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Irwin Was Here! $ 8.95 In the USA No.140 June 2016 Characters TM & © DC Comics. CELEBRATING GOLDEN AGE GREAT FROM THE JUSTICE SOCIETY TO DONDIAND BACK AGAIN! Roy ThomasStanding-Room-Only Comics Fanzine IRWIN HASEN 1 8 2 6 5 8 0 0 0 5 2 3

Alter Ego #140

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ALTER EGO #140 (80 full-color pages, $8.95) is a special issue devoted to Golden Age great IRWIN HASEN, who passed away recently at nearly age 97! This feature is adapted from DAN MAKARA’s film documentary on Hasen, the 1940s artist of the Justice Society, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Wildcat, Holyoke’s Cat-Man, and numerous other classic heroes—and, for 30 years, the artist of the famous Dondi newspaper strip! Bonus art by his buddies JOE KUBERT, ALEX TOTH, CARMINE INFANTINO, SHELLY MAYER, et al.! Plus MICHAEL T. GILBERT in Mr. Monster's Comic Crypt, BILL SCHELLY on comics fandom history, FCA (Fawcett Collector’s of America) section, and more! Edited by ROY THOMAS.

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Page 1: Alter Ego #140

Ir w inWas

Here!

$8.95In the USA

No.140June2016

Cha

ract

ers

TM &

© D

C C

omic

s.

CELEBRATINGGOLDEN AGE GREAT

FROM THE JUSTICE SOCIETY

TO DONDI—AND BACK AGAIN!

Roy Thomas’Standing-Room-OnlyComics Fanzine

IRWIN HASEN

182

658

0005

23

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Vol. 3, No. 140 / June 2016EditorRoy ThomasAssociate EditorsBill SchellyJim AmashDesign & LayoutChristopher DayConsulting EditorJohn MorrowFCA EditorP.C. HamerlinckJ.T. Go (Assoc. Editor)Comic Crypt EditorMichael T. GilbertEditorial Honor RollJerry G. Bails (founder)Ronn Foss, Biljo WhiteMike FriedrichProofreadersRob SmentekWilliam J. DowldingCover ArtistsShane Foley(adapting the work of Irwin Hasen)Cover ColoristTom ZiukoWith Special Thanks to:

ContentsWriter/Editorial: Chasin’ Hasen . . . . . . . 2Hasen—The Documentary. . . . . . . . . . . . 3

A transcript of Dan Makara’s unseen film about (and starring) Golden Age artist Irwin Hasen.

Mr. Monster’s Comic Crypt! The Wallace McPherson Interview. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Michael T. Gilbert presents Shaun Clancy and the fan who may have created MLJ’s Black Jack!

Comic Fandom Archive: Gordon Belljohn Love Changed My Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

Part 4 of Bill Schelly’s multi-issue tribute to G.B. Love, founder of the RBCC adzine.

Tributes to Murphy Anderson and Leonard Starr . . . . . . . . 51re: [correspondence, comments, & corrections] . . . . . . . . . 57FCA [Fawcett Collectors Of America] #199 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .73

P.C. Hamerlinck completes his study of artist Ray Harford & the Ghost Army of WWII.On Our Cover: Several years ago, as an illustration for an “alternate history” in which M.C. Gaines’All-American Comics Group had taken over National/DC instead of vice versa, Shane Foley createdwhat is basically a sort of “alternate inking” (which included altering four characters into four differentones) of Irwin Hasen’s classic cover for All-Star Comics #37 (Oct.-Nov. 1947), with Superman andBatman standing in for Johnny Thunder and The Atom—and The Joker and Luthor replacing TheGambler and The Thinker. (Shane also re-positioned Dr. Mid-Nite, to help Superman and Batman bespotlighted more clearly.) Not only was All-Star’s “Justice Society of America” one of Irwin’s majorcomic book assignments—and not only was one of the JSA the Golden Age Green Lantern, the hero forwhom he was a regular artist both before and after his Army service in World War II—but Hasen evenseems to have drawn the “Superman” and “Batman” chapters in All-Star #36 (Aug.-Sept. ’47). Thatmade this well-executed adaptation illo ideal for the cover of this edition of Alter Ego. The photo ofIrwin was taken by Mad artist Sergio Aragonés. [JSA heroes & villains TM & © DC Comics.]Above: The most noteworthy of several 1940s heroes that Irwin Hasen co-created was “Wildcat,” inAll-American’s Sensation Comics, behind cover heroine Wonder Woman. These dramatic panels arefrom Sensation #14 (Feb. 1943). Scripter unknown. Hasen always maintained that the initialconcept of the series was his, but that Bill Finger was brought aboard by editor Shelly Mayer to writethe early stories. Thanks to Doug Martin. [TM & © DC Comics.]

