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$ 6.95 In the USA PLUS: Roy ThomasPugnacious Comics Fanzine PLUS: No. 52 September 2005 JOE GIELLA JOE GIELLA THE FELLA WHO INKED (AND SOME GOLDEN AGE, TOO!) DC’S SILVER AGE! [Art ©2005 Joe Giella; Characters TM & ©2005 DC Comics.] JAY SCOTT PIKE & MARTIN THALL ALSO:

Alter Ego #52

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ALTER EGO #52 features JOE GIELLA—legendary inker and artist on the Batman, Phantom, Mary Worth, & Flash Gordon newspaper strips—on the Silver Age at DC, the Golden Age at Marvel, JULIE SCHWARTZ, et al., in an exclusive JIM AMASH interview! Featuring rare and lavish art by CARMINE INFANTINO, GIL KANE, MIKE SEKOWSKY, CURT SWAN, DICK DILLIN, SHELLY MOLDOFF, FRANK GIACOIA, DAN & SY BARRY, KURT SCHAFFENBERGER, and others! Plus, JAY SCOTT PIKE on STAN LEE & the Marvel/Timely years and on CHARLIE BIRO’s Crimebuster! MARTIN THALL on working with ROSS ANDRU & MIKE ESPOSITO (Get Lost!), GEORGE EVANS (Captain Video), WALLY WOOD, SIMON & KIRBY, AL WILLIAMSON, CHARLES SULTAN, MAURICE WHITMAN, etc.! FCA featuring MARC SWAYZE, C.C. BECK, & OTTO BINDER—ALEX TOTH on comic art—MICHAEL T. GILBERT & MR. MONSTER—BILL SCHELLY interviews 1960s fan GLEN JOHNSON—& MORE!

Text of Alter Ego #52

  • $6.95In the USA

    PLUS:

    Roy ThomasPugnaciousComics Fanzine

    PLUS:

    No.52September

    2005

    JOE GIELLAJOE GIELLATHE FELLA WHO INKED

    (AND SOME GOLDEN AGE, TOO!)DCS SILVER AGE!

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    JAY SCOTTPIKE&

    MARTINTHALL

    ALSO:

  • Alter EgoTM is published monthly by TwoMorrows, 10407 Bedfordtown Drive, Raleigh, NC 27614, USA. Phone: (919) 449-0344.Roy Thomas, Editor. John Morrow, Publisher. Alter Ego Editorial Offices: 32 Bluebird Trail, St. Matthews, SC 29135, USA.Fax: (803) 826-6501; e-mail: [email protected] Send subscription funds to TwoMorrows, NOT to the editorial offices. 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.

    FIRST PRINTING.

    This issue is dedicated to the memories ofPaul Cassidy & Al Kurzrok

    ContentsWriter/Editorial: For Hes A Jolly Good Giella . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2Joe Giella Is Like Fine WineHe Gets Better With Age! . . . . . . . . 3The man who inked DCs Silver Age, and lots more besidesinterviewed by Jim Amash.

    Comic Artists Could Draw Better Than Anybody in the World! . . . 331950s-70s artist Jay Scott Pike speaks with Jim A. about his years at Marvel & DC.

    I Was All Over The Place, And Enjoying Every Minute Of It! . . . 46Martin Thall tells Mr. A. all about drawing comics in the 1940s and 50s.

    Comic Crypt: Remembering Will Part Three . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57Michael T. Gilberts long association with Will Eisnerand The Spirit.

    Do The Best Damn Work Possible . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63Alex Toth defines the ever-shifting goals of 1940s comic book artists.

    ATalkWithWriter,Educator,&ComicsFanaticGlen Johnson:PartTwo . 65A prominent 1960s comics fan talks to Bill Schelly about Russ Manning and more.

    re: [comments, correspondence, & corrections]. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71In Memoriam: Al Kurzrok & Paul Cassidy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78FCA (Fawcett Collectors of America) #110 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81P.C. Hamerlinck presents Marc Swayze, some Fawcett-to-Charlton footnotes, and a Brazilianencounter between Captain Marvel & The Human Torch!

    About Our Cover: Jumpin Joe Giella drew this brand new cover especially for this issue ofAlter Ego, spotlighting the three DC super-heroes with which hes most closely identified, and atrio of their most dastardly enemies. For the full story behind this knockout illo, see p. 19andto learn who christened him Jumpin Joe Giella, turn to p. 28. Three guesses, and the first twodont count! [Art 2005 Joe Giella; characters TM & 2005 DC Comics.]

    Above: And thanks to Joe yet again, for sending us this splendid illo of the hero he says he mostenjoyed drawing (or even just inking). [Art 2005 Joe Giella; Batman TM & 2005 DC Comics.]

    Vol. 3, No. 52 / September 2005EditorRoy 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 ArtistJoe Giella

    Cover ColoristTom Ziuko

    And Special Thanks to:Heidi AmashMichael AmbroseGer ApeldoornBob BaileyMike W. BarrTom BatiukAlberto BecattiniPhilippe BenoistBill BlackDominic BongoRay Bottorff, Jr.Steve BrumbaughJerry K. BoydBob CherryShaun ClancyJames ClinkDwight DeckerGerry DesrosiersMark EvanierAl DellingesRoger Dicken

    & Wendy HuntMichael FeldmanShane FoleyCarl GaffordJohn GentilFrank GiellaJoe GiellaJanet GilbertMatt GoreRon GoulartArnie GrievesGeorge HagenauerJennifer

    HamerlinckPaul HandlerMark HeikeDave HerringJonathan IngersollGlen JohnsonHenry R. KajawaSam Kujava

    Thomas C.Lammers

    Mark LuebkerBoyd MagersDan MakaraBob MaisonJoe MarekSheldon MoldoffMatt MoringFrank MotlerMark MullerJose Carlos NevesJerry OrdwayJake OsterJohn G. PierceJay Scott PikeDonald A. RexEmir RibeiroEthan RobertsHerb RogoffSteven RoweLuiz Antonio

    SampaioMark ShainblumRobin SnyderJoe StatonMarc SwayzeMartin ThallGreg TheakstonDann ThomasAlex TothJim Vadeboncoeur,

    Jr.Dr. Michael J.

    VassalloDelmo Walters, Jr.Hames WareRobert WienerTom WimbishJackie Wolf-

    EnrioneRodrigo M. Zeidan

  • 2 writer/editorial

    For Hes A Jolly Good Giella...ctually, despite the irresistible pun above (well, irresistible tome, anyway), this issue is a triple-decker in terms of interviews,covering a wide spectrum of comics from the 1940s through atleast the 1970s.

    When Jim Amash and I confer by phone about all the material thatsstacking up in our drawers and PC files for Alter Egoa considerableportion of which, of course, consists of the great interviews he does withcomic book artisans of the Golden and Silver Ageswe occasionally getjust this side of depressed when we think about how long some of it hassat on the cyberspace shelf, awaiting a berth in an actual issue of themag.

    Recently we decided that, this month, along with an already-scheduled long interview with inking legend Joe Giella, wed see if wecould squeeze in a couple of shorter confabs, as well. Since so much ofJoes career is bound up with DC Comics, from the Golden Agethrough the Silver and Bronze (whatever precisely that is), despite hisearlier and later work for Marvel, we wanted to complement hisinterview with a pair of shorter ones, featuring folks more identifiedwith other companies and characters.

    Jay Scott Pike certainly fit the billfor, even though he became amainstay of DCs romance department in the 1960s, his well-craftedwork for Timely/Marvels adventure titles in the 1950s particularly

    intrigued us. Besides which, there was that offbeat Dolphin one-shothe wrote and drew for DC in the late 1960s, whose circumstances arerelated herein.

    And Martin Thall spent most of his decade in the comics fieldworking for just about everybody except DC, and likewise has somegreat yarns to spin.

    So settle back and enjoy a well-rounded issue. DCTimely/MarvelClassics IllustratedHillmanACGLev GleasonMikeRossevenFawcett (and not just in the always-fascinating FCA section, either)youll learn something about all those four-color dream factories, andthe artists and writers and editors who kept them humming.

    All thatplus Bill Schelly talking to 1960s comics fan Glen Johnsonabout Russ Manning, Pete Morisi, et al.Michael T. Gilberts visit withWill Eisnerand letters from talents as diverse as Alex Toth and Shelly(Hawkman) Moldoffshould make this issue of A/E worth anycomic fans money.

    Okay, so maybe we had to start asking you for $1 more of it perissue but were determined to earn it! And the subscription pricehasnt gone up a penny!

    Bestest,

    Its Our HELLZAPOPPIN HALLOWEEN ISSUE!

    DRACULA! FRANKENSTEIN!MIKE ESPOSITO!

    Edited by ROY THOMASSUBSCRIBE NOW! Twelve Issues in the US: $60 Standard, $96 First Class (Canada: $120, Elsewhere: $132 Surface, $180 Airmail).

