Comic Art Friday: With a little Luck

What do you know, Pogo — Friday the 13th actually came on a Friday this month.

I’m not superstitious myself, but for the benefit of our triskaidekaphobian readers, we’d better dose up with a little luck.

Lady Luck, that is.

Lady Luck, pencils by comics artist Michael Dooney

The lovely Lady Luck, drawn here by Michael Dooney of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fame, was created by Will Eisner in 1940. For six years, she appeared in a weekly companion feature along Eisner’s better-known hero, The Spirit, in a popular Sunday newspaper supplement. Her stories were reprinted in comic books — most notably Smash Comics and its follow-up title, Lady Luck Comics — until the early 1950s.

Although several artists — including Chuck Mazoujian, Nick Cardy, and Eisner himself — illustrated Lady Luck’s early adventures, she is indelibly associated with cartoonist Klaus Nordling, who both drew and wrote the character’s stories for most of her career. Nordling, who was born in Finland but spent most of his life in the United States, drew with a light, whimsical touch that perfectly suited the glamorous Lady Luck. Although Nordling worked on other comic features (including The Spirit) throughout the 1940s as a member of the Eisner-Iger Studio, today he is remembered primarily for his years with Lady Luck.

As sort of a distaff version of The Spirit, Lady Luck had no superhuman abilities. Like many crimefighters before and after her, she simply parlayed a unique visual signature and a catchy nickname into a career busting bad guys. I suppose you’d need a little luck to survive that action.

Lucky for us, Lady Luck also makes an appearance in my Common Elements gallery. Here, she teams up with another chapeau-wearing heroine, the magical Zatanna, in a dazzling creation by artist Anthony Carpenter.

Lady Luck and Zatanna, pencils by comics artist Anthony Carpenter

And that’s your Comic Art Friday. Hope it’s a lucky one!

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