Alter Ego #69

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ALTER EGO #69 (100 pages, $6.95) spotlights FRADON, NORRIS, & AQUAMAN! Paul Norris drew the sea king first, in 1941—and Ramona Fradon was the hero’s ultimate Golden Age artist. But both drew other things as well, from Brick Bradford to Brenda Starr to Sandman to Metamorpho to Fantastic Four! Both artists are interviewed in this landmark (seamark?) issue—along with a pocket history of Aquaman! Plus there’s FCA (Fawcett Collectors of America) with MARC SWAYZE, C.C. BECK, and others, Michael T. Gilbert and Mr. Monster, and a great Aquaman cover painted by John Watson, from a breathtaking illustration by Ramona Fradon, and more! Edited by Roy Thomas.

Text of Alter Ego #69

  • PLUS:

    $6.95In the USA

    No.69June2007

    Aquaman TM & 2007 DC Comics

    THREE CHEERS FORRAMONAFRADON,

    PAUL NORRIS,&AQUAMAN !

    1 82658 27763 5

    06

    TM

    Roy ThomasWater-LoggedComics Fanzine

  • Alter EgoTM is published monthly 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.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 isa TM of Roy & Dann Thomas. FCA is a TM of P.C. Hamerlinck. Printed in Canada. ISSN: 1932-6890

    FIRST PRINTING.

    This issue is dedicated to the memory of Joe Edwards, Jack Burnley, & Joseph R. Barbera

    ContentsWriter/Editorial: Seeking Sea Kings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2Maritime Passages. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3A pocket history of Aquaman, DCs Sovereign of the Seven Seas, by John Wells.

    Take Your Foot In Hand And Come To New York! . . . . . . 15Artist Paul Norris took Milt Caniffs advice! Interview by Shel Dorf.

    It Was A Daily Identity Crisis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32Ramona Fradon talks to Jim Amash about being a comic artist and a housewife & mother.

    Mr. Monsters Comic Crypt: The Powell Family Album, Part III. 55Michael T. Gilbert and Bob Powells sons revisit the life of the great Golden Age artist.

    JSA: Sunset At Dawn. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61Roy Thomas letter/proposal for a Justice Society/Infinity, Inc. series that never was!

    Come BECK, Little Comicon! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69The Calvin Beck Con of 1967 really did happen! Bill Schellys got proof!

    Tributes to Joe Edwards, Jack Burnley, & Joseph R. Barbera . 71re: [comments, correspondence, & corrections) . . . . . . . . . 75FCA (Fawcett Collectors Of America) #128 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79P.C. Hamerlinck presents Marc Swayze, Bill Fugate, & Captain Marvels cities tour, Part II.

    On Our Cover: A couple of years ago, when she was being interviewed for A/E, RamonaFradon sent us photocopies of a number of commission drawings she had done. Onehumongous pencil illo in particular immediately caught our eye as the perfect design for thecover of this issue about Aquaman and two of his greatest artistsso, through his then-agentKeif A. Fromm, we were lucky to persuade John Watson to turn that sketch into a full-colorpainting. Gorgeous, no? Also, for a look at Ramonas pencil version, see p. 37. [Aquaman TM &2007 DC Comics.]

    Above: Just one of the many great pencil sketches Ramona Fradon has done in recent years.Looks to us like shes better than ever! [Aquaman TM & 2007 DC Comics.]

    Vol. 3, No. 69 / June 2007EditorRoy Thomas

    Associate EditorsBill SchellyJim Amash

    Design & LayoutChristopher Day

    Consulting EditorJohn Morrow

    FCA EditorP.C. Hamerlinck

    Comic Crypt EditorMichael T. Gilbert

    Editorial Honor RollJerry G. Bails (founder)Ronn Foss, Biljo White

    Editor EmeritusMike Friedrich

    Production AssistantChris Irving

    Circulation DirectorBob Brodsky, Cookiesoup PeriodicalDistribution, LLC

    Cover ArtistJohn Watson(from a drawing by Ramona Fradon)

    With Special Thanks to:Jack AdamsHeidi AmashGer ApeldoornPaul Bach, Jr.Rodrigo BaezaBob BaileyJean BailsMarty BaumannJack BenderMurray BishoffJerry K. BoydTom BradleyGary BrownLen BrownAdam J. BrooksZack BuchananMike BurkeyJohn CochranTeresa R. DavidsonCraig DelichShel DorfMichael DunneChris FamaMichael FeldmanEd FieldsStuart FischerDana FradonRamona FradonTodd FranklinKeif A. FrommBill FugateCarl GaffordRuss GarwoodJeff GelbJanet GilbertLaura GjovaagLew GlanzmanMark GliddenScott GoodellArnie GrievesJennifer HamerlinckMatthew HawesAllan HoltzRichard HowellBob HughesRichard KyleStan LandmanBill Leach

    Alan LightBill LignanteJeffrey LindenblattMatt LorentzMike MachlanJoe & Nadia MannarinoSam MaronieBruce MasonHarry MendrykBrian K. MorrisMark MullerJim MurtaughThe New YorkerPaul NorrisRick NorwoodJerry OrdwayJake OsterKen QuattroJohn PowellKyle PowellRob PowellSeth PowellNancy ReadyHart RieckhofDominic vonRiedemann

    Charlie RobertsEthan RobertsHerb RogoffAlex SaviukJohn SchwirianCraig ShuttDavid SiegelKeif SimonAnthony SnyderBhob StewartScott StewartJoe StatonMarc SwayzeDann ThomasAnthony TollinMichael UslanTrevor Von EedenJohn WatsonJohn WellsChristopher WheelerRobert WienerJoseph Wise

  • ve never made any bones about the fact that, both as kid andadult, I always preferred Timely/Marvels Sub-Mariner to DCsAquaman. So why an issue of

    Alter Ego that is virtually dedicatedto the latteror at least, to acouple of artists noted fordrawing him?

