Roy ThomasMooney-struck Comics Fanzine
Characters TM & DC Comics.
$8.95In the USA
Vol. 3, No. 133 / June 2015EditorRoy Thomas
Associate EditorsBill SchellyJim Amash
Design & LayoutChristopher Day
Consulting EditorJohn Morrow
FCA EditorP.C. Hamerlinck
Comic Crypt EditorMichael T. Gilbert
Editorial Honor RollJerry G. Bails (founder)Ronn Foss, Biljo
ProofreadersRob SmentekWilliam J. Dowlding
Cover ArtistsJim Mooney
Cover ColoristTom Ziuko
With Special Thanks to: ContentsWriter/Editorial: Sunny Jim. . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2I Never Really
Considered Comics An Art Form . . . . . . . . . 3
Golden/Silver/Bronze Age artist Jim Mooney interviewed by Dr.
Seal Of Approval: History Of The Comics Code: Ch. 6 (contd)
49From Dr. Amy Kiste Nybergs groundbreaking studythe aging of the
Mr. Monsters Comic Crypt! Wertham Attacks! . . . . . . . . .
55Michael T. Gilbert takes a look at Wertham and the Code, pro
& con, as seen in the 1950s.
Comic Fandom Archive: The RBCC Story . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. 62Beginning Bill Schellys multi-part study of the foremost comics
adzine of the 1960s.
re: [correspondence, comments, & corrections] . . . . . . .
. . 68FCA [Fawcett Collectors Of America] #192 . . . . . . . . . .
. . . 73
P.C. Hamerlinck presents Fawcett/Captain Marvels Otto Binder
& The Fawcett Invasion of France - Part II!
On Our Cover: While Jim (Madman) Mooney contributed memorably to
Marvel Comics in thelate 1960s & 1970s, hell probably forever
be even more identified with the DC heroes he drew fromthe 1940s
through the 60s. Our crazyquilt cover is composed of commission
drawings he did forRobert Plunkett (Supergirl and her animal
buddies) and interviewer Dr. Jeff McLaughlin (Batman &Robin)
and Eddy Zeno (The Legion of Super-Heroes), plus a penciled Tommy
Tomorrow figure froma proposed revival in the mid-1980s, supplied
by Mark Ellis. Jim was drawing, and drawing well,right up until he
left us. Photo courtesy of Eddy Zeno. [All hero art TM & DC
Comics.]Above: One of the few times Jim Mooney drew Daredevil was
when the Man without Fear sneakedpast Spider-Mans spider sense to
clobber him (we forget just whybut hey, this was Marvel!) inMarvel
Team-Up #25 (Sept. 1974). Script by Len Wein; inks by Frank
Giacoia. [TM & Marvel Characters, Inc.]
Heidi AmashGer ApeldoornTerry AustinBob BaileyWilliam
BigginsChristopher BoykoRobert BrownBart BushJohn CaputoNick
(website)ComicLink (website)Jon B. CookeChet CoxRay CuthbertAl
DellingesMichael DunneMark EllisJean-Michel
FerragattiShane FoleyBob FujitaniJeff GelbJanet GilbertGrand
Database (website)Arnie GrievesR.C. HarveyHeritage Comics
Archives (website)Richard HowellAlan HutchinsonDr. M. Thomas
Jim KealyDavid KirkpatrickLee LaskaStan LeeJim LudwigBruce
MasonDoug MartinDr. Jeff McLaughlinBrian K. MorrisFrank MotlerMark
MullerWill MurrayMarc Tyler
NoblemanDr. Amy Kiste
NybergJake OsterBarry PearlRobert PlunkettKen QuattroGene
ReedBob RivardBernice Sachs-
SmollerMaggie SansoneRandy SargentVijah ShahDarci SharverAnthony
SnyderDann ThomasHerb TrimpeDr. Michael J.
VassalloLynn WalkerRebecca WentworthEddy Zeno
This issue is dedicated to the memory ofJim Mooney
Alter EgoTM is published 8 times a year by TwoMorrows, 10407
Bedfordtown Drive, Raleigh, NC 27614, USA. Phone: (919) 449-0344.
Roy Thomas, Editor. John Morrow, Publisher. Alter Ego Editorial
Offices: 32 Bluebird Trail, St. Matthews, SC 29135, USA. Fax: (803)
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of Roy & Dann Thomas. FCA is a TM of P.C. Hamerlinck. Printed
in China. ISSN: 1932-6890
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Jim was a total pleasure to work witha realpro. He was totally
dependable as far as deadlineswere concerned, and although he had a
greatsense of humor and loved to kid around, he tookhis work
seriously and never gave any assignmentanything but his best
effort. If the world consisted of people like JimMooney, it would
be a much happier place. Stan Lee.
When I began working for Marvel, I lumped Jim in with the restof
the giants in the bullpen who worked for them. It was a friendlybut
intimidating environment in the bullpen in those dayssurrounded by
all that talent, and Jim being strictly a freelancer, hisvisits
were not frequent. I was impressed with his style and caneasily
picture his work in my mind. Herb Trimpe.
Working with Jim was always memorable and always a joy. Henever
disappointed he always gave more than I envisioned with ascript.
Jim Mooney was one of the two finest men Ive ever met inmy life. He
more than justified his existence. I hope I can say thesame about
myself. Mark Ellis.
I remember how delighted Stan Lee waswhen Jim came over to help
us out withSpider-Man. Besides which, Jim seemedabout as amiable an
artist as ever I met. ButIll confess, my main thought about Jim
isthat I consider him my good luck piece, soto speak. In 1965 I was
[at DC Comics]proofreading a Supergirl story he haddrawn when I
received the surreptitiousphone call from secretary Flo Steinberg
thatStan Lee would like to see me. Right after
that lunchtime I came back to DCs office and handed in my
resig-nation. Jims Supergirl was the last page of art I saw as a
DCemployee for 15 years. And it was always a pleasure to look
Roy Thomas.I was a fan of Jims since the Supergirl stories of
the 1960s, and
it was both an honor and a pleasure to work with him. We struck
upa friendship which lasted for almost 25 years. Jim Mooney was
manythings: a superb comic book artist; a fine storyteller; an
accom-plished painter; a connoisseur of antiques, theatre, movies,
andmusic; and a true gentleman. I expect that Im not the only
editor, orpenciler, or collaborator who has a batter of Jim Mooney
saved mybacon stories, but its worth reiterating that Jims output
was not onlymiraculous in its turnaround, but it was expert,
individualistic, andstylishjust like Jim himself. Richard
I Never Really ConsideredComics An Art Form
Golden/Silver/Bronze Age Artist JIM MOONEY TalksAbout A Long
& Landmark-Laden Career
Interview Conducted & Transcribed by Dr. Jeff McLaughlin
I Dont Like Spiders And BatsBut Jim Mooney, whos flanked here by
hisart for two of the creepy costumed super-heroes with whom hes
most identified, had
no reason to warble those (slightlyreworded) song lyrics. The
splash page atleft is from Batman #48 (Aug.-Sept. 1948),
wherein he penciled all three stories(Charles Paris inked this
unidentified)while the Spider-Man colorillo was done circa 2006
for interviewer Dr. Jeff McLaughlin, and was inscribed byboth Jim
and Stan Lee. Photo courtesy of
Mark Ellis. [Batman page TM & DC Comics;Spider-Man TM &
Marvel Characters, Inc.]
