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Spook-tacular covers (Batman by FRANK BRUNNER, and King Kong by PETE VON SHOLLY)! Interview with FRANK BRUNNER about his mystic/horror work - with rare art of Dr. Strange, Howard the Duck, Marvel's mystery mags, and others! Then, what if Classics Illustrated had adapted King Kong and the monsterpieces of H.P. Lovecraft? Find out - thanks to peerless painter PETE VON SHOLLY! TRINA ROBBINS looks at VENUS, the Timely/Marvel mag that was horror, romance, science-fiction, & super-heroine all wrapped up in one, with art by BILL EVERETT, JOE MANEELY, STEVE LEIALOHA, and more! A trio of timeless terror-masters ("Heap" artist ERIC SCHROEDER, Creepy/Charlton artist BILL FRACCIO, and JAY DISBROW) remembers L.B. COLE! We look at those late-'50s/early-'60s prototypes of The Hulk, Spider-Man, and Dr. Strange! Plus: ALEX TOTH, MICHAEL T. GILBERT and MR. MONSTER, BILL SCHELLY talks to JOHN BENSON about EC - and FCA starring MARC SWAYZE, MANLEY WADE WELLMAN, and MORE!!

Text of Alter Ego #29

  • Roy Thomas Grave Comics Fanzine

    Roy Thomas Grave Comics Fanzine

    $5.95In the USA

    $5.95In the USA






    03 F




    ; Bat










    03 F




    ; Bat








  • 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 ofWilliam Woolfolk



    ContentsSpecial Halloween Hulkorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2I Didnt Want to Draw Superman and Captain America!. . . . . 3A brief Halloween-oriented interview with the fantastic Frank Brunner.

    And Men Shall Call Him... Prototype! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14Tom Lammers looks at the foreshadowingor somethingof the Marvel Age of Comics.

    Doing Comics Was a Fun Learning Experience! . . . . . . . . . . . 28Bill Fraccio to Jim Amash on his years as a comic book pencilerand as half of Tony Williamsune.

    A Talk with John Benson (Part III). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35Bill Schelly concludes his conversation with the editor of the EC fanzine Squa Tront.

    FCA (Fawcett Collectors of America) #88 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43P.C. Hamerlinck presents Swayze, Colan, Ordway, Palmer, Cockrum, Marcos, and Pierceplus a brief tribute to the late great Bill Woolfolk.

    Horror, Terror, & Love Goddesses Section . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Flip Us!About Our Cover: It was a toss-up between two fabulous Brunner Batman pencil illustrationsas to which would become our coverdefinitely a no-lose situation! See them both in thepages that followplus lots more Brunner artwork drawn with the macabre in mind! [Art 2003 Frank Brunner; Batman TM & 2003 DC Comics.]

    Above: Rorgg, King of the Spider Men beat your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man into aMartin Goodman mag by nearly two yearsbut does that mean there was a cause-and-effectrelationship between them? Read Tom Lammers microscopic scrutiny of the problematical,even controversial Marvel prototypes, beginning on p. 14. [ 2003 Marvel Characters, Inc.]

    Vol. 3, No. 29 / October 2003Editor 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 ArtistsFrank BrunnerPete Von Sholly

    Cover ColoristsTom Ziuko Pete Von Sholly

    And Special Thanks to:Gary ArlingtonMark AustinRandall J. BarlowJohn BensonChris BrownFrank BrunnerMike BurkeyOrlando BusinoNick CaputoGene ColanDave CockrumJon B. CookeAl DellingesRoger Dicken &

    Wendy HuntShel DorfShelton DrumTim EasterdayBill FraccioGeorge GladirStan GoldbergPaul HandlerDustin HarbinDaniel Herman

    Richard HowellThomas G. LammersStan LeeSteve LeialohaPablo MarcosMichael MikulovskyMile-High ComicsFred MommsenBrian K. MorrisDave ODellJerry OrdwayTom PalmerJohn G. PierceLarry RippeePaul RivocheTrina RobbinsPete Von ShollyMarc SwayzeDann ThomasAlex TothJim Vadeboncoeur, Jr.Michael J. VassalloHames WareMichael Zeno

  • [Unless otherwise indicated, all art accompanyingthis interview was provided by the artist.]

    ROY THOMAS: In the interview in Comic BookArtist #6 you said that you originally had it in mindto be an underground cartoonist. Why was that,and what made you change your mind?

    FRANK BRUNNER: Back in 1968-69, it seemed asthough the underground press was where things werehappening. These were comics produced by youngcreative people without restrictions on style orcontent. After meeting some of them, I realized we hada lot in common. We listened to the same music,smoked the same stuff, spoke in similar terms, anddressed quite colorfully and, of course, we all wereagainst the war going on at that time. So I set my capand worked up some ideas for my entry into this sub-culture of comics. However, just as I was about to jointhem, they all left New York and headed (no punintended) west to San Francisco!

    Well, that ended those plans, and I began to takeanother look at doing overground comics. Myfanboy roots began to flourish and I started meetingnew eager young writers and artists, who also werejust breaking into the business. We all had ideas aboutchanging comics, working around the Comics Code ifpossible, sneaking little things past management, andin general trying to expand what comics looked likebeyond the very prevalent house styles that werefairly well entrenched at companies like DC andMarvel.

    RT: Your first published work appeared in black-&-white horror mags. Did you always have anaffinity for horror comics, or was it just a way yousaw as your entre into the field? You have said,after all, that you never saw yourself as a super-hero artist.

    BRUNNER: Actually, my first solo story waspublished in Web of Horror #3 (Santas Claws).And by solo, I mean solo. I wrote it, penciled andinked it, and lettered it, too! Yes, I was an ECComics fan, especially the horror and sci-fi books,but when the Code came along, all that ended for

    I Didnt Want toDraw Superman orCaptain America!

    A Brief Halloween-Oriented Interview with Formerly Far-Out FRANK BRUNNERConducted by Roy Thomas (via e-mail)

    Photo of Frank Brunner taken at the 2003 Heroes Conand a black-&-white version of his penciledBatman/graveyard commission drawing that was used as this issues cover. To learn how to contactFrank to buy or commission original work, see the end of this piece. With thanks to Shelton Drum &

    Dustin Harbin of the Heroes Arent Hard to Find comics shop in Charlotte, NC; check out their websiteat . [Art 2003 Frank Brunner; Batman TM & 2003 DC Comics.]

    Frank Brunner 3

  • color comics. Then came the Warren magazines (without the Code) anda chance to do some work that had teeth!

    I liked reading super-hero comics as a child, but after discoveringthose old pre-Code EC comics (while in my teens), I saw what could bedone in the medium beyond just super-heroes! I didnt want to drawSuperman or Captain America, especially at a time when my countrywas trying to get me killed (or make me a killer) in Vietnam! Andfinally, yes, horror was the way I got into the business; not everyonecould (or wanted to) draw the dark and stylish art these stories required.

    RT: Anything else you can remember about the Web of Horrorexperience besides what you said in Comic Book Artist #6, abouthow editor Terry Bisson left the company and so they canceled themag right away? What was the second story you had done for Web,the one you wound up selling to Warren?

    BRUNNER: As you say, I dont want to go over what happened toWeb again. But when the publisher canceled Web (he really only wantedto do Cracked magazine), I had already completed stories for issues #4and #5. Word got out that Warren was lusting after most of the artistswho had done work for Web, so I took the stories over to his office andhe instantly bought the story called Eye of Newt, Toe of Frog, writtenby Gerry Conway. The other story, Sword of Dragonus, he wantedalso, but I got it published in a very slick pro-zine entitled Phase #1. Ihad plans to continue doing Dragonus stories and wanted to retain therights to the character. [See Star*Reach #3.]

    RT: You did three stories for Marvels color comic Chamber of Chills.The splash page of a story Frank drew for James Warrens Creepy or

    Eerie. It was never published. [ =2003 Frank Brunner.]

    Splash page of Franks first professional solo art effort, from Web of Horror #3(April 1970). WoH was a Warren wannabe black-&-white horror comic which

    featured the developing work, in its three bimonthly 1969-70 issues, ofnewcomers (and future stars) like Jeff Jones, Bernie Wrightson, Michael Kaluta,

    Bruce Jonesand Frank Brunner. To learn more about their Web experience,pick up Comic Book Artist Collection, Vol. Two, available from TwoMorrows;

    see its ad bloc in this issue. [2003 the respective copyright holder.]

    Brunner also drew an introductory page, featuring the magazinesinhuman host, on the inside front cover of Web of Horror #3.

    [2003 the respective copyright holder.]

    4 I Didnt Want to Draw Superman or Captain America!

  • The first of these was the Robert E. Howard adaptation TheMonster from the Mound, scripted by Gardner Foxat least Imassuming you drew them in the order in which they were published.Any particular recollections of that story? It was reprinted a few yearsback by Cross Plains Comics, the REH-based company, under itsoriginal Howard title The Horror from the Mound.

    BRUNNER: Well, it was my first solo story for Marvel, and my firstfull-color comic book story, and that first printing (in Chamber ofChills #2) was the best printing it ever got. Later, Marvel reprinted it inone of its black-&-white magazines, and somebody put in all these darkmarker tones obscuring most or the drawing. Then, as you say, CrossPlains Comics reprinted it again, using the terrible stats that Marvel usedto make. (Marvels stat machine seemed to have only one setting, andonly the thick and darkest line work would reproduce), so just about allmy feathering work dropped out! I offered Cross Plains the opportunityto shoot from my originals, but they wanted to avoid paying meanything, so thats why it looks the way it does!

