Alter Ego #182 July 2023 (magazine review).

This issue of ‘Alter Ego’ focuses on Fawcett material, particularly highlighting the non-family member character, Uncle Dudley, explored by writer Carl Lani’Keha Shinyama. I had always assumed ‘Dudley’ was a forename, but it turns out it’s his surname. Loosely inspired by W.C. Fields, Dudley, a former huckster, is somewhat aided by Mary Marvel. Primarily serving as comic relief, Dudley is predominantly featured in her title. The cover, incidentally, is by Jerry Ordway, based on the 1945 cover from The Marvel Family # 1.

Shawn Clancy interviewed Roscoe ‘Rocky’ Fawcett Jr. back in 2007, who sadly passed away in 2018. This material was originally included in the ‘Fawcett Companion,’ now out of print. Interestingly, none of the four brothers who ran the company wanted their children involved beyond summer jobs when they were young. They feared their children might just collect paychecks without contributing significantly.

The ‘Mr. Monster’ section showcases the St. Louis Post-Dispatch biographies of its comic strip creators, including many well-known names, alongside photos. This insight into their appearances is quite enlightening, with no one looking particularly radical, although some sport cheeky grins.

In this issue, we remember George Olshevsky (1946-2021), who was responsible for Marvel’s comic book indexes, and comic book artists Anthony T. Tallarico (1933-2022) and Vic Carrabotta (1929-2022).

While I don’t typically discuss the letters column, the response to ‘Alter Ego’s issue on Black characters offers some intriguing insights. I hope we may eventually delve into the representation of Oriental and Asian characters, questioning why they are not more prevalent.

The final section focuses on comic book artist and in-between animator Ken Landau (1931-2012) (pronounced Lan-daw). After a year in New York establishing his presence with comic book publishers, Landau returned to his native California.

His animation work, mainly contracted with Disney and other studios, served as his steady income. I hope his daughter, Maranee Landau McDonald, succeeds in publishing her book about her father—it promises to be a compelling read. Had Landau remained in New York, his name might have gained greater recognition, considering his versatility across genres, albeit with a preference for science fiction and horror. This all was quite enlightening, and I always appreciate discovering unknown aspects of familiar material.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to delve into this issue—it could be summed up in one word or two: Shazam or buy.

GF Willmetts

June 2023

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

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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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