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Alter Ego # 104 August 2011 (magazine review)

December 4, 2020 | By | Reply More

As you should be able to tell from the Fantastic Four # 1 variant cover on Alter Ego # 104, the focus is on Stan Lee. Back in 2005, he was being interviewed for audio clips for a book called ‘Stan Lee’s Amazing Marvel Universe’, released in the following year. I did a quick check and there are copies at various prices out there still. As you read the book, you could press page buttons and Stan would speak out of the digital audio player attached. With Stan’s own memory never being perfect, Roy Thomas was brought in for both interview sessions mainly to jog his memory. What we have, 6 years later, is the complete q&a, some of which is where Stan answers some questions twice over when some clarification or shortening the answer is needed and over revealing info, more so on his memory. Of course, if you know your Marvel history, much of it will be known but some gaps will be filled in and how he sees himself. When it came to working with his artists, Stan saw himself as a collaborator to getting their best work. He also barely looked at Marvel’s competitors, simply there was little time in his schedule.

Now Al Sulman was both a story editor at Timely and a freelance writer to make some more money and created the Blonde Phantom in 1946 and Google definitely needs to update its info there. Sulman was in his 90s when reluctantly interviewed by Jim Amash, mostly because he didn’t like talking about himself. However, the insights he does give are interesting. At Timely, his job was first tier to go over the story outlines before passing them to Stan Lee, who was art editor. When the finished material came in, Sulman sorted out dialogue problems and effectively protecting the writers’ backs. When Martin Goodman ordered the bullpen cut because of the big inventory Stan had built up, Sulman was one of the people let go but also got back when things changed, which showed his worth to the company. I think the most startling fact was how many brothers Goodman had, all involved in their own publishing enterprises.

Michael T. Gilbert ran an interesting piece by Mike Friedrich from back in the 60s when he was writing letters and seeing them regularly in DC Comics and was given the chance to submit plots to editor Julius Schwartz and goes over why it took so long to succeed. In any part of the publishing industry, persistence, talent and listening to editor’s criticisms are the keys to getting published.

The Fawcett Collectors Of America has the second part of an interview with Marc Swayze about, amongst other things, the Phantom Eagle. There’s also the first part of an interview with editor Roy Ald, who was in his 90s when this was done. I couldn’t find any more details about him on-line so this might be the only way you’ll find any info from the man himself and his early life.

In many respects, reading these early ‘Alter Egos’ is a buzz into the past and makes a hunt for paper back issues an interesting hunt.

GF Willmetts

November 2020

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 82 page illustrated magazine. Price: $ 7.95 (US). ISSN: 1932-6890. Direct from them, you can get it digital only for $ 4.99 (US), I was just lucky pulling a paper edition elsewhere)

check out websites: www.TwoMorrows.com and https://twomorrows.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=98_55&products_id=971&zenid=1b32554bd72d0318e263812609a203e5

Category: Magazines, Superheroes

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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