Celebrating the Unpopular Arts

R.I.P. Lee Moder

It has been announced that artist Lee Moder has died at the age of 53 – apparently he died a few weeks ago and it’s only now been made public, although no cause of death has been announced. Moder was never a big star in comics, but he did very good work for many years, and I thought I’d show some of it in a celebration of his life. I would imagine that most people, if they know him, know him from his Legion of Super-Heroes stuff in the mid-1990s or from his co-creation of Stargirl, but I first saw his work on Wonder Woman in 1993, when he was in his early 20s. He had a definite Adam Hughes vibe to him, but Hughes is a terrific artist, so I didn’t mind the influence. Moder could do goofy stuff:

From Wonder Woman #73

He was a good action artist:

From Wonder Woman #73

And, obviously, he killed on the superhero vibe:

From Wonder Woman #76
From Wonder Woman #76

He also did one of those fancy Prestige Format Batman books that DC liked to publish in the 1990s, as he drew Eric Lustbader’s Catwoman-centric book, The Last Angel . Dang, it’s cool-looking.

That’s a cool Batman
The outfit is a out there and probably not good for a thief, but this is still a cool sequence

His style shifted over the years as he developed, and I didn’t keep track of him, but in 2011-2012, he and Ron Marz teamed up for Shinku, a five-issue vampire story that was brilliant – it’s the best thing I think I’ve ever read by Marz, and Moder killed it on the art (my issues are buried in my boxes somewhere, so I’m just showing the panels I showed when I did my reviews of the issues):

I always held out hope that Marz and Moder could do more of Shinku, but alas, it’s not to be.

Moder, as I noted, never became a big star in comics, even though he obviously had the chops to be one. His life was cut short far too soon, so let’s raise a glass to Lee Moder and break out our old Wonder Woman comics and give them a re-read!


  1. Jeff Nettleton

    I liked Moder’s work, especially on Stars & STRIPE and the LSH. 53 is way too young (especially when you are 56).

    I’m pretty sick of death, especially when I’m at an age where I have seen a lot of it, in recent years, both personally and with pop culture icons. In about a decade, I have lost almost all of my Dad’s generation (two uncles and their wives) of his side of the family (and my Dad) and two uncles (out of three) and my mother, on her side of the family (my 3 aunts are still here, but one is not in great health), plus my own wife, at the end of November. Leaving aside the grief for those gone, you start to feel disconnected, like everything and everyone you knew are gone. The key, of course, is to nurture those relationships you still have and to experience the now. Problem is, you quite often only figure that out in the latter stages of your life.

    Terry Pratchett (who knew a thing or two about Death, since he wrote him in several novels) said about life, “The whole of life is just like watching a film. Only it’s as though you always get in ten minutes after the big picture has started, and no-one will tell you the plot, so you have to work it out all yourself from the clues.” The problem is, sometimes the clues are in Greek and there are no subtitles.

    1. I get the disconnected feeling quite a bit, though more from friends than family — the relatives I was close too were great-aunts and grandparents so they passed when I was way younger. But every time someone goes there’s a bunch of shared references and memories that nobody else gets any more.

  2. conrad1970

    Not hugely familiar with the artist as he didn’t seem to draw much of what I’m interested in, although I prefer his Wonder Woman art style over Shinku.
    Yeah, I turn 53 in march this year, it’s no age at all really. It’s just staggering how many artists we have lost over the past couple of years.

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