Alter Ego #60

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Alter Ego #60 (100 pages, $6.95) celebrates 50 years since the Flash’s debut in SHOWCASE #4! There’s a never-before-published, full-color Flash cover by CARMINE INFANTINO! Rare interviews with and articles on the guys who created Showcase #4—the first comic book of the Silver Age: JULIUS SCHWARTZ—ROBERT KANIGHER—CARMINE INFANTINO—JOE KUBERT--& JOHN BROOME! Golden Age (& Joe Palooka) artist TONY DiPRETA, interviewed by JIM AMASH! 1966 Golden Age panel with KLAUS NORDLING, OTTO BINDER, & LARRY IVIE! MICHAEL T. GILBERT and MR. MONSTERS on “Twice-Told Tales” by—MICHAEL T. GILBERT! FCA with MARC SWAYZE, C.C. BECK, et al.--& MORE!

Text of Alter Ego #60

  • SHOWCASE SHOWCASE ##4!4!

    FIFTY YEARS HAVEGONE BY IN A FLASH!

    $6.95In the USA

    No.60July2006

    PLUS:

    Twin BONUS!

    TONYDiPRETA& KLAUSNORDLING

    FIFTY YEARS HAVEGONE BY IN A FLASH!

    SCHWARTZ KANIGHERINFANTINO KUBERT

    BROOME & 1956s

    SCHWARTZ KANIGHERINFANTINO KUBERT

    BROOME & 1956s

    CELEBRATING

    Roy Thomas FlashyComics Fanzine

    Flash TM & 2006 DC Comics.

  • Alter EgoTM is published monthly, except Jan., April., Sept., and Nov. 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: roydann@ntinet.com. Send subscription funds to TwoMorrows, NOT to the editorialoffices. Single issues: $9 ($11.00 outside the US). Twelve-issue subscriptions:$72 US, $132 Canada, $144 elsewhere. All characters are their respective companies. All material their creators unless otherwise noted. All editorial matter Roy Thomas. Alter Ego is a TM of Roy & Dann Thomas. FCA is a TM of P.C. Hamerlinck. Printed in Canada.

    FIRST PRINTING.

    This issue is dedicated to the memory ofAlex Toth & Dick Rockwell

    Vol. 3, No. 60 / July 2006EditorRoy 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 ArtistCarmine Infantino

    And Special Thanks to:Deane AikinsHeidi AmashMurphy AndersonManuel AuadMike W. BarrJohn BensonDaniel BestDominic BongoRay Bottorff, Jr.Peggy BroomeMark CannonR. Dewey CassellBob CherryJim ClearyErnie ColnRay A. CuthbertAl DellingesMichael DewallyRoger Dicken &Wendy Hunt

    Tony & FrancesDiPreta

    Shel DorfDon EnsignMark EvanierMichael FeldmanPatricia FlossRon FrantzKeif FrommBob FujitaniCarl GaffordEarl GeierJohn GentilFrank GiellaJoe GiellaJanet GilbertGlen David GoldMatt GoreRon GoulartArnie GrievesJennifer HamerlinckIrwin HasenFred HembeckHeritage ComicsCarmine Infantino

    Christopher IrvingLarry IvieGene KehoeRobert KleinJim KingmanBob KoppanyJoe KubertRichard KyleRon LimMark LuebkerRuss MaherasDennis MalloneeJoe & NadiaMannarino

    Maureen McTigueSheldon MoldoffMatt MoringBrian K. MorrisEdwin & TerryMurray

    Jim MurtaughMarie OBrienDenny ONeilAndy PattersonJoe PetrilakJohn G. PierceCraig PopplewellsEd QuinbyDan RasplerLinda LessmanReinhold

    Alex RossMarie SeverinKeif SimonRobin SnyderMarc SwayzeTony TallaricoDann ThomasJim Vadeboncoeur, Jr.Mark WaidTed WhiteMarv WolfmanRodrigo M. ZeidanMichael Zeno

    CONTENTSWriter/Editorial: Fifty Years Have Gone By In A Flash! . . . . . . . . . . . 2Life From A Flash Of Lightning. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5Christopher Irving on the significance of Showcase #4 (Oct. 1956)!

    Julius Schwartz & Carmine Infantino . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9A ten-years-after interview with Showcase #4s editor and artist, by Shel Dorf.

    Written Off 9/30/49 Part VII. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14Art from a never-published, Infantino-drawn Flash story from the Golden Age.

    Im Responsible For The Silver Age . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18Robert Kanigher on many subjectsincluding (briefly) Showcase #4.

    Now You Dont See HimNow You Do! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26The Flash-y disappearance and reappearance of Joe Kubert, 1947, viewed by Al Dellinges.

    I Think I Was A Natural-Born Comic Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30John Broome in San Diego, 1998with Evanier, Schwartz, Anderson, & Barr.

    We Were A Very Happy Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43Artist Tony DiPreta to Jim Amash about comic books, comic strips, & the people behind them.

    Tributes To Alex Toth & Dick Rockwell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61Mr. Monsters Comic Crypt!: Twice-Told Gilbert!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63Michael T. Gilbert presents more scenes that have been depicted twiceor even thrice!

