Riverdale more diverse.
In recent years Goldberg has enjoyed taking Archie and his friends to different levels with a special wedding issue and even a crazy crossover with Marvel’s own antihero, the Punisher.
“These characters have become part of my family,” said Goldberg.
Most days, Goldberg works for hours at his drawing table in his studio overlooking the East River and the Throgs Neck Bridge in Beechhurst. He receives scripts from the Archie writers and then begins to bring them to life with paper and pencil.
Although he and his wife, Pauline, suffered injuries from a recent car accident, the 82 year old artist still continues his passion professionally. There are periods of rest as Goldberg and his wife like to vacation on Long Island during the summers and spend part of the winter at an artists’ colony in the mountains of Mexico.
“People ask me when am I going to retire but it’s hard because I love it so much,” said Goldberg. “Times are changing though in the industry, and life was simpler back then. Only time will tell.”
Goldberg is still a working artist with current projects that include the comic book series of The Simpsons, The Three Stooges and the Nancy Drew Mysteries. He has also recently created a special comic on bullying.