Wednesday, January 02, 2013

 

Ink-Slinger Profiles: Paul Reinman


Paul J. Reinman was born in Worms, Germany on September 2, 1910, according to his Petition for Naturalization, filed July 12, 1935. His surname was originally spelled Reinmann. A passenger list at Ancestry.com said he emigrated from Germany, sailing from Southampton, England on June 9, 1934, and arriving in New York City on June 15. The painter and commercial artist spoke English and German. His father, Bernhard Reinmann, was listed as his nearest relative in Germany, and his aunt, Mrs. Johanna Lambert, in New York City at 206 West 106 Street. According to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Johanna’s sister, Julia Reinman, and nephew, William Reinman, were living with her. All three were born in Germany.

On May 26, 1936, Reinman’s brother and sister arrived in New York City. His address on the passenger list was 2643 Broadway. A naturalization document said he married Dora on September 4, 1938 in New York City. She was born in Reichelsheim, Germany, April 18, 1912, and emigrated April 20, 1934.

Reinman has not been found in the 1940 census. His naturalization card at Ancestry.com said he was naturalized on June 10, 1940 and lived at 611 West 163 Street, New York City. His wife was naturalized June 5, 1941 and had the same address.

The Palm Beach Daily News, (Florida), February 14, 1977, said:

...Reinman began his art career “at age three when I started drawing.” But Adolph Hitler’s rise to power in the late ’30s and the opportunities in commercial art in the U.S. brought Reinman to New York City.

“I had been working in a mail order house when the company decided to move to Chicago. So I went looking for work. I walked into MJL [sic] Comics (now Archie Comics) and found a job,” Reinman said.

In the beginning, “telling the story in pictures wasn’t easy,” but he quickly learned how to break down the synopsis of the story into four to eight pictures frames per page.

“When I began, I did nearly all of the pencil drawings and the inking, and most of the time even the synopsis of the story. But the work eventually became specialized so that six or seven people worked on a storyboard rather than three” he said.

...“When there is a great deal of dialogue I had to draw close-us of the characters and when the action quickened I had to set the scene,” Reinman explained. He attempted to pose the character in as many different angles as possible, which in many instances meant a great deal of work.



His comic strip work began February 7, 1949 with the Tarzan daily, and ended February 11, 1950, according to ERBzine. A few days before his Tarzan run ended, Reinman took over, from Carl Hubbell, Merrie Chase; his first daily was February 6, 1950 and first Sunday, February 26, 1950. More strips on the switch from Hubbell to Reinman are here. In 1949 and 1950, Reinman was an instructor at Burne Hogarth’s Cartoonists and Illustrators School. A first-hand account was described by Bob Hyde when he met Reinman in June 1949. (Scroll down to Chapter XIV, sixth paragraph) A photo of Reinman is here.

In the 1960s, he was part of the Marvel Comics superhero revival. The Palm Beach Daily News said, “…His last big job was the painting of a mural for Marvel. ‘It was a 36 foot high painting depicting all of their characters.’…Cartooning is not his entire life. Reinman also enjoys his fine art work. He has been listed since 1958 in the American Artists Eastern Division and in 1971 won the Forbes Award for a watercolor.”

Reinman passed away September 27, 1988, in Lake Worth, Florida, according to his death certificate. His first wife passed away in September 1967. He was survived by his second wife, Celia. His comic book credits are here. The remarkable story of how a Reinman drawing, found in a Jerusalem second-hand store, sparked a search to learn who he was, can be read here.

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Althugh Reinman is better known (and often hated) for his inking work in early Marvel superhero comics, the peak of his career was in the early fifties, when he produced many impressive horror and especially war stories. His work then has been likened to that of Brnie Krigstein. In the late fifties he was apparently to old to bounce back from the industry downfall and proceeded to do a lot of unispired romance work and later the lackluster inking over artists such as Jack Kirby. Reinman is the prototypical example of the type of artist who was unjustly forgotten because of the lack of attention the 'interbellum' years of the fifties have been getting from superhero fans
 
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