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Roy ThomasMad, Mad, Mad Comics Fanzine No.86 June 2008 $ 6.95 In the USA WHAT HATH KURTZMAN WROUGHT? Those Frantic Four-Color Mad Wannabes Of 1953-56 FRANK BOLLE & FRANK BOLLE & PLUS: PLUS: Kurtzman caricature ©2009 Harvey Kurtzman Estate; other art ©2009 the respective copyright holders. 1 8 2 6 5 8 2 7 7 6 3 5 0 6

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ALTER EGO #86 (100 pages, $6.95) asks “WHAT HATH KURTZMAN WROUGHT?” as it examines those Frantic Four-Color MAD Wannabes of 1953-55—the era when everybody was copying HARVEY KURTZMAN’s new EC smash! See Captain Marble—Mighty Moose—Drag-ula—“I Love Loosely”—Prince Scallion—Flush Jordan, et al.—lavishly illustrated by SIMON & KIRBY, KUBERT & MAURER, ANDRU & ESPOSITO, BILL EVERETT, GENE COLAN, CARL BURGOS, RUSS HEATH, JOE MANEELY, L.B. COLE, BOB POWELL, DICK AYERS, WILLIAM OVERGARD, HOWARD NOSTRAND, DICK GIORDANO, & many others! Plus Part I of a talk with Golden/Silver Age artist FRANK BOLLE (Red Mask, Crimebuster, Dr. Solar)— MICHAEL T. GILBERT and Mr. Monster—FCA (Fawcett Collectors of America), and more! Edited by Roy Thomas.

Text of Alter Ego #86

  • Roy ThomasMad,Mad,MadComics Fanzine


    $6.95In the USA

    WHAT HATHKURTZMANWROUGHT?Those Frantic Four-Color Mad

    Wannabes Of 1953-56




    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 subscription funds to TwoMorrows, NOT to the editorial offices.Single issues: $9 US ($11.00 Canada, $16 elsewhere). Twelve-issue subscriptions: $88 US, $140 Canada, $210 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


    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 the mid-1950s.

    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 copyright holders.]

    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 holders.]

    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 WhiteMike Friedrich

    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 RogoffDorothySchaffenberger

    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 typewriter.)

    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 fandom reunion!


    P.S.: Apologies to Samuel F.B. Morse for the title of our lead article!

    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!


    [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!


    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] www.twomorrows.com

    TwoMorrows. Celebrating The Art &History Of Comics


    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 Danielsexcellenthardcover.

    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 Imitators

    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 article was

    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 manner.

    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 story there

    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 Simon.

    [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 reprint. [Tiers

    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 Imitators

    Before We WentMadLampoons ThatMight Have Influenced

    Harvey Kurtzman

  • What Hath Kurtzman Wrought? 7


    Start-Up Data For MadsImitators

    by John BensonThe sudden influx ofMad imitations was obviously due toMads

    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 comic.)

    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

    Norman Maurer.]

    12 An Issue-By-Issue Look At Those Mid-1950s Mad Comics Imitators

  • 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 Imitators

  • 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 cooking

    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

    Norman Maurer.]

    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 Virginia

    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 p. 39.]

    Or did he? When Riot restarted for its three-issue 1956 run, Lee

    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 things.

    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 Imitators

  • 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 intricately connected.

    And A Cast Of DozensBut not only Stan Lee was fired up by this

    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 this

    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 design.

    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 details.

    [2009 Russ Heath.]

  • The Mummy Walks. Carl Burgos (unsigned). 4 pp. Horror parody. Job#E-319.

    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 kinder-gartens.

    The Men from Mars. Howie Post (signed). 5 pp. Sci-fi parody. Job #E-414.

    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. Job #E-173.

    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 #E-288.

    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). Western shoot-out.

    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 the movie.

    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 Imitators

  • 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 watchestelevision.

    Crazys Fun Page. Dan DeCarlo (unsigned). One-page puzzles. Job#E-566.

    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, andRobot Wagner!

    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 parody. Job#D-685?

    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 story.Job #D-672.

    The Frozen North. Brodsky (unsigned). 4-pp. Exploration parody. Job#D-689.

    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 imitations sweepstakes.

    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, Derby, Connecticut

    #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 showparody.

    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 parody.

    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. Mounties parody.

    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 restraint.

    Thats How TV Was Born!! Art by Dick Ayers (signed). 3 pp. Wrestlingparody.

    [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. Black-&-white,back cover.

    Eh! Look!The cast of artists in Eh! #1 consisted of Dick Ayers, Dick

    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 holders.]

    46 An Issue-By-Issue Look At Those Mid-1950s Mad Comics Imitators

  • #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. Horrorparody.

    Little Arties Scouts! Art by Dick Ayers (unsigned). 5 pp. Televisionparody.

    A takeoff on Arthur Godfreys popular TV talent show. (SeeWhack#2 entry above.)

    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. Radioparody.

    The Great Discovery. 2-pp. text story.

    The Four Mosquitoes!Art by Dick Ayers (signedAyers). 7 pp. Genreparody.

    Eh!s Wails! Art by DickAyers (signed). Puzzlepage.

    Squeeeezerama in 5-D!Art by Dick Ayers (signed).6 pp. Movie gimmickparody.

    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 page. Who-done-it.

    Electro-cuter Fat Reducer. Artist unknown. Ad parody. Inside backcover, b&w.

    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. Bookparody.

    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 pp.

    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 being reprod.

    [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 from

    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 you.Jim.

    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 Work

    Part I Of A Colorful Conversation WithGolden Age Artist FRANK BOLLEInterview Conducted by Jim Amash Transcribed by Brian K. Morris


    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 holders.]


  • 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 appreciation.

    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 accepted.

    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 thing.

    We Went Off The CliffJA: Did you do any artwork in the service?

    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 61

  • 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 him.

    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 while.

    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 brought in

    66 A Colorful Conversation With Golden Age Artist Frank Bolle

    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 Comics.]

  • 73


    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 like that?


    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 later.

    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 instead.

    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

  • [Shazam!heroes,Superm











  • The Power OfSchaffenberger!

    Mark Voger & Howard Bender On One Of ComicsMost Talented Gentlemen

    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 othershouses.

    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 asSchaffenbergers friend/colleague/liaison.

    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: KurtSchaffenberger.P.C. Hamerlinck.]

    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 illus-

    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 Bald,

    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 women.

    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 would work

    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 material.

    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 who

    employed Schaffenberger for more than a decade, beginning in 1955. Theintroduction to both volumes designates Pete Costanzanot

    Schaffenbergeras the characters co-creator with Hughesa claim forwhich many would be anxious to see the research. Schaffenberger

    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 accomplishments. [2009

    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 Lane.

    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

    DC Comics.]

    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 holders.]