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$ 5.95 In the USA No.28 September 2003 JOE MANEELY 1950s Timely/Marvel Great Characters TM & ©2003 Marvel Characters, Inc.

Alter Ego #28

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Covers feature a JOE MANEELY montage of 1950s Marvel (Sub-Mariner, Ringo Kid, Black Knight, et al.), and DON NEWTON (Captain Marvel and Mr. Mind)! An in-depth study of JOE MANEELY, the Timely/Atlas/Marvel titan of the 1950s - plus an interview with Joe’s daughter, and tons of magnificent Maneely art! Rare Marvel art from the 1950s by BILL EVERETT, JOHN SEVERIN, STEVE DITKO, JACK KIRBY, JOHN ROMITA, and the whole blamed bullpen! Double-size FCA (Fawcett Collectors of America) section with C.C. BECK, MARC SWAYZE, STEVE SKEATES, The Shazam!/Isis Hour, and The Monster Society of Evil! LEE AMES, Golden Age artist for Quality, the Iger Studios, and pre-New Trend EC - in a fascinating interview by JIM AMASH! Plus: ALEX TOTH - MICHAEL T. GILBERT - BILL SCHELLY interviews Squa Tront’s JOHN BENSON (Part II) - and MORE!!!

Text of Alter Ego #28

  • $5.95In the USA




    1950s Timely/Marvel Great

    Characters TM & 2003 Marvel Characters, Inc.

  • Alter EgoTM is published monthly by TwoMorrows, 1812 Park Drive, Raleigh, NC 27605, USA. Phone: (919) 833-8092. Roy Thomas, Editor. John Morrow, Publisher. Alter Ego Editorial Offices: Rt. 3, Box 468, St. Matthews, SC 29135, USA. Fax: (803) 826-6501; e-mail: [email protected] Send subscription funds to TwoMorrows, NOT to the editorial offices. Single issues:$8 ($10 Canada, $11.00 elsewhere). Twelve-issue subscriptions: $60 US, $120 Canada, $132 elsewhere. All characters are theirrespective companies. All material their creators unless otherwise noted. All editorial matter Roy Thomas. Alter Ego is a TM ofRoy & Dann Thomas. FCA is a TM of P.C. Hamerlinck. Printed in Canada.


    This issue is dedicated to the memory ofJoe & Betty Jean Maneely

    and Pierce Rice

    JOE MANEELY& The Atlas Age of Comics!

    ContentsWriter/Editorial: Mighty Joe Maneely . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2WHAT IF-Joe Maneely Had Lived and Drawn

    in the Marvel Age? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Dr. Michael J. Vassallo takes a year-by-year look at the life and legend of this remarkable artist!

    My Father, Joe Maneely . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42Nancy Maneely talks about the father she loves, but hardly knew.

    Joe Was the Best! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45Stan Lee looks back 45 years, and remembers one of Timelys greatest artists ever!

    A Golden/Silver/Bronze Age Potpourri . . . . . . . . . . . . . Flip Us!About Our Cover: Our peerless publisher John Morrow designed this marvelous (or perhapswe should say timely) montage of five of the comic book characters most associated with JoeManeelyan artist who, because of the era in which he did most of his work (the 1950s), neverdrew a single flat-out super-hero story! John assembled the cover from a photo supplied by Joesdaughter, and color photocopies or original comics provided by Doc Vassallo and Roy Thomas.Even though we shortchanged the horror tales which were one of Maneelys most prolificgenres, we think it captures something of the spirit of that remarkable talent. And here wethought John Morrow was just another pretty faceno, wait, thats his wife Pam! [Art 2003Marvel Characters, Inc.; photo courtesy of Nancy Maneely.]

    Above: Ye Editor makes no apologies for preferring Maneelys work on three issues (and fivecovers) of the 1955-56 Black Knight to anything else he ever did. When you put out your ownmagazine, you can spotlight Ringo Kid or Combat Kelly or Yellow Claw or a creeping corpseor Dippy Duck, for all we care! Theyre all great! To paraphrase Stan LeeNuff said![2003 Marvel Characters, Inc.] Above panel from Black Knight #1 by Lee and Maneely.

    Vol. 3, No. 28 / September 2003

    Editor Roy Thomas

    Associate EditorsBill SchellyJim Amash

    Design & LayoutChristopher Day

    Consulting EditorJohn Morrow

    FCA EditorP.C. Hamerlinck

    Comic Crypt EditorMichael T. Gilbert

    Editors EmeritusJerry Bails (founder)Ronn Foss, Biljo White,Mike Friedrich

    Production AssistantEric Nolen-Weathington

    Cover ArtistsJoe ManeelyDon Newton

    Cover ColoristsTom ZiukoDon Newton

    And Special Thanks to:Lee AmesGer ApeldoornTerry AustinMike W. BarrAlberto BecattiniJohn BensonBill BlackSteve BrumbaughMike BurkeyTony CerezoScott DeschaineJaime EchevarriaCarl GaffordStan GoldbergWalt GroganGeorge HagenauerJohn Haufe, Jr.Mark & Stephanie

    HeikeLarry IvieEd Jaster

    Mort LeavStan LeeMark LewisNancy ManeelyScotty MooreBrian K. MorrisAnthony NewtonJohn PettySteven RoweJohn SeverinMarie SeverinSteve SkeatesJeff SmithRobin SnyderMarc & June

    SwayzeDr. Michael J.

    VassalloHames WareTom Wimbish

  • by Dr. Michael J. Vassallo[AUTHORS INTRO: On April 16th,as this issue was being assembled, BettyJean Maneely, the widow of Joe Maneely,passed away after an extended illness.Over the years I had written to Bettymany times, often encouraged by myfriend Nancy, Joe's youngest daughter.Nancy assured me that my letters wereappreciated and read by her mom, butshe doubted that they would ever beanswered, as Betty rarely spoke about herlate husband, especially to someonewhom she had never met. As predicted,my letters were not answered. In thoseletters I had expressed my admiration forher husband's work. I talked about his unique art style and prodigiousoutput, and I asked about particular recollections and memories abouthis career, trying to explain to her how truly important her husband

    was to the fullhistory of MarvelComics. I wantedher to understandthat, despite thepassage of years,when you studythe history of thismedium, specifi-cally the history ofMarvel in thedecade of the1950s, you startand stop with asingle name: JoeManeely.

    [With this issue's long-overdue lookat Timely/Atlas titan Joe Maneely, Ihoped Betty would have come to realizethis. With the passing of this strong andbeautiful woman, I like to think Joeand his Betty Jean are finally backtogether again. MJV.]

    [NOTE: Unless otherwise indicated, allart accompanying this article is fromphotocopies of vintage comic booksprovided by the author.]

    Overview: The Fabulous 50sThe decade of the 1950s was a strange

    period of unique dichotomy in thiscountry. On the one hand, the American people were enjoying abooming postwar prosperity. The G.I. Bill had helped the returningheroes of the Second World War on the road to a hopeful future in thenew decade. The great evil had been conquered, industry was soaring,and a new medium,television, was a-borning.

    At the sametime, however, apervasive feeling ofuncertainty wasevident. A ColdWar with ourformer ally wasbecomingentrenched, andthe world wasbeing dividedinto an us vs.

    WHAT IF... JOE MANEELYHad Lived and Drawn in the

    Marvel Age of Comics?A Year-by-Year Look at the Life and Times of One of Timely/Atlas Greatest Artists

    The Life and Times of One of Timely/Atlas Greatest Artists 3

    Okay, so the above photo (which alsoappears on our cover) was taken while JoeManeely was in the Navy, a year or three

    before he drew his first comic book in1948but hes in civvies and hes at the

    drawing board, so what the hey! Flankingthis caption are two great Maneely covers:

    Adventures into Weird Worlds #25 (Jan.1954) and Sub-Mariner #37 (Dec. 1954).

    Joes foray into super-heroics wasatypicalbut his horror covers adorned

    myriad Timely fear-fests! Photo courtesy ofJoes daughter, Nancy Maneely. [Art 2003

    Marvel Characters, Inc.]

  • them scenario, with a concurrentbuild-up of weapons that werecapable of destroying this fragileplanet many times over. A newpolice action war was beginning inKorea, and as the decade progressed,a distinct, almost palpable uneasinesswas clearly evident.

    A close study of the time willreveal that this uncertainty was alsoreflected in many aspects of popularculture. Films spawned Cold Warthrillers and radioactively-inducedB-movie monsters. In the musicindustry there would be an explosionof youth culture musici.e., rock nrollfurther worrying an alreadyconcerned adult populace.

    Its no surprise, then, that thecomic book industry would likewisereflect these diverse trends. TheGolden Age of Comic Books wanedwith the return of our boys from thewar in 1945. By the late 1940s, assuper-heroes began to fade from thenewsstands, they were replaced bygenres reflecting an audience withchanging and divergent tastes. Crime,romance, horror, and war titlesjoined the humorous ones alreadybeing published. At Timely Comics,a major publisher of the Golden Age,the editor-in-chief was a precociouswunderkind named Stan Lee, whohad been at the helm since 1941 andwhose cousin Jean was married tothe publisher, Martin Goodman.

    Let me start with a little history....