NTERVIEWERS INTRODUCTION: Jim Mooney passed awayMarch 30, 2008,
as I was editing the following interview, which wehad conducted
over the phone during the previous month, while I
was in Austria and he was in his home in Florida. I had met Jim
at theSan Diego Comic-Con in 2006 and had wound up spending most of
mytime just sitting with him and other legendary writers and
artists as theytold me story after story. It was one of the most
enjoyable weekends I haveever had. And, as I write this
introduction, it is one of the saddestmoments, as I miss Jim a
great deal even though I only knew him for acouple of years. We
chatted at least once a month, sometimes once a week.His grace, his
humor, his honesty, and his decency, not to mention hissincere
interest in others, made him a dear friend. Little did I imagine,
asa kid reading comics, that I would have the honor of becoming a
friend ofthe artist who drew so many of my favorites. Jim had been
married twiceand had three children: Bruce (deceased), Jimmy, and
Noel. He also hadseven cats (none of whom was named Streaky). In
our conversations, Inever asked him how he got the moniker
Gentleman Jim, because Iimmediately knew the answer the first time
I met him. It is a clich,yes, but I am truly a richer man for
knowing him. I hope you enjoy ourconversation as much as I did. It
took place in February 2008. A few ofmy remarks have been
interpolated in italics. Dr. Jeff McLaughlin.
The First Job I Got [In] New York Was A Strip Called The
Jim Mooneys long comic book career spanned every age. It began
when hedid his first seven pages of pencils and inks back in early
1940 forpublisher Victor Fox with Mystery Men Comics #9,
introducing acharacter called The Moth. Fox was threatened with a
lawsuit by DCComics over that story, yet Jim would eventually be
hired by DC becauseof it. But that is getting ahead of our
When a young Jim Mooney was riding his horse on one of his
familysthree estates, it is unlikely that he was thinking about how
so many peoplearound the world would become familiar with his comic
book art. Borninto privilege on August 13th, 1919, in Mount Vernon,
New York, JamesNoel Mooney would find that this wealthy lifestyle
was not to last.Although his father had made millions in real
estate and when theytraveled they stayed at the finest hotels in
the world, James Mooney, Sr.,would over-extend himself by investing
in Arabian horses at a time whenthe world was about to enter the
Going from having servants to having almost nothing must have
beena great challenge for the family. However, Jims mother Irene
had her feetfirmly planted on the ground. Even though she had not
finished grammarschool, she had done a little investing of her own
and was able to buy ahouse to make the family moderately
comfortable. While Jims fathercontinued to struggle, his uncle Ed,
who owned the Hartford Dispatchand Warehouse Company, was
responsible for getting Jim into a LosAngeles art school. Jim did
not want to finish high school because hedidnt want to hang around
for a lousy diploma in something he wasntkeen on and so jumped at
his uncles offer.
Jim loved art school. He especially loved the sketching class,
becausethe models were nude. When he brought his work home to show
hisparents, they probably wondered what they had allowed their son
to getinto, but he took a real liking to painting (especially
watercolor) and tostained glass. It wasnt long before his vast
artistic talents would beshown off.JIM MOONEY: [Science-fiction and
comic writer] Henry Kuttnerwas instrumental in getting me my first
job while I was still goingto art school. He got me my first
assignment in the nationalmagazine Weird Tales. He talked to
[editor] Farnsworth Wright andhe said, Ive got a young man here and
hes very goodwouldyou go along if I had him illustrate some of my
stories? So I illus-
trated some of Henrys stories which appeared in Weird Tales at
atime when I was still going to art school. [A/E EDITORS NOTE:
Aphoto of young Kuttner was seen in A/E #107.]
There seemed to be a touch of glamor in the Mooney family, no
matterwhat their financial situation. Jims older sister (by eight
years) Julie wasa very beautiful New York stage actress and had
signed a contract withMGM. Subsequently, the family would relocate
with her to Hollywood,California. Although Julie tried to get Jim
involved in the movie business,where she found herself in small
roles (including much later on in the filmadaptation of Abraham
Merritts Burn Witch Burn!), he discoveredquickly that they didnt
need any more Dead-End Kids. So Jim beganworking at Earl Carrolls
Vanities.Earl Carroll was famous (or infamous) for having the most
beautiful andthe most scantily dressed women on stage. Jims vocal
talents led himstraight from a brief appearance on stage to
becoming a checkroomattendant. I asked him if he ever got to meet
MOONEY: Oh yeah, a couple of times. I showed him some of
mystuff. He was interested. I was doing a little bit of sculpture
anddrawing at the time, and he was really quite nice. He was a
veryaloof person, but he was very encouraging, and, of course,
hissweetheart was Beryl Wallace. They died together in a plane
Race Into SpaceYoung Mooneys cover for a mimeographed
science-fiction fanzine dated
Dec. 1939featuring a spaceship from that future year 1940. The
Ackermanlisted as co-editor was Forrest J. Ackerman, founding
editor in 1958 of the
influential Warren magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland. [ the
respective copyright holders.]
II4 Golden/Silver/Bronze Age Artist Jim Mooney Talks About A
Long & Landmark-Laden Career
JM: Ive read that in his auditions the women had to be in the
nude.MOONEY: Oh yeah, yeah. He went to bed with every girl he
couldfind. You know, its funnyI remember one of the parties we
wentto, when my first wife Carol was working in the checkroom
[circa1939].... Actually, Earl Carroll was very personable, very
tall,slender, and spoke well and was a person who projected himself
asbeing what he waswhich was a very confident gentleman.
JM: And how beautiful were the girls?MOONEY: Oh, none of them
was working there if they werentbeautiful and didnt have a good
figure. The showgirls were acertain height, the chorus girls were a
certain height, and they wereall pretty girls, every darn one of
em. You know, I used to love toget an assignment where I had to go
backstage and bring amessage.