    RT: I think Cross Plains idea was to pay, if its comics had mademoney; but they didnt, because, though they sold well in comicsshops, most store owners wouldnt order more than the absolute

    handful they knew they could sell three seconds after they arrived.The REH comics sold well where they got out, so it was a very short-sighted view on their part. AnywayI presume Gardner wrote a fullscript for that story, right? Did you make any changes, or feel thatyou could have? Did I or someone else talk with you about the storybefore you drew it? Did you read Howards original prose storybefore doing the art, as well as the script?

    BRUNNER: Im pretty sure it was a full script, and no, I made nochanges I can remember. We might have talked briefly about the story,but I was most concerned about getting it in on time. Im a slow inker,and this was my debut appearance for Marvel as penciler. I did not readthe original Howard story. I didnt own a copy at the time, and besides Iwas mainly into his barbarian stories. For horror I read mostly Lovecraftin the early 70s.

    RT: Did you feel any particular restrictions because of the ComicsCode (besides the name change, of course)?

    BRUNNER: You bet your fetid bones I did! We (the artists) were noteven allowed to depict red blood, and if any blood were shown it wasblack.

    (Left:) The first Brunner-drawn story in a Marvel comicand a color mag, at thatdebuted in Chamber of Chills #2 (Jan. 1973), based on a Robert E. Howardvampire story from Weird Tales pulp magazine for May 1932. In 1972 the Comics Code still objected to the use of the words horror or terror in story titles or on covers... though they didnt object mentioning the storys original name in the credits. (Right:) In August 2000 the Fox/Brunner adaptation was reprinted

    by Cross Plains Comics under editor/publisher Richard Ashfordin black-&-white with grey-tones added, with the original credits moved to the inside front cover, with the first caption typesetand with the Monster in the title altered to the correct Horror. Too bad the exclamation point wasnt

    omitted, too; but the $5.95 comic, Robert E. Howards Horror, was well-received and well-reviewed, and also contained art by Gene Day, Sandy Plunkett, and Steve Lightle. [2003 Robert E. Howard Properties, LLC.]

    Frank Brunner 5

  • by Thomas G. Lammers[All art, unless noted, provided by the author or by Alter Egoseditor.]

    Part IPre-Hero Prototypes

    Everybody knows them. Weve all seen them. Amazing Fantasy #15.Journey into Mystery #83. Fantastic Four #1. Tales of Suspense #39.Strange Tales #110. Those crucial first appearances of the heroes whodefined what Stan Lee dubbed the MarvelAge of Comics. Some of the most highlydesirable (and outrageously expensive)properties in all comicdom.

    But what if those were not exactly thefirst appearances of those heroes? What ifone could find earlier incarnations of IronMan or Ant-Man or Dr. Strange in thecompanys pre-super-hero books? To see amarket test of Spider-Man or TheHulkwouldnt that be great fun! Andwouldnt that make an otherwise pedes-trian comic much more desirable... andmuch more expensive?

    We know that editor Stan Lee did suchthingsat least once. Before resurrectingthe companys Golden Age standard-bearer,Captain America, in Avengers #4 (March1964), we were treated to an ersatz Cap inthe Human Torch story in Strange Tales#114 (Nov. 1963). At the end of the story,Lee made it clear that he was indeed gaugingthe potential for a comeback: You guessedit! This story was really a test! To see if you,too, would like Captain America to return!As usual, your letters will give us theanswer! If Lee (or publisher MartinGoodman) didnt want to bring back a formertop-seller without a try-out, how much less

    A trial balloon that flewor did it? As related above, a bogus Captain America (the villainous Acrobat in disguise)appeared in the Human Torch tale in Strange Tales #114 (Nov. 1963), of which weve reprod the cover and a key

    page. (Interestingly, Caps trunks are colored an incorrect red throughout the story, while, on the cover, blue seemsto have been laid in over red trunks, making them purple.) The real Cap returned just four months later, in TheAvengers #4 (March 64)hardly sufficient lead-time to have gauged reader reaction, since Avengers #4 wouldlikely have been in the works by the time S.T. #114 went on sale. Either the Marvel offices were bombarded with

    letters almost instantaneously upon Caps faux comeback and the Real McCap was rushed into printor else editorStan Lee and publisher Martin Goodman made up their minds to revive him without waiting for readers response

    (let alone sales reports!). A/Es editor holds with the latter view, but hes open to arguments.Thanks to Mark Austin & Chris Brown for the art scans. [2003 Marvel Characters, Inc.]

    And Men Shall Call Him...PROTOTYPE!

    A Look at the Foreshadowingor Somethingof the Marvel Age of Comics

    14 And Men Shall Call Him... PROTOTYPE!

  • likely would he be to inaugurate totally new characters untested?

    And so was born the concept of the Marvel Pre-Hero Prototypes.Searching through earlier issues of Marvels comics reveals any numberof stories that in one way or another remind us of our beloved super-heroes of the 1960s and beyond. These stories have come to be regardedas prototypes of that which came after.

    The concept of super-hero prototypes is most closely associated withThe Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide. In the most recent (32nd)edition1, 34 pre-hero issues of Amazing Adult Fantasy, Journey intoMystery, Strange Tales, Tales of Suspense, and Tales to Astonish areidentified as prototype issues. In fact, the concept is even applied tostories pre-dating the May1957 Atlas Implosionthat reduced Goodmansempire from over 60 titlesto a mere 16: three storiesin Mystic and UncannyTales are likewiseconsidered prototypes. Allthese stories allegedlyforeshadow the devel-opment of major heroes(e.g., Spider-Man, Hulk,Dr. Strange) as well asvillains (e.g., Dr. Doom,Sandman, Mr. Hyde).

    Until recent editions,the Overstreet Guidecarried a very explicitaccount of how these issuescame to be identified asprototypes. For example,the 28th edition2 stated (p.963), Some of todayspopular super-herocharacters were developedfrom or after earlier formsor prototypes. Theseprototype characterssometimes were introducedto test new ideas andconcepts which laterdeveloped into full fledgedsuper heros [sic], or oldmaterial sometimes wouldinspire new characters. Below is a list of all known prototypes. TheMarvel/Atlas issues have been verified by Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, andJack Kirby. Curiously, such a statement is not found in the 2002edition.

    Many have criticized the whole idea of Marvel Pre-HeroPrototypes.3 Though the concept is well known among buyers andsellers of comics, it is not found in most published histories of theMarvel Universe.4 In this series, I want to explore this concept in somedetail. We first will consider what it means to be a prototype, and askwhether this is the best term to describe the perceived similaritiesbetween pre-hero and later characters. Then, we will examine the storieslisted by the Overstreet Guide as prototypes, judging their status.Finally, just for the fun of it, we will examine additional stories, somegoing back to the early 50s, that have not been identified as prototypes,but which might seem to have as much claim to such a designation assome of the others.

    What Do You Mean, Prototype?My dictionary5 defines prototype as an original model or pattern

    from which subsequent copies are made, or improved specimensdeveloped. It is very much a word associated with manufacturing:companies frequently create prototypes as part of marketing researchand product development. Before Boeing delivered the first B-17 FlyingFortress to the Army Air Corps in 1936, it produced the Model 299prototype as a testbed for the production of four-engine heavybombers.6 Before General Motors introduced the Buick Skylark in 1953,it created the XP-300 concept car and put it on the auto show circuit, to

    test the reaction of themotoring public.7

    Although it is not statedexplicitly, it seems to methat a prototype of this sortembodies the concept ofintent. In my view, anobject is a prototype only ifits creator intended to use itas a model or pattern fromwhich to develop subse-quent specimens. Therefore,a pre-hero character can beregarded as a prototype fora subsequent character onlyif there was a consciousintent to use it to gaugereader reaction and salespotential. For example, StanLee says to Jack Kirby, Iwonder what readers wouldthink about a seriesfeaturing a guy inside apowered metal suit. Letswhip up a little story forTales of Suspense with aguy like that and see whatkind of mail we get. If theresponse is good, maybe Ican sell Goodman on aregular series. If such werethe case, I would say such astory could fairly beconsidered a prototype, an

    original model or pattern from which... improved specimens [were]developed.

    But what if there was no intent? What if, when the earlier tale wasfirst prepared, it was just another story, with no thought given topossible future development of the character? Later, a certain type ofcharacter is needed, and the writer or artist harks back (consciously orunconsciously) to this earlier work for ideas or inspiration, thus creatingthe perceived similarities between the two. Rather than a prototype,might it not be better to call such a story or the character in it aprecursor or forerunner of the later character? These words denote athing that precedes subsequent development, but do not carry theconnotation of intent or deliberate planning. In fact, it allows for thepossibility that the perceived similarities are entirely unintentional.Furthermore, while the word prototype is associated with manufac-turing, a precursor or forerunner has a more naturalistic, almost evolu-tionary implication, which seems to me more in tune with the nature ofthe creative process.

