Monday, November 20, 2006

Wonder Woman's Creators

Now here's a great photo! Taken from the inside cover of WONDER WOMAN # 2 in 1942, this picture depicts all of the MALE creators of the Amazing Amazon. Well...not REALLY all apparently if you'll note the text by FEMALE Assistant Editor Alice Marble. According to her, Harry Peter, standing, second from left, directed a crew of four assistants to churn out all of the WONDER WOMAN art. If you know your comics history, this is not at all unusual as Siegel and Shuster, Simon and Kirby, Will Eisner and most especially Bob Kane all had assistants and ghosts. After all, this was commerce, not art! The more product you could turn out, the more money. Most histories of WONDER WOMAN, however, note the unusual, "old-fashioned" art style of Peter and seem content to think it was all his and his alone! At left in the picture is the infamous Dr. Marston, noted more as a self-promoter and polyamorist than the pop psychologist he was (and from what I understand, only a CO-creator of the lie detector). At center is young Sheldon Mayer, one of the unsung heroes of the comics, Mayer, a cartoonist himself, edited the All-American line and was a keen judge of talent and creativity. He also, of course, gave us the delightful strips SCRIBBLY and much later SUGAR AND SPIKE, both of which need DC SHOWCASE volumes! Finally, at right, the old man himself M.C. "Charlie" Gaines. According to Gerard Jones' essential comics history, MEN OF TOMORROW, the erroneous notion that Gaines "created" the comic book was largely promoted after the fact by son Bill (of EC and MAD fame). Note the claim here though, proving that Gaines himself was taking the credit much earlier.

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