I remember one time when Errol Flynn came up. He went intothe
ladies room and he was raising hell and they finally had totoss him
out. I didnt have the physical stature to stand up to ErrolFlynn
nor did I have any inclination.
Clark Gable was there. I met Clark Gable at the studio throughmy
sister one time. He said Hi and shook my hand. I thoughtWow, this
is real celebrity! He was personable. I dont know howhe was
otherwise, but he was nice enough to take and treat a kidbrother
who didnt amount to a row of beans as if, you know, youhad some
reason for being.
JM: So you were working at Earl Carrolls while you were at art
school.And then you quit there, right?MOONEY: I quit there because
my first wife Carol and I werehaving a fling. We were close but we
were warned: Dont see eachother. Dont make it apparent that we were
together. And this wasfrom Earl Carroll himself. And we, like a
couple of damn fool kids,just said, Well, were gonna do what we
want! And you know, hedid what he wanted and he said we were fired.
[laughs] So welived on our unemployment insurance for a while.
Comic books were becoming popular, so Jim thought perhaps this
might bean opportunity for his artistic side. Like every other kid,
he read some ofthe newspaper comic strips, and Alex Raymonds Flash
Gordon was oneof his favorites.
MOONEY: Alex Raymond was really a very good draftsman. Hereally
knew how to draw. I thought it was pretty professional.Although
Milton Caniff was a very much-loved artist, Caniff didnot draw as
well or as accurately as Alex Raymond. Another one,
of course, was Hal Foster, who did Prince Valiant. Hal Foster
wasmagnificent. Hes probably the best draftsman in comics. I
wasntso much into Prince Valiant for the story as I was for the
Jim recalls seeing Batman on the newsstands, so he hitchhiked
acrossthe country back to New York, because thats where the comic
books werecoming from and he thought they might provide him with an
JM: Did you bring Carol with you?MOONEY: Oh nonono. I took off
by myself cause I could. Shewouldnt have. I wouldnt have expected
her to do that. I sent forher six or eight months later, once I
finally gained a little bit ofemployment. It wasnt easy. The first
job I got when I went to NewYork was for a strip called The
JM: Mystery Men Comics #9, April 1940.MOONEY: And then they were
sued by DC for that because theyclaimed I was copying Batman and
JM: Yeah, which apparently you were.
All Is VanitiesShowman Earl Carroll, plus a posterfor the 1945
movie version of his
Broadway revue Earl Carroll Vanities.Carrolls show was the
competitors of the even more famousZiegfield Follies.
Magno Mistake About It!For Ace Periodicals, Mooney drew the
adventures of Magno the MagneticMan and his teenage sidekick Davey.
Seen above is the splash page for
Super-Mystery Comics, Vol. 2, #4 (Oct. 1941). The
German-accentedprisoners are seen in a Canadian POW camp because,
in mid-41 when thisstory was published, Canada, like the rest of
the British Empire, was at warwith Nazi Germanybut the United
States was not, at least not officially.
Writer unknown. [ the respective copyright holders.]
I Never Really Considered Comics An Art Form 5
Like A Moth To A Flame(Top row:) Maybe its just because DC was
alreadyangry at Fox Comics for copying Superman withWonder Man in
Wonder Comics #1 (May 1939), over
which they successfully sued to prevent thepublication of a
second Wonder Man adventurebut somehow, the Mooney-drawn series The
Moththat debuted in Foxs Mystery Men Comics #9 (April1940) doesnt
seem to us to closely resemble the elder
companys Batman, as DC claimed whenthreatening a second lawsuit.
A different artist drewThe Moth in #10; then, on Mooneys splash
page for#11 (June 40), note how the writer cleverly worked ina
reference to a bat. Still, with his power of flightand his
creature-of-the-night costume, The Moth
seems to us halfway between Superman and Batman.The bylines
Godfrey Clarke and Norton [later
Norman] Kingsley seem more like authorial housenames than Mooney
pseudonyms; the writers areunknown, in any event. Thanks to Jim
(Right:) Oddly, though, with Mystery Men #13 (Aug.1940), The
Moth was dropped and Mooney insteaddrew the first episode of a new
strip, The Lynx withBlackie the Mystery Boy, which definitely
broughtto mind Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder. Thistime, DC did
sue Fox againeven though these newFox heroes, too, could fly!
(Incidentally, the spacingin some of the balloons and captions
suggests thatThe Lynxs name was originally something with
more than seven letters total.) After the debut story,others
took over The Lynx art chores. Scripteragain unknown. Thanks to
Chet Cox, Gene Reed,Darci Sharver, & the ComicBookPlus website
the scan. For more on Wonder Man, The Moth,The Lynx, and the
DC/Fox lawsuits, see Ken
Quattros well-documented coverage in Alter Ego#101. [ the
respective copyright holders.]
6 Golden/Silver/Bronze Age Artist Jim Mooney Talks About A Long
& Landmark-Laden Career
DC Was Looking For Somebody To Do
BatmanJM: And it happened with Batman,right?MOONEY: Well, the
reason I wentto DC [circa 1945] was that I under-stood they were
looking forsomebody to do Batman. Whenthey asked why I thought I
could doit, I mentioned the Moth lawsuit[where they argued that I
had copiedthe character Batman]. I guess itamused [editor] Whitney
Ellsworth.And he said, Okay, heres the script.Take it home and lets
see what youcan do with it. You know that story by heart now.
JM: [laughs] One of the things I find interesting is that you
somehow that they wanted someone to doBatman, and yet on the
other hand apparently itwas all Bob Kane. How did that situation
gel?Kane was supposed to be drawing it, but there werea number of
people actually doing it.MOONEY: Well, I met Bob [just the one
time]and I disliked him intensely.
JM: Did he know who you were in terms of drawing Batman?MOONEY:
Oh, yeah. He just [acted] very much superior. I mean, itwas like
you were barely noticeable as far as his scrutiny wasconcerned. The
only reason I went to meet him is because I wantedto talk to Bill
Finger at the time.
Bill Finger I liked very much. He was a prince.
Unfortunately,Bill was an alcoholic and died bankrupt. He got
credit for some ofthe stuff. But I think that Bill was Bill, in
spite of being one thebetter writers in the business. But he was
his own worst enemy. Hewas a far-gone alcoholic.
Theres Always A Joker In The PackJim did this color print
depicting Batman and various heads of The Jokercirca 2006based on
the cover of Batman #44 (Dec. 1947-Jan. 1948),
which is depicted on p. 46. Thanks to Mark Ellis.[Batman &
Joker TM & DC Comics.]
I Never Really Considered Comics An Art Form 13
Editorial director ofDC Comics, 1939-53
after which herelocated to
Hollywood to overseethe Adventures ofSuperman TV series.
