Alter Ego #32

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ALTER EGO #32 presents A GOLDEN AGE ARTIST REUNION, and THE ROOTS OF THE SILVER AGE! Behind colorful new covers by DICK GIORDANO (a cavalcade of 1940s Timely/Marvel heroes) and RON HARRIS, Golden Age Timely artists ALLEN BELLMAN (Human Torch, Patriot, et al.) and SAM BURLOCKOFF are interviewed—including the tale of their joyful reunion after 50 years, brought about in part by A/E!—with tons of rare Timely art by CARL BURGOS, BILL EVERETT, CARL PFEUFER, SYD SHORES, et al.! Plus: MART (Green Lantern) NODELL on his late-1940s years at Timely/Marvel! Fiction House—the Italian Connection, with ENRICO BAGNOLI, one of the "Great Unknowns" of the 1940s! MIKE GOLD on a crucial year in the early Silver Age of Comics—with rare art by SIMON & KIRBY, CURT SWAN, CARMINE INFANTINO, GIL KANE, and others! Also, FCA (Fawcett Collectors of America) with MARC SWAYZE and Fawcett mystery artist IRVIN STEINBERG—ALEX TOTH—BILL SCHELLY on comics fandom—and more!

Text of Alter Ego #32

  • $5.95In the USA

    No.32January2004

    TIMELY/MARVELMORE TITANS OF

    BELLMAN, BURLOCKOFF,& NODELL!

    AVISON BURGOS COLE CRANDALL EVERETTKOTZKY REINMAN ROY SAHLE SHORES

    Plus:

    All characters TM & 2004 Marvel

    Characters, Inc.

  • Alter EgoTM is published monthly 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: roydann@ntinet.com. Send subscription funds to TwoMorrows, NOT to the editorial offices. Single issues:$8 ($10 Canada, $11.00 elsewhere). Twelve-issue subscriptions: $60 US, $120 Canada, $132 elsewhere. All characters are theirrespective companies. All material their creators unless otherwise noted. All editorial matter Roy Thomas. Alter Ego is a TM ofRoy & Dann Thomas. FCA is a TM of P.C. Hamerlinck. Printed in Canada.

    FIRST PRINTING.

    This issue is dedicated to thememory ofPete Morisi

    MORETITANS OFTIMELY/MARVELSection

    ContentsWriter/Editorial: Bellman, Burlockoff, and Candle . . . . . . . . . . . . 2A Golden Age Reunion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31940s-50s Timely (also Quality, etc.) artists Allen Bellman & Sam Burlockoff meet again after half a century! Interviews by Dr. Michael J. Vassallo and Jim Amash.

    Mart Nodells Time at Timely . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45Blake Bell asks the genial co-creator of Green Lantern about when he traded in GLs ring forCaptain Americas shield.

    Panoramic Potpourri Section . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Flip Us!About Our Cover & Contents Page Illo: What can we say? Roy implored his old friend andcolleague (and sometime boss) Dick Giordano to draw this coverhe photocopied drawings ofdozens of vintage Timely/Marvel super-heroes as referenceand Dick came through like thechamp he is, starting with the above layout. Originally, we planned to have each and everyheros photo colored individually, but we didnt want to risk giving colorist Tom Ziuko anervous breakdown. Wed also considered lettering each heros name with his/her likeness, butfrankly, even Ye Editor forgot who a couple of these guys were! So, tell you whatfalling backon the time-honored tradition of all those no-prizes Stan Lee used to make Roy mail out tofolks, Alter Ego will print (and send a free copy of issue #37 to) the writer of the first letter or e-mail we get that correctly identifies all 29 super-heroes on our cover and layout. Ready...set... go! [Art 2004 Dick Giordano; heroes TM & 2004 Marvel Characters, Inc.]

