“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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