Alter Ego #172 November 2021 (magazine review).

A good chunk of this latest issue of ‘Alter Ego’ is devoted to Philipino artist Alfredo Alcala (1925-2000). When he being interviewed by Joe Orlando as to how many pages of art he could complete a week, Alcala said 40 pages pencilled and inked. When shown DC Comics pages, he said 80. Orlando stuck to 40.

The man was prolific, often going for extended hours to get work done for DC, Marvel and Warren. Richard J. Arndt interviews Alcala’s two sons, Alfred and Christian, about their father. Seeing his work here and reminded this was all inked by brush shows immense control. He even jerry-rigged cartridge pen to take a brush head so he wouldn’t have to dip them in ink to save time.

Much of Alcala’s work was drafted into black and white magazines, horror and sword and sorcery, especially Conan, so I didn’t see as much of his work when young. I do concur with Alcala’s thoughts that he wasn’t let loose on super-heroes as much as he would like but took all the work that was offered him. Read these interviews and be impressed.

Michael T. Gilbert’s look at Leo Rosenbaum aka Richard E. Hughes and at least 7 pen-names as a prolific writer in his own magazine does raise an interesting question as to who’s done this the most in fiction. He does go further, as shown here, giving biographies for his alter-egos.

Oh, we should acknowledge the memorials to Archie Comics editor Victor Gorelick (1941-2020) and writer/editor Dennis O’Neil (1939-2020), both sadly missed.

If you ever have the belief of being in the right place at the right time, David Saunders tells of his father, Norman Saunders. As a student about to attend the Chicago Art Institute in 1926, Saunders was advised that if he needed some work to pay his bills to go to Fawcett Publications and ended up there as an artist where he did some rapid portraits. He never went back to the Institute. Imagine that happening these days.

Again, I’m learning so much about early and more recent comicbooks creators with ‘Alter Ego’. I should add that their subscription speed is still reasonably fast, even posting over to the UK.

GF Willmetts

December 2021

(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))

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2 thoughts on “Alter Ego #172 November 2021 (magazine review).

  • Dear Geoff, you might be interested in my newest book–Our Artists at War. It’s a study of American war comics but it includes a lengthy look at Garth Ennis’ war comics as well.

    • Hello Richard
      I’m already reading it. John Morrow already posted it over.


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