Alter Ego #164 May 2020 (magazine review).

As the cover of the latest ‘Alter Ego’, shows, the first third of this book is devoted to comicbook writer Mike Friedrich. One of several junior fans that turned writer at DC Comics following on from Jim Shooter, although I doubt they realised his age at the time neither. Friedrich explains how writing comicbooks for DC Comics, starting in 1967, paid for his university fees and the list of famous comicbook artists who drew his stories really is impressive.

He then moved to Marvel Comics before branching out an creating the first independent company Star*Reach, the companion book of which I’ve reviewed a while back. Seeing his checklist at the end of the interview also shows how prolific he was.

During World War II, like all countries at war, the USA allocated a limited amount of paper for publications. Principally for publishers who existed before the war but there were some who seeing the money potential illegally joined in. Seeing the material with Mark Carlson-Ghost’s article on the subject shows the material wasn’t particularly, just a matter of breaking the law which publisher Lindsay Baird spent a couple years in jail.

A fascinating read and a lot of one-off issues and short-life companies. Baird’s company was called ‘Rural Home’. I couldn’t help thinking Carlton-Ghost were making things look too complicated with the choice of its company name. Looking at Rewl’s name phonetically. I would pronounce that as re-owl or row-al or ‘rue-al’, hence rural.

Michael T. Gilbert has a look at some more letters written by artist Pete Morisi. I would add one point when he discussed the magazine ‘Witzend’ he missed is the reason that the creators, including Steve Ditko and Al Williamson, contributed for free is largely because they established their own copyright on the material.

Finally, Brian Cremins has a look at The Shadow and his early comicbook version.

Editor Roy Thomas says the size of the articles squeezed many things to the next issue but I think had he split it between issues, would have diluted the material and should be applauded. Lots to read an much to react over.

GF Willmetts

June 2020

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 82 page illustrated magazine. Price: $ 9.95 (US). ISSN: 1932-6890. Direct from them, you can get it for $ 9.95 (US) and don’t forget the 2020 discount)

check out websites: www.TwoMorrows.com and https://twomorrows.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=133&products_id=1537


Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 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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