    The Foreshadowingor Somethingof the Marvel Age of Comics 15

    Beginning in 1974, Marvel produced an annual calendar featuring its most popular heroes at that time, with a cover by John Romita. Dracula and Conan the Barbarian

    had pre-existed Marvel Comics, and were themselves virtual prototypes for every latervampire and sword-and-sorcery hero. [Conan TM!&!2003 Conan Properties, Inc.;

    other characters 2003 Marvel Characters, Inc.]

  • How Can You Recognize a Prototype?If we wish to distinguish true prototypes from mere precursors, how

    do we judge intent? How can we ascertain, 40 years after the fact,whether a particular story was intended to serve as a trial balloon for asubsequent super-hero or villain? The seemingly obvious answerAskthe creators!might actually yield the poorest results. In numerousinterviews over the years, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and otherswho worked at Marvel in the early 1960s have been asked repeatedlyabout various events surrounding the creation of the Marvel Universe.For whatever reasons, their memories in many cases have provenunreliable. Not only are the recollections of different individuals inconflict; in some cases, a given persons memories also have changed overthe years. If we cannot rely on creators memories, we must per forceseek internal evidence of intentevidence from the books themselves.What form might this take?

    The most obvious evidence would be an editorial note seeking readerinput, similar to the one at the end of the Captain America story inStrange Tales #114. Such invitations of input were not infrequent inbooks edited by Stan Lee, both during the 50s and into the 60s. Forexample, Worlds Greatest Songs #1 (Sept. 1954) carried a half-page pleaheaded Now YOU Tell US... in which Lee invited readers to writeand tell us what you like and dont like about Worlds Greatest Songs.Similarly, on the first page of Patsy Walker #124 (Dec. 1965), we read:Important! In order to find out which kind of story you, the readers,prefer... were presenting three Patsy and Hedy adventures this month!Theres one tale of romance, one of glamour ... and this fun-filled actionstory! Please write, and tell us which one you liked best!! Lee clearlywas not shy about asking for feedback. If reader input is explicitlysolicited in an alleged prototype story, it could be taken as a sign of

    intent. It is significant that not a single one of the alleged prototypestories contains such a plea.

    Very close correspondence between an alleged prototype and itssupposed derivative might also count as evidence of intent. As we shallsee, the perceived similarities that suggest relationships between pre-heroand subsequent characters are of four types: (1) close correspondence incharacter attributes; (2) close correspondence in story plot; (3) strongvisual resemblance; or (4) possession of the same name. One wouldthink that either of the first two might be a better indicator of a truerelationship between character and alleged prototype than either of thelast two by themselves. Furthermore, if the similarity involved three orall four of these aspects, it might be interpreted as an indication ofintent.

    It is only fair to note that the opportunity for close resemblance willbe somewhat constrained by the difference in genres. None of thealleged prototype stories are super-hero tales, as the titles in which thesestories appeared were anthologies devoted to various kinds of fantasy ormystery stories. The most prominent were the giant monster stories,no doubt inspired by the many films of that sort produced during the1950s, e.g., The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), Them! (1954), andThe Beginning of the End (1957). In such tales, an enormous creatureof some sort menaces the human race, and is overcome by an otherwiseunremarkable protagonist. Other stories were modern morality plays,often with O. Henry twist endings, of the sort popularized by theTwilight Zone television series of the day. In these, a criminal orotherwise disreputable character would get his comeuppance or learn alesson in some ironic, often supernatural way. Still others were straightscience-fiction tales, with spaceships, robots, alien invaders, and distantplanets. Because of these differences in genre, none of the alleged proto-types will precisely match the super-hero character supposedly derivedfrom it.

    If a story were trulyintended as a market testfor a new character, onemight expect it would bedepicted on the cover. Inthe newsstand era, coverswere widely regarded as akey factor to sales. Anintriguing, eye-catchingcover could mean thedifference between sell-through and massivereturns to the distributor. Ifthe whole point of aprototype was to gauge acharacters potential togenerate sales, it would onlymake sense to have featuredit prominently on the cover.

    One other factor bearsmention in our attempt toevaluate the claims of thesestories to prototype status.Stan Lee is widely creditedwith creating or co-creatingthe super-hero charactersthat became the MarvelUniverse.8 Almost everyone of those key originstories, in Fantastic Four #1and the rest, was scripted(or at least plotted) by Lee.He seems to have signed

    Patsy Walker #124 (Dec. 65) asked whether readers preferred romance, glamour, or fun-filled action? The Al Hartley-drawn Patsy soon vanished from newsstandsto return a decade later in Avengers #144 (Feb. 1976) as a super-heroine calledHellcat. Maybe this was considered fun-filled action? Cover art by Gil Kane & Frank Giacoia. [2003 Marvel Characters, Inc.]

    16 And Men Shall Call Him... PROTOTYPE!

  • The Lee-Kirby Hulk, inked by Paul Reinman, from the splash of The Incredible Hulk #1 (May 1962), flanked by three earlier proto-Marvel Hulks. (Clockwise from top right:) Kirby and Ayers Xemnu, from Journey into Mystery #62the Ditko-

    drawn movie-poster from Tales to Astonish #21and the robotic/exo-skeletal Hulk from Strange Tales #75 (June 1960, of which more next issue). There was even a cowboy bad-guy of that nomenclatural persuasion in an issue of Gunsmoke Westernas far back as 1960; more about him in #30, too. Xemnu, by the way, was orange in his original appearances, but white

    when he faced The Defenders a decade later. [2003 Marvel Characters, Inc.]

    Will The Real Incredible HulkPlease Stand Up!

    22 And Men Shall Call Him... PROTOTYPE!

  • Take a deep breath and see if you can follow this: Xemnu, the LivingHulk, may (or may not) have been inspired by Bugs Bunny theatrical

    cartoons (above), as Tom Lammers reportsbut Xemnus stintpretending to be a Big-Bird-type puppet on a kiddie-TV show (top

    right) in the Ross Andru/Bill Everett-drawn third Defenders outing inMarvel Feature #3 (June 1972) reflected the impact made in 1952 on 11-year-old future scripter Roy Thomas by the Gaines/Feldstein/Orlando

    story The Peoples Choice in ECs Weird Science #16 (below)a chillingsend-up of the early TV puppet show Kukla, Fran, and Ollie (photo at

    right), wherein Allie Gator turns out to be an alien, who is electedPresident and promptly takes over the Earth for his kind. See?

    Everything has prototypesor at least precursors, or forerunners, orsomething. [Defenders art 2003 Marvel Characters, Inc.; EC art 2003

    William M. Gaines, Agent; Bugs Bunny art 2003 AOL!Time-Warner;Kukla &!Ollie TM &!2003 Estate of Burr Tillstrom.]

    1961). He is the star of a monster film, an apparently enormous alien fromouter space. He has a generalized anthropoid shape, with somewhat bumpyorange skin. Again, all of the elements that make The Hulk what he is areabsent. This is no prototype, nor much of a precursor; the only commonality isthe name. (Yet another Hulk will be described in Part II of this series, underIron Man.)

    One of the Hulks earliest adversaries, the Toad Men from IncredibleHulk #2 (Jul 1962), allegedly got a try-out in Tales to Astonish #7 (Jan. 1960).In We Met in the Swamp (5 pp.), penciled by Kirby and inked by Ditko, anold hermit recounts an encounter with alien creatures. These creatures areshort, rather silly-looking, and carry guns, thus resembling the alien invadersdefeated by The Hulk. Much of this resemblance may be due to the fact thatthe Toad Men were also drawn by Kirby and inked by Ditko. Although it isdifficult to accept that Goodman or Lee would want to test-market a minoropponent for a super-hero who hadnt been created yet, the numerous similar-ities argue for at least regarding these earlier aliens as precursors of the ToadMen.

    The Foreshadowingor Somethingof the Marvel Age of Comics 23

  • Doing Comics WasA Fun LearningExperience!

    Veteran Artist BILL FRACCIO Talks about His Years as a Pencilerand as Half of TONY WILLIAMSUNEInterview Conducted and Transcribed by Jim Amash

    (Top:) Bill Fraccio todayand (at right) a recent illo (drawn

    for Roy Thomas) of twosquabbling 1960s Charlton super-

    heroes, Son of Vulcan and BlueBeetle. Actually, back in early65, Bill penciled the first two

    scripts Roy soldfor Son ofVulcan #50 (Jan. 66) and BlueBeetle #54 (Feb.-March 66).

    Since the covers of those magswere printed in Comic BookArtist #9 and Alter Ego #20,respectively, and both mainsplashes appeared in A/E #8,

    on this page are a pair ofsecondary Fraccio & Tallarico

    splash pages from those issues.Photo & original art courtesy

    of Bill Fraccio. [New art 2003 Bill Fraccio; previously published

    art 2003 DC Comics; Son of Vulcan &!Blue Beetle TM!&

    2003 DC!Comics.]

    28 Bill Fraccio

  • [INTERVIEWERS NOTE: Bill Fraccio (pronounced Frah-chi-oh)was the first artist to draw a script written by A/Es editor, RoyThomas. While Charltons Son of Vulcan was hardly the highlight ofeither mans career, I mention it because my purpose in doing thisarticle was twofold. The first was to surprise Roy, which it did; but ofprimary importance is the recording of Bill Fraccios career, whichdeserved and needed documenting. There have been manyunanswered questions in this regard, and now Bill tells us his side ofthose stories, including the secret of late-60s Warren artist TonyWilliamsune! Bills career involves more than just Charlton andWarren, but hell tell us about them, and about Hillman, Fawcett,and Graham Ingelsstarting right now. Jim.]

