A noted comic illustrator, Irwin Hasen enjoyed a career spanning over five decades, including work as staff artist for a number of classic comic book titles. He is perhaps best remembered as the artist behind Dondi, a strip about a war orphan co-authored with Don Edson, that ran nationally from 1955 to 1986.
Hasen’s Legacy Portfolio includes ten hand-pulled serigraphs signed and numbered by the artist, reflecting artwork from throughout his career. The SCUA portfolio is number 16 of 35 sets in the limited edition, with each print hand separated and printed in collaboration with the master printer Gary Lichtenstein.
Background on Irwin Hasen
Best known as the artist behind Dondi, a long running comic strip co-authored with Don Edson, Irwin Hasen was born in New York City on July 8, 1918 and grew up on West 110th Street, fascinated with art from a young age. After studying at the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League, Hasen worked for a time as a sports artist before being drafted into the army during the Second World War. Too short for combat duty, he was assigned to Fort Dix, N.J., and worked as editor of the camp newspaper, the Fort Dix Gazette.
Upon returning to civilian life, Hasen resumed his work in advertising illustration and comic books, becoming a staff artist for some of the major series of the day, including The Green Lantern, Wildcat, Wonder Woman, and Detective Comics, along with a host of other publications from DC Comics, Fawcett, and Bert Whitman Associates. As a member of the National Cartoonists Society in 1955, he was touring Korea on a USO-sponsored trip when he met Gus Edson and the two immediately hit it off. Edson proposed the idea of comic strip based on a war orphan, and Hasen soon agreed. For the next 31 years, Hasen drew Dondi, originally described as a World War II orphan, later as an orphan of the Korean War or Vietnam, with Edson writing the story until his death in 1966, followed by Bob Oksner. A daily strip, Dondi reached its peak circulation in the early 1960s and continued until cancellation in 1986.
Hasen received numerous awards for his illustration, including recognition by the National Cartoonists Society as the best newspaper story strip in 1961 and 1962 and the Silver T-Square Award in 1969 for “outstanding dedication or service to the Society or the profession.” At the San Diego Comicon in 1999, he received the Inkpot Award for lifetime achievement.
Contents of Collection
Irwin Hasen’s Legacy Portfolio includes ten hand-pulled serigraphs signed and numbered by the artist, reflecting artwork from throughout his career. The SCUA portfolio is number 16 of 35 sets in the limited edition, with each print hand separated and printed in collaboration with the master printer Gary Lichtenstein.
|Hasen, Irwin, Wildcat||1941||1p.||Item 1|
|Hasen, Irwin, Sergeant Route — Step O’Malley of the Fort Dix Reception Center Gazette||1944||1p.||Item 2|
|Hasen, Irwin, Canvas of crime||1947||1p.||Item 3|
|Hasen, Irwin, The revenge of Solomon Grundy||1947||1p.||Item 4|
|Hasen, Irwin, Dondi the war orphan||1955||1p.||Item 5|
|Hasen, Irwin, I’m looking for my buddies||1955||1p.||Item 6|
|Hasen, Irwin, Dondi plays baseball||1974||1p.||Item 7|
|Hasen, Irwin, L’apres d’amour||1974||1p.||Item 8|
|Hasen, Irwin, Goodbye Dondi||1985||1p.||Item 9|
|Hasen, Irwin, The joy, the laughter, and the tears||2005||1p.||Item 10|
Gift of Irwin Hasen, 2012 (2012-078).
Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, June 2012.
Copyright and Use (More information)
Copyright is retained by the artist.
Cite as: Irwin Hasen: A Legacy Portfolio (MS 744). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.
- Cartoons and comics
- Hasen, Irwin, 1918-
- Lichtenstein, Gary
Types of material
- Cartoons (Humorous images)
- Comic strips
- Prints (Visual works)
- Screen prints