Alter Ego #85

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ALTER EGO #85 features CAPTAIN MARVEL VS. SUPERMAN—LILY RENÉE—and CENTAUR COMICS! Behind a new cover by RICH BUCKLER, A/E explores the earliest battles of the Shazamer and the Kryptonian (in cosmic space, in candy stores, and in court), and RICH BUCKLER on Captain Marvel. Also—an in-depth interview with Golden Age great LILY RENÉE (Planet Comics, Jungle Comics, etc.), plus an overview of Centaur, home of BILL EVERETT’s Amazing-Man, LEW GLANZMAN’s Shark, MARTIN FILCHOCK’s Mighty Man, PAUL GUSTAVSON’s Fantom of the Fair, FRANK THOMAS’ Eye, and other heroes from that odd early-1940s company. Plus MICHAEL T. GILBERT and Mr. Monster, FCA (Fawcett Collectors of America), and more! Edited by Roy Thomas.

Text of Alter Ego #85

  • $6.95In the USA

    No.85May 2009

    Roy Thomas CombativeComics Fanzine

    SPECIAL

    SLUGFEST!

    THECAPTAINAND THE

    KRYPTONIAN!CATACLYSMIC CONFRONTATIONS

    IN THE COSMOS,IN CANDY STORES& IN COURT!

    Supe

    rman

    &Sh

    azam

    !he

    roTM

    &

    2009

    DC

    Com

    ics

    ALSO:GOLDEN AGE

    GREATNESS WITH

    LILY RENEE& CENTAURCOMICS!

    18265827763

    5

    05

  • Alter 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.Single issues: $9 US ($11.00 Canada, $16 elsewhere). Twelve-issue subscriptions: $88 US, $140 Canada, $210 elsewhere. All charactersare 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

    Creig Flessel

    Contentswriter/editorial: Of Shazam!, Seorita Rio, And Centaurs . . 2Im Not Typical For Doing Comics, You Know! . . . . . . . . . . 3The understatement of the year from Golden Age artist Lily Rene, interviewed by Jim Amash.

    Centaur Spread . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24The amazing story of the little-known but astonishing Centaur Comics Group, by Lee Boyette.

    Pow! Bam! Zap! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44Bob Rozakis spins Part 7 of his Secret History of All-American Comics, Inc.

    Comic Crypt: In Praise Of Picto! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51Michael T. Gilbert and Mr. Monster celebrate ECs Picto-Fiction magsand their most brazen imitator!

    A Tribute To Creig Flessel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59re: [correspondence, comments, & corrections] . . . . . . . . . 60FCA [Fawcett Collectors Of America #144] . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65P.C. Hamerlinck presents Marc Swayze, DC vs. Fawcett, Rich Buckler& The Wall Street Journal!

    On Our Cover: Especially for this issue, Rich Buckler re-did his cover for the historic Superman vs.Shazam! tabloid-size comic of more than three decades agoonly switching the Superman andCaptain Marvel figures! For the full story, see this issues FCA section and its intriguing interviewwith Rich. [Superman & Shazam! hero TM & 2009 DC Comics.]

    Above: A powerful Lost World splash panel by Lily Rene, from Planet Comics #42 (May 1946),reprod from a copy as reprinted in Trina Robbins 2001 volume The Great Women Cartoonists.Thanks to Trina for her blessing in using this art. [2009 the respective copyright holders.]

    Vol. 3, No. 85 / May 2009EditorRoy 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 WhiteMike Friedrich

    Circulation DirectorBob Brodsky,Cookiesoup Productions

    Cover Artist & ColoristRich Buckler

    With Special Thanks to:Rob AllenHeidi AmashHenry AndrewsMatt D. BakerDennis BeaulieuJohn BensonJon BerkDominic BongoLee BoyetteRich BucklerSusan BurgosNick CardyDick ColeMark D. CotnamCraig DelichMichal DewallyBetty DobsonJim EngelMark EvanierJon R. EvansJean-Michel FerragattiMartin FilchockJim FitzpatrickShane FoleyJanet GilbertLew GlanzmanBob GreenbergerWalt GroganLawrence P. GuidryJennifer HamerlinckFred Hembeck

    Greg HuneryagerJay KinneyDominique LeonardDon MangusBruce MasonJake OsterBarry PearlLily Rene PhillipsNick PollackRubn ProcopioJohn James Pulaski, Jr.Ken QuattroMikhaela B. ReidBob RivardTrina RobbinsFred RobinsonSteven RoweBob RozakisJean SchanbergerJohn SelegueTed SkimmerFlo SteinbergMarc SwayzeJeff TaylorDann ThomasJim Vadeboncoeur, Jr.Vaughn WarrenRobert WienerMonte WolvertonAlex Wright

  • et once again, we bit off more than we could chew. We really oughtto be getting used to the taste by now.

    How do these things happen?

    Well, you start off simplyknowing its been a year since Alter Ego lastfeatured a double-size helping of Fawcett Collectors of Americaso youdiscuss one with FCA editor P.C. Hamerlinck, and between you, you evenline up a spanking-new cover by your old buddy Rich Buckler to go withits Captain Marvel/Superman theme.

