Vol. 3, No. 136 / November 2015
Associate EditorsBill SchellyJim Amash
Design & LayoutChristopher Day
Consulting EditorJohn Morrow
FCA EditorP.C. HamerlinckJ.T. Go (Assoc. Editor)
Comic Crypt EditorMichael T. Gilbert
Editorial Honor RollJerry G. Bails (founder)Ronn Foss, Biljo WhiteMike Friedrich
ProofreadersRob SmentekWilliam J. Dowlding
Cover ArtistsMarie Severin, Andre Coates, Jackson Guice, Dave Hoover, David Ross, Lou Harrison, & an inker or three
With Special Thanks to:
ContentsWriter/Editorial: 50Count Em50! . . . . . . . . 2The Lee-Thomas-Smith Show . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Stan, Roy, & Kevin on 75 Years of Marvelthe book & the phenomenon!
I Felt I Belonged At Marvel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30Roy Thomas talks to Jim Amash about his life as a freelance comics writer, 1986-1999.
Seal Of Approval: The History Of The Comic Code . . . . . . . 71Concluding Amy K. Nybergs study of comics censorship.
Mr. Monsters Comic Crypt! Kid Stuff! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79Michael T. Gilbert on Roy T.s 75th birthdayand other boy wonders!
FCA [Fawcett Collectors Of America] #195 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85P.C. Hamerlinck introduces fans and pros who congratulate Captain Marvel on his 75th!
On Our Cover: Around the turn of 1965-66, Roy Thomas and pal Gary Friedrich moved into anapartment in the heart of bohemian Greenwich Village, across Bleecker Street from the studio of asculptor who taught a beginning class on Saturdays. Roy took one early-morning lesson and, thefollowing Monday, told his fellow Marvel staffer Marie Severin about it. Before hed even fullydecided to quit the class (which he did), Marie had drawn a devastatingly perceptive office cartoonshe titled Roys First Day at Sculpting Class. Ten years ago, at his pleading, she drew a moredetailed version of it, since he had misplaced the original over the decades, and that re-do serves asthe ironic centerpiece to a montage featuring published art from some Marvel series that Roy wroteduring the 1990s: The Invaders by Dave HooverDr. Strange by Jackson Guice & inker JosMarzanThe Secret Defenders by Andre Coates & inker Don HudsonAvengers WestCoast & Ultron by David Ross & inker Tim Dzonand Thor, a figure from a cover painted byLou Harrison. Oh, and thanks to Shane Foley for the cover ideayoull understand why whenyou see A/E #139. [Cartoon Marie Severin; Marvel art TM & Marvel Characters, Inc.]
Above: Stan Lee (on left) and Roy Thomas are interviewed by Kevin Smith (not seen here, butdirector/writer of the films Clerks, Mallrats, et al.) onstage at L.A.s Hammer Museum onDecember 6, 2014. The official occasion was the publication of Taschens gigantic volume 75 Years ofMarvel: From the Golden Age to the Silver Screen. Kevin seized the opportunity to query Roy,as well as Stan, about their early lives and careers, thereby making a transcription of the entireproceedings perfect for inclusion in this issue timed to celebrate Roys 50th year in the comic bookindustry, dating from late June 1965 (or a few months earlier, if you count two freelance stories RTwrote for Charlton). See pp. 3-28. Projected overhead are images from the mid-1950s revival of
Captain America. Thanks to Darin Klein of the Hammer Museum for providing the photo.
Heidi AmashPedro AngostoGer ApeldoornMarcus AntritterBob BaileyMichael BairJosh BakerJohn BensonClaudia BestorWilliam BigginsJackson BostwickEliot R. BrownRich BucklerNick CaputoComic Vine
(website)Tim & JoAnn
ConradJon B. CookeBrian CreminsTeresa DavidsonDiversions of the
Sean DulaneyJennie-Lynn FalkGeorge FerrissDanny FingerothShane FoleyStephan FriedtJanet GilbertMike GoldGrand Comics
Database (website)guttertrash (website)George HagenauerBill HallThe Hammer
Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Ron & Jan Harris
Sean HoweDr. M. Thomas IngeDanny KaminskyDarin KleinDavid Anthony
KraftStan LeeMark LewisAlan LightJean-Marc & Randy
LofficierRichard A. LupoffDennis MalloneeBoyd MagersDoug MartinMike MikulovskyBrian K. MorrisClayton MooreFrank MotlerMark MullerHoy MurphyDr. Amy K. NybergBarry PearlJohn G. PierceJay PiscopoRubn ProcopioMike RockwitzDavid & Judi RossRandy SargentVija ShahKevin SmithJason StrangisDann ThomasClayton ThorpMichael UslanDr. Michael J.
VassalloJoss WhedonNina WienerMike Zeck
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@example.com. Send subscription funds to TwoMorrows, NOT to the editorial offices. Eight-issue subscriptions: $67 US, $85 Canada, $104 elsewhere. All characters are their respective companies. All material their creators unless otherwise noted. All editorial matter Roy Thomas. Alter Ego is a TM of Roy & Dann Thomas. FCA is a TM of P.C. Hamerlinck. Printed in China. ISSN: 1932-6890
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STAN LEE, ROY THOMAS, & KEVIN SMITH On75 Years Of MarvelThe Book & The Phenomenon
Dec. 6, 2014, Panel at The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA Transcribed by Brian K. Morris
Part I By The BookIntroduction by Roy Thomas
ometime around the middle or so of 2013, I wasasked by Taschen Publishing editors Josh Baker andNina Wiener to temporarily halt my writing of
what is to be a humongous book about the career ofMarvel Comics editor, writer, and publisher Stan Lee,which Id begun a few months earlierand to switch overto writing an, if anything, even more humongous volumeabout the first 75 years of Marvelfrom 1939 to 2014.By contract with Marvel, this new tome had to be on salein time for Christmas of 14, giving it scheduling priorityover the Lee book.
Heavy Promotion For Heavy Reading(Left:) Barry Pearl sent us this composition he calls Heavy Reading: the cover of
the 17-pound Taschen Publishing book 75 Years of Marvel: From the Golden Age to theSilver Screen (with its Jack Kirby/George Roussos image from the cover of
The Avengers #4, March 1964) being hefted Atlas-like by the Hulk, as rendered by Jim Steranko for the cover of The Incredible Hulk [King-Size Special] #1, dated
Oct. 1968. The latter was actually the first Hulk annual. [TM & Marvel Characters, Inc.]
(Above:) The Taschen books bylined author, longtime Marvel writer and editor Roy Thomas (at center of photo), and film director Kevin Smith (on right) are clearly
enthralled as Marvel writer/editor/publisher/super-legend Stan Lee (on left) relates ananecdoteor maybe he was actually singing The Merry Marvel Marching SocietySong, as he kept threatening to do during the panel, and somehow the Hammer
Museum folks neglected to record it! Thanks to Darin Klein, public programs associateof the museum, for sending all photos from the panel and from the
book-signing afterward that appear with this transcription. And thanks to Stan Lee,Kevin Smith, and Claudia Bestor for their kind permission to print this transcription.
I happily agreed to author the first half of the book, which I suggesteddeal with events through late 1974, when I stepped down after two-plusyears as Marvels editor-in-chief in favor of a writer/editor contract butI requested that someone else pick up the story from that point, since Ihadnt followed current comics closely since then. Taschen reluctantlyagreed, and I set to work, with a January 1, 2014, deadline for my portionof the work. A talented journalist on the West Coast was swiftlycontracted to do the latter half of the book.