Alter Ego #173 January 2022 (magazine review).

February 16, 2022 | By | Reply More

This latest edition of ‘Alter Ego’ is unique in that it is the first of a two-part major article exploring not only black super-heroes but black characters in general in American comicbooks by Barry Pearl. It’s interesting to point out that part of the problem wasn’t so much racism per se by the comicbook companies themselves but nationwide sales and comicbooks featuring black characters were returned unopened from the southern states meant they were losing money.

I wish there was info as to what happened in the northern states as a comparison. Some characters like Tyroc from the LSH only get a picture rather than a discussion on his attire but things were odd in the 30th century. The same could be said of Black Goliath with his exposed belly and how much thought was really given to appropriate costumes. The list of characters stops short of Misty Knight.

The first part of an interview by Alex Grand and Jim Thompson with author William H. Foster III, who wrote ‘Looking For A Face Like Mine’ and ‘Dreaming Of A Face Like Ours’ and both sadly out of print, presents the black perspective of comicbooks. Very enlightening, more so as Foster was into comicbooks in the late 50s and had a sampling of everything. Something I would surmise was a general acceptance of what was there rather an absence of characters of colour but happy to see them emerge. Foster is a delightful interviewee and speaker on comicbooks, clearly knowing his subject and can’t wait for the second part.

Michael T. Gilbert’s look at ‘Mad Magazine’ reacting to rival mags reacting to it in return is literally biting the hand that made them possible. I was surprised how many of these mags were in print as we barely saw more than a few of them in the UK.

The memorials this time are for Wonder Woman’s first female writer Joye Hummel Murchison Kelly (1924-2021) and Carl Gafford aka Douglas Jones (1953-2020).

The Fawcett Collectors Of America continues its look at the art of Norman Saunders and how his cover art progressed when there was an open invite to produce covers and had his first six taken on the spot. From these, he frequently freelanced for other publications, often under his middle name of ‘Blaine’. Considering many of them weren’t painted to spec, its quite an insight into the publishing industry of that time period.

As always, there is a lot to learn about early comicbook history from ‘Alter Ego’ or even re-enforce memories of the time period. This issue is no exception and especially exceptional.

GF Willmetts

February 2022

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 82 page illustrated magazine. Price: $10.95 (US). ISSN: 1932-6890. Direct from them, you can get it for $10.95 (US))

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Category: Magazines, Superheroes

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About UncleGeoff

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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