Ramona Fradon 1926-2024

One of the most famous women to ever work as a comic-book artist, Ramona Fradon, died today at age ninety-seven.

Her career began with a Shining Knight six-pager in Adventure Comics #165 (Jun. 1951). A couple of issues later, she picked up Adventure’s Aquaman feature and would begin a long association with the Sea King, one that would last more than a decade, into the 1960s.

With writer Bob Haney, Fradon co-created Metamorpho in 1965, with the character first appearing across a two-issue tryout in The Brave and the Bold 57–58 (Jan.-Mar. 1965). Metamorpho was then awarded his own series with Metamorpho #1 (Aug. 1965). The series would then last through issue #17 (Apr. 1968). Fradon penciled the first four issues, plus the covers.

While I missed her Metamorpho title comic in the 60s, I was able to catch Fradon’s work on the character in First Issue Special #3 (Jun. 1975), a childhood favorite comic of mine. Around this same time, the mid to later 1970s, I saw Fradon’s work frequently in the pages of Plastic Man, Freedom Fighters, and Super Friends. My fellow Gen Xers most likely first saw Ramona Fradon’s work in these titles as well.

Embracing my copy of Freedom Fighters #5 (Dec. 1976) sometime around Easter, 1977.


I made it a point to highlight her work in some Super Friends posts I’ve made on this blog, as I’ve always been an admirer. She had an old school style that was utterly beautiful in its simplicity. Most modern comic artists will err on the side of too much detail, but Fradon is a wonderful example of how less can be more—sometimes much more.

She continued to do commission work well into her 90s. This work was so vibrant and so well done that I was sure she would live to see 100. Sadly, this did not prove to be the case.

To hear more from the lady herself, as well as see more of her lovely artwork, I would suggest you check out this 2007 interview.

R.I.P., Ramona Fradon.

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