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Sunday, May 04, 2008

Alter Ego #75/96 pgs. & $6.95 from Twomorrows Publishing
























Various writers and artists/available comics shops and at www.twomorrows.com.

Disclaimer: I have written for Alter Ego magazine, and therefore cannot be unbiased in this review.

I love this magazine! Alter Ego is a periodical mostly about the history of super-hero comic book titles with a sprinkling of information on comic strips. It is generally packed from glossy cover to cover with art, photographs, and new information on the world’s most popular artform starting in the early ‘30s.

The cover of the 75th issue is a montage of the art styles used on Fawcett Publication’s “Captain Marvel”, Superman’s only serious contender for the title of the best selling superhero of all time.

Shazam!! About half of the issue is dedicated to the interpretation of the “Big Red Cheese” by many different writers and artists for more than fifty years. Features in the rest of the issue include articles on artists and writers probably unknown to most readers. That’s because, for the most part, creators did not get bylines on their stories published in the first 25 years of comic books.

As example, Maxwell Elkan is a man unknown to even most hardcore comics fans. Yet this talented artist produced a substantial amount of outstanding comics work in multiple genres for twenty years. Recognition of his talent and of his role in the formative years of comics is no longer overdue.

This issue also offers a delightful 2008 calendar featuring famous movie actresses as super-heroines from the ‘30s and ‘40s. What comics fan could resist Jane Russell as Phantom Lady or Esther Williams as Rocketgirl? Hubba, hubba!

If the preceding sounds like Alter Ego is not a magazine for causal comics readers, you have good ears. Alter Ego is highly recommended for die-hard comics fans.

Michael Vance

Order Dark Corridor,a horror, fantasy, and suspense short story magazine at www.mainenterprises.ecrater.com! Michael Vance contributes the offbeat tales "The Zoo" and "Picked Clean". $4.50 per issue, USA.