From Moth Balls To Bat Boy(Above:) We dont know precisely which
was the first Batman story Mooney was assigned to draw by DC
ber-editor Whitney Ellsworthbut here are
his cover and splash page from what may be his firsteffort for
Detective Comics#132 (Feb. 1948), with inks by Charles Paris.
Scripter unknown. The cover
is reproduced from the online Grand Comics Database,the splash
from DCs hardcover Batman Archives,
Vol. 6. [TM & DC Comics.]
JM: And at this time there wereartists like Dick Sprang around
andJerry Robinson.MOONEY: I never met JerryRobinson, though I liked
his stuff. Imet Sprang. But we were not closeor anything like that.
Sprang I feltwas a very, very accomplishedartist.
You know, its funny. Of all theartistsI dont know why I
mentionthis, I happened to be looking atsomething a tribute to Jack
Kirby.Of all the guys, Kirby, I guess, wasprobably the sort of
cornerstone ofthe comic industry as far as theultimate comic book
artist. We nevergot along. He was the hardest guy to talk to.
Aloof. Not physicallyaggressive or anything like that, but he had a
tendency to totallyoverlook you as if you didnt exist. He was
really immersed withJack Kirby and rightfully so. He was, I would
say, probably of allthe comic book artists, close to being
JM: Who else would you put up there in terms of tip-top?
MOONEY: There were so many that were so good. But he justseemed
to epitomize the comic book stylethat strong, simplestyle. Kirby
had another thing, too. That guy was so damn fast thatit was
amazing. Id be lucky if I could do a page of pencils and inksa day,
and that guy would do three.
JM: You did Batman #38 from 1946.MOONEY: I remember that one
story, Carbon Copy Crimes.
JM: Did you emulate anyone while drawingBatman?MOONEY: Well, I
was supposed to emulateBob Kaneyou know, make it look like BobKane.
But of course everybody was told that. Itwas like, did Dick Sprang
stuff look like BobKane? God, no. Did Jerry Robinsons stuff
looklike Bob Kanes? God forbid! Jerry Robinsonwas one hell of a
JM: I know some readers can look at the Batmaninsignia and they
can tell who the artist is. Did youhave any little touches that you
put in to say, Thisones mine. This is my Batman and not
Bill FingerCo-creator of
Batman, circa 1945.Thanks to Marc Tyler
Jim MooneyNo Mere Carbon Copy(Above:) The legendary Dick Sprang
drew the cover of Batman #38 (Dec. 1946-Jan. 1947)but Mooney drew
all three of the stories inside.
Jim particularly remembered The Carbon Copy Crimes, written by
Batmanco-creator Bill Finger and inked by Charles Paris. Thanks to
the GCD for the
cover, and to Doug Martin for the splash. [TM & DC
When The Red, Red RobinOur interviewee had less than stellar
memories of the Robin the BoyWonder series he drew for years for
Star Spangled Comics. This splashpage is from issue #76 (Jan.
1948). Well, at least the story was written byJims favorite, Bill
Finger! And to judge from the only byline, that Bob Kane
sure got around! Thanks to Bob Bailey. [TM & DC Comics.]
14 Golden/Silver/Bronze Age Artist Jim Mooney Talks About A Long
& Landmark-Laden Career
JM: Did you have any sense of loyalty to any of thecharacters
that you were drawing?MOONEY: I was not that involved with them.As
I say, I liked Tommy Tomorrow. I likedSupergirl although Supergirl
was a bore, atremendous bore. It was the same thing over andover
again. A few of the things I enjoyed doing,but it wasnt something
that, if I had my choiceand had had the money, I would have
evergotten into it. I know that.
JM: Did you look at any other comics or any of theother artists
work, while you were working away?MOONEY: Oh yeah, yeah. As I said,
Ruben Moreira was excellent.Jerry Robinson was very, very good, and
there were quite a fewothers through the years. I cant come up with
names right now,but the guy that has the school Joe Kubert Kubert
was good,awfully good.
JM: Did you have any tricks or tips when you were
drawing?MOONEY: I dont know. I mean, I guess my feeling was, if
youneeded a model, get a model. If I needed a model, my wife
mightpose for me for a hand or pose in one way or another.
Andoccasionally some of my friends, if I needed something
inparticular, would pose. But most of the time it came from
myimagination. I didnt need a model. Very seldom did I have
anyonemodel for me unless I needed a particular pose, which was
JM: Did you incorporate any of these people into your
characters?MOONEY: Wildfire was based on my first wife Carol. The
figure,anyway. Carol was not terribly tall, but she had one hell of
a volup-tuous figure.
Steve Gerber Was An Excellent [Writer]JM: Was there any writer
in particular that you really enjoyed?MOONEY: I cant say that there
were any writers that I was partic-ularly fond of besides Bill
Finger. A good script was a good script,and I really never singled
[one] out and said, Hey, who did this?
JM: Steve Gerber?MOONEY: Oh, I see what youre getting at. That
was a differentperiod. I always thought Steve Gerber was an
excellent one. I
enjoyed thoseOmega [theUnknown] strips.They were one ofthe minor
strips, butI found they wereprobably as inter-esting as anything
Iever did. Certainlymore interestingthan Supergirl.Certainly
moreinteresting thanBatman or
Legion of Super-Heroes. I really just enjoyed them
JM: Why?MOONEY: Well, I guess it was [that] I had a certain
degree offreedom. Nobody said to me: Hey, somebody else has
drawnBatman, maybe draw a little bit more like this. I realize
thatSupergirl was my own [after her first appearance by Al
Plastino]. Idont know, I just had a certain degree of freedom [with
Omega]and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the stories tremendously. Steve
was areally excellent writer. But, strangely enough, the few times
I triedto make contact with him, it was almost impossible to touch
base.You dont want to fluster somebody by saying, God, I love
yourwork, its wonderful! But Id always express my admiration
forsomething, or how well I thought he had done it, but never,
nevergot much response [from Gerber].
JM: Did you ever put any little hidden things in artwork? You
know,little nods or little cute inside jokes or?MOONEY: No, the
only thing I did was, occasionally Id incor-porate a picture of
Another Tangled WebA hard-working college teacher grading
paperswhile Spidey attempts to purloin his own handiworkgave Jim a
chance to draw himself into The Spectacular Spider-Man #41 (April
1980). Script by Tom
DeFalco. Thanks to Mark Muller & Bart Bush. [TM & Marvel
Steve Gerberin a photo that
appeared in MarvelsFOOM Magazine #19
18 Golden/Silver/Bronze Age Artist Jim Mooney Talks About A Long
& Landmark-Laden Career
Alpha-Steve And OmegaSteve Gerber conceived and co-wrote the
Marvel series Omega theUnknown, with Jim Mooney as co-creator and
original artist. Seen here is their splash page for issue #1 (March
1976). For more on bothSteve and Omega, see our TwoMorrows sister
mag Back Issue #31
of a few years back! [TM & Marvel Characters, Inc.]