    JIM AMASH: When and where were you born?

    BILL FRACCIO: In Mount Vernon, New York, July 9, 1920. Theydidnt have comic books when I was young, you know. [laughs]

    JA: Right, but you had the newspaper strips. When did you decide tobecome a cartoonist?

    FRACCIO: When I needed to make a living. I went to the same artschool [American School of Design] as FredKida. He gotout of schoolbefore I did,and startedworking atHillmanPublications.Fred was theone who got meinto comics. Hewas a nice, soft-spoken guy. Hisfather wasJapanese and hismother wasNorwegian, Ithink. And wewere both bigMilton Canifffans.

    World War IIwas on and the companiesneeded artists, so Fred tookme over to meet editor EdCronin at Hillman. Fred gaveme some pointers. I practicedwith a brush before I sawCronin, taking with me bothpenciled and inked samples.

    Cronin was a nice guyalittle fussy, but he waswatching out for his job.They had a whole floorwhere Hillman did comicsand magazines, like Pageant.They had a little room forartists, but that was mainlyfor corrections. I didnt haveto do corrections very often.Cronin had an assistanteditor, but I dont rememberhis name.

    I started out as an inker on Bob Fujitanis Iron Ace feature. Bobwas a real character and he was at the American School of Design withFred and me. Bob was one of the stars of the school... actually the threeof us were. His pencils were tight and easy to ink. He was a very consci-entious, personable guy. He met his wife at the school. Bob was a talkerand a wild and crazy guy; you had to like him.

    I inked a lot of Freds and Bobs work. Id go over to their houses andwork. Airboy was Kidas big feature. Kida and I used to play theclarinet while we were doing these jobs. It sort-of relaxed us in between,because there was a lot of pressure to meet those deadlines. I dontremember how much we were paid, but it wasnt much. Kidas brother-in-law was an agent and he could have gotten better-paying work forFred, but he wanted to do comics.

    JA: Do you know if Kida and Fujitani experienced any racialprejudice during the Second World War?

    FRACCIO: I dont think they did, but you must remember that therewere several Japanese working in comics during this time. There was oneguy, George Greg, who changed his last name from Mabuchi. Hepenciled and inked and was good. I helped him on a few jobs; he later

    got into doing portraits. George was born in Japan buthis brother was born here. He got into trouble for that,and George got into all kinds of crap because of hisbrother, but it wasnt really all that bad. It was just a painin the neck.

    I also remember Dan Barry from those days. He wasa live wire. I didnt see him that much, though. Hedpush his personality on you, so you had to like him.Barry worked so fast that I dont think he was reallylooking at the pages when he drew. He turned out somuch stuff that he was like a printing press. Dan alwaysneeded money.

    Doing Comics Was A Fun Learning Experience! 29

    Bill has drawn many a genre in his day. These three pencil drawings were teaching demos at school.

    [2003 Bill Fraccio.]

  • 35 TitleComic Fandom Archive

    by Bill SchellyIntroduction

    [In the first two parts of this interview, John filled us in on his earlyyears, his love affair with Mad and EC comics, and the many comicsfanzines that were published in the late 1950s, such as Ron ParkersHoohah! We also found out how his ground-breaking interviewswith Harvey Kurtzman and Bernard Krigstein came about. In thisconcluding segment, we move into the mid-1960s and even the early70s, as John reminisces about comic fandom in the NYC area,including the informal monthly meetings of comic book fans and prosthat took place in the apartments of various pros.

    [This interview wasconducted in January2003, and wastranscribed byBrian K. Morris.It was edited byJohn Benson andBill Schelly. [2003by Bill Schelly]

    BILL SCHELLY:How did you get WillEisner to agree to thatgreat interview forwitzend?

    JOHN BENSON:Even earlier than thatinterview, I was, Im pretty certain, the firstcomic book fan ever tocontact Eisner. Maybethere were readers whocontacted him when TheSpirit was being published,but Im talking about after.I was a big fan of TheSpirit, so I thought, Ill goup and talk to the guy.That was in August 1961.So I just walked in.

    BS: [laughs] I guess thatsa pretty good method,huh?

    BENSON: Well, it wasntthat good. I walked intohis office and I told him Iwas a fan of The Spirit,

    and all. And I remember that he wasabsolutely desperate to avoid having me

    sit down, because if I sat down, then I would bethere for more than thirty seconds. [laughs] Hewas very cordial, but he immediately stood upand came around his desk and kept standing. Hewas obviously anxious to get me out of his officeas soon as he could. He seemed very surprisedthat someone would be interested enough in TheSpirit to visit him at that time. It seemed verymuch in the dark past to him. Rather differentfrom my contact with Feiffer around the sametime.

    Arnold Roth had invited me to a lectureFeiffer gave in Philadelphia. I wrote about this inthe latest issue of Squa Tront. I was able to talkto Feiffer at the cocktail party afterward. He wasa little surprised that I knew of his connectionwith The Spirit, but he quite understood my

    A Talk with John BensonThe Editor of Squa Tront Talks about WILL EISNER, WALLY WOOD and witzend,

    His Alter Ego Interview with GIL KANE, His 1966 New York Comicon, & Much More!Part III

    [Above, left to right:] Dick Blackburn(mentioned in this interview), Bill Pearson(ditto; back to camera), John Benson, andconvention co-host Phil Seuling at the 1968SCARP-Con cocktail party; photo courtesyof JB. SCARP stood for Society of ComicArt Restoration & Preservation. [Center:]

    From the late 1960s on, Will Eisner wassupportive of comics conventions; heres

    his Spirit-ed drawing from the second SanDiego Comic-Con (1971), with thanks to Shel

    Dorf. [Below:] Eisner and fans at the 1968SCARP-Con, covered later in this

    installment; thanks to Fred Mommsen.[Art 2003 Will Eisner.]

  • fascination with the strip. Anyhow, I reported on that first contact withEisner, not the part about not sitting down, in my fanzine Image, whichI reprinted in the most recent Squa Tront. I think I must have said toEisner, Ive interviewed Harvey Kurtzman, and he said, Oh, well,why dont you talk to Kurtzman, then? He knows all about me. Youknow, What can I say to get this guy out of my office? So I inter-viewed Kurtzman again for Image.

    BS: Why didnt Eisner want to talk to you himself?

    BENSON: Well, that was in 1961, and I was just some kid, twenty yearsold, walking into his office where he was publishing commercial stuff,and he was busy. Again, The Spirit seemed much further in the past thenthan it is now. So it was like Krigstein being amazed that somebody evenremembered the stuff.

    BS: But you eventually did get to interview him for witzend in, Ithink, 1968.

    BENSON: Right. By that time he was aware that there was somefan interest in The Spirit. He was a guest at the 1968 SCARP-Con.I remember, during that interview, he hinted that possibly he maynot have been very enthusiastic about the war in Viet Nam, but hecut that out in the published transcript. The Army was still a clientat the time.

    All through those earlyconventions, first thing, Iwould go around to everytable and say, [excited] Doyou have any Spirits? I builta complete set that way. I gotvirtually a complete set of thetabs from Ron Goulart. God,I was making, like, a hundredbucks a week, or something,and I would be sending himthese $250 checks. I dontknow how I did it. Dontsell them to anyone else, Ron.Ill send you a check in acouple of weeks. Hold on. Ibought them in three or fourbatches.

    BS: That Eisner interview appearedwitzend #6, when Bill Pearson waspublisher, but werent you alsoconnected with the magazine at the beginning when Wally Wood waspublishing it? What did you do on witzend then?

    BENSON: I dont remember exactly. Probably a lot of miscellaneousstuff like pasting things up, writing captions and incidental editorialmaterial, stuffing envelopes, I dont know. My name is in there as Stafffor a few issues.

    At that time, Wally lived in a tenement walk-up about five blocksfrom my apartment. I think it was the same apartment that he had in theEC days. The stairs going up to his apartment sloped inward towardsthe central shaft. You always felt that someday the stairs would collapse.The apartment had a fairly large kitchen, and Wally had a little studio setup at one end. Someone recently wrote a piece, I wish I could rememberwhere, about working with Wood in those days. [NOTE: It was artistDan Adkins; see Alter Ego V3#8. Roy.] This writer described theseballs of dust suspended on wires from the ceiling, which he eventuallyrealized had been model airplanes once. Wally was a really nice guy, buthe perpetually lived in a world of disappointment. He just knewsomebody was going to screw him; I dont mean his personal friends, Imean professionally. And, darn!they always did. My favorite anecdote

    about Wally was when I took him up to the Boston NewCon in 1978.The transcript of the Wood-Krigstein-Kurtzman panel at thatconvention is in the latest Squa Tront. He was living in Connecticutthen, and I stopped off on the way up from New York to pick up Wallyand Bill Pearson. Wally sat in the back seat, and when I got back to thecity I discovered it was like the Peanuts character Pigpen had been backthere. There were empty cans, and papers and wrappers and potato chipcrumbs all over. [laughs] He was already in decline by that time,obviously.

    BS: Lets move on to comics conventions.