Neal AdamsAaron AllenHeidi AmashSergio AragonésBob BaileyRobert R. BarrettAlberto BecattiniRick BeyerChristopher BoykoAlan BrennertAaron CaplanJanice ChiangShaun ClancyComic Book Plus

websiteCraig DelichSean DulaneyJohn R. EllisJules FeifferMichael FeldmanDanny FingerothJohn FishelShane FoleyHenry G. Franke IIIBill GalloJanet GilbertGrand Comics

DatabaseJay Harford

Steve HarfordBrett J.Jim KealyRobert KennedyMichael LearnPaul LevitzArt LortieJim LudwigDan MakaraDoug MartinChellie MayerWallace McPhersonMichael NorwitzCharles PeltoSteven RoweRandy SargentTom SawyerElizabeth SaylesWilliam SaylesSheila ShapiraAnthony SnyderMark SquirekDann ThomasJim TyneMichael UslanJames Van HiseHames WareSteven G. WillisEddy Zeno

This issue is dedicated to the memory ofIrwin Hasen, Murphy Anderson,

& Leonard StarrAlter 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) 826-6501; e-mail: [email protected]. Send subscription funds to TwoMorrows, NOT to the editorial offices. Eight-issue subscriptions: $73 US, $116 International, $31.60 Digital Only. All characters are © their respective companies. All material© their creators unless otherwise noted. All editorial matter © Roy Thomas. Alter Ego is a TM of Roy & Dann Thomas. FCA is a TM of P.C. Hamerlinck. Printed in China. ISSN: 1932-6890

FIRST PRINTING.

Page 3: Alter Ego #140

A. My Friend Irwinhave many “best” friends. My wife is my best friend. My son,

my dog, even my cat… we are best friends.

Irwin Hasen was my Best Friend. I’d wanted to meet himbecause I thought All-Star Comics was the numero uno comic bookof All Time… and Irwin had drawn the best of the best All-Starstories.

HASENThe Documentary

A Film—& Soundtrack—About Golden Age Great IRWIN HASEN

by Dan Makara

Irwin Was Here!Irwin Hasen (on left, above) and Dan Makara a few years ago at the

Wonder Woman Museum in Bethel, Connecticut; it was founded by the familyof WW co-creator William Marston. Also on this page are a Hasen re-creationof his very first “Justice Society” cover, for All-Star Comics #33 (Feb.-March1947)—and a classic color sketch of the comic strip waif Dondi atop a duffel

bag. The latter image was used as the cover of Classic Comics Press’collection Dondi by Gus Edson and Irwin Hasen, Vol. 1 (2007); courtesy of

Charles Pelto. That series’ two volumes are still in print; see ad on p. 3. TheAll-Star re-creation is courtesy of owner Mark Squirek. [JSA & SolomonGrundy TM & © DC Comics; Dondi TM & © Tribune Media Services, Inc.]

I. Twin Introductions by Dan Makara

4

II

Page 4: Alter Ego #140

[Images from early Dondi comic strips.]

CHILD’S V/O: The story of Dondi. A little war orphanfound cold and starving by two kind-hearted G.I.s. Theyfeed him and treat him with affection. For the first time inhis life, Dondi has a home and finds real happiness. Butthen, suddenly, the bottom drops out of his world. Wordcomes that his G.I. buddies are to be sent back to America.But the resourceful lad hides aboard a troop ship. After anarduous journey, the little refugee secretly enters the UnitedStates.

DONDI: [seeing the Statue of Liberty from the ship] I know you,Big Lady. You Miss America!

IRWIN HASEN: I was born in Harlem. I weighed a poundand a quarter. Pound and a quarter, and the doctor at thehospital, the Women’s Hospital in New York, said, “If hesurvives he’ll be a genius.” They said, “Don’t count on it.”

My earliest memory is when my mother and father, afterI was born, after about two years, began to measure meagainst the wall. You never forget a thing like that. “Whyare they measuring me?” And I think it stayed with me.

My father came from Russia. He came from the oldcountry where, if you have a son, you put him out in thefields… to work. And he was a little nonplussed by havinga little son.

My parents, whenever they moved—they moved fouror five times a year, terrible—and they’d put me in alittle room in the back of the apartment. And I’d sitthere with the radio—the radio was my life’s blood—and I’d sit with my drawing board in a lonely room. Idon’t know how the hell I did it. I don’t know. Whenyou think about [it,] almost all cartoonists did it. Alonely room.

Cartoonists are like little children. Even when they’re80. They’re not children. They’re old children. Theynever lost that spell of being young. Cartoonists. Eventhe word “cartoonist” is a funny word. I collected themost beautiful bunch of friends. Not being in thebusiness world, but by being a cartoonist.

I was there at the beginning. I just walked into it. Alittle kid with a portfolio. That’s how the whole thingstarted… how the world started.

IRWIN – A NEW YORK STORY

Dondi Esta…Montage of 1955 Sunday and daily panels from Dondi, by writer Gus Edson & artist Irwin Hasen, as glimpsed in screen saves from

the doc. Ye Editor has always wondered if Edson got the name fromthe Spanish word “Donde,” meaning “Where”… since the lad waslost from his homeland, then lost for a time in the New World. As a

kid, Roy—and, he’s since learned, lots of other people—thoughtDondi was Korean, since the war on that Asian peninsula had ended

only two years before, in an uneasy truce that still endures. [TM & © Tribune Media Services, Inc.]

