Alter Ego #59

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Alter Ego #59 (100 pages, $6.95) spotlights “DARK NIGHTS & STEEL” with Batman, Superman and more in the Golden and Silver Ages! Behind a fabulous new painted Batman cover by award-winning artist ARTHUR SUYDAM, we interview: SUYDAM on his early comics career! Modern legend NEAL ADAMS on 1960s/70s DC! SHELLY MOLDOFF on Batman, Hawkman, and BOB KANE! Superman artist AL PLASTINO! And Golden Age artist FRAN MATERA (Doll Man, Steve Nomad, et al.) talks to JIM AMASH! Also: When JERRY SIEGEL wrote “The Spider” by ALBERTO BECATTINI! “Superman and the Third Reich!” by DWIGHT DECKER! WILL MURRAY on the first comic book Thor (and it wasn’t Simon and Kirby’s)! MURRAY BISHOFF on SIEGEL and SHUSTER! Plus FCA with MARC SWAYZE, et al.—BILL SCHELLY presents KLAUS NORDLING, OTTO BINDER, and others—MICHAEL T.GILBERT and Mr. Monster—and MORE!

Text of Alter Ego #59

  • Batman TM & 2006 DC Comics& MORE!!!



    Roy Thomas X-TraordinaryComics Fanzine

    $6.95In the USA


    Roy Thomas BattailousComics Fanzine DARK NIGHTS



  • Alter EgoTM is published monthly, except Jan., April., Sept., and Nov. 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 editorialoffices. Single issues: $9 ($11.00 outside the US). Twelve-issue subscriptions:$72 US, $132 Canada, $144 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 Canada.


    Vol. 3, No. 59 / June 2006

    EditorRoy 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 PaintingArthur Suydam

    And Special Thanks to:Neal AdamsHeidi AmashMichael AmbroseBill BaileyTim BarnesDennis BeaulieuAlberto BecattiniJohn BensonDominic BongoJerry K. BoydGeoff BrennemanBob BrodskyBob CherryBob CosgroveRay A. CuthbertShel DorfJustin FairfaxMichael FeldmanRex FerrellShane FoleyRamona FradonJanet GilbertArnie GrievesJennifer HamerlinckJonathan IngersollJeff JastrasJim KealyDavid Anthony KraftRichard Kyle

    Richard MartinesFran MateraSheldon MoldoffFrank MotlerBrian K. MorrisKarl NelsonJerry OrdwayJake OsterJoe PetrilakRubn ProcopioKen QuattroGene ReedRamon SchenkFlo SteinbergBhob StewartArthur SuydamMarc SwayzeDann ThomasJim Vadeboncoeur, Jr.Dr. Michael J.

    VassalloHames WareHenry WesselTed WhiteRobert WienerIke WilsonRenee WitterstaetterEddy Zeno

    ContentsWriter/Editorial: Dark Nights & Steel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

    Arthur Suydam: Heroes Are What We Aspire To Be . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Interview with the artist of Cholly and Flytrap and Marvel Zombies covers, by Renee Witterstaetter.

    Maybe I Was Just Loyal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141950s/60s Batman artist Shelly Moldoff tells Shel Dorf about Bob Kane & other phenomena.

    My Attitude Was, Theyre Not Bosses, Theyre Editors . . . . . . . . . . . 25Golden/Silver Age Superman artist Al Plastino talks to Jim Kealy & Eddy Zeno about his long and illustrious career.

    Jerry Siegels European Comics!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36When Supermans co-creator fought for truth, justice, and the European wayby Alberto Becattini.

    If You Cant Improve Something 200%, Then Go With The Thing That You Have . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

    Modern legend Neal Adams on the late 1960s at DC Comics.

    It Only Took 40 Years... To Be The Steve Roper Artist!. . . . . . . . . . . 48Fran Matera tells Jim Amash about Qualityand not just the comics company.

    Mr. Monsters Comic Crypt: Russ Manning Part 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61Michael T. Gilbert and Ray Cuthbert continue their look at the Tarzan/Magnus artist.

    The Forgotten 50s Part II . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67Bill Schelly showcases the 1966 EC panel with Ted White, Bhob Stewart, & Archie Goodwin.

    re: [correspondence, comments, & corrections] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72FCA (Fawcett Collectors of America) #118 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79P.C. Hamerlinck presents artists Rubn Procopio & Marc Swayze, plus more!

    About Our Cover: This panoramic Batman painting by Arthur Suydam was far too large to fitonto our cover; theres a whole passel of bats and wolves youll have to look up the full illustrationelsewhere to savor. But when Ye Editor saw just how gorgeous it wasand without that Johnny-come-lately yellow circle around the bat symbol on the heros chest, to boot!he couldnt resistasking if it (or most of it, anyway), was available. Arthur, as well as Renee Witterstaetter, said yesand we wound up with one of A/Es most splendid covers ever! [Batman TM & 2006 DC Comics.]