    BENSON: Yeah, you have to go back to 64. It was one day, a weekday,and I think Dick Lupoff wrote a review of that convention...

    BS: I ran it in The Golden Age of Comic Fandom.

    BENSON: ...where he spends half of the time complaining that it wason a weekday afternoon.

    BS: And then the other halfcomplaining that therewere young kids around,and that everybody wasscrambling for issues ofJimmy Olsen andSuperboy, which I justknow wasnt the case.

    BENSON: Im not so sure. Iwent to that convention. Iwas in New York in 64.However, I had a job...basically the same complaintas Lupoffs. I was literallythere, but didnt exactlyattend. I went there after work,and I arrived just as it wasbreaking up. It was in a tinyroom in, I believe, AcademyHall. I think it was the samebuilding where WilliamEverson had the Theodore Huff

    Film Society in for years. There wasnothing but kids left there when I wasthere. Well, Seuling was one of four orfive dealers lined up in the back, andthey were still doing business, like, after

    the thing had disbanded.

    BS: So then comes 1965 and the first full-fledged attempt at a comiccon, which we covered in Alter Ego in exhaustive detail. [laughs]Wasnt that when you actually met Gil Kane and decided tointerview him?

    BENSON: Yeah. I described that meeting in my introduction to theKane interview, which you reprinted in your Best of Alter Ego book. Ihad been sitting there, rather bored. It was the last panel of theconvention, and I hadnt found the panel the day before very interesting.It seemed to me at the time that, to the pros on the panels, it had beenjust a job of work. But then, in the last panel, there were these twofirebrands, Jim Warren and Gil Kane. I thought Kane was sayingexciting stuff... although if the excerpts printed in Alter Ego #20 are anindication, it must have been his style as much as what he said thatimpressed me. I ran up to him right after that panel and said, [excited]Mr. Kane, Ive gotta interview you! [laughs] You know, I did this otherinterview and can we just get together and do an interview?

    I didnt mention in that introduction that I thought he was Bob Kane

    At left, Wally Wood relaxes after an editors panel at the 1968SCARP-Con (photo from program book sent by Fred Mommsen).

    At right is Wallys superlative cover for the April 1959 issue ofGalaxy science-fiction magazine, courtesy of Michael T. Gilbert.

    [2003 the respective copyright holders.]

    36 Comics Fandom Archive




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    No. 88Our 30th Year!1 9 7 3 - 2 0 0 3

  • [FCA EDITORS NOTE: From 1941-53, Marcus D.Swayze was a top artist for Fawcett Comics.The very first Mary Marvel charactersketches came from Marcs drawing table, andhe illustrated her earliest adventures, includingthe classic Mary Marvel origin story, Captain MarvelIntroduces Mary Marvel (CMA #18, Dec. 42); but he wasprimarily hired by Fawcett Publications to illustrate CaptainMarvel stories and covers for Whiz Comics and Captain MarvelAdventures. He also wrote many Captain Marvel scripts, andcontinued to do so while in the military. After leaving the service, hemade an arrangement with Fawcett to produce art and stories forthem on a freelance basis out of his Louisiana home. There he

    created both art and story for The Phantom Eagle inWow Comics, in addition to drawing the Flyin Jennynewspaper strip for Bell Syndicate (created by his friendand mentor Russell Keaton). After the cancellation ofWow, Swayze produced artwork for Fawcetts top-selling line of romance comics. After the companyceased publishing comics, Marc moved over toCharlton Publications, where he ended his comicscareer in the mid-50s. Marcs ongoing professionalmemoirs have been FCAs most popular feature sincehis first column appeared in FCA #54, 1996. In this

    issue, Marc backtracks to discuss his associations withcomic strip creators Russell Keaton, Zack Mosley,

    and Rick Yager.P.C. Hamerlinck.]

    Russell Keaton once said, CareyOrr didnt recommend solid blacks

    in backgrounds.

    Keaton, originator of Flyin Jenny, thefirst aviation comic strip to feature a

    female pilot, was making a finalinspection of the weeks work,prior to mailing. When the

    statement was made I had no ideawho he was talking about, but I knew what

    he was talking about. College art classes,helpful and appreciated as they had

    been, did not go into the subject ofsolid blacks in backgrounds as did

    comic strip artists.

    Carey Orr, I learned, was a popular editorial cartoonist with theChicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate. He was also a widelyadmired instructor at the Chicago Academy of Art, which may havebeen where Keaton came to know Zack Mosley. Or maybe it was whenthe two were co-workers and pals at the John F. Dille Syndicate.

    Mosley, creator of the long-lasting newspaper strip Smilin Jack, hasbeen rightfully accorded a place in the history of aviation comics. Hecould also be credited with having been one of the pioneers possessing

    (c) mds[Art & logo 2003 Marc Swayze; Captain Marvel & TM 2003 DC Comics]


    A Swayze-drawn Captain Marvel splash page from Whiz Comics #38 (Dec.1942). The racially-stereotyped Steamboat, developed before Marc came to

    work for Fawcett, was dropped shortly thereafter. [ 2003 DC Comics.]

    The influence of Smilin Jack accounted for the great number of pen-linemustaches and crooked smiles seen around the airports of the day. Sketch by Marc Swayze. [Art 2003 Marc Swayze; Smilin Jack 2003

    the respective copyright holder.]

    An inked 1996sketch of MaryMarvel by Marc

    Swayze. [Art 2003Marc Swayze; MaryMarvel TM & 2003

    DC Comics.]

    44 Marc Swayze

  • by Michael MikulovskyAs a kid growing up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin,

    in the 1970s, I always loved monsters. Not onlyon Shock Theatre on TV, but also all those greatmonster mags of the time: Famous Monsters ofFilmland, Eerie, and Creepy.

    Then Marvels second monster explosion hitthe scenes in the early 70s. I went nuts! All myfavorite monstersplus some new onesby allthese great writers and talented artists!

    Even though I was always a so-called Marvelzombie, in the late 1980s I became a huge fan ofthe original Captain Marvel, because of the releaseon videotape of the old Republic serial and JerryOrdways beautifully-painted graphic novel.

    Every fan has his/her own dream projectwhich they would love to write or draw or justsee published. Mine would be to see CaptainMarvel star in a whole months worth of weeklytitles. With a story with a Halloween theme thatties it all togetherCap battling an array ofclassic monsters, drawn by their Marvel Comicsartist counterparts: Dracula by Gene (The Dean)Colan, The Zombie by Pablo Marcos, an up-dated Creature from the Black Lagoon by DaveCockrum or Frank Brunneralso the Werewolfby Night and Frankensteins Monster by MikePloog. And all inked by Tom Palmer or JerryOrdway.

    Im still hoping to finish my personal quest bygetting Frank Brunner and Mike Ploog to do thecharacters I mentioned above, but Ive made agood startand Id like to thank all the artists forall their hard work, and Jon B. Cooke for all hishelp!

    And best of luck to producer Michael Uslanand screenwriter William Goldman, theannounced team supreme on the upcomingShazam! movie.

    FCA EDITORS NOTE: You sure have madea good start, Michael! And thanks for sharingyour prizes with the readers of FCA and AlterEgo! Maybe by next year youll have evenmore goodies to lay on us!

    Captain Marvel and ThoseMarvel-ous Monsters

    Youve already glimpsed the Jerry Ordway-inked version of Gene Colans Captain Marvel-vs.-Draculapencils on our FCA interior cover a few pages back. Above is the same cover inked by Tom Palmer,renowned as the inker of Genes Tomb of Dracula work for much of the 1970s. Alas, Michael had to

    photograph this version through glass, in a way that left a pattern, but we figured youd want you tosee it, all the same. Used by permssion of the artists. [Art 2003 Gene Colan & Tom Palmer; Captain

    Marvel TM & 2003 DC Comics; Marvel version of Dracula TM & 2003 Marvel Characters, Inc.]

    Those Marvel-ous Monsters 47

  • [FCA EDITORS NOTE: This piece was originally published in thefirst issue of Johns marvelous, short-lived late-70s fanzine The WhizKids in 1976, and is 2003 John G. Pierce. P.C. Hamerlinck.]

    PrefaceThe Bible, in I John 4:18, tells us that perfect love casts out fear. In

    the Captain Marvel story I discuss in this review, knowledge casts outfear.

    We fear the unknown, and often fear what we dont need to fear atall. That seems to be the message of this story a story, like so manyCaptain Marvel tales, not meant just to entertain, but to enlighten andinspire.

    Largely due to themisinterpretation ofCaptain Marvel byDC Comics, and thefact that comicshistorians generallyhave failed tochronicle the fullscope of CaptainMarvels adventuresof the past, todaysreaders frequentlytend to think of theoriginal CaptainMarvel stories ashaving beenstrictly in ahumorous vein.But even aperfunctoryglance at some ofthe old Fawcettcomics would easily dispel any such mistaken notions. And one primeexample is Captain Marvel Adventures #89 (Oct. 1948), and particu-larly its lead story, Captain Marvel Faces Fear!

    Fear is presented as a tangible entity with flowing white robes and aSpectre-like hood. Inviting the reader to witness his power, Fear intro-duces the story with a scientist who, having completed an invention,turns it over to a delivery boy. When the boy gets a look at thepackages label, which says Atomic Engine, he jumps to the conclusionthat he is carrying an atomic bomb. The youngster promptly disposesof the package in a trashcan, while Fear gloats that The news willspread like contagion.

