Sol Brodsky (b. April 22, 1923, d. June 4, 1984) had an early desire to work in Comics, and he broke in, as it were, with an early job cleaning the offices of MLJ, the precursor to Archie Comics. Brodsky began his career as a comic book artist at Victor Fox's Fox Publications, working on a 1940 issue of V- Comics featuring the short lived character V-Man.
He worked as an artist and an inker at various companies throughout the early 1940's, including a cover for The Blue Beetle title at Fox, for Holyoke, on their comic book Cat-Man, and for Marvel precursor Timely Publications, where he wrote and drew several pages of a short gag strip, Inky-Dinky, which appeared in Mystic Comics.
After his release from the Armed Forces, sometime in late 1950 or early 1952, he drew more work for Holyoke before stepping into a fairly regular gig as a penciller and inker in the then-growing bullpen of what had become known as Atlas Comics, the company identification that followed "Timely" and would become "Marvel." At the time of the now well-known "implosion," circa 1954, when Publisher Martin Goodman essentially fired the whole staff at Atlas except for his nephew Stan Lee, Brodsky stepped into what he thought would be a temporary position as Production Manager, though at the time he was never titled as such.
Stan Lee has recalled, in the January 1985 issue of Marvel Age that was designed as a memorial to Brodsky, "Sol and I were the whole staff of Atlas Comics. I bought the art and scripts and Sol did all the production. My job was mainly talking to the artists and the writers and telling them I wanted the stuff done. Sol did ... the corrections, making sure everything looked right, making sure things went to the engraver and he also talked to the printer. He was really the production manager. And then little by little we built things back up again."
As was the tendency at Atlas/Marvel in those days, however, by 1957 Goodman again fired the entire staff except for his nephew Stan Lee, and Brodsky ventured into the Publishing world in partnership with comics artist Mike Esposito to try his hand at magazine publishing, using his now-well versed skills in production. While this initial venture was not successful, Brodsky had found clients in the Bob's Big Boy restaurant chain and in Bird's Eye Foods, for both of whom he produced promotional comics. He was the founding editor, in 1958, of the longest-running competitor to MAD magazine, the humor magazine CRACKED.
Lured back to Marvel in 1964, Brodsky became Production Manager (with a real title this time!) and notably inked several significant books early in the Marvel Age, such as Kirby's Fantastic Four #3 and 4, drawing backgrounds along with Steve Ditko for Bill Everett's incomplete art for Daredevil #1, and covering for the moonlighting Stan Goldberg on Millie The Model. As Production Manager, Brodsky had a hand in almost every book Marvel produced during that time, and another quote from Stan Lee, often reproduced but originally quoted in a 1984 "Past Masters" column in Silver Bullet Comics described Brodsky as "my assistant for years and the company's production head. He could write, he could draw, he could ink — he could do everything." Among his design responsibilities was the creation of logos, and among his most renowned is the truly distinctive logo for The Amazing Spider Man, designed with Marvel letterer Artie Simek.
In 1970 Brodsky found himself with the itch to become a publisher again --perhaps after watching the methodology at work at Atlas/Marvel Brodsky figured "Anybody could do this,"-- and went into a venture with low-rent publisher Israel Waldman (whose infamous I.W. imprint had notoriously released unauthorized reprints of golden age books by publishers like Quality and others) to found Skywald Publications, releasing the Warren-influenced black-and-white horror magazines NIGHTMARE and PSYCHO featuring work by both long-time comics veterans and several soon-to-be-renowned creators who would go on to fame at Marvel and DC later. The company also produced a short-lived color comics line, including titles like the western The Bravados and a revival of the Golden Age Hillman character The Heap. The comics line also featuring the work of several long-time comics veterans. While Skywald aspired to quality output, the reality was more harsh, and Brodsky returned to Marvel after only a few months, before Skywald's distribution was choked off by Marvel itself. Brodsky's title at Marvel had been taken by John Verpoorten, but Lee, advocating to the company that now owned Marvel on behalf of his long-time associate, had created a title of V.P. of Operations which Brodsky filled.
Brodksy was again #2 to Stan Lee, and as Corporate Marvel's fortunes grew, so did Brodsky's. He later served Marvel's international corporate interests as Vice President, Special Projects,
He passed away, before he was able to retire and take advantage of the Marvel Corporate Retirement plan, at the age of 61.