Linda Fite Remembers Marie Severin
Fond memories from a former Marvel Staffer and long time collaborator
Written by Linda Fite:
The last time I saw Marie was a couple of years ago when Flo (Steinberg) and I went out to visit her on Long Island, where she resided in an assisted living place. We were joined by Marie’s dear, long-term friend Jean Davenport (a remarkable lady in her own right). It was an absolute joy to be with Sev. Flo and I were both a little anxious about the visit, since we had not seen her since her first stroke. But she was lively and jolly, even made a couple of timely comments about Flo and me that let us know that she was totally “there” out on that patio, sitting in the sunshine, enjoying the visit. Lotsa yoks, just like the old days.
Aside from Flo, Marie was the only other woman working at Marvel when I joined the bullpen. Coming from a previous (pre-hippie) generation, she always dressed up for work – looked professional, well groomed, neat as a schoolmarm. And she always “behaved” herself – didn’t cuss, didn’t (visibly) lose her temper, didn’t make waves. But that’s where the “ladylike” stuff ended, I think...
No matter how busy she was – and she was always busy at the drawing board, she was paying close attention to everyone and everything around her. And everyone around her was the object of her brilliant cartoons – at least one a day, it seemed! – nailing us for our foibles and foolishness. And those cartoons are, I think, the epitome of Marie’s character: intelligent, acerbic, affectionate, funny, wry, generous, observant, wise...a zesty sweet-and-sour combination. She also interjected pointed and hilarious zingers during the rollicking discussions among the guys in the bullpen – John Romita, Herb Trimpe, Tony Mortellaro, Stu Schwartzberg (wandering in from the stat room to kibitz), Morrie (usually silent) Kuramoto, and a bunch of freelance Marvel artists who would pop in for an hour or a day to do corrections or finish up a page or whatnot.
I loved working with her on “The Cat” – what an honor for me! I loved working with her, period! I am grateful to have known her – and to have a tidy little collection of Marie cartoons to treasure for the rest of my days.
Linda Fite worked at Marvel Comics as writer and editor and collaborated with Marie Severin on THE CAT, writing all four issues of the series.
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