    NOTE: IF YOU PREFER A SIX-ISSUE SUB, JUST CUT THE PRICE IN HALF!

    [Art 2005 Dick Giordano; Marvel Dracula TM & 2005 Marvel Characters, Inc.]

    Direful all-new DICK GIORDANO Dracula cover! Three Decades of Draculaand CCoouunntting! Artist DICK GIORDANO, writer ROY THOMAS,& editor MARK BEAZLEY rap about the 1974-2005 dark genesis of Marvels undeadHalloween hit Stokers Dracula! With behind-the-scenes stories and art!

    DICK BRIEFERs funny Frankenstein of the 1950s! A never-before-seen completely-illustrated story from that awesome artists proposed newspaper strip!

    Our Gallery of Gruesomeness! A hunk of Halloween comic art by GENE COLAN, BERNIE WRIGHTSON, MIKE MIGNOLA, FRANK BRUNNER, STEVE BISSETTE, MICHAEL W. KALUTA, RUSS HEATH, JOE MANEELY, BILL EVERETT, STEVE DITKO, ERNIE SCHROEDER, ESTEBAN MAROTO, ALFREDO ALCALA, and others!

    Fabled Golden/Silver Age inker MIKE ESPOSITO on his 1940s-50s work with peerlesspartner ROSS ANDRU on Mr. Mystery, Mr. Universe, Get Lost, Up Your Nose, etc.with more amazing anecdotes than you can shake a Styx atin the first part of a 2-tierinterview by JIM AMASH!

    PlusFFCCAA with MARC SWAYZE, JERRY DeFUCCIO, et al.BILL SCHELLY on 1966the Year of the Three Comicons!MICHAEL T. GILBERTs Comic Crypt on Little Lulu(pretty scary, huh, kids?)& MORE!!

    #53

    AA

    COMING IN OCTOBERCOMING IN OCTOBER

    TwoMorrows. Bringing New Life To Comics Fandom.TwoMorrows 10407 Bedfordtown Drive Raleigh, NC 27614 USA 919-449-0344 FAX: 919-449-0327 E-mail: [email protected] www.twomorrows.com

  • his year marks Joe Giellas 60th in the comic book industryand we want to offer our congratulations to him (and to theindustry) right up front! Joe was one of the most importantinkers of DC Comics Silver Age. Joes slick, clean line graced

    the graphite etchings of many great pencilers, from Alex Toth toCarmine Infantino, Mike Sekowsky, Gil Kane, and beyond. Luckilyfor us, Joe tells us about the people he inked as well as what theirpencil work was likeand the editors he worked for. From Hillmanto Timely/Marvel to DC to his newspaper strip work on FlashGordon, The Phantom, Batman, and Mary Worth, we also find outabout Joes other non-comics work, showing just how diverse histalents run. Theres a lot to the Joe Giella story, and weve tried tocover the bases as best we could. Joes been long overdue for coveragein Alter Ego, and thanks to Berndt Toast Gang buddy Stan Goldberg(whos helped me out more times than I can count), were finally ableto remedy that situation. Thanks for sharing, fellasand a specialthanks to Joe for delineating some of the best DC stories of mychildhoodand for being a good friend. Jim.

    Youll Never Make A Living Doing Artwork!JIM AMASH: Okay, Joeyou get to answer my usual first questions.When and where were you born, and when did you know youwanted to be an artist?

    JOE GIELLA: I was born June 27, 1928, in Manhattan, New York. Ihave three brothers and a sister, and I was the oldest. My love for artbegan in the late 1930s, when I was about 13 years old. We didnt haveany drawing pads at the time, so Id draw on anything I could get myhands on. My mother would come home from the grocery store, and Idtear apart the bags and draw on both sides of them. I would draw every-thingId doodle cartoons, you name it. And of course, my teacherswere constantly chastising me because I would sketch all over my books,and my parents were notified many times. I just liked to draw!

    I was influenced by Hal Fosters Prince Valiant, Tarzan, and AlexRaymonds Flash Gordon. I was also reading comic books at the time,

    and I wish my mother had kept some of them. [laughs] The Batmanwas my favoriteI felt he had the best-looking costumebut I reallyliked the Timely Comics characters: Captain America, The HumanTorch, and Sub-Mariner.

    JA: Why did you prefer them?

    GIELLA: As a kid, you fantasize about being The Human Torch orSub-Mariner... you feel like youre that character. You live within thatcharacter. I couldnt wait for the issues to come out. I loved thosecharacters.

    JA: So who were some of your classmates at the School of IndustrialArts that we would remember today?

    GIELLA: Well, Sy BarryTony Bennett the singer, who lived on myblockAl ScadutoEmilio SqueglioPaul Winchell, the ventrilo-quistand Rudy LaPick. Rudy had a great sense of humor, but I didnt

    Joe Giella & Friends(Left:) Joe (in light jacket and dark shirt) hangs out a few years back with

    (l. to r.) Archie artist Joe Edwards, DC editor Julie Schwartz, and Joes son Frank.

    (Right:) Joe must like these guys, too, cause he keeps drawing em! Wesuspect you may recognize them. [Art 2005 Joe Giella; characters TM &

    2005 DC Comics.]

    JOE GIELLA Is Like Fine WineHe Gets Better With Age!The Man Who Inked DCs Silver Age& Part Of The Golden Age, To Boot!Interview Conducted by Jim Amash Transcribed by Tom Wimbish

    3

    TT

  • hang out much with him. Tony Bennetthis real name is AnthonydeBennedettowe used to hang out with him on Ditmars Boulevard inAstoria. We used to buy him hot dogs. Ditmars was the last stop inAstoria on the IRT line, and thats where we hung out.

    I never met Paul Winchell personally. He was a few years ahead of usat the School of Industrial Arts. So were Joe Kubert and NormanMaurer. Later, in the late 40s, I went to the Art Students League withKubert and a fella called Mike Sekowsky.

    An interesting story about Sekowsky: the instructor is going aroundthe class, and comes to me to critique my drawing and offer his advicethen he goes to Kubert and helps him. Finally he comes to MikeSekowsky and says, What the heck is that? Mike had completelyignored the model and had drawn a comic book figure. The instructorcouldnt believe it. Mike was very insulted, and never came back.

    John Romita and Les Zakarin also went to the school, but they didnthang out with our group.

    JA: Where did you get your start in comics?

    GIELLA: My first job was a freelance assignment for Ed Cronin atHillman Publications. I penciled and inked a humor feature calledCaptain Codfish. I was 17 or 18. We were having problems at home

    and I was the oldest, so I left high school three months before I wouldhave graduated.

    Ed Cronin was a very nice gentleman; he spent a lot of time coachingme through my first job. I was a little nervous, but he put me at ease,and by the time I left Hillman, I felt pretty confident. I was concernedabout the deadline, but he said, Take your time, theres no problem. Ionly did that one job for Hillman, because I was really looking for asteady assignment with a weekly paycheck. Freelance assignments aresporadic, and you never know when youre going to get your next job.

    My father was not too happy about my decision to be an artist. Hethought I would become a city worker like most of my familya cop,or fireman, or sanitation workerfor security reasons, and the beautifulpensions they get. I broke the family tradition by becoming an artist,you see. He couldnt understand that, so for a while we were on theouts: Youll never make a living doing artwork! But let me tell you, Ihelped save that house; I really did. Eventually, he realized how serious Iwas about art, and then he supported me.

    There was a period after Hillman Publications when I commuted bybus from Astoria to Englewood, New Jersey, to work on CaptainMarvel with C. C. Beck and Pete Costanza, though I never met them. Idid meet artist Nick Zuraw there, who I later worked with at Timely.

    The Marvel Mystery TourAs a kid, you fantasize about being The Human Torch or Sub-Mariner, Joe recalls. He was eleven when The Human Torch roasted a police cars tires in Marvel Mystery Comics #2 (Dec. 1939), and when Prince Namor commandeered the Statue of Liberty in #7 (May 1940)with art and story by creators Carl Burgos and Bill Everett, respectively. Thats what we call getting in on the ground floor! Thanks to Robert Wiener for beautiful photocopies of

    the former page; the latter is reproduced from photocopies of the original art. [2005 Marvel Characters, Inc.]

    4 The Man Who Inked DCs Silver Age

  • I also joined the Naval Reserves in 1948, when I was 17 or 18 yearsold. This was right before the Korean War broke out, and I canremember everybody saying, Where the hells Korea? We joined theNaval Reserves because we were crazy: we wanted to visit differentcountries. Each year, wed go on a two-week trip, or a three-month trip.Then the war broke out, and wow, everything changed. There we weredoing picket duty, looking for submarines, and going crazy worrying.We were in Puerto Rico the year before, and Cuba, when Battista wasthere. I was still able to do comics because, in the reserves, wed go outon an annual cruise for two or three weeks, then come back to ourregular jobs. Id just take a sabbatical from work for the amount of timethat I had to serve. I stayed in the reserves for eight years. We were onactive duty during each cruise, but I never had to do any fighting.