Hasen—The Documentary 11

A Documentary Film by Dan MakaraTranscribed by Sean Dulaney

Page 5: Alter Ego #140

I wanted to be loved by everybody, unquote. Even women. Iwas doing everything a little guy does to prove that he’s tall. I was

always aware I was short, and Iused to wear elevator shoes.

We had a terrible family life.Awful… just disgusting.Terrible. That’s probably why Imay have been crippled a littlebit about getting married,having a family, and all that. Iwas never able to get close.And now that I’m90 years old, [it]doesn’t matteranymore. So what!But the point is, Idon’t even feelsorry. I don’t eventhink I missedanything. That’swhat’s scary. Andthat’s what’s alittle sad.

Because… maybe I did lead a lonely life. I don’t think so.

Maybe Dondi was a part of me and I was Dondi. Thekid—and I use the word “the kid”—it’s like I was gonnasay “my kid.” I look at him as though he’s my kid. Like alittle son of mine, you see? It was like I never had a realfamily. My parents, my grandparents… they fought andscreamed a lot.

When you’re surrounded by anger and depression allthe time, to survive, you find ways to escape. I think Iwanted to become an entertainer to make them laugh, oreven love me. Maybe that’s why I became a cartoonist.To make them laugh.

We lived all together in a little house in Bensonhurst.And we had a chauffeur and his wife. His wife was ourcook. And I could never understand the dichotomy ofliving in a two-story white, stucco little house andhaving a chauffeur… a liveried chauffer. And that’s howwe lived for about five years. Ten years, maybe.

My grandfather was a very wealthy man. Furniture dealer. Heowned the building down on 315 Grand Street. In a six-storybuilding. And while I was typing letters to his sister in Boston… Iwould be learning how to type. That’s where I learned how totype. I was five years old. And I used to hear noises from upstairs.[imitates the sound of squeaking bedsprings] It was my grandfather…schtupping his female customers on the sixth floor. The mattresses.He was in the furniture business and I often wondered about thatsound… the noise. My grandfather had great taste. [shows pinkyring] This is his ring, [which] I took off his finger when he wasdead, when he died, so the undertaker shouldn’t take it. ‘Cause I

Ellis Is WonderlandIrwin on his way to Ellis Island, at the start of Makara’s engaging documentary. That island,

of course, was where his immigrant parents, like millions more, had entered the UnitedStates in the early 20th century. [© 2016 Dan Makara.]

A View With A Room(Above:) Irwin gazes out of his apartment window in New York City (where he lived fornearly 60 years) at the street below—or maybe he’s remembering himself in 1923 at agefive, as in the photo just above. Two screen saves from the doc. [© 2016 Dan Makara.]

You Make MeFeel So Young!(Above & right:)

Irwin playingCharlie Chaplin

at age 6—and at,age 15, with an

unidentified girlabout the sameage. Thanks toDan Makara.

12 A Film—& Soundtrack—About Golden Age Great Irwin Hasen

Page 6: Alter Ego #140

in only one paper, and having made no money, we were cancelled.However, it was a terrific experience.

Later that year, as I left my newspaper family, I returned to mycomic book family, DC Comics. Soon, I was back to work with“The Green Lantern,” “The Flash,” All-Star Comics… and my newassignment. The regular cover artist for Wonder Woman.

Shelly knew, I think, that I loved drawing tall, statuesquewomen. And even going out with a few. And on every cover, theAmazon princess battled a plethora of thugs, pirates, space aliens,and 3-D monsters.

But after the war, times changed.

DR. FREDERIC WERTHAM: [archival footage] The real question isthis. Are comics good, or are they not good? [Cut to:]

INFANTINO: They were destroying comics. They said childrenwere being destroyed. Kids were jumping off rooftops. Killingthemselves. Drugs. Women. Sex. Violence. They blamed every sin,every problem in the world on comic books. And the comics gotslaughtered. We were the people doing these things and we’d beashamed to even tell people we did them. As I said, that’s thereason we did pseudonyms—for myself, and the other guys did,too. We didn’t know day to day if there’d be work or not work,

you know? You ate or didn’t eat. It was atough life.

I think “Superman” and “Batman”were the only things that survived thetime. But even they were hurt very badly.

HASEN: [narrating] The super-hero booksbegan to lose money. As a result, a lot ofcartoonists lost their jobs. In 1950, in fact,I lost mine. [Cut to:]

INFANTINO: He was told at DC Comicshe should take a vacation, as they werehiring these kids. He thought it waswonderful. [laughter] When he got on theQueen Elizabeth, he found out he wasfired.

HASEN: [narrating] I went to Israel, andthat’s where I became Jewish. That’swhen I knew I was Jewish. Because when I went to Jerusalem, thecab driver dropped me off at the top of the mountain. You lookdown into Jerusalem and you see the lights in the sky, and all of asudden, I started crying. And I said to the driver—his name wasTzvee, all the cab drivers are named “Tzvee” in Israel—I said,“Tzvee, why am I crying?” He said, “Mr. Hasen, they all cry.”

