16 March 2015
Occasionally, I'll read something that makes me do a double take. As
a long time SF fanzine fan, these comic panels did that for me:
ATOM #1 (Dec'97): Superhero or fanartist?
Then there's this one:
FLASH #218 (Oct/Nov'72): Hal Jordan
is a fanzine fan?
And this one:
ARCHER & ARMSTRONG #11 (Jun'93): 80.000+ streets in London, and he chooses that one?
JULIE SCHWARTZ: THE EARLY YEARS
16 March 2014
While THEN: THE ARCHIVE has had new material added on a fairly regular basis, it's been
a while since I last updated this part of my site. Four years, in fact. This blog is where
I post the occasional comics-related post. Like this one.
In the mighty effort he has put in to securing the photo collections of old SF fans before
they get lost, as all too many have, my buddy Peter Weston has also hoovered up quite a few
pictures from the early days of US fandom. Since our interests lie mainly with the history
of UK fandom we haven't really made much use of these as yet. I was looking through them
again earlier and thought comics fans might get a kick out of the two below, which come
from the collection of the late E.J. 'Ted' Carnell. First there's this one, presumably
taken in New York:
L-to-R: Jack Darrow, Julius Schwartz, unknown,
Don Wollheim, Conrad Ruppert
And then there's this one:
Superman's Julius Schwartz, Edmond Hamilton,
& Mort Weisinger
close-up of newspaper
Both are undated, and not being a fashion expert I don't know if they date from the 1930s
or the 1940s, though I'd guess the latter. Can anyone confirm this? Do Weisinger's
white-topped shoes tell us anything? It might be possible to
date the second one very accurately if the edition of the newspaper Weisinger is holding
could be identified. A long shot, but stranger things have happened.
UPDATE: The guy on the far left of the first photo has been identified to me as
Jack Darrow, and on going through Ted's photos again I found one of Ruppert and so
can positively ID him as the guy on the far right. I also found another photo with Julie
Schwartz in it I'd somehow missed. Since he has more hair in this one, I'm guessing this
is the earliest of the three. According to the caption, the photo was taken outside the
offices of THRILLING WONDER in July 1937:
L-to-R rear: Jack Williamson, L. Sprague de Camp, Dr. John Clark,
Frank Belknap Long, Mort Weisinger,
Edmond Hamilton, Otis Adelbert Kline...
L-to-R front: Otto Binder, Manly Wade Wellman, Julius Schwartz
UPDATE 2: Going through J Michael Rosenblum's photos - as supplied by his
son Howard - while looking for something else entirely I came across yet
another photo of Schwartz from, I'm guessing, the early 1940s.
L-to-R: Oswald Train, Lloyd Eshbach, Julius Schwartz
Other early photos of American SF pros and fans can be found elsewhere on this site:
MARVEL: THE FINAL DAYS OF THE THIRD REICH * link
16 January 2010
At some point, someone will tell the story of the final days of the Third Reich in the Marvel Universe.
Whether they will take the time and trouble to research what has already been established over the
years for that period is another matter. Here, in 13 pages taken from a bunch of different comics
is what we know to date. If you know of something significant I've missed please let me know.
NEW NAME, NEW PREMISES * link
16 January 2010
With the move to a new website I figured it was time to move my very occasional blog here, too.
Previously called FRIDGE MAGNET - a name made up on the spur of the moment when I first had
something I wanted to post - I'm taking this opportunity to retitle it. I found the new
name in one of my old apazines along with an explanation of why it would be a good
one for me to use. I agreed with my earlier self, so here it is. Why BRASH NEON should
be appropriate is left as an exercise for the reader.
PREVIOUS BLOG ITEMS (formerly at FRIDGE MAGNET):
8 March 2009 * link
I've been a Londoner more than half my life now and in that time I've gotten to know
the city pretty well, but there are still....
THINGS ABOUT LONDON I LEARNED FROM COMICS
1) When flying in from the US, airliners routinely land on the River Thames:
2) Charing Cross has cobbled streets, medieval houses, and is surrounded by woods:
3) Despite Ireland, the Irish Sea, Wales, and a fair chunk of England lying between them,
you can smell the Atlantic from the docks:
Incidentally, if you're wondering how the character shown covered ten miles in three minutes,
well being a vampire he did it by turning into a bat and flying there.
Images copyright DC Comics and Marvel Comics. More geographical insights as I uncover them.
6 April 2007 * link
This is, I suppose, a blog. I had no intention of ever starting one, honest. It
all began when someone asked see this illo by Neil (see item below), who
gave permission to post it saying he'd quite like to see it again himself. I've had
a website for years, though I rarely update it, so I had somewhere to post it. Only it
didn't seem right to just post it bare without at least a little bit of explanatory
text to provide context. Then, of course, it struck me that the combined illo'n'text
really needed to be embedded in some sort of larger format rather than just standing
alone. Fire up a text editor, type out some vanilla HTML, and in not much time at
all there was the skeleton of this page. Having created it it seemed a shame not to
add in a sidebar with a few links and, well, here we are.
This is somewhere to post the occasional thing I want to point others to. I
don't see it as something I'll be adding posts to very often, but if I do I'll
probably spruce up the design a bit.
A few days ago, in a comment thread on the Nielsen Hayden's MAKING LIGHT, Neil
Gaiman wrote that:
I'm pretty sure my first published illustration was a Watchmen gag in an Avedon Carol
fanzine, unless my memory has gone...
This caught my attention because:
Neil -- That very illo has been pinned to my office notice board - about a foot from where I'm
sitting - for years. You dated it, too - 29/9/86. I used to keep a diary back then, but
a quick look at the appropriate page has no mention of you at all. Seems I spent the day
visiting various museums with Stu Shiffman, over from the US. We used to see you pretty
often back then so I suppose we could've all met up at a pub afterwards. Strange that
my diary doesn't mention it if we did, though. The thing is, I was there when you drew
that picture, and it was either in a pub or at a con. The nearest entry I can find that
mentions you is a week earlier at UKCAC '86, the only comics con Avedon and I ever
attended. Perhaps you drew it there and misdated it? Curious.
Rereading my diary from that period for the first time since I wrote the entries,
that was quite a socially busy and interesting few weeks. Much more hectic than
the more sedate social life I enjoy these days. Neil replied to my comment thus:
Rob -- I remember meeting Stu with you, so my guess is that it was done in the pub that
evening. I'm pretty sure I didn't do it at UKCAC. I interviewed Alan and Dave about
Watchmen there, though. In a suit, as befitting the occasion.
This is probably what happened, and when the drawing was done. Anyway, one of those
reading the thread asked to see the cartoon, Neil was happy for it to be posted, so here it
is, two decades after it was drawn. And it occurs to me that if it gets linked to it
will be seen by many more people than the maybe couple of hundred who saw it in its
original fanzine appearance.
Avedon Carol *
Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden *
Roz Kaveney *
Neil Gaiman *