    The Fabulous 40s The First Full Decade Of Comic Books. . . . . . . 69A 1966 panel featuring Golden Age artist Klaus Nordling at the one comicon he ever attended.

    re: [comments, correspondence, & corrections] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76FCA (Fawcett Collectors Of America) #119 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80P.C. Hamerlinck presents Marc Swayze and Alex Ross.

    About Our Cover: Quite frankly, were unsure precisely how this issues cover illo came to us,though weve had it sitting around for a while now. That its a probably-unpublished, full-colorFlash drawing at least penciled (and signed) by Golden/Silver Age great Carmine Infantino,the man who drew Showcase #4 and the first decade of The Flash, we have no doubt but asto who inked it, or colored it, were less certain. Carmine opines as how he might have inked it,though it doesnt strongly resemble his other work and he probably didnt color it butthats the way it came, so thats the way we printed it. The pluperfect cover to a bookcelebrating the 50th anniversary of Showcase #4! And thanks to those listed below for carica-tures of the 5 creators. [Flash TM & 2006 DC Comics; caricatures [l. to r.] 2006 Estate of Gil Kane; Ernie Coln; the respective copyright holders; Estate of Norman Maurer; Shane Foley.]

    Above: Just for kicks, heres a wide-angle panel from Carmines triumphal return to The Flash:issue #306 (Feb. 1982), to be exact. Inking by Bob Smith, script by Dan Miskin & Gary Cohn.Reprod from a photocopy of the original art, with thanks to Michael Zeno. [2006 DC Comics.]

    Special IssueCELEBRATING SHOWCASE #4

  • t was July 4th, 1956.

    Or maybejust maybe, mind youit was the day beforeJuly 4th, 1956.

    What is certain is that I was on my 15-year-old way to buyfireworks at Fulenweiders Drug Store, on Main Street, Smalltown,USA. Well, actually, it was Main Street in Jackson, Missouri (1950census population, 3694). Same thing.

    I dont recall precisely what fireworks I intended to buy. But itcouldnt have been anything more dangerous than a few strings offirecrackers. Maybe a couple of cherry bombs, now that I was a bitolder, but at most only a couple, because my parents knew those thingswere dangerous, bless em.

    But it doesnt matter whatfireworks I was going to buy,because the only pyrotechnicsthat counted that day were theones that erupted from thecomic book rack.

    Because that was the day Ifirst laid eyes on Showcase #4.

    That was the day that gavenew life to an old favoriteThe Flash. He of Mercurys hatand sandals and the tucked-inred shirt and no mask. Now hehad a streamlined costume thatreally looked like it was builtfor speed. Lots of hotcrimsonwith goldenlightning bolts emblazoning ithere and there. And whatsfaster than a lightning bolt? Itreminded me, the instant I sawit, of Captain Marvels outfit,only with hood instead ofcapebut Id loved CaptainMarvel, and anyway hed beengone from the comics shelves for three years now, and it didnt looklike he was ever coming back. So I didnt mind this new guy borrowingone of his old suits and customizing it a bit.

    Im sure I flipped through the comic right then and there and wasthrilled to see Barry Allen reading an old issue of Flash Comicssameas I had done eight or nine years earlier!and there was the old Flash,as well. The guys who put this comic book out knew what they weredoing. They knew what I wantedeven before I did. I remember beingamazed to see falling objects floating in mid-air before Barrys eyes inthat diner the way a man with super-speed would see them. The firstFlash had certainly seen them that way, too, but wed never haveknown it from reading his adventures. And there was even a TurtleMana new version of The Turtle whom I recalled fighting theoriginal Flash.

    This comic was newand it was oldall at the same time!

    And it was wonderful. Purely, completely, utterly wonderful.

    I probably bought the fireworks Id come in forbut all that wasreally on my mind as I raced the half dozen or so blocks home wasreading this exciting new comic book. Before it could fall by thewayside, like the revived Human Torch, Captain America, and Sub-Mariner had at Atlas or Blue Beetle at Charlton or Stuntman atHarvey... or The Flame, Phantom Lady, & company at Ajax or lastyears Fighting American, or The Avenger, or even Captain Flash....

    I was young. I lived for the moment. The Flash had returned! Hedbeen a member of my beloved Justice Society of America, so if he was

    back, even in new garb, maybeone day they would be, too!Maybe

    Naw! It was too much tohope for. That was the future,and the futures a million yearsaway when youre 15 and acolor comic book still getsyour pulse racing every bit asmuch as a good action movieor an exciting program on thatgrainy new thing called TVor or that cute blonde youdask out if you were oldenough to drive and thoughtthere was a chance in hell shewouldnt laugh at you.Probably better to stick tomovies and TV andcomicsfor now, anyway.

    That July 4th? Im sure itwas a good one.

    But Id already had myfireworks.

    And those colored lightshave been exploding ever since.

    Years later, given my dual interest in comic books and history, Idwonder how Showcase #4 came about. After three lackluster issues offiremen, animals, and detectives, DC had finally gotten it right. Fullyaware of how so many great super-heroes had bitten the dust over thepast decade, I dared hope there were lots of other people like me whodjust been waitin