Life of Sy
Let’s try to boil down a lifetime of experience into just a few paragraphs. Here we go!
As many of you may already know, Sy was born March 12, 1928 in New York City. Although his body of work spans seven decades, Sy is probably best known for his work on The Phantom comic strip, which he illustrated for over 30 years. According to Sy, he can’t remember a time when he wasn’t holding a pencil in his hand and attempting a sketch! As a little-known fact, he can recall a drawing that he submitted in a grade school drawing competition that won him honors. The drawing actually went on to be displayed at the The City of New York Museum of Art for several weeks.
Sy Barry’s artwork has been with me since I was a little boy, when my grandmother would read the strips to me! After taking over The Phantom strip in 1961, Sy modernized the artwork, packed it with action, and to this day he is the most imitated Phantom artist ever. While competing against the Marvel Comics explosion in the early 1960’s, Phantom readership expanded from $42M to over $100M in just three years. Sy’s influence on other artists cannot be understated!
“It wasn’t until the early 1960’s when the artwork was taken over by Sy Barry, whose realistic style breathed new energy into the characters and story lines, that the Phantom adventures really came alive. Mr. Barry’s art was so outstanding that newspaper circulation increased dramatically during his 35 year reign. In 1990 I met Sy Barry for the first time and we became very good friends, exchanging ideas and thoughts about the ‘Ghost Who Walks’.
In addition to his amazing talent Sy is a great humanitarian providing time and support to many needy charities and organizations . There have been many Phantom comic artists, but Sy Barry stands alone for his innovative ideas, composition, and technique. I am proud to know him as an artist but even more proud to call him a friend.”
“Hi Sy and David, just wanted to let you know that the portrait arrived yesterday and I am so happy with it and feel extremely grateful to receive such a wonderful personalised picture from the famous Sy Barry. This is a true highlight for me in regards to my collecting.”