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$ 6.95 In the USA No. 72 September 2007 Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew, Starro TM & ©2007 DC Comics. Roy Thomas24- Carrot Comics Fanzine Roy Thomas24- Carrot Comics Fanzine SCOTT SHAW! & ROY THOMAS SCOTT SHAW! & ROY THOMAS ON CREATING & HIS AMAZING ZOO CREW! TM CAPTAIN CARROT CAPTAIN CARROT DICK ROCKWELL MILT CANIFF PLUS: DICK ROCKWELL THE GHOST OF MILT CANIFF AND: 1 8 2 6 5 8 2 7 7 6 3 5 0 9 2007 EISNER AWARD WINNER! BEST COMICS-RELATED PERIODICAL

Alter Ego #72

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ALTER EGO #72 (100 pages, $6.95) spotlights Captain Carrot & The Ghost of Milt Caniff! Behind a new SCOTT SHAW! cover of the 1980s Zoo Crew, Roy Thomas and Scott Shaw! document the creation of Captain Carrot, with art & artifacts, many of them never before seen, by SCOTT SHAW!, ROY THOMAS, RICK HOBERG, STAN GOLDBERG, MIKE SEKOWSKY, JOHN COSTANZA, E. NELSON BRIDWELL, CAROL LAY, and others! Also, there’s an incisive interview with DICK ROCKWELL, Golden Age artist (Black Diamond Western, etc.) and 36-year ghost artist on MILTON CANIFF’s Steve Canyon! Plus, there’s P.C. Hamerlinck’s FCA (Fawcett Collectors of America) with Marc Swayze, C.C. Beck, and others, Michael T. Gilbert and Mr. Monster’s Comic Crypt, and more! Edited by Roy Thomas.

Text of Alter Ego #72

  • $6.95In the USA

    No. 72September2007

    Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew, Starro TM & 2007 DC Comics.

    Roy Thomas 24-CarrotComics Fanzine

    Roy Thomas 24-CarrotComics Fanzine

    SCOTT SHAW!& ROY THOMASSCOTT SHAW!& ROY THOMASON CREATING

    & HIS AMAZINGZOO CREW!TM

    CAPTAINCARROTCAPTAINCARROT

    DICKROCKWELL

    MILT CANIFF

    PLUS:DICK

    ROCKWELLTHE GHOST OFMILT CANIFF

    AND:

    18265827763

    5

    09

    2007 EISNERAWARD WINNER!BEST COMICS-RELATED PERIODICAL

  • 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: $9 US ($11.00 Canada, $16 elsewhere). Twelve-issue subscriptions: $78 US, $132 Canada, $180 elsewhere. All charactersare their respective companies. All material their creators unless otherwise noted. All editorial matter Roy Thomas. Alter Ego isa TM of Roy & Dann Thomas. FCA is a TM of P.C. Hamerlinck. Printed in Canada. ISSN: 1932-6890

    FIRST PRINTING.

    This issue is dedicated to the memory ofDon Christensen & Marshall Rogers

    ContentsWriter/Editorial: Bringing Out The Beast In Me . . . . . . . . . . . 2Rabbits And Turtles And PigsOh, My! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Mike Curtis takes an affectionate look back at the Zoo Crew.

    Not Just Another Funny-Animal Comic!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7Scott Shaw! and Roy Thomas on the 1981 creation of Captain Carrotand beyond.

    Pens And Nadles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31Ken Nadle on Golden Age DC humor-mongers Larry & Martin Nadle.

    The Drawing Board Is My Sanctuary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39Dick Rockwell talks to Jim Amash about drawing comic books and Steve Canyon.

    Mr. Monsters Comic Crypt! Kooky Krossovers (Part 2) . . . 55Michael T. Gilbert finishes off those tintinabulatin 1940s team-ups at MLJ & Quality.

    Robert Schoenfeld, R.I.P. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63Bill Schelly & Bob Latona salute the late-1960s editor of Gosh Wow!, et al.

    Tributes To Don Christensen & Marshall Rogers . . . . . . . . . 68re: [comments, correspondence, & corrections] . . . . . . . . . 71FCA [Fawcett Collectors Of America] #131 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77Marc Swayze on scripting and C.C. Beck on drawingpresented by P.C. Hamerlinck.

    On Our Cover: Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! began life as a funny-animalversion of the Justice League of America, so original CC artist Scott Shaw!he of the exclam-atory monickerflawlessly executed this anthropomorphic homage to the iconic MikeSekowsky/Murphy Anderson cover of The Brave and the Bold #28 (March 1960). Nuff said?[Characters TM & 2007 DC Comics.]

    Above: One of Scotts very first concept sketches of the good Captainnever before published!See pp. 12-25 for more of same! [2007 DC Comics.]

    Vol. 3, No. 72 / September 2007EditorRoy Thomas

    Associate EditorsBill SchellyJim Amash

    Design & LayoutChristopher Day

    FCA EditorP.C. Hamerlinck

    Comic Crypt EditorMichael T. Gilbert

    Editorial Honor RollJerry G. Bails (founder)Ronn Foss, Biljo WhiteMike Friedrich

    Production AssistantChris Irving

    Circulation DirectorBob Brodsky, Cookiesoup PeriodicalDistribution, LLC

    Cover ArtistScott Shaw!

    Cover ColoristTom Ziuko

    With Special Thanks to:Rob AllenHeidi AmashNick ArroyoPaul BachBob BaileyRod BeckFrank BrunnerMike CatronCharles ChamberlinMike & Carole

    CurtisJeff DellMichal DewallyChris ElliottJohn R. EllisCharles EttingerMichael EuryMark EvanierRex FerrellGreg FischerShane FoleyJanet GilbertStan GoldbergTim GordonHarry GuytonJennifer HamerlinckDavid HedgecockFred HembeckRick HobergShawntae HowardJeff KapalkaDenis KitchenRichard KyleThomas G. Lammers

    Robert LatonaScott LeMienArthur LortieBruce MasonFran MateraJim McQuarrieSheldon MoldoffBrian K. MorrisWill MurrayJim MurtaughKen NadleDave ODellJake OsterMark PanicciaBarry PearlRubn ProcopioRobby ReedSteven RoweScott, Judith, &

    Kirby Shaw!Keif SimonBhob StewartMarc SwayzeJeff TaylorDann ThomasDave TrimbleKen Van CourtJim Vadeboncoeur, Jr.Michael VanceDr. Michael J.

    VassalloGreg VondruskaHames WareMike Zeck

  • ctually, I thought long and hard before I decided to do thisissue of Alter Ego.

    For several years now, cartoonists Scott Shaw! and Jim Engeland I have been discussing an issue of A/E devoted to funny-animalsuper-heroes like Supermouse, Hoppy the Marvel BunnyandCaptain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew!, the comic book Scottand I co-produced in the early 1980s. We may get around to it yet.

    A few months ago, however, Scott e-mailed me that hed just beenasked to draw a revival of Captain Carrotwithout me as writer.After both of us getting nowhere making individual proposals fromtime to time over the years for a revival of the title, we had agreedneither of us would make a separate approach to a DC editor againbut Scott hadnt initiated this series; an editor had gone to writer BillMorrison of Bongo Comics, then to Scott. While I remain virulentlyhostile to the idea that a new Captain Carrot series has been launchedwith one of the series two main creators cut out of the loop very muchagainst his willlet there be no mealy-mouthed mistake about that!Ididnt have it in me to ask Scott to turn down the opportunity to drawthe characters again. After all, theyre a far larger percentage of hiscomic book legacy than they are of mineand Im keeping quitebusy with the Marvel Illustrated series and work for TwoMorrowsand Heroic Publications, thank you very much. So let me make itclear that Ive no animosity toward Scottor Billfor taking the gig.As to those involved over their heads well, dont get me started.

    On the other hand, I was slightly (if only slightly) mollified to learnthat, in conjunction with this revival, Captain Carrot #1-20i.e., the

    entire canon, except for the final 6 issues, which were put together asthe three-issue mini-series The Oz-Wonderland War in 1985-86were to be published as a 500-page Showcase volume. Moreover, Ireceived a reasonably hefty royalty check for my work reprintedthereinand it arrived two months before the black-&-white bookwent on sale! Youve gotta give at least a few points credit for that.