    All Of A Sudden, Mike Sekowsky Walked Into The Room

    JA: How did you get to Fawcett?

    GIELLA: I didnt work on staff at Fawcett; any work I did for themwas in a freelance capacity. I recall that they were sticklers for drawingCaptain Marvel in C. C. Becks style. I was mainly inking, but probablydoing a little penciling too. Youd have the style guide right there onyour desk, and that head had to be exactly the way they wanted it.

    I only worked there for a short spell, maybe a couple of months,

    because I wanted something closer to home. Commuting by bus to Beckand Costanzas studio in Englewood was a trip and a half. Thats why Imade an appointment at Timely Comics, which was either in 1946 or47.

    The very first assignment that Stan gave me was a freelance job. I waslooking for a staff job, but theyd test you out first to make sure theyliked your work, and then theyd throw you in the bullpen. It wasterrific training for a young artist, because you would do a little ofeverything: penciling, inking, coloring, a little lettering. It really was agreat experience.

    Anyway, Stan gave me my first assignment, which was a crimestoryprobably a ten-pagerpenciled by Mike Sekowsky. I took thestory home, and guess what? I lost it on the train. Nobody in myfamilymyself, my father, mother, and brothersnobody slept thatnight, because we figured that was the end of the job. The next day, Iwent in and told Stan about it, and he hit the ceiling. He called the IRTand BMT line subways, and no luck. Then he called in Robbie Solomon,who was the production manager, but he couldnt help, either. And Ithought that would be it for me at Timely.

    All of a sudden, Mike Sekowsky walked into the room. Id never methim before, and didnt even know that hed penciled the job. Mike said,Dont worry about it, Stan. Ill take care of the kid. Mike must haverecognized I had an urgent need for this job, so he re-penciled the story,and I inked it. Stan accepted it and gave me a staff position. I walked upto Mike and said, Mike, I cant pay you back right now, but Ill take alittle bit out of my check every week to pay you back. Mike said, Nono no, forget about it. And I thought, Well, Im not going to arguewith this guyhes 6'3". When I didnt get fired after losing the story,and after another crazy incident, I thought, Well, Stanll never fire meafter this.

    Mike and I became very good friends, right until the very end. Heused to go out with an inker named Violet Barclay. She was a beautiful,voluptuous brunettewow! But she preferred George Klein. So whenMike wasnt with her, we would spend time going to Broadway playstogether, and to bars... we just had a really good time. Now you see whyI didnt want to leave Timely Comics. I was very happy there. That wasmy home.

    JA: Did you feel as if Mike took you under his wing?

    GIELLA: Not exactly. Mike was a real tough guy, and he had a terribletemper, but he also had a heart of gold. He liked what I did to his work,

    Joe Giella Is Like Fine Wine He Gets Better With Age! 5

    Beck And ForthAlthough Joe doesnt remember specific stories, he recalls working on theWorlds Mightiest Mortal for Fawcett circa 1946-47. So theres at least a

    chance he may have worked with C.C. Beck and his studio on this tale fromCaptain Marvel Adventures #61 (May 24, 1946), one of four in the issue.

    [2005 DC Comics.]

    Sekowsky By Winiarski?Artist Mike Sekowsky was caricatured (by fellow bullpenner Ed Winiarski?) ina mid-1940s Timely humor comic. In addition to drawing virtually every

    1940s genre at Timely/Marvel, in late 1959 he became the original penciler ofDCs Justice League of America. Thanks to Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr. [2005

    Marvel Characters, Inc.]

  • and we became buddies. He had a good sense of humor. However, hedid have a bad temper, and he drank. When I worked with him atTimely, he was a social drinker. I would usually drink beer when wewent out together, but he drank the hard stuff, and I could see rightaway that this guy could put it away. When he got a little high, his truefeelings would come out... his opinions about people. It was a release; allthe venom would come out of him.

    Many years later, I was working at DC Comicsmostly as aninkerbut I also penciled and inked licensing work. One day, DickGiordano asked me to take one of Mikes jobs and kind of redo it, fix itup. I looked at it, and thought, Gee, theres too much to work to dohere; Im going to have to re-pencil everything. You see, Dick had goneto California to recruit some artists. He stopped in to see Mike, andpromised him a lot of work. When Mike sent the job in, Dick was veryunhappy with it, so he gave it to me to try to salvage it. I made it clear tohim that this wasnt an ink job, that it would have to be redrawn. Dicksaid, Ok, go ahead and do it, Joe. I had to redraw about 75% of thejob. Thats how much Mike had deteriorated. He was really drinkingthen.

    But that wasnt the end of it. I delivered the job, and wouldnt youknow that the day I delivered it, Mike showed up at the office, all theway from California. The last guy I wanted to see that day was MikeSekowsky, because of our previous affiliation and the debt I owed him. Isaid, Mike, what are you doing here? And Mike said, Dick Giordanopromised me a lot of work, but he didnt come through, and Im here totalk to him about it. Then he asked me what I was doing there. Well, Icouldnt lie to Mike; he was my friend. I said, Mike, youre going to beupset. They asked me to ink the job you sent in, and it was too rough. Icouldnt just ink it; I had to rework a lot of it. I thought he would hitthe ceiling, but he didnt! After that, we just said goodbye; I dont recallwhether we had dinner or drinks before we parted company. Later on,he called me up from California, looking for work. I think I was

    working on Flash Gordon then,but I couldnt put him on that,because the styles would conflict. Itwas so sad.

    His first wife was Joanne Latta.When he met her, she was a writerin the magazine department atTimely. She was a tiny, good-looking woman with glasses, blondehair, and a nice figure. She lookedlike a schoolteacher or librarian.They lived in Levittown, NewYork, but Mike was probably notan easy guy to live with. I wish Iknew what caused their separation.Something must have happened thatwas deep and penetrating to him;something very bad. When she left,she took the two kids and moved toWashington state, and he wasntable to see them.

    I used to tell him, Mike, I hopeyoure saving your money, becauseat this rate, youre going to getburned out. And there he was,looking for work. He had probablyspent all his money, and he wasvery sick. And you know theoutcome. Toward the end of his life,he drank a lot. He used to drinkJack Daniels, and hed drink aboutthree-quarters of a quart bottle a

    day. Hed have a bottle on his taboret. I think he drank because ofJoanne.

    People either liked Mike, or they didnt like him. If you really knewhim, as I did, he would do anything for you. He would do anything forme. And Mike loved Frank Giacoia; he thought Frank was the greatest.

    JA: Ive heard that Mike had a cutting, devastating sense of humor.Does anything come to mind about that?

    GIELLA: We used to work at Frank Giacoias house, and Mike wouldalways be coming up with jokes. His delivery was terrific; he knew howto tell a joke. We would discuss the other artists and editors, and makefun of this or that guy. But Mike would never discuss his personal lifewith us. He seemed happy after he married Pat, his second wife.

    Mike had a heart of gold, though. I remember him lending money toFrank Giacoia. Any time you were in the hole and needed help, there hewas. He would never turn you down. But there were two sides to him.Thats what was so sad about Mike: he wasnt happy with himself. Hewasnt happy with his life. He loved the comics, really enjoyed it. Heloved the scripts, and would really dig into them. Comics was his life,and its just so sad. He was so myopic that he couldnt see any further.

    Joe, Could You Pitch In On This Job?JA: Getting back to how you started at Timely: why did Stan giveyou an inking job? Were you looking for inking work, or just anywork?

    GIELLA: I would do any work that they offered. When I joined theTimely bullpen, I started out doing a little touch-up work, a littlebackground work, a little inking, redraw this, fix this head, dosomething with this panel... whatever. Later on, I assisted Syd Shores,who was drawing Captain America and a couple of other characters.

    Hot Rods And Racing ArtistsBoth Frank Giacoia and Mike Sekowsky drew stories for Ziff-Davis Hot Rod King #1-and-only (Fall 1952). Matter offact, Giacoia has two signed tales therein. Since Joe says he helped Giacoia out on many of his art jobs, and also oftenworked with Sekowsky, could be theres a bit of Giella in them thar panels, as well. The issues cover, incidentally,was a painting by pulp master Norman Saunders. For more about Ziff-Davis 1950s comics line, see Jim Amashsinterview with Golden Age editor Herb Rogoff in A/E #43still on sale wherever back issues are soldlike, on pp. 44-45 of this very issue. With thanks to Donald A. Rex for the scans. [2005 the respective copyright holders.]

    6 The Man Who Inked DCs Silver Age

  • After about a year, I was mostly inking.

    A lot of fellows like Frank Giacoia, Sy Barry, and myself went toinking for monetary reasons. None of us started out intending tobecome inkers; we started out penciling. I was inking two to three pagesa day, but I couldnt pencil more than one. And you know, when youneed money, you kind-of lean toward the inking. I could bring home$90 a week instead of $40. And after a while, you kind-of get typecast.To this day, Im still slow at penciling, and I make up the time on theinking.