    Vol. 3, No. 32 / January 2004Editor Roy Thomas

    Associate EditorsBill SchellyJim Amash

    Design & LayoutChristopher Day

    Consulting EditorJohn Morrow

    FCA EditorP.C. Hamerlinck

    Comic Crypt EditorMichael T. Gilbert

    Editors EmeritusJerry Bails (founder)Ronn Foss, Biljo White,Mike Friedrich

    Production AssistantEric Nolen-Weathington

    Cover ArtistsDick GiordanoGil Kane

    Covers ColoristTom Ziuko

    And Special Thanks to:Enrico BagnoliJeff BaileyMichael BaulderstoneAlberto BecattiniBlake BellAllen BellmanRay Bottorff, Jr.Sam BurlockoffJack BurnleyMike CarlinJon B. CookeRay A. CuthbertMark EvanierMichael FeldmanKeif FrommCarl GaffordJanet GilbertDick GiordanoMike GoldGeorge HagenauerRoger Dicken &Wendy HuntRobert JusticeMarc KardellGene KehoeRichard Kyle

    Mark LewisMile-High ComicsMark MullerWill MurrayMart & CarrieNodellMichelle NolanWarren ReecePaul RivocheDavid A. RoachSteven RoweDavid A. SimpsonJoe StatonRichard SteinbergMarc SwayzeJoel ThingvallDann ThomasAntonio ToldoAlex TothJim Vadeboncoeur, Jr.Dr. Michael J.VassalloHames WareMrs. Hazel WhiteEddy ZenoMike Zeno

  • 2 Titlewriter/editorial

    Bellman, Burlockoff,and Candle

    I admit itonce again, Ive been genetically unable to resist using a punas the title for these introductory notes. This ones a riff on the famousstage play and movie Bell, Book, and Candlebut, of course, if I have toexplain the pun, as I probably do to any non-old movie addict under theage of fifty, its probably not a very good one.

    Never mind. Its done. Lets move on.

    Actually, interviewers Michael J. Vassallo, Jim Amash and I willprobably also need to explain who our two long-form interviewees are,since the talented Allen Bellman and Sam Burlockoff are only slightlybetter known, even to diehard comics fans, than was their Timelycolleague Bob Deschamps before A/E #20! Allen and Sam signed aslightly larger percentage of their work than Bob did (which was none),but both left the field nearly fifty years ago, to make their primary marks

    elsewhere... though that doesnt mean they dont have somegreat stories to tell, and considerable light to

    shed on the Golden Age of Timely Comics.

    Whats most amazing, perhaps, is that, although the pair were friendsback in their youth, they hadnt been in touch with each other for half acenturyand at least one of them even thought the other was long sincedeceased, until a juxtaposition of fortunate circumstances (i.e., their inter-views for Alter Ego) led to their getting together again for a happyreunion! But Ill let Doc V. and Jim A., as well as Allen B., tell you aboutthat in their own inimitable words.

    Oh, and just to hit you over the head with itthe candle in the titleis an oblique reference to the light of the first Green Lantern, which origi-nally shone forth at the behest of artist Mart Nodell, who is briefly inter-viewed by Blake Bell about his late-1940s tenure at Timely/Marvel.

    Hmm... maybe we shouldve just titled this page Three Interviewsand let it go at that!

    Bestest,

    #33

    GOLDEN & SILVER AGE LEGEND!Plus That Glamorous Girl InkerVALERIE BARCLAY & MORE!

    MIKESEKOWSKYNOW

    MONTHLY!

    TwoMorrows 1812 Park Drive Raleigh, NC 27605 USA 919-833-8092 FAX: 919-833-8023 E-mail: twomorrow@ aol.com www.twomorrows.com

    Art 2004 Ron Frenz & Sal Buscema;

    Invaders TM & 2004 Marvel Characters, Inc.;

    Art

    2004 Ron Frenz &

    Joe Sinnott;

    Justice League of America TM

    & 2004 D

    C Comics

    Two color-splashed covers by 1990s Thor artist RO N FRENZ (after SEKO W SKY &JACK KIRBY)inked by JO E SINNO TT and SAL BUSCEM A!

