$5.95In the USA
Art 2002 Alex Ross; Mary Marvel TM & 2002 DC Comics.
FAWCETT FANTASIESTAKE FLIGHT!
MARVEL BULLPEN REUNION!John BuscemaGene ColanJohn RomitaMarie Severin
John BuscemaGene ColanJohn RomitaMarie Severin
OTTO & JACK BINDERC.C. BECK MARC SWAYZE
HARVEY KURTZMAN JOE SIMONJIM MOONEY MICHAEL T. GILBERT
STAN LEE RAMONA FRADONMARK EVANIER BILL SCHELLY
Alex RossCOVER ARTIST
Roy ThomasThunderstruckComics Fanzine
Alter EgoTM is published 8 times a year by TwoMorrows, 1812 Park Drive, Raleigh, NC 27605, USA. Phone: (919) 833-8092. Roy Thomas, Editor. John Morrow, Publisher. Alter Ego Editorial Offices: Rt. 3, Box 468, St. Matthews, SC 29135, USA. Fax: (803) 826-6501; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Send subscription funds to TwoMorrows, NOT to the editorial offices. Single issues:$8 ($10 Canada, $11 elsewhere). Eight-issue subscriptions: $40 US, $80 Canada, $88 elsewhere. All characters are their respectivecompanies. All material their creators unless otherwise noted. All editorial matter Roy Thomas. Alter Ego is a TM of Roy & DannThomas. FCA is a TM of P.C. Hamerlinck. Printed in Canada.
in memoriam Robert Kanigher & Tom Sutton
ContentsWriter/Editorial: The Big Red Cheeseand an Infinite Number of Mice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2Journey to the Rock of Eternity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4The bountiful Binder brothersOtto & Jacka vintage interview re The Marvel Family.
Not Your Fathers Captain Marvel: Another View . . . . . . . . . 12DC editor Bob Greenberger and A/Es editor agree to disagree about the 1980s Shazam!
Word of Power. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15Didja know there was nearly a 1990s Shazam! series before Jerry Ordways? Neither did we!
Comic Crypt: Harveys Heroes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17Michael T. Gilbert begins EC Confidential with a look at Kurtzmans super-doers!
re: (letters & corrections) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23Stan Lee, Joe Simon, and others weigh in.
P.C. Hamerlincks FCA (Fawcett Collectors of America)#75 . 33Alex Ross, Sam Abbinanti, & Marc Swayze have their say. C.C. Beck art, too!
Marvel Bullpen Reunion Section. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Flip Us!About Our Cover: Were particularly grateful to Alex Ross for generously allowing us to use thisnever-before-printed Mary Marvel painting, done for his Shazam! project a decade ago, as one of ourcovers. Mary never looked sexier than when Alex partly re-designed her. For more, see p. 40. [Art2002 Alex Ross; Mary Marvel TM & 2002 DC Comics.]Above: This previously-unprinted Alex Ross sketch of Mary Marvel didnt quite make it into ourcoverage of his early-90s Shazam! project back in Alter Ego V3#3, but we werent gonna pass up asecond chance! With thanks to the artist. [Art 2002 Alex Ross; Mary Marvel TM & 2002 DCComics.]
Vol. 3, No. 16 / July 2002Editor Roy Thomas
Associate EditorsBill SchellyJim Amash
Design & LayoutChristopher Day
Consulting EditorsJohn MorrowJon B. Cooke
FCA EditorP.C. Hamerlinck
Comics Crypt EditorMichael T. Gilbert
Editors EmeritusJerry Bails (founder)Ronn Foss, Biljo White, Mike Friedrich
Production AssistantEric Nolen-Weathington
Cover ArtistsMarie Severin & Ramona FradonAlex Ross
Cover ColoristsAlex RossMarie Severin & Tom ZiukoMailing CrewRuss Garwood, Glen Musial,Ed Stelli, Pat Varker, Loston Wallace
And Special Thanks to:Sam AbbinantiBlake BellAlbert BecattiniAl BigleyBiraBill BlackJerry K. BoydLee BoyetteAl BradfordGlenn BraysJeff BrennaTom BrevoortMike BurkeyMrs. Dolores BuscemaJohn Buscema, Jr.Gene & Adrienne
ColanDick ColeBob CosgroveRob DanielsTom DeFalcoShel DorfMark EvanierShane FoleyRamona FradonPaul GambacciniDave GantzJennifer T. GoBob GreenbergerMartin L. GreimWalt GroganDavid G. HamiltonBill HarperRichard HarpsterRon HarrisIrwin HasenJoe HeffernanMichael HranekDan JohnsonDenis KitchenRobert Knuist
Anthony KowalikAdele KurtzmanMort LeavStan LeeMathias LorenzLarry MahlstedtJoe & Nadia
MannarinoJim MooneyBrian K. MorrisMichelle NolanOwen & Susan
O'LearyJerry OrdwayMark PacellaBruce PattersonDon PerlinJoe PhillipsVirginia ProvisieroDan RasplerMrs. Elme B. ReitEthan RobertsJohn RomitaAlex RossClark RossFred SchneiderDavid SellMarie SeverinJoe SimonDave SimonsMarc SvenssonMarc SwayzeJoel ThingvallDann ThomasBob ThomsJim Vadeboncoeur, Jr.Michael J. VassalloMike VosburgKevin WeremeychikEd ZenoMike Zeno
Few comic creators have been the subject of as many articles andfeatures as Jack and Otto Binder. And little wonder.