    Firstthe Fightin 40sBy 1950 Timelys super-hero

    titles, a major force during the boomwar years, were all defunct. Previously, along with Marvel MysteryComics, Captain America, Human Torch, Sub-Mariner, et al., humorcomics (both funny-animal and teen) had filled the stands, as well.Teen titles had eventually eclipsed the funny-animal books, and by about1946 had even overtaken the super-hero titles in sales and popularity. By1947, with super-hero sales declining, Timely had expanded in otherdirectionsfirst crime, followed by westerns, romance, and, by 1949,horror.

    There was a last attempt in 1948 to jumpstart super-heroes again withthe quick introduction of new titles like Namora, Sun Girl, a secondAll Winners, The Witness, Venus, and Blackstone, but all except theever-adaptable Venus were quickly gone. Similarly, Marvel Boy, agorgeous science-fiction-based feature drawn by Russ Heath, then BillEverett, attempted in 1950 to cash in on the sf/horror trend and lastedtwo issues in his own title and another four after a title change toAstonishing before bowing out to the more popular all-horror format.

    Creator-wise, Timely originally (starting in 1939) bought theirfeatures from the Lloyd Jacquet shop, Funnies, Inc., and from the HarryA Chesler shop. But, almost immediately, Martin Goodman, Timelys

    publisher, tried to wean hiscompany from the shops bystarting an in-house staff. Simonand Kirby, followed by Syd Shores,Al Avison, Fred Bell, Don Rico, AlGabrielle, Mike Sekowsky, GeorgeKlein, Allen Bellman, and a score ofothers joined a staff that wouldcreate and produce material in-house. Timelys earliest creators,Bill Everett and Carl Burgos, bothJacquet shop alumni, continued tofreelance for Goodman, and Burgosjoined the staff only at the end ofthe decade. By mid-1942, twodistinct bullpens were operating,one turning out the myriad super-hero titles, and the other turningout the humor titles.

    When Stan Lee went into theservice in the summer of 1942,Vince Fago, a funny-animalfreelancer, assumed the editor-in-chief mantle. This coincided withthe boom in humor titles, as Fago, aformer Fleischer animator,continued to draw numerousfunny-animal features concurrentwith his editorial duties. ComedyComics, Joker Comics, KrazyComics, and Terry-Toons all beganappearing in mid 1942. Fagos initialhumor staff consisted of ErnieHart, Al Jaffee, Ed Winiarski,George Klein, Kin Platt, JimMooney, Moe Worth, Mike

    Sekowsky, David Gantz, and later Frank Carin. Chad Grothkopf, andDave Berg freelanced, as did Basil Wolverton; Milt Stein was an evenlater freelancer. There was also a lot of crossing over, as many of thehumor artists (such as Mike Sekowsky, George Klein, David Gantz, andFred Bell) frequently worked on super-hero scripts. Pvt. Stan Leecontinued to send in scripts from where he was stationed in NorthCarolina.

    Following the war, as sales peaked, the years chugged along as Timelychurned out titles and features by the carload with an ever-changingbullpen staff, which by 1948 included Gene Colan and John Buscema.

    It is into this milieu that Joe Maneely stepped in mid-1949.

    Joe ManeelyA Man for a Decade

    Ask anyone who reads and collects comic books today who JoeManeely was, and youre likely to get a blank stare. Put the question tosomeone with a marginal knowledge of comic book history, and you

    4 Joe Maneely

    Rarer than rare! This original cover art for Black Knight #5 (April 1956)was featured in the Christies East Comic Collectibles catalog for a 1993

    auction. Not only is original Maneely art extremely scarcebut, because of reprintings by Marvel, Black Knight is today the best-known of his

    work. As for the Atlas globe symbol enlarged at right: from 1951 to 1957 it identified not only Martin Goodmans distribution company, butas

    far as most readers at the time were concernedhis comic book company,as well. The name Timely was all but forgotten outside the industry.

    [2003 Marvel Characters, Inc.]

  • may get a glimmerof recognitionpertaining toMarvels 1955Black Knightseries. Thats aboutit, and even thatwill probably bebecause Marvelreprinted some ofthose stories in thelate 1960s and early1970s, and again inthe 1997 tradepaperback TheGolden Age of Marvel (Vol. 1). What most peopledont realize is that, with the stars aligned a littledifferently 45 years ago, the birth of the MarvelUniverse as we know it might have been vastlydifferent.

    Maneely was Stan Lees star artist for most of the1950s, during what is known as the Atlas period ofMarvel Comics history. Atlas, a name derived fromMartin Goodmans distribution company and easilyidentified by a small globe on the cover, was byfar the industry leader in quantity of titles and issues published in thefirst 3/4 of the decade. Dell/Western sold more books, but no one had asmany redundant titles on the stands as Goodmans Atlas. With Lee aseditor-in-chief, every imaginable type of comic book was published,flooding the market with score after score of books utilizing a hugestable of freelancers, many of them comic book royalty.

    Joe Maneely was born in Pennsylvania on February 18, 1926, the sonof Robert and Gertrude Maneely and one of at least five children. Hegrew up in Philadelphia, where the Maneelys were poor, and attendedAscension BVM Elementary School, often embarrassed to go to schoolin worn, patched clothing. At North Catholic High School, he

    cartooned for the North Catholic newspaper, creating an original mascotcharacter The Red Falcon before dropping out in his sophomore year.The Red Falcon was also drawn as a comic strip for the schoolnewspaper and remained the schools mascot for decades; perhaps it stillis. Gertrude Maneely, a strong and proud woman, gave her son anultimatum: either return to school or ship out, which meant join theservice. Maneely chose the latter and served three years as a specialist invisual aids for the U.S. Navy, contributing cartoons to his shipsnewspapers.

    Upon discharge from the Navy, he married Elizabeth Kane, hischildhood sweetheart, in 1947. Joe was 21 and Betty Jean was 20.Taking advantage of the G.I. Bill, he began studies at PhiladelphiasHussian School of Art, where he met fellow artist George Ward. They

    Joe Maneelys Navy portrait photo, taken at age 17 (in 1943), juxtaposed with a comic strip he did for a Navynewspaper sometime by 1946. Both courtesy of Nancy Maneely. [2003 the respective copyright holder.]

    The Life and Times of One of Timely/Atlas Greatest Artists 5

    Doc Vassallo tells us these stories represent some of Maneelys earliest work for Street & Smith, and thus his debut in comic books.All three stories appeared in Red Dragon #5 (Oct.-Nov. 1948). [2003 the respective copyright holder.]

  • both entered the world of newspaper advertising art, and Joes firstprofessional stint was in the Philadelphia Bulletins advertising artdepartment. Maneely also made a trip to San Francisco to paint a muralfor a restaurant, the details of which are sadly lost.

    1948Rice and Red DragonsNewlyweds Joe and Betty Jean lived in an apartment on Algard Street

    in Philadelphia, and in 1948 Joe began his comic book career at Street &Smith on titles like Red Dragon, Ghostbreakers, The Shadow, andSuper Magician Comics, at the age of 22. Features he drew at Street &Smith included Tao Anwar, Dr. Savant, Russell Swan, DjangoJinks - Ghost Chaser, Butterfingers, Nick Carter, PublicDefender, Roger Kilgore,Supersnipe, Mario Nette, andUlysses Q. Wacky.

    It was also here that Maneely met artistPeggy Zangerle. At some point Joe, Peggy,and George Ward formed a studio. Thereexists a piece of office letterhead bearingthe title Joe Maneely, Adventure Comicsat the address 3160 Kensington Avenue,Rm. 501, in the Flo-Mar building inPhiladelphia. The exact dates of the studiohave eluded me, but Joe possibly used itfor all his work prior to his future move toNew York.

    George Ward, a fellow graduate of theHussian School of Art in Philadelphia andan artist for magazines and newspapers,including the New York Daily News andthe Philadelphia Bulletin, would be alifelong friend. Ward also would becomean assistant to Walt Kelly on the Pogocomic strip for most of the 1950s.According to Ron Goulart, at Street &Smith Maneely was very possibly influ-enced by noted pulp illustrator EddCartier, who did a brief feature or twocoinciding with Maneelys tenure there,particularly in developing Maneelysdistinctive inking technique. [NOTE: SeeAlex Toths comments on Edd Cartiernext issue. Roy.] The Street & Smithwork was vibrant and energetic, traits thatwould serve him well in the future. Hisdistinctive inking style is clearly evident,though not yet as bold, and while thepanels lack the degree of detail that

    Maneelys work would later exhibit, the overall effect is ofa talented young artist at an early age (22) and early stageof his career, a career that brimmed with promise.

    1949The Tail-End of the Storied TimelyBullpen

    In addition to Street & Smith, Maneely briefly dabbledat Pflaum (on Treasure Chest) before settling in atGoodman and Lees nascent Atlas sometime toward themiddle of 1949. Older credit listings placing him atHillman and Superior (on crime features) in 1949 are likelyincorrect. Similarly, some recent Maneely-like inkingexamples spotted in panels of 1949 issues of ToytownsWanted (on features otherwise drawn by Maurice Del

    Bourgo) are inconclusive as of this writing, and most likely not Maneely.

    Joe Maneely began work at Timely towards the tail-end of the storiedTimely bullpen, at a time when Martin Goodman expanded his line inwhat is known as the romance and western glut. Following anindustry-wide trend, Goodman flooded the market in 1949 with a delugeof titles. Westerns, recently introduced at Timely, appeared out ofnowhere, but even more prevalent was the glut of romance titles. In1949-50 alone, 33 romance titles debuted over a 12-month period.Eighteen of them lasted only two issues, and five lasted a single issue,before being canceled. The demand for story art was at an all-time high.A large bullpen was churning out stories for scores of titles and, as willshortly be seen, actually producing more than was necessary. Unlike the

    romance glut, Timelys western glutwas much more controlled andobviously character-driven. Titlesadded stayed around longer andprovided a fertile ground for thenewly-arrived Joe Maneely toblossom quickly.

