Friday, December 3, 2010 | By: BlackGargie

So Long, Father of Archie

I just found out yesterday that John D'Agostino, the man behind Archie Comics' creation had just passed on. Here is one of the articles I read about his death:

John D'Agostino, drawer of Archie and GI Joe, dies
By MATT MOORE Associated Press
Posted: 12/02/2010 08:46:03 AM PST
Updated: 12/02/2010 09:11:40 AM PST

PHILADELPHIA—John D'Agostino Sr., whose work in comic books ranged from Archie and Jughead to the Incredible Hulk and G.I. Joe, among others, has died. He was 81.

D'Agostino died Sunday of bone cancer in Ansonia, Conn., publisher Archie Comics said Tuesday in a statement.

Born in Italy in 1929, D'Agostino emigrated to the United States and got his first job as head colorist at New York City's Timely Comics, the forerunner of Marvel. He worked with Stan Lee, who went on to co-create numerous memorable super-heroes, including Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four.

While working at Timely, D'Agostino—his nickname was "Jon"—helped supervise another artist, Stan Goldberg, who later become synonymous with the high school adventures of Archie, Reggie, Veronica and Betty at Riverdale High School.

D'Agostino later joined Goldberg, hired in 1965 by Archie Comics managing editor Richard Goldwater, and began a long and enduring career drawing numerous characters until his death, becoming one of the company's most prominent artists.

Besides Jughead, D'Agostino also drew for titles like "My Little Margie," "G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero," "Sabrina The Teenage Witch" and "Sonic The Hedgehog," among others. D'Agostino also did the letters for the first three issues of Marvel's "The Amazing Spider-Man."

"Jon was concerned about doing the best job possible. He would always be available to help young artists improve their artwork and draw the Archie cast of characters," Archie co-president and editor-in-chief Victor Gorelick said. "He was very dedicated to his work and Archie Comics. I had the privilege of working with Jon for over 40 years and considered him a good friend. I will truly miss him."

D'Agostino's latest work in comics is scheduled to be published in the December issue of "Jughead Double Digest (number)166" and several of his covers will be seen through 2011.

"He came into the offices every week to work with other artists and continued to visit the offices even in the recent weeks before his passing," Archie co-CEO Jon Goldwater said.

D'Agostino is survived by his second wife, Vivi Test D'Agostino; three sons; two sisters; four grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. His funeral is scheduled for Thursday.

It was quite a shock to me. I was totally surprised that he is the man behind G.I. Joe as well, but more importantly, I had never expected the man who created Archie to be dead. We all grew up reading Archie, no exceptions. And even those who never really read it knew it by reputation at least. I've always been a fan back then, but more so of the character Jughead Jones. We used to debate a lot about who Archie should end up with: Betty or Veronica. I, for one, am a Archie/Betty shipper and I had quite a number of my arts inspired by Archie Comics' plotlines.

Though the crew will continue on with his works, there is still a great sense of loss, I suppose, since he had always been the backbone behind the comics. He will be dearly missed.

R.I.P, John.