Alter Ego #149 November 2017 (magazine review).

November 13, 2017 | By | Reply More

It shouldn’t escape your notice that comicbook artist Gil Kane is the main subject of this edition of ‘Alter-Ego’. In the opening article by Daniel Herman, he points out Gil Kane as the first artist on the Silver Age Green Lantern and the Atom who also designed their costumes. I always loved Kane’s Green Lantern costume because unlike other DC designs, it didn’t need a cloak and the green section was more leotard than trunks. There’s also a reminder of Kane’s desire and failure in getting one of the first 60s graphic novel paperbacks, ‘His Name Is Savage’ (1968), out simply because it was outside of the Comics Code Authority and word was spread around to the various printers it was ‘pornographic’. Geeze! Anyway, Kane did finally achieve his desire to also be a newspaper strip artist with ‘Star Hawks’. You can read about all of this and more here.

A rather interesting piece called ‘Bypassing The Real For The Unreal’ was written by Gil Kane himself in 1974 where, as the title suggests, the quasi-area between drawing and life as well as comicbook and film and the differences between them. With the latter, I can see what he’s getting at with emotional impact being easier to put across in films but there have been moments, more so as a Neal Adams’ ‘Green Lantern/Green Arrow’ shown in the article where it can be put over. His strongest point is that it is the artist not the writer who really leads with what people remember about a story.

The next piece is a 1986 interview with Gil Kane by Steve Whitaker taken at that year’s UK Comic Art Convention and originally shown in the ‘Fantasy Advertiser’. A lot of is Kane discussing the various artists and inkers he knew and worked with and a more up-to-date Roy Thomas correcting the odd details. It’s quite revealing whom Kane regarded as talented against the hacks. About the only thing that wasn’t mentioned was Kane drawing up the nose poses which often raised question marks from our community at the time. His thoughts on comicbook writers being there only because they couldn’t sell elsewhere seems a little odd, especially as some writers started in comics before moving up or even did both.

After all this Kane material, we have the first part of a series looking at and having snippets from a semi-autobiographical book by comicbook writer John Broome.

Following this part two of ‘The PAM Papers’ where correspondence between comicbook artist Pete Morisi to Glen D. Johnson gives a lot of information about the Big Two back in the 1970s and how close to the wall they were to being closed down.

The third part of an interview with Ted White goes on to look at his fan days cadging time in the EC Comics bullpen.

The section of the original Captain Marvel has a look at CC Beck’s writer’s circle of people he kept in contact to. There’s also a look at the British reprints of the Fawcett Comics in the UK by the L. Miller publishing company in the early 40s. From my side of the pond, I would think that recycling was rife during the war years so I doubt if many were kept.

As usual, ‘Alter-Ego’ will stir memories and garner you knowledge from your childhood and always a happy read.

GF Willmetts

November 2017

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 98 page illustrated magazine. Price: $ 9.95 (US). ISSN: 1932-6890. Direct from them, you can get it for $ 8.46 (US))

check out websites: www.TwoMorrows.com and http://twomorrows.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=98_55&products_id=1290

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Category: Comics, Magazines, Superheroes

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About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 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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