Alter Ego #152 May 2018 (magazine review).

April 18, 2018 | By | 4 Replies More

I have to confess that I have never heard of Larry Ivie (1936-2014) until now. However, reading Sandy Plunkett’s extended article here, Ivie was one of the founding American comicbook historians, developing writing and art skills, the latter of which can be seen growing over the feature. He was also the chap to go to if you wanted to contact certain people, the likes of Frazetta, Crandell, Krenkel and Williamson for instance, for a cover and this was before their stars rose. Back in the day, without the Internet, you really had to know the right people. He mixed in good company. Ivie was a geek before we had the name.

Ivie also had the idea to revive DC Comics’ ‘Justice Society Of America’ as the ‘Justice Legion’ but advised by editor Sheldon Mayer to go to editor Julius Schwartz and call it the ‘Justice League’ as the editor was a baseball fan. He got rejected but it was eventually used. A little tit-bit of information I didn’t know. Ivie did go on to be involved in Tower Comics ‘T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents’ and contributed bits and pieces of art and writing to different companies over the years. I suspect his connections to famous artists of the day would have been envious of our generation today. It certainly gives insight into the 1950s-70s. There’s a lot of material here but chiefly it shows how someone like Ivie dabbled in the comicbook industry but never got fully hooked for his own reasons. As such, though, he wasn’t a hanger-on and probably not wanted to beholden. An interesting study.

Comicbook writer John Broome’s 1998 ‘Memoir’ is down to 2 pages this time but gives insight to his home in Japan. Michael T. Gilbert’s look at the covers of love titled comics and how jewels and motivations have changed over the decades is, again, insightful enough that you have to wonder what ladies bought them. What he doesn’t point out is that these were practically all written and drawn by men which should have slanted such choices.

Bill Schelly explains why he’s done a second volume of a ‘Sense Of Wonder’ and because the first book is out-of-print, combined them both into a single volume.

Someone else I’ve never heard of is but a remembrance for Sam Glanzman (1924-2017) but as his work was in war comics might explain that. He used his WW2 experience in the navy in his art.

Finally, a look at Fawcett’s Captain Marvel and his and other characters move to DC Comics and the differences between copyright, trademark and ownership. The biggest lesson from that is an understanding why American companies want to own major properties outright is because of the expensive legal red tape. There was a change in American copyright in 1976 which is more like UK copyright now so owners don’t have to pay to keep up ownership. This is a complex subject but writer Mike Tiefenbachler does a good job in explaining it.

It would be all too easy for ‘Alter Ego’ to stay on safe subjects but magazines like this need to stretch and I’d rather learn something new as well. Don’t under-estimate this issue.

GF Willmetts

April 2018

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 98 page illustrated magazine. Price: $ 9.95 (US). ISSN: 1932-6890. Direct from them, you can get it for $ 8.46 (US))

check out websites: www.TwoMorrows.com and http://twomorrows.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=133&products_id=1340


Category: Comics, 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.

Comments (4)

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  1. Richard Arndt says:

    Wish you’d review the latest issues of Back Issue as well. You do a good job of reviewing (although this review has a lot of typos)and often have some very intelligent things to say about articles in the Twomorrows books & magazines. I do the occasional interview/article for them and it’s nice to see someone with some knowledge reviewing the various issues on a regular basis.

  2. UncleGeoff says:

    Hello Richard
    Typos?? You do realise SFC comes from the UK and I use British spellings, don’t you??
    It also takes about 10 days for American publications to get to me and the latest Back Issues # 104 and the re-issues of # 61 hasn’t arrived yet.

    • Richard Arndt says:

      Yeah, I’m aware of the difference in spelling. (: I was referring to awkward phases like “probably not wanted to beholden’ from paragraph two, “Someone else I’ve never heard of but a remembrance for Sam Glanzman” in paragraph 5 and the incomplete sentence that starts off paragraph 6. Since your copy usually reads quite correctly I assumed these were typos. That said, I enjoy your reviews quite a lot. You often have some interesting and thought-provoking things to say. Best


      • UncleGeoff says:

        Hello Richard
        That would be called a turn of phrase not typos. There is a significant difference. I’m using colloquial English which tends to be more chatty than I use in my stories or articles.


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