Monday, April 3, 2017

Comics: Vivian Berg, Letterer

Vivian Berg was born Vivian Lipman on January 4, 1923, in New Rochelle, New York.

In the 1930 U.S. Federal Census, the Lipman family resided in New Rochelle, New York, at 43-45 North Avenue. Vivian was the youngest of four children born to Benjamin, a grocery store proprietor, and Mary, both Russian emigrants who arrived in the United States in 1905. Vivian’s siblings were born in Connecticut.

The Daily Argus (Mount Vernon, New York), September 19, 1939, published this item:

Tau Alpha Meeting
Tau Alpha will hold a meeting tonight at the home of Miss Vivian Lipman, 22 Burling Lane, at 9 o’clock.
According to the 1940 census, the Lipmans remained in New Rochelle but at a different address, 22 Burling Lane.

Women in Comics said Vivian studied at Cooper Union, where she met her future husband Dave Berg.

Women in Comics also said Vivian worked for MLJ (Archie) and Classics Illustrated in the 1940s. Women and the Comics (1985) mentioned Vivian twice. About the publisher MLJ, Women and the Comics said “Vivian Lipman Berg (who edited Archie and inked the art, wrote puzzle pages and text pieces for the company and scripted and drew ‘Three Monkey Teers‘).” Regarding Timely Comics, the book said “Vivian Lipman Berg wrote text pieces for the company in 1942”.

According to Who’s Who in Writers, Editors & Poets, United States & Canada (1995), Vivian and Berg married on March 3, 1949.

The Orangetown Telegram (Pearl River, New York), December 8, 1950, reported the South Main P.T.A. enrollment drive and said: “The kindergarten, registering 113%, had a separate party in the Parish House of St. Paul's Episcopal Church under the direction of the teacher, Miss Vivian Lipman.”

In the 1960s, Vivian was a letterer for DC Comics. Two titles she worked on were Doom Patrol #117 (below) and Superboy #118.

Dave Berg was profiled in the Daily News (Tarrytown, New York), on April 17, 1977. Berg was asked where he got his ideas for his long-running MAD feature “The Lighter Side”.
Everywhere, he answers, saying his wife, Vivian, loves to read so she helps with the research. For example, for a “lighter side of modern technology,” she read the book “Future Shock” for ideas. Discussion and the comic followed.
MAD’s Greatest Artists: Dave Berg: Five Decades of “The Lighter Side Of…” (2013) has a sample of Vivian and Dave in “The Lighter Side of…Teenage Phases” from MAD #248, July 1984.

At some point, Vivian and her family moved to Marina Del Rey, California.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Vivian was a magazine writer and illustrator according to Who’s Who of American Comics Books 1928–1999.

Vivian’s husband died in 2002. Vivian passed away December 21, 2014, in California.

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(Next post on Monday: Stat Store Publishing)

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