    A garbage disposal unit empties the trashcan contents into a truck,while the boy, still on the run from the bomb, smashes into BillyBatson, who promptly says Shazam! (Contrary to what some people,including C.C. Beck himself, have reported, Billy didnt always waituntil moments of extreme danger to say his magic word, as thisexample shows. Or perhaps Billy had either a low threshold ofexcitement or a newspersons instinct for danger.)

    Captain Marvel stops the boy long enough to get an explanation.Cap flies the lad back to the trashcan, and thence to the scientists office.While the delivery boy takes off again, Captain Marvel learns from thescientist that the atomic engine is absolutely harmless. But its toolate, as the delivery boy/messenger has gone, and news travels fast onthe wings of Fear. As crowds flee the city, the tiny voice of reason islost in the clamor ofFear! Billy, at station WHIZ, attempts tobroadcast that there is no danger, but to no avail. He changes to CaptainMarvel, who almost succeeds in quelling a riot. But Fear decides, Ivegot to do something A passing truck backfires, convincing thecrowd that the bomb exploded.

    But Captain Marvel spots Fear. Whos that fellow sulking around inthat queer outfit? he wonders, and gives pursuit. Fear, being stronger

    Captain Marvel Faces FearCaptain Marvel Adventures #89Examined by John G. Pierce Edited by P.C. Hamerlinck

    C.C. Becks cover for Captain Marvel Adventures #89.

    Fear is presented as a tangible entity in CMA #89. [2002 DC Comics.]

    Captain Marvel Faces Fear 51

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  • 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 ofWilliam Woolfolk


    ContentsFour Touches of Venus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2Trina Robbins on the Goddess of Love as a comic book heroine of infinite variety.

    Classics NOT Illustrated . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17Pete Von Sholly shows you how to fake a book reportin an alternate universe!

    The Dark and Haunting Art of Ernie Schroeder . . . . . . . . . . . 23Hames Ware & Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr., present a Heap of great artwork.

    Maneely Monsterpieces! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27A handful of horror for a haunted Halloweenserved up by 1950s artist Joe Maneely.

    Melt Figure into Black Shadows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32Alex Toth writes about mysterioso, blackgarbed nightcreature hero/villains, etc.

    The ECs That Never Were!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35Michael T. Gilbert on The Nickel Library and its five-penny horror-comics covers.

    Tales Calculated to Drive You BATS!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42Jim Amash interviews George Gladir & Orlando Businothe men behind the madness.

    Monsters Malicious & Mirthful Section . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Flip Us!About Our Cover: The Eighth Wonder of the World! Many of the great horror-lit scenes (see pp. 17-22) painted by Pete Von Sholly wouldve made fabulous covers for this issue ofA/E in the vein of Classics Illustrated. But, since Ye Editor is a guy who last year shocked the dean of a university liberal arts department by telling her (when asked) that his favorite movie of all time is King Kongwell, what other choice could Roy have made?[Art 2003 Pete Von Sholly; King Kong TM & the respective copyright holders.]

    Above: Bill Everett was noted for drawing heroes like The Sub-Marinerand great Timely/Atlas horror comics. He got a chance to do both in the 1950s Venus seriesas in this splash from #16 (Oct. 51). More eldritch Everett coming up inside![2003 Marvel Characters, Inc.]

    Vol. 3, No. 29 / October 2003Editor 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 ArtistsPete Von ShollyFrank Brunner

    Cover ColoristsPete Von ShollyTom Ziuko

    And Special Thanks to:Gary ArlingtonMark AustinRandall J. BarlowJohn BensonChris BrownFrank BrunnerMike BurkeyOrlando BusinoNick CaputoGene ColanDave CockrumJon B. CookeAl DellingesRoger Dicken &

    Wendy HuntShel DorfShelton DrumTim EasterdayBill FraccioGeorge GladirStan GoldbergPaul HandlerDustin HarbinDaniel Herman

    Richard HowellThomas G. LammersStan LeeSteve LeialohaPablo MarcosMichael MikulovskyMile-High ComicsFred MommsenBrian K. MorrisDave ODellJerry OrdwayTom PalmerJohn G. PierceLarry RippeePaul RivocheTrina RobbinsPete Von ShollyMarc SwayzeDann ThomasAlex TothJim Vadeboncoeur, Jr.Michael J. VassalloHames WareMichael Zeno

  • Super-hero! Long beforeThors 1962 debut in Journey

    into Mystery, the Romangoddess Venus swoops

    down at the bad guys inissue #13 (April 51), thoughshe didnt use flying powersin the stories themselves

    except to transport her backto Olympus. Bill Everett hada hand in the art. Reprod

    from a photostat of theoriginal art. [2003 Marvel

    Characters, Inc.]

    Science-fiction! On the cover of Venus #10 (July 1950) the

    heroine and a male areTrapped on the Moon!

    but youll notice that only heneeds a space suit. See Jim

    Vadeboncoeurs checklist on p. 15 for possible artist.

    [2003 Marvel Characters, Inc.]

    Horror! The splash of thelead tale in the penultimateissue, Venus #18 (Feb. 52),is horrifically detailed. Art

    by Wild Bill Everett, reprodfrom a photostat of the

    original art. [2003 MarvelCharacters, Inc.]

    Four Touches of VenusSuper-hero! Horror! Science-Fiction! Romance! Timely/Marvels Golden Age Love Goddess

    Did It ALLand BILL EVERETT Was There!by Trina RobbinsRomance! A 1950 house ad treatsVenus as a love comicpairing it

    with the shortlived cowgirl-romance title Reno Browne. Artist

    uncertain. Reproduced from aphotostat of the original art.

    [2003 Marvel Characters, Inc.

    2 Four Touches of Venus

  • Fifteen years before Dr. Don Blake discovered the magic Uruhammer that turned him into the Norse thunder god, Thor, Stan Leecreated a comics series starring a different mythic deitythis onefemale.

    Timely Comics, under Stan Lees editorship, had been successfullyproducing comic books aimed at girls and/or featuring female protago-nists since the 1944 debut of Miss America. In its first five issues, thattitle spotlighted Miss America, a young crime-fighter from MarvelMystery Comics who sported a patriotic costume and (sometimes) cats-eye glasses, making her the only near-sighted super-heroine in comics.With issue #6, the magazine devoted itself solely to teenage girls withoutsuper-powers, and Miss America was demoted to guest spots in otherTimely comics.

    Next to get her own book was Blonde Phantom in 1946, the onlysuper-heroine to fight crime in a red evening gown and matching high-heeled pumps. Blonde Phantom was still going strong when, two yearslater, Timely came up with Sun Girl, Namoraand Venus, whoeventually saw some pretty frenzied action in an evening gown herself.

    Namora, Sub-Mariners cousin, and Sun Girl, billed as TheMysterious Beauty, lasted three issues each; but Venus, the ancientRoman goddess of love, was another story, surviving through 1952 andowing her comparative longevity to her (and Stan Lees) ability tochange with the times.

    1948 was also the year that the film One Touch of Venus opened intheatres across America. Based on the 1943 musical comedy with songsby Kurt Weill and Ogden Nash, it starred Ava Gardner as the goddesswho comes down to Earth. (In the earlier stage musical, Mary Martinhad played the title role. Because she later become so identified with herrole as the nurse in Rodgers and Hammersteins South Pacific, I canthelp but imagine her singing, Im Gonna Wash That Mars Right Out ofMy Hair!) Its very likely that the movie version was the inspirationfor Stan Lee, who always had his eye on the latest trend. In a recenttelephone interview, he couldnt remember whether or not he had beeninspired by One Touch of Venus, but he said, If it makes your articleany better, you can say the movie was my inspiration. He also believesthat he did write some Venus stories, though he cant remember howmany or which ones.

    The photo of dark-haired Ava Gardner inthe 1948 film version of One Touch of Venus(left) was quite likely the inspiration for theart spot seen at right, whose comely blondeimage topped Timelys 1951 Venus stories.The movie dropped most of the songs fromthe 1943 stage musical, although singing

    idol Dick Haymes did get to croon thebeautiful Speak Low to Ava. Haymes wasno stranger to so-called love goddesses,once being married to Rita Hayworth; but

    in the film, after a department-storemannequin of Venus comes to life, he losesAva (herself often styled a love goddess)

    to boyish Robert Walkerbefore Venusreturns to Olympus in one of those it-was-

    all-a-dream endings. Note that AvaGardners autograph is backward on thereversed photo. Thanks to Trina Robbins.

    [Art 2003 Marvel Characters, Inc.]

    The first splash page from Venus #1 (April 48). Experts disagree concerning theartist; see both the article and the checklist on p. 15. Reprod from photostats of

    the original art. Thanks to Trina Robbins. [2003 Marvel Characters, Inc.]

    Super-hero! Horror! Science-Fiction! Romance! 3

  • In the first issue of Timelys Venus comic book, the beautiful blondegoddess paces the halls of her castle of the gods on Mount Luster,locatedwhere else?on the planet Venus. Bored with her perfect life,she wishes herself upon the planet Earth, soars through outer space, andlands on a busy street in New York City, causing a traffic jam. At thatmoment, along comes handsome publisher Whitney Hammond,thinking, There must be a new idea which I can use in BeautyMagazine... something different, fresh, exciting!