    A star-spangled symposium on M IKE SEKO W SKY, with M ARK EVANIER, SCO TT SHAW !, DAVE STEVENS, & FLO YD NO RM ANwith rare art by Big Mike,M URPHY ANDERSO N , CARM INE INFANTINO , GIL KANE, DICK DILLIN , GEO RGE PREZ, BILL EVERETT, CARL BURGO Splus an intriguing interview with PAT M RS. M IKE SEKO W SKY!

    Golden Age Timely/Marvel inker VALERIE BARCLAY talks to JIM AMASH about STANLEE, GEO RGE KLEIN , DAVE GANTZ, CHRIS RULEand, oh yes, M IKE SEKO W SKY!

    Lost Comics Lore, Part III by W ILL M URRAY!

    FCA with M ARC SW AYZE and a marvelous parody of Captain Marvel by RO SS ANDRU & M IKE ESPO SITO !

    Plus: ALEX TO THM ICHAEL T. GILBERT on HARVEY KURTZM ANPATCALHO UNBILL SCHELLY& MORE!!

    Edited by ROY THOMAS 108 PAGES!SUBSCRIBE NO W ! Twelve Issues in the US: $60 Standard, $96 First Class

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    TwoMorrows. Bringing New Life To Comics Fandom.

    COMING IN FEBRUARYCOMING IN FEBRUARY

  • I. Two Timely Talks withALLEN BELLMANby Dr. Michael J. Vassallo[DOC VS INTRODUCTION:The name Allen Bellman conjuresup a smile of recognition amonghistorians and aficionados ofTimely Comics. From his begin-nings as a teenager doingbackgrounds for Syd ShoresCaptain America stories in 1942up through The Patriot, TheDestroyer, The Human Torch,Jap-Buster Johnson, his self-created continuing crime featureLets Play Detective, the AtomAge Jet Dixon of the SpaceSquadron, and scores of pre-Comics Code horror, crime, war,and western tales for Atlas, Allen Bellman entertained uswhetherwe knew it or notwith a quirky, distinctive,and original comicbook style. Hiscareer spanned theentire breadth ofTimely/Atlas fromthe early GoldenAge to the disso-lution of the Timelybullpen. He thenjoined hundreds offreelancers whosework filled themyriad genres oftitles that flourishedafter the decline ofthe costumed heroesinto the early 1950s.

    [I tracked Allendown in Floridaabout five years ago,thanks to a tip fromPaul Curtis, andbegan a closefriendship thatremains to this day.He is a storehouse ofTimely reminiscencesand looks back fondlyon his career in thecomic book industry.

    Allen had no copies of his comicbook work, and I was able tosupply him with hundreds ofpagesa sizable portionof hisTimely work. This material wasdrawn in the 1940s and early1950s, and had not been seenby him in over half a century,nor had his family, hiswonderful wife Roz, or hischildren or grandchildren everseen it. Our friendship, and thevalidation of an artists longcareer, have proven to be asgratifying to this author as theyhave been to Allen.

    [One point of very specialinterest: when the major part ofthis interview was originallyconducted, Allen referred to hischildhood friend SamBurlockoff, saying he had longsince passed away. During this

    pieces long preparation, Jim Amash e-mailed me one day and asked

    A Golden Age ReunionOld Friends and Timely/Marvel ArtistsALLEN BELLMAN and SAM BURLOCKOFFInterviewed by DOC VASSALLO and JIM AMASH

    Allen Bellman 3

    A photo from the recent happy reunion, after half a century, of Allen Bellman(left) and Sam Burlockoff (right), taken in the latters Florida homeabove a Bellman Patriot splash from Marvel Mystery Comics #62 (March 1945) andthe Jack Cole-penciled, Burlockoff-inked cover of Qualitys Plastic Man #33

    (Jan. 1952), from an idea Sa