Alter Ego #136

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In ALTER EGO #136 (100 full-color pages, $9.95), ROY THOMAS talks to JIM AMASH about celebrating his 50th year in comics—and especially about the ’90s at Marvel! Get the end-of-century lowdown on Avengers West Coast, Dr. Strange, The Invaders, Fantastic Four Unlimited, Secret Defenders, Conan the Adventurer, Saga of the Sub-Mariner, and other Roy features. Art by TRIMPE, GUICE, RYAN, ROSS, BUCKLER, HOOVER, KAYANAN, BUSCEMA, CHAN, VALENTINO, and others! Plus FCA (Fawcett Collectors of America), Mr. Monster’s Comic Crypt, AMY KISTE NYBERG on the Comics Code, and a cover caricature of Roy by MARIE SEVERIN, surrounded by some of Roy's finest characters! This bonus-size issue is edited by (who else?) ROY THOMAS.

Text of Alter Ego #136

  • Roy ThomasMonumentalComics Fanzine

    $9.95In the USA






    Characters TM & 2015 Marvel Characters, Inc.RT cartoon Marie Severin

    1 82658 27763 5

    0 8 BONUS!STAN LEE &

    KEVIN SMITHJoin ROY at a 2014 confab!

  • Vol. 3, No. 136 / November 2015

    EditorRoy Thomas

    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

    Groovy Kind(website)

    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: 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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  • The Lee-Thomas-SmithShow

    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.

  • Come January 2, the first workday of the new year, I dulydelivered my text via e-mail and prepared to return to the Leebook, among my other pursuits. A couple of weeks later, however,the two Taschen editors got back to me and said that, althoughhed delivered a fine outline, my prospective co-author, due toillness, had been unable to scribe his half of the main text. So Joshand Nina asked me to write the 1974-2014 segment of the work,as well. Reluctant to do so, I suggested several other names tothem but, in the end, I was persuaded to agree to finish thebook, as long as my colleague Danny Fingeroth (co-editor withme and major producer of the 2011 TwoMorrows study The StanLee Universe, and himself a former Marvel writer and editor)was commissioned to help me with research on the 1980s andbeyond. That alone would make it possible for me to finish thetext by spring, balancing it with work on Alter Ego and otherprojects; obviously, we would be sever