“Look Out, Axis—Here Come Green Lantern & Doiby!”(Above:) Green Lantern and Doiby did their part for the war effort in this two-

page special feature from All-American Comics #44 (Nov. 1942). Scripterunknown. Thanks to Michael T. Gilbert. [TM & © DC Comics.]

For What It’sWertham!

Dr. Fredric Wertham, authorof the 1954 anti-comicsbook Seduction of theInnocent. ’Nuff said?

Irwin As Don JuanThe cover of Hasen’s 2009 graphic novel/memoir Loverboy: An Irwin Hasen

Story, from Vanguard Press. [© Estate of Irwin Hasen.]

24 A Film—& Soundtrack—About Golden Age Great Irwin Hasen

[Continued on p. 29]

Page 7: Alter Ego #140

And that’s when I became a Jew. Simple as that.

Back in the States and being out of work, my friends at theNational Cartoonists Society got me on a USO tour to entertain thetroops. Again, my two loves. The stage and cartooning.

In 1952, a bunch of us were sent overseas to Germany. And yes,Virginia, there was a Holocaust. One night I slept in a Germangeneral’s bed. I wasn’t in it [the Holocaust]. I would’ve been in anashtray in the morning. And then we went to Dachau. [chokes up]Then we went to Dachau. And that’s where we got the shock.

Gus Edson [writer & artist on The Gumps comic strip] and I werethe only Jews among the cartoonists. And Gus Edson and I, theonly Jews, came back on the bus, didn’t say a word. We got back toBerlin and we all got drunk.

And it was quite an experience. One moment of the trip, Gussaid to me, “Are you doing anything? What are you doing?” Aboutmy work: when you’re broke and you’re out of work, you say

you’re in advertising. So I said I was doing some advertising work.I hadn’t done any work in four years. So he said, “Would you beinterested in doing something?”

This comes to the end of my life where I became not an itinerate,but a “star.”

He sends me a picture of Dondi when we get back to New York.The picture is like this. [displays Edson’s original Dondi drawing; seep. 31] That’s the picture. It was not as ornate. It was on Waldorf-Astoria stationery. Black-&-white. And I looked at the picture andsaid, “Gus”… I called him up and said, “Gus, this is going to bethe best strip in America.” It’s like looking across a crowded room,seeing a woman and saying, “That’s going to be my wife.”

[The song “Dondi” plays, sung by popular recording artist Patti Page.]

I did this, right at the very beginning, six days a week, possiblysometimes seven days a week. Sometimes ten hours a day.

Caught In Charlotte’s Web(Top left:) Irwin at the 1996 Heroes Con in Charlotte, North Carolina, flanked

by his late-1940s editor Julius Schwartz (on right) and artist Murphy Anderson.Photo courtesy of Bob Bailey.

Also seen are a cover by Hasen, probably drawn for Julie after JS took over fulleditorial chores from Sheldon Mayer—that of All-Star Comics #44 (Dec. 1948-Jan. 1949), with his Wonder Woman having a very H.G. Peter look—and, alsofor Julie, a splash page (inked by Bernard Sachs) of an SF story in Strange

Adventures #47 (Aug. 1954); Sid Gerson, writer. [TM & © DC Comics.]

Hasen—The Documentary 29

[Continued from p. 24]

Page 8: Alter Ego #140

As a result of his popularity, Dondi became attractive toHollywood. Gus Edson had a friend, and he said, “We have amovie being made.” I said, “That’s nice. Who’s going to be theproducer?” He said, “Kid, nothing to do with you. Don’t worryabout it.” And then I knew I was—[makes throat-slashing gesture]

And I said, “What about me?” I’d like to goto Hollywood. He said, “Irwin, you knowyou’re going to have to pay your own way.You want to spend that?” I looked at him andsaid, “Gus, I’m your partner.”

In his mind, “You’re not my partner. You’rea schmuck cartoonist who I hired to get—”And I shut up.

Anyway, I went to Hollywood. I paid myway.

This is a sad story. A rotten story. It’s aterrible story. Because he did everythingbehind my back. And he put me in that movie,[in] which I’m a police artist. I did a drawingof Dondi when he was lost in America. Do adrawing of Dondi.

Gus drove home in a white LincolnContinental car, plus whatever he got from themovie.

There was a lot of merchandising from the movie. They put outdolls. They put out belts. They put out everything. And… “Gosh!”as Dondi would say, “Gosh, Misters, why didn’t you tell me aboutthe merchandising?”

One perk I did get was a trip to Miami. I was asked to be ajudge at the Miss Universe competition that year. In 1960. It was to

Dondi—Rhymes (More Or Less) With “Sunday”The first Dondi Sunday, dated Oct. 2, 1955—reprinted in black-&-white from Classic Comics Press’ Dondi, Vol. 1. [TM & © Tribune Media Services, Inc.]

