Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Bill Everett's family

There are plenty of stories about Bill Everett's family,  Wikipedia states "His 300-year-old New England family included Edward Everett, who after serving as president of Harvard University went on to become governor of Massachusetts and, in 1852, the U.S. Secretary of State; and for whom Everett, Massachusetts is named. It also includes Edward's son, Massachusetts Congressman William Everett; and the poet William Blake."

And the Everett part is true (I have no idea about the poet William Blake),  except that the emphasis needs to be on "300-year-old history" part of that sentence.  Edward and Bill did share a common ancestor,  "Deacon" John Everett (1676-1751), Edward's  great-grandfather and Bill's   6th great grandfather (assuming I counted right).   "Deacon" John gets the nickname, his tombstone implies, because he was the "first Deacon of the Church in the Second Parish in Dedham."
And indeed he is burred in the graveyard at the Second Parish Church.
So a distant relative indeed, and no need for us to include Edward's other achievements - such as being the  main speaker at the Gettysburg dedication, where the President, Abraham Lincoln said a few words as well.

Bill Everett had a lot of distant "cousins" make good, as this article on Wikipedia shows - including   Edward Everett Hale, Horace Everett, Blair Fairchild, Will Bagley, Pat Bagley, Robert Dean Frisbie, Harold Osborn, Edward Davis Jones, David Josiah Brewer, William Mark Felt, Amos G. Throop, Sarah Palin, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, James Olds, Tom Seaver, Story Musgrave, Sam Shepard, Bradford Washburn, John Forbes Nash, Mike Lee, Rex Lee, Nicholas Longworth, and perhaps Ginger Rogers.
I note politically and religiously, from very conservative to very liberal.

However Everett has a closer and clearer kin, also on Wikipedia,  his grandfather,and great grandfather.
William B.  Everett (1856 - 1907), and William Everett (1821-1899), who owned one of the more famous art galleries in Boston.

This William B.'s mother maiden name was Blake, increasing the possibility that he was William Blake Everett as well.
As noted in Wikipedia, the co-owner of Williams and Everett was married to William Everett's sister, thus also kin - if not blood kin - to Bill.        So Bill grew up in a home where art was not unsual nor where caraciture and cartoons, it's no wonder (per Wikipedia again) " Everett knew his father 'always wanted me to be a cartoonist"

 Sub-Mariner by Bill Everett

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Perfect Film & Chemical Company (1967- 1970)

Perfect Film and Chemical Company was created in early June 1967, when  United Whelan  changed their name, since they no longer owned the former Whelan and United Cigar stores.  And that pretty much describes the entire philosophy behind the buisness:   buy a company and then sell or dump it - all for the short term, nothing for the long term.  Martin S. Ackerman (c1932-1993) was the boy wonder behind the wheelings and dealings of PF&C.
  Lets look at some of the companies  that they bought and sold: Pathe, Plume and Atwood, Perfect Film, Hudson Vitamins, Culver Studios,  Downe Communications,  and most important to our topic Curtis Publications, Curtis Circulation, and Magazine Management   
     The Curtis folks had been one of the most dominate publisher for the past century, but it's flagship title,
The Saturday Evening Post was running out of steam, losing money hand over fist due to decrease in advertising.
PF&C didn't want to buy Curtis - they just wanted to loan them lots of money - and have Martin Ackerman be the president of Curtis as well, which happened in April 1968.   This resulted in SEP going to a specialized  market only (disclaimer: my family was one of the many who didn't live in the right area to subscribe),  and then led to SEP no longer being published.  They sold lots of good real estate, they sold their other magazines, they spent a lot of time in board meetings and then eventually in court.
    Circa May 1968 the Curtis Circulation Company is transfered to PF&C.
   In July 1968, PF&C finalized a deal with Martin Goodman for Magazine Management (which included Marvel Comics), and they over running the company by September 1968.
     (cover date - actual date circa September) December 1968 -February 1969, Marvel comics were listed in the indicia, that they were being published by PF&C. This was then changed to PF&C's division, Magazine Management.
    In January 1969 it was announced that PF&C was taking over the publication of several Curtis magazines,
Jack and Jill, Holiday, and Status. This lasted until October.
    Martin Ackerman stepped down (a wealthy man) in May 1969, although he continued to consult for the company.  Sheldon Feinberg became President in June 1969 and then Chairman.
     October 1969 (cover date - actual date circa July ) Marvel Comics and the magazine line began to be distributed by the  Curtis Circulation Company, which was  owned by PF&C.
     In April 1970, PF&C reported a 35 million dollar loss for the year  1969.
     Between October 20, 1970 and January 24, 1971 PF&C changes their name to Cadence Industries Corporation,  They sell off Perfect Film not too long after.
       Martin Goodman is still on board, but his (presumed) 5 year contract is  ticking away.  Cadence enters the 1970s  ready for growth with Marvel Comics, Magazine Management, and Curtis Circulation.