    JA: So you did Captain America several times in the 40s, right?

    GIELLA: I didnt do a complete story. I was in production at first.Theyd say, Joe, could you ink these two pages? Or, Joe, can youtake care of the backgrounds on this? Or, Could you re-pencil this?That was the extent of it.

    JA: You were on staff at Timely for about two years. What featuresdid you work on?

    Joe Giella Is Like Fine Wine He Gets Better With Age! 7

    Timelys Not-Quite-So-Big ThreeJoe recalls working on each of Timelys three major super-heroes in the later 1940s,during their waning daysnever doing a complete story, but inking a page here, re-penciling a panel there. For that reason, weve reprod last pages, rather than splashes,from one such possible jam issueMarvel Mystery Comics #86 (March 1948). The

    Torch tale contains lots of nice moody blacksand Ye Editor found himselfwondering if shadowy panels on some pages didnt betray the work of a young GeneColan. The Sub-Mariner tale looks like pure Bill Everett, who often drew him wearingmore than just swimming trunks. Syd Shores was the main Captain America artist

    during this era, and may have contributed to this outing. Oh, and there was a BlondePhantom story in the 52-page issue, as well. [2005 Marvel Characters, Inc.]

  • GIELLA: Captain America, The Human Torch, Sub-Mariner...among others. I also did humor work.

    JA: In 1947, Stan Lee wanted to update The Sub-Mariner, and heasked Lee Elias to draw a couple of stories. Stan didnt like theresults, and had some bullpen guys rework the stories.

    GIELLA: I probably was one of them. I dont recall ever getting anentire story to ink, though, and I dont remember who I might haveinked on Sub-Mariner.

    JA: What was it like to work on those characters when, just a fewyears before, you were buying their comic books?

    GIELLA: What a feeling! I was ecstatic! I was working on thesecharacters that I had loved, enjoyed, and fantasized about. What adream! I think they started me at $60 a week, and then it worked up toninety. That was a lot of money back then. Id get one check a weekfrom Magazine Management, and I used to give my mother $50 out ofthat.

    JA: Was Stan Lee the only editor you worked for at Timely?

    GIELLA: I worked for Al Sulman and Al Jaffee, but it would have beenin the same capacity as for the other editors. They would ask me, Joe,

    could you pitch in on this job? Most of the time,I would.

    JA: Who oversaw the bullpen?

    GIELLA: The editor that you were working for.There werent too many people in the bullpen.

    There was a humor bullpen in another room, but Iwas in the adventure bullpen with Syd Shores,Vince Alascia, Al Sulman, Al Bellman, and afeisty little fella named Bill Walsh. Nobody wasreally in charge of the room. An editormaybeAl Sulmanwould come in and say, Joe could

    you work on this? And Id say, Gee, I have tofinish this first, or Im doing this for Syd.

    I have a story about Al Sulman. Al invited me to the Yale-Harvardfootball game. When we sat down, I noticed there was an empty seat,which was for Als girlfriend. And then we heard on somebodysportable radio that there had been an airplane crash. It turned out thatAl Sulmans girlfriend was on board the plane, and she died in the crash.I think it was a year before Al came back to work.

    JA: Al Jaffe described Al Sulman as not having much of a sense ofhumor. Describe him for me.

    GIELLA: Yeah, he was serious. He had black hair, horn-rimmed glasses.He was a little on the chunky side. He wasnt interested in athletics, andhe ate a little too much.

    JA: At the time, Al Sulman was editing Captain America, some of theadventure comics, and maybe Westerns, too. So Stan was like theber-editor (for want of a better term), and Sulman was a full editorworking under Stan, right?

    GIELLA: Right. Stan very rarely asked me to do anything directly; itwas usually through another editor. Id see Stan every day, though. Hedcome into the room and look at what I was doing, and maybe look atwhat someone else was doing. Then maybe hed blurt to one of theartists, Can I get Joe on this other story? And the artist might say,No, hes got to finish this first, Stan. And maybe later that day Stanwould come into the room and joke about something, or critique thework being done. Other times, Stan and Syd Shores would discussfuture titles they would be putting out.

    Syd later became a taxi cab driver; that was so sad. I happened to seehim while I was on jury duty back in the early 70s, and he told me hewas driving a cab because he couldnt find work. Of course you knowthat he passed away many years ago.

    JA: Bob Deschamps said you guys used to make fun of Syds toupee.

    GIELLA: Not me, but the others used to.

    What Do You Remember About?JA: What were your impressions of Stan Lee at this time?

    GIELLA: I looked up to him. He had a sense of humor, and as Imentioned earlier, he didnt fire me when he could have. We becamevery good friends. I went to see the first Superman movie with Stan. Wewere walking toward the theatre and I said, Stan, what the heck are allthese cops on horseback doing here? And he said, Gee, I dont know,Joe. So we walked into the theatre and sat down. Then Stan said to me,Joe, yknow why all the cops were out there? Look ahead of us. Acouple of rows in front of us were Mayor Koch and Governor Carey.

    I saw Stan at San Diego when they gave me the Inkpot Award, and hejokingly said, Joe, I should have fired you that day you lost that job onthe train. [laughter] Hed never forgotten it. I also used to see him at

    8 The Man Who Inked DCs Silver Age

    The Merry Marvel Marching Society 1947 EditionWeve previously printed this caricature of Stan Lee, which appeared in his

    1947 book Secrets behind the Comics, but since Joe mentions him soprominently, here tis againalongside a page of the archetypal dumb blondeMy Friend Irma, drawn by Dan DeCarlo. This 1950s TV/radio-licensed Timelytitle is the earliest place Roy T. recalls seeing the name Stan Lee as a kid.Repod from an Australian black-&-white reprint mag, with thanks to MarkMuller. [Caricature 2005 Stan Lee; Irma page 2005 Marvel Characters, Inc.]

  • f you want a story with beautiful women in it, look no furtherthan a Jay Scott Pike tale. Scott, as he prefers to be called, delin-eated breathtaking women for romance comics and for titles like

    Lorna, the Jungle Girl and Jann of the Jungle. His attention to junglefoliage heightened the reality of their environment and was always apleasure to look at. And, though sadly he wrote and drew his late-60screation Dolphin only once, she remains a cult favorite amongcomics fans. As far as were concerned,Jay Scott Pike ranks high on the all-time list of classic good girl artists;and if you want further proof of that,then check out his eBay auctions forexamples of his current work, orcontact Marianne Ohl Phillips atwww.moppinup.com. But please waituntil youve read our whole interview!Youll find plenty of evidence on viewthere, as well. Jim.

    I Just Wanted To DrawJIM AMASH: We cant get away withnot asking this question, so Ill ask itfirst: when and where were you born?

    JAY SCOTT PIKE: Philadelphia,Pennsylvania, September 6, 1924.

    JA: I was born in Altoona, PA.

    PIKE: Oh yeah, where the coal mines are. I went to the University ofPennsylvania for one semester before I went into the Marine Corps. Iwas on the Freshman football team, and just about all the guys on theteam were from the Pennsylvania coal fields. Boy, were they tough!

    JA: Oh, I know it! So you were a football player. What got you inter-ested in cartooning?

    PIKE: Like most professional cartoonists, I liked to draw and drew allthe time. I remember when the movie Snow White and the SevenDwarfs came out. It was being played all the time, and it fascinated me.I got so that I could draw all the characters in the movie. I just wantedto draw.

    I graduated from high school in Morristown, New Jersey, and wentto college, as I said. I enlisted in the Marines in December 1942.

    JA: So you volunteered. Did you have a deferment because you werein college?

    PIKE: I dont think they had college deferments then. I actually triedeight times to get into the service before they took me. They wouldnttake me because Im color blindwell, not actually color blind, but Ihad trouble seeing colors. Finally, on my last try, the Corps man turnedme down, but there was an old chief on the other side of the room, who

    said, Awww...let him in. [laughs] Thats how I got into the MarineCorps.

    I got out in 46. I was discharged in San Diego, and tried to get intocollege there, but they were only taking California residents. I did get intothe Parsons School of Design in Manhattan. I got married in 1948, andafter living in Indiana for a while, we came down to the Ringling Schoolof Art in Sarasota, Florida. I went to school there for a year and a half, and

    Comic Artists Could Draw BetterThan Anybody In The World!Artist JAY SCOTT PIKE Talks About His Days At Timely/Marvel & DCInterview Conducted & Transcribed by Jim Amash

    II

    33

    Beauty & The BeardJay Scott Pike (in a self-portrait done a decade or two back)and a

    drawing of his heroine Dolphin which he did especially for interviewer Jim Amash. Scotts the one on the left. [Portrait & art 2005 Jay Scott Pike;

    Dolphin TM & 2005 DC Comics.]