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Dondi Claus!Hasen (on left) with Gus Edson in 1956, at a time when Dondi became, for a time, one of the most

popular comic strips in the U.S. Screen save from doc. [Screen save © 2016 Dan Makara; Dondi art TM & © Tribune Media Services, Inc.]

32 A Film—& Soundtrack—About Golden Age Great Irwin Hasen

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HASEN: The story of Dondi is about the American dream.

Some people ask me why Dondi was an Italian orphan. But thatdidn’t matter. Dondi could have just as easily been German, orJewish… Arab… or anything. In America, everybody has a chance.But you’ve got to work your tail off.

GALLO: Dondi… I fell in love with Dondi right away. It was a greatstrip. Why it’s not running today… It—It could be. It—

HASEN: It should’ve been. It could’ve been.

GALLO: Yeah. Beetle Bailey, for crying out loud. Gasoline Alley.Dondi could’ve grown up to be…

HASEN: He couldn’t grow up. I didn’t grow up. Why shouldDondi grow up?

GALLO: [laughter] But it should’ve been…

HASEN: I know.

GALLO: I don’t know why it was cancelled. Why was it cancelled?

HASEN: I think the Daily News finally didn’t like it.

GALLO: Why?

HASEN: I don’t know why. Nobody ever told us.

GALLO: Who killed it?

HASEN: Somebody at the News. Well,the News was our biggest client atthat time.

GALLO: Yeah.

HASEN: And then we lost papers. Itfell out of favor, you know, after 30years. New editors come in. Newadvertising and all that. First of all,when it stopped, I was okay. I didn’tfeel bad.

GALLO: Why?

HASEN: It wasn’t making a lot ofmoney. Very little money for the workI had to put in. That’s the reason.

DAN MAKARA: [off camera] Plusyou got your run, didn’t you?

HASEN: I had my 30 years. Jesus!

GALLO: It was very popular.

HASEN: Absolutely! I have nocomplaints. And also, I started toteach.

[Cut to footage of Hasen looking over thework of his students at the Joe KubertSchool]

HASEN: [narrating] I taught at the JoeKubert’s School of Cartoon Art fornearly 30 years. I began when I wasstill doing Dondi and then 22 yearsafter Dondi ended. And Joe Kubert,who runs the school—oh, what agreat guy. And a great artist. He’sbeen my friend since my comic book

days back at DC Comics.

[Cut to Irwin, Joe Kubert, and other faculty having lunch… joined inmid-conversation, probably about the New York Comics Convention]

JOE KUBERT: That’s a wild place, also. And the convention getswilder and wilder.

HASEN: I heard last year they had like 60,000.

KUBERT: Yeah. Yeah.

HASEN: I’m a little bit leery of that, really.

[Cut to Irwin in car, going to New York Comics Convention]

MAKARA: [off camera] So, what do you think going to these comicbook conventions, Irwin?

HASEN: I love it!

MAKARA: Yeah?

HASEN: Yeah. I make a couple’a bucks. Tax-free. [pauses a beat]Keep this off the record. Jesus.

[Irwin walking into the building where the convention is being held]

End Of An Era(Above & below:) Hasen looking at the final Dondi Sunday strip (for June 8, 1986)—and a contrast between theever-young Dondi and a photo of young Irwin in 1923. Both screen saves from the doc. [© 2016 Dan Makara.]

38 A Film—& Soundtrack—About Golden Age Great Irwin Hasen

[Continued on p. 42]

Page 10: Alter Ego #140

Irwin Hasen’s Four-PlayWhether Irwin Hasen will be remembered more for his comic book work, or for Dondi, is a question perhaps not yet decided—but we

hope his spirit won’t mind if Alter Ego honors him for both! Seen on this page are the “Wildcat” splash from Sensation Comics #8(Aug. 1942), his covers for Green Lantern #31 (March-April 1948) and Wonder Woman #44 (Nov.-Dec. 1950)… and an early Dondistrip, for Sunday, 10-30-55, as repro’d on the back cover of one of Classic Comic Press’ Dondi volumes. Thanks to Doug Martin for the “Wildcat” art (with script by Bill Finger) and to the Grand Comics Database for the covers. [Comic book art TM & © DC Comics;

Dondi art TM & © Tribune Media Services, Inc.]

40 A Film—& Soundtrack—About Golden Age Great Irwin Hasen

Page 11: Alter Ego #140

Name: Irwin Hanan Hasen (1918-2015) artist, writer

Pen Name: Zooie

Education: National Academy of Design; Art Students League

Influences: Willard Mullin, Henrik Kley, Gustav Dore

Member: National Cartoonists Society

Print Media (Non-Comics): Artist contributor: Book, How to Draw– Tips from Top Cartoonists. Also was advertising artist

Other Career Notes: Teacher – Joe Kubert School of Cartooningand Graphic Arts (c. 1980-92); teacher – School of Visual Arts (datesuncertain)

Honors: Inkpot Award (San Diego Comic-Con) 1999; NationalCartoonists Society – Best Story Strip 1961, 1962; Eisner Hall ofFame Award 2014 [NOTE: A photo of a proud Irwin with his Eisner

Award was seen in Alter Ego #132.]