MOONEY: Well, I tried not to berepetitive. Unless the
samecharacter was called for, I triednot to repeat it.
JM: How did you remember all that?MOONEY: I probably
keptreference on it.
JM: I mentioned Supergirl a littlewhile ago. One of the things I
noted inreading Supergirl was that, in thelast panel, she often
would look at thereader and wink or smile as if you twowere in on
the same secret.MOONEY: Yeah, I remember usingthat. You know, as an
inclusive thingwith the reader, like were incahoots.
JM: Exactly. I didnt notice that in other books too much. The
story endsand thats it. Theres no sort of ah-hah where the
character and thereader have a secret to share.MOONEY: Yeah, it was
sort of an addendum that I thoughtworked, I dont know.
JM: And of course there were times when she would take off her
wig andeveryone would go, Wow, its Supergirl!MOONEY: That was
funny, that was such a staid and really, Iwould say, very, very
acceptable strip morally. As the years go by,the [number of] fans
that have wanted [me to draw them a pictureof a] nude Supergirl are
almost too numerous to mention. I haveonein fact, the last one I
didin color. Shes just coming up fromthe depths in the nude and
theres a sea serpent there whosgrabbed her uniformhave you seen
JM: No, I havent seen that one. I saw one whereMOONEY: Ive sold
a lot of that one in black-&-white. I have theoriginal color
painting. Its one of those things you cant put up onthe Internet
yet you have to, you know, mask it a little bit.
JM: I saw one where Krypto is flying away with her
costume.MOONEY: Oh, yeah. I really milked that to deaththe
Supergirlnudes after a while. I finally got a little tired of it.
They were easyto do I could probably knock them out in half a day.
It paid for afew bills now and then. But, like anything else, it
got a little boring,monotonous, tiring
JM: But I understand you drew her in the nude to begin
with.MOONEY: Sometimes I did and sometimes I didnt. But usuallyId
make a very rough nude and then Id put her costume on.
JM: Okay. Ms. Marvel. You did her for a whileMOONEY: Yeah, I
enjoyed that very much; that was one of myfavorites. Joe Sinnott
did the inking on it.
JM: Joe was kind enough to send me a comment, let me read it to
you:My good friend Jim Mooney was one of my favorite pencilers to
workwith. His work was clean, complete, and highly professional. I
canrecall a number of books that Jim and I collaborated on,
particularlythe Ms. Marvel pages. We did issues #4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and
13, plus thecover to #8. Ms. Marvel was a really great character to
work on and alot of fun!
MOONEY: Evidently Joe liked doing it. I liked his stuff. Joe
wasone of those inkers there was no way of approaching his styleand
doing it better. I always considered myself a pretty good inkerand
I think I was; but, ah, Joe was just absolutely superlative. Iguess
that is why he is still doing the Sunday Spider-Man.
[The Artwork Was] Just Taken Down To TheCellar And Trashed
JM: Well, then let me ask a really stupid question, unlike the
other onesIve been asking [laughs] What makes a good inker?MOONEY:
What makes a good actor? Its just something that is
Call Me Ms.!(Top center:) In the online Grand Comics Database,
this cover is listed ashaving been penciled (maybe!) by Keith
Pollardbut Joe Sinnott told JeffMcLaughlin that Ms. Marvel #8 (Aug.
1977) was the one cover of that seriesthat Mooney penciled and he
(Joe) inked. [TM & Marvel Characters, Inc.]
(Above:) Jim later did a commission drawing of two fightin
females hedrew for four-color competitors: Supergirl and Ms.
Marvel. Thanks to MarkEllis. (Oddly, in their civilian identities,
the ladies share the last nameDanversso perhaps that surname was
lodged in Roy Thomas
subconscious somewhere along the line, since hes the one who
christenedCarol Danvers, when he and artist Gene Colan created her
for the CaptainMarvel series in Marvel Super-Heroes #13 (March
1968)never dreamingthat one day she would become Captain Marvel!)
[Supergirl TM & DC
Comics; Ms. Marvel TM & Marvel Characters, Inc.]
24 Golden/Silver/Bronze Age Artist Jim Mooney Talks About A Long
& Landmark-Laden Career
MOONEY: I did, indeed. In fact, my wife at one time was
workingat a local bookstore. So some of my pages were up on the
wall, andmost of those the owner of the store took with her when
she closedup. So there were quite a few originals I lost that
I was looking through this Supergirl reprint today, and myLegion
of Super-Heroes as well, which was my all-time favorite.Dial H [for
Hero] was a lot of fun, Superboy I really enjoyed, buttheres
something about those Legion stories that was a little bitmore
sci-fi. I didnt enjoy drawing it, because there were so
manycharacters. But I remember that, when I had that assignment, I
wasbusy, busy, busy. In fact, that was when Annie and I had moved
upback to Woodstock for a while. And we were snowed in a lot, so
Ihad enough time to lavish on some of the Legion of Super-Heroes,
though I didnt really enjoy it that much.
JM: When you were working, what was your set-up like? Did you
havethe radio on or no music?MOONEY: When I was penciling, I had no
distractions, no musicor anything like that. But when I was inking,
I would play theradio or I had books on tape that I used to play
sometimes. I could
concentrate on the inking and listen to a story, too, but I
couldntwhen I was penciling. Because the penciling actually had to
becreativenot that the inking wasnt creative, but it was
amechanical type of thing. I could be listening to something and
stillknow where I wanted the brushstroke or the pen stroke.
Thepenciling, I actually had to think about, how am I going to do
thisfigure so it looks like its flying through space?
JM: Did you always start at the upper left hand side of the
page?MOONEY: I would immediately lay it out panel-wise, and
usuallyId just start first panel, second panel, lay it out roughly,
and thenfinish it up more completely with pencil.
JM: Did you use a blue pencil?MOONEY: Sometimes they objected to
that, because sometimesthe blue would reproduce. You had to make
sure that you had anon-reproducible blue pencil. Sometimes Id make
a very, verylight outline with it. But most of the time it was just
How Did I Feel About BeingLimited Service?
JM: Jim, we were talking earlier about the war and about how the
femaleartists were coming in. As a more of a personal question,
what were thewar years like for you? Growing up, living in America
at the time?MOONEY: You mean how did I feel about being limited
service?JM: Yeah.MOONEY: Well, obviously I was a young able-bodied
guy. Icertainly looked like I was perfectly capable of shouldering
a rifleand putting a helmet on. I got into one or two situations in
a barthat I handled okay, but it was a little bit difficult.