    By all appearances, Maneely madehis Timely/Atlas debut in WesternOutlaws and Sheriffs #60 (coverdate Dec. 1949) in the lead storyThe Kansas Massacre of 1864job#6760, as identified by the minusculenumbers which appeared on thesplash pages of most Atlas-erastories. (Job number, also writtenjob #, is the term often used forstory [script] codes that appear onthe splash page of everyTimely/Atlas story from roughly1946 through 1963. They wereusually handed out in order, butcould appear out of sequence frommonth to month, for various reasons.They went from 1 to 1001, andthen added a letter-prefix A-1 toA-999, then B, C, etc., up toX in 1963; a few letters such asI, N, Q, R, U, and Wwere left out, most likely to avoidconfusion. Job numbers can be usedto sort the order in which storieswere drawn by a particular artist.) InManeelys case, job #6760 was eightpages of pencils and inks, and hisskill as a storyteller is dramatically

    This office letterhead, says Doc V., was drawn by Joe prior to his move to New Yorkprobablyduring the time he shared a studio with George Ward and Peggy Zangerle. Twould seems

    Maneelys trademark style was already pretty much intact by 1948! [2003 Estate of Joe Maneely.]

    6 Joe Maneely

    Probably Joes first work for Timely/Atlas was this story for WesternOutlaws and Sheriffs #60 (Dec. 49). The psychiatrist listed atop the

    splash page was part of Atlas window-dressing during theWertham, pre-Code era. [2003 Marvel Characters, Inc.]

  • Like my friend MichaelVassallo, I have asked thequestion, What if...?

    My reflections on thesubject are personal, andmainly speculative. Theyare based on fragments ofinformation Ive managedto piece together about myfather, Joe Maneely, fromthe many friends and lovedones who respected andadmired the man and theartist.

    I have no consciousmemory of my father, who

    was only 32 when he died inJune 1958, leaving his widowBetty Jean and three

    daughters: Kathleen, age 8; Mary Carole, 7; and me, the two-year-oldbaby. My mother assures me, however, that I missed my dad terribly.For weeks after he died, I would call out Doe! Doe! in my baby voice(in imitation of my mothers calling Joe to the dinner table).

    After my sisters were born, my mother went on to suffer two miscar-riages before I came along. My birth was dangerous and difficult forboth mother and baby. Joe stated firmly there would be no morechildren, but Mom felt differently;she believes I might have hadseveral younger siblings, had myfather lived.

    Im told I was my daddysmuch-loved and fussed-over babygirl. He insisted on taking meeverywhere with him. I even hadmy own special booster seat, whichhooked over the passenger seatbackand came complete with a littlesteering wheel (child safety deviceswere not a part of consumerculture yet!).

    My most cherished piece oforiginal art is a hand-inkedcaricature of baby Nancy (me!)against a giant shamrock backdrop(I was born the day after St.Paddys Day, 1956). There I am,wearing a diaper, cowboy hat, andholster, and my fathers black-framed eyeglasses askew. I dontknow which of my dads co-workers in the bullpen had

    drawn the card. It reads: Heigh-ho, Daddy-O! Congratulations toBetty Jean and Daddy Joe! It was signed by Stan Lee and the rest of theAtlas gang.

    I have in my possession a meager collection of my fathers originalartwork. There would have been moremuch morebut for a 1960sflood in the basement of my mothers house that destroyed a trunk filledwith Joe Maneely panels and sketches. Not to mention hundreds ofcomic books that disappeared over the years. (I have been rebuilding acollection of my dads comic books, painstakingly, in recent years. I havesome 125 books, acquired from flea markets, comic book stores, onlineauctionsand from my friend Michael.)

    Other treasures include a set of three framed pen-and-ink cowboypanels signed by Joe Maneely. They once graced his home office. Thetwo smaller panels hang in my guest roomwe call it The CowboyRoom. The third and largest picture takes pride of place at my sonshome. Westerns were my fathers favorite theme (at least until The BlackKnight came along to capture his imagination), and so I cherish thesewonderful pieces.

    In the years following my fathers untimely death, Mom struggled toraise us three girls. It was tough. In the 50s and 60s the working worldwas not clamoring for unskilled housewives seeking gainfulemployment. My dad had left us virtually penniless. In the mid-1950s,

    My Father, Joe Maneely

    Westerns were my fathers favorite theme, Nancy says,at least till The Black Knight came along to capture his

    imagination. Heres an early Maneely Black Rider splash,from BR #10 (Sept. 50), while Joe was still honing his

    craftand Sir Percy of Scandia donning the dark armor forthe first time after being given it by Merlin the Magician, in

    Black Knight #1. [2003 Marvel Characters, Inc.]

    42 Nancy Maneely

    A Loving Daughter Talks aboutthe Father She Never Got a Chance to Knowby Nancy Maneely

    Wedding photo of Joe and Betty JeanManeely, 1947. Courtesy of Nancy Maneely.

  • [NOTE: In June 2003, as this issue was in preparation, I mentionedone of its principal subjectsartist legend Joe Maneelyto my 1960s-70s Marvel Comics boss Stan Lee in an e-mail, and asked if Stanmight wish to write a few words about him. I was very pleased toreceive the following from him a few hours later. Roy.]

    Damn, I wish I had more time.

    Ive got a dozen things to finish by tonight, and then next week isfilled with meetings and interviews, so if I dont bat something out foryou now, I never will.

    All I can say, which Ive said so often in the past, isto me, Joe wasthe best! I mean the all-time, unconditional, absolute best. He coulddraw anythingand handle it magnificently. He was the fastest artist Ihad ever workedwith, bar none. Hispenciling looked likea bunch of hastilyscrawled stick figures(which he did in notime at all), and thenhed take pen in handand speedily drawover them as if hewas tracing somegreat illos thatnobody else could seeon that sheet ofpaper.

    His versatility wasunmatched. He didfunny strips (ourMrs. Lyons Cubs,which was syndicatedin a ton ofnewspapers justbefore his death), hedid epic artwork likeThe Black Knight,westerns like TheRingo Kid, horrorlike dozens of stripswhose names Iveforgotten, romance,waryou name it,he did itandusually better thananyone else.

    Not only was his penciling superb, but nobody could ink like Joe.His ability to use blacks for drama, for emphasis, and for design wasalmost supernatural. Unfortunately, theres no way I could try to tellyou how fast he inked, because you wouldnt believe me! The incrediblybeautiful black lines and shadings just seemed to appear on the pages likemagic.

    To top it off, Joe was the nicest, pleasantest, friendliest guy imagi-nable to work with. Not a trace of temperament or conceit did he have.He made every project we worked on seem like fun. He made it all seemeasy. There was never any strain or pressure. When he had something todraw (like all the time), he drew it speedily, magnificently, and seeminglyeffortlessly.

    I used to feel that if I had a whole team of Maneelys thered benothing we couldnt have accomplished. In fact, even with one JoeManeely, in time we could have taken over the whole comic book world!

    Oh, dont let me forget that he was also easily as adept at working

    Joe WasThe Best!


    Stan singles out Black Knight and Ringo Kid as two particularly memorable Timely/Atlas features drawn by Joe, and we heartilyconcur. The splendidly noble and evocative splash for the Lee-scripted, Maneely-illustrated Black Knight #1 (May 1955) was reprinted

    in Fantasy Masterpieces #11 (Oct. 1967), and introduced a new generation of comics readers to the marvelous talent that was JoeManeely. Of the many, many fine Ringo Kid pages he drew, heres the splash of an origin story for the Kids stallion Arab, from issue #2

    (Oct. 54). Thanks to Doc Vassallo. [2003 Marvel Characters, Inc.]

    Joe Maneely (left) and Stan Lee look over a Sunday pagefor Mrs. Lyons Cubs, 1958. Courtesy of Nancy Maneely.

    Stan Lee 45

  • $5.95In the USA

    $5.95In the USA












    d TM






  • Alter EgoTM is published monthly by TwoMorrows, 1812 Park Drive, Raleigh, NC 27605, USA. Phone: (919) 833-8092. Roy Thomas, Editor. John Morrow, Publisher. Alter Ego Editorial Offices: Rt. 3, Box 468, St. Matthews, SC 29135, USA. Fax: (803) 826-6501; e-mail: [email protected] Send subscription funds to TwoMorrows, NOT to the editorial offices. Single issues:$8 ($10 Canada, $11.00 elsewhere). Twelve-issue subscriptions: $60 US, $120 Canada, $132 elsewhere. All characters are theirrespective companies. All material their creators unless otherwise noted. All editorial matter Roy Thomas. Alter Ego is a TM ofRoy & Dann Thomas. FCA is a TM of P.C. Hamerlinck. Printed in Canada.


    A Golden/Silver/Bronze Age Potpourri!Contents

    Writer/Editorial: Showing Our Age(s) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2The Family of Cartoonists Is My Family! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Golden Age artist Lee Ames talks to Jim Amash about Iger, Timely, and others.

    A Talk with John Benson (Part II) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19Squa Tronts editor tells Bill Schelly about Post-EC Comic Fandomand why Harvey Kurtzman left Mad!

