Alter Ego #140

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ALTER EGO #140 (80 full-color pages, $8.95) is a special issue devoted to Golden Age great IRWIN HASEN, who passed away recently at nearly age 97! This feature is adapted from DAN MAKARA’s film documentary on Hasen, the 1940s artist of the Justice Society, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Wildcat, Holyoke’s Cat-Man, and numerous other classic heroes—and, for 30 years, the artist of the famous Dondi newspaper strip! Bonus art by his buddies JOE KUBERT, ALEX TOTH, CARMINE INFANTINO, SHELLY MAYER, et al.! Plus MICHAEL T. GILBERT in Mr. Monster's Comic Crypt, BILL SCHELLY on comics fandom history, FCA (Fawcett Collector’s of America) section, and more! Edited by ROY THOMAS.

Text of Alter Ego #140

  • Ir w inWasHere!

    $8.95In the USA

    No.140June2016

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    TM &

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    s.

    CELEBRATINGGOLDEN AGE GREAT

    FROM THE JUSTICE SOCIETY

    TO DONDIAND BACK AGAIN!

    Roy ThomasStanding-Room-OnlyComics Fanzine

    IRWIN HASEN

    18

    26

    58

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    05

    23

  • Vol. 3, No. 140 / June 2016

    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 ArtistsShane Foley(adapting the work of Irwin Hasen)

    Cover ColoristTom Ziuko

    With Special Thanks to:

    ContentsWriter/Editorial: Chasin Hasen . . . . . . . 2HasenThe Documentary. . . . . . . . . . . . 3

    A transcript of Dan Makaras unseen film about (and starring) Golden Age artist Irwin Hasen.

    Mr. Monsters Comic Crypt! The Wallace McPherson Interview. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

    Michael T. Gilbert presents Shaun Clancy and the fan who may have created MLJs Black Jack!

    Comic Fandom Archive: Gordon Belljohn Love Changed My Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

    Part 4 of Bill Schellys multi-issue tribute to G.B. Love, founder of the RBCC adzine.

    Tributes to Murphy Anderson and Leonard Starr . . . . . . . . 51re: [correspondence, comments, & corrections] . . . . . . . . . 57FCA [Fawcett Collectors Of America] #199 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .73

    P.C. Hamerlinck completes his study of artist Ray Harford & the Ghost Army of WWII.

    On Our Cover: Several years ago, as an illustration for an alternate history in which M.C. GainesAll-American Comics Group had taken over National/DC instead of vice versa, Shane Foley createdwhat is basically a sort of alternate inking (which included altering four characters into four differentones) of Irwin Hasens classic cover for All-Star Comics #37 (Oct.-Nov. 1947), with Superman andBatman standing in for Johnny Thunder and The Atomand The Joker and Luthor replacing TheGambler and The Thinker. (Shane also re-positioned Dr. Mid-Nite, to help Superman and Batman bespotlighted more clearly.) Not only was All-Stars Justice Society of America one of Irwins majorcomic book assignmentsand not only was one of the JSA the Golden Age Green Lantern, the hero forwhom he was a regular artist both before and after his Army service in World War IIbut Hasen evenseems to have drawn the Superman and Batman chapters in All-Star #36 (Aug.-Sept. 47). Thatmade this well-executed adaptation illo ideal for the cover of this edition of Alter Ego. The photo ofIrwin was taken by Mad artist Sergio Aragons. [JSA heroes & villains TM & DC Comics.]

    Above: The most noteworthy of several 1940s heroes that Irwin Hasen co-created was Wildcat, inAll-Americans Sensation Comics, behind cover heroine Wonder Woman. These dramatic panels arefrom Sensation #14 (Feb. 1943). Scripter unknown. Hasen always maintained that the initialconcept of the series was his, but that Bill Finger was brought aboard by editor Shelly Mayer to writethe early stories. Thanks to Doug Martin. [TM & DC Comics.]

    Neal AdamsAaron AllenHeidi AmashSergio AragonsBob BaileyRobert R. BarrettAlberto BecattiniRick BeyerChristopher BoykoAlan BrennertAaron CaplanJanice ChiangShaun ClancyComic Book Plus

    websiteCraig DelichSean DulaneyJohn R. EllisJules FeifferMichael FeldmanDanny FingerothJohn FishelShane FoleyHenry G. Franke IIIBill GalloJanet GilbertGrand Comics

    DatabaseJay Harford

    Steve HarfordBrett J.Jim KealyRobert KennedyMichael LearnPaul LevitzArt LortieJim LudwigDan MakaraDoug MartinChellie MayerWallace McPhersonMichael NorwitzCharles PeltoSteven RoweRandy SargentTom SawyerElizabeth SaylesWilliam SaylesSheila ShapiraAnthony SnyderMark SquirekDann ThomasJim TyneMichael UslanJames Van HiseHames WareSteven G. WillisEddy Zeno

    This issue is dedicated to the memory ofIrwin Hasen, Murphy Anderson,

    & Leonard StarrAlter 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: roydann@ntinet.com. Send subscription funds to TwoMorrows, NOT to the editorial offices. Eight-issue subscriptions: $73 US, $116 International, $31.60 Digital Only. 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

    FIRST PRINTING.

