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Wendy Parker #1-8 (July 1953 – July 1954).
Morris Weiss (August 11, 1915 - May 18, 2014) was an American comic book and comic strip artist and writer. Active from the 1930s through the mid-1970s, he created the teen-comedy character Margie for Timely Comics, the 1940s predecessor of Marvel Comics, and was the final cartoonist on the comic strip Mickey Finn. He also worked as a writer or illustrator on numerous other strips, including Joe Palooka.
Morris Weiss was born in 1915 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and grew up in New York City, New York and studied sign-painting as a vocational elective in high school. He broke into the comics field in 1934 with brief stints as the letterer for the comic strip Minute Movies by Ed Wheelan, and as an assistant on the Joe Jinks comic strip; in the early 1940s United Features Syndicate hired him to draw Jinks. Between 1934 and 1936 he lettered for Harold Knerr on the comic strip The Katzenjammer Kids. At the same time he also worked as an "opaquer" for Fleischer Studios. In 1940 Weiss created the syndicated comic strip It Never Fails, but asked to be released from his contract the following year, explaining later "I never was a good gag man....I can come up with a gag here and there, but not on a steady basis." That same year he attended the Art Students League of New York in order to study figure drawing with George Bridgman; future fellow cartoonists in the same class were Bob Lubbers and Stan Drake.
Weiss was the inker and assistant on cartoonist Lank Leonard's Mickey Finn from 1936 to 1943, and again from 1960 on. He took over the strip following Leonard's retirement in 1968, continuing through the final Sunday strip on December 21, 1975, and the daily strip's finale on July 31, 1976.
Following his first stint with Mickey Finn, Weiss transitioned to comic books. His earliest known credit there as penciler and inker of the six-page feature "Boxie Weaver" in Holyoke Publications' Blue Beetle #28-30 (Dec. 1943 - Feb. 1944) and Sparkling Stars #9 (Feb. 1945), the last of which he signed with the pseudonym Ink Higgins. Other early Weiss features for Holyoke include "Private Plopp" and "Petey and Pop". While in the army in 1944 and 1945, Weiss was the staff artist for the camp newspaper at Fort Eustis in Newport News, Virginia, where he wrote and drew the comic panel M.P. Muffit.
In 1946, he did his first known work for Timely Comics, the 1940s forerunner of Marvel Comics, writing and drawing the title character's stories in the career gal humor comic Tessie the Typist: "...Stan Lee looked at my samples and said he needed someone to draw teenage features. He gave me a Tessie the Typist script. I brought the job in and Stan said, "No, this is too straight". He wanted the characters exaggerated more and showed me what he wanted. I went back, did it over, and Stan said, "You gave me exactly what I wanted", and we hit it off. Stan was wonderful to me. I thought Stan was the greatest guy to work for, if you were able to give him what he wanted. I always dealt directly with Stan. He offered me a staff job right away, which I turned down."
He went on to do numerous stories featuring Tessie and her friend Skidsy, and created the teen-humor feature "Margie", which ran in Margie Comics, Georgie Comics and Patsy Walker: "I created Margie. Patsy Walker and the other characters I did were already going. I created two features for Stan, the other being “Ruffy Ropes”. In the case of Margie, I think I approached Stan with the idea. Wendy Parker was one that Stan created and he asked me to take it over. I wrote and drew that feature... I remember when Stan gave me Wendy Parker. When he created the feature, he said, “You’re going to like this one, because the character’s name is Wendy Parker”. He knew my daughter’s name was Wendy.”
“I could decide story length by myself. I had carte blanche. I could turn in a 5-pager or a 6-pager… anywhere from 4 to 7 pages, depending on whether or not my idea had enough good gags to sustain the story. Stan gave me total freedom to do as I pleased, because he trusted me."
"Stan called me up one day on a Friday morning. He said, “Morris, we’re short one more book to get to the printer. We have to pay the printer for so many books and if we don’t have another comic book ready, we’ll be paying for a comic book we’re not getting. How many pages have you got done now?” I said, “I have about 6 or 7 pages.” He said “If you can come up with 18 more pages by Monday, we’ll have the book. You’re the only one I know who can turn out that kind of work and it’d be okay.” I said, “I´ll tell you what I’ll do, Stan. I’ll sit at the drawing board and see what I can do. Now, if you don’t get the work, it just means it wasn’t humanly possible for me to get the work out.” Stan said, “I can ask for no more from you, Morris.” I went upstairs, took a shower, and went to the race track. I wasn’t going to kill myself. Stan never knew that until now! I called him up on Monday and told I wasn’t able to get it done."
About this time Weiss was contacted separately by both Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, the creators of Superman, each of whom were interested in collaborating with him on a comic strip.
At various times Weiss turned down opportunities to continue strips such as Terry and the Pirates and Nancy after the departure of their creators. He occasionally assisted Al Smith on Mutt and Jeff. In 1955, he began drawing the Adventures of Pinky Lee, a comic written by Stan Lee. Weiss wrote the dramatic continuity for Joe Palooka from about 1962 to 1970, with Tony DiPreta drawing the strip.
Weiss befriended a host of notable artists, including James Montgomery Flagg, who drew Weiss's portrait, Charles Voight, Milton Caniff, Ernie Bushmiller, and Edwina Dumm. As a member of the National Cartoonists Society, he proposed the idea of a charity fund for members on hard times, which Alex Raymond developed into the Milt Gross Fund for Indigent Cartoonists. A collector of American illustration, he purchased a painting in 1947 from Norman Rockwell for $150.
With his artist wife Blanche, Weiss founded the Miami Society for Autistic Children. As president of the MSAC in the 1970s, he arranged fund-raising events that were emceed by Larry King, and featured celebrities. In 1991, Weiss, along with Blanche and their son, Jerry Weiss, one of four children, exhibited together at the American Illustrators Gallery in New York City.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and Alter Ego #43