    Spot That Style!! (Part II) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27Michael T. Gilbert shows what Golden Age greats drew when times where lean.

    A Brief Tribute to Pierce Rice. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34re: [correspondence & corrections] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35FCA (Fawcett Collectors of America) #87 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39P.C. Hamerlinck presents Marc Swayze, Steve Skeates, and the 1980s Monster Society of Evil!

    Joe Maneely & The Atlas Age of Comics! . . . . . . . . . . . . Flip Us!About Our Cover & the Above Illo: From 1978-81, new pro artist Don Newton had a balldrawing the Shazam! feature in Worlds Finest Comics, and in 1979 he executed a gorgeouspainting of Captain Marvel and his arch-foe Mr. Mind for renowned X-Men inker TerryAustin. Ever since Terry kindly sent us a copy of same, weve been looking for an opportunity touse it as a color cover on an issue of Alter Egowith due thanks to Dons son, AnthonyNewton, for his permission. By contrast, the above drawing of Cap dropping in on Mr. Mindand a pair of his minions from the original 1943-45 Monster Society serial was done in theearly 1970s and appeared in the RBCC Special #8 at that timewhen it was still Dons distantdream to professionally draw his favorite hero, let alone a full-blown Monster Society sequel.What a difference a few years made! [Cover & above illo 2003 Estate of Don Newton; CaptainMarvel & Mr. Mind TM & 2003 DC Comics.]

    This issue is dedicated to the memory ofJoe & Betty Jean Maneely

    and Pierce Rice

    Vol. 3, No. 28 / September 2003

    Editor Roy Thomas

    Associate EditorsBill SchellyJim Amash

    Design & LayoutChristopher Day

    Consulting EditorJohn Morrow

    FCA EditorP.C. Hamerlinck

    Comic Crypt EditorMichael T. Gilbert

    Editors EmeritusJerry Bails (founder)Ronn Foss, Biljo White,Mike Friedrich

    Production AssistantEric Nolen-Weathington

    Cover ArtistsJoe ManeelyDon Newton

    Cover ColoristsTom ZiukoDon Newton

    And Special Thanks to:Lee AmesGer ApeldoornTerry AustinMike W. BarrAlberto BecattiniJohn BensonBill BlackSteve BrumbaughMike BurkeyTony CerezoScott DeschaineJaime EchevarriaCarl GaffordStan GoldbergWalt GroganGeorge HagenauerJohn Haufe, Jr.Mark & Stephanie

    HeikeLarry IvieEd Jaster

    Mort LeavStan LeeMark LewisNancy ManeelyScotty MooreBrian K. MorrisAnthony NewtonJohn PettySteven RoweJohn SeverinMarie SeverinSteve SkeatesJeff SmithRobin SnyderMarc & June

    SwayzeDr. Michael J.

    VassalloHames WareTom Wimbish

  • Conducted & Transcribed by Jim Amash[INTERVIEWERS NOTE: Lee Ames tells stories as well as hedraws them. His presence at various comic book companies over theyears enables him to comment on some of the all-time greats in thehistory of the medium. Still working at age 82, Lee continues a vitallygifted art career, of which we can give you only a taste. For more,visit his web-sites and , and indulge in the work of a master craftsman. Special thanks for their help to Lee, and to Jerry Bails, Tom Wimbish, and Dr. Michael J. Vassallo. Jim.]

    The One Thing I Could Do above Everything Else Was Draw

    JIM AMASH: In looking over your biography, I see you spent time atseveral different comic companies, so I figure the best place to start isto ask where and when you were born... and what got you interestedin art.

    LEE AMES: I was born in Manhattan, New York, on January 8, 1921.The name on my birth certificate read Male Abramowitz. Eight dayslater, I was given my first name, Leon. Twenty-five years later welegalized my nom de plume, Lee J. Ames.

    From as far back as I can remember, the one thing I could do aboveeverything else was draw. There was never any question that this waswhat I was going to do. My father, however, always said I should learn atrade and become a tailor, like he wasor something like that

    Many Jewish immigrants came over to America and got into theneedle trades, as they called it then. My father was a presser and laterbought a store in the throes of the Depression. How he was able to getthe $400 to buy the store is still a mystery, but he didnt steal it. [laughs]As was needed, he hired a tailor or furrier. Meanwhile, he managed tohold two or more outside jobs, day and night, to pay the store workersand keep us alive and eating. My mother would tend to the customersand I would make deliveries. We also lived in three small rooms behindthe store. But we were too busy to consider these things unusuallytough.

    Later, after we had sold the store, at a loss, we moved to the Bronx.There, on a visit to the local public library, I saw a book by WashingtonIrving entitled The Knickerbocker History of New York, with illustra-tions by James Dougherty. Those illustrations just knocked me over. Atthat point I decided I wanted to be an artist, an illustrator, just likeDougherty. The first job I had, for a short period of time in 1938, was at

    an advertising agency as a go-fer. Then I got another job with a sign-manufacturing company under the Third Avenue El [short for elevatedtrain]. It was a very grimy, Dickensian place. Along with a bunch ofother kids, I painted signboards and ground, cut, polished, and paintedmetal and wooden letters for the Ross Sign Company.

    Firebrand splash page drawn by Lee Ames for Qualitys Police Comics #10 (July 1942). Well, actually, all art from that Golden Age story printed with thisinterview are taken from Men of Mystery Comics #23 (2000), with grey tones

    and art restoration done by the caring crew at AC Comics, and used by permission of publisher Bill Black. See AC Comics ad elsewhere in this issue. [Restored art

    2003 AC Comics. Firebrand is TM & 2003 DC Comics.]

    The Family ofCartoonists Is My Family!Lee Ames in arecent photo.

    Lee Ames 3

    Golden Age Artist LEE AMES Talks about a Long and Lively Career

    [Self-caricature2003 Lee Ames.]

  • At the suggestion of ateacher at my high school,I applied for a job withDisney. I sent my samplesto the Disney Studio inHollywood and got thejob! And exciting thingsstarted happening... notthe least of which was, forexample, going to the busstop with my teary-eyedmother, who gave me a small medicine bottle filled with 90-proofbrandy, to tide me over in case I needed sustenance. While I was talkingto some of the other passengers, my mother got on the bus and startedtalking to a young lady, asking her to be friendly to her son who wasleaving home for the first time. The lady turned out to be a hooker. I hada great trip. [laughs]

    Prior to that, I had received acheck from Disney for the bus fare. Ihad to pick the check up at theDisney offices in Rockefeller Center.I went up there and the man whogave me the check was RichardCondon, who later wrote TheManchurian Candidate. He was apublicist for Disney at that time.

    I got the check, got on the bus,went out to California, and was hiredat $17 a week, $2 of which wenttoward paying back my bus fare toDisney. I was there for three months(that included the eight days of travelto and from California). However, itwas a glorious experience that Ivecashed in on ever since. I had worked asan in-betweener on both Fantasia andPinocchio, and some shorts.

    You Will Call Him Walt!JA: Did you meet Walt Disney while you worked there?

    AMES: Yes, a couple of times. That wasnt unusual. In our trainingperiod, we delivered packages and equipment. One day I had to bringlunches to Cliff Edwards (also known as Ukulele Ike), who was thevoice of When You Wish upon a Star!, and to Leigh Harlene, who wasthe composer. That was a thrill! On one occasion, while deliveringpackages and standing in the foyer, there was a guy with what was thencalled a candid camera, taking pictures of me... I thought.

    I assumed it was for a magazine article he was working on orsome other publicity thing. I did whatever I had to do, thinking,How nice for my mother to see this when it comes out in print.Then I turned and behind me were Walt Disney and someassociates. Whoops! I was embarrassed because I thought thephotographer had been taking pictures of me, but the subject wasDisney. I said, Oh, excuse me, Mr. Disney. He glowered at me,literally.

    I learned the reason immediately from a woman who ran acoffee concession. Why did you do that? she asked. What did

    I do? I asked. She said, You called him Mr. Disney. Werentyou told, You will call him Walt!? Well, I never called himanything after that. I later discovered this had happened to anumber of people.

    In the in-betweening sector where we worked, the guys pinnedup drawings on the backs of their desks. One drawing, 20 longand 10 high, was a lovely nude woman, and Jiminy Cricket wasstanding there, dipping his toe into her groin and tipping his hat. Itwas lovely and funny. One day, some guests came through, whichwas unusual because we never had people come through the in-betweeners section. This was a special occasion. There were four orfive men and a teenage girl, and she saw this drawing and immedi-ately turned around and walked on with the rest of the group. The

    girl was 15-year-old Gloria Vanderbilt, Jr. [heiress to the Vanderbiltfortune].

    JA: Wow! You had an amazing three months there. Whyd you leaveso soon?

    AMES: I got homesick. And at that time, Disney only gave out 13-week contractswhich I had during my training period, and whichwas about to end. If they wanted you, theyd give you another 13-week contract or theyd dump you. I couldnt foresee myself, thisbeing the Depression, being dumped in California, not knowing

    anything or anybody, so Isaid The hell with that,and went back home.

    Another small story: Itook the bus back and forthto the Hyperion Studios,where Disney was thenbased. One time I was on thebus, sketching away, when anelderly woman, whoreminded me of the actressMarie Dressler, admired mysketches. I thanked her andmentioned that I washomesick and planned toreturn home soon. She said,Meanwhile, if youre lonely,why dont you come and visit

    me? She gave me a slip of paper with her name and address on it. Shewas very nice. I had told her I expected to go home.