    So Scott and I decided wed talk about the original Captain Carrotrun for an A/E issue to come out around the same time as the newoneand I invited Mike Curtis, editor and co-publisher of ShandaFantasy Press, to write a brief overview of the 1980s comic.

    By coincidence, Id also recently invited Ken Nadle to write abouthis father, Golden Age DC humor-comics editor Larry Nadle, and hisuncle Martin Nadle. The latter had been the 1940s artist of McSnurtlethe TurtleThe Terrific Whatzit, a speedster terrapin whod made acomeback guest appearance in an 80s issue of Captain Carrot. Thatseemed like a perfect fit for the issue, as well.

    But weve also got plenty of goodies for readers who prefer theirheroes, artists, and writers humanincluding an interview with thelate Dick Rockwell, 1950s comic book artist who ghosted Milt Caniffsnewspaper strip Steve Canyon for more than a third of a century. Weregret that Dick passed away a year or so back, not long after JimAmash interviewed him but we know his family, as well as manycomics enthusiasts, are looking forward to reading the interview at last.

    Bestest,

    Edited by ROY THOMASSUBSCRIBE NOW! Twelve Issues in the US: $78 Standard, $108 First Class

    (Canada: $132, Elsewhere: $180 Surface, $216 Airmail).NOTE: IF YOU PREFER A SIX-ISSUE SUB, JUST CUT THE PRICE IN HALF!

    COMING IN OCTOBERCOMING IN OCTOBER

    [Dr. Strange & Clea TM & 2007 Marvel Characters Inc.]

    Never before seen! A gorgeous FRANK BRUNNER painting of Dr. Strange and Cleahangin out at 177A Bleecker Street!

    Formerly far-out FRANK BRUNNER annotates his own spooky art of Dr. Strange,Howard the Duck, Death, and the whole gruesome gang!

    CHARLES BIROthe murderous maestro of Golden Age comics like Crime DoesNot Pay, Boy Comics, & Daredevil! A never-published interviewplus, JIM AMASHtalks to BIROS DAUGHTERS about their fabulously talented and influential dad!

    A Deadly Dose of REALITY! ROBERT GERSON tells RICHARD ARNDT about hisearly-70s horror comicas illustrated by MICHAEL W. KALUTA, BERNIEWRIGHTSON, JEFFREY JONES, & others!

    PlusMICHAEL T. GILBERTs Comic CryptFCA with C.C. BECK, MARC SWAYZEL. BING by JIM VADEBONCOEUR & HAMES WARE& MORE!!

    A HALLOWEENTRICK-OR-TREAT

    WITH BRUNNER, BIRO,& ALL THAT BUNCH!

    #73

    TwoMorrows. Celebrating The Art & History Of Comics.TwoMorrows 10407 Bedfordtown Drive Raleigh, NC 27614 USA 919-449-0344 FAX: 919-449-0327 E-mail: [email protected] www.twomorrows.com

    AA

    4 writer/editorial

    Bringing Out The Beast In Me

  • ooking through the DC comicsof the mid-1980s, one sees namesthat are still household words

    among comic fans today. Titles likeArionLord of Atlantis! Or OmegaMen! Or I, Vampire! Sword of TheAtom! Or even How to Sell GRIT!

    Well... I guess these names arent reallyso well remembered. But theres oneseries which flourished during thatdecade and which still has a fan followingtoday, even of advance of its return in thenext few weeksCaptain Carrot AndHis Amazing Zoo Crew!

    Captain Carrot certainly was anoffbeat series, especially for a titlepublished within that decade. DC hadgreatly expanded just a few years before,only to suffer the Great Implosion at theend of the 1970s, and the canceling ofmany of their titlessome of them aboutto go to press. In the 80s, it was onceagain a time for new ideas. Some greattalents came together for this spoof ofsuper-heroes done in the funny-animalvein.

    In the article that follows this one,Roy Thomas and Scott Shaw! tell the taleof their efforts on the creation of the ZooCrew. But let me add that, at that time,there was probably not a better creativeteam that could have been assembled.Scott Shaw! is still a legend in the furrycommunity, although he rarely venturesinto comics these days. And Roy Thomascould have used James Robinsons titlePocket Encyclopedia as his own. At that time, other than his writingtag-team partner E. Nelson Bridwell on Carrot, there was probably noone else more well-versed in comic book history than Thomas. Andcomic history played a large part in Captain Carrot.

    But before we examine the adventures of the group, lets look at theindividual members of The Zoo Crew.

    CAPTAIN CARROT, a.k.a. Roger Rodney Rabbit. It was a brilliantstroke to make Roger (sorry, thats what Im going to call him) a comicartist and writer. This unique profession made him the perfect leaderfor a team of super-heroes in a world that had never experienced them

    before. (The one exception to this will bediscussed later.) The only fly in theointment regarding this character wasthe later decision to call him Rodney,after Disney announced its forthcomingfilm Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Thegood Captain became the iconicSuperman of his anthropomorphicworld and was attracted to teammate

    ALLEY-KAT-ABRA, a.k.a. FelinaFurr. In the world of furry fandomwhere I am most active, this doll stillshows up in fan art and pinups, not tomention in erotic fan fiction. In my ownShanda the Panda, the characterssometimes take on lives of their own andwrite themselves. I suspect that this iswhat happened with Felina. The tokenmagician of the group, her Mew Orleansbackground may have added to the feistyattitude she exhibited early on. Onseveral occasions she seemed to be tryingto make the Crew a duo of herself andRoger, although she has a semi-sidekickin her magical focus object, MagicWanda. She also had an ongoing feudwith the other female Zoo Crewer

    YANKEE POODLE, a.k.a. RovaBarkitt. Every group needs a patrioticcharacter, and this is the only iconmissing from DCs Justice Society. Whilethe USA theme only extended to YPscostuming and powers, her abilities weresurprisingly innovative. Yankee usedstars from one hand to repel and stripes

    from the other hand to draw things toward her. In her secret identity,the Poodle was a Hollywood gossip columnist and friend to

    RUBBERDUCK, a.k.a. Byrd Rentals. The Plastic Man of the group,in real life he was a movie star, just as in our world, Burt Reynolds wasone of the biggest stars of the 1980s. Most of his character and dialoguewere pure Hollywood. He was probably the least developed of thegroup personality-wise. Unlike

    PIG-IRON, a.k.a. Peter Porkchops. The muscleman (or musclehog) ofthe band. He was an update of the 1950s DC comic star named above.Heres where both Roys and Scotts love of the past came in. The only

    5

    So Zoo Me!The cover of Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! #1

    (March 1982) was penciled by Scott Shaw! and Ross Andru, thelatter drawing the Superman figure; inks by Bob Layton.

    Thanks to Bob Bailey. [2007 DC Comics.]

    LL

    Rabbits And TurtlesAnd PigsOh, My!

    An Affectionate Look Back AtCaptain Carrot And His Amazing Zoo Crew!

    by Mike Curtis

  • problem was that Pig-Iron had a much more aggressive personalitythan Peter had. Then again, I suppose falling into a vat of molten metalwould make you talk like Ben Grimm. And remember that previoussuper-hero on Earth C?

    FASTBACK, a.k.a. Timmy Joe Terrapin. The only legacy hero ofthe group. Just as Barry Allen was inspired to become The Flash byreading about the adventures of Jay Garrick, Timmy had an uncle whohad been a super-hero in the 1940s! One of the original funny-animalsuper-heroes, McSnurtle the Turtle, had once fought crime as theTerrific Whatzit. The Whatzit of 1942-46 issues of the DC comicFunny Stuff (see pp. 18 & 31-38) was not only super-fast, but couldalso fly and bend steel in his bare hands! He even took his costumefrom DCs premier 1940s speedster.

    And, later on

    LITTLE CHEESE, a.k.a. Chester Cheese. A latecomer to the team,this miniscule mouse first appeared in CC&HAZC #12. He laterjoined the team in their last issue (sob!), #20. He acquired his power

    not from the same sources as the rest of the team, but from ingesting apiece of irradiated lunar green cheese. Little Cheese was a hero in thetradition of the Silver Age Atom, as well as Qualitys Doll Man.