First working with Harry Chesler, and then managing his own shop,Jack Binder oversaw the production of a massive amount of comic bookart, as well as personally illustrating many features, most notably MaryMarvel.
Most famous for his many Captain Marvel stories, Otto Binderalso scripted for Timely, National, and just about every other companyin the business, as well as maintaining a prodigious output as a science-fiction writer.
You cant imagine how delighted I was when Martin Greim suggestedthat he, Al Bradford, and I travel to upstate New York to visit thefamous pair, who lived only minutes apart. My enthusiasm died a bitwhen I learned we were going in Al Bradfords van. I was unable todecide whether the name Dodge emblazoned on the vehicles frontwas a trade name or advice to pedestrians. Playing on my indecision, myfellow fans seized me by the cape-side and hurled me into the van. Wewere off!
We left in the morning light of Massachusetts and arrived at OttoBinders home in the bright afternoon sunlight around 2:00. Suppressingour disappointment at not finding at least a yellow lightning insignia onthe mailbox, we introduced ourselves to Mr. Binder and his gracious
wife Iona. Otto is a short, portly man, with greying hair and a pencil-line mustache. Eager for news of the comic industry, he leans forwardduring conversations, anxious to capture each word, punctuating hiscomments with short, animated hand movements.
As time was short, we went immediately to Jack Binders nearbyhome. On the way, I quizzed Otto concerning his reading habits, hopingto take his mind off Als driving. Otto said that he read mostly mysteryand science-fiction, favoring Robert Heinlein as the top s-f writer. Atthat point, the van pulled into Jacks.
While we waited for the second Binder, Otto invited us to the barnout back to see the studio and workshop which Jack used to create therealistic figures and regalia used in the nearby historical museum, FortWilliam Henry. Otto led us up a narrow staircase to Jacks studio loft, asmall, well-lit room containing painting materials and sketchbooks.Nestling here and there throughout the studio were pieces fromsynthetic Binder models... a hand here, a soldiers head there. At thispoint, Jack joined us and invited us into his home. After introducing usto his wife Olga, he bade us be seated in the living room. Pictures, largeoil paintings, adorned the walls.
Jack Binder, in snow-white hair and black, thick-framed glasses, isabout the same height as his brother. He is an abrupt, dynamic man,who several times in the course of our conversation expressed his appre-ciation of Jim Steranko. This was not surprising. In attitude and
Two Marvel-ous pairs of siblings! Otto Binder (seated) and his artist brother Jack, in 1973flanked by Cap and Mary. The Cap panel is from original C.C.!Beck art, courtesy of P.C. Hamerlinck, from Americas Greatest Comics #8 (Summer 1943); Jacks Mary Marvel illo was first published in Comic Crusader #15.
[Photo 2002 Martin L. Greim. Mary Marvel art 2002 estate of Jack Binder; Captain & Mary Marvel TM & 2002 DC Comics.]
Journey to the Rock of EternityA Vintage Interview with OTTO and JACK BINDER
From the Pages of The Comic Crusader #15, 1973
4 Otto and Jack Binder
Edited & Published by (and 1973, 2002 by )
Martin L. GreimInterview Conducted by Bob Cosgrove
demeanor, he might have been Jim Steranko forty years later, a Sterankoof the Golden Age of Comics. Informed of a colleagues departure fromNational, he said, I dont blame them a bit. Theyre impossible to workfor. I never worked for anyone on any terms but my own! For amoment, Binders figure dissolved and I saw the figure of Jim Steranko,sitting on my hotel bed at a New York con, telling a jammed room thatIf a publisher wants me, hes got to meet my terms.
The InterviewBOB COSGROVE: Jack, as I understand it, one of your first jobs inthe comic industry was as shop foreman for the Harry Chesler Studio.Could you tell us something of Chesler himself? Hes sort of anunknown figure to many fans.
JACK BINDER: Well, my first impression of Harry Chesler, when Iwent down with Frank Gruber, who was then scripting western tales forhim, to get the job, wasnt a good one. I didnt like the looks of the shopand turned him down.
I went back a year laterand Harry and I sat down forabout an hour or so andtalked. He said, I dont wantyou as an artist! And I said,Then what the hell do youwant? He then told me hewanted me to take charge, totake over the staff. I said,OK, fine! And that was allthere was to it.
The background of HarryChesler is simply this: he wasa man who was a visionary... apromoter... full of ideas... andstill is to this day. He has anatural intuitive sense, toknow when an artist has donehis best. Ive seen him have anartist do over a job fifteentimes. Hed pay for it, buthed know the artist wasdoing his best work. Heknew what