    Several reasons.

    1. From a personalviewpoint: whatevermy quirks and prefer-ences, I like bothcharacters. Aquamanalways had a lot goingfor hima cool costume(till recently) and hismeaningful relationship withcreatures of the sea. And Ihad/have a special fondness forthe artwork of Ramona Fradon. (Icame of age way too late to readPaul Norris early work, though Ifind it quite vital.)

    2. Aquaman has arguably been, up to the present, at least assuccessful a character as Sub-Mariner, with a part of that good

    fortune owing to his palling around withSuperman, Batman, Wonder Woman, et al., in

    Justice League of America since 1960 andin TV cartoons beginning in the 1970s.

    3. Alter Ego is, after all, more avehicle for comics history thanfor pure nostalgia and ahero like Aquaman whosbeen around since 1941and is still going strong hasa lot of history.

    So put on your water-wings and get set to dog-

    paddle up Comic BookCreek!

    Bestest,

    Seeking Sea Kings

    ON THE 1970s AT MARVEL COMICS!

    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!

    COMING IN JULYCOMING IN JULY

    [Human Torch, Captain America, Sub-Mariner, & The Red Skull

    TM & 2007

    Marvel Characters, Inc.]

    All-new Invaders cover by GENE COLANcolored directly from his pulsating pencils!

    RASCALLY ROY talks to JIM AMASH about the sensational 70s at Marvelin ahumongous interview studded with rare art by ADAMS, ADKINS, ANDRU, bothBUSCEMAS, BRUNNER, CHAYKIN, COCKRUM, COLAN, EVERETT, KANE, KIRBY,PREZ, PLOOG, ROBBINS, ROMITA, the SEVERIN siblings, SMITH, THORNE,TRIMPE, WRIGHTSON, & many othersnot to mention some writers namedCONWAY, ENGLEHART, GERBER, GOODWIN, MOENCH, SHOOTER, WEIN,WOLFMAN, and a guy called LEE!

    A special (if way too brief) celebration of Golden Age artist LILY RENE (The LostWorld, Seorita Rio, Werewolf Hunter, etc.) by TRINA ROBBINS!

    MICHAEL T. GILBERT concludes his look at BOB POWELLFCA with C.C. BECK,MARC SWAYZE, & ROY THOMAS 1981 Shazam! debut& MORE!

    ROY THOMASYou Asked For ItSo It Serves You Right!

    #70

    2 writer/editorial

    A Face-To-Fish EncounterOne of the most charming of Ramona Fradons commission sketches,with thanks to Russ Garwood. [Aqualad TM & 2007 DC Comics.]

    II

    TwoMorrows 10407 Bedfordtown Drive Raleigh, NC 27614 USA 919-449-0344 FAX: 919-449-0327 E-mail: twomorrow@aol.com www.twomorrows.com

    TwoMorrows. Celebrating The Art & History Of Comics.

  • Maritime PassagesA Pocket History Of The Sovereign Of The Seven DC Seas

    by John Wells

    3

    [Abridged and edited, with emphasis on the years 1941-75, from hisfanzine Destination Cool! in CAPA-alpha #500 (June 2006); 2007John Wells. Sorry that, because of our twin interviews, we didnthave room to print his indexes of villains and full slate of the herosappearancesor even more Aquaman artwork!]

    Wading Into The Waterith a few alterations in the pages of comics history,Aquaman might well have reached a crossroads in 1963.Published consecutively in a succession of magazines

    since 1941, he had survived as Golden Age heavyweights like TheFlash, Green Lantern, Captain America, and others had fallen by thewayside (though most were now back in new incarnations). With hissolo berth in Worlds Finest Comics now gone, appearances with theJustice League of America were the most he could hope for.

    That was, in fact, the fate of Green Arrow, whod been the SeaKings stablemate since both characters had debuted in More FunComics #73 (Nov. 1941). Aquaman, however, had been starring in hisown comic book since 1961. The loss of the secondary feature, far froman ending, signaled the beginning of real momentum in his career.

    More Fun #73 had established the basics: Aquaman thrived under-water, had command of sea life, and was strong enough to put his fist

    through a submarine. Characteristic of anumber of World War II-era heroes, he alsohad no compunctions about dispatchingNazis, drowning or blowing them up withouta second thought.

    A minimalist three-panel origin attributedhis amphibious abilities to Atlantean science,discovered by his explorer father in the ruinsof the fabled city. Described as interna-tionally renowned, the scientist kept himself

    and his son in virtual seclusion in their watertight home beneath the seauntil his death. Bereft of companionship, Aquaman (so named by hisdad!) ventured to the surface, altruistically vowing to seek out andpunish the wrongdoers of the upper world. (Aquamans