    The series was co-created by Roy Thomas, Scott Shaw!, and GerryConway, but the list of people who labored on these adventures couldhave had their own DC series called The Legion of Super-Talents! DClegend E. Nelson Bridwell did some scripting later, as did Shaw. Thelist of artists includes greats like Archie talent Stan Goldberg, JusticeLeague of Americas Mike Sekowsky, and even famous HowdyDoody/Hoppy the Marvel Bunny cartoonist Chad Grothkopf. Hey, Ieven saw Carl Gaffords name in there, and we (Shanda Arts) publishsome of his stuff ourselves! One of my favorites on late CaptainCarrot was underground cartoonist Carol Lay, who took over on thethree-issue Oz-Wonderland War mini-series that followed the regular20 issues of Captain Carrot.

    With so much DC history (and historians) behind the series, its nosurprise that it definitely existed within the companys regular conti-nuity, right from the start. Carrot debuted as a 16-page insert in TheNew Teen Titans #16, with special guest star Superman. The cause oftheir origins and their first opponent was longtime JLA foe Starro theConqueror. Basically, the Man of Steel grabbed a glowing meteor thatwas menacing Earth, and when it blew up into six pieces and he crossedover a dimensional barrier, those six pieces gave the original sixmembers of the Zoo Crew their powers. Got it? Good. Sounds likesomething Mort Weisinger might have written.

    Oddly enough, in the first issue of their own comic (March 1982),theres a Batman Hostess Twinkies ad featuring what would berecognized today as a fursuiter who is kidnapping dogs. In any case,Roger Rabbit (yes, that was the original name of Captain Carrots alter-ego-to-be), who has a super-hero costume left over from a costumeparty and dons it when the irradiated carrots in his window-box gavehim powers, visits the other five recipients of the Spawn of Supermanmeteors, and together they rescue the Man of Steel.

    Issue #2 featured guest penciler Alfredo Alcala and was very much asemi-replay of The Avengers #2. The group is formed, but Pig-Ironisnt interested at first. Super-heroes cant just argue about their differ-ences, so we get some fight scenes. This is where Felina first proposes asmaller group composed mainly of her and the Captain. I think it waslove, or at least a mild interest, at first sight.

    In #3, we get a great gag lifted from Froggy the Gremlin involvingthe President. This is only fitting, since Frogzilla is the cover villain,and the behind-the-scenes baddie Brother Hood enlists three giant-powered animals to do his bidding. Former Funny Stuff stars DunbarDodo and J. Fenimore Frog (of The Dodo and the Frog feature) alsoreappear in the DC universe. There should be a reader warning notedhere. Captain Carrot contained even more puns than the Richie Richcomics I used to write. In Issue #3 we also meet Jailhouse Roc andKongaroo. Just so you know.

    DCs Swamp Thing had been optioned for a low budget flick (andnot much else was getting optioned besides Superman for film at thetime). Therefore, issue #4 features a swamp thing of sortsbased morealong the lines of JSA foe Solomon Grundy. Theres another scenewhere Felina urges Roger to forget those other 4 losers and take atrip with her. Man, was Roger dense or what?

    Movies are still a large influence as #5 features Oklahoma Bones andsome very scarce scenes of the Crew in civvies. This marks the Crewsfirst two-part adventure. Issue #6, the second half of the story, featuresan alien rabbit who resembles Bugs Bunny. In this issue, we also getour first solo adventure, when the Captain stars in a backup feature.

    In Comic Books No One Can Hear You ScreamThey Have To Read It!

    Scott drew this cataclysmic crossover clash between the Zoo Crew and Alienfor a website spoof. [Captain Carrot & Zoo Crew TM & 2007 DC Comics;

    Alien TM & 2007 20th Century-Fox or successors in interest.]

    6 An Affectionate Look Back At Captain Carrot And His Amazing Zoo Crew!

  • oy hereand, below, wherever italics are used in thispiece. It was a tricky subject to cover: the creation of theCaptain Carrot comic book for DC in 1981, and its

    subsequent development and handling over the years 1982-86 byScott Shaw!, myself, and a handful of others. In May of 2007 Scottand I talked on the phone for an hour or so, with the intention thatthe resulting interview would be one section of this issues coverageof the series and Id do a text article that would precede it (sincethe concepts roots predate Scotts role in things, however essentialhe became to the mag later).

    But that didnt seem to work, somehow. So many things Id wantto say in my account would necessarily pre-empt and undercutmatters Scott and I discussed, so that parts of our conversationwould either have to be deleted as redundant, or else seem like merefootnotes.

    So I decided to take a slightly different tack.

    Id start out by writing my own account of the creation, whichantedates Scotts involvement, dealing with events more or less inchronological orderthen dovetail into and out of the interviewwith Scott. So thats what youll find belowcribbed from my ownand Scotts memories (without time or space to seek out much inputfrom the other writers, artists, and editors involved), with my ownmemory augmented somewhat by the text pieces I wrote for the firstcouple of issues of Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew!

    A word about the illustrations that accompany this hybrid piece:

    Not Just Another Funny-Animal Comic!

    A Conversation Between SCOTT SHAW! AndROY THOMAS About The Creation Of

    Captain Carrot And His Amazing Zoo Crew!1981Interview Conducted by Roy Thomas & Transcribed by Brian K. Morris

    Italicized Text by Roy Thomas

    9

    RR

    Man Of Steel, Bunny Of Bronze (Age, That Is)(Above left:) Roy T. figures you had your fill of photos of him in issue #70,

    so heres a sketch of RT executed, for some unfathomable reason, by Mike Zeck,and sent to us by Barry Pearl. Thanks to both! [2007 Mike Zeck.]

    (Above right:) Scott Shaw! and son Kirby, whos named after The King.Special thanks to Judy Shaw.

    (Left:) The first that most of the world saw of Captain Carrot was on this interiorcover of the 16-page Preview insert in The New Teen Titans #16 (Feb. 1982). RossAndru penciled Superman, Scott Shaw! penciled everything else, and editor DickGiordano inked the whole magilla. From the very beginning, like the topline said,Captain Carrot was Not Just Another Funny-Animal Comic! Reprod from a scan

    of the original art, courtesy of Scott.

    Incidentally, all scans of Scotts original CC art for this piece were made byDave Hedgecock. Daves the editor/co-publisher of Ape Entertainment and the

    artist of Slave Labors Gargoyles comic, and cites reading Captain Carrot 25 yearsago as a major influence on his becoming a cartoonist. [2007 DC Comics.]

  • Because, in conjunction with its forthcoming revival of CC&HAZC,DC is also releasing a 500-page Showcase volume containing all 20of the titles regular issues (plus the Preview, of course), weve repro-duced relatively few pages from the actual comics though somewhich do appear have been reprod from photocopies of the originalart, much of which Scott still owns. I opted instead to feature prelim-inary sketches and the like, and other relatively rare and evenunseen materials.

    And now, without further ado (or even a-dont, as we used tosay in Not Brand Echh and maybe even in Captain Carrot):

    I. Captain Carrot B.S. (And No, It StandsFor Before Shaw!)

    While CC&HAZC artist and sometime writer Scott Shaw! coulddoubtless relate his own backstory as regards his earliest interest infunny animals in general, and in funny-animal super-heroes inparticular, Captain Carrot was initially birthed out of my own loveof both. Thered been funny animals in tights and capes since not toolong after Superman started tossing cars around as if they wereflapjacks in 1938. It started on the silver screen with Supermouse(soon altered into the much more enduring Mighty Mouse) and withanother Supermouse in comic books (nor did this one have tochange his name)and over the ensuing years, many a species hadits own variant of the Man of Tomorrow.

    Marvel Comics, for whom I was working when I got the notionof writing and editing a super-funny-animal title, had had its ownSuper Rabbit for several years in the 1940s; as a kid during thatdecade, I was quite familiar with it. He even wore a blue-and-orange-and-red outfit not unreminiscent of a certain costumedKryptonian! And, far as I can figure, I probably first thought ofdoing something fairly close to Captain Carrot in the late 1960sthough it couldve been a bit later.

    The reason I say this? All youd need to do is look at the kitchenwalls in the Thomas homesteadwhich is decorated in large part

    with images of rabbits, in memory of the days in San Pedro,California, when Dann and I had as pets a number of bunnies, someof them indoor pets: long-eared quasi-rodents with names likeRumpole, Featherstone, Harriet, Captain (yes!), and an identicalbunch of angora rabbits we couldnt tell apart so we called them allcollectively Bob. There, on one wall, among several pages oforiginal art from Captain Carrot comics and a drawing of the ZooCrew by animator Dave Bennettand across from ChadGrothkopfs original cover for Fawcetts Animal Fair #1 (1945),featuring Hoppy the Marvel Bunnyare two framed, coloreddrawings of a cartoon rabbit sporting an outfit suspiciously like thatof CC, plus an image of that hare-y heros civilian ID. In one pose,bullets are bouncing off the colorful critters chesta chest whichsports an image of a carrot, crowning leaf and all, much like the onethat would embellish CCs torso, a decade or more later.