    The new idea, of course, is Venus. Although Hammond neverreally believes she is a goddess come to Earth, her looks are all he needs,and on the spot he hires her to edit the magazine.

    Venus was originally a sort of supernatural version of Timelys girlcomics. These were mostly about teenage girls like Patsy Walker,Cindy Smith, Jeannie, or Margie, but there was also a sub-genre ofcareer girl comics: Millie the Model, Nellie the Nurse, Tessie theTypist, and Hedy DeVine, who was a movie star. The career girls wereolder than their teen counterpartsmaybe as old as 21!and, as editorof a beauty magazine, Venus fit into this category.

    The earliest Venus stories were drawn, at least according to somesources, by Ed Winiarski, who also drew the career-girl character HedyDeVine. Hedy DeVine stories in both teen and career-girl comicstended to revolve around the Archie/Betty/Veronica-type love triangleof blonde-vs.- brunette, with some guy in the middle. In the case ofblonde Venus, the other end of the triangle is Hammonds jealous

    4 Four Touches of Venus

    The splash page to Venus #2 (Aug. 48)if we read the notation on the black-&-white photostats a-rightjuxtaposed with art from another story therein, in which Venus uses her powers toconfound poor mortal men. Artist uncertain, but inking may

    be by George Klein. [2003 Marvel Characters, Inc.]

  • [Art on the next five pages 2003 Pete Von Sholly; ClassicsIllustrated is a trademark of Frawley Corporation and its exclusivelicensee, First Classics, Inc., a subsidiary of Classics InternationalEntertainment, Inc., and is used herein for historical and parodicpurposes.]

    Did you ever have one of those dreams where you go into a store andfind all these great things (comic books, magazines, toys, or otherchildhood pleasures)even though theyre ones that never reallyexisted? You can see them clearlysavor their rich colors, their images,their titles, etc. You cant believe it, but there they are, tangible andwithin your very grasp: unsuspected treasures that are yours for thetaking!

    And then something happensperhaps the store closes, or you donthave any money, or the treasures begin to fall apart on you, and youawaken to realize that you cant have those wonderful things, after all.Even the details fade frustratingly as consciousness returns.

    Well, I have had such dreams, and this piece describes an attempt tobring some of those items into the real world for my own pleasure, andhopefully for that of a few kindred spirits.

    When I was a lad, there was a line of comics called ClassicsIllustrated (ne Classic Comics in the early 1940s), published by theGilberton Company, which adapted famous literary works into comicsform. Many of us may remember these as being very handy for doingbook reports on novels we didnt actually read. I admit it: I liked realcomic books much better, but once in a great while the Classics guyswould accidentally put out something cool. The Time Machine, TheWar of the Worlds, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Frankenstein,and The Invisible Man are the ones that come most readily to mind.

    Mostly, however, Classics Illustrated were the four-color equivalentof Novacane for me. But what if things had been different?

    Here are my Earth-Von Sholly versions of at least the paintedcovers of some classics that the Gilberton Company didnt adapt inillustrated formbut should have.

    Lets start with H.P. Lovecraft, the supreme horror writer of the firsthalf of the twentieth centuryif not of the entire century. His storiesappeared mostly in the lurid Weird Tales magazine in the 1920s and 30sbefore his death from cancer in 1937 at the age of 47, and he never mademuch money from themnor did literary critics hail his stories andoccasional novellas as classics, although the cognoscenti amonghorror-fiction fans did. Horror writers from Stephen King forward haveacknowledged Lovecrafts influence on them, and he is now commonlyacknowledged as the 20th century successor to Edgar Allan Poeexceptthat HPLs work has one foot in terror, the other (surprisingly enough)in science-fiction.

    The Dunwich Horror was the second of his stories that I read, andthe one that warped my whole lifeand got me in trouble with myAmerican history teacher for reading it in class. (I couldnt help it... Ihad to see what was going to happen at the end of the story!) Its really along short story, like most of HPLs work, but certainly long enough toprovide material for an entire issue of Classics Illustrated if they haddone one:

    Classics IllustratedCover Paintings from a World That Never WasBut Ought to Be!by Pete Von Sholly


    Yes, I know I shouldnt really have shown the monster on the cover,since its size and shape are unknown until the very end of the story, as in somuch of HPLs fictionbut I couldnt help that, either.

    Pete Von Sholly 17

  • Next we have The Shadow over Innsmouth, on which cover I alsoshow the monsters, perhaps with a bit more justification:

    And then theres At the Mountains of Madness, a short novel, whichpossibly looks the most like a real Classics Illustrated cover and doesnot show the monster, or at least shows only a hint of it.

    The preceding three tales are among my favorites by the illustriousOld Gentleman of Providence, Rhode Island. And it would have been awarm day on Yuggoth before the Classics folks would have touchedthem, Lovecraft being a mere pulp writer and beneath the notice ofserious academia!

    18 Classics Not Illustrated

  • [Unless otherwise noted, all art accompanying this piece was providedby Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr.]

    Of the three S artists weve covered so far in this series (the twoprevious being Henry Enoch Sharp and Mike Suchorsky), none to ourknowledge ever signed his work in comic books. And, as delighted asfellow comic art detective Jerry de Fuccio was with our finally pinning aname to the art of Mike Suchorsky, the identification that delighted ourlate friend the most was when Hames was able to provide the nameErnie Schroeder as the primary early-1950s artist on Hillmans twomajor features, Airboy and The Heap. It seems that not only was heone of Jerrys favorite artists, but the longtime Mad magazine associateeditor had also acquired a great deal of original art by him, yet Jerry hadhad no success getting a name for him.

    The way Hames had come across Schroeders ID was certainly notfrom the comics, for, as with Suchorsky and Sharp, Schroeder neversigned a single thing he did in the comic books. No sneaks... no nothin!But, to let Hames put it in his own words:

    When I was a kid, I used to kill time waiting for my turn in thebarber chair at the local small barbershop by perusing the mostly mens-adventure magazines (especially if they included illustrations) that werescattered about for the patrons. This particular time, I was leafingthrough stories with titles like I Hunted Killer Sharks in DangerousOceans, and I suddenly felt a sense of excitement, and not about killersharks. It was because I realized that the illustrations I was looking atwere unmistakably done by the longtime Heap and Airboy artist atHillman! None of these illustrations was signed, either, but as I flippedback to the first page of the magazine story, I held out hope that maybethe magazine might have given a byline to the artist, as they sometimesdid in those days. And there, at long last, were the welcome words:

    Title 23The Great UnknownsPart III of a Series

    The Dark and HauntingArt of ERNIE SCHROEDERby Hames Ware & Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr.

    Ernie Schroeder started out doing super-heroes like so many othersBlack Cat, Captain Freedom, and The Young Defenders on the cover of

    Harveys Speed Comics #37 (May 1945), and the Captain Freedom tale in Speed #44 (Jan.-Feb. 47). [2003 the respective copyright holders.]

  • Illustrations by Ernest Schroeder. The Heap and Airboy artist hadfinally been given an identity!

    This was one of the first times that cross-referencing of other mediawould yield long-sought names of never-signing comic book artists.(Anyone who knows Jim will understand why I had a major advantageover him regarding this type of barbershop research.)

    I went home after my haircut and dutifully logged this great newfind in my ledger where I maintained my lists of comic book artists. And

    so it was, years later, that Iwas able to make Jerry deFuccio a very happy man and,better still, make sure thatErnie Schroeder would findhis rightful home in TheWhos Who of AmericanComic Books, of which I wasco-editor with Jerry G. Bails.Since then, weve locatedSchroeders art at Ziff-Davis,where, like our first twoGreat Unknowns he alsochronicled the adventures ofG.I. Joe. But he goes backmuch further into the GoldenAge and was one of the light-hearted delineators at Harveyon many features in SpeedComics.

    Alas for de Fuccios longer-term purposes, unlike thedogged determination thatenabled him to turn uprelatives for Mike Suchorsky,try as he could, Jerry wasnever able to trace ErnieSchroeder beyond theshipyards where initial leads

    said he had gone to work after the art markets dried up in the 1950s.

    Consequently, theres little more to add to the Ernie Schroeder story,unless perhaps some of Alter Egos readers can fill in the blanks. In themeantime, the best thing Hames and Jim can do now is to pull back thecurtain of time and let A/Es readers see the dark and haunting style thatSchroeder used so well to capture the atmosphere that intertwined the twofeatures he will always be identified withAirboy and The Heap!

    An AirboyHeap Addendumby Jim & HamesIn December of 1948, the title feature in Airboy Comics was passed

    from the capable and recognizable hands of Dan Zolnerowich and FredKida to a new artist who would draw the lead feature longer thananyone else. Moody and dark and noirish, this artist immediately tookAirboys adventures from the skies to the sewers with a two-part chillercalled Airboy and the Rats.

    A year later, with the December 1949 issue, this artist, ErnieSchroeder, also took over the other continuing series in Airboy Comics,The Heap. And down underground went the original swampmonsterinto a cave in some central-European mountain range. In fact,with Schroeder at the helm, both characters began to face and overcomeantagonists more in tune with the growing trend of the timeshorrorcomics. In addition to the intelligent rats and sub-human cave creatures,there were horrendous crabmen in the sewers of Paris, frozen ice-people with no eyes, threatening asteroids, weird life from space, lostRoman cities and legions in Africa, monstrous sea slugs, strange Tibetangreat white apes, rampaging prehistoric monsters preserved in ice,revived Egyptian mummies, and ghosts and wizards and vampires andcentaurs and such. And all that was just in the first two years!

