With Roy Thomas’ 75th year, this edition of ‘Alter Ego’, is the second part of a massive interview by Jim Amash covering his freelancing career from 1990s to the present. The first part was ran in Alter-Ego # 136 which is a shame as it looks like I missed that. Although I’m not a fan of the likes of Conan, I do appreciate the range of stories Roy Thomas has done. There are art samples galore from this period as well as photos of the various people he worked with. Finding things to comment on is a lot harder, mostly because its from a period thaa I’m less familiar with. When it comes to his adapting ‘The X-Files’ season one to comics as Thomas’ comment that Scully remained sceptical for so long, I think it was more to do with thinking every case wasn’t what it appeared to be until proven otherwise.
I did spot a couple mistakes, the biggest being the caption identifying ‘John Tooms’ should have been spotted as he’s supposed to be ‘Eugene Victor Tooms’. Maybe the comicbook version had a different name but perhaps that’s stretching things too far.
What makes this interview so interesting is just how much you learn about all the comicbook companies of the 1990s as Roy Thomas looks like he worked for them all and it gives insight into their work practices. There’s even a look at how Roy got ‘Alter-Ego’ its second volume of life at TwoMorrows in case you didn’t know how it happened.
Just in case you think the magazine is all wrapped up in this, Michael T. Gilbert tracks down a 1943 winner of an Archie Comics first prize, helped along by the fact that he was the only one of that name in the phone book. Stanley Taffet recounts his essay got him a drawn portrait. However, the results weren’t exactly good at the age of eleven, not helped by an English school teacher tyrant who didn’t think much of his work but he did improve his grades later.
There is also a copy of the original letter by Jerry G. Bails who revealed just how much of a co-creator of Batman and especially his supporting cast and villains that Bill Finger was that Bob Kane neglected. Of particular note was just how many other 50s comicbook characters Finger also created, including the original Green Lantern and Wildcat. If nothing else, it does reveal that although the artist designs the character, it is the writer who breathes life into them.
For those of you who only thought CC Beck was the only one to draw the original Captain Marvel, for Faucett to keep up, they also employed others of his former classmates from the Pratt Institute who were also artists. The first part of this series looks at pipe-smoking Ray Harford, whom Beck describes as the closest to his style.
Lest I forget, you can also buy all of TwoMorrows products as digital copies as well although I have to confess, you’d probably prefer to see the art in your hands. The preview covers of what comes next in the year will have you picking out which ones you want to read next as well.
(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 82 page illustrated magazine. Price: $ 9.95 (US). ISSN: 1932-68950. Direct from them, you can get it for $ 8.46 (US))
check out websites: http://www.twomorrows.com/ and http://twomorrows.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=98_55&products_id=1232