Dan Zolnerowich’s Wild Fiction House Covers, Up for Auction



Dan Zolnerowich (1915-1995) is one of the most overlooked comic book artists of the Golden Age.  The creator contributed to over 400 comic books, including over 200 covers during a comic book career that lasted 1940-1953 during its primary era.  Zolnerowich worked for the Eisner & Iger Studio and then for both Iger Studio and Will Eisner‘s studio when Eisner and Jerry Iger split in 1940.  Via those studios, Zolnerowich produced work for comic book publishers including Prize, Quality Comics, and Hillman Periodicals among others, and worked with Eisner on The Spirit and P.S. Magazine.  But he might be best remembered for his work at Fiction House, where his contributions included 101 credited covers for that publisher on titles including Fight Comics, Jumbo Comics, Jungle Comics, Planet Comics, Rangers Comics, Sheena Queen of the Jungle and Wings Comics.  An artist worthy of vastly more attention than he gets, there’s a large group of Fiction House comics featuring covers and art by Dan Zolnerowich up for auction in the 2022 October 13 The Fiction House Showcase Auction #40199 at Heritage Auctions.

Dan Zolnerowich, photo from the 1937 Pratt Institute yearbook. Art from Jungle Comics #11 (Fiction House, 1940) and Jungle Comics #21 (Fiction House, 1941).

Very little is known about Dan Zolnerowich’s life beyond his comic career at this time.  For future research purposes, I’ll note that the 1930 census has the family’s name spelled as Zolnorowicz while the Saints Peter and Paul Russian Orthodox Cemetery records indicate that his parents used the spelling Zolnerovich.  He was born on May 5, 1915 in South River, New Jersey to father Peter and mother Tatiana, who were from Poland. He died in South River on August 26, 1995 at the age of 80.  Zolnerowich was a student of the Pratt Institute in 1937. According to one newspaper obituary, he was a freelance artist up until his retirement and had lived in New York City for a time before returning to South River to retire.  There is some indication that his work for P.S. Magazine may have lasted through to his retirement in the 1980s.  In the mid-1980s, he has a small handful of comic credits including for Jonny Quest from Comico and Robotech Defenders from DC Comics.  In his later days, he seems to have turned to fine art, and there was a gallery showing of his oil paintings and watercolors in New Jersey in 1987.

Dan Zolnerowich’s Fiction House covers are his best work and stand alongside the likes of Lou Fine and Joe Simon & Jack Kirby during the period.  There’s a large group of Fiction House comics featuring covers and art by Dan Zolnerowich up for auction in the 2022 October 13 The Fiction House Showcase Auction #40199 at Heritage Auctions. In addition to the items listed in this post, you can check out Fiction House titles such as Planet Comics, Jumbo Comics, Jungle Comics, Fight Comics, Rangers Comics, Wings Comics and much more. New to collecting Fiction House or want to learn more?  Bleeding Cool is doing an ongoing deep dive into the history behind Fiction House in the run-up to this auction. If you’ve never bid at Heritage Auctions before, you can get further information, you can check out their FAQ on the bidding process and related matters.

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Posted in: Comics, Heritage Sponsored, Vintage Paper | Tagged: fiction house, Jumbo Comics, sheena

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