Syndication: Dondi (d & S)(a) 1955-86, Chicago Tribune-New YorkNews Syndicate (writer of daily 1966-67)

Comics in Other Media: gag cartoons, sports cartoons

Non-Mainstream Comic Books: Old Town Publishing – Dr. Wonder(a) 1996; Renegade Press – covers 1986, Revolver (a) 1985; Rip OffPress – covers (a), Ms. Samson (a), science-fantasy (a) all 1986

Co-Creator: The Fox (MLJ); Harvey (DC); The Wildcat (DC)

Promotional Comics: “Bazooka, the Atom Bubble Boy” (a) 1948-49for Bazooka Bubble Gum

Comics Studio/Shop: Bert Whitman Associates (p)(i) c. 1939-40;Harry “A” Chesler Studio (p)(i) c. 1939-40; Funnies, Inc. (p)(i) c. 1939-40 – all three freelance

Fill ’Em Up!Fillers by Hasen in rare outings for: (Left:) MLJ’s Top Notch Comics #1 (Dec. 1939), signed. (Right:) Fawcett Publications’ Captain Marvel Jr. #89 (Dec. 1950),

for which he drew—and reportedly also wrote—this humor feature. Thanks for both scans to Steven G. Willis. [© the respective copyright holders.]

IRWIN HASEN Checklist[This checklist is adapted from information found in the online edition of The Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928-1999, established by JerryG. Bails. Names of features that appeared both in comic books with that title and in other publications, as well, are generally not italicized. Some of thisinformation was probably supplied by Hasen himself via questionnaires sent out in the 1970s in conjunction with the original print version of the Who’sWho. Key: (w) = writer; (a) = full art; (p) = pencils; (i) = inks; (d) = daily comic strip [Monday through Saturday]; (S) = Sunday comic strip.]

Hasen—The Documentary 43

Page 12: Alter Ego #140

47

At Ease(Left:) The inscription on the back of the photo on the left says: “AA78 Bancroft San

Diego, Ca. 1940 – Wallace McPherson ‘Boy Scout’– 1936 Ford.” (Above:) An adintroducing MLJ’s Black Jack, From Top-Notch #20 (Oct. 1941). [© 1941 MLJ Publishing]

Page 13: Alter Ego #140

Introductionby Michael T. Gilbert

ast issue, we featured an interview between Shaun Clancyand a comic fan whose winning contest entry waspublished in a 1941 issue of MLJ’s Top Notch Laugh Comics.

Well, detective Shaun is back at it again! This time he’s found aforgotten piece of comic history in which a young fan may actuallyhave helped create a classic MLJ super-hero! And now, withoutfurther ado, we present…

The Wallace McPhersonPhone Interview (10/1/10)

by Shaun ClancySHAUN CLANCY: I saw your name in print in a 1941 publicationwhich had you listed at 4478 Bancroft Street, San Diego, California?

WALLACE McPHERSON: You got that right. That’s me.

SC: This publication is called Pep Comics [#22, Dec. 1941], and thisissue actually features the first ever appearance of the character ArchieAndrews.

McPHERSON: Oh?

SC: Your name is mentioned as a fan who wrote in on the super-heroesthat the comic featured before Archie was created.

McPHERSON: I remember when I was a little kid… getting oneperson who contacted me from that. I wrote that person one letterbut I never heard back. I also never saw the mention of me in thecomic or what title and issue it appeared in.

SC: I thought I’d track you down and verify that the mention of yourname in this comic was legit and that MLJ wasn’t just posting fictitiousnames. I have heard of some publishers doing that.

McPHERSON: I did send a letter and, as I recall, I even sent adrawing of a super-hero that I did.

SC: The character thatthey mention in the lettercolumn would be inreference to the super-heroes The Shield and TheHangman. Those were thesuper-heroes that wereappearing in this comicbook title at that time. Infact, there was a Shield G-Man Club that you couldjoin. Do you still haveyour comics?

McPHERSON: No, Idon’t. That was so longago. I think that thehero that I designedand sent in was acharacter that I called“The Ace of Spades.”

And from what I can remember, he had a big spade on his chest. Atthat time, everyone was drawing Superman and Batman becausewe all read comic books when we were that age. In 1941, I wouldhave been 12 years old. [NOTE: Wallace McPherson was born in1929.]

SC: Do you remember if the editors for that comic ever personallyresponded to your letter?

McPHERSON: No. I only had the one response from a fellow fanthat had seen my name in the comic, just like you just did. Thepublisher never contacted me. In 1941, we moved out to anotherarea in Spring Valley, which is where I still live in right now. Thatcomic would have come out around the time of that transition andat the start of World War II, so it’s possible that they may have sentsomething to our old address, which may have never beenforwarded.

SC: Did you continue to read Pep Comics after they introduced“Archie” in it?