    Though unsigned, both art and coloring are the work of SamGrainger, a North Carolina commercial artist I met through themail during my latter fanzine days, circa 1964. In early 1969, Samspent a week in New York, at Marvels invite, getting a few pointerson art and inking John Buscemas cover to The Avengers #66. It wasprobably at that time, or during the ensuing months when Sam wasinking Avengers, that we discussed the idea of reviving SuperRabbit. Whether it was my idea or Sams to stick that carrot sigil onhis chest is anybodys guess; but if Sam didnt come up with it on hisown, then I would have anyway, since I was a big believer in chestsymbols. All the better-dressed super-heroes had them.

    For whatever combination of reasons, the idea of a Super Rabbitcomic never really went anywhere at Marveland I cant for thelife of me remember if I ever even mentioned the concept to Stan, letalone showed him Sams sketches. So the idea languished.

    Fast-forward to 1981. Having signed a writing contract with DCComics in late 80, I was eager to add to my quiver of Thomas-created titles such as All-Star Squadron and Arak, Son ofThunderpartly because, unlike at Marvel, at DC I could own apiece of anything I co-created, and partly because I wanted to avoid

    Hare-Brained SketchesSam Graingers concept drawings (late 1960s? 1970s?) for a potential Super Rabbit revival for Marvel. The heroic hares costume is similar to the one

    Captain Carrot would sport years later, but he has quite different physical proportionssuggesting that Super Rabbit the Marvel Bunny (as Roy plannedto christen the series) mightve been in more of a kiddie vein than Captain Carrot. The red-and-blue coloring of the garb of the figure repelling bullets is

    reminiscent of both Superman and the original Super Rabbit; the yellow-and-red gear of the waving figure is closer to Mighty Mouses. From the personal collectionof Roy & Dann Thomas. Photo of Sam Grainger from the 1969 Fantastic Four Annual. [Art 2007 Estate of Sam Grainger; photo 2007 Marvel Characters, Inc.]

    10 A Conversation Between Scott Shaw! and Roy Thomas

  • writing any more Superman, Batman, and/or Legion of Super-Heroes, all of which had been foisted upon me in my first daysthere. So I pitched DC the idea of a funny-animal super-hero.

    His name wasThunder Bunny.

    No, no, Im not about to claim that I came up with that conceptand name before my 1960s comics fandom colleague Martin Greim,who in the 1970s had created a Thunder Bunny series in which ahuman boy turned into a super-funny-animal the size of a man.What had happened was simply that I had read a story or two ofMartys that utilized the character, had forgotten (on a consciouslevel) that Id ever seen them, and had then invented my owncharacter and christened him Thunder Bunny with no wakingknowledge that thered ever been a hero with that name before.Naturally, somewhere along the line, the truth would have dawnedon me and wed have changed the name prior to publication, butthats neither here nor there in what follows.

    My idea was a sort of follow-up to the What If? title Idconceived a few years earlier, and answered the musical question:What If Stan Lee and Jack Kirby Had Created a Funny-AnimalSuper-Hero? Both the setting and cast were going to be animated-style beasts, but the tenor of the series, as I sold it to the powers-that-were at DC, was to be nearly as serious as an issue of GreenLanternor Thor, the ultimate inspiration of the concept as it firstemerged (what little I recall of it). Think of the thunder god turnedinto a rabbit, and just far enough removed to avoid a lawsuit, andyouve pretty much visualized my initial idea. It wouldnt havebeen a funny animal comic book in the usual sensemy ThunderBunny wouldve been closer to the spirit of a normal Bronze Ageseries, but with stylized animals rather than humans in the leadroles.

    And who was going to be the artist of this Thunder Bunnycomic?

    None other than Happy Herb Trimpewho was anything buthappy at Marvel at that particular moment in the early 1980s. Idont recall if Herb and I had ever discussed Thunder Bunny

    during my latter days under contract to Marvel, but Idid know he was less than pleased at beingstonewalled concerning raisesand he had agreed tojump ship and come over to DC to draw ThunderBunny and doubtless other features for the oldercompany. I dont recall if Herb ever actually drewany sketchesseems to me he may have, at somestagebut everything was set for his move to DC.

    Then, just as Herb was about to announce hewas leavingmaybe Jim Shooter got wind of it, ormaybe Herb gave them an ultimatumMarvelsuddenly gave him the long-sought-after raise.

    And that was the end of What If Roy Thomasand Herb Trimpe Created a Funny-Animal Super-Hero in the Tradition of Lee and Kirby?

    Not Just Another Funny-Animal Comic! 11

    The Incredible Hulk And HisAmazing Rat Crew?

    Far as we know, the closest HerbTrimpe came to drawing funnyanimals during his long and

    successful run on The Incredible Hulkwas this story in #154 (Aug. 1972)and that aint too close! Inks by John

    Severin; reprod from EssentialIncredible Hulk, Vol. 4. Photo fromthe 1975 Mighty Marvel Comic

    Convention program book. [Hulk art2007 Marvel Characters, Inc.]

    When Thunder Had Long EarsMartin Greims one and only Thunder Bunny. One of thathalcyon heros first appearances was in MGs excellent

    Comic Crusader Storybook, circa 1977. In the page above,drawn by future pros Gene Day (pencils) and Jerry

    Ordway (inks), young Bobby Caswell becomes a cotton-tailed super-hero by making like Captain Marvelthe

    one drawn by Gil Kane in 1969-70. In the 1980s, ThunderBunny starred in a number of comic books for Archie.

    [Thunder Bunny TM & 2007 Martin L. Greim.]

  • RT: Well, we still own a pieceyou and I and,for that matter, Gerry Conway. Well all come infor money if anything ever happens. Its onlybeen 25 years, after all.

    I know that one of our original aims wasthat, every issue, we would parody a differentcharacter or genre. Were there any that you feelyou were especially interested in doing, of thosewe did?

    SHAW: I always liked the His Name IsMudd!

    RT: The Heap homage.

    SHAW: because Ive always been a fan ofswamp monsters. It was also interesting becauseChad Grothkopf inked it. He was a tremendousinker, but I think he wasnt used to inkingsomeone elses stuff, because he would changethings around. Ill never forget, we got one issueback where I think Pig-Iron is in a subway, andChad suddenly decided to draw him like out onthe street. I remember, at the last minute, we got itback and I had to patch that stuff up. But, withhim having done Hoppy the Marvel Bunny andHowdy Doody and all those great things, it waskind-of cool to have him on.

    RT: It didnt work out as well as wed have liked, but it was worth a shot. ChadsHoppy was a big influence for me on Captain Carrot, even more than The TerrificWhatzit or, say, Mighty Mouse. I dont remember why we ended up doing a takeoffon Indiana Jones in the mag, but it was a good idea, I guess. After all, the movie wasnew and popular.

    SHAW: Its funnytheres a kid that both Sergio[Aragons] and I have mentored over the yearsnamed Manuel Carrasco, and hes a big deal now invideo games. He told me the other day that he lovedOklahoma Bones so much that he drew two orthree Oklahoma Bones stories himself. [Roylaughs]

    RT: Of course, if wed done more stories withOklahoma Bones, wed have had trouble fromSpielberg and Lucas. Besides Peter Porkchops, wealso brought in other old DC funny animals. Theone I remember best was Frogzilla, who was J.Fennimore Frog. The Dodo and the Frog was afeature I always liked even better than The Foxand the Crow. I didnt know it then, but GardnerFox was one of the main writers of Dodo andFrog when it started.

    Beauty And The BeastsDC publisher Jenette Kahn was, for a time, CaptainCarrots biggest fanafter Roy and Scott, of course.

    The 1982 poster at right (utilizing art from #1)promoted the comics debut. Jenette (seen with

    Superman on the Jan. 1984 cover of Savvy magazine)clearly had eyes for the Kryptonians furry rivals. Hersupport helped get the series optioned for TVbutshe wanted to see it done in live-action, as per the

    Superpup kiddie-TV show proposed in 1958. Thanks toMike Curtis for the still, which shows Superpup (aliasBark Bent) and Pamela Poodle, as portrayed by Billy

    Curtis & Ruth Delfino. [2007 DC Comics.]