    Ten years after that, I found an old shoe box in which I kept some ofthe things from my time at Disney, including cels of Donald Duck andMickey Mouse, from which all the paint had chipped off. Imagine whattheyd be worth now intact! In the box I also found the slip of paperthat sweet, friendly woman had given me. What a warm, pleasantmemory. Now, for the first time, I turned that piece of paper over. I hadnever seen the back of it before. There she had written: $4. She was anold hooker!

    Lees tenure at Disney in the late1930s may not have lasted long, but

    he mustve learned something, causelater he put together these authorized

    books on how to draw Walts twomost recognizable icons. [Art 2003

    the respective copyright holder;Mickey Mouse & Donald Duck TM &2003 Walt Disney Productions.]

    Self-portraits done by Lee in 1936 and 1938, respectively.

    [2003 Lee Ames.]

    4 Lee Ames

  • I Went Right to Work at TerrytoonsJA: When you came back to New York, where did you go to work?

    AMES: I went right to work at Terrytoons, in New Rochelle, N.Y., as aninker. The Disney connection helped. Being an inker was a step downfrom being an in-betweener, the difference being that inkers were tracers,while in-betweeners actually did creative drawing. At Disney, womenexclusively did the inking.

    JA: You worked at Terrytoons in 1940 and 1941. Im a bit confused,because you told me earlier that you werent sure if you worked atHarry Cheslers shop before you worked for Jerry Iger.

    AMES: I dont recall Chesler other than being a publishers name, but Idid a lot of freelance stuff, though I dont remember for whom. Ifanything, it would have been freelance work, not shop work, but thatwould have been after I worked for Iger. It would have been after WorldWar II, as I also worked in Igers shop for a brief period when I returnedfrom the service.

    I left Disney in July1939, and I believe I began working forTerrytoons in late 1939. That would have carried on into 1940 and 1941.That was a transition period before going to work for Jerry Iger.

    JA: I see. Any recollections of working at Terrytoons youd like toshare?

    AMES: Remember the cartoonist Al Stahl? [NOTE: At one time Stahlworked for Quality Comics.] Al was an in-betweener and an absolutelylovely madman. He lost his job at Terrytoons for, among other things,the occasion on which he came to visit the inkers who worked at apenthouse (with an extended outside area) where we lunched. Althought it was cute to take paper cups filled with water and drop themoff the building, and one happened to splash in front of Paul Terry. SoAl had to go looking for a new job. When I got the job with Jerry Iger, Ibrought Al Stahl in to meet Iger and he got a job there.

    Al Stahl looked, walked, and behaved like a cartoon. All that was

    missing was a word-filled balloon over his head! I remember a lot ofthings about Al.

    JA: What do you remember about Paul Terry?

    AMES: He wasnt particularly well-liked. But many bosses, just by thedomination that goes with being a boss, are frequently disliked. Ive hadother bosses that were wonderful!

    Iger Was the Object of All Sorts of GagsJA: From there, you went to work for Jerry Iger. Will Eisner was outof the shop by then, wasnt he?

    AMES: Yes. But his old artwork was still therefrequently cut up, re-pasted, re-storied, and used again and again in a number of themagazines. Hawks of the Seas might have been one of those featuresthey did that with.

    JA: What led you to Igers shop?

    AMES: Damned if I remember, but someone must have told me abouthim. I went up with samples, which were pretty horrible, but I got a job.

    JA: How much did you know about comic books when you went tosee him?

    Because he only worked for Paul Terry circa 1939-41, Lee Ames wasnt around whenTerrytoons most famous creation came along in 1942: Supermouse, who soon

    transmutated into Mighty Mousewhether under pressure from National/DC, orbecause by then there was also a Supermouse in comic books, seems uncertain.

    This model sheet was printed in the 1981 Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoon Seriesby Jeff Lenburgbut apparently there wasnt another Terrytoon image worthy of

    inclusion in the books nearly 200 pages. [Mighty Mouse TM & 2003 therespective trademark & copyright holder.]

    Another Ames page from AC Comics retouched reprinting of the Firebrandtale from Police Comics #10. Lee says that he and later Doll Man artist John

    Cassone sat side by side, with Cassone working on Lightningbut maybe hemeans The Ray, another Quality super-hero feature? Reed Crandall had been

    the original Firebrand artist, while Lou Fine had initiated The Ray.[Restored art 2003 AC Comics; Firebrand TM & 2003 DC Comics.]

    The Family of Cartoonists Is My Family! 5

  • AMES: Not a damnthing. I wasnt very inter-ested in them. I was about21 at the time, so thatmay be why. The firstcomic books I knew, backin the early 30s, werehardcover, moreexpensive books withsubjects like The Gumps.

    JA: What did you startout doing for Iger?

    AMES: Backgrounds.Then I graduated intopenciling figures.Incidentally, I was hiredabout the same dayJohnny Cassone was. Thetwo of us used to sit sideby side. I worked onFirebrand, while Johnworked on Lightning.Sitting behind me wasAndr LeBlanc, who wasone of my very bestfriends. I miss him sorely

    now. A terrific human being. We did one of my Draw 50 bookstogether. It was Draw 50 People of the Bible, but he really did the bulkof the work.

    JA: What was Jerry Iger like?

    AMES: Ha! Take your tongue and stick it between your lower teeth andlower lip thusly... now youll sound like Jerry Iger. Mort Leav was theone who did the best mimicry of Iger, and we all used to love that. Everyonce in a while, he would regale us with such things as the one dancestep that he knew and flaunted before us. Of course, we laughed up oursleeves. Hed tell us about his exploits as a boxer... all kinds of nonsenselike that. He did luck out, though, when he got to know and live withRuth Roche.

    I think Ruth Roche ultimately got a piece of Igers business, whichwas great. And she was a very beautiful woman. Iger was the object ofall sorts of gags that we pulled... not that he was aware of many of them.He was a scapegoat that we loved to deal with.

    JA: Iger wasnt a well-respected boss, was he?

    AMES: I wouldnt say so.

    Bob Webb Was a Charming GuyJA: Thats not the first comment Ive heard like that. How manypeople worked in the studio?

    AMES: I dont remember well, but Ill try. Ill give you names as I godown the list. Aldo Rubano. Arthur Peddy. Al Bryant. Artie Saaf. MortLeav. Bob Webb. I cant recall any others right now. There was one smallincident comes to mind that knocked me over.

    At one point, Jerry hired an Italian man whose name was Dic Young.He was hired strictly to be a clean-up artist, nothing else. He wasobviously sickly. I was surprised because I remembered a book writtenby a Dic Young, that I had picked up at Woolworths when I was ten oreleven. It had a title something like Funny Drawings You Can Make.

    One example: if you arrange thecapital letters for CHINA, verti-cally, from the top down, you cancomplete the C into a circle, addlines to create an Asian face, thenadd other lines to the remainingletters, and finally complete alovely little Mandarin figure.Imagine that! I never forgot thatbook. I asked Dic if he was theauthor. He said, Yes, in a kind oftired voice. This may have felt likea punch in the face to him.

    Bob Webb was a charming guywho had a weird, snorting laugh

    During his career, Andr LeBlanc (1921-98) drewoften through the IgerStudiosfor Fiction House, Quality, Fawcett, and other comics companies; atvarious times, he also assisted Dan Barry on Flash Gordon and Will Eisner onThe Spirit. This illustration was done for Robin Snyder, in whose monthly The

    Comics! it appeared in Vol. 8, #8 (Aug. 1997). [Art 2003 Estate of AndrLeBlanc; The Phantom TM & 2003 King Features Syndicate.]

    (Above:) Mort Leav panels from Our PublishingCompanys Love Journal #19 (1953), reprod froma photocopy of the original art, which is ownedby his friend Tony Cerezo. You saw the splash inA/E #19. (Right:) A much later cartoon sequence

    by Leavand whos to say this isnt the very samecouple, half a century later? Reprod from

    Robin Snyders The Comics! V7#4 (April 96). [Love Journal art 2003 the respective copyright

    holder; latter cartoon 2003 Mort Leav.]

    6 Lee Ames

  • by Bill SchellyPart II

    Last issue, John talked about his early life, andhow he became interested in comic books, especiallyHarvey Kurtzmans Mad. He also discussed his firstcontacts with EC fandom in 1955, and lots more. Thistime, John fills us in on the fascinating Post-EC Fandomperiod in the late 50s and his groundbreaking interview withartist Bernard Krigstein, andgives us his rap aboutKurtzman, Bill Gaines, andLittle Annie Fanny. Thisinterview was conducted inJanuary 2003, was transcribedby Brian K. Morris, and iscopyright 2003 Bill Schelly.

    BILL SCHELLY: Have youever written any comics profes-sionally?

    JOHN BENSON: I wroteseveral stories for Warren: onein collaboration with BhobStewart, which was nicelyillustrated by Angelo Torres;one with Clark Dimond; andone on my own. Bill Harriswas editor when I wrote thatlast one, and he edited it heavily and I thought he messed it up. I had ittake place on the headwaters of the Orinoco River, and he changed it togive the river some fictitious name. I couldnt understand the point. Ithink if you tie horror to reality its more interesting. He tried to make itall really simple, like for little kids. Not that my script was any classic tobegin with.