  • Hartley WorkingAl Hartley, a Timely/Marvelmainstay for many years onhumor comics, was still

    drawing Patsy & Hedy in 1964when this photo appeared inMarvel Tales Annual #1. Thesetwo Kollege Kapers pagesare from issues #1 & #2,respectively, of B&I

    Publishings The Kilroys in1947, an early and funny

    Archie imitation; they displaya slightly different style of

    Hartley art than seen in PatsyWalker, et al. Thanks to JoeMarek, Steve Brumbaugh, andBob Bailey for all sending

    copies of the photo of Alandto Ger Apeldoorn for the

    comics pages. [Photo 2005Marvel Characters, Inc.; art

    2005 the respectivecopyright holders.]

    learned about all they were going to teach me, so I went to Manhattan,thinking the world was waiting for me to be a straight illustrator.

    Al HartleyGot Me Into ComicsJA: Is that where you met Al Hartley?

    PIKE: Actually, I grew up in Morristown, New Jersey, and when wemoved back north, we lived in Morristown for a year or so. Al Hartleywas living in Washington Valley, which was real close to where I lived.He was the one who got me into comics, in 1950. My hope had been towork at home and find high paying illustration work, but I couldntseem to get any work. At that time, I didnt want to commute to NewYork City, so a friend of mine suggested I draw comic books. I didntwant to do that, because I thought comic books were the bottom of thebarrel, and I didnt know much about comics at all. But I was soimpressed by Al Hartleys lifestyle, because he was making a lot ofmoney, and he was fast. He was really cranking the work out.

    I penciled stuff for Al for about two weeks, but our styles were reallynot compatible, and we both realized that. Because of that, we sort-ofgot irritated with each other. By then, I had gotten to know Stan Lee. Iremember the first story I did was a 3-pager about a professional golfer,though I cant remember his name. Then Stan started feeding meWesterns, and if youve done Westerns, you know how long it takes todo a story. All those horses, costumes, gun belts... they take time. I didthem... I did all kinds of things. At that time, I was... and I still am, Iguess... pretty much against war. I did a few war stories before I decidedI didnt want to do any more of them. Stan Lee was very understandingabout it. Maybe the stories I did werent gory. I got into doing horrorstories, and drew The Black Rider for a long time.

    I Always Found [Stan Lee] Easy To Work WithJA: Did you work at home or on staff? And what do you rememberabout Stan Lee?

    PIKE: I worked at home. I liked Stan Lee a lot and always found himvery easy to work with. When my wife and I moved back to Florida,Stan always gave me two or three scripts at a time, so when I finished astory, I could jump right into another one. Personally, I hardly ever sawhim, though we talked on the phone a lot.

    As soon as I realized I could keep busy doing comics and live where Iwanted, my wife and I moved back to Sarasota, Florida. In the secondhalf of the 1950s, the comic book business went to hell, so I wasstranded down in Florida without any visible means of support. I did allkinds of things, like portraits. I did them in pastels. I also did paintingsin the bottom of swimming pools, architectural renderings...anything tomake a buck. I also worked for several agencies, but two of them wentbelly-up, owing me about $18,000, which did us in. That was in 1960, sowe moved back to the New York area so I could get some decent kind ofwork.

    JA: Since you lived in Florida for most of your Timely career, youmainly talked to Stan by phone. Im surprised he had the time,considering how busy he was. Was Stan the only one you talked to orwas there another editor you worked with?

    PIKE: No, I always talked to Stan. There was one time that I got a callfrom a secretary or an assistant. She said, Do you have to wrap thosepages up like you do? Theyre wrapped like a bomb.

    JA: Yeah, but the first time pages came in damaged, youd have heardabout it. Now, you said you did Black Rider. You happen toremember who the writer was?

    PIKE: It might have been Bob Bernstein, but Im not positive. I dontthink Stan wrote many of the stories I worked on, but he sure did a lotof writing. Stan told me that when he was in the Army, hed get aweekend pass, get a hotel room, and write stories. He said he couldmake a thousand bucks over the weekend, and I was impressed by that.But I really dont remember the names of the writers.

    34 Artist Jay Scott Pike Talks About His Days At Timely/Marvel & DC

  • I Liked Doing The Female Jungle FeaturesJA: You also drew Kid Colt, Lorna the Jungle Girl....

    PIKE: Oh, yeah, I drew a lot of Lornas. I drew Jann of the Jungle, too.

    JA: You also drew stories for the crime and adventure comics, likeAll-True Crime. Did you have a favorite genre?

    PIKE: I really liked the romance stories because I could draw themfaster. I could draw a close-up of a womans face with a tear coming outof her eye. That was easy.

    JA: You really had a great gift for drawing pretty women.

    PIKE: Yeah, that was my strongest point, and still is. The stuff I sell oneBay is all girly drawings. I liked doing the female jungle featuresthepretty women and all that foliage. I was doing Lorna when the ComicsCode came into being. That was the only time I ever got any work back.One of the nice things about comics was that I did the work and neversaw it again. There wasnt anyone nitpicking my work.

    But they sent two stories back to me. I had to reduce Lornas breastsize. There were scenes when she was swinging on vines above theground, with her skirt flying up. I had to redraw the skirt down aroundher knees, even though she was flying upwards. [laughs]

    JA: In a case like that, did they call you and tell you the work wascoming back, or did a package just show up with a note attached tothe art?

    PIKE: I guess Stan called me first. I dont remember him being upsetabout it. It was just the way things were. Comics got a lot of badpublicity, thanks to EC Comics. That Johnny Craig cover where theman was holding up the severed head! That was too gory and got us intotrouble. Congress got involved, and that gave them a chance to be self-righteous.

    I Didnt Feel Bad About Doing ComicsJA: Well, you werent particularly proud of being in comics anyway,were you? You wanted to be an illustrator.

    PIKE: I did want to be an illustrator, but I knew a few, and I wasmaking more money than they were. You dont generally get rich doingcomics, but I was doing well then.

    JA: When the Senate Investigations were going on, were you embar-rassed to admit you were doing comics?

    PIKE: I remember people asking me about it. I said, Listen, thepublishers I work for are pretty doggoned straightlaced. I cantremember either Timely or DC coming out with stuff that I thought wasbad. I didnt feel bad about doing comics.

    JA: Then you didnt feel bad about drawing horror stories.

    PIKE: I wasnt good at doing horror stories, so I got out of doing them.Stan simply didnt give me those, because he realized they werent mystrongest area. Once I got into romance, thats pretty much all I got. Idid like doing Westerns, but they took me longer to do. I took littleshortcuts, like when a posses running into town, they kick up a lot ofdust, so I didnt have to draw the feet of the horses. I did like drawinghorses, though it wasnt easy for me.

    Stan Would Call MeWould I Take A Rate Cut?JA: How fast an artist were you?

    PIKE: Back in the 50s, I could average $25,000 a year. I was gettingabout $35 to $40 a page, pencils and inks. To make 25 grand, Id have toaverage $500 a week, so I had to be cranking out two pages a day.

    JA: Did you letter your stories?

    Comic Artists Could Draw Better Than Anybody In The World! 35

    That Was LornaBut Shes Only A DreamI drew a lot of Lornas! recalls Scott. Here, courtesy of collector Bob Cherry, are two Pike splashes and an action page (from the second story) from Lorna, the Jungle Girl #22 (Dec. 1956). Even Sheena never looked more gorgeous in a jungle setting! And, like Jim Amash says, the foliage aint too shabby, either.

    (Thats trees, for you guys with dirty minds.) [2005 Marvel Characters, Inc.]

  • I Was All Over The Place, AndEnjoying Every Minute Of It!

    MARTIN THALL On Drawing Comics And Witnessing Comics History In the 1940s & 50sInterview Conducted by Jim Amash Transcribed by Tom Wimbishartin Thalls comic book career lasted a little less than adecade, but in that time, he managed to partner himselfwith guys like Wally Wood, Ross Andru and MikeEsposito, and George Evans. Martin also did quite a bit

    of work on his own for companies like Timely, Fox Features, and St.John Publications. If he didnt make his mark on comics the waysome of his contemporaries did, he still says, I witnessed a lot ofhistory. Thanks to fellow defense attorney and author DavidHajdu, I was able to coax Martin to step into the witness box and tellus a few stories about his comic book years. Now you get to judgewhether or not Martin made a good witness. This entertaininginterview stands as our verdict. Jim

    Jack Kirby Was My MentorJIM AMASH: When and where were you born?

    MARTIN THALL: Brooklyn, New York, on November the 30th, 1930.It was a very good year.

    JA: You were born Martin Rosenthal, right? Why did you changeyour name?

    THALL: Thats an interesting story. When my grandfather came to thiscountry from Poland, his name was Schmael Colycka. I think thatsYiddish: Schmael means sloppy, and Colycka means cripple. He

    came here in 1906 or 1907. At that time, there was no TV or radio, butthe newspaper boys would take to the streets and yell out, Wuxtry,wuxtry! And the headlines were, Herman Rosenthal captured! Thenshortly after that, Herman Rosenthal on trial! Then, HermanRosenthal convicted! When my grandfather first came here, the firstname he heard was Rosenthal, so he took it.

