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Subject: Joye Murchison Kelly, "Wonder Woman" writer

Dead at 97
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Date Posted: Tuesday, April 06, 12:20:39pm

We lost another winner of the Bill Finger Award yesterday. In addition to 2009 recipient Frank Jacobs, we also lost 2018 honoree, Joye Murchison Kelly. To quote the announcement of her choice to receive that trophy for Excellence in Comic Book Writing…

Joye Hummel Murchison Kelly was 20 years old in 1944 when she began working for Dr. William Moulton Marston on Wonder Woman. She had recently graduated from the Katherine Gibbs School in New York, where she had taken a psychology class from Dr. Marston. He had written almost all the scripts for his Amazon Princess and found himself in need of an assistant writer he could school in the precise way he wanted the heroine depicted, and Joye Hummel, as she was then named, learned quickly. Soon she was writing scripts on her own, mainly in Marston's New York office, where she also worked alongside Wonder Woman's artistic creator, Harry Peter. Like Marston's own stories, her work appeared in three publications — Wonder Woman, Sensation Comics, and Comic Cavalcade — under the house byline "By Charles Moulton," and none of it was credited to her. Her work appeared until 1947, and much of it has recently been reprinted to the delight of current readers. Ms. Kelly and her husband Jack will be traveling to Comic-Con so that she may accept her award in person and also appear on Saturday afternoon for a special spotlight interview: her first-ever visit to a comic book convention.

And what a delight it was to bring that woman out to California…to talk with her and her hubby Jack both in front of a packed audience and in private. I wrote about her panel at Comic-Con and linked to an audio of it here and a photo album of their visit was compiled by Anina Bennett and it can be viewed here.

One of my favorite Comic-Con memories — and I have a lot of Comic-Con memories, people — is how happy so many people were to meet them and how happy they were spending what Joye told me was "The best weekend of my life." Imagine having the Best Weekend of Your Life when you're 95 years old. She was 97 on Easter Sunday.

I would like to thank Richard Arndt for helping to connect with Joye and Jack so we could honor her. And I would like to thank Trina Robbins, Anina Bennett, Maggie Thompson, Jackie Estrada and all the other folks who made her visit such a delight…and I'd bet they'd all tell you the delight was theirs.

I believe we all awoke this morning to e-mails from Jack conveying the sad news. Those couldn't have been easy e-mails to write and send but Jack took great care of Joye and you could tell it was mutual. He has our thanks, our condolences and, I'm sure, a lot of spectacular memories of his own Wonder Woman.


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Bio & Pic ...LinkTuesday, April 06, 05:59:11pm

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