    I wrote another story that appeared in a Warren book, though Ididnt write it for Warren. Russ Jones, who was the editor of Creepy forthe first issue or so, had put out a comic book version of Dracula inpaperback for Ballantine. This was when Ballantine had just brought outthe EC Bradbury horror and science fiction comics reprints. Russ wasgoing to produce a book of famous short horror stories in comics formfor them, and he asked me to do an adaptation of Sheridan Le Fanusvampire classic Carmilla. I think he knew it was a favorite story ofmine, which I got interested in because I loved Roger Vadims filmversion, Blood and Roses. Anyhow, Russ Jones did not have a verygood reputation for paying, so when he invited me over to his place,before he even asked me about doing it, he spread out some originalcomic pages on the floor and suggested that I pick one out and keep it.This was sort-of like those little gifts they give you when you go to see aproduct demo, a little bribe to get you to be there. So I took a BarksUncle Scrooge page.

    BS: Really! Do you still have it?

    BENSON: Yes. Barks worked on these huge boards and he cut themin half for ease of handling. This page was cut in half, and the

    two halves happened to be completely different scenes.One was just a bunch of town-father pigs standing

    around in the street, and I gave that half to MikeMcInerney. But the other half has Scrooge

    sitting on a pile of money and also has himpointing at Christmas on a calendar and

    saying, Bah!which is probably theclosest he ever acknowledged his

    Dickens namesake. So, yes, I stillhave that half-page, you bet.Anyhow, Jones never did pay me,

    and the paperback never came out.Jones had gotten my script illus-

    trated by Bob Jenny, who probablynever got paid, either. But that didnt

    stop Russ from selling it to Warren,and it appeared in Creepy or Eerie.

    The writer is listed as unknown inThe Warren Companion. Which is my

    own fault, because I think the author ofthe book tried to contact me throughsomeone else and I didnt respond. Iguess I didnt realize he was going toinclude a checklist.

    BS: When you graduated fromWesttown, what did you do? Was itcollege or was it the military?

    BENSON: I was a Quaker,remember? [laughs] I went on to

    college, Grinnell College, in Iowa. I wanted to go to a small liberal artscollege. I looked at various ones. Probably that was the wrong one tochoose. It was culture shock. Actually, the guys who were farmers fromIowa, they were great guys. But most of the people there were from thesuburbs of Chicago, and I wasnt really on their wavelength. [laughs] Ibecame friends with several people from the East there, though,including Clark Dimond, whom I later collaborated with, and whowrote some comic scripts on his own for the black-&-white horrormagazines

    BS: Did you continue your fannish activity at college?

    BENSON: Yeah, I did. I published my fanzine Image during thatperiod. And I continued to correspond with various fans, like like MartyPahls, Gary Delain, Dick Voll, Ron Parker, of course, and Ken Winter,Doug Brown, Doug Payson. Payson was the principal artist for Image.You can see the great cover he did for me reprinted in Squa Tront 10. Avery good artist. Esmond Adams was another guy I corresponded with,a contributor to Hoohah! from Huntsville, Alabama. I think he laterwent to Harvard and had culture shock. I exchanged a few letters withRobert and Charles Crumb, too. Then there was Fred, of course, andLarry [Ivie]; those are probably my principal correspondents. I still havemost of that correspondence.

    John Benson in 1957and art from the cover of the first issue of Gamut (Sept.1960), which graphically illustrates the high volume of fanzine activity during the

    1958-62 period. All the covers depicted on the Gamut cover are of real issues ofreal fanzines, and include Ec-hhhh, Fanfare, Tales from the Shag, Spoof, Foo,

    Hoohah!, Frantic, Concept, Image, and Insightmany of which are discussed inthis installment. Gamut had dittoed front and back covers, with mimeographedinteriors. It was published by Gary Delain, and contributors to the issue includedKen Winter, E. Nelson Bridwell, Marty Pahlsand Robert Crumb. Photo courtesy of

    John Benson. [Art 2003 the respective copyright holder.]

    A Talk with JOHN BENSON An Overdue Interview with the Editor of Squa Tront about Post-EC Comic Fandom

    and Why Harvey Kurtzman Left Mad !

    Title 19Comic Fandom Archive

  • BS: So you started buying backissues of ECs then? Were therewere some places where you wouldfind some old comics for sale, likebookstores?

    BENSON: There was a store inPhiladelphia, which may even stillbe there. The guys name wasBagelman, and I remember going inthere around 1958. At the time hehad a mail order business, and hewas selling Golden Age comics. Ilooked behind the counter and hehad these Golden Age comics. Infact, there was one that, somehow, Iwas able to flip through, wherethere was a story about a dwarf inthe subway, and it was rather goryor horrific, and Ive never been ableto find that since. [laughs] A verystrange comic, and before thehorror era. I can remember seeingU.S.A. Comics and Golden Agesuper-hero comics that he waspacking up to sell through the mail,and for pretty good prices, Im sure.

    In Squa Tront 10 I wrote about how Charles Crumb came over andvisited, and how he had bought Barks comics from a store at big prices.And then, when he needed money, he took them back and the guy gavehim peanuts for the same stuff hed sold him. Well, that was the samestore Im talking about. But I do remember he had huge racks of usedcomics in the back, and I was really livid one time. I spent about an hourgoing through all those used comics and I found a Crime SuspenStories,the one with the Evans cover of a guy throttling a woman in therowboat. All the comics were a nickel, you know. I took it up front andhis mother was about to sell it to me. And he happened to come up, andhe said, Oh, that ones not a nickel. I said, Its in the nickel section.Well, that was a mistake. If you want that, its going to be 50.

    BS: [pained] Ohhhhh. [laughs]

    BENSON: I just realized this is like the story of Flip #1, only the endingis different. I said, Forget it, because that was pretty high. It reallywasnt that old at the time. I bought nearly all my back-issue ECs bymail. I was buying a lot from a guy named Dick Phipps, who was sellingoff his collection. The newer ones were, like, 15 and they worked backup to 50 for the earlier ones. I was getting $2 a week allowance, which Ihad to use for school supplies and other things.

    BS: Did you ever have a paper route or other source of income beforeyou got out of high school?

    BENSON: No. Obviously, at Westtown I didnt have anything like that.In Haddonfield, I got an allowance of 25 a week, and then later, 50.And I would mow a few lawns, and I had all the money I could want.My only expenses were the occasional comic, Popsicles... which were anickel. You could buy a balsa plane for a dime, and your parents boughtyou your roller skates, and your bicycle, and stuff. But if you have it,you find a way to spend it. I pissed away a lot of money on Ravellplastic models. But at Westtown, I didnt feel nearly so flush. I wanted tobuy all those ECs, and that was tough. I was sending this guy a buck ortwo a week, ordering the later ones because I got more comics for thebuck that way.

    BS: But were they in decent shape when you got them?

    BENSON: Ive never been able to evaluate the condition of a comic.

    [Bill chuckles]

    At Westtown I became veryinterested in popular music. I likeclassical music, and at Westtown, ofcourse, you were exposed toclassical music. I loved classicalmusic, but I also was very, veryinterested in popular music. Ithought that Chuck Berry, JerryLee Lewis, and Little Richard... Ithought they were Art! I still do. Istill love rock n roll, from the 50sup until... uh, lets say about whenMick Taylor left the Rolling Stones.

    Ive always been a child ofpopular culture. Im not an intel-lectual. My parents were not intel-lectuals, either, although theyapplied a sort of critical judgmentto them. We would go to BobHope movies, and Martin andLewis movies, even occasionalAbbott and Costello movies. Butwhen I had an interest in going to

    see the Bowery Boys or Ma and Pa Kettle, I was told, no, I could not.[laughs] You know, Thats too trashy, and too below your interest, andyou just cant go to that stuff. But yeah, Im totally popular culture.

    BS: Maybe this is a good place to segue to your fanzine Image, whichwas, after all, devoted to popular culture.

    BENSON: [laughs] Well, theoretically. I said that in mywhats theword?my prospectus, my one ad in Sata, but I never really meant it. Itwas just a fanzine. How Image came about, and my attitude towards it,is all really well spelled out in Squa Tront 10, which is currentlyavailable.

    BS: Okay, so we wont go over it again here. But I would like to talkabout the period after Hoohah! and before the start of Alter Ego,from about 1957 to 1961, because that was the thing I learned fromyou, that there was a real fandom after EC comics had died, thatoffered a substantial amount of comics material.

    BENSON: I consider that Ive been in comics fandom since 1956, andwhen I arrived it was already going strong. Its kind of strange that Xerois considered a beginning of comics fandom, because Xeros art director,Bhob Stewart, published the first EC fanzine, The EC Fan Bulletin in1953, and had been pretty much continuously a part of fandom in oneway or another since that time. In fact, I would say that if there is adefining moment for the start of comics fandom, it was the publicationof The EC Fan Bulletin. It was the start of EC fandom, EC fandomevolved into second fandom, and there were many people whocontinued on into the fandom later developed by Alter Ego and Xero.

    BS: Can you tell me a little more about that second fandom in thelate 1950s?

    BENSON: It was a very active time, with a lot of fanzines. Id say therewere two main groups, with considerable overlap. One was primarilyinterested in writing about comics and satire magazines, and the otherwas primarily interested in producing their own amateur satire publica-tions. There must have been well over 30 fanzine titles during thisperiod, quite a number being substantial publications. In the first groupI guess the most substantial ones were Spoof, which was called GoodLord! the first issue, Marty Pahls Fanfare, Mike Britts Squatront, andJoe Pilatis Smudge.