    MM

    Thall Or Nothing At All(Left:) In May, Martin Thall sent Ye Editor a proofsheet of what he called

    some recent reasonable facsimiles of myself. Pick one. Hey, we like em all,Martin, so!

    (Above:) The year 1951 saw Fawcett publish 6 issues of Captain Video, based onthe early TV hero, all with art credited to George Evansso since Martin says hedid inking and backgrounds for Evans on that mag, we figure this page mayjust show their work together. Reprod from a black-&-white 1950s Englishreprint of Captain Video #2 (April 1951), courtesy of Roger Dicken & Wendy

    Hunt. [2005 the respective copyright holders.]

    46

  • Coincidentally, about 40 years later, I got into a cab, and the cabbiescard said that the drivers name was Herman Rosenthal. I told him thestory, and he said, The gangster who gave your grandfather his namewas my grandfather. Small world.

    I legally changed my last name to Thall in 1953. I used to be veryvain, and I was thinking about signatures. Rosenthal just didnt seemto go well, but Martin Thall seemed to be a good signature. I triedother names, such as Emrose and Martin Rose, before deciding onMartin Thall. Everybody had a signature: Milton Caniff, Bob Kanewith a big O. I wanted a new signature, so I registered my name asThall.

    JA: Tell me about your experiences with Jack Kirby.

    THALL: Jack Kirby was my mentor. He was wonderful; I saw himevery day after school. He worked at DC Comics. This was right after1945. At that time, all the cartoonists at DC didnt work at home; theyworked at the publishers. I went over to DC, and there was Jack Kirby.Joe Simon was still in the service, and hadnt gotten out yet. They didntlast much longer at DC. I went to the High School of Industrial Arts inthe daytime, and the Cartoonists and Illustrators School at night, and Iused to visit Jack Kirby in between. He would look at my work, and say,Youre too realistic; you draw things that any human body can do. I

    dont pay attention to that. When Jack drew a guy throwing a punch,his body twisted in a way that the human body couldnt manage. Hefreed me up, and he showed me how he laid out his figures. When JackKirby laid out a page, he worked on illustration board rather than thesoft board, and he blocked out his panels before doing the actualdrawing.

    One scene he did had a pirate ship coming alongside some kind of seavessel, and the pirates were raiding the vessel. He had a cast of thousandsin the shot. When Jack put down a line, it was there. He sort-ofvisualized the whole thing; he was able to see what was going on in hismind, and model that. He could do eight pages a day, and he nevererased; it was incredible. It was almost like he was tracing on paper whathe saw in his mind.

    One Christmas, in 1945, I bought him a box of White Owl cigarsthats the cheapest cigar in the world; no cigar smoker will go anywherenear themand he was very touched by it. Jack chain-smoked cigars. Iwas on a school break, it was Christmas vacation, and he said, Letshave some coffee. We went to the Waldorf-Astoria, which was onlythree blocks away from DCs office at 480 Lexington Avenue. He tookme to the Wedgewood Room, which was an elegant place, about fiftyyears old, and bought me dinner. I had my first shrimp cocktail there; heordered it for me. Then he took me across the street on Park Avenue toan art supply store called Irving Berlin. I was just looking around whilehe was ordering stuff, and then he gave me this huge package. It was adrawing pad, pens, ink, brushes, all kinds of supplies. He was a reallygreat guy to me.

    I used to hang around at DC Comics. I knew everybody there, all theeditors, but I never worked for the company.

    JA: When you watched Jack Kirby work, was he writing the stories,too?

    THALL: I dont know for sure, but I dont think so. I was so fixed onhis boards that I dont recall seeing a script. I should have noticed that.

    I did a terrible thing to Jack once. After he left DC, he and Joe Simonhad their own studio. The letterer was Howard Ferguson. Bob Henryand Steve Brodie were inkers there, but Joe Simon did most of theinking. Anyway, they would stack their pages, and were working so fastthat they would pass them around. Jack would pencil it, hand it on to beinked, then another guy would rule the panel borders and letter it. Theywould just go in circles. They were knocking them out so fast that it wasfascinating.

    Anyway, the pages were stacked on end on the floor between BobHenrys taboret and his drafting table. Bob Henry dropped his pencil, orsomething like that. I reached for it, knocked over a bottle of ink thatwas on the taboret, and it spilled all over the pages that were donealready. Jack said, Should we lynch him? Then he said, Youd bettergo. I had damaged three pages. They had to be done all over again. Isaid, Are you gonna let me come back? and he said yes. They were sogracious about it that it was incredible. I felt terrible.

    It was fascinating watching Will Eisner pencil, and watching him inkwith a Japanese brush. That was in 1950, I believe. I used to go upwherever artists were drawing. It was easy to find them after World WarII, because they were all working at their publishers facilities. Thecompanies had large bullpens for all of them.

    JA: What do you remember about Joe Simon?

    THALL: Very little. He was a nice guy, and he lived on Long Island.Simon and Kirby had an extension line in their office, so I could talk tothem at the same time. Id call them in the evening while they wereworking, and theyd chat with me about everything and anything in theworld. They were terrific.

    Thats Quite A Stunt, Man!When Jack [Kirby] drew a guy throwing a punch, his body twisted in a waythat the human body couldnt manage! And he made it look good, everytimeas in this Simon & Kirby-produced Stuntman page, reprod here fromPure Imaginations The Complete Jack Kirby March-May 1947, and used by

    permission of Greg Theakston. [Retouched art 2005 Greg Theakston;Stuntman TM Joe Simon & Estate of Jack Kirby.]

    I Was All Over The Place, And Enjoying Every Minute Of It! 47

  • We Met At Fiction HouseJA: You also spent time at Fiction House. Tell me about that.

    THALL: Fiction House Publications had all their artists working in thebullpen. It was one large room with Charlie Sultan, John Celardo,George Evans, Bob Lubbers, and a woman named Francis. I got toknow Charlie Sultan very well, and Maurice Whitman, too. Sultan camethere after the war, as did most of the other guys. Then he startedworking at home. In 1956, he stopped cartooninghe wasnt doing verywell as a cartoonist in the later part of his lifeand went into publishing.He called me up in 1958 and said, Do you want to work for me? Isaid, Sure. He was publishing a racing magazine and an adventuremagazine. I was the art director. I was there for less than a year.

    JA: Ive heard that he was cross-eyed. Is that true?

    THALL: Yeah. Maurice always said that he drew crooked, and he did.One eye didnt match the other eye. It was strange.

    JA: What were you doing at Fiction House? Were you just visitingthere?

    THALL: Yeah, that was before I broke in. I never got any work fromFiction House.

    JA: What can you tell me about Maurice Whitman?

    THALL: He was a great artist, and a very good illustrator. He had aterrible marriage, and near the end of his life he was very fat. There wasa beautiful young girl working at Fiction House, and she was in lovewith Maurice. I think they finally got together in the end. At that time, Iwas sharing space with Charlie Sultan. I wasnt working with him, but Iwas sharing space with him.

    JA: How large was Fiction Houses office?

    THALL: They had a huge office. The artists room had about 20 peoplein there. There was an old guy named Joe Doolin, who did many of thecovers. He spent about a week doing a cover; he was very methodical.None of his covers had anything to do with what was going on inside.

    Fiction House FavoritesIn the 1940s, Martin Thall reports he shared studio space with noted comic book artists Charles Sultan & Maurice Whitman.

    (Left:) Fiction House collector Paul Handler IDs this Charles Sultan-drawn splash page, reprod from photocopies of the original art, as coming from RangersComics #37 (Oct. 1947). Pay no attention to that byline R.W. Colt. The companys comics and pulp magazines were full of fictitious house namesmaybe

    thats why publisher T.T. Scott named it Fiction House!

    (Right:) Maurice Whitman often drew Kanga (officially always by Frank Riddell). This splash page was retouched by Bill Black and his merry AC Comicscrew, with gray tones added, for his black-&-white collection Golden Age Greats, Vol. 14 The Comic Book Jungle. Its still available; check out ACs full-page ad

    in this issues FCA section. [Retouched art 2005 Paragon Publications/AC Comics.]

    48 Martin Thall On Drawing Comics And Witnessing Comics History In The 1940s & 50s

  • My Visit With WillFor as long as I can remember, I idolized Will Eisner. We began

    corresponding in 1978, and in 1982 I met him at the School of VisualArts in New York, where he was teaching cartooning.

    Over the years Will and I would occasionally touch base, chatting fora few minutes at comic book conventions and such. In the years sinceId first met him, Will and his wife Ann had moved from New York tosunny Florida. In January 1997, I visited my parents in West Palm Beachand made arrangements to stop by Wills studio in West Tamarac, aboutan hour away.