    18 A Conversation Between Scott Shaw! and Roy Thomas

  • SHAW: And then we did that time travel story.

    RT: Yeah, that was one of my favorites. I seem to recall coming up with the name ofthe villain, The Time-Keeper. If youve got a minutehell take it and keep it!

    SHAW: I look at that now, and see that I overwrote it so much that all the characterslooked hunchbacked. [mutual laughter] But I loved it, because I had a good collectionanyway, and I bought as many old DC funny-animal books as I could, because I wasalways looking for new stuff to incorporateand I discovered Nero Fox, the Jive-Jumping Emperor of Ancient Rome.

    RT: Right, and we had The Three Mouseketeers. And we included The TerrificWhatzit from Funny Stuffs McSnurtle the Turtle strip and put him in WorldWar II because hed been in comics that were published during that period. In thatstory, we utilized a bunch of funny animals who actually were pre-existing DCproperties from different periods of history. It was a lot of fun to do.

    One thing I liked later was where we took the Wolfie from Peter Porkchops

    Heres Mudd In Your Eye!Scotts cover for CC&HAZC #4 (June 1982)His Name IsMudd!reprod from a photocopy of

    the original art. Inks by Bob Smith. [2007 DC Comics.]

    The Dodo May BeDeadBut He Died

    A WinnerThe Dodo and the Frog

    was an original DCfeature that mimickedthe popular Fox andthe Crowexcept that

    Crawford Crowoccasionally bested

    Fauntleroy Fox in theirseries loosely based on

    Columbia moviecartoons, while J.

    Fenimore Frog alwayslost out to Dunbar

    Dodoalways! So JFFwas determined to

    triumph as Frogzillabut he didnt, of course.The Dodo and Froghouse ad at rightappeared in comicsdated May 1947; thewriter and artist are

    unknown, butFlash/Hawkman/Dr.Fate/JSA co-creator

    Gardner Fox wrote manyof the 1940s stories. Thecover, below right, ofCC&HAZC #3 (May 1982)is by Shaw! & Smith.Thanks to Bob Bailey.[2007 DC Comics.]

    Not Just Another Funny-Animal Comic! 19

  • Pens And NadlesGolden Age Humor-Mongers LARRY & MARTIN NADLE

    by Ken Nadle

    33

    cerry Bails, late founder of Alter Ego and the worlds #1 JSAfan, would have loved to read the following article! KenNadle, a photographer by trade, is the son of Larry Nadle,

    who was editor of DCs humor comics (both human and funny-animal variety) from the mid-1940s through the early 1960sandthe nephew ofMartin Nadle(who also spelledhis nameNaydel), artistboth of DC humorand of the Flashand Justice Societyof America seriesduring the mid-40s.When I establishedcontact with himonline, I invited himto write a memoir ofhis father and unclefor A/E, and Imdelighted that heaccepted my offer. Allphotos were sent to usby Ken; two of them,as noted, wereforwarded by himfrom Martins son,Jeff Dell. Roy.

    When I was seven, my father, Larry Nadle, showedme a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer strip (he wasthe ghost writer for Robert L May, and Rube Grossmandid the art) in which Santa yells from his sleigh, Hurry,Rudolph, weve got to get this present to Kennyshouse!

    I was that Kenny.

    But I didnt really understand what my father did fora living until he took me to visit his office. It wassometime in the early 1950s, and National Periodicals[DC Comics] had just moved from 480 to 575Lexington Avenue. I must have been nine or ten at thetime. This is one of the earliest memories I have of himin connection with his work as an editor of comicbooks.

    He was born Lawrence Malcolm Nadle in Manhattanon Sept. 29, 1913, the middle son of three. His olderbrother by two years was Martin, and his youngerbrother by two years was Henry. They had one sister,Jean, but this story is really about the three brothers,and in particular, about Larry.

    Larry distinguished himself as being a good writer

    when he was just nine. He won a story-writing contest and had hispicture in the newspaper. He never went to college. Instead, he teamedup with his best friend, Jack Arnold (who later directed the movies TheMouse That Roared and The Creature from the Black Lagoon), andthey performed an acrobatic/tap dance/comic routine in vaudeville. Ithink Larry was embarrassed about not having gone to college, but heshouldnt have been. He could spell any word in the dictionary. Whenwe went riding in our car, he would often point out misspelled wordson storefronts. He wrote everything in capital letters, and everySunday would finish the New York Times puzzle with his blackballpoint pen in less than an hour. Sometimes, as a game, I would sitwith a dictionary in my lap and randomly pick some fancy words forhim to spelland sure enough, hed get them right.

    He married very young. My mother was sixteen, he was eighteen.They eloped, and when they returned from their honeymoon, shewent back to stay with her mother and he returned home to hisparents house. The need to get a place of their own may have beenhis motivation to get a job outside of show business. His fatherJoseph was a childrens clothing buyer, and my father became abuyer of mens clothing.

    A Family Affair(Left:) The Nadles in the family cara photo taken circa 1914 depicting(l. to r.) Joseph (father), Martin (brother), Anna (mother), & Larry.Below: the splash of the McSnurtle the Turtle The Terrific Whatzitstory from Funny Stuff #9 (May 1946), as edited by Larry and drawn

    by Martin. [Art 2007 DC Comics.]

    JJ

  • Soon after I was born in 1943, his job relocated us to Louisville,Kentucky. We lasted a year down there. Back in New York City, myfather started to write and edit the clothing industrys union newspaper,and I guess it was this work that led him to take writing seriously.

    My uncle Martin was alsoyoung when he displayed histalent for drawing. He wasalso, as I have been told, atemperamental artist. Once,when he was doing a drawingin his parents apartment, hemade a mistake and, in anger,smashed a bottle of India inkagainst the white living roomwall. He was, according to

    my mother, cruel to Larry.I tell this as something mymother told me, but havingtwo brothers myself, Iunderstand how suchthings happen. Oneexample was the timeMartin tricked Larry intogoing out onto the roof oftheir apartment buildingwithout a coat in asnowstorm and thenlocked the door. Aneighbor finally heardLarrys shouts and let himback in. Another time, theywere climbing up the fireescape and Martin, whowas in the lead, tried toclose their apartmentwindow before Larrycould get in. In his hastenot to let this happen,Larry lost his balance andfell several stories, luckilyhitting the first floor fireescape, which broke hisfall, and he ended up

    The Nadle Brothers And TheirFour-Footed Friends

    (Above, left to right:) Henry, Martin, & Larry,on ponyback, c. 1916 and (at left) the cover of

    the 1950 edition of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer(the first issue). This once-a-year DC comic book

    is probably the Rudolph strip of which Ken Nadlewrites, and was scripted by his father Larry.Art probably by Rube Grossman. [2007 the

    respective copyright holders.]

    Stop, Look, And ListenMartin Nadle and his cover for thesleeve of the 1941 Listen-Look PictureBook recording The Three Little Pigs.There was at least one other record inthe series, Little Black Sambo. Thanksto Martins son Jeff Dell for the photo.

    [2007 the respective copyrightholders.]

    The American Sherlock HolmesMartin Nadle earned a real place in comic book history as thewriter and artist of The Adventures of Detective Ace King, the1933 one-shot which became one of the earliest comic books,periodas well as one of the earliest devoted to a singlesubject, namely a detective. It and another 1933 one-shot,Detective Dan, beat DCs Detective Comics out of the startinggate by four years! [2007 the respective copyright holders.]

    34 Golden Age Humor-Mongers Larry & Martin Nadle

  • Pens And Nadles 35

    Nadle ObservatoryA potpourri of Martin Nadle/Naydels comic book artwork.

    (Clockwise from above left:) The McSnurtle the Turtle/TerrificWhatzit splash page from Funny Stuff #7 (Winter 1945) the Flashsplash from Comic Cavalcade #11 (Summer 1945) a Flag Factshalf-page filler from All-Star Comics #50 (Dec. 1949-Jan. 1950) aPencils the Clown half-pager from All-Star #53 (July-July 1950)and a montage of the Comicode daily panel he tried unsuccessfullyto syndicate as Martin Dell. Thanks to Jeff Dell for the Comicode

    art, and to Jeff Kapalka for the Whatzit splash.

    The scribe of the 15 McSnurtle the Turtle stories is unknown,but may well have been Naydel himself, since he seems to have

    scripted Detective Ace King in 1933.

    Note that, on the Flash story, though writing co-creator GardnerFoxs name remained on the feature (whether or not he wrote thisparticular entry), the name of longtime artist E.E. Hibbard has beenremoved. For Naydels mid-1940s Justice Society art, includingseveral Flash chapters, see The All-Star Companion, Vol. 1-2, stillon sale from TwoMorrows and, of course, DCs All Star Archives,Vol. 6 & 7. [McSnurtle, Flash, Flag Facts, and Pencils the Clown2007 DC Comics; Comicode 2007 Estate of Martin Nadle.]

  • The Drawing BoardIs My Sanctuary

    DICK ROCKWELL On Being The 36-Year Ghost Of The Great Milt CaniffInterview Conducted by Jim Amash Transcribed by Brian K. Morris

    41

    he late Dick Rockwell, whom I inter-viewed in December 2004, has two of themost interesting claims to fame a formercomic book artist can have. He was the

    nephew of the great Norman Rockwell, whoseSaturday Evening Post covers were among themost important reflections of 20th-century life.He was also the long-time assistant to thelegendary Milton Caniff on the Steve Canyonnewspaper strip. He spent a few years in thecomic book field, both before and after theCanyon years; and, while he doesnt remembera lot about those particular times, youll find his observations aboutCaniffwho was one of the most influential artists comic books everhadparticularly fascinating and revealing. Special thanks to ScottLeMien for putting me in touch with Dick RockwellScott did all of usa very great favor. Jim.

    I Just Always Knew I Was GoingTo Be An Artist

    JIM AMASH: When and where were you born?

    DICK ROCKWELL: I was born in Mamaroneck, New York, onDecember 11, 1920. My father was somewhat of an artist, a model builder,and so forth. My uncle was Norman Rockwell, and the house, of course,always had Normans paintings. And I could draw and took a great interest

    TT

    Maybe Crime Doesnt PayBut Comics Do!Dick Rockwell (ab0ve) with one of his court sketchesjuxtaposed with imagesfrom the two comics-related phases of his career: a comic book splash pagedone for the legendary Charles Biro, for Crime Does Not Pay #121 (April 1953)

    and the Steve Canyon comic strip daily for July 26, 1957. Thanks to MarkEvaniers newfromme.com website for the photo, and to Mike Catron for theart. [CDNP page 2007 the respective copyright holders; Steve Canyon strip

    2007 Field Enterprises, Inc., or its successors in interest.]

  • in it. My father did a lot of drawing, and, after the Stock Market Crashof 1929, became a toy designer and designed educational toys for pre-school kids. In school, I drew for the school papers and things like that.

    I just always knew I was going to be an artist. As a matter of fact,after the war [World War II], I went to Pratt Institute, but, after abouta year and a half there, I had to get out. We had the first child of ourmarriage, and I had to begin to make some money, although I was thesuper of an apartment house, so I had a free apartment in Brooklyn. SoI had all these full-color painted illustrations, and I was out in thecountryside, looking for opportunitiesand the first opportunity thatcame up was comic books. And I met this one guy in mid-Manhattan,and he sent me to Stan Lee.

    JA: The date I have for you starting comics is 1949. Would that beright?

    ROCKWELL: Either that or 1948. The feature was Blaze Carson,Sheriff of the West. The problem is that the comic book days didntlast that long. It was 48 to 52. Then I started on working with MiltonCaniff on Steve Canyon. But I did some comics off and on throughthat period, and then the second big thing I did for myself wascourtroom illustration.

    JA: Did you see much of Norman Rockwell, growing up?

    ROCKWELL: Not a great deal, because we lived in Rye, New York,until the Crash in 29. Right after the Crash, because of the expensesand everything, my father elected to move to Rochester, NY, where hewas going to try to continue to be a bond salesman, though hisbusiness in Wall Street was completely gone. After a very brief periodin Rochester, probably a year and a half, he had made contact with anoutfit in Kane, Pennsylvania. Kane was kind of an industrial town andhad this woodworking plant, which became the whole Gate ToyCompany. My father designed the toys. So we moved away fromNorman, who had moved by this time to Arlington, Vermont. Andthen Norman moved down to Stockbridge, Massachusetts, so we werealmost a thousand miles apart all the time. But I did see him onoccasions and, of course, when I returned from the war, the first thing Idid wasI was still in uniformvisit him in his studio.

    JA: So then he really wasnt an influence on you when you wereyoung. It sounds like your father might have been more of anartistic influence.

    ROCKWELL: Well, the influence was, I sold Saturday Evening Postswhen I was a little kid to the neighborhood. I remember when the Postcost 20. Norman was a member of the family, and we had thesegenuine oil paintings on the wall. I admired the work and studied it,and sort-of knew every painting he made. So he was my education, andthe figure drawing, and the empathy... which is something you under-standthat, when youre drawing people in action, you assume theaction yourself, mentally, in a physical way. You can see that inNormans paintings; the tension in the bodies, for instance.

    I Was In The Normandy InvasionJA: What branch of the service were you in?

    ROCKWELL: I was in the Army Air Corps, and I learned to fly downin Lubbock, Texas. Primary school was Sikeston, Missouri, and BasicTraining was in Independence, Kansas, and Lubbock, Texas, was whereI graduated. I became a pilot in the Troup Carrier Command, C-47s;we dropped paratroopers, and towed ladders, and that sort of thing.And I was in the Normandy Invasion.

    JA: At the initial landing on D-Day [June 6, 1944]?

    ROCKWELL: Yes, although my first flight was not at midnight, but inthe morning. We crossed over. In the morning daylight, you could seethe whole action of the Normandy coast there. You know, left to right,bombs and all that stuff. I think our first mission was paratroops. Wedropped the paratroopers, and then, the second mission, we towed ingliders and so forth.

    JA: How long were you in the service?

    ROCKWELL: Early 42 till 45. And then I think I started at PrattInstitute in January of 46. I was a First Lieutenant when I wasdischarged.

    JA: And you were happy to get out, Im sure. [mutual laughter]

    ROCKWELL: Oh, yeah. I was thrilled, because I went to Norman andhe said, Well, everybody is sending their kids to Pratt Institute. So Iwent to Pratt Institute, and I remember Mr. Boudreau, who was thechairman of the Illustration Department, announced to the auditoriumthat [dramatically] even Norman Rockwell is sending his nephew tothis school. [mutual laughter] As I melted into the seat.

    Over Land Over SeaThough Dick Rockwell was a member of what Tom Brokaw has christenedThe Greatest Generation, and even took part in the D-Day invasion ofJuly 1944, he did not draw stories set in that era until the 80s, when heillustrated this Mark Evanier-scripted back-up story in Blackhawk #260

    (July 1983). Thanks to Bob Bailey. [2007 DC Comics.]

    42 Dick Rockwell On Being The 36-Year Ghost of Milt Caniff

  • I Was Recommended To Stan LeeJA: So you went to Timely Comics. Did you have an appointmentwith Stan in advance?

    ROCKWELL: Yes. I was recommended to Stan Lee by oh, I cantremember by someone I had gone to see, an art director who said heknew a guy that I would want to see, and who gave me Stans name.Stan immediately put me in the Bullpen with the rest of the guys forabout two months; and then, because they needed the space, they saidthat anybody who wanted to work at home could do that and still get aweekly check.

    JA: Do you remember how much you got paid as a staffer?

    ROCKWELL: I dont know, but it seemed the cost of things wasvery[laughs] well, I know we had a duplex apartment in St. JamesPlace in Brooklyn. When I went down to get the job with Stan Lee, Icalled home to announce that I had the job. My first wife Ellenimmediately announced that we were going to take an apartment downthe street, and I would no longer be the super, and we would pay $65 amonth for a duplex apartment. I had a studio and everything in thathouse, with a backyard. We paid $65 a month, so you could figure thatif I was making, you know, $100 a week, I was doing very well.

    JA: You started out doing Blaze Carson.

    ROCKWELL: Yeah, I could draw horses because, when I was ten

    years old, we moved to Rochester, New York. The kids in the neigh-borhood all rode at a stable that was just south of the neighborhood,right in the woods there just below. So I began to ride with them, and Ijust loved horses and got to drawing them. So there was no problem indrawing horses when I drew Westerns. Of course, in those days, theyhad the pulp magazines on the newsstands, full of drybrush illustra-tions. That was the thing then, black-&-white drybrush. And thoseguys could draw horses! I loved drawing horses, so thats why Stangave me a Western.

    JA: Timely, at the time, had several editors under Stan. Was he theonly editor you worked for?

    ROCKWELL: I remember other people and things. You came in, andthere was a little desk there, and Stans office was behind that desk,though he was often seated out front, talking to you, and then goingback in. And then you went into the large room where all of thedrawing boards were. Stan was really running the whole operationthere. I cant remember if there were other editors.

    JA: As far as you were concerned, Stan was giving you the assign-ments, though. Is that right?

    ROCKWELL: Yes. When they let us work at home, I started workingfor Busy Arnold at Quality, too, and I did go to that office for awhile.

    Rockwell Goes ThereRockwell depicted Korean War action in Combat Kelly #2 (Jan. 1952). With

    thanks to Dr. Michael J. Vassallo. [2007 Marvel Characters, Inc.]

    A Blaze Of Glory?Splash page from Wild Western #5 (Jan. 1949). Wonder if he was any

    relation to Sunset Carson? Thanks to Doc V. [2007 Marvel Characters, Inc.]

    The Drawing Board Is My Sanctuary 43

  • Give Em HillmanThough he doesnt mention it in this interview, Dick did a fair amount of work for HillmanPeriodicals, as per this quartet of splashes provided by Rod Beck. (Clockwise from above

    left:) Dead-Eye Western, Vol. 2, #2 (Feb-March 1951) the odd quasi-romance radio-spinofftitle Mr. Anthonys Love Clinic, Vol. 1, #1 (Nov. 49) (thats the mustachioed host behindthe desk) Romantic Confessions, Vol 1, #1 (Oct. 49) and Western Fighters, Vol. 1, #7(April-May 49), with its true story of an outlaw who devised a bulletproof vestas per

    the panel shown from a later page. Thanks to Rod Beck for the scans.[2007 the respective copyright holders.]

    The Drawing Board Is My Sanctuary 45

  • 57

    [2007 Archie Comic Publications, Inc.]

  • Kooky Krossovers! (Part 2)by Michael T. Gilbert

    Crossovers? You want em, we got em!

    Last issue we presented the first part of a most unusual Dotty andDitto tale, in which little girl Dot falls asleep reading a lethal combi-nation of Archie and Black Hood comics.

    She wakes up to find another MLJ character, Super Duck, peeringthrough her window. Talk about creepy! Then that daffy duck handsher a saddle for the night-MARE (as in horse!) that pops in secondslater. Her nightmare tosses Dotty far into space, where the poor girlstarts hurtling towards a planet beneath her!

    Luckily, The Shield, MLJs reigning super-hero, shows up to catchDotty in the nick of time. Imagine being in the arms of The Shield!sighs the smitten lass. If Ahm dreamin, dont wake me up! Wewouldnt dream of it, Dotty!

    In the storys conclusion, reprinted here, Dotty and The Shielddiscover the ultimate fanboys dream-come-truean entire castle madeout of comic books!

    Once inside, Dotty has a Kooky Krossover with some other MLJcomic book characters, including Suzie, The Tweedles, Wilbur, TheShield (again), Super Duck, plus Archie and Jughead, of course! At the

    58 Mr. Monsters Comic Crypt!

    (Right & below:) The final three pages from Pep Comics #58 (Sept. 1946)by Bill Woggon. Archie, Suzie, The Shield, and The Tweedles also had stories

    in the issue. [2007 Archie Comic Publications, Inc.]

  • only talked to Bob Schoenfeld two or three times, way back inthe summer of 1967, so I cant claim to have been a friend. I wasliving in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which seemed a universe

    away from St. Louis, Missouri, where Bob made his home. Instead, Ithought of him as a respected colleague, another fanzine publisher whowas doing an excellent job at the helm of one of fandoms most centralpublications.

    In late 1966, Bob Schoenfeld came out of nowhere, and suddenlyburst into fan-prominence as editor of On the Drawing Board, amagazine founded by Jerry Bails back in 1961.

    Bob came out of nowhere? Well, thats how it seemed at the time, atleast to those of us who werent part of the burgeoning comics scene ofthe Gateway City. Im sure members of the Golden Gate Comic ArtFan Club knew Schoenfeld before he leapt to national prominence.What was soon clear to all of us was that Schoenfeld had the energy,ability, and motivation to keep that important fanzine flying high.

    Former editors of OTDB (as it was often abbreviated), beginningwith founder Jerry Bails, had found the frequent deadlines required ofa news-oriented publication extremely demanding. Glen Johnson, whotook over from Jerry, has also been voluble in his recitation of thelitany of problems that plagued him throughout his editorship of TheComic Reader (as it was alternately titled). Since On the DrawingBoard served as the official instrument of the Academy of ComicBook Fans and Collectors, its editor had a tiger by the tail.

    After New Mexico-based Johnson ended his tenure in 1965, DerrillRothermich had taken over the reins, and quickly realized the demandfor copies required photo-offset printing. (Ditto masters could produceat most 250 copies, and demand for the zine easily topped 300 at thistime.) Rothermich, an engineering college student at the School ofMines and Metallurgy in Rolla, Missouri, published some excellentissues of TCR through late 1965 and 1966, and then was drafted intothe Army. From him, presumably because he knew the St. Louis fans,the magazine passed to the Gateway Comic Art Fan Club. One of itsmost active members, it turned out, was a slender, dark-haired teenagernamed Robert Schoenfeld.

    Bob jumped into the lions den and soon proved his mettle aseditor, perfecting the photo-offset look of OTDB at a time whenprofessionally printed fanzines were few, and often bore a rudimentaryappearance. In the editorial in On the Drawing Board #53 (Oct. 1966),he wrote, This is the first issue of OTDB to be completely in thehands of the Gateway Comic Art Fan Club, and we are very anxious toknow your feelings [about] our effort. There are three people to thankfor this. The first is Glen Johnson, who supplied us with his old TCRsubscription file, the second is Dave Kaler and the Academy for

    ROBERT SCHOENFELD, R.I.P.A Tribute To The Late-1960s Editor OfOn The Drawing Board & Gosh Wow!

    by Bill Schelly

    65Comic Fandom Archive

    II

    THUNDER On The Right (& Left!)Bob Schoenfeld (on the right in photo) with artists Wally Wood and VaughnBod (the latter seen from behind) at the 1968 SCARP Con in New York Cityand Woods dynamic Dynamo back cover for the second issue of Bobs fanzine

    Gosh Wow! [Dynamo TM & 2007 John Carbonaro.]

  • supplying the funds necessary to finance this, and the third is RayFisher, a club member who is doing our printing.

    He ended his first editorial by exhorting comics fans to expendmore energy documenting the history of the medium. The real super-heroes are the artists and writers and their lives in the world ofcomics, Bob wrote. We have to wake up today or we may find thepast forever lost to us! Or, worse yet, persons only casually interestedin comics may be producing the books we should be researching andworking on right now!

    Over the next year, Bob saw to it that On the Drawing Boardappeared near-monthly, and was a pulpit for many of the most activeand vociferous comics fans. David Kaler, who had become ExecutiveSecretary of the Academy of Comic Book Fans and Collectors, oftencontributed news of the New York pros, as well as Academy updates.Others such as Bill Spicer, Bob Latona, John McGeehan, and a cadre ofletter-writers kept the pages of the news-zine lively, and its circulationtopped 500 copies per issue before long. True, Bobs grasp of spellingwas often tenuous, and a lot of the material about the Academy was ofmarginal interest to some of the readership, but there was alwaysplenty of news and information about pro comics to justify the price of25 per issue (though this would go up) to any fan. Also, many offandoms emerging new crop of amateur artists found a showcase in itspages; thats where folks like Alan Hutchinson, Jim Sullivan, JimGardner, Ken Keller, Rich Buckler, and others gained prominence inthe fan firmament. Schoenfeld also published his own general interestfanzine called Gosh Wow!, which was more or less to fill the gap leftwhen Alter Ego was on hiatus. (A/E had last appeared in 1965.)

    Bobs interests went beyond comic art. In On the Drawing Board#63 (Nov. 1967), one of the last issues of the zine published by Bob, hislove of rock and roll music emerged. He wrote, Off the subject here,Id like to talk about something of personal interestpopular music.Ive been a more or less fan of rock & roll music for some time, but asof late Ive gained a much more serious interest in view of severalexciting (to me) events. To make it even more interesting Ivediscovered that many comic fans share my interest. Mayhap acolumn or zine could be produced to cater to comic fans with thisinterest. I wouldnt mind hearing from other R&R enthusiasts, but bewarned, if youre a Monkees fan youd best forget it. Oh, yes, everyrock & roll fan should be a regular reader of Crawdaddya magazineIve found to be the best for the rock-fan.

    Though Bob (actually the Golden Gate Comic Art Fan Club)stopped publishing On the Drawing Board in 1968it was revived asThe Comic Reader that year by Mark Hanerfeldhe did publish thesecond issue of Gosh Wow! that summer, and attended the SCARPCon in New York City. That 1968 comicon, which stretched over fivedays, was the most impressive and well-attended gathering of comicfans yet, and Bob was in evidence in many of the photos taken there.

    The following summer saw Schoenfelds last comics fanzine, GoshWow! #3, which was comprised mainly of an article with lots of photosof the 1968 SCARP Con, and a lengthy Moondog strip by GeorgeMetzger. It was a slim 36-page issue, but a fine capstone to Bobs threeyears as a prominent fanzine publisher. Apparently, Bobs interest in

    66 Comic Fandom Archive

    From The Drawing BoardThis art from On the Drawing Board #53 & #61 (1966-67) was drawn,

    respectively, by fan-artists Alan Hutchinson and Rich Buckler. The coverof #53, the first official issue of OTDB published by the Gateway ComicBook Club, depicts Harveys short-lived heroes Spyman, Pirana, andJigsawand The Spirit, whose adventures Harvey was then reprinting.A young, pre-pro Rich Buckler of Detroit drew Green Arrow in a Kirbymode for the cover of OTDB #61 (July 1967). [Harvey heroes TM & 2007Lorne-Harvey, Inc., or the respective copyright holders; The Spirit TM &2007 Will Eisner Studios, Inc.; Green Arrow TM & 2007 DC Comics.]

  • [Art 2007 DC Comics.]

  • [FCA EDITORS NOTE: From 1941-53, Marcus D. Swayze was atop artist for Fawcett Publications. The very first Mary Marvelcharacter sketches came from Marcs drawing table, and he illus-trated her earliest adventures, including the classic origin story,Captain Marvel Introduces Mary Marvel (Captain MarvelAdventures #18, Dec. 42); but he was primarily hired by FawcettPublications to illustrate Captain Marvel stories and covers forWhiz Comics and Captain Marvel Adventures. He also wrote manyCaptain Marvel scripts, and continued to do so while in the military.After leaving the service in 1944, he made an arrangement withFawcett to produce art and stories for them on a freelance basis outof his Louisiana home. There he created both art and story for ThePhantom Eagle in Wow Comics, in addition to drawing the FlyinJenny newspaper strip for Bell Syndicate (created by his friend andmentor Russell Keaton). After the cancellation of Wow, Swayzeproduced artwork for Fawcetts top-selling line of romance comics,including Sweethearts and Life Story. After the company ceasedpublishing comics, Marc moved over to Charlton Publications,where he ended his comics career in the mid-50s. Marcs ongoingprofessional memoirs have been a vital part of FCA since his firstcolumn appeared in FCA #54, 1996. Last issue, Marc presentedanother one of his syndicated strip tryouts. In this installment hediscusses writing scripts for Captain Marvel.

    P.C. Hamerlinck.]

    hen I was drawing Captain Marvel and had begun to tossin a story now and then, I found that, whereas it was easyto recognize your own artwork when it appeared in print,

    the writing was another matter. The stories, in print, were so difficultto recall that as far back as 1941 I began to tinker with little devices thatmight stir the memory.

    An example was to include something familiar personal like, inone story, a street address, which had once been that of a musician pal(Captain Marvel Adventures #19, Jan. 1943 - The Training of MaryMarvel).

    A weird little urge I couldnt resist was tacking unlikely butfamiliar names on the hoodlums. In another story and I cantremember which it was I had a trio of mobsters contemplating adangerous descent from a high perch the leader growling to ahenchman: You go first, Woodrow!

    Woodrow a classmate with whom I had biked to school eachday in the fifth grade!

    There was another story not recognized until I came upon a panelwherein lurked a pair of zoot-suited gangsters plotting to do away withCaptain Marvel and friend. One furtively whispers to a crony: Git yerblackjack out, Faulkner!

    Faulkner? Yes young member of the localBlanks family back home pal of mine left-handedshortstop with the Pine Street Tigers. My story, forsure!

    The title of that 12-pager was Captain Marvel andHis Country Cousin (CMA #26, Aug. 1943). By thetime it appeared in print I was nestled in a Ft.Oglethorpe barracks and never certain who did the art.Ive always thought, though, I saw in it the sense ofhumor and gifted hand of Ed Robbins, who was withthe C.C. Beck studio in New York about that time,and later did the syndicated Mike Hammer strip.Whoever it was knew how to cartoon and hisportrayal of the two gangsters, Number 27 and

    Number 32, was excellent.

    So also was the work on Captain Marvel, parading around incomical attire as a second country cousin. It wasnt the first time he hadbeen seen in such ridiculous array. In Henrys Grandmother (CMA#14, July 1942) I had him scampering through 5 or 6 pages in a long,flowered dress!

    Captain Marvel was a pretty serious fellow when I first met him

    [Art & logo 2007 Marc Swayze; Captain Marvel & TM 2007 DC Comics]

    By

    WW

    186 Desiard StreetMary Marvels destination in her second appearance, The Training of

    Mary Marvel in Captain Marvel Adventures #19 (Jan. 1943), was in realitythe address of one of Marcs old musician pals. Script & art by Marc Swayze.

    [2007 DC Comics.]

    80

  • [A previously unpublished essay from 1986 by Captain Marvels co-creator and chief artistfrom the vaults of PCHs Beck estate files.Since he was described and dubbed by many as a crusty curmudgeon,youll find Becks thought-provoking observations either hopelesslyconservative or delightfully worthwhile. PCH.]

    any years ago, when I used to go around to grade schoolsgiving illustrated talks on comic book work, I met a teacherwho told me that she wouldnt allow her pupils to draw estab-

    lished comic characters but insisted that they create their own. I insist thatthey learn to express themselves, not just copy other artists work, shedeclared.

    I didnt bother to explain to this teacher that even grown artists withmany years of experience have extreme difficulty in creating their owncomic characters, and thatchildren couldhardly be expectedto come up withnew, wonderfulcharacters whichthe world wouldwelcome with openarms. There are alot of things aboutart that are notworth explaining toteachers, who dontrealize what a cold,cruel world profes-sional artists face.

    There are tworeasons why origi-nality in artexpressing ones self, as the teacher put itis not the great thing thatmany think it is. The first reason is that almost anything that anyone cancome up with in art has probably been done before. As in securing apatent, originality is almost impossible to establish; somewhere, at sometime or other, somebody else has probably come up with the same idea.Some ideas, like buttonholes and safety pins, are centuries old; others arelike trick vegetable-slicers and electric toothbrushes, which are moretrouble than theyre worth.

    In the field of art, airbrushes are a new invention, although their basicidea is thousands of years old. In caves studied by archeologists there arepaintings and designs which were made by blowing powered pigmentthrough a straw. When I was young, fixative was applied by blowingthrough a little tin apparatus we stuck into a bottle of shellac. Todaysspray cans and airbrushes are only mechanized versions of the cavemans

    Originality In ArtEssay by C.C. Beck Edited by P.C. Hamerlinck

    84

    Kids And Coloring Books(Above:) Two photos of Charles Clarence Becks illustrated talks

    to grade-schoolers, given August 23, 1979, at the Fort Meade, Florida,library. Photos scanned directly from Becks clippings scrapbook.

    (Right:) All art that accompanies this articleand the cover of thisFCA sectionconsists of Becks illustrations from Fawcett Publications1941 Captain Marvel Coloring Book, from pages that had previously

    appeared in its comics. [2007 DC Comics.]

    MM

  • [Art on this page2007 DC Comics.]

    86 FCA (Fawcett Collectors Of America)