    20 John Benson

    As detailed last issue, Larry Ivie drew illustrations on many of his letters. This one, from a missive to John circa 1958, is one of his most ornate.

    Used with the artists permission. [2003 Larry Ivie.]

  • 27

    [NOTE: All art on the following five pagesis 2003 the respective copyright holders.]

  • 28 Spot That Style!

  • MARC SWAYZEon the Golden AgeGEORGE HAGENAUER on Fawcett DigestSTEVE SKEATES remembers IsisDON NEWTON & E. NELSON BRIDWELLs Monster Society of Evil

    No. 87Our 30th Year!1 9 7 3 - 2 0 0 3

    [Ibis & Taia penciled by Mark Lewis, inked by P.C. Hamerlinck. Art Mark Lewis & P.C. Hamerlinck; characters TM & 2003 DC Comics.]

  • [FCA EDITORS NOTE: From 1941-53, Marcus D. Swayze was atop artist for Fawcett Comics. The very first Mary Marvel charactersketches came from Marcs drawing table, and he illustrated herearliest adventures, including her origin in Captain MarvelAdventures #18, Dec. 1942; but he was primarily hired by FawcettPublications to illustrate Captain Marvel stories and covers for WhizComics and CMA. He also wrote many Captain Marvel scripts, andcontinued to do so while in the military. Soon after leaving the Army,he made an arrangement with Fawcett to produce art and stories forthem on a freelance basis out of his Louisiana home. There he createdboth art and story for The Phantom Eagle in Wow Comics, inaddition to drawing the Flyin Jenny newspaper strip (created by hisfriend and mentor Russell Keaton) for the Bell Syndicate. After thecancellation of Wow, Swayze produced artwork for Fawcetts top-selling line of romance comics. After the company ceased publishingcomics, Marc moved over to Charlton Publications, where he endedhis comics career in the mid-50s. Marcs ongoing professionalmemoirs have been FCAs most popular feature since his first columnappeared in FCA #54, 1996. This time, he tells more about his earlydays at Fawcett... and his own musical background.

    P.C. Hamerlinck.]

    I never knew Captain Billy Fawcett. Our paths probably would neverhave crossed had he still been around when I joined the company ranks.The two levels on the organization chart were simply too extreme tosuggest such a possibility.

    But I wish I had known him. I liked his way ofthinking big. The grand manner in which he blew intotown with his business, his ideas, his family the wholeshebang and set up shop not at the outskirts, but in theheart of the worlds greatest metropolis, to occupy severalfloors of a most prestigious of office buildingswas afirm assertion that he and his domain were not to besneezed at. And they werent!

    Yes... I wish I had known Captain Billy. He createdand left behind an aura of success the atmosphere intowhich I strode in 1941, my heels yet stained with cowmanure.

    Comic books were new. Let there be no mistake aboutthat. Legitimate, accurate historical accounts describe their

    having already been around for several years as well as the relatedstudios that supplied art for them. But lets have no misunderstandingcomic books, as we came to know them, were still new in 41.

    Newsstands, which existed mainly along the sidewalks of the verylarge cities and magazine racks, which existed in drug stores, postoffices, and pool halls throughout the land had to make room for thisoutrageous little thin, limp, cheap, stapled newcomer that had crept infrom nowhere.

    The intrusion, however, could be taken as only temporary. There wasno way for these novelties to stay around long slanted almost exclu-sively for boy readers of pre and early teen-age and only the ones witha little pocket change to spend.

    How many generations ago was that? Three? Maybe four? More?Long time.

    A lot of things were new around that time. I stopped in the lobby ofthe Grand Central Station behind a crowd of commuters attracted bysomething going on against one walla display or demonstration ofsome kind.

    What is it? I asked a fellow at my elbow. A receiving set, heanswered. Radio? I asked. Television, he replied. I stood on tiptoeand peered over the heads to see what he was talking about a boxwith no dimensions of more than 2 or 3 feetthe foremost side with ascreen showing people moving about. And you could hear them

    talking just like on a smallmovie screen. That box musthave contained a lot of wiresand things to bring all thatabout. I went on my way,certain that the averageAmerican family would neverbe able to afford such acomplicated device.

    What orchestra was it youwere with?

    It was the voice, later in theday, of Fawcett art director AlAllard, who had just come infrom conducting a tour ofHollywood guests through hisdepartment. I was asked thatand had to make up ananswer, he laughed.

    There were several, I

    [Art & logo 2003 Marc Swayze; Captain Marvel & TM 2003 DC Comics]


    A pair of Swayze panels: from Captain Marvel and the Return of the Trolls in Whiz Comics #37 (Nov. 42) and PhantomEagle story in Wow Comics #32 (Jan. 45). [Phantom Eagle TM & 2003 DC Comics.]

    40 Marc Swayze

  • by George HagenauerEdited By P.C. HamerlinckTo this day its not uncommon for undocumented older comic

    books to be discovered that are giveaways or from the more obscurepublishers. It is rare that an undocumented story or comic is foundfeaturing a major character or super-hero.

    Thats why I was quite surprised when I stumbled upon the firstand only issue of Fawcett Digest.

    I have been involved in doing background research for thehistorical novels of Max Allan Collins, creator of Road toPerdition, among other solid accomplishments. Thus, I spend a lotof time digging through older magazines and looking for materialthat may relate to future stories he has planned. This involves goingover many piles of all sorts of odd magazines at book fairs, antiquemalls, flea markets and shows.

    During one of these quests some months ago, I stumbled uponFawcett Digest. The little 162-page magazine is about the size of aReaders Digest and sports a beautiful full-color cover by WalterKlett. Originally I thought this was perhaps some short-livedcompetitor to Readers Digest; but the first page states that it is alimited edition, printed in 1946, and reprints examples of materialfrom every Fawcett magazine published in 1945. It obviouslyappears to have been a Fawcett promotional magazine (since thereis a warning that it is not to be sold) geared towards distributorsand advertisers, allowing them to view samples of all of themagazines Fawcett published at the time... including their comicbooks.

    Several years ago, while meeting with Roscoe K. Fawcett, former co-owner and circulation manager of Fawcett Publications, P.C.Hamerlinck reports having viewed several promotional and inter-company type publications (including Fawcett Distributor) which wereproduced in the 40s and were developed by Roscoe Fawcett himself.[EDITORS NOTE: Even more surprising was to learn, by perusingRoscoes bookshelf, was that some of these promotional magazinesand Fawcett comicswere also produced as deluxe hardcover compi-lations! PCH.]

    Prior to this, Fawcett had worked hard to upgrade the quality ofmany of their magazines, such as converting their True magazine from asleazy mens magazine featuring women in bondage on the cover to avery slick publication featuring major writers and illustrators... and withcovers depicting wildlife hunters and men at work. True had become thetype of magazine no one would feel ashamed to have on their coffeetable. Its interesting that Fawcett were apparently as proud of thequality of their comics as they were of their major slick magazines... andpromoted the comics equally in Fawcett Digest, even though advertisingrevenue from the comic books must have been minimal compared toslicks like True, Todays Woman, and Mechanix Illustrated.

    While they dont reprint an example from every Fawcett comic book,they do reprint a complete Captain Marvel story (Capt. Marvel andHis Mission to Mercury) from Whiz Comics #69 (Dec. 1945). Themagazines introduction tells of 5,000,000 readers a month for Fawcettcomic books and lists their editorial board.

    There is also a list of 28 different comic book titles in the front ofFawcett Digest, though a number of the titles seem never to have beenprinted. Listed are Radar the International Policeman, Sherlock theMonk, and Benny Beaver and Fuzzy Bear, none of which werepublished separately under those titles. Also listed are All Hero Comics,Americas Greatest Comics, and Commando Yank, although none ofthose had been published since 1943 (Commando Yank, aside frombeing one of the Fawcett Mighty Midget giveaway comics, neveractually had its own title).

    It may be possible that, with the post-World War II relaxing of paperrestrictions, some of the titles listed were planned but never appeared.1946 did see a number of Fawcett titles resume publication, and at leastone comic on the list (Animal Fair) may not have been published at thetime the digest appeared.

    Walter Kletts cover for the rare Fawcett Digest from 1946,printed at approximate size of the magazine. [2003 the

    respective copyright holder.]Fawcett DigestDiscovering a Rare Captain Marvel

    Appearance from the 1940s

    42 Fawcett Digest

  • by Steve SkeatesEdited by P.C. HamerlinckA quick glance inside a

    comic book shop andYipes! What is this?Women blowing men away,seventeen or eighteen at aclip, with but the slightestflick trigger-wise of one oranother impossibly hugehand-held laser-canon!Women decapitating menwith an effortless swipe ofa razor-sharp ceremonialpe! Women who kill withtheir thighs!

    Its hard to imagine inlight of this so-called badgirl mania (is it not?) that women were once anathema as far as comicswere concernedthat all but every pencil-wielder in the industry hadbut one stock woman he knew how to draw, that hed use her (that oneand only) whenever called upon to incorporate into a story someone ofthe feminine persuasion and nobody much noticed (let alone cared)because women were that far from important story-wisethat theconventional wisdom at DC, Marvel, and elsewhere was: Femalecharacters simply do not sell!!

