SHELDON MOLDOFF Gave More to BATMAN Than You Think

A BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION: 13 bits of Bat-trivia that will open your eyes…


The late Sheldon “Shelly” Moldoff had an amazing career in comics — drawing Hawkman in the Golden Age, as well the first Kid Eternity story, Moon Girl for EC, and much more. But he is best known now for being Bob Kane’s ghost artist on Batman stories for many years.

For his birthday (he was born April 14, 1920), here is a Bat-tery of 13 trivia details about Moldoff’s time in Gotham — which was far more impactful than he’s usually given credit for.

(All of the below were pencilled and inked by Moldoff, unless noted.)

1. He drew the Batman family pin-up for the back cover of Batman Annual #2 (Winter, 1961):

2. Moldoff did backgrounds and lettering for Kane while he was still a teenager, including these two famous pages from Detective Comics #33 (Nov. 1939):

3. He did hundreds of covers for Batman, including this classic — Detective Comics #235 (Sept. 1956):

4. Moldoff co-created (with writer Dave Wood) the villainous Mr. Zero, later known as Mr. Freeze, in Batman #121 (Feb. 1959). Charles Paris did the inks:

5. He designed the look of Batwoman, Bat-Mite, and Ace, the Bat-Hound (gathered here on the cover of Batman #133, August 1960):

6. Bat-Girl, introduced here in Batman #139 (Apr. 1961), was also designed by Moldoff:

7. Batman #156 (June 1963) may well be the most memorable Bat-cover of the entire Silver Age. Charles Paris inks:

8. In Detective Comics #328 (June 1964), Moldoff drew the “death of Alfred” story, with Joe Giella inking. Bill Finger, script:

9. Batman #171 (May 1965) had Moldoff drawing the first Silver Age appearance of the Riddler. Joe Giella inks and Gardner Fox script:

10. Batman #181 (June 1966) featured Moldoff drawing the debut of Poison Ivy. Joe Giella inks, and Robert Kanigher script:

11. Moldoff was the first artist on the Batman With Robin the Boy Wonder daily and Sunday newspaper strip that started in 1966:

12. Moldoff took several Mr. District Attorney covers he drew and reworked them for Detective Comics:

13. Sheldon Moldoff and Sheldon Mayer were two different people. While Moldoff did draw Batman as Bat-Baby (Batman #147, May 1962), he was not the creator and artist of Sugar and Spike:


— 13 COVERS: A SHELDON MOLDOFF Birthday Celebration: HAWKMAN. Click here.

— 13 COVERS: A SHELDON MOLDOFF Birthday Celebration: DETECTIVE COMICS. Click here.

13th Dimension contributor-at-large PETER BOSCH’s first book, American TV Comic Books: 1940s-1980s – From the Small Screen to the Printed Pagehas just been published by TwoMorrows. He has written articles and conducted celebrity interviews for various magazines and newspapers. Peter lives in Hollywood.

Author: Dan Greenfield

Share This Post On


  1. Happy birthday to the late Mr. Moldoff. This is a truly Bat-tastic birthday tribute to him.

    Post a Reply
  2. I always wanted to read some Mr. District Attorney comics…I wish they could be reprinted somewhere…

    Post a Reply
  3. Excellent feature! Having comic-conned over the years with Shelley and his lovely wife Shirley, I was privy (as were many other fans) to his numerous tales of “ghosting” for Bob Kane. Shelley, a wonderful illustrator, really had to reach low to imitate Kane’s crude style. But Shelley had an abundance of work at DC, even tho thankless and unappreciated by Kane, who claimed it was all his.

    Post a Reply
  4. Wow, thanks for sharing! I’ve always disliked Moldoff’s pencils, but certainly no one could question his consistent output, and I was not aware of several of these impressive contributions.

    Post a Reply
  5. Wonder what would be good examples of his true talent when not being tied to the House Style? Are there any?

    Post a Reply
    • Hi, Buck. If you look at the side-by-side comparisons of the Mr. District Attorney covers to the Detective, you can see he did the Mr. DA covers in a more natural style and the Batman in the style of Bob Kane.

      Post a Reply
  6. I don’t know if Buck checked those Hawkman covers out, Dan, but I did. Quite impressive. He clearly took a more illustrative approach to the Hawk comics and a more cartoonish one (in deference to Bob Kane’s style) for Batman.

    Post a Reply
    • D.Scott, I most certainly did. I reviewed Dan’s and Peter’s suggestions. I love Shelly’s Hawkman style. I wish Kane hadn’t insisted on the house style. What could have been!

      Post a Reply

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: