Roy ThomasMad,Mad,MadComics Fanzine
$6.95In the USA
WHAT HATHKURTZMANWROUGHT?Those Frantic Four-Color Mad
Wannabes Of 1953-56
FRANK BOLLE&FRANK BOLLE&PLUS:PLUS:
1 82658 27763 5
Alter EgoTM is published 8 times a year 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
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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
This issue is dedicated to the memory of
Harvey Kurtzman &Kurt Schaffenberger
ContentsWriter/Editorial: It Was A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Whirl! . .
. . . 3What Hath Kurtzman Wrought? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . 4Ger Apeldoorn examines the colorMad wannabes of
Id Pick Up Anything That Came Along, Since I WasAnxious To Work
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
60Golden Age talent Frank Bolle talks to Jim Amash about Robotman,
the Heap, and Tim Holt!
re: [correspondence, comments, and corrections] . . . . . . .
70Mr. Monsters Comic Crypt! Lost Kurtzman: The War Years!. .
73Michael T. Gilbert, Ger Apeldoorn, and theMad creators military
cartoons of the 1940s.
FCA (Fawcett Collectors Of America) . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . 79P.C. Hamerlinck presents Marc Swayze and a special
tribute to the great Kurt Schaffenberger.
On Our Cover:Well admit itwere especially wild about this
montage cover, which Ye Editorconceived and layout guru Christopher
Day ably executed. After a bit of correspondence between thethree
of us, some months back, Ger Apeldoorn sent us scans from various
ofMads early imitators,including the art of Ross Andru & Mike
Esposito (Captain Marble from Nuts! and John Waynefrom Get Lost),
Carl Hubbell (Mighty Moose fromWhack), Joe Simon & Jack Kirby
(CometFeldmeyer from From Here to Insanity), Carl Burgos (a
werewolf from Crazy),William Overgard(Prince Scallion fromWhack),
Bill Everett (Drag-ula from Crazy), an unidentified artist
(MarilynMonroe and a headless Joe Dimaggio from Nuts!), and L.B.
Cole (King Farouk and a mermaid,from Unsane). And, for the perfect
self-caricature by the founding genius, Harvey Kurtzman, as
thecovers centerpiece, we thank Denis Kitchen and Mrs. Adelen
Kurtzman. Chris put the various piecesall togetherand if you like
the result half as much as Roy does, youve already gotten your
moneysworth this issue. (But dont worrytheres plenty more to come!)
[Kurtzman art 2009Adele Kurtzman; other art 2009 the respective
Above: Alas, as explained on the next page, we could only print
the first half of Gers studybut thatdidnt stop us from yanking a
panel by Andru & Esposito (and scripter Otto Binder) out of
Nuts!#5 (1954) and slapping it onto the top of this page to whet
your appetite for Part II! Captain MarbleFlies Again was the best
super-hero parody to come out of any of theMad clones of the
mid-50s(not that there were many to choose from!)and was printed in
its entirely in Alter Ego #33.[2009 the respective copyright
Vol. 3, No. 86 / June 2009EditorRoy Thomas
Associate EditorsBill SchellyJim Amash
Design & LayoutChristopher Day
Consulting EditorJohn Morrow
FCA EditorP.C. Hamerlinck
Comic Crypt EditorMichael T. Gilbert
Editorial Honor RollJerry G. Bails (founder)Ronn Foss, Biljo
Circulation DirectorBob Brodsky,Cookiesoup Productions
Cover ArtistsHarvey Kurtzman, Et. Al.
With Special Thanks to:Heidi AmashGer ApeldoornBob BaileyHoward
BenderJohn BensonBill BlackFrank BolleChris BrownNick CaputoMichael
CatronAnthony DeMariaMichal DewallyShane FoleyJanet GilbertWalt
GroganJennifer HamerlinckMark & StephanieHeike
Jerry HillegasDenis KitchenJay KinneyAdele Kurtzman
Stan & Joan LeeJim LudwigBrian K. MorrisKen NadleDave
ODellStephen OswaldCharles PeltoKen QuattroRobert RivardHerb
Ramon SchenkJohn SelegueScott Shaw!Marc SwayzeDann ThomasDr.
Michael J. VassalloMark VogerKathy VoglesongMartin Wolfson
3Article Title Topline 3
ell, it finally happened.
My first computer crash.
I suppose the main reason Id never had one before early April of
thisyear is that, ever since Gerry Conway pushed me into buying my
first PCback in the early 80s while we were co-writing the first
five drafts of thescreenplay for what eventually became the movie
Conan the Destroyer,Ive generally used the things only for e-mail,
documents, and a modicumof Internet research. As a result, Id
remained far too careless about suchthings as backup files, despite
my wifes regular admonishments. (Well,Gerry once referred to me as
a technological peasant, and I in turn haveoften quoted Isaac
Asimovs statement that all he wanted from a PC wasa glorified
Still, Im changing my wayshe muttered as he typed out this
editorialon Danns PC, while awaiting the week-away day when a
member of BestBuys Geek Squad would set up his new computer and hed
find out if theyactually did manage to retrieve all his document
files and e-addressesfrom the shell of his hard drive.
Fortunately, by the time of the cyberspace crash-and-burn, I
hadcompleted and sent off to layout man Chris Day the files and
scans forthis issue of Alter Ego all but the text for captions
accompanying the artfor the lead article. Those I had to spend a
day not just retyping butremembering. Id look at the circled
letters Id scribbled in the margins ofthe first 39 pages of the
edited version of Ger Apeldoorns study ofMadsmid-1950s
imitatorsletters which ran from (A) through (LLLL2), a total
of well over 100 illustrationsand do the best I could, cutting a
fewcorners as I went. Several much-appreciated readers helped
supply a fewlast-minute bits of artChris Day performed even a bit
more above-and-beyond than usualand we eked it through.
For, also fortunately, by then I had realized Id never be able
to fit Gersentire study into the issue without severely limiting
the number of illosso Id decided to cut the piece in two, following
his overview and thelistings for St. JohnsWhack,
Timely/Marvel/Atlas Crazy,Wild, and Riot,and Charltons Eh! and From
Here to Insanity. Part II of the article,covering Get Lost, Flip,
Nuts!,Madhouse, Bughouse, and Unsane (as wellas
compare-and-contrast examples fromMad and Panic) will have to
bepostponed till our January 2010 issue.
But at least that leaves ample room for the first part of Jim
Amashslong-scheduled interview with ace artist Frank Bolle (best
known incomics circles for his Western titles done in the 50s for
MagazineEnterprises, and for Dr. Solar), as well as for some of our
regular depart-ments. Oh, and the final A/E installment of Bob
Rozakis alternate historyof AA Comics will appear next issue, along
with a twice-delayed ComicFandom Archive piece on an Oklahoma
P.S.: Apologies to Samuel F.B. Morse for the title of our lead
Edited by ROY THOMASSUBSCRIBE NOW! Twelve Issues in the US: $88
Standard, $120 First Class
(Canada: $140, Elsewhere: $210 Surface, $230 Airmail).NOTE: IF
YOU PREFER A SIX-ISSUE SUB, JUST CUT THE PRICE IN HALF!
COMING IN JULYCOMING IN JULY
[Art 2009 the respective copyright holders; Marvelman TM
2009 the respective copyrightholders.]
Miraculous new Marvelman/Miracleman cover art by RICK VEITCH!How
MARVELMAN flew where CAPTAIN MARVEL dared not treadandemerged as
MIRACLEMAN! The startling saga of the 1950s-60s Britishsuper-hero,
by DEREK WILSONplus a never-before-published interviewwith
Marvelman creator MICK ANGLO, by ROGER DICKEN! With rare art byDON
LAWRENCE, ALEX ROSS, JOHN TOTLEBEN, ALAN DAVIS, & others!
FRANK BOLLE, Part II of JIM AMASHs interview& THE CENTAUR
COMICSGROUP, Part II, with art by WILL EISNER, BILL EVERETT, CARL
BURGOS, LEWGLANZMAN, MARTIN FILCHOCK, etc.
Plus FCA with MARC SWAYZE, plus Marvelman at the Rock of
EternitySecret History of All-American Comics, Inc. Part 8, by BOB
ROZAKISBILL SCHELLYs Comic Fandom ArchiveMICHAEL T. GILBERT on
LAURABENDER, one of DCs Golden Age Advisory Board& MORE!!
From One MAGIC WordTo One ATOMIC Word!
TwoMorrows 10407 Bedfordtown Drive Raleigh, NC 27614 USA
919-449-0344 FAX: 919-449-0327 E-mail: [email protected]
TwoMorrows. Celebrating The Art &History Of Comics
From SHAZAM!To KIMOTA!
It Was AMad,Mad,Mad,Mad Whirl!writer/editorial
UTHORs INTRODUCTION: It all started with Les Daniels1971 book
Comix: A History of Comic Books in America.
I had been readingMad magazine since I was 14. I dontknow what
attracted this Dutch boy to so American an institution, but
Iimmediately fell in love with Mort Drucker, Don Martin, Jack
Davis, andall the other satirical masters from that period. That in
turn led to alifelong fascination with American popularculture and
tomy virtuallyadoptingEnglish as mysecondlanguage. Anarticle about
theearlyMad in theDutch fanzineStripschrift gotme interested
incollecting andbrought me toAmsterdamsmost famouscomic
store,Lambiek, where Ipicked up severalbooks on comics,including
Not only didComix give me acrash course in thehistory of my
newhobbyit also gave me my first glimpse of full stories, as it
reprintedseveral of the best tales in the field to that date
(albeit in black-&-white).There was a 1947 Blackhawk adventure,
a Crime Does Not Paypotboiler drawn by George Tuska, and a Jack
Cole Plastic Man exploit.I wouldnt see any other samples of these
series for more than ten years.The Batman and Superman stories were
more familiar, having alsobeen published in the Netherlands; there
were likewise a couple of yarnsfrom the Warren horror magazines and
my first glimpse of undergroundstuff.
And, of course, there was a whole section on EC. FromMad
Danielshad chosen a seldom-reprinted story from one of the later
color issues:the Wally Wood-drawn Julius Caesar! from #17 (Nov.
1954). In it,Wood and writer/editor/layout artist Harvey Kurtzman
utilized the recentfilm version of Shakespeares tragedy to
illustrate how a comic book
An Issue-By-Issue Look At ThoseMid-1950s Mad Comics
by Ger Apeldoorn
Mad About Comic Books(Clockwise from left:) The Mad Peck Studios
cover of Les Daniels 1971
study Comix: A History of Comic Books in America, two decades
before itsauthor went on to do definitive histories of Marvel, DC,
Superman, Batman,and Wonder Womana photo of Mad creator Harvey
Kurtzman from Two-Fisted Tales #28 (July-Aug. 1952), as reprinted
in the Cochran hardcovereditionand the splash (actually p. 2) of
the Kurtzman/Wood parody
Julius Caesar! from Mad #17 (Nov. 1954), as per the Cochran Mad,
Vol. 3.Ohand unless otherwise noted, all art accompanying this
provided either by author Ger Apeldoorn or Ye Editor, or is
taken from ThePhoto-Journal Guide to Comic Books by Ernst &
Mary Gerber. [Comix cover2009 the respective copyright holders;
Kurtzman photo 2009 William M.
Gaines Agent, Inc.; Mad page 2009 E.C. Publications, Inc.]
parody should be done. In its full-page prologue
(reprodelsewhere on this page), the narrator (i.e., Kurtzman)
tellsthe reader hes going crazy because there are so manylampoon
type comic books on the newsstands that itsgetting hard to find new
material to lampoonso thisstory will be a lampoon of lampoon
comics. Each of thedozen panels on the page boasts a caption that
culminatesin the title (and logo) of one ofMads imitators.Kurtzmans
parodies were always based on the real world,andMad itself is one
of the twelve titles mentioned, so Inever doubted for a moment that
the others were also realtitles of real magazines. Bughouse, Crazy,
Eh!, Flip, GetLost,Madhouse, Nuts!, Panic, Riot,Wild, andWhack...
in myfeverous brain those eleven names conjured up visions of
stacksand stacks of newsstand comics in theMad style and
Once I learnedMad had been a color comic book before itwas a
black-&-white magazine, I quickly bought up all thereprint
paperbacks containing early material. Jack Davis andWill Elder were
and are my favorite artists, though I now feelthat Davis later work
for Kurtzmans ownMad imitationHumbug is unsurpassed. (It astonishes
me to this day that backissues of someMad imitations will cost you
more than mostissues of Humbug!) In this piece I wont be covering
in detailMad, or PanicECs ownMad imitator, though edited by
AlFeldstein rather than Kurtzmanor Humbug, because theformer two
are readily available in the Russ Cochran ECreprint hardcovers,
while Fantagraphics has recently reprintedthe latter in a handsome
two-volume set. Humbug, in anyevent, was a later black-&-white
magazine, and only the mid-50s color comics fall within the scope
of this study.
The imitators mentioned inMad #17 remained out of myreach for a
long time. I could pick up most comics I wanted tocollect here in
Holland from other collectors, but the imitationsrarely turned up.
It seemed I would have to go to America orelse mail-order them from
ads, both quite expensive options.When eBay burst onto the scene,
it turned out to be just what Iwas looking for. Within a year, I
had acquired most of theMadwannabes at reasonable prices. Some
pleasantly surprised me,others disappointed. But in almost all
cases, accounts of themId read in magazine articles and guides was
insufficient. Artistsmentioned in the Overstreet Comic Book Price
Guide as beingin a particular issue might have only a one-page
Cheaper By The Dozen?(Right:) The marvelous intro page to the
Julius Caesar! how-to-
parody tale in Mad #17, by Kurtzman & Wood. Note all
thepotential Mad-wannabe titles on the newsstandsincluding
Sick,which would later be a black-&-white magazine from Joe
[2009 E.C. Publications, Inc.]
The Hawks Werent All That Were Blue!(Left & below:) Harvey
Kurtzman mustve had a copy of MilitaryComics #12 (Oct. 1942) at
hand when he wrote and laid out TheBlack and Blue Hawks! for Mad #5
(June-July 1953). The scriptfor the former is credited to Dick
French, and it sported the firstBlackhawk art by Reed Crandall, the
series definitive artist, asreproduced from DCs hardcover Blackhawk
Archives, Vol. 1. Thefinishing artist on the Mad entry, of course,
was the wonderfulWally Wood; reprod from the Cochran hardcover
2009 DC Comics & E.C. Publications, Inc., respectively.]
What Hath Kurtzman Wrought? 5
[Continued on p. 8]
(On this page:)Heads of Dick Tracy (by creator ChesterGould) and
Al Capps parody Fearless
Fosdick (by Lester Gooch)and an actual1950s Fearless Fosdick
commercial ad shillingfor Wildroot Cream-Oil Hair Tonic,
completewith a caricature of Capp at bottom left.
Fosdick, who first appeared in the Lil Abnernewspaper strip in
1947, is considered bysome to have been an important influence
on Kurtzmans Mad, as witness theineffectual bullet holes. All
reprod from the
two Fearless Fosdick trade paperbackspublished in 1990 and 1992
by Kitchen SinkPress. [Dick Tracy art 2009 Tribune MediaServices,
Inc.; Fearless Fosdick art 2009
Capp Enterprises, Inc.]
(On facing page:)The Record Comics one-shot published witha Feb.
1947 cover date, as witness its covertakeoffs on Dick Tracy,
Superman, Dagwood,and Daisie Mae Yokum. The mag containedsuch
parodies as Supergoon, Terrence[and the Pirates] by Milton Catnip,
MoeBohunka [a parody of Joe Palooka], as wellas lampoons of strips
Smilin Jack, Blondie,Flash Gordon, Dick Tracy, Little OrphanAnnie,
Tarzan (Jocko of the Jungle),
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, and LilAbner (Lil Andover, who
manages tograduate from Yale). Its dimensions were8 7/8" by 11
5/8". [Parody art 2009 the
respective copyright holders.]
The Pogo parody at page center appeared ina 1952 issue of
Wampus, the humor
magazine of the University of SouthernCalifornia. Another issue
that year containeda takeoff on Milt Caniffs Steve Canyon.[Pogo TM
& 2009 Estate of Walt Kelly.]
A short time after Mad #1 went on sale, butmonths before its
first comic strip parody,Walt Kelly poked fun at Little Orphan
Annie,including the characters trademark blankglassy eye balls, in
the Sept. 11, 1952, stripprinted at bottom right, and for the
nextweek or two. And was there ever a betterparodic name for Harold
Grays brainchildthan Lil Arf an Nonny? [2009 Estate
of Walt Kelly.]
6 An Issue-By-Issue Look At Those Mid-1950s Mad Comics
Before We WentMadLampoons ThatMight Have Influenced
What Hath Kurtzman Wrought? 7
Start-Up Data For MadsImitators
by John BensonThe sudden influx ofMad imitations was obviously
phenomenal success. But when did that success occur? In the Feb.
1954issue ofWriters Digest, EC publisher Bill Gaines reports (in
his articleMadman Gaines Pleads for Plots) that the first four
issues ofMad lostmoney. He goes on to say: [W]hen the sales reports
began to come in onMad No. 5, with a bang we had done it! Today the
print order onMad is750,000 and on its way to a million. (Four
months later the June 1954Pageant still reported a circulation of
750,000, soMad may never havereached a million as a color comic
bookthough, of course, it still had ayear to go as a color
This raises some questions as to how soonMads success was
noticedby ECs competitors. First, one has to wonder how
dramaticallyMad #5ssales increased over those of #4, considering
that the independent whole-salers were so incensed by #5s contents
that they nearly decided to put ECout of business by refusing to
handle its comics. In May 1952, Gaines toldRay Bradbury that EC
print runs ranged from 350,000 to 500,000. (This ishigher than the
industry average, but possibly he was exaggerating a bit.)An
untested new title would have been at the low end, 350,000 or
maybeeven 300,000, and wouldnt have been upped while it was losing
money.Which issue was in print at the time theWriters Digest
article waswritten? PossiblyMad #8, cover-dated Dec. 1953-Jan.
1954, or more likely#9 (Feb.-March 1954). That means that in four
(or possibly three) issuesMad more than doubled its circulation.
Its unlikely that the print runincreased significantly with #6,
which would have gone to press beforesales returns for #5 were
fully in, so the press-run increase must have beensteep on each of
the next three issues.
In that same article, Gaines says that already there are 11
imitationson the newsstand. He could have been making that number
up (he oncesaid that Atlas published 70 horror titles), but its an
odd number to pickout of the airand it happens to be correct
(discounting the one-issue
late-bloomer Unsane and the mixed-bag Super Funnies). The
problem isthat the first issues of two of those imitators had a
March 1954 cover date,three others an April 1954 cover date, while
that of another was Feb. 54.Yet theWriters Digest had time to
produce its article and go to press withits February issue that
quotes Gaines as saying that these were all on thenewsstand.
One factor at work here is the matter of newsstand display life,
roughlycalculated as the length of time from a magazines appearance
on thestands to the month on the cover. It seems that comics had a
much longerdisplay life than magazines. Thus its entirely possible
that those Marchand April issues appeared on the stands well before
the FebruaryWritersDigest. Display life also complicates the issue
of how fast other publisherscaught on toMads success. Data
available suggests the display life ofcomic titles could vary from
more than 120 days down to 30.Mad cameout about 50 days before the
first day of the month on the cover. If someother publishers had a
longer display life thanMad, then, in real time,they followedMad
even more quickly than it appears.
Theres also the question of how long it would take from the time
apublisher decided to bring out a new title to the appearance of
that titleon the stands. Roy Thomas, based on his experience in the
industry adecade later, has suggested that the absolute minimum
would be four tofive months. Given a month or sos delay for full
sales returns to come in,it seems Atlas and Charlton acted with top
speed, which suggests that thedata onMads sales must have been
spectacular. Its also possible thatpreliminary data and/or
anecdotal evidence from wholesalers wasdramatic enough to spur
action even before complete returns were in.
But how is it thatWhack beat other publishers by a full two
months,apparently hitting the stands only a little over three
months afterMad #5?My theory is this: in addition to the sales
returns,Mad created a creativebuzz among comics professionals from
its very first issue. Kubert andMaurer were able to choose which
comics they wished to produce for St.John, and their theory was
that comics that interested them would interesttheir readers. Thus,
when they sawMad and were turned on by it, theystarted up their own
version after seeing only the first three or four
issues,considerably before sales reports pointed the way. I
recently sent JoeKubert a copy of a draft of this article, and he
replied: Your surmise [is]pretty much on the mark.
Apartment 3-DCaricatures of (l. to r.) Kubert, ArcherSt. John,
and Maurer in the 3-D-Tsstory from Whack #2. Thanks to KenQuattro.
[2009 Joe Kubert & Estate of
12 An Issue-By-Issue Look At Those Mid-1950s Mad Comics
The Three StogesTopline: Americas Favorite Funny MenPublisher:
St. John Publishing Co., 545 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY
#6 (Aug 1954)
Banned in Boston wasa common expression atthe time, because
thatcitys censors did preventsome magazines, films,etc., from being
seenthere. The Stooges lineprobably refers to thefact that ECs
Panic #1(Feb.-March 54) hadbeen prohibited fromdistribution in the
entirestate of Massachusetts,presumably because ofits indecent
cover andcontents. Apparently, theripples of this were feltnot only
within the wallsof ECs offices.
Bringin Up Mama,Starring Saggie and Figgs.Art by Norman
Maurer(signed Beo McMaurer inthe style of George McManus). 5 pp.
Comic strip parody of McManuscomic strip Bringing Up Father.
The absolute highpoint of all of Norman Maurers parodies is
thisstylisticly superb imitation of the newspaper perennial. Here
Jiggsis thin and Maggie is fat, making it a bit more mean-spirited
thanthe original. But thats what parodies are all about.
#7 (Oct. 1954)
The Crisco Keed. Art byWilliam Overgard. 9 pp.Comic strip parody
of TheCisco Kid.
The Cisco Kid was afilm, radio, TV, comicstrip, and Dell
comicbook series based on thefictional Westerncharacter created by
O.Henry in his 1907 shortstory The CaballerosWay. Jose Louis
Salinasdrew the well-respectednewspaper strip versionfrom 1951 to
1967,which was probably themajor inspiration forthis parody about
O.Hanks Robin Hood ofthe Old West.
[2009 the respective copyright holders.]
[2009 the respective copyright holders.]
The Jiggs Is Up!(Above & below:) Norman Maurers bang-up job
parodying Bringing UpFatherincluding a panel set at the opera that
tossed in a dig at PrinceValiant for good measure. For Harvey
Kurtzman & Bernard Krigsteinsalmost creepy lampoon of that
once-popular comic strip in Mad #17,see the Cochran volumes of the
complete Mad. [2009 Joe Kubert &
Estate of Norman Maurer.]
16 An Issue-By-Issue Look At Those Mid-1950s Mad Comics
Cooking With CiscoAnother fine Overgard effort, from Three
Stooges #7. The Cisco Kid radioshowbut not, at least in any episode
Ye Editor has been able to viewrecently, on the TV seriesutilized,
at the outset of each episodes, the
exchange being parodied here: Ceeskothe sheriff, he is getting
closer!This way, Panchofollow! Crisco was then such a popular
ingredient that its ad tagline Cooking with Crisco was often
used to referto anybody who was really on the ball. [2009 Joe
Kubert & Estate of
Ali Babble(Clockwise from above left:) The house ad fromThe
Three Stooges #7 for its non-existent next
issuea piece of unpublished original art probablyfrom that Ali
Baba takeoffand a (poorly-reproduced, alas) photo of Carl and
Hubbell and their son from a 1949 newspaper thatmentioned
Hubbells upcoming Merrie Chase strip.Thanks to John Benson for the
Ali Bab-O scans.
[2009 the respective copyright holders.]
What Hath Kurtzman Wrought? 17
CRAZY, WILD, & RIOTThe World On Their Shoulders
Next up is the trio of magazines from Martin Goodman. In 1954
thecomics company that was known to most of its contributors as
Timely(but to its readers as Atlas, after its self-owned
distribution arm,symbolized by the tiny globe on its covers) was
trying to reinvent itself forthe umpteenth time. The horror craze
was fading, just as crime andromance had. Westerns were still going
strong, but Goodman was on thelook-out for the next big thing. He
was even trying to relaunch his threemost successful super-heroes
from the 1940sCaptain America, TheHuman Torch, and Sub-Mariner.
WhenMad came along, he jumped onthe satire bandwagon as if he had
never done anything else.
Stan Lee Or Not Stan LeeThat Is TheQuestion
In my opinion, many of these stories may have been written by
editorStan Lee; they have his gag-oriented flavor. Later, when Riot
was revivedin 1956, Lee signed a number of the stories, and they
read much like the1954 ones. Goodman and Lee launched Crazy with a
December 53 coverdateWild joined it with a February 54 date, and
Riot #1 appeared twomonths after that. All were monthliesand all
were gone by August 54.
Riot stands out among thetrio of Timely four-colorparody titles
because, as noted,it had two runsone in 1954and one (starting with
#4) datedFebruary 1956. Interestingly, thesecond run appears to
have beenproduced after the three issuesof Atlas
black-&-whiteMadmagazine imitation Snafu, whichwas published
during 1955-56.John Severin, who hadcontributed heavily to Snafu
(aswell as the earlyMad), tookHoward Posts place as Riots #2artist
after Joe Maneely. RussHeath, and Al Hartley had alsodeparted, but
Dan DeCarlo joinedthe group to create a nice roster. Knowing
Goodman, the reason forTimelys abandoning Snafu and going back to
the comic book formatmust have been sales- or distribution-
related. If they had stuck withSnafu and kept Severin working for
them, that magazine might havetaken the place of the later success
Cracked. For some reason, the first twoissues of the second run of
Riot are among the hardest to find of anyMadwannabes. It took me
more than four years to get both #4 and #5; thismay be because #4
has an infinity cover and #5 features Marilyn Monroe,factors which
make them of interest to more than one type of collector.
One major question regarding this material is: did Stan Lee
write any,many, or all of these stories as well as edit them? While
working on aseparate article for A/E, I developed a good feel for
Lees work in the 40sand 50s. Generally, we can say that he signed
all the stories he wrotebetween late 1951 and early 1954 and didnt
write any he didnt sign(except for two, as I explain in an article
Roy Thomas promises to run onevery soon). If you total up all the
signed stories, you find he wrote aboutten stories a month during
those years, after which the number of signedstories drops off
sharply. This makes it entirely possible that Lee wrote all(or at
least many) of the stories for the parody titles, but decided
againstsigning them. [ED. NOTE: And see RT's personal comments on
Or did he? When Riot restarted for its three-issue 1956 run,
suddenly signed half the stories. Since Stan had proudly
announced, in anintroduction to Snafu #1 the year before, that he
had written all 64 of itspages, perhaps he just didnt feel like
going back to not taking a byline.Which leaves us only with
circumstantial evidence. I tried to identifysome textual and
contextual qualifiers of Lees style, but didnt come upwith many. I
did find a disqualifier: all through his career Stan Lee wrotethru
instead of through. That makes any story that contains the
morecommon latter spelling less likely to have been written by him.
Lookingthrough these books, I found some stories of each type, as
well as somethat didnt use the word at all.
Finally, there are the so-called job numbers. Each Atlas story
wasassigned a job number when the script was ordered or paid out,
whichoften gives us an insight into the order in which stories were
drawn aswell as written. Sometimes they can tell us which were left
on the shelf orre-assigned after a title went under. From the job
titles for the companysMad imitations, we can infer several
Most of the stories were written close together in time. All the
storiesfor Crazy #1-4 andWild #1-3 were written before Riot #1
appears. It maywell be that the contents of Riot #1 were intended
for Crazy #5, most of
When Marvel Comics Were A RiotStan Lee, early to mid-1950s,
typing standing up on his patio, as
was his wont (presumably during the warmer months only)and
hisand Bill Everetts splash page for their Lorna the Jungle Girl
parody inRiot #6 in 1956. Loona is so close to the real thing, at
least in termsof art, that some of its panels could virtually have
been sneaked intoan actual Lorna story without any changes! [Photo
2009 Stan &
Joan Lee; Riot page 2009 Marvel Characters, Inc.]
18 An Issue-By-Issue Look At Those Mid-1950s Mad Comics
which was scripted later. Lee liked writing inspurts. If you go
to the Atlas Tales website andclick on his credits, youll see he
rarely wrote justone story at a time during this period; he
usuallymanaged four to six in a row. Some of the yarnsin these
titles fit right into a sequence of signedstories forMillie the
Model orMy Friend Irma.So at least some of the parody tales couldve
beenwritten by Lee and left unsigned. Some artistsmay have written
their own stories, such as BillEverett, who delivers a satirical
horror story formost issues of Crazy, or Howie Post, who seemsto
have scripted his entries, since some of hiscontributions are
And A Cast Of DozensBut not only Stan Lee was fired up by
material. Many of the Timely/Atlas regulars tookthe chance to do
something silly with bothhands. Joe Maneely, who had already shown
anaptitude for humor in some of his horror stories,filled page
after page with Will Elder-style clutter(chicken fat), while
developing a stylecompletely his own. In Riot #6, he drew a
parodyof Dennis the Menace with Lee that worked outso well that
Martin Goodman decided theyshould turn it into a regular comic
book.Together they produced seven issues ofMelvinthe Monster (or
Dexter the Demon, as he wasrechristened in the final issue) in a
cross betweenManeelys style and that of Dennis creator HankKetcham.
After that Lee & Maneely launched a newspaper strip calledMrs.
Lyons Cubs in a similar style. Maneely also did more work in
vein for some of the 1958Mad magazine imitations, including the
earlyissues of Cracked. I believe he might have worked in this
style for years,had he not have died tragically in June 1958. Even
in his most realisticwork, Maneely had a cartoonists sense of
The comics were also a chance for all the artists to draw
beautifulwomen. This was true for Wallace Wood, Jack Davis, and
Will Elder atMad, but also for Joe Maneely and Al Hartley at
Timely. Hartley hadstarted out as a gag cartoonist with a good eye
for pretty girls. Afterjoining Timely/Atlas, he was mainly given
serious work. His earliestwork for the war books is so serious, it
is hardly recognizable as his.Unlike Russ Heath, who drew
good-looking females every chance he got,Hartley adjusted his style
to what was needed; but when he got the oppor-tunity, he really cut
loose. The first issue of Crazy opens with Tess Orbit,Lace Cadet by
Hartley, which seems mostly an excuse for the artist todraw a very
pretty girl in a lace bodice and a tiger-skin bikini in almostevery
panel, reflecting someones analysis of the reason forMads
success.In the same issue is a Dave Berg story that also opens with
a gorgeous girlin a bathrobeI have to say, to much less effect. All
in all, Hartley drewnine or ten stories for these books, eight of
which feature these beauteousbuxom ladies. Hartley may have wanted
to be remembered for thereligious comics he did later in life, but
his main claim to fame will alwaysbe the beautiful women he drew
for Atlas in the 50s. The satirical contentallowed for a degree of
exaggeration that made them even more desirable.Any of these books
with a Hartley story in it is worth owning.
Russ Heath is another regular in these titles. In October 2006 I
visitedhim in his home in Los Angeles and showed him a couple of
his humorstories for these titles, which he hadnt seen since they
were firstpublished. He was as surprised as I was to see how many
visual referencesto Harvey Kurtzman were made in his stories. He
knew Kurtzman then,
Waitll Mr. Wilson Gets A Load Of This Kid!Joe Maneelys cover for
Mevin the Monster #1 (July 1956). Thanks to Bob Bailey.
[2009 Marvel Characters, Inc.]
What Hath Kurtzman Wrought? 19
Anybody For A Team-Up With Hopalong Mix?Two pages of layouts by
Russ Heath for his Rodger Autry spoof . See next page for
[2009 Russ Heath.]
The Mummy Walks. Carl Burgos (unsigned). 4 pp. Horror parody.
Communist spies meet a giant mummy. The story reveals the
Redsplans: (1) Blow up every country in the world. (2) Invade all
thosethat are left. (3) Attack all the warmongers in hospitals and
The Men from Mars. Howie Post (signed). 5 pp. Sci-fi parody. Job
In this story about monkeys from Mars, Postproves his style is
better suited to cartoonanimals than to cartoon humans.
Tall in the Saddle. Mort Drucker (signed). 5 pp.Western parody.
Not a movie spoof, though here again theres aGary Cooper
caricature. Before landing hiscareer-defining job asMad magazines
premierTV-and-movie parodist, Drucker worked as anot-so-impressive
artist at Marvel and DC. Hisspecialties were hastily drawn war and
humorbooks. This story showcases his customarysloppiness, even
though it may be categorizedas his first satire work.
Moe Gumbo. Howie Post (unsigned). 4 pp.Movie parody. JoB
Mogambo was a successful 1953 African safarifilm directed by
John Ford, starring ClarkGable and Grace Kelly (a remake of
Gables1930s hit Red Dust, which had co-starred JeanHarlow). This
tale doesnt make much of an
attempt to parody the movie. The title is the same as the
BobPowell-drawn but probably Howard Nostrand-written story inBlack
Cat Mystery #50 (June 1954)probably just the result of atoo-obvious
pun. Whether or not Post scripted this one, its easilyhis most
accomplished contribution to these three series. Whitewitch doctor
Moe Gumbo goes to Africa to wipe out an epidemic ofthe jumpin
gleeps and is almost eaten by the natives. When hereturns to the
States, having cured everyone, he is shot dead by hiscolleagues,
who believe he himself is infected. For, you see, heglooped when he
should have gleeped.
#7 (July 1954)
Cover: Russ Heath (signed with initials on thecowboys boots).
Hambo! Carl Hubbell (signed). 5 pp. Movieparody. Job #E-621.
AfterWhack folded and St. John discon-tinued a number of titles,
Carl Hubbellmigrated to Timely/Atlas to draw aknockoff of The
Little Wise Guys, ajuvenile adventure series hed drawn forLev
Gleasons Daredevil, which was stillrunning; Bob Brant ran for three
issuesinMan Comics before the title wasdiscontinued. Hubbell must
have pickedup this job not long after that. If acaricature of John
Wayne from theparodied film Hondo was intended, I dontrecognize it.
Probably another case thewriter taking the name, but not havingseen
Bring Back Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days OfCrazyIn the mags 7th
and final issue, Stan Lee and Russ Heath teamedup to go
Hollywoodwhile Maneely went robotic. See Alter Ego#40 for a
photo-studded interview with Russ Heathand #28 forDoc V.s extensive
coverage of the life and career of Joe Maneely.
[2009 Marvel Characters, Inc.]
[2009 Marvel Characters, Inc.]
28 An Issue-By-Issue Look At Those Mid-1950s Mad Comics
I Aint Mad. 2-pp. text story. Job #E-600.
Not a story about Stan Lee realizing that AtlasMad
imitationswont stand up to the original, but a yarn about a man
trying toprove he isnt crazy. Again the writer spends a lot of time
wonderingabout the origin of weird expressions like Its raining
cats anddogs and kicking the bucket. Two newunsigned illustrations
by Carl Burgos.
Just Plain Harrys Other Wife. Al Hartley(signed). Soap opera
parody. Job #E-487.
A parody of the popular radio soaps Just PlainBill and Johns
Other Wife. No caricatures, justlots of beautiful buxom ladies.
Editors note:we are proud to announce that Just PlainHarrys Other
Wife has just gotten an Oscar!!Yessir!! Oscar Klunk has been chosen
to playthe role of a lampshade in tomorrows episode!
Tales from Aesops Stables. Art by Howard Post.Illustrated
rhyming horror story. 3 pp. Job #E-640.
As translated from the original Cretin [a punon Latin, crossed
with Cretan?] by HowardiusPostus. This time, the weirdly
exaggerateddrawings by Post actually have a function.
Hollywood Extra. Script by Stan Lee, art by RussHeath (both
signed). 5 pp. Scandal parody. Job#E-565.
Stan Lee starts signing scripts for Crazy.Caspar Keyhole
presents the secret storybehind the glamour and the glitter of
Hollywood. Caricatures ofMarilyn Monroe, Dean Martin & Jerry
Lewis (as the comedy duoMarvin & Loose), Gary Cooper, and Clark
Gable stride theTinseltown streets. One of Heaths best, in the
style of his PlasticSam inMad. I dont know if this is a parody of a
particular TVseries or of a genre of magazines, but it works very
well. Keyholewatches Jerry Loose make a print of his face in the
wet cement infront of Growlers Japanese Theatre, tries to interview
ParafoxPictures new star Marilyn Russell, watches swashbuckling
actorError Flynn trying to unbuckle himself, and has an
excitingmeeting with Darryl B. Barrel. After that he goes home and
Crazys Fun Page. Dan DeCarlo (unsigned). One-page puzzles.
Will Elder didnt do a puzzle page parody untilMad #19 in
January1955, which means Atlas was first with this concept. The
first gagon this page, with the company director chasing his
assistantthrough a maze, can only be by DeCarlo. There is also a
caricatureof Humphrey Bogart with the question: Can you name this
screenstar? Answer: Why should you? Hes already got a name!
Robert the Robot! Joe Maneely (signed on the robots behind). 4
pp. Sci-fi parody. Job #E-438.
Maneelys work just keeps getting better and better. How old
wasthis guy when he did this? 27? This story has everything:
funnyprofessors, sexy gals, silly gags, a robot with crackling
energy, and acharacter taking of her mask to reveal who she really
is. There is acrazy quiz at the end: How many screen stars can you
name whoare robots? Heres a hint: Robot Taylor, Robot Montgomery,
WildTopline: Shiver and Shake... Laugh and Quake!!!Publisher:
Interstate Publishing Company, 270 Park Avenue, New York, NY
#1 (Feb. 1954)
Cover: Joe Maneely (signed).
Charlie Chin Meets Sleek Wiley. Joe Maneely(signed). 5 pp.
Charlie Chan parody. Job #D-653.
Like most Atlas parodies, it is more of ageneral parody than
specifically aimed atthe novels, movies, radio-show, or
comicsfeaturing Earl Derr Biggers famedOriental sleuth. At storys
end, a DickTracy/Fearless Fosdick type of detectivecomes to arrest
Chan and puts him in theelectric chair.
Rip van Stinkle. Ed Winiarski (signed). 4 pp.Parody of
Washington Irvings classic story. Job#D-106.
Compared to the Charlie Chin opener,this one is just dull... but
at least theres astory being told. The story of Rip vanStinkle, a
man hated by everyone in hisvillage. He drinks a dwarf s brew
andsleeps for 200 years. When he returns, stillno one will listen
to him. Ya expectsympathy from me? I got insomnia!
Dr. Jackal and Mr. Hide. Bill Everett (signed). 5 pp. Horror
One of Everett funnier efforts, full ofMad-style chicken
fatbackground (and foreground) gags all over the place! In this
takeoffon Robert Louis Stevensons The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll
and Mr.Hyde, Dr. Jackal wants to marry his dream girl, Marilyn
Moneyrow.She doesnt want him, so he concocts a secret formula
(recipe:onion soup, Limburger cheese, ice cream, formaldehyde,
chocolatesauce, gin and bitters, clam juice, stewed worms, and
kerosene) toturn himself into Mr. Hidewhos such a hideous,
horrible, ghastly,grisly, gruesome, fiendish fiend that shell be
happy to marry Jackal!Only problem isshe likes Hide better!
Don Chaotic. New Sol Brodsky illustration (unsigned). 2-pp. text
The Frozen North. Brodsky (unsigned). 4-pp. Exploration parody.
In history, Louise Arner Boyd (1887-1972), nicknamed The
IceWoman, was an American who repeatedly explored andphotographed
the Arctic Ocean. In 1928 she led an expedition tofind the
Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, who had disap-peared while on a
flying rescue mission to locate Italian explorerUmberto Nobile.
Boyd traveled 10,000 miles across the ArcticOcean, exploring from
Franz Josef Land to the Greenland Sea;though she found no trace of
Amundsen, she was awarded theChevalier Cross of the Order of Saint
Olav by the Norwegiangovernment. In 1931 she began a series of
annual scientific expedi-tions to the Arctic. Her various
expeditions explored Greenlandsnortheastern coast and glaciers,
including the remote De GeerGlacier (a nearby area was later
christened Louise Boyd Land). In
[2009 Marvel Characters, Inc.]
What Hath Kurtzman Wrought? 29
EH!/From Here To Insanity
Out In The BoondocksEh! was publisher Charltons entry in theMad
For its first ten issues (including a title change to From Here
to Insanitywith #8), the book was packaged for them from New York
City byindustry mainstay Al Fago. He probably also wrote the
letters page, wherehis name appears. The first three issues
arechockful of Dick Ayers always-interesting art; butwith #4,
suddenly there is a new artist in town,Fred Ottenheimer, who Jim
Amash informs mehad drawn humor for Timely in the 1940s. Thequality
of the art takes a huge drop. Though someof the later parodies are
more on target thanearlier ones, the later issues of Eh! are still
a lotless interesting. Fred Ottenheimer crossed pathswith Harvey
Kurtzman, when he did a childrenspuzzle book called Playtime
Speller for the KunenCompany, at the same time Kurtzman and
visitingFrench artist Ren Goscinny did a couple ofchildrens story
books with puzzle pieces (nottogether, though). Later in his career
Ottenheimerreturned to childrens books.
Most issues of Eh! have black-&-white insidecovers with
rather uninspired ad parodies. In1997 Americas Comics Group of
St-Laurent,Quebec, Canada, reprinted #2 (minus the inside-cover ad
parodies) in b&w as Eh! #1thoughutilizing, for some reason, the
cover of issue #4.The reprinting was done from the original
proofs.For the fan who wants to taste rather than have itall, it is
a good place to start.
Because it had a habit of publishing just about anything it
could lay itshands on, in order to keep its printing presses
running, Charlton would, afew years later, put out the bestMad
magazine imitation everHumbug.The b&w Humbug was created by
Harvey Kurtzman, Al Jaffee, andArnold Roth after the debacle when
their slick Playboy-funded full-colorsatire magazine Trump folded.
Going with the cheapest publisher at thecheapest size, they
produced some of the best-looking and most hard-hitting satire of
the 50s and 60s, before going under after 12 issues. Theentire run
of this wonderful magazine has just been reprinted in a must-have
edition by Fantagraphics, with pages 1 times the size of those
inthe original mags, in a slipcase with great new cover art by Al
Jaffee andsuperb notes by John Benson and Gary Groth. Go to
Amazon.com andorder yours today! Now, on to an issue-by-issue
breakdown of thecontents of Eh!:
Eh!Topline: Dig This Crazy Comic!Publisher: Charlton Comics,
#1 (Dec. 1953)
Cover: Dick Ayers (signed).
The Shave of Champions. Art by Dick Ayers (unsigned). B&w ad
parodyon inside front cover.
Young Dr. Baloney! Art by Dick Ayers (unsigned). 6 pp. Radio
The brilliant Dr. Baloney (he removes a patients Adams apple
witha pool cue) has troubles everywhere. He finally resolves them
byshooting everyone. At one point he listens to the radio,
becauseradio solves everyones problems. But there is just one radio
soapopera after another. Which is appropriate, because this is a
parodyof Young Dr. Malone, a long running radio soap-opera about
adoctor, his wife and children, and his associates at the
hospital.YDM was sponsored by Proctor and Gamble, and was the
lastoriginal soap on radio, finally being cancelled on Nov. 25,
1960.Ayers shows his aptitude for this type of work. I used to
think hisstyle was a bit too over the top, but its grown on me.
The House of Whacks! Art by Lou Morales(signed). 7 pp. Horror
Morales was a weird but capable artist whomainly worked for
Charlton in the 50s,and this is not his best work. Most of theart
looks as if drawn with a pen in a kidsschool agenda.
Awakening. 2-pp. text story.
Eh-h! A Puzzle Page!!! Art by Dick Ayers(signed). One page.
Puzzle page parody.
Name the singer and the song. A tallman with a pipe is
caricatured in the snowsinging: Bububa Boo Bububa Boooooo,nothing
bothers me... nothing. Know theanswer yet? Hint: his initials are
BingCrosby. We wouldnt have had to tellanybody that in 1953.
Probably the firstpuzzle page in aMad imitation.
Frontier Scout! Art by Dick Ayers (signed doneby Dick). 8 pp.
What Does Eh Mean? Fake letters page.
This page identifies Al Fago as editor. Several contributors
write into ask what Eh! means, among them an art dealer, an artist
calledMarvin Morales, and a writer: Where oh where did you get
thevarious stories from your first issue? Im going to frame my
advancecopy. Nothing can top it. Dont ever change your type of
humor. Itsvery rare nowadays. And whatever you dodont imitate
othermagazines of the same kind. Enclosed is my dollar for twelve
issues.Best of luck. Ted Sturdevans, Bronx, N.Y. The editor
answers:Dont worry, Ted. We are not copying ANYONE! Humor
isuniversal, but being successful at it ISNT! EH [sic] comics is
goingto be a droll collectors item. At least it was to be the
longest-running of allMads four-color imitators.
Buck Hodges in the 26th Century! Art by Dick Giordano (signed).
4 pp.Comic strip parody.
Giordano was a staff artist at Charlton at this point. He has
nevermentioned working on Eh! His style looks a bit like that of
SolBrodsky, with one or two Wally Wood swipes thrown in.
Somereaders may like the science-fiction aspect, especially the
splashpanel with Buck flying through the air. But it soon turns
into justanother silly science-fiction story. Its like serious
actors trying theirhand at comedy. Too much silliness, not enough
Thats How TV Was Born!! Art by Dick Ayers (signed). 3 pp.
[2009 the respective copyright holders.]
What Hath Kurtzman Wrought? 45
Stop Smoking! Art by Dick Ayers (unsigned). Black-&-white ad
parodyon inside back cover.
You can stop tobacco shivers, tobacco bad breath, tobacco
quivers,tobacco itch, athletes foot, Poisonous Harold Teen and
tobaccotobacco. You will lose the desire to smoke in one minute!
Mailcoupon now! I will pay the postman nothing for this
marvelousoffer: .45 Colt pistolsteelrolledmoisture packedand
mytroubles will be over. The Mafia crowd that Charlton reputedly
hadnothing to do with will have laughed its heads off.
Sontiac Six. Art by Dick Ayers (unsigned). Ad parody.
Eh! Look!The cast of artists in Eh! #1 consisted of Dick Ayers,
Giordano, and Lou Morales. See A/E #31 & 35 forinterviews
with (and photos of) Ayers and Giordano,respectively. And wed print
a pic of Lou Morales if wehad one! [2009 the respective copyright
46 An Issue-By-Issue Look At Those Mid-1950s Mad Comics
#2 (Feb. 1954)
Cover: Dick Ayers (signed Ayers)
The inside cover states: Designed by Al Fago Studios.
Paradise Gained! Art by Dick Ayers (signed Ayers). 7 pp.
Little Arties Scouts! Art by Dick Ayers (unsigned). 5 pp.
A takeoff on Arthur Godfreys popular TV talent show. (SeeWhack#2
Strikes and Eh!-rrors. Letter page.
Letters from Ima Nut from Greenview, NC, and Just a
plainhousewife from New York.
The News Must Go On! Art by Dick Ayers (unsigned). 2 pp.
The Great Discovery. 2-pp. text story.
The Four Mosquitoes!Art by Dick Ayers (signedAyers). 7 pp.
Eh!s Wails! Art by DickAyers (signed). Puzzlepage.
Squeeeezerama in 5-D!Art by Dick Ayers (signed).6 pp. Movie
In 1954 you were eitherdoing 3-D comics ordoing a parody of
them.This one is different,because it doesnt useany of the 3-D
orCinerama effects itssupposed to bespoofing.
The Case of the GorillaCaper! Art by Dick Ayers(signed). One
Electro-cuter Fat Reducer. Artist unknown. Ad parody. Inside
What Made Milwaukee Change Its Mind? Artist unknown. Ad
parody,back cover, b&w.
#3 (April 1954)
Cover: Artist unknown
Sure Cure for MoneyHeadaches. Artistunknown. Ad parody.Inside
front cover, b&w.
Mutilated Knee on theBotany! Art by Dick Ayers(unsigned). 8 pp.
A spoof of the novelmade even more famousby its 1935
movieversion. The maincharacter of Mr. Griston(Mr. Christian in
theoriginal) is played bya Clark Gable type. Onthe letters page
they callit a classics satire.
Does Maseys TellJimbels? Art by DickAyers (signed Ayers).7
The department store wars, taking off on the
once-commonexpression Does Macys Tell Gimbels?, based on two
famousretailers located near each other in Manhattan. The latter
store andits eventual chain, of course, no longer exist.
When Buckles Got SwashedDick Ayers splash page for Eh! #2.
Thanks to Ramon Schenk.
[2009 the respective copyright holders.]
[2009 the respective copyright holders.]
NOTE: The company symbol has been cut offthe particular cover
[2009 the respective copyright holders.]
What Hath Kurtzman Wrought? 47
NTRODUCTION: One thing for sure: Frank Bolles work sureturned up
in a lot of placessome expected, some not. A realworkhorse who
started off working with Leonard Starr and the
Funnies, Inc. shop, where he did some Sub-Mariner,
CaptainAmerica, and Human Torch stories, Franks art also appeared
atCrown Comics, Camera Comics, Fawcett, DC, Feature, Timely
(andMarvel), Dell, and Gold Key (where he drew Dr. Solar, Man of
theAtom), among other companies. His best work may have been done
forMagazine Enterprises, where he drew the Tim Holt comic and
itsRedmask revamp. Franks work in newspaper syndication ranges
Winnie Winkle to OnStage, Gil Thorpe,Encyclopedia Brown,Debbie
Deere, Tarzan,Rip Kirby, The Heart ofJuliet Jones, to
todaysApartment 3-G. If thats not enough for you, theres his
BoysLife series, advertising work, book illustration, and fine art,
much ofwhich you can check out at www.frankbollestudio.com. Of
course,Franks still at the drawing board on Apartment 3-G, and
continues topaint in his spare time. Spare time? Hard to believe
you have much ofthat, Frankthough you did manage to fit this
interview into your busyschedule, for which we all thank
Id Find [Pencils] On The StreetJIM AMASH: Im going to ask you my
standard beginning questions,like when and where were you born, and
what got you interested in art?
FRANK BOLLE: I was born June 23rd, 1924, in Brooklyn. As
fordrawing, well, I guess it just came just from being alone so
much as a kid.I was so poor, I only had one parent, and I couldnt
even afford baby fat.[Jim laughs] My mother went off to work every
day, and I was left witheither neighbors or friends, which meant
that I was left in some prettycrummy places, and was alone most of
the time. And if I found a piece ofpaper and pencilssince I never
had toysI would just draw things that Isaw. It sort-of came
naturally, and thats what kept me busy.
I started drawing as soon as I could hold a pencil; I guess
about four-ish. The good part was that my mother never had to scold
me to put mytoys away. I couldnt put them in a chest because I
didnt have any.[mutual chuckling] But I felt fortunate since I
always could find pencils.In my day, you didnt have fancy ballpoint
things. Pencils were alwaysyellow, and Id find them on the street,
in the hallway, in the school.Thered always be a pencil lying
around on the floor, so I always had oneto draw with. The art
supplies came very easily.
Id Pick Up Anything ThatCame Along, Since I WasAnxious To
Part I Of A Colorful Conversation WithGolden Age Artist FRANK
BOLLEInterview Conducted by Jim Amash Transcribed by Brian K.
Holt That Pose!Frank Bolle (seen above in a 2007 photo), and his
dynamic cover for
Magazine Enterprises Tim Holt #23 (March 1952), which also
sports a photo ofWestern film star Tim Holtwhose father, Jack Holt,
was also a mostly-Western actor. Tims most celebrated film roles
were in Orson Welles TheMagnificent Ambersons (1944) and John
Hustons Treasure of the Sierra
Madre (1948)but his series of RKO cowboy movies in the late 40s
and early50s were better than the average horse operas. Thanks to
Anthony DeMaria &
Michal Dewally for the photo [2009 the respective copyright
In elementary school, we had one day a month where kids
drewturkeys that we copied for Thanksgiving, or a pumpkin, or a
Santa Clausface, or something like that. But when I got into junior
high school, wewould have one period a week for an art class. We
didnt do anythingspecial there except copy things, and most of the
kids werent really inter-ested in art. It was more like art
The teacher took me aside one time and asked, When you
graduatefrom junior high, what high school are you going to? I
said, Just thelocal school, Bushwick High, where everybody else
goes. She said, Youshould go to the High School of Music and Art. I
guess she sawsomething in me. I didnt even know where the school
was. Id never evenheard of it. She got the application for me.
Then, after I filled it outIwas what, thirteen, fourteen years
oldshe got someone to take me there.I took a test and was
Within the first few months, I met Leonard Starr, and we wound
up inthe same art class. We had math and history classes together,
too. We werevery similar types of people. We both had a sense of
humor, we were thebest in the class, and we didnt compete against
each other. Wed kidaround, and have lunch together in the
lunchroom, and took the sametrain home. He got off at 14th Street
and Union Square, and I just keptgoing to Brooklyn. Wed ride on the
subway together. Some morningsLeonard and a couple of other guys
would be on the platform, and theydcome in and wed sit together, or
mostly stand, because that was the busyhour. And when we were high
school seniors, we double-dated.
I drew comics, but only for myself. I wrote and drew
science-fictionstories in a sketchbook over the weekend, and on
Monday my art buddiesin class would say, What did you do this
weekend? You know, they werefollowing the story I was making, so Id
have to hand my sketchbookaround.
I think I was first influenced by Milton Caniff s Terry and the
Pirates.By accident, I saw some neighbor had the New York
Journal-American,which had Flash Gordon in it. I couldnt afford to
buy the newspaper, so
they saved the funnies for me every week. I began reading Flash
Gordon,Jungle Jim, The Phantom, and Prince Valiant.
After high school, I went to Pratt Institute for about six
months, andwas inducted into the Army Air Corps in 1943. The only
flying I did wasobservation flying, but I didnt fly, myself. I was
a camouflage technician. Ihid things. [mutual chuckling] I hid the
planes, and I hid installations. Idhave to fly up with the pilot
and observe whether the stuff was hiddenwell, or if there were
objects left in places that didnt matter, where theenemy would
think there was something there and waste bombs on it.That sort of
We Went Off The CliffJA: Did you do any artwork in the
BOLLE: Only for myself. For instance, wed be on a march or
something,and wed take five and smoke if you have them. I never
smoked, so I tookout my little sketchpad and drew the guys. Mostly,
I was camouflaginginstallations and things like that. The first few
months after my dischargein 46, I was recuperating because Id been
in the hospital for four months.I was in a terrible accident in
Okinawa. The driver and I were on amountain road, and he made a
turn, and there was no road there. Wewent off the cliff.
I dont know how many hours I was unconscious, but I
heardsomebody moaning in pain, and thats what woke me up. And then
Irealized it wasme that was moaning. [mutual chuckling]
JA: Did this happen at night? I know sometimes, when they were
drivingat night, you werent allowed to turn your lights on.
BOLLE: No, it was in daylight, and it was right after a typhoon,
so a lot ofroads were in bad condition. I dont know how long I was
there, butluckily, another car came by with some guys from our
outfit and they sawme down the cliff. I was all wedged between
rocks, and I had a broken jawand my whole right side was covered in
blood. And one of the big guysfrom our outfit picked me up like a
kid, [chuckles] and carried me up thehill.
They took me to a MASH outfit, where they put me on a
stretcher,and laid me on the floor because they had to wait for a
doctor to showup. The colonel doctor looked down at me and said,
Gee, I dont knowwhat I can do with that. My heart sank because I
couldnt feel anything. Ithought Id lost part of my jaw because
there was no sensation. Evenwhen I felt around with my tongue, I
couldnt feel anything. But thensome doctorI think it was a
dentistcame in and looked at me. Hetapped the inside of my mouth
with a tongue depressor. He startedmaking noises where I didnt have
any feelings, so then I realized I didntlose my whole jaw. They
wired my teeth together, but without X-rays, so Inever had a very
straight jaw again. And the rest of the stuff, they hadtooh, they
pumped me with penicillin, which was brand new in thosedays. My
whole right side was like raw skin from going down a cliff onrocks
and everything. They couldnt really bandage it, but they keptgiving
me penicillin. It was so strong that it was painful; I could feel
thepenicillin being pumped in and could taste it in my mouth. They
did thatlike every couple of hours, night and day. Once I started
healing, theysaid since the war was over, they couldnt keep me
there. There was nomilkno real milk to have, which I needed because
I was on a liquiddiet.
They flew me and a bunch of other guys back to the States. I was
up inUtica General Hospital for about four months. When I was
finally allbetter, I was shipped down to Fort Dix [New Jersey],
where I got mydischarge. For the first couple of months, I didnt do
much of anything,and then I got in touch with Leonard, who was
drawing some comics.
No Flash In The PanAs a youth, Frank read Alex Raymonds
influential Flash Gordon comic strip.As an adult, he would draw the
hero for King Features own line of comicbooks, as per this splash
from King Comics Flash Gordon #2 (1966). Thanks
to Michal Dewally. [2009 King Features Syndicate, Inc.]
Id Pick Up Anything That Came Along, Since I Was Anxious To Work
The Paper Just Reeked Of [KirbysCigar Smoke]
JA: Do you remember ever doing any work for a company called
KirbyPublishing? This would have been in the late 40s, early 50s.
There weretwo editors, and one of them, I know you know. One of
them was a guynamed John Augustin, and the other was Tex Blaisdell.
Anything aboutthis company come to mind?
BOLLE: I dont remember Kirby Publishing, but I know I did
somethingfor Simon & Kirby, briefly, because it was the only
time I quit something.It was because of Kirbys pages. I went to see
Joe Simon, who liked mywork and said, We need someone to ink this
Jack Kirby story, andhanded it to me. Kirby must have been smoking
cigars constantly, and thepaper just reeked of it. Those pages were
under my nose while I inking it,and it was making me cranky. It was
changing my personality, and I keptsaying, I cant work. So it got
to be a big joke when I told people that Iquit. And they said, You
quit? You just quit? I finished the job, but Iwouldnt take any more
work from them, because I said, Im not going towork while Im
inhaling all this smelly paper and its making me crankyand
everything. [Jim laughs] That was the big joke that went around,
thatI would quit because I couldnt stand the smell of the paper.
But it wastrue! It was awful. It smelled like the penciler soaked
the paper in tobaccosmoke!
Tex Blaisdell made a big joke out of it. He said, This guy quit
inkingJack Kirby because he couldnt stand the smell of the paper.
You knowthat I never smoked. When I was in the service, I could
have gotten all thecigarettes I wanted for free; they were giving
them away. It just wassomething that didnt appeal to me. Im glad
now, because I probablywould have gotten second-hand smoke from
working on those pages.[laughter] It just reeked unbelievably. I
had to wash my hands after doingone or two stories for them, but
then I said, No, thats it. Im not doingany more.
JA:What was Tex like? Ive heard a variety of opinions on
BOLLE: He was funny. He was very tall. I dont remember exactly
where Imet him, but he was a friend of Leonards, and he knew so
many peoplethat I knew so I got to know him socially, too. When
Leonard was doingOn Stage, I was working with him and Tex. I was
penciling. We used Texas a cowboy character in the story for a
while, so we took pictures of Texfor reference. I knew his wife and
family, too, because he would throw aparty every once in a
JA: Leonard described him as being sad towards the end.
BOLLE: Yes, he was. He did a lot of drinking. I never saw him
without acigarette or without a drink in his hand.
JA: Around 1949, 50, I have you as working for St. John
Publications,doing adventures and romance.
BOLLE: I remember working for them, but I dont remember too
muchabout it. I did a John Wayne comic book, for Toby Press. I got
to knowthe editor, Mel Lazarus, then, and later on when Id meet him
at theNational Cartoonists meetings. I was even at his house one
time when Iwas doing some stuff for him when he was living in
Sheepshead Bay, Ithink.
JA: In 1954, I have you working for a company called Story
Comics. Youwere doing covers for The Masked Ranger. [chuckles]
Sounds like aversion of The Lone Ranger, doesnt he?
I Drew Tim Holt For The Next Few YearsBOLLE: You dont have any
mention of working for MagazineEnterprises? I thought I started at
Magazine Enterprises earlier.
JA: Yes, Ive got you starting there in 48.
BOLLE: That sounds right. Ray Krank, the editor, hired me. I
66 A Colorful Conversation With Golden Age Artist Frank
Youve Really Got A Holt On MeTim Holt (on the left in photo) in
a publicity still done for his popular RKO
Westernsjuxtaposed with a Bolle splash from Tim Holt #31
(Aug.-Sept. 1952),in the days before Holts comic book incarnation
first donned a crimsonbandanna. The Redmask persona was perhaps an
unconscious nod to afellow Magazine Enterprises cowboy-movie
licensee, The Durango Kid.
Thanks to James Zanotto for the Kiowa scan.
In the films, Tim had a pal named Chito (full name: Chito Jose
GonzalesBustamonte Rafferty!), played by Richard Martin, seen on
right in photoandcaricatured with Holt on the Doom Trail! splash.
Despite his exaggeratedaccent, Chito, who appeared in some of the
early comics stories, was less
stereotyped than most Mexican sidekicks of the day. Photo and
Doom Trail!art are reprod from comics published by Bill Blacks AC
Comics. Many Tim
Holt/Redmask and Durango Kid stories originally published by
VinSullivans ME have been reprinted by AC Comics, some in its
revival of MEsBest of the West title. For a list of ACs many mags
still available, check out
its website at accomics.com. [Doom Trail! splash 2009 AC
Harvey Kurtzman, Two-Fisted Tales #22, July 1951.[2009 William
M. Gaines Agent, Inc.]
Kurtzmans cover drawing for the Guide to Camp Maxey Texas
booklet, 1945[2009 the respective copyright holders.]
Introductionby Michael T. Gilbert
In past issues, the Dutch comics scholar Ger Apeldoorn (see pp.4
ff. in this very issue!) has shared little-seen Harvey Kurtzman
artwith us, including Varsity Magazine illustrations unseen since
theywere originally published in the late 40s. Now he has
uncoveredsome exceptionally rare cartoons that Kurtzman drew in the
military,long before he created Mad. Take it away, Ger
Lost Kurtzman:The War Years!
by Ger Apeldoorn
arvey Kurtzman was a pack rat.
For most of his life he kept the originals, rough sketches,
andtear sheets for all of his published pieces. His habit of
hoarding everythingproved quite helpful when super-fan Glenn Bray
assembled his exhaustiveIllustrated Harvey Kurtzman Index in 1976.
Still, even Kurtzman didntkeep every scrap of paper, so the guide
has inevitable gaps. Mr. Monsterwas kind enough to reprint rare
examples of Kurtzmans earliest satiricalpieces for Varsity Magazine
in Alter Ego #33 & #34. This time around,Ive discovered some
Kurtzman pieces so unique theyre not evenmentioned in the Kurtzman
index! But first, lets backtrack a bit.
Harvey Kurtzmans career in comics started in 1939, when he sold
agag to Tip Top Comics #36 for a dollar. By late 1942, the
18-year-oldcartoonist was working as an apprentice to Louis
Ferstadt, drawing stripsfor Prize and Ace. Black Venus, Mr. Risk,
and Lash Lightning allfeature Kurtzmans solo art, but most fans
consider these early works tobe less important. When we see him
next, his style seems fully developed.So where did he learn to draw
74 Mr. Monsters Comic Crypt!
(Left:) Murphys Mess Boy from Ace Periodicals Four Favorites
#8(Dec. 1942). Art by Harvey Kurtzman & Louis Ferstadt.
(Above:) Kurtzmans Lash Lightning splash from Four Favorites
#9(Feb. 1943) [2009 the respective copyright holders.]
In all likelihood, it was in the Army. Afterlooking around, Ive
discovered some facts aboutKurtzmans military career. Exactly when
heenlisted is unknown, but in early 1944 he wastransferred to Camp
Sutton in Sutton, NorthCarolina, a training camp for Army
engineers.Kurtzman, however, stayed for more than therequisite six
weeks. We know this because he drewa strip for the camp newspaper,
the Camp SuttonCarry-All, titled Pvt. Brown, Knows, as in
brown-nose, slang for someone who kisses up to the boss!The
single-tier strip featured gags about newrecruits not unlike
Kurtzman himself. I could onlyfind ten of the seventeen or so
strips, copied for mefrom the brittle original papers by a kind
locallibrarian. Here he is about halfway into his laterstylestill
funny, but his characters arent as livelyas they would become
In July 1945, all recruits moved elsewhere whenCamp Sutton
became a German Prisoner-of-Warcamp. Kurtzman probably went with
them shortlybefore it closed, though I havent discovered where.We
next see his art in spring 1945 at Camp Maxey,a training camp in
Paris, Texas. I tried trackingdown the camp newspaper for that
period andfound a bound set in the towns junior high
school.Unfortunately, the librarian claimed it was toofragile to be
used for research, so I did mine fromHolland through the Internet
Long-distance research can yield great results,but does have its
limits. Thankfully, I found amicrofiche run of the strip, which the
TexasHistorical Society mailed me on loan.
Though I originally thought Kurtzman mighthave been the lead
illustrator for theMaxey Times,only a few of his illustrations
appeared, includingtwo sports cartoons and a full-page
VictorySuggestions from Camp Maxey, as well as anarticle about the
Guide to Camp Maxey. The mainMaxey Times artist turned out to be
Lt. FrankInterlandi, brother of cartoonist Phil Interlandi (a
(Above:) Pvt. Brown, Knows, drawn by Kurtzmanin 1944 for The
Camp Sutton Carry-All.
[2009 the respective copyright holders.](Right:) Yankee
Ingenuity, Maxey Times, May 25, 1945.
[2009 Maxey Times.]
Lost Kurtzman: The War Years 75
The Power OfSchaffenberger!
Mark Voger & Howard Bender On One Of ComicsMost Talented
Edited by P.C. Hamerlinck
[FCA EDITORS INTRODUCTION: A year and a half before hisdeath in
1989, Captain Marvel artist C.C. Beck wrote, during one ofour
correspondences: Kurt Schaffenberger is a very talented artist,and
came closer than anyone else to drawing the Marvel Family intheir
original forms. Kurt has a great sense of humor, loves to
telldialect jokes, and was quite a musician on the squeeze
box(accordion) in the old days when we got together at each
Here, in the first of our double-feature on Schaff, Mark
Voger,author of Hero Gets Girl! The Life and Art of Kurt
Schaffenbergerexplores some of those Fawcett get-togethers with
DorothySchaffenberger, wife of the revered comic book artist, as
she takes usback to the couples newlywed years.
In the second section, comics artist Howard Bender shares
withFCA readers some of his favorite Kurt Anecdotes from his time
I was fortunate to meet the genial Schaffenberger on Memorial
Day1995 in Woodbridge, New Jersey, where the artists retorts to my
usualnumerous Fawcett-related questions yielded a polite I dont
know,Paulit was just a job! response. While he passed away in
early2002, FCA continues to be home for the memory of the clean
story-telling style and the warm, lighthearted, human approach
which wasthat of one of comics finest and most devoted craftsmen:
Get-Togethers In FawcettHeaven
by Mark Voger
he way Dorothy Schaffenberger tells it, FCA readers could be
inFawcett Heaven by hopping a time machine to the late 1940s
innorthern New Jersey.
Thats when, and where, many of the movers and shakers
behindCaptain Marvel and company gathered for intimate little
get-togethersafter the work week to blow off steamand to keep
thoughts of WorldWar II at a comfortable distance.
Dorothy is the widow of the late, great Kurt Schaffenberger, who
The Invincible Schaffenbergers(Above:) Kurt and Dorothy
Schaffenberger tied the knot on March 30, 1946.Their wedding was
held at St. Pauls Chapel in Englewood, NJ. Dorothysmatron of honor
was Ione Binder, wife of prolific Marvel Family writer OttoBinder.
Kurts old boss, Jack Binder, and fellow Binder Shop artist Ken
were both part of the wedding party. [Photo courtesy of
DorothySchaffenberger; scan courtesy of Mark Voger.]
(Left:) Kurt and Dorothy (or characters greatly resembling them)
team upwith Ibis and Taia in the Ibis the Invincible story from
Whiz Comics #87(July 1947). Schaffenberger occasionally drew
likenesses of his wife andhimself into comic book stories for
Fawcett and other companies. [Ibis the
Invincible TM & 2009 DC Comics.]
trated the adventures of Captain Marvel, Captain Marvel Jr.,
Mary Marvel,Ibis the Invincible, and their colorful cohorts. Kurt
died in 2002 at age 81.
Dorothy now lives in Maryland near her daughter, Susan Kelly,
whereshe is enjoying her six grandchildren and six
great-grandchildren.Theres never a dull moment around here, Dorothy
said with a laugh.
She fondly recalls those days after the war when she and Kurt
wouldget together on the weekends with other Fawcett creators and
their wives:C.C. and Hilda Beck; Jack and Olga Binder; Otto and
Ione Binder; Peteand Agnes Riss; Charlie and Audrey Tomsey.
Almost every Saturday night, Dorothy said. It was wonderful.
Newlyafter Kurt and I were married, none of us had too much money.
What wewould do is, wed go bowling and then go back to different
houses; wedtake turns hosting. The guys would play cardssometimes
Hilda Beckwould play with themand the girls would do hand work.
Doing that hand work (such as crafts, clothing, even
makinglampshades) among friends eased the drudgery for the young
It was the best at Christmastime, Dorothy said. Each woman
wouldmake one or two batches of cookie dough. We usually met at
IoneBinders. The boys would be off bowling; its a wonder they didnt
get aticket on the way home. We all had assignments. One of us
the oven; one would roll out the dough; one would decorate. By
the end ofthe evening, we had all of our holiday cookies done.
Kurt and Dorothy met in 1941, shortly after Kurt entered the
comicsfield after graduating from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Kurt
had beenworking at the Jack Binder shop in Englewood, New Jerseya
studiothat provided artwork to comic book publishers, including
FawcettPublications. Kurt and a fellow Pratt alum, Nat Champlin,
becameroommates at a boarding house in Englewood.
As Dorothy recalled: The woman who rented the room, Mrs.
Bogert,was my mothers best friend. Well, Nat wanted to meet some
babes. Thatwas just male talk in those daysyou didnt call women
babes to their
Becks Rookin New YearCaptain Marvel artist C.C. Beck typed up
this program for one of the Fawcett
gangs New Years Eve parties, which included a play written by
OttoBinder and featuring Kurt Schaffenberger as Father Time, Beck
as the OldYear, one-time opera singer (later comics writer) Carl
Formes as another
Old Year, and Dorothy Schaffenberger as the New Year
Babe,(supported by Becks wife Hildur). The flipside of the program
is a menu,with a Schaffenburger as one listed item of cuisine. This
relic was dug up
by P.C. Hamerlinck from among his original Beck file
Unknown But Known ArtistA Nemesis Adventures into the Unknown
cover for issue #165 (June-July1966) by Schaffenberger (under his
Lou Wahl non de plume). Schaff-fans
can now rejoice in the release of Dark Horses Nemesis Archives
andMagicman Archives. The artist co-created both super-heroes under
theauspices of Richard E. Hughes, the American Comics Group editor
employed Schaffenberger for more than a decade, beginning in
1955. Theintroduction to both volumes designates Pete
Schaffenbergeras the characters co-creator with Hughesa claim
forwhich many would be anxious to see the research.
biographer Mark Voger comments: While a quibble over creator
credit forthese admittedly minor characters may not reach the
heights of the Bob
Kane/Bill Finger debate, I will say this about Schaffenberger
with supremeconfidence: he was never one to exaggerate his
respective copyright owners.]
84 FCA [Fawcett Collectors Of America]
My Kurt Anecdotesby Howard Bender
MY FIRST MEETINGThe first time I met Kurt was autumn 1974. It
was my first job
interview at DC Comics, at its old Lexington Ave. offices. Jack
Alder, DCComics production manager, was showing me around the
bullpen andintroduced me to Kurt, who at the time was standing at a
table lookingover some pages of art. As I recall, he was a tall,
well-groomed man with apencil mustache and a loud green plaid
sports jacket, ascot, beret, and along ivory cigarette holder. I
swear he looked just like Mr. Tawny fromShazam!but without the
tigers head. Years later, as I recalled our firstmeeting, Kurt had
this take: Bender, I may have had the plaid sportsjacket, but never
the ascot and beret, and never a tigers head. Hmm, mymistake: it
must have been the realMr. Tawny I met that day!
LOIS LANE, NUDE REPORTERKurt penciled or inked two pages of
comic book art a day, and his
schedule took him into Manhattan twice a week, on Tuesdays
andThursdays. The days in New York City were spent delivering and
pickingup work for DC Comics in the morning, and in the afternoons,
at his deskat the ACG (American Comics Group) editorial offices. It
was therewhere he worked on covers and special Custom Comics comic
bookassignments. Around 1972, when the ACG/Custom Comics
workedslowed down, Kurt took the extra time to sit in on some life
drawingclasses at the Art Students League on West 57th St. and
Broadway. Usingnude female models, Kurt masterfully did each
beautifully drawn studyon gray paper with black and white conte
crayon. Amazingly enough,each bears an uncanny resemblance to Lois
THE DAVY CROCKETT MYSTERY SOLVEDACGs Forbidden Worlds #39 gave
us The Davy Crockett Mystery!,
written by editor Richard E. Hughesand illustrated by
KurtSchaffenberger. Talk about youroddball stories! This one has
thefrontier hero, almost dead from theBattle of the Alamo, drinking
froma fountain of youth that allows himto live on to fight in every
majorAmerican war, up to andincluding World War II,where he dies
heroically andthen decomposes into aclump of smoldering bones.
This hard-to-come-by comicbook took me the better part oftwo
years to find. The funnypart about the whole two-yearjourney was
that the artist whodrew this amazingly weirdstory was right there
thewhole time, and neither oneof us knew it! At the time,Kurt and I
did many comicbook shows appearancestogether, where Id search
forCrockett comics for my collection.
Could You Hand Me Your Cape, Superman?In the early 70s,
Schaffenberger took time to sit in on life drawing classes atthe
Art Students League on West 57th St. and Broadway in NYC. Each
piece heproduced there bore an uncanny resemblance to the Man of
Steels gal, Lois
Lane. [2009 Estate of Kurt Schaffenberger.]
Fashion Statementa loud green plaid sports jacket
Schaffenberger art for the Mr. Tawny entryin Whos Who: The
Definitive Directory ofthe DC Universe #15 (May 1986). [2009
86 FCA [Fawcett Collectors Of America]
King of the Wild FrontierSchaffenberger drew this sketch of
coonskin-capped hero Davy Crockett forHoward Bender, who had
searched earnestly and eventually located the
Crockett story in ACGs Forbidden Worlds #39 drawn by none other
thanKurt Schaffenberger. [2009 the respective copyright