    In other words, when (back in 1975, to be exact) the only work Iseemed to be able to find within the comic book industry was fulfillingthe scripting chores for DCs Isis comic book (based of course upon thatstrangely unexciting half hour live-action Saturday morning Filmationtelevision program on CBS), it was as though (at least as far as I wasconcerned) I were being punished for something (being a malcontent?arguing with editors? caring a bit too much how previous scripts of minehad been transmogrified into entities even I had a hard time recognizingas my own?) via being relegated to working upon a comic that obviouslyhad no chance of ever selling! To say I was unhappy would be putting itmildly and then some! Truth be known: even today, I can (though forsome reason I rarely wish to) look back at those four Isis tales I wrotefor DCplus the one I co-authored (the plot by me but the words byup-and-comer Jack C. Harris)and abruptly find myself (thanks to myown steel-trap memory) sadly sinking fast beneath huge ungainly gobsof utter embarrassment.

    Then again, though, shouldnt it have been the producers of that TVshow who were, deeper than any of us others, dipped in absolutecomplete industrial-strength embarrassment? Didnt they know that theoriginal Isis, that Egyptian goddess of yore, fell out of favor with thePharaohs because too many orgies were being held in the templesdevoted to her worship, thus just flat-out tiring out too many of thatsocietys workers? Is that any sort of a proper goddess upon which tobase a Saturday morning TV show?

    All such hoo-hah aside, however, even as we return to consid-erations of my own reckless involvementokay, okay, so Im notthe only one whos to blame for the egregiousness of that particularcomic book (and, for the record, what I still perceive as particularlyterrible are issues #2 and #3!). DC itself had rather cheapened outno longer numbering the pages of its comics in hopes that thereaders wouldnt notice that the books which for so many yearshad possessed at least 23 or 24 pages of story were now down to amere seventeen. Artist Mike Vosburg may have been (and in factwas) particularly adept at drawing comely women, yet his story-telling abilities in this series left a lot to be desired; he seemed infact infused with an uncommon knack for making even the mostexciting scene come off with all the color and flair of a PBS pledge

    What It Is Is IsisA Writers True Confessions of the Shazam! Spin-off Egyptian Goddess Super-hero from the 1970s

    (Top left:) On the Filmation CBS-TV series, Isis was played in the 1970s by JoannaCameron. (Right:) The Egyptian goddess/heroine seemed to be off to a goodstart when she flew from TV directly into comics, premiering in Shazam! #25

    (Oct. 1976). Reprod from the original Kurt Schaffenberger cover art, which waspresented to AC Comics publisher Bill Black in exchange for a donation to the

    comics cartoonists Milt Gross Fund. [Captain Marvel TM & 2003 DC Comics; IsisTM & 2003 the respective trademark & copyright holders.]

    44 Isis

  • by Walt GroganEdited By P.C. HamerlinckAs the bad-guy contingent in the first extended comic book

    serial, the Monster Society of Evil wasnt even a formal groupwhen it first appeared in its original Fawcett version from 1943to 1945... although it contained the major and several minorCaptain Marvel villains of the time. This assemblage, formed bythe mysterious Mr. Mind who was eventually revealed to be amere worm, though one from another planetplagued theWorlds Mightiest Mortal between issues #22-46 of CaptainMarvel Adventures. (The entire serial, crafted by writer OttoBinder and editor Wendell Crowley and illustrated by the C.C.Beck studio, was beautifully reprinted in a limited slipcase-hardcover edition from Englands Hawk Books in 1989.)

    Captain Marvel eventually captured Mr. Mind after 25 eventfulchapters and, after a brief court trial, the wicked worm wasexecutednever to be heard from again.

    In the Golden Age, that is.

    For, when DC Comics licensed and revived the Marvel Familyin 1973, with original Captain Marvel artist C.C. Beck as illus-trator for a brief spell, it soon resurrected Mr. Mind. After that, itwas only a matter of time till the nefarious alien worm re-formedhis band of evildoers, and in Shazam! #14 (Sept.-Oct. 1974) he didjust that! The Evil Return of the Monster Society was written byDenny ONeil, with art by Kurt Schaffenberger. They were unableto capture the excitement of the original Monster Society of Eviladventure within the mere 20 pages they had to work with, andwith a much-reduced roster of villains that had the Sivana Familyand Ibac joining forces with Mr. Mind. This was the last appearanceof the Monster Society drawn in the traditional style. To reviveflagging interest in the revived Marvels, DC Comics took drasticaction and updated both the art and stories of the Worlds MightiestFamily.

    The Shazam! series went through this radical change with issue#34 (April 1978). Artists Alan Weiss and Joe Rubinstein gave Cap,Mary, and Junior a muscular, more realistic look in a story thatfeatured the Marvel Family battling the evil Captain Nazi in theskies over Chicago. With #35, Weiss and Rubinstein were replacedby Don Newton and Kurt Schaffenberger, while E. NelsonBridwell continued as writer. Newton would become the artist mostassociated with the new look Captain Marvel and was vilified byboth fans and C.C. Beck himself for this updating. [EDITORSNOTE: Caps new look period will be dissected further in afuture edition of FCA. PCH.] The Shazam! series wascancelled after the 35th issue, and Captain Marvel immediately

    Low SocietyThe MONSTER SOCIETY OF EVIL Struck Backand Struck Outin 1980-81

    (Above:) With Captain Marvel serving as prosecutor in the trial of Mr. Mindin Captain Marvel Adventures #46 (May 1945), the worm from another world

    was found guilty of murdering 186,744 people in cold blood, with script by Otto Binder, art by the C.C. Beck shop. (Left:) In Shazam! #14 (Sept.-Oct.1974), the ONeil/Schaffenberger/Schwartz team pitted the revived Marvel

    Family against a new version of the Society. [2003 DC Comics.]

    48 Monster Society of Evil

  • moved over to a DC anthology title, the dollar-sized Worlds FinestComics, with issue #253.

    With a new creative team in place, the Monster Society of Evil wassoon re-formed in Worlds Finest Comics #264-267 (Aug.-Sept 1980-Feb-Mar 1981). The splash page of The Monster Society of EvilStrikes Back! by E. Nelson Bridwell, Don Newton, and inker DaveHunt revealed the new line-up of Mr. Minds gaggle of felons: Dr.Sivana, Mr. Atom, Ibac, Black Adam, and Oggar (who had appeared inhis own short-lived serial back in Captain Marvel Adventures). Mr.Minds objective had not changed between reorganizations; he stillwished to crush Captain Marvel with help from the other villains.Oggar and Black Adam, neither of whom was in the classic MonsterSociety, took center-stage in the first chapter.

    The Monster Society of Evil Strikes Back!Oggar had originally been a student of the great wizard Shazam.

    When he was granted immortality, Oggar became part of the septet ofelders that formed Shazams name, changing it to Shazamo. WhenOggar turned evil, Shazam dropped the o from his name, banishedOggar from the group of elders, and gave Oggar cloven hooves andhorns. The sorceress Circe imprisoned him in the body of a boar andtossed the boar over a cliff. And Oggar was nearly never seen again.Unbeknownst to Captain Marvel, during a battle with that wickedworm, Mr. Mind, he unwittingly helped Oggar, the Worlds Mightiest

    Immortal, resume his true form.

    Black Adam had been Shazams champion in ancient Egypt. Soonafter gaining the powers granted by Shazam, Adam turned evil. Shazambanished Adam to the farthest star in the universe. Black Adameventually made his way back to Earth after a 5000-year journey andlanded in the United States in 1945. After a brief battle with the MarvelFamily, he was tricked by Uncle Marvel into saying the wizards nameand turned back into his mortal form of Teth-Adam. Captain Marvelstap to Teth-Adams chin caused Adams millennia-old body to crumbleto dust, and it seemed as if Black Adams first appearance from theFawcett-era in Marvel Family Comics #1 would be his last. DC revivedBlack Adam during a series of city-visiting stories in the 1970s. Hisreturn was Dr. Sivanas doing. Sivana used a reincarnation machine of hisown design to reincarnate the body of Teth-Adam. The newly-livingAdam wasted no time into changing into his super-powered form byshouting the name of the ancient wizard Shazam! But Captain Marvelwas successful in defeating Black Adam and placing him in jail.

    In the 1980 Worlds Finest serial, the warden of the prison that heldmost of the Monster Society members alerted Cap to their escape. BlackAdam was immediately spotted in Cairo, Egypt, and Cap realized hewould need help from a secret weapon. After landing near Cairo, Capchanged to Billy Batson to do some reconnoitering of the area and wassoon confronted by Oggar, who made Billy mute so that he couldntturn back into Captain Marvel. Soon joined by Black Adam, Oggarcreated an army of soldiers from the sands of the Egyptian desert toconquer Cairo.

    Just as the army was to set off for Cairo, Caps secret weaponswooped down: Mary Marvel, the Worlds Mightiest Girl. Since hispowers had a built-in limitation of ineffectuality against the fair sex,Oggar called down a bolt of magic lightning to change Mary Marvelback into her mortal form. Marys quick thinking allowed her to placeBilly into the path of the bolt. He was changed back into CaptainMarvel, and he and Mary quickly mopped up the sand army and had allbut defeated the villains when Oggar used his powers to return them allto the Monster Society headquarters. Realizing that the Monster Societyhad once again banded together, Cap knew he and his fellow Marvelswere in for the fight of their lives.

    Oggar, whod had his own brief serial in the 40s, was back in Worlds Finest #264. [2003 DC Comics.]

    The Monster Society of Evil Strikes Back! The beginning of the four-part serial, by Bridwell, Newton, and Hunt, in Worlds Finest Comics #264

    (Sept. 1980). [2003 DC!Comics.]

    Monster Society of Evil 49