    Next you talk with associate-editor-slash-indefatigable-interviewer JimAmash to be sure that his entry for the issue, the long-awaited talk withGolden Age great Lily Rene, will be ready in time for you to line up andarrange ample art to accompany it. It will.

    Then you recall that you have on hand this piece by Lee Boyette thatyou really want to get into the mag: an awesome overview of the fabledyet nearly forgotten (if thats not a contradiction in terms) CentaurComics Group and related companies of the late 1930s and early 40s,stretching back even before the Golden Age. And you decide youve justgotta squeeze that in, too.

    Well, when push came to shove, our shoehorn wasnt quite up to thetask. FCAs twenty pages are hereand the complete Rene interviewbut we had so much Centaur-related art on hand, thanks first andforemost to Lee Boyette and his pal Jon R. Evans, but also to several othergenerous souls, that we decided the only way to do Lees survey justicewas to serialize it, hopefully with no more than a couple of monthsbetween installments. So that, by the time its been totally printed, youllhave had an illustration-laden tour of the company that brought the worldAmazing-Man, The Eye, and Speed Centaur.

    Present and accounted for, naturally, for the 85th issue in a row, isMichael T. Gilberts Comic Crypt. Bob Rozakis faux history of All-American Publications is back, with its penultimate A/E chapterwhileBill Schellys Comic Fandom Archive will return next issue. And, withthat pulsatin preview, its time to charge aheadon centaur-back, ofcourse!

    Bestest,

    Edited by ROY THOMASSUBSCRIBE NOW! Twelve Issues in the US: $88 Standard, $120 First Class

    (Canada: $140, Elsewhere: $210 Surface, $230 Airmail).NOTE: IF YOU PREFER A SIX-ISSUE SUB, JUST CUT THE PRICE IN HALF!

    COMING IN JUNECOMING IN JUNE

    [Kurtzman self-caricature 2009 Adele Kurtzman;

    other art 2009 the respectivecopyright holders.]

    Furshlugginer full-color cover featuring art by Mad creator HARVEY KURTZMANand some of the eras greatest artists!

    The Mad wannabes of 1953-55when everybody in comics was aping ECs newsmash hit! Captain MarbleDrag-ulaMighty MooseFour-Flush GordonPrince Scallion20,000 Leaks under the SeaTick Dracysurveyed by GERAPELDOORN, with a sidebar on Harvey Comics horrific humor by JOHN BENSON!

    Awesome 50s art & artifacts by (take a deep breath!): ANDRU & ESPOSITO,AYERS, BERG, BRODSKY, BURGOS, COLAN, COLE, DAVIS, DISBROW, DITKO,DRUCKER, EVERETT, FAGO, GIORDANO, HARTLEY, HEATH, HUBBELL, KUBERT,LEE, MANEELY, MAURER, NOSTRAND, OVERGARD, POST, POWELL, REINMAN,SEVERIN, SIMON & KIRBY, WOOD, et al.at their funniest and most frantic!

    Plusa frank talk with Golden/Silver Age artist FRANK BOLLE (Crimebuster, RedMask, Dr. Solar, etc.)conducted by JIM AMASH!

    MICHAEL T. GILBERT & GER APELDOORN on the Lost KURTZMAN YearsBILLSCHELLYs Comic Fandom ArchiveFCA with MARC SWAYZE & a special tribute toKURT SCHAFFENBERGER& MORE!!

    The Mid-1950s Color MAD ImitationsI.e., From SUPERDUPERMAN to NUTS!

    #86

    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

    WHAT HATHKURTZMAN WROUGHT?

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    writer/editorial

    Of Shazam!, Seorita Rio,And Centaurs

  • NTERVIEWERS INTRO: Lily Renes comic book work wasmainly done for Fiction House during the 1940s on features suchas Seorita Rio, Werewolf Hunter, Jane Martin, and The Lost

    World. I must admit that, as much as I like her work, I have a greaterfascination for her biography. Born during the 1920s in Vienna, heryouthful struggles against the Nazis and the prejudices of the war-tornEngland populace are compellingly heart-wrenching. I admire Mrs. LilyRene Phillips for her bravery and strength in the face of troubled timesand unenlightened attitudes, and I imagine everyone who reads herstory will feel the same.Jim.

    Vienna Was A Beautiful CityJIM AMASH: Did you get a lot of support from your family? Howsupportive were people of you being an artist?

    LILY RENE: They were proud of my ability to draw. When I was sixyears old, a lot of things happened; in a way it was the high point of mylife. I had an art exhibition of my drawings, and also won a contest fora photo of me that my mother sent in. The prize for the contest was amovie contract, but my father was not letting his daughter enter showbusiness. At school I was chosen to dance the little rose in theSchubert song Heidenrslein. The head of the education departmentwas there and said to my parents he would see to it that I wasadmitted at the opera-ballet. Again my father would not let me join.

    JA:Were there art classes in school?

    RENE: Yes, my artwork from the exhibit was from my art class.

    JA: You say you were living a little bit in your own kind of fantasyworld.

    Im Not Typical For DoingComics, You Know!

    The Life And Times Of Golden Age Artist LILY RENE

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    Seorita Rene(Left:) A recent photo of Lily Rene, which appeared with the to