  • A. My Friend Irwinhave many best friends. My wife is my best friend. My son,

    my dog, even my cat we are best friends.

    Irwin Hasen was my Best Friend. Id wanted to meet himbecause I thought All-Star Comics was the numero uno comic bookof All Time and Irwin had drawn the best of the best All-Starstories.

    HASENThe Documentary

    A Film& SoundtrackAbout Golden Age Great IRWIN HASEN

    by Dan Makara

    Irwin Was Here!Irwin Hasen (on left, above) and Dan Makara a few years ago at the

    Wonder Woman Museum in Bethel, Connecticut; it was founded by the familyof WW co-creator William Marston. Also on this page are a Hasen re-creationof his very first Justice Society cover, for All-Star Comics #33 (Feb.-March1947)and a classic color sketch of the comic strip waif Dondi atop a duffel

    bag. The latter image was used as the cover of Classic Comics Presscollection Dondi by Gus Edson and Irwin Hasen, Vol. 1 (2007); courtesy of

    Charles Pelto. That series two volumes are still in print; see ad on p. 3. TheAll-Star re-creation is courtesy of owner Mark Squirek. [JSA & SolomonGrundy TM & DC Comics; Dondi TM & Tribune Media Services, Inc.]

    I. Twin Introductions by Dan Makara

    4

    II

  • [Images from early Dondi comic strips.]

    CHILDS V/O: The story of Dondi. A little war orphanfound cold and starving by two kind-hearted G.I.s. Theyfeed him and treat him with affection. For the first time inhis life, Dondi has a home and finds real happiness. Butthen, suddenly, the bottom drops out of his world. Wordcomes that his G.I. buddies are to be sent back to America.But the resourceful lad hides aboard a troop ship. After anarduous journey, the little refugee secretly enters the UnitedStates.

    DONDI: [seeing the Statue of Liberty from the ship] I know you,Big Lady. You Miss America!

    IRWIN HASEN: I was born in Harlem. I weighed a poundand a quarter. Pound and a quarter, and the doctor at thehospital, the Womens Hospital in New York, said, If hesurvives hell be a genius. They said, Dont count on it.

    My earliest memory is when my mother and father, afterI was born, after about two years, began to measure meagainst the wall. You never forget a thing like that. Whyare they measuring me? And I think it stayed with me.

    My father came from Russia. He came from the oldcountry where, if you have a son, you put him out in thefields to work. And he was a little nonplussed by havinga little son.

    My parents, whenever they movedthey moved fouror five times a year, terribleand theyd put me in alittle room in the back of the apartment. And Id sitthere with the radiothe radio was my lifes bloodand Id sit with my drawing board in a lonely room. Idont know how the hell I did it. I dont know. Whenyou think about [it,] almost all cartoonists did it. Alonely room.

    Cartoonists are like little children. Even when theyre80. Theyre not children. Theyre old children. Theynever lost that spell of being young. Cartoonists. Eventhe word cartoonist is a funny word. I collected themost beautiful bunch of friends. Not being in thebusiness world, but by being a cartoonist.

    I was there at the beginning. I just walked into it. Alittle kid with a portfolio. Thats how the whole thingstarted how the world started.

    IRWIN A NEW YORK STORY

    Dondi EstaMontage of 1955 Sunday and daily panels from Dondi, by writer Gus Edson & artist Irwin Hasen, as glimpsed in screen saves from

    the doc. Ye Editor has always wondered if Edson got the name fromthe Spanish word Donde, meaning Where since the lad waslost from his homeland, then lost for a time in the New World. As a

    kid, Royand, hes since learned, lots of other peoplethoughtDondi was Korean, since the war on that Asian peninsula had ended

    only two years before, in an uneasy truce that still endures. [TM & Tribune Media Services, Inc.]

    HasenThe Documentary 11

    A Documentary Film by Dan MakaraTranscribed by Sean Dulaney

  • I wanted to be loved by everybody, unquote. Even women. Iwas doing everything a little guy does to prove that hes tall. I was

    always aware I was short, and Iused to wear elevator shoes.

    We had a terrible family life.Awful just disgusting.Terrible. Thats probably why Imay have been crippled a littlebit about getting married,having a family, and all that. Iwas never able to get close.And now that Im90 years old, [it]doesnt matteranymore. So what!But the point is, Idont even feelsorry. I dont eventhink I missedanything. Thatswhats scary. Andthats whats alittle sad.

    Because maybe I did lead a lonely life. I dont think so.

    Maybe Dondi was a part of me and I was Dondi. Thekidand I use the word the kidits like I was gonnasay my kid. I look at him as though hes my kid. Like alittle son of mine, you see? It was like I never had a realfamily. My parents, my grandparents they fought andscreamed a lot.

    When youre sur