Batman” comics artist Sheldon Moldoff dead at 91

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Sheldon Moldoff

Shel­don Moldoff

Shel­don Mold­off, a leg­endary artist dur­ing the Golden Age of Comics, died Wednes­day. The Lauder­hill, Florida res­i­dent was 91.

Best known for a 15-year run with Bat­man from 1953 to 1967, he drew some of the goofi­est, but most beloved Bat­man episodes ever, includ­ing “Zebra Bat­man” and “The Mer­maid Bat­man.” He intro­duced Bat­woman and the orig­i­nal Batgirl.

Sev­eral of the char­ac­ters that Mold­off co-created went on to appear in episodes of Warner Bros.’ Bat­man: The Ani­mated Series.

Poi­son Ivy was seen in “Pretty Poi­son,” “Eter­nal Youth,” “Almost Got ‘im” and “Joker’s Wild” (all 1992); “Harley and Ivy” (1993); and “House and Gar­den” and “Trial” (both 1994). Dr. Achilles Milo sur­faced in 1992’s “Cat Scratch Fever” and “Moon of the Wolf.” And view­ers warmed up to Mr. Freeze in “Heart of Ice” (1992).

Mold­off was a pro­ducer, writer and sto­ry­board direc­tor for the 1972 Aus­tralian car­toon fea­ture film Marco Polo Junior Ver­sus The Red Dragon. He even was the lyri­cist for two songs, “The Red Dragon” and “The Del­i­cate Dinosaur.”

In 2001, he again was a jack-of-all trades for a the­atri­cal car­toon movie. This time, for The Tooniver­sal Company’s Marco Polo: Return To Xanadu, he was a writer, exec­u­tive pro­ducer, sto­ry­board direc­tor and orig­i­nal char­ac­ter designer.

Born Shel­don Dou­glas Mold­off in New York on April 14, 1920, he was known as Shelly to his fans. Mold­off got his start in the comic over 70 years ago draw­ing filler items.

In the 1940s, the so-called Golden Age of Comics, he drew such strips as Hawk­man, Kid Eter­nity and The Black Pirate. He also drew cov­ers for the first appear­ances of Green Lantern and The Flash. But Mold­off left the comic-book indus­try in 1967, but drew comic char­ac­ters for Big Boy and Red Lob­ster Restau­rants, Block­buster Video and other companies.

He was a reg­u­lar at con­ven­tions, sell­ing draw­ings and sign­ing auto­graphs. “When they treat you with respect, there is a cer­tain amount of sat­is­fac­tion,” Mold­off would say. “I’ve done some­thing that I have ded­i­cated my whole life to, and it was appre­ci­ated by a lot of people.”

Shel­don Mold­off is sur­vived by sons Richard and Ken­neth; daugh­ter Ellen Mold­off Stein; grand­chil­dren Anthony Mold­off, Liz­a­beth Mold­off Cur­tis, Kendra Mold­off and Max Stein; and great-grandchildren Saman­tha, Joseph and Brit­tney Curtis.

The fam­ily will receive friends at 11 a.m. Tues­day, March 6 with a ser­vice to fol­low at noon at Kraeer Funeral Home & Cre­ma­tion Cen­ter, 1655 Uni­ver­sity Drive, Coral Springs, Florida.

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