McPHERSON: Yes. In those days, prior to World War II, therewere little book stores that moms and pops ran right on ElkahornBoulevard, and if you took in two used comic books they would letyou get one new one out of the stack. That’s how we kept circu-lating the comic books. That’s the way it worked in those days. Youtook two in to mom and pop in the little house they lived in,because they’d do it out the front room in San Diego, and we’d get

LL

Two Of A Kind!Steel Sterling introduces the latest MLJ superstar, Black Jack,

on the cover of Zip Comics #20 (Nov. 1941). Art by Irv “The Nerve” Novick! [© Archie Comic Publications, Inc.]

The Joker!Archie’s first appearance in Pep Comics(issue #22, Dec. 1941). [© Archie Comic

Publications, Inc.]

48 The Wallace McPherson Interview

Page 14: Alter Ego #140

ntroduction: The first two parts of our look at G.B. Love and hisinfluential ad-zine, Rocket’s Blast-Comicollector, appeared in A/E#133-135, which included the first half of an interview with James

Van Hise, who was Love’s assistant editor on RBCC before assuming fulleditorship of it in 1974. But Jim came along only in 1970. For a picture ofG.B. Love that begins even before Van Hise entered the scene, we reachedout to John Ellis, who graciously agreed to tell the story of how he met theBig Name Fan and participated in various SFCA (South Florida ComicsAssociation) endeavors, including the first comic collectors club in Florida.

John is a prime example of someone who benefited greatly from G.B.’sgenerosity and tutelage, one of the reasons he was able to go on to a multi-faceted career in the popular arts. I’m sure you’ll enjoy getting to knowJohn as you read more about the editor and publisher of the Rocket’s Blast-Comicollector, the estimable Gordon Love, whose life and fanzine we arecelebrating. Special thanks to Jim Van Hise and Aaron Caplan for help onsome of the visual aspects of this piece. —Bill Schelly.]

ordon Belljohn Love published fanzines for almost 13 years.I knew him well for the latter half of that period, and hechanged my life.

To tell G.B.’s story, I need to tell mine.

I was born in March of 1955 in Wilmington, Ohio. One of myearliest memories, from the late1950s, is of my brother Larryteaching me to trace Donald Duckfrom his comic books. In the early1960s my mom would bring homecomics occasionally, mostly funny-animal comics. One day in May1964 she brought me a Blackhawkand a Magnus Robot Fighter from ElBlackie’s Party Store and “set thehook.” My new quest for morecomics led me to discover the comicsdisplay in the Wilmington DrugStore. Then came the historicmoment in June 1964 when I turnedthe corner in the store to see a spreadof Marvel comics for the first time. Istill have the Marvel Tales Annual #1that I bought that day.

My one close “comic book pal” wasmy sister-in-law Carol Day, who wasseveral years older than me. We were

Comic Fandom Archive

G.B. Love.(1939-2001)

Photo by Robert Brown.

II

GG

Amazing, Man!John Ellis in 1970, not long after meeting G.B.

Love and helping form the South Florida ComicClub—and the cover of the first issue in Ellis’

subscription to RBCC: #61 (1969), whichfeatured John Fantucchio’s extraordinary

Amazing-Man drawing. Fantucchiocontributed many outstanding cover

illustrations to G.B. Love’s fanzine. Photocourtesy of John Ellis.

[Art © the respective copyright holders.]

Alter Ego’s Multi-PartTribute To G.B. Love

& RBCC – Part 4Gordon Belljohn Love Changed My Life

by John Ellis

54

Page 15: Alter Ego #140

comic book fanatics. We copied drawings from the comics. Iremember drawing Sgt. Fury and talking about becoming a comicsartist. My only other comic book pal was Frank Kelley, who livedin Kentucky and sometimes visited his relatives (our neighbors).Frank knew about Golden Age comics and further opened up myworld with tales of ancient comic book lore.

In the summer of 1966, when I was 11, my family moved fromOhio to South Florida for my mother’s health. In West Palm Beachin 1967 I made friends with Larry Calvert, a schoolmate who was aMarvel collector and a talented artist. Larry, Carol, and Frank werereally it for me, in my world, the lonely comic-collecting secretuniverse. I had also made friends through the mail and over thephone with Howard Rogofsky from his ads in Marvel comics.Howard sold me “less than perfect” Golden Age comics cheap (onmy budget). He was really nice and honest and probably didn’tmake any money from me, but made me one happy kid.

I was 13 in December 1968. As a Christmas gift, Frank Kelley

bought me asubscription tosomething calledRBCC, theRocket’s Blast &Comic-Collector,and my worldbegan to change.My first issuewas #61, with the great John Fantucchio’s Amazing-Mancover. The ads for old comics, articles, and artwork really blew mymind. Three more issues arrived through the summer of 1969. Itwas hard to wait the two months between issues, each one betterthan the last.

In RBCC #65, I saw an ad for the “South Florida ComicsCouncil,” a club forming in Miami. I excitedly called the phonenumber and talked to a guy named Andy Warner. The next day,Andy and artist Jon Farwell made the drive all the way up to WestPalm Beach to meet me. They dropped off a Care package of ECcomics, fanzines, Witzend, Graphic Story Magazine, and a wholebunch of stuff that filled me with a new sense of wonder. I was inawe, seeing those beautiful pro-printed fanzines with Wood,Frazetta, Crandall, and Bodé for the first time. Truly a “gosh-wowgolly-gee-whiz” moment for me.