    Schroeder even drew fairytales, as in this story from Parents Calling All Kids #12 (Sept. 47)and light-hearted war storiessuch as this one from Ziff-Davis G.I. Joe #51 (June 57), the final issue of the series. [2003 the respective copyright holder.]

    Panels from Airboy and the Rats in Hillman Periodicals Airboy Comics, Vol. 5, #11 (Dec. 1948). This Schroeder art is a far cry from most of the blondyoung heros previous aerial adventuresthough one should never forget

    his wartime Fred Kida-drawn encounters with the entity called Misery![2003 the respective copyright holder.]

    24 Ernie Schroeder

  • [EDITORS NOTE: Our previous issue of Alter Ego spotlighted the life andwork of Joe Maneely, one of the premier Timely/Atlas artists of the 1950s. Evenso, thanks to all the specimens of his work sent us by article-scribe Dr. Michael J.Vassallo and a few others, we had lots of art photocopies left overincluding agoodly number from the horror comics that sent Fredric Wertham, M.D.,screaming for cover in the first half of that decade. So, even though we used upsome of the very best terror-art last time, heres another horrific helping of Atlasscare-fests, to show you why Joe Maneely and Halloween are all but synonymousin horror-minded households everywhere. Except where noted, copies wereprovided by Doc V. Except for the final example, all art in this 3-page section2003 Marvel Characters, Inc. Roy.]

    Joes cover for Mystic #29 (April 1954).

    Splash from Suspense #17 (April 1952).

    An early Maneely horror splash, from Suspense #5 (Nov. 1950).


    A Handful of Horror for a Haunted Halloween

    Joe Maneely 27

  • 32 Alex Thoth



    03 A




    Melt Figure Into Black Shadows

    Golden/Silver Age Artist ALEX TOTH Writes aboutMysterioso Blackgarbed Nightcreatures Heroes/Villains, etc.

    Im now aware of what should always have been obvious, sinceboyhood, thru all forms of graphic storytelling, yet missed connectingthe dots, of revelation/discovery, but now, Im convinced of the validityof my theory.

    Which isto maintain that mysterioso quality of aBatman/Shadow/Zorro/Bat/Spider/Green Hornet (badly-misde-signed/colored)in film/video/fotos/pulp/comic art/illos, Id nowavoid, like the plague, ever again coming in close-up on any of theabovekeep them awaymidground/full figure/backdrop shadows toconceal/not reveal the masked/cowled/helmeted face/head and, whenpracticable, melt figure into black shadows. This voids undue famil-iarity!

    An intriguing Shadow & Batman composition/sequence/pageby Toth. [Art 2003 Alex Toth; Batman TM & 2003 DC

    Comics; The Shadow TM & 2003 Cond Nast.]

    Part of Alexs handwritten original 4-page article. [2003 Alex Toth.]

  • 35

    All art on the following seven pages 2003 the original artists. The NewNickel Library is TM!&!2003 by Gary Arlington. All EC art & logos are TM &2003 William M. Gaines Agent, and are used only for historical purposes.

  • In the early 70s, underground publisher Gary Arlington began anambitious comic art series called The New Nickel Library. These weremostly 8"x 10" single-page prints, black-&-white on cardboard stockwith binder holes so they could be collected in notebooks. Gary planneda total of 500 different images on a weekly publication schedule. Trulylabors of love, each Nickel Library print sold for the grand sum of 5!

    The pictures included all kinds of neat stuff, public domain andotherwise. One issue might feature an old pulp drawing,the next a rare Harrison Cady cartoon or some new artfrom the many cartoonists who frequented Garys 23rdStreet comic book shop. Gary also published actualunderground comix under the San Francisco ComicBook Company imprint, but these single pages were fareasier to produce. With the help of cartoonists RogerBrand and Kim Deitch, Garys vision soon became areality.

    A Deitch-illustrated flyer heralded the new series:Because they are the labor of love, and are generallynon-profit undertakings, most fanzines are years inthe making. The Nickel Library too willundoubtably [sic] be years in the making. However,there is one major difference; you the reader, cansee, even share in the creation of the Nickel Librarynow, as it happens, page after fascinating page!

    Wow! Who could resist a pitch like that? In a fewweeks, one-sheet wonders featuring vintage art byReed Crandall, Will Eisner, Murphy Anderson, andHarrison Cady began rolling off the presses. But thebest was yet to comeat least for fans of the grandold EC comic book line!

    Say, did I mention that Gary was a die-hard ECfan-addict? Indeed he was, and he never quiterecovered when his favorite comic company diedback in the 50s. So in true EC tradition, GhoulishGary came up with the idea of bringing hisfavorite comics back from the grave! Sometime in1973, he began commissioning a series of newimaginary EC covers drawn by some of theunderground comix artists who frequented hiscomic shop.

    It wasnt a hard sell, since many of thecartoonists were already loyal EC fans. In fact,comix like Slow Death, Skull, Last Gasp, andBijou frequently featured stories modeled onTales from the Crypt, Weird Science, and theold Mad comic books.

    In short order, cartoonists Larry Todd,Charles Dallas, and Greg Irons drew somedelightfully gruesome imitation-EC covers. Garyand crew completed the illusion by slapping downstats of actual EC logos, with numbering continuedfrom the original series. The art may not have beenas slick as the original EC artists, but the EC spirit

    36 Comic Crypt

    The ECs That Never Were!By Michael T. Gilbert

    Nickel Library #0. This flyer announced the arrival of The New Nickel Library. In case youre wondering, EricFromm was a pseudonym Gary used for his mail-orderbusiness. [Art 2003 the respective copyright holders.]

    Gary Arlington in 1976. Photo 2003by Patrick Rosenkranz.

  • The EC That Never Was 37

    was there. When Roger Brand discovered an unpublished Wally Woodoriginal, it too became an EC coverone drawn by an actual EC artist!Gary was so pleased with the results he sent copies to EC publisher BillGaines.

    Bad move.

    It turned out that Gaines lawyers werent thrilled with Garysongoing use of the EC titles and logos, and told Gary to knock it off.Never one for half measures, the publisher pulled the plug on the entireseries. His heart just wasnt in it anymore.

    Gary reminisced recently, saying he really enjoyed doing the ECcovers, but the 5 thing just ran out of gas. No money was to be made,not at five cents.

    All together, only 57 prints out of 500 were completed between 1971and 1973 on a less-than-weekly schedule. Nonetheless, even today theNickel Library is fondly remembered by fans of both EC and under-ground comix. For one brief, shining moment, the freewheeling spirit ofEC flourished anew. And with it came The ECs That Never Were!

    Nickel Library #53. Larry Todds creepy Tales From The Crypt #48 cover (with the original EC logos and horror host bullets added). Larry wrote and drew sci-fi and horror stories for Eerie and other Warren magazines in the 70s,

    but is best remembered for his hilarious underground comix series, Dr. Atomic. This and all other non-EC art, along with the EC mastheads & logos, that accompany this article are published for historical purposes.

    [2003 Larry Todd; EC title & logo 2003 William M. Gaines Agent.]

  • I. GEORGE GLADIR, Writer[INTRODUCTION: George Gladir is one of the most prolificwriters in comic book history. A few years ago, Robin Snydersresearch indicated that Paul S. Newman wrote more comics storiesthan anyone elsethough recently, in his magazine The Comics!Robins begun to wonder aloud if Robert Kanigher might just have aclaim on that crown, after alland its just possible that, when all issaid and done, George Gladir might just take that title away fromboth of them! Either way, Georges amazing ability to consistentlywrite funny scripts for several decades, whether for ArchiePublications or others, is a remarkable achievement. Personally, wethink George was also a horror-ble writer, as the following interviewwill demon-strate. (Please forgive the puns, George.) Jim.]

    GEORGE GLADIR: Archies Madhouse was originally supposed to bea take-off on Mad magazine. I didnt originate the series, but came onboard as a writer with the sixth issue. Eventually, I got to do most of thewriting, which I did for quite a while. The monster pages were sporadicat first; there was a potpourri of subjects in each issue. I tried to coverthings that might interest our readers. Once Orlando Busino and Istarted doing the monster pages, we soon came up with the idea of doing

    George Gladir meets Melisssa Joan Hart (TVs Sabrina) at the LosAngeles Festival of Books, 2002flanked by the first-ever appearanceof Sabrina in Archies Madhouse #22 (Oct. 1962) and the cover of Tales

    Calculated to Drive You Bats (the full official title) #1 (Nov. 1961).Sabrina art by Dan DeCarlo; Bats art by Orlando Busino, whose

    interview begins on p. 45. [Art 2003 Archie Comic Publications, Inc.]

    Tales Calculated To Drive You BATS!

    Brief Interviews with GEORGE GLADIR & ORLANDO BUSINOCo-creators of Archies Horrific Humor Title (Or Was It Their Humorous Horror Title?)Transcribed and Conducted by Jim Amash

    42 George Gladir & Orlando Busino