I think the most difficult thing of all was when I went down
tovisit Stan Lee in Duke [while he was in the Signal Corps]. My
wifeand my first son were with me, and were on a train and
suddenlyall the rest of the train fills up with troops. Im the only
civilianthere with a wife; a rather good-looking and attractive
wife. And ason. But the guys were great. They couldve been real
nasty. Noway at all. But it was embarrassing, it was verydifficult.
Occasionally I would feel veryconspicuous.
I mentioned that Ruben Moreira was in thesame boat; George
Tuska, a few of us wentthrough that. Occasionally when we would
gonightclubbing or something, youd just have toavoid getting into
any sort of a confrontation ifpossible. It usually worked out
pretty well, but itwas uncomfortable. Many of my friends
wereoverseas, some were killed. One was in the so-called Invasion
of Normandy; his landing craftwas blown up and he was in the
hospital. Butthen, you know, I had a lot of other friends thatwere
active and I was conscious of it, lets put itthat way. Nick Cardy
was there, of course. I thinkhe drove a tank for a while.
JM: Some artists were embarrassed by what they did,and others
were okay with it. Previously you told methat it really depended
upon who you were talkingwith.MOONEY: Exactly, exactly. Yeah, I
remember onesituation when I was up in Woodstock. This guy
TheodoreDreiser,(1871-1945),author of theacclaimednovels
SisterCarrie and AnAmerican
Tragedy, was aneighbor ofyoung Jim
Mooneysbutthe feelingsbetween themwerent veryneighborly.
Man-Thing BluesThis version of a Man-Thing page shows Jim
working in blue pencilthistime in far more detail than the very,
very light outline he speaks of in
the text. Thanks to Mark Ellis. [TM & Marvel Characters,
26 Golden/Silver/Bronze Age Artist Jim Mooney Talks About A Long
& Landmark-Laden Career
Do, Do, That VoodaThe evolution (or maybe devolution) of an
Ajax/Farrell title (left to right): Voodoo #18 (Nov.-Dec. 1954),
that mags final issue as a horror comic #19
(Jan-Feb. 1955), as, with censorship becoming an inevitability,
a switch was made to reprints from Seven Seas Comics, etc. and
Vooda #20 (April 1955),which featured South Sea Girl stories from
Seven Seas, altered to star the new heroine and to give
Ajax/Farrell a shot at avoiding having to pay the Post
Office to register a new title for second-class mailing
privileges. Wonder if it worked? Artists unknown. [ the respective
Dr. Amy K. Nyberg
EDITORS INTRODUCTION: Despite ourprevious two issues last-minute
forced omissionof a chapter, we near the conclusion of our
reprinting of Dr. Nybergs groundbreaking history of comic
bookcensorshipa work weve felt honored to be able to re-present,
with awealth of added illustrations, for Alter Egos audience. As
weve saidbefore, Seal of Approval is footnoted in the MLA style
which listsbook, article, or author name, plus page numbers,
between parentheses inthe main text: e.g., (Hart 154-156) refers to
pp. 154-156 of whicheverwork by an author or editor named Hart
appears in the bibliography(which will be printed at the conclusion
of our serialization, a few issuesfrom now). When the parentheses
contain only page numbers, its becausethe other pertinent
information is printed in the text almost immediatelypreceding the
Weve again retained such usages and spellings from Nybergs book
superhero, an uncapitalized comics code, E.C. and DC, etc. Inthe
captions we ourselves have added, however, we have reverted to
A/Ehouse style and preference. These captions, of course, do not
necessarilyreflect the opinion of Dr. Nyberg or of the University
Press of Mississippi,the original publisher of the bookthe original
edition of which can stillbe obtained from UPM at
www.upress.sate.ms.us. Our thanks onceagain to Dr. M. Thomas Inge,
under whose general editorship the volumewas originally published
in 1998 as part of its Studies in Popular Cultureseries, and who
was of great help to A/E in arranging for its reprintinghere to
William Biggins and Vijah Shah, acquisitions editors past
andpresent at the U. Press of Mississippi and to Brian K. Morris
forretyping the text on a Word document for Ye Editor to, what
The first part of Chapter 6, seen in A/E #130, dealt with the
first fewyears of operations under the Comics Code, which was
adopted onOctober 26, 1954.
A EA E//
Seal Of Approval:The History Of
The Comics CodeContinuing Chapter 6 Of Our
Serialization Of The 1998 Study By AMY KISTE NYBERG
[Main text continued on p. 52]
Judge Murphy, of course, is Judge Charles F. Murphy, who served
as the first administrator of the Code, from 1955-56. Frank M.
notes that the DC coversdepicted on the first page are those of Our
Army at War #33, A Date with Judy #46, Strange Adventures #55, Real
Screen Comics #85, and Adventures of DeanMartin & Jerry Lewis
#20, all of which would be cover-dated April 1955though there were,
he reports, slight changes made to those covers before they
on sale. At any rate, the giveaway mustve been prepared really
early in 55, if not at the end of 54! [TM & DC Comics.]
Seal of Approval: The History Of The Comics Code 51
y the CMAAs fifth year of operation, there were signs
theindustry was recovering. [President John] Goldwaterreported to
CMAA members that circulation of comics
was approximately six hundred million annually, and while it
wastrue that a number of companies had not survived, the
overallcirculation of the comic book industry had increased by
almost 150million annually. He urged members to experiment with new
typesof material and new approaches to material while
maintaininghigh standards (CMAA Files [Address of the President, 14
Apr.1959]). While funny animal, teen, and romance comics
performedadequately on the newsstands, the publishers were in
search of agenre that would appeal to the baby-boom youngsters who
werenow teenagers. Their experiment would be to resurrect the
genrethat started the industry, that of the superhero. National
Comics[DC] led the way with the reintroduction of a 1940s
character, theFlash. He made his debut in Showcase #4, cover-dated
October1956. His success was to launch a revival of the genre, and
comicbook historians use the reappearance of the Flash in 1956 as
amarker to indicate the start of the Silver Age of comic
books(Benton, Comic Book 177). Archie Comics hired Jack Kirby and
JoeSimon to revive their 1940s superhero, the Shield, but the
revivallasted only two issues. Next, they tried an original
character, theFly, who had insect-like powers (Benton, Comic Book
As DC revived more of its 1940s heroes, it decided to put
themall together in the Justice League of America with an issue
cover-dated October 1960. It was tremendously popular.
