Golden Age comic book artist Lily Renée Phillips has passed away at age 101.
Lily Renée Peters Phillips (née Willheim)
May 12, 1921 – August 24, 2022
It’s with great sadness that my sister and I regret to inform you of the passing of our mother. She died peacefully at home, as was her wish, yesterday after living a full life of more than 101 years. There is a time for all of us and her death comes on the heels of the birth of her third great grandchild earlier this year. Thank you all for being part of her life in her twilight years. We plan on holding a Celebration of Life in September.
Her first pencilling job was for a character called Jane Martin , a female pilot working in the all-male aviation industry. Later she was given “The Werewolf Hunter”, about a professor and monster hunter, a strip that she said that no one else wanted. She convinced the writer that it should be a general supernatural title, gave him story ideas (all of which he used) and infused it with the Viennese art nouveau and German fairy tales that she grew up with. Her art evoked German expressionist films and her women were dressed in the high fashion of the day. She later took over Senorita Rio in 1944 and became the artist most identified with the character.
Lily Renée, a comic book pioneer who was one of the first female comic book artists during the Golden Age, an achievement that went mostly unnoticed until she got to revel in her newfound fame in her 80s and 90s, has passed away at the age of 101.
Renée continued to work for Fiction House after the war ended, but in 1948, she and her husband at the time, fellow artist, Eric Peters (also a refugee from Vienna), moved to St. John Publications, where she drew humor and romance comics…