    If my wife Janet and I were expecting the great Will Eisner to workin some fancy-schmancy office complex, we were in for a rudeawakening. The address Will gave us led us to a strip mall located in aworking-class neighborhood. His office was in a nearby building. Thearea reminded me of a low-rent district in New York, the perfect spotfor a no-nonsense businessman like Will.

    Eisners studio was clean, neat, and efficient. It wasnt huge, but bigenough for him to work comfortably. Will introduced us to his brotherJulian (known as Pete), his business manager. As I recall, Petes officecontained a beautiful piece of original poster art from Wills Army days.Another wall displayed dozens of original drawings sent to Will by hisadmirers.

    Wills desk was at the far end of the room, surrounded bybookshelves stuffed with graphic novels, mine included. An impressivedisplay of plaques and awards from various countries lined the walls.Nearby was a drawing table, complete with layouts for yet anothergraphic novel.

    After showing us around, Will drove us to a nearby golf course forlunch. At 79, Will was in great shape (he played tennis every day!), andvery sharp. We reminisced about our days in New York. He chuckled asI described feeling like The Spirit every time I went down into NewYorks gloomy subway system.

    I reminded him of our meeting at the School of Visual Arts yearsearlier and he told me he loved teaching those classes. Janet and I werestunned to learn Will flew to New York each week for years to teach atthe school even after hed moved to Florida. He said it was worth thetrip just to inhale that wonderfully polluted New York air!

    Will also described a large mural hed designed, painted on the side ofa building in Copenhagen. It featured The Spirit and one of his favoritecharacters, Gerhard Shnobble, the poor schlubb who could fly like abird (though no one knew it!). By coincidence, Janet and I wereplanning a trip to Copenhagen that September and made a note to lookfor it. Months later, we finally tracked it down after tromping throughhalf the city. Luckily there were ample pastry shops to sustain us alongthe way.

    After I returned, I pitched couple more ideas for The New

    Michael and Will in 2001, at Wills studio in Tamarac, Florida. Wonder whodrew all those nifty cards in the background?

  • Part Twontroduction: Last issue featured the first part of my conversationwith Glen, a former editor of The Comic Reader who wrotesome of the better articles on comics history for the early fanzines

    (Comic World, Alter Ego, Heroes Illustrated, et al). Glen alsopioneered the use of the sequential art format to teach English as asecond language on Indian reservations in the 1960s. We spoke bytelephone on January 16, 2005.

    In this second half of our long-overdue talk, we discussed whyGlen left his editorial/publishing post at The Comic Reader, thefanclave he attended at artist Russ Mannings house in May 1964,his views on current comics, and more. Special thanks to Brian K.Morris for his usual fine transcription effort, and to my friend andcolleague Jeffrey Kipper for editing the interview down to final form.

    BILL SCHELLY: Getting back to the period when you were editingThe Comic Reader, I understand that Ronn Foss not only did somefan art for you, but actually dropped by so you could meet in person.

    GLEN JOHNSON: Yes, he and his sister Beverly came by when wewere on the reservation while they were traveling west. It was veryunusual for me to have a fellow fan visit. They stayed with us for acouple nights. Beverly brought her Joy Holiday outfit and put it on forus. We got some pictures of her wearing it and then my wife tried it on.[laughs] That was really the first time I had met a Big Name Fan. Ronnwas very knowledgeable, and Ive always been surprised he neverbecame a professional comics artist, full-time. His drawing style was acombination of Kubert and Kirby.

    BS: He did make a living off his artwork in later years, but not in thecomics field, per se. I think he certainly had the ability, but I dontthink he had the drive. He was one of the most popular artists infandom, and he loved Golden Age comics, especially those from the50s. What was your reason for stepping down from publishing ofComic Reader?

    JOHNSON: It was a lot of monthly work. I put out about 12 pages perissue. Also, I printed it on ditto machine at the school where I worked. I

    wasnt really supposed to be using that machine for cranking out a comicbook newsletter. I had to go to the school on Sundays or late at night tosneak the publication of my fanzine.

    BS: You did it for quite a long time; then, when you passed it on toDarrell Rothermich and Jim King, they published it via photo-offset.Ive thought of this stuff many times when writing my columns andbooks on comics fandom, but you probably havent talked aboutthese events in a long time.

    JOHNSON: Not in a long time

    BS: Were you also interested in newspaper comic strips, as well?

    JOHNSON: Yes. I clipped them and saved them. I dont think I wascollecting strips when I lived in New Mexico. It was later, after I movedto Utah, in 1967. I subscribed to the Asbury Park Press and then apaper from just north of Seattle that carried Tarzan. Russ Manningstarted doing Tarzan, and I was lucky to save the complete run that hedid for the Sunday page, along with other good strips.

    I spent four years on the Navajo reservation in New Mexico. At thetime, there were a couple of dozen off-reservation Indian schools andthe one in Brigham City, the Inner Mountain Indian School, wasprobably one of the largest and best known. I actually lived about 400miles from the reservation. The school was just an abandonedgovernment facility that was converted into an Indian school.

    BS: On the topic of your article-writing for fanzines in 1963, youwere pretty tied up with Comic Reader, and it seems like you really

    Just A Society of AmericansFan-artist Ronn Foss (with his ever-present pipe) visits Glen Johnson and hiswife Maizie in New Mexico in 1965juxtaposed with Biljo Whites re-creationof the cover of All-Star Comics #24 (with Starman and Sandman replacingGreen Lantern and The Flash) which accompanied Glens article on the JSA in

    Alter Ego [Vol. 1] #8 in 1965. Photo probably by Beverly Foss; all photosaccompanying this interview are courtesy of Glen Johnson. [Art 2005 Estate

    of Biljo White; Justice Society TM & 2005 DC Comics.]

    II

    A Talk With Writer, Educator, & Comics Fanatic

    GLEN JOHNSONby Bill Schelly

    Title 65Comic Fandom Archive

  • burst forth after that with the publi-cation of articles for Comic World andalso Alter Ego. With regard to AlterEgo, did you have a pretty goodfriendship and correspondence with RoyThomas?

    JOHNSON: I did. Roy and I startedcorresponding in 1961. He wantedsomething about the JSA in each issue,and yet he wanted a view other than hisown, so he asked me to write articlesabout the JSA.

    BS: The first one you wrote was TwoCases of Conscience, for Alter Ego #8.It must have been written towards theend of 1964 or early 65. At the end ofthe article, theres a photo of youlooking very urbane, with a pipe.[NOTE: See previous issue.]

    JOHNSON: Yes, I smoked a pipe. I quitsmoking about 20 years ago. In fact, I gotthat idea from Ronn Foss. He did that foran article. [laughs] He was holding apipe, and he looked very distinguished.My wife took that picture of me.

    BS: Its the man who readsPlayboy sort of look. Did Roysuggest the specific subject for thearticle?

    JOHNSON: He did. I think hesuggested both articles, the one in #8and the one in #9. Ive always hadlike 20 or 25 really worn-out issuesof All-Star to work from.

    BS: Alter Ego went out to justabout everybody. So, lets face it,Glen, you were a Big Name Fan.

    JOHNSON: I was!

    BS: [laughs] You published TheComic Reader, you were publishedin the top fanzines

    JOHNSON: I was also a chartermember of CAPA-Alpha. Ipublished an apa-zine called SmallTalk for years. I dont have thoseCAPA-Alphas any more. After Idropped out of the apa, somebodyoffered me a fabulous amount ofmoney for my collection.

    BS: Its not too surprising that youdend up in that very famous photowith Russ Manning, Bill Spicer,Richard Kyle, John McGeehan, andRick Durell in a meeting in May of1964 at Mannings house. You werethe guy who kind-of sparked thatmeeting, werent you?

    JOHNSON: We were going out toCalifornia, and Russ Manning and I

    corresponded quite regularly. I told himId like to come by and visit him. Andhe says, Well, if youre going to comeby, there are a number of other fans thathave been wanting to come by also. Illjust make the whole day a sort of a fanget-together. And so thats whathappened. My wife and my son Caryjoined us, too. My wife visited withRuss wife.

    One of the highlights was that Russgave everybody four pages of originalartwork from a Ben-Hur comic bookhed drawn. Russ got very little artworkback from Western or Gold Key, but hedid get the Ben-Hur story back.

    BS: Thats interesting, because I haveone of those Ben Hur pages now. Ithink it was a gift to me fromHoward Keltner shortly before hepassed away. What was Russ like inperson?

    JOHNSON: I really enjoyed RussManning. He was very friendly and

    open. He was almost humble over the fact that people enjoyed hisartwork so much. He did have lots of fans. I enjoyed his Tarzan even

    more than Hogarth or Foster,because his version was so muchlike what Burroughs put down onpaper. He also did an excellent jobof incorporating science-fictioninto the Tarzan comics. He justhad a little studio, an outbuildingnear the house. It held his comicbooks and reference material. Heworked out there with his drawingboard.

    BS: The photos show you sittingoutside, like on his back porch.What was the general gist of theconversation?