Later that month, on a Saturday morning, I took a Greyhoundbus to Miami to the first club meeting and met a whole slew offans. It was something I never imagined: a group of people like me,openly into comic books. Attending were Jon Farwell and AndyWarner (of course), artist Mike McKenney, fan editor and publisherGary Brown... and G.B. Love. Andy led the meeting, and wedecided to put on a one day convention in December. It was verygratifying to be accepted by this group and to actually be made aboard member. Andy and his family invited me to stay over, and Iwas surprised when G.B. asked if I wanted to come to the SFCAoffices the next day (Sunday) and work in the office. I remembersaying, “What does that mean?” and G.B. and Andy chuckling.Andy said, “You’ll get paid for it. I’ll be working too, I work forG.B. all the time!” G.B. laughed and said, “What, you think I’dmake you work for free?” It was an amazing thing: my first payingjob ever, and for working on a fanzine.

I had quite an experience at G.B.’s place the next day. Welistened to an audio recording of the Adventures of Captain Marvelmovie serial, and I typed subscriber addresses on file cards andhelped open mail. There was always a lot of mail to open, as well

Hatchet Job(Above:) G.B. Love’s first step in establishing a comic book club in Florida was placing this announcement

in the classified ad section of RBCC #65 (1969).

(Right:) According to the caption in RBCC #77, where this photo appeared: “Ye editor welcoming local fanJohn Ellis to the SFCA offices. Proof-positive that fans are always welcome.” Photo by Andy Warner. John

Ellis adds, “G.B. just got his C.C. Beck ‘Conan’ battle axe and wanted to try it out... on me!!! Note C.C. Beck‘Buck Rogers’ blaster on the wall above our heads. It was actually only half of the gun, to be able to fit flat

against the wall for display.”

Let’s Call This Meeting To Order!First meeting of the Southern Florida Comiclub, at Andy Warner’s house,September 1969. Clockwise from front left corner: unknown fan’s head,

G.B. Love (adjusting his collar), unknown fan, Andy Warner (white shirt,leading meeting), fan artist Mike McKenney, Gary Brown. Photo courtesy

of John Ellis.

Gordon Belljohn Love Changed My Life 55

Page 16: Alter Ego #140
Page 17: Alter Ego #140

The Ghost ArmyNTRODUCTION: Last issue, we began the story of RayHarford (b. 1920), who attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn,where he met fellow aspiring artists Bob Boyajian, Vic Dowd,

and Ken Bald. These “Four Musketeers” also became friends withyoung Kurt Schaffenberger.

In 1941, the five of them were among several others who went towork for already-veteran artist Jack Binder at his comic book studio,a converted barn in Englewood, New Jersey. While that “comicshop” produced material for several companies, it increasinglyconcentrated on turning out artwork for Fawcett Publications’burgeoning comics line. [NOTE: Interviews with Boyajian, Dowd,and Bald appeared in Alter Ego #55, still available fromTwoMorrows Publishing.]

By 1942, Harford and Boyajian were working in Fawcett’s ownart department to help meet the demand for more tales about thecompany’s ultra-popular feature “Captain Marvel.” Harford provedto be so good at drawing the World’s Mightiest Moral that some ofhis art has beenmistaken for thework of MarcSwayze, theprimary artistwho drew the“CaptainMarvel” materialnot penciled bythe hero’s co-creator, C.C.Beck. But WorldWar II wasraging, and therewere moreimportant thingsto do than drawcomic books….

II

Fawcett ArtistRAY HARFORD

& The Ghost ArmyPart II

From War To Wendell Crowleyby P.C. Hamerlinck

Ray Harford1942, before his stint in theU.S. Army—and its Ghost

Army. A fuller version of thisphoto was printed last issue.

75

“We Shall Both Return!”(Above:) Ray Harford’s original artwork for the cover of Whiz Comics #31 (June

1942) featuring General Douglas MacArthur, which he later watercolored for a presentation piece in his personal art portfolio… and (at left) a smallthumbnail scan of the printed cover. [Shazam hero TM & © DC Comics.]

Page 18: Alter Ego #140

ALTER EGO #140Golden Age great IRWIN HASEN spotlight, adapted from DANMAKARA’s film documentary on Hasen, the 1940s artist of theJustice Society, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Wildcat,Holyoke’s Cat-Man, and numerous other classic heroes—and,for 30 years, the artist of the famous DONDI newspaper strip!Bonus art by his buddies JOE KUBERT, ALEX TOTH, CARMINEINFANTINO, and SHELLY MAYER!

(84-page FULL-COLOR magazine) $8.95 (Digital Edition) $3.95

http://twomorrows.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=98_55&products_id=1234

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS PREVIEW,CLICK THE LINK TO ORDER THIS

ISSUE IN PRINT OR DIGITAL FORMAT!