MartinGoodman at Marvel, seeking to capitalize on the superhero
teamconcept that had been successful at DC, gave writer Stan Lee
thego-ahead to develop a team for Marvel. Lees answer was
TheFantastic Four (November 1961). The team consisted of a
scientistwho could stretch, a teenager who burst into flame, an
invisiblegirl, and a monstrously ugly strongman. The team also
representeda departure from the traditional superhero formula;
being perfect and god-like, these four behaved more like
humanbeings who happened to be superheroes than heroes whohappened
to be human (Benton, Comic Book 63).
This new approach to superheroes would eventually pay off
forMarvel. By 1965, every other comic book publisher was rushing
tointroduce its version of new-and-improved superhero
characters.And the success of the campy Batman television series in
1966created a new superhero craze. Sales of all comic books rose as
aresult, and the Batman comic book reached an all-time high
of900,000 copies, the best performance by a comic since the
pre-codedays. It was the revitalization of the superhero comic that
lentimpetus to making revisions in the comics code. The new breed
ofsuperheroes, with their human problems, were creatures of
the1960s, a decade very different from that of the Golden Age
super-heroes of the 1940s. The social upheaval of the 1960s, with
its liber-alization of attitudes toward sex and the rise of a drug
culture, ledpublishers to push for a code that adhered to more
But the first comic books to escape the constraints of the
comicscode came from outside the industry in the form of
undergroundcomics. These comics were the product of the
counterculture thatflourished in America in the late 1960s and
early 1970s. At first,underground comic books were available only
by mail order ordirectly from the artist, but eventually a network
of retail outlets,including alternative record stores and
bookstores, along with so-called head shops, was created for
distribution. Historian MarkEstren identifies the first underground
comic book as God Nose,produced by Jack Jackson under the name
Jaxon, which appearedin 1963. It was not until 1967 that
underground comics began toemerge as a unique medium. A whole new
alternative comicsculture was established, with its peak years
coming between 1968and 1974 (Estren 45, 50; Sabin 41).
52 Continuing Chapter 6 Of Our Serialization Of Amy K. Nybergs
BBChapter 6 (Continued)Evolution Of The Comics Code
Two Faces Are Better Than OneIn A/E #105s Tales from the Code
coverage, we displayed the panels in The New Crimes of Two-Face!
from Batman #68 (Dec. 51-Jan. 52) in which
the acid-hurling that led actor Paul Sloane to become the second
Two-Face was softened for reprinting in Batman Annual #3 (Summer
1962). Here, from left toright, are pre- and post-Code versions of
the aftermath of that criminal assaultwhich the Code had forced DC
to alter into merely a freakish accident. Scriptby Bill Finger;
pencils by Lew Sayre Schwartz (with Batman and Robin figures by Bob
Kane); inks by Charles Paris. Thanks to Gene Reed. [TM & DC
OK, we admit it!. Michael T. shamelessly swipedNorm Saunders
Crime Clinic #5 cover (Summer1952), from Ziff-Davis. See it bigger
in A/E #128.
[ the respective copyright holders.]
Revenge Of TheComic Guys!by Michael T. Gilbert
omic book creators must have feltlike Custer at Little Big Horn
as Dr.Wertham and other comic criticssavaged them in the media.
fought back the only way they knewwith humor.
For a while it was open season onWertham and his fellow critics.
Al Cappgot his licks in, as did Marvel head honchoStan Lee. And
then there was Myron Fass.
Myron Fasss short-lived Mad knock-off,Lunatickle, took broad
swipes at both thegood doctor and his arch-foe, EC Comics.Issue #2s
The Horrible Comic Storybehind the Horror Story Comic
Books,featured unflattering parodies of Fasscompetitor Bill Gaines
(Sam Grisly) andDr. Wertham (Dr. Frederick VonWerthless).
Werthless, it was said, wasinclined to offer his unbiased and
un-asked for opinion.
The story blamed EC for the excessesthat led to the Code.
Ironically, the storysartist, Lee Elias, drew some of the
mostexcessively gruesome pre-Code horrorcomics for ECs rival,
Piling On!(Above:) Dr. Werthless stars on this pagefrom Myron
Fass Lunatickle #2 (April 1956).Art by Lee Elias. Writer unknown
(see p. 58).
[ the respective copyright holders.]
(Left:) Stan Lees story The Witch in theWoods from Menace #7
(Sept. 1953) depictsan editors worst nightmare comic-hatingparents!
Art by Joe Sinnott. [TM & Marvel
(Right:) In The Raving Lunatic! fromSuspense #29 (March 1953),
gives a piece of his mind to another angrycomic book critic. Art
by Joe Maneely.
[TM & Marvel Characters, Inc.]
56 Mr. Monsters Comic Crypt!
UTHORS INTRODUCTION (2015): Comic fandom has alot of reasons to
commemorate the late Gordon Belljohn Love,publisher and editor of
the advertising juggernaut RBCC... or, to
spell it out, Rockets Blast-Comicollector. I was well aware of
this whenI wrote The Golden Age of Comic Fandom, way back in
1995.Therefore, to begin our multi-issue tribute, which will
include a series ofinterviews and other special features from his
friends and colleagues,heres the story of G.B. and his fanzine,
made up of excerpts from thattome (with a few revisions). And
remember, Gordon was still very muchalive when GAOCF was
The excerpts begin after I had covered the origin of Alter-Ego
and itslikewise Jerry Bails-edited-and-published offshoots The
Comicollectorand The Comic Reader in 1961, as well as Parley
Holmans earlyfanzine Spotlite.
1961: Something To Occupy My Time1961 was not yet over, and
there was one more development
with far-reaching implications to occur: the publication of a
brieffour-page fanzine called The Rockets Blast. Only six to eight
copiesof the first issue were produced, using carbon paper. There
couldhave been no humbler beginning for this acorn which would
oneday grow into a mighty oak.
The Rockets Blast editor Gordon (G.B.) Love was born in 1939
inAtlanta, Georgia. He became a comic fan early with his love for
theoriginal Captain Marvel comics in the 1940s. He dreamed
ofperforming feats of derring-do, but, unlike other boys,
evenmodest feats of physical prowess would remain outside his
grasp.For G.B. Love had cerebral palsy. He had had it since birth,
whendoctors found certain motor functions of his brain had
In 1959, G.B. and his family moved from Georgia to
Miami,Florida. When the 20-year-old was tested by the
rehabilitationpeople, he was told they had nothing for him.
Goodwill offeredhim a job for $25 a week, but he wouldnt take that.
