Comics Beat reports Golden Age comic book artist Fran Hopper died last week at the age of 95. According to Dignity Memorial, she died on November 29, 2017, and was privately cremated in Manasquan, New Jersey.
Hopper was born Frances Randolph Deitrick in Maryland on July 13, 1922. She worked at publisher Fiction House (the original home of “Sheena, Queen of the Jungle”) from 1943 to 1948, penciling titles like “Jungle Comics” and “Planet Comics.” She often drew strong female characters in tales of adventurous derring-do like ‘Jane Martin,’ ‘Glory Forbes,’ ‘Camilla,’ ‘Mysta of the Moon,’ and ‘Gale Allen and Her All Girl Squadron.’ As these stories were only credited as “by” the writers, Hopper would always add her signature into a bottom panel of the first page in every story.
She was married to Dr. John Hopper, an obstetrician from 1943 until his death on February 19, 2010. The two lived in Mendham, New Jersey until 1955, when they moved to a 65-acre horse farm in Chester, where they raised and put on shows with Arabian horses.
Her life after her retirement in 1948 remained a mystery however, until 2012 when Alexa Dickman of Ladies Making Comics and underground comix artist Trina Robbins stumbled on John Hopper’s obituary and resolved to arrange a meeting.
Hopper is survived by her three children, John, Peter, and Anne, and ten grandchildren. Her work is now in the public domain, and some of it can be viewed in books like “Babes in Arms: Women in the Comics During World War Two,” and “Divas, Dames & Daredevils: Lost Heroines of Golden Age Comics.”