Nina Dorothy Albright was a Golden Age comic book artist, her work published by publishers such as Ace, Better, Fiction House, Harvey, Holyoke, Marvel, Novelty, St. John, and Ziff-Davis.
Life & Career
Albright was born Nina Dorothy Abrecht to Arthur Gustave and Mary (Stuart) Abrecht, in Manhattan, New York City, in February of 1907. Her father, a native of Germany, worked as foreign correspondent for the German-language newpaper New Yorker Staats-Zeitung and was often abroad. She was raised primarily in Brooklyn by her mother, aunt, and grandmother. After the United States joined World War I, her father was detained in Germany, though he managed to secure his release and returned home on the last U.S.-bound ship from Hamburg. Anti-German sentiment in the United States during the war resulted in the downsizing of the Staats-Zeitung, and he was laid off. The family relocated to Howell, New Jersey for the rest of the war.
By 1920, the Abrechts had returned to New York, in Queens, and her father was again working for the Staats-Zeitung. She decided to become an artist after receiving awards for her submissions to drawing contests in the children's St. Nicholas Magazine, an honorable mention in 1922 and both first prize and a "Gold Badge" in 1923. She enrolled in the Pratt Institute School of Art in Brooklyn after graduating from high school in 1924.
After graduating from Pratt in 1927, she decided to pursue a career in illustration. She continued to live with her parents while she worked as a freelance artist. After her father took the job of Publicity Manager at the Hamburg American Shipping Line in 1930, she soon joined the company as a director of entertainment on several cruise tours of the West Indies. However, as Germany slid under Nazi rule, the government-owned shipping line and its American employees face increased scrutiny by the U.S. government. By the time the Hamburg American Line ceased operation in American waters, at the outbreak of World War II, her father suffered a nervous breakdown and retired, while Nina began to work as a typist for a department store.
In 1942, she married Charles M. Schaefer, a German-born hairdresser. When they divorced in 1944, she changed her name to "Albright", and it was under that name her first credited comics work appeared (though she likely was published in Fiction House's Jumbo Comics as early as August 1943).
Throughout the 1940s and into the 1950s, Albright freelanced through comics "packaging" studios like Majestic Studios, Funnies Inc., and the Iger Studio. In 1945, she created Commandette, a heroine featured in Star-Studded Comics #1, published by Cambridge House. She also worked for Holyoke (Miss Victory, Molly O'Moore, Mr Nobody), Aviation Press (Black Venus) and illustrated romance stories for Timely (Junior Miss), St. John, and Ziff-Davis up until the early 1950s.
In 1952, her career turned more towards illustration, for magazines such as American Girl Magazine, novels such as the Polly French series, and textbooks such as Manual for Second Year Readers. In 1958, she joined the Society of Illustrators of New York. In the 1960s, she painted paperback covers for Signal Books.
Albright died in New York City a week before her 90th birthday, on February 7, 1997.
- 4Most (1941) v3#3-4, v4#1, v5#2, 4, v6#2-5, v7#1-6, v8#1-5
- Atomic Bomb Comics (1946) #1
- Best Romance (1952) #6
- Blazing Comics (1944) v2#1
- Captain Aero Comics (1941) v3#11, 13, v4#3, #21-25, 28, 30-32
- Champ Comics (1940) #14
- Contact Comics (1944) #2, 5
- Fight Comics (1940) #30
- Four Favorites (1941) #20
- Jumbo Comics (1938) #51, 54-59
- Jungle Comics (1940) #47
- Pictorial Romances (1950) #19
- Star Studded Comics (1945) one-shot
- Super-Mystery Comics (1940) v5#2
- Suspense Comics (1943) #2-3, 10
- Target Comics (1940 series) v6#7, 9-10, v7#2-12, v8#1-12, v9#1-12, v10#1-3
- Teen-Age Romances (1949) #30-31, 40
- Teen-Age Temptations (1952) #2
- Terrific Comics (1944) #1, 6
- TNT Comics (1946) #1
- Young King Cole (1945) v1#3-4, v2#1-2, 5, 7, v3#6, 8-9
- Zoom Comics (1945) one-shot
- "Nina Albright" at pulpartists.com
- Star-Studded Comics, Grand Comics Database
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