G.B. Love hada great deal more to offer than charity make-work,
even if hiscerebral palsy made telephone communication an uphill
battle, andhe could only type by clutching a pencil in one hand and
strikingthe keys of an electric typewriter laboriously, one by
In a recent [1990s] interview, Love remembered how he decidedto
publish a fanzine:
[In 1961] I was looking for something to occupy my time,
andhoped to develop something that might eventually
becomeprofitable. My original idea was to combine sf and comics in
afanzine, but I quickly dropped the sf and concentrated on my
firstlove, comic books. I picked the name The Rockets Blast myself
but Ireally dont remember how I came up with it.
A letter from Love printed in [the DC comic book] Mystery
inSpace announced his intention to start a club and put out
anewsletter. At the time I produced the first issue of RB, I
wasunaware of anyone else trying it, too. After I began publishing,
Ithink the first fanzine I discovered was Alter-Ego.
Love published under the aegis of the SFCA. This originallystood
for Science Fiction and Comic Association, but was changedto South
Florida Comic Association. In any case, it was merely thename of
Love Is What Makes An RBCC An RBCC(Above top:) Gordon Belljohn
Love. According to Robert Brown, who snapped thisphoto circa 1980,
The cap was part of a Kool Aid pilots kit I got at one of Don
Maris shows. G.B. loved the caps. There was a hostess cap for
girls. He was happyto pose for the picture.
(Right:) Cover art on Rockets Blast-Comicollector [RBCC] #60
(1968) by theremarkable John G. Fantucchio. Mid-decade, this artist
began producing a string of superb, idiosyncratic covers that
upgraded the appearance of the fanzine. His first appeared on RBCC
#44 (1965). His photo will be seen in a near-future
issueas it was in A/E #122. [Art John G. Fantucchio.]
The RBCC StoryBeginning A Multi-Part Tribute To
G.B. LOVE & Rockets Blast-ComicollectorExcerpted from the
1995 book The Golden Age of Comic Fandom
by Bill Schelly
tto Oscar Binder (1911-1974), the prolific science-fiction
andcomic book writer renowned for authoring over half of theMarvel
Family saga for Fawcett Publications, wrote Memoirs
of a Nobody in 1948 at the age of 37, during what was arguably
themost imaginative period within the repertoire of Captain
Aside from intermittent details about himself, Binders
capriciouschronicle resembles very little in the way of anything
that is indeedautobiographical. Unearthed several years ago from
Binders file materialsat Texas A&M University, Memoirs is
self-described by its author asramblings through the untracked
wilderness of my mind. Binderspotpourri of stray philosophical
beliefs, pet peeves, theories, and anecdoteswere written in
freewheeling fashion and devoid of any charted courseother than
allowing his mind to flow with no restricting parameters.
Theabridged and edited manuscriptserialized here within the pages
ofFCAwill nonetheless provide glimpses into the idiosyncratic
andfanciful mind of Otto O. Binder.
In this 14th excerpt, Otto shares his thoughts on writing
Westernstories. P.C. Hamerlinck.
i, pardner! Put away that thar six-shooter and lets have arootin
tootin palaver together. Ill git down offn mygreat horse Swayback
and jine yuh at th bar!
As you might dimly surmise, Im now going to froth at themouth
about the Golden West. At present writing, the Westerns inall
formsbooks, movies, radio, and comic booksare enjoyinganother
heyday. Periodically they rise to a seat of eminence in theminds
and imaginations of the American public. Then, for a while,they
will suffer a mild eclipse or slowing down, but year in andyear
out, the Western story is as durable as a rock.
Its an amazing phenomenon. Why should that period of historylive
on in story and song without the slightest dimming of itsluster and
glory by time? When you analyze it, you run into ablank wall. First
of all, the stage is so limited. You can only haveone kind of hero:
a gun shooting Westerner. You can only have onekind of villain: the
ubiquitous badman. And your heroine mustalways be the soul of
Your plots are strictly bounded, too. Cattle rustling. Range
fightsbetween cattlemen and sheepmen. Pioneering and wild
Indians.The brave sheriff cleaning up a lawless town. Think of
another oneif you can! And the basic formula is as cut-and-dried as
peelingpotatoes: your hero has a rollicking fist-fight with the
badman.Then the hero is framed of something. His girl loses faith
Hero then goes out and slings lead with the badman andhits him
or rounds up a posse and hits the hull-dangedgang!
Love stories have much more range and variety.Adventure stories
have no narrow restrictions to keepwithin. Murder mysteries, which
can be in a mold of theirown, still have an infinite horizon ahead
But the Western story has been told over and over again,without
any real variation whatsoever. And yet, peoplekeep begging for more
and more, and not just kids. Why,consarn ye, a good A Western will
draw the grownupslike cheese will mice. And among those mice you
will findme, too.
Pardner, Im baffled. It aint hooman!
Perhaps the only logical explanation is that the
brawling,lawless, heroic days of the Old West strike some ancient
spark inall our souls. Maybe under the veneer of civilization were
all justaching to be he-men and she-women, and live a rootin
hootinwild and free life.
Of course, thats the wonderful picture presented to our
imagi-nations. Actually, if you and I were suddenly transported
back tothose days, wed find it quite different, I think. Wed find
it dirtyand boring and sordid and full of villainy and injustice.
And Iimagine a Westerner transported from then to now would take
onelook at our set-up, toss away his shootin irons, and never go
back.I think hed find our civilization, with all its faults, pretty
good tolive in. And he wouldnt miss those bullets whistling past
his ear atall.
Yes, pards, its nice to think about those old Western days
astimes of glory and adventure supreme, but take it from me:
younever had it so good as right here and now. Of course, we
havewars killing off 20 million and such but, uh, lets not get into
Wars may come and wars may go, but yuh kin bet yore bottomdollar
that the days of the Old West will live on and onuntarnished,
indestructible. All you Western writers cansit back and relax.
Youve got a sure thing. Take it fromthis hyar varmint.
Art 2015 Mark Lewis
Part XIVAbridged & Edited by P.C. Hamerlinck
Go West, Shazam Man!The author (seen above circa 1944) of so
many Captain Marvel, Marvel
Family, etc., stories during the 1940s & early 50s also
wrote his fair share ofcowboy yarns for Fawcett during that era,
such as (see facing page) his
adaptation of the Saturday matinee film The Gunmen of Abilene
starring AllanRocky Lane (Fawcett Movie Comic #7, 1950; interior
art by Bob Powell)and the original yarn The Redwood Robbery for Ken
Maynard Western #6(Oct. 51; art by Carl Pfeufer). Also seen is the
photo cover of Ken Maynard #5(Aug. 51). Otto Binder also penned the
Western heroics of Golden Arrow, Rod
Cameron, and Gabby Hayes. Pages the respective copyright