    JOHNSON: We talked about ourfavorite artists, who Russ Manningliked, how he got his start in comicbooks, and things like that. Wewere there from 1:00 till 9:00. I feltlucky that an artist of Russ caliberwould spend all that time with us.

    BS: It was certainly one of theearliest fan meetings of any signif-icance. The first New York ComicCon, such as it was, didnt happenfor another couple of months.Your visit with Russ was in May,so this was one of those fan-meets,probably the first significant onein California, that led up to thecomicons. Did people bring thingsto show to each other?

    JOHNSON: I came such a greatdistance, I didnt bring anything,

    Manning The RampartsThe famous photo of the fan-meet at artist Russ Mannings

    home in May 1964. (Top:) Glen Johnson, Richard Kyle, Rick Durrell.(Bottom:) John McGeehan, Bill Spicer, Russ Manning. So who

    snapped the picture?

    A page of Russ Mannings art for the Dell comic adaptation of the 1959 filmBen-Hur, reproduced from the original art in Bill Schellys collection.

    [2005 the respective copyright holders.]

    66 Comic Fandom Archive

  • [Captain Marvel, Shazam

    & Billy Batson TM & 2005 DC Comicsfrom

    an original cover done for a Brazilian com

    ic.]

  • OTE: In Alter Ego #39, 40, 42, & 43,British fan Frank Motler presented adetailed study of how, in the early to mid-1950s and later, Charlton Publications,

    often known as CDC for its Capitol Distributionarm, took over both the titles and often inventory ofseveral comics companies which were leaving thecomic book business. Chief among these wasFawcett, which folded its four-color tents in late1953. Inevitably in a work of this scope, errorswould sneak in, and additional information wouldbecome available from people who saw the articleand had knowledge of particular areas or details.Below, Frank has listed, under the heading of eachof the four issues of A/E in which his piece wasserialized, the corrections and additions known todate of his study. A number of these were sent byBoyd Magers, while others are based on Franksown researches during the past year. It is hoped thatanyone else having additional information willcontact Frank directly or through Alter Ego. Roy.

    A/E #39:P. 49: The last sentence of the bottom caption

    should read: Cover art for Romantic Story #25 (Aug.1954) is by Leon Winik & Ray Osrin. The artist ofRomantic Secrets #17 (Aug. 1958) remains unknownto me, but long-time collector Steven Whitaker thinksit is Dick Giordano.

    A/E #40:P. 46: TNT Comics (Feb. 1946) was published by Carlton

    Publishing Co., not Charlton Publishing Company.

    P. 47: Burton N. Levey is the name given as that of the co-owner; itwas not misspelled, as the accompanying [sic] notation implied.

    A/E #42

    P. 49: There is an error in the text and accompanying caption.Charlton published Maco Toys (1959) on behalf of the toy company; ithad nothing to do with Blue Bird, a shoe-store chain, or with thecomics published by Charlton on their behalf. On Dec 16, 2004, BoydMagers was kind enough to write to Alter Ego and confirm certainfacts, whilst pointing out some errors in this third installment of myarticle. Boyd is an acknowledged authority on Western films & theirstars. He has also written several books on Western movies, consultedon many others, and hosted film celebrity panels, and is the publisher ofWestern Clippings magazine for more than ten years. I am happy tocorrect these errors here.

    P. 52: Tim Holt did not appear in Six-Gun Heroes, or any otherCharlton comic. He was a Magazine Enterprise star (later, as Red Mask)and more recently has appeared in Bill Blacks AC Comics title Best ofthe West. This was my error, confusing Monte Hale (who did appear

    Charlton Was A RealSweetheart

    Since we showed the otherCharlton romance coverscovered in this mini-articlein earlier issues, heresanother scan Frank sent us at the time: the cover of Sweethearts #46

    (Dec. 1958), which was a continuation of the

    popular Fawcett romancecomic for which MarcSwayze drew numerous

    stories. This coverspotlighted popular 1950ssinger Jimmie Rodgers,whose hits Honeycomband Kisses Sweeter ThanWine led to his long-running Spaghetti-Os ad on TV and his own TV series. [2005 the respective

    copyright holders.]

    The Case Of The Clueless ComicsIt didnt take Scotland Yard or Sherlock Holmesboth of which starred in their own Charlton seriesin 1955-56, as witness these first-issue coversto correct the handful of errors and omissions in ourfour-part Fawcett-Charlton Connection series. All it required was a bit of sleuthing by Frank

    Motler himself, and by Western film expert Boyd Magers. [ 2005 the respective copyright owners.]

    And Then There Were None!The Corrections

    The Sequel To Charlton And The Remnants Of The Fawcett Comics Empireby Frank Capitol MotlerNN

    85

  • y discovery of Brazilian comics, in the early 1980s,remains one of the highlightsof my fannish life. Andamong the most astounding

    of the Brazilian lore would have to be thecontinued existence, through 1968, ofCaptain Marvel and his Family, with thefirst installment of a tale reprinted here ofparticular note.

    Inter-company crossovers were stillrelatively new at the time I discovered thisstory. The first Superman Vs. Spider-Manbook had appeared only a few years earlier.Theyve become somewhat old hat bynow (yet one more example of how thecomics field often manages to deliver toomuch of a good thing), but back then, theywere still a novelty. So to discover that acrossover had been published in 1964 waseven more amazingand that it hadfeatured two characters who by 1964 hadbeen defunct for quite a few years was evenmore so.

    It is important to remember, however,that for Brazilian readers at the time, it wasnot an inter-company crossover at all.Rather, both characters, along with manyother features, were appearing in comicsfrom the same publisher. The idea of theteam-up was probably a noveltyand asfar as I know, there were no others in anyway comparable to itbut it was not, forthem, an inter-company teaming. (Theexception, naturally, would be thoseBrazilian readers who were knowledgeableabout US comics.)

    But, though Ive written about thathitherto-unknown team-up of Fawcettsoriginal Captain Marvel and Timelysoriginal Human Torch before (includingback in FCA #60/Alter Ego V3#1, 1999), English-speaking fans haventhad the chance to actually read it. Now, at long last, two of its pages arebeing presentedtranslated into Englishin the pages of AlterEgo/FCA. We hope to show you more such pages in the near future.

    Is the story up to the standards of the two features from which it isdrawn? Hard to say. Ive read no more than a handful of stories of theoriginal Human Torch, and based on that, Id say that the storyprobably equals or surpasses many of them, except, of course, for his

    early classic battles with the Sub-Mariner. As for Captain Marvel, theresno comparison. Caps stories were soclever, so out of the ordinary for super-heroes, that theres no way that thisparticular tale can come close. Remove theHuman Torch and the notion of acrossover, and it seems rather routine. Butit is, I think, a fairly entertaining story, andof course, for us, the novelty more thancompensates for any defects the script andart might have.

    Thanks are due to many people. First ofall, Dwight Decker, who first put me intouch with Brazilian collector JoseJefferson Barbosa de Aquino, and who,incidentally, also urged me to write aboutmy discoveries for fanzines, starting withAmazing Heroes. Brazilian correspon-dents, including the late Jeff (as hepreferred to be called), along with LuizAntonio Sampaio, Jose Carlos Neves, andEmir Ribeiro, among others, have proveninvaluable, not to mention exceedinglygenerous, in supplying me with Braziliancomics. A/E editor Roy Thomas and FCAeditor P.C. Hamerlinck are to becommended for their interest in the subjectmatter. Finally, a big thanks to the trans-lator, Mark Luebker, whose knowledge ofPortuguese easily surpasses my own, andwhose translation is presented here.

    All of us involved hope you enjoy thisfirst presentation of a comic book first.

    Credits for Return of a Great Hero:

    Appeared in: Almanaque do O GloboJuvenil

    Published in Brazil - 1964

    Illustrated by Rodriguez Zelis

    REPRINT CREDITS:

    Translation, Lettering, 1950s Fawcett Title Page Adaptation: MarkLuebker

    Art Restoration and Gray Tones: Matt Moring

    Additional Art Restoration (page 11 & up): John Gentil

    Special Thanks: John G. Pierce, Rodrigo M. Zeidan, Matt Gore

    The cover of the 100-page comic which showcased theCaptain Marvel/Human Torch team-up. Among other

    features, it also reprinted what seems to be a Fawcett LashLaRue story, and a tale starring Aguia Negra, whoappears to be the circa-1960 Australian super-hero Sir

    Falcon, who was covered last issue. [2005 the respectivecopyright holders; Captain Marvel TM & 2005 DC Comics;Lash LaRue, Sir Falcon, Robin Hood, Billy the Kid, & Wyatt

    Earp TM & 2005 the respective copyright holders.]

    CAPITAO MARVEL MEETS LA TOCHA HUMANA

    When Titans ClashedIn BrazilIntroduction by John G. PierceMM

    89~

  • [Art2005therespectivecopyrightholders;CaptainMarvelTM&2005DC

    Comics.]

    90 When Titans Clashed In Brazil

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