    Above: A self-portrait of longtime DC and United Feature artist Al Plastino surrounded byseveral of the characters hes drawn in newspaper comic strips over the years. Of course, he illustrated a Superman tale or three in the pages of comic books, as well! [Superman, Batman, & Robin TM & 2006 DC Comics; Nancy & Ferdnand TM & 2006 United Feature Syndicate;portrait 2006 Al Plastino.]

  • Celebrating A Half Century SinceSHOWCASE #4!

    Edited by ROY THOMASSUBSCRIBE NOW! Twelve Issues in the US: $72 Standard, $108 First Class

    (Canada: $132, Elsewhere: $144 Surface, $192 Airmail).NOTE: IF YOU PREFER A SIX-ISSUE SUB, JUST CUT THE PRICE IN HALF!


    [Flash TM & 2006 DC Comics.]

    Never-before-published, full-color Flash cover by CARMINE INFANTINO! Rare interviews with and articles on the greats who created Showcase #4 in 1956the comic book that launched the Silver Age! JULIUS SCHWARTZROBERT KANIGHERCARMINE INFANTINOJOE KUBERT& JOHN BROOME!

    Spectacular art from an unpublished 1948 Flash story, penciled by INFANTINO! Golden Age (& Joe Palooka) artist TONY DiPRETA, interviewed by JIM AMASH!Rare work from Timely/Marvel 1950s horror comics, et al.!

    1966 Golden Age panelthe only comic-con appearance ever by Lady Luck artistKLAUS NORDLING! A BILL SCHELLY Comic Fandom Archive special!




    TwoMorrows.Bringing New Life To Comics Fandom.TwoMorrows 10407 Bedfordtown Drive Raleigh, NC 27614 USA 919-449-0344 FAX: 919-449-0327 E-mail:

    2 Titlewriter/editorial

    few months back, while writing an intro for a collection ofthe astonishing art of Arthur Suydam, I perused scans that EvaInks Renee Witterstaetter had sent me of his recent paintings.

    Naturally, I was knocked out by the illustrationsespecially a wide-screen image hed done of Batman. I asked if, by any chance, it couldbe used as a cover for Alter Ego, and I was ecstatic when they said yes.

    Arthur (Red) Suydam just makes it in under the wire as a figure ofthe Silver Age, by the broad definition Ive always used for A/Enamely, the period from 1956s Showcase #4 through the mid-1970s. Ican understand why many folks count 1970 or thereabouts as the cutoffdate, but since I left my position as Marvels editor-in-chief in late 1974,with mags under my aegis coming out through much of 75, Ive alwaysstretched those parameters a bit, at least for the purposes of thismagazine. And Arthurs first published comic book story was done forDC editor Joe Orlando and House of Secrets in 1974. (He and Reneego beyond that point in their freewheeling discussion, but thats only tobe expectedand in any event, much of what Arthur has to say dealswith his early days and influences.)

    With Arthurs lush, moody painting and interview as the hub, Idecided to center an issue around Batman and Superman, even thoughthe Man of Steel was headlined only three issues ago. For one thing, weneeded to complete Jim Amashs fascinating interview with NealAdams on his late-1960s DC work, which began in #56. Also, AlbertoBecattini had sent us an article on Siegels 1960s work on The Spider,a European adventure strip little known in this country. We also had onhand Eddy Zeno and Jim Kealys talk with Golden/Silver Age

    Superman artist Al Plastino, which definitely deserved an airingherein the more so since the artist also drew the Batman comic stripfor some time.

    As for Batman: well, we had a 1994 Shel Dorf interview withlongtime Bob Kane ghost Sheldon Moldoff which wed been wantingto run for a long while along with a number of his never-seencommissioned illos.

    All that, plus a welcome interview with fellow Golden Ager FranMatera, not to mention the completion of Michael T. Gilberts coverageof Russ Manning and of Bill Schellys presentation of a 1966 EC panel,and of course FCA and a delayed letters section, pretty much filled thisissue to the brim. So much so, in fact, that Dwight Deckers announcedarticle on Superman vs. the Nazis and a piece by Murray Bishoff onthe 1975 Superman settlement had to be delayed till a near-futureissue. Sometimes its ridiculously easy to figure out what to include in agiven issueand ludicrously difficult to squeeze it all in.

    This was one of those times.

    So what else is new?


    P.S.: And a big if belated Happy Birthday to George Tuska, who turned 90 on April 26! You're the greatest, George!

    AADark Nights & Steel

  • bout Arthur Suydam: MarvelZombies cover artist ArthurSuydam burst onto the scene with

    his creative innovation of infusing the artof sequential art with classical painting. Hisextraordinary work helped revolutionizethe industry and began the comic artrenaissance of the 1980s, opening doors formainstream writers and artists to createliterature for a more mature readership.

    Recently honored with the covetedSpectrum magazine Gold Award forExcellen