Alter Ego # 146 May 2017 (magazine review).

May 17, 2017 | By | Reply More

The cream at the top of the latest ‘Alter Ego’ magazine has to be the interview with the extremely prolific comicbook writer, Doug Moench. If you’ve ever read Marvel’s ‘Master Of Kung Fu’ you can tell how his various artists rose to his writing. Richard J. Arndt’s interview covers Moench’s career through to his time at Marvel. I hope he’s considering a rematch to cover Moench’s time at DC at some point. I know editor Roy Thomas only really wants to cover only up to the Silver Age begrudgingly into the Bronze Age but there are some aspects that need to be covered and if it’s not ‘Alter Ego’, then who?

An interview with George Brenner’s son, John, gives insight into his father’s comicbook career. This really goes back as Brenner created the first masked hero for Quality Comics in the 1930s, The Clock, although quite how the character got that name baffles me as essentially all he has initially is a handkerchief covering his face which must have blown upwards in any windy weather. Brenner fulfilled various roles from editor to penciller to writer over his short career and the information given here fills in the gap missing in the ‘The Quality Companion’ book from TwoMorrows. I’m beginning to regret never asking for a copy of the book for review.

Depending on your outlook, seeing an unprinted, until now, 1942 story by Marvin Levy of the characters ‘Bill Of Rights And Liberty Belle’ shows a wholly uninventive inventory piece. However, considering at how comicbook characters were generated at the time, including a patriot theme, it gives some insight into how things were done back then.

The key problem with Michael T. Gilbert’s piece is it’s clearly not April first when released and without Roy’s message at the end would undoubtedly cause mayhem in fandom circles if true.

I had to have a think as to who was Ted White for a moment until his credits showed he was editor at ‘Heavy Metal’ magazine around the time I was reading it. That Ted White! The man of 10,000 comics was how he was described and how he was weaned on comics and through the first part of this interview you learn how.

Four ‘In Memoriams’ covering the lives of Daniel Keynes (also an SF writer for those who remember ‘Flowers For Algernon’), artists Paul Ryan, Ken Barr and co-organiser of the first American comicbook convention, Ethan Roberts. The intense letters column and some interesting mail from fellow pros.

Finally, a literal big splash looking at various Brazilian and Argentinan comicbook covers featuring the Captain Marvel or should it be Capitáo Marvel or Capitan Marvel Jefe and his family. Good thing they never called him the Big Red Cheese. Somehow, when they went their own way, these countries had no qualms including DC and Marvel characters in their adventures.

As always ‘Alter Ego’ is an informative read and if you’re into comicbook history, this isn’t a magazine you want to miss.

GF Willmetts

May 2017

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 100 page illustrated magazine. Price: $ 9.95 (US). ISSN: 1932-6890. 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=1266

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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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