Alter Ego #177 September 2022 (magazine review).

Reading Richard Arndt’s interview with comicbook artist Don Perlin, you discover he’s charmingly self-depreciating about his long career. It’s only when we get to Jim Shooter who points out that Perlin was managing art director at Marvel, who quit that job to work for him at Valliant as a freelancer you realise where his heart is, a love of drawing. Perlin also points out that he is most proud of his work at Valliant which should speak for itself.

Going over his remit period for ‘Alter Ego’, he was also the original designer of Moon Knight as an opponent for ‘Werewolf By Night’ and saw much of it chucked when put into his own series. I was less familiar with ‘Werewolf By Night’ but can understand the changes to extend beyond chasing werewolves.

It isn’t as though other characters didn’t have changes to their m.o.’s. I’m only picking on this one aspect but this is only a minor point in a massive interview covering the problems in the 1950s where Perlin was one of the artists in the EC Comics that Wertham took to court in his presentation.

Will Murray’s look at how Marvel covers were either reformulated, updated or purely changed could go on and on…well, all right, for a while. I think it would be worth exploring foreign reprints like France’s ‘Special Strange’ and how often they repainted original covers to doing their own. From what Murray shows here, it looks like Germany was more faithful to their source.

Alex Jay looks into the life of comicbook artist Marcia Snyder (1907-1976), one of the few female pencilers in the 1950s. The samples here show a clean style that developed over the years. Jay’s piece goes into a lot of family details that he researched and not sure if the reader will need all of that. From his account, little is known about Snyder so might have been used to up the wordcount.

I’m familiar with a lot of the details of Richard Kelsey’s look at Marvelmania International and his interview with Mark Evanier, who he and some of his pals were roped in to help out clearly shows it was so badly run that its organiser Don Wallace eventually fled and was never heard of again.

We finally have the last instalment of comicbook writer John Broome’s musings looking at whether there is a deity or not. Broome betted on nature.

Michael T. Gilbert’s Mr. Monster has another look at ‘Cracked’ and how it eventually faded out. Along the way, I finally discovered what happened to all the other satire magazines. There’s also a good selection of joke material here as well and you have to love what the letterbox version of Dick Tracy showing things slightly off camera.

Memoriams this time are for writer/artist/puppetmaker Steve Sherman (1949-2021), Belgium artist Gérald Forton (1931-2021), colourist Gene D’Angelo and editor/interviewer David Anthony Kraft (1952-2021).

To end it, Donald Ensign looks at the like of Freddy Freeman, who was as busy as his alter-ego Captain Marvel, Jr. I think the most interesting fact was the writers forgetting he couldn’t say his super-hero name without transforming one way or the other. Just because he was junior, doesn’t mean he was forever young and Ensign works out Freeman has to have aged at least 5 years in the span of his Fawcett years,.

Always lots to read and learn and the growing interest in Moon Knight is going to draw some interest.

GF Willmetts

September 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))

check out websites: www.TwoMorrows.com and https://twomorrows.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=98_55&products_id=1665


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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