Archie Goodwin

Artist/Writer/Editor, Tulsa

Archie Goodwin, comic book writer, editor and artist, was born in Kansas City but he considered Tulsa, Oklahoma, (where he spent his teen years at Will Rogers High School and in used magazine stores searching for EC Comics) as his true hometown.

Goodwin moved to New York City to attend classes at what became the School of Visual Arts. He started his career as an artist, working as an assistant in comic strips and drawing cartoons for magazines. His first editorial work was for Redbook magazine. In the early 1960s, he worked for Warren Publishing where he was the main writer and editor-in-chief. As a writer and editor, he is credited with providing a mythology for Warren’s classic Vampirella character, as well as penning her most compelling stories from the Warren era. Goodwin also wrote scripts for King Features Syndicate, Marvel Comics, and DC Comics (where he briefly replaced Julius Schwartz as editor of Detective Comics).

From 1967 to 1980, Goodwin wrote the daily strip Secret Agent X-9, drawn by Al Williamson. Other strips he worked on included the Sunday Tarzan, drawn by Gil Kane.

In 1976, Goodwin was named chief editor for Marvel Comics. He resigned in 1978 and was replaced by Jim Shooter. While Goodwin worked on numerous series throughout his career, his best-remembered work was probably his adaptation of the Star Wars movie franchise to the comics. Goodwin wrote a comic book series and a daily comic strip based on the characters from the movies. He also wrote comic book adaptations of the films Alien, Blade Runner and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. As editor-in-chief he secured the rights for Marvel to publish the adaptation and tie-in series, which then sold phenomenally well (helped by a dearth of other Star Wars merchandise at the time) at a point when the comics industry was in severe decline and many executives at Marvel were contemplating winding things up and leaving comics altogether. Some, including Shooter, have attributed the very survival of Marvel to Goodwin’s securing the rights.

Goodwin returned to DC Comics as an editor and writer in 1989.

His work won many awards in the industry, including Best Writer (Dramatic Division) in 1973 and 1974 for the Manhunter series that was drawn by Walt Simonson.

Biography courtesy of The Toy & Action Figure Museum, Pauls Valley, Oklahoma