Martin Ackerman died  in August 1993 at age 61.

All information is as best known - and taken from newspaper and magazine accounts from the late 1960s.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Goodman Family of Marvel Comics fame

18 April 2011

So who are the 1940s Goodmans?  Ah, here's the answer - to at least some - of your questions.

Abraham Goodman (c1913- ) brother of Martin Goodman ; manging editor of Marvel Comics from 1939-c1948,  then took over the Humorama line up to around the end.
   business manager of at least Snap Magazine in 1940

Arthur Goodman (c1918- ) youngest brother of Martin Goodman;; in charge of colonists 1941-1945;
editor of Goodman's Crossword Puzzle Books

Chip Goodman (Charles)     son of Martin Goodman,  in charge of the 1970s Atlas comics. Later publisher of Swank.

David Goodman  (C1914- )  co-owner of Goodman company in 1952;  Lt. in World War 2
   Publisher and owner of Snap Magazine in 1940

Evelyn Goodman -  no kin, wrote for DC and Classics Illustrated

Jean Goodman (nee Jean Davis)    married Martin Goodman, listed as co-owner 1952
 listed as editor 1944-1947; credited to text stories in 1946-1947; mother of Chip; related to Stan Lee and Larry  Lieber

Martin Goodman (c1909 -1992 ) 7th child, but first boy in his family;  worked for Eastern Distribution from
 1927-1931 (Paul Sampliner, later co-founder of IND and DC comics);  magazine publisher from 1931-
 mid 1970s, first with Louis Silberkleit (later of Columbia and MLJ / Archie) and  most notably a 40 year run as owner and publisher of Magazine Management and Marvel Comics.
  "Martin" was not his birth name.

Sidney "Charles" Goodman (c1916- 1937) editor for Goodman
    editor of Best Sports 1937, Complete Sorts 1937, Two-Gun Western 1937 -1938, Western Novelets 1936

There are beliefs that one or two of Martin Goodman's 7 sisters married someone that Martin put to work.
but this isn't substantiated - yet.     Obviously a close family.
Speculation is  that Robert Solomon was Goodman's brother-in-law, and Stan Lee's Uncle.
Robert Erisman (1908-1995) does not appear to be married to a Goodman sister, he is (some say)
married to Adele Goodman.

updated October 6, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

Pre-Gleason: Picture Scoop, Inc. (1942 - 1946)

This is  everything that is  known about Picture Scoop, Inc.  Including a list of all known publications.  Picture Scoop is  usually affiliated  by comic fans with Lev Gleason,  however he doesn't show up in 1942

114 East 32nd St.  
 April 1942 (real time)  - February 1946 (cover date)

Arthur Bernard:  President 1942,  Publisher 1944
Morris S. Latzen:   Treasurer 1942,  general manager 1944   nick name "Murray"
Clement J. Wyle:  Editor of Picture Scoop  #1 - 3,  1942
Joseph Chasin:   Art Director:  1942
Leverett S. Gleason:  Editor of  Reader's Scope:  1944
E. A. Piller:  Managing Editor  of Reader's Scope 1944

comic books:  
Captain Battle Comics #5   (Summer 1943)   There was no #4 - previous issue was by Harry  'A' Chesler.       This issue  reprints Captain Battle Comics #1 (Summer 1941) from New Friday, Inc.

Picture Scoop #1 (October 1942) - v2#1  (Feb 1944)  -  becomes Reader's Scope with the July issue.
Reader's Scope   v2 #2   (July 1944)  - v3 #9  (Feb. 1946 )  Next issue is by Reader's Scope, Inc.
True Crime Detective  #4  (June 1944) ; #1 is said to be by Magazine House and #5  (September 1944) is  by Your Guide.
Best True Fact Detective Cases    circa 6/1944   First issue circa Fall 1943.  Published by Newsbook as of  May 1946 

The above ran house ads  for  Scoop Detective Cases  (ads from April 1942 to September 1942 known). Published by Magazine House, Inc.

They also ran house ads for Special Detective Cases, in 1942.  issues from 1942-1943 published y Magazine House, Inc.  v2#2 (January 1943) published by Magazine House, Inc.  published by Detective House by at  least 1948.  The May 1942 - September 1942 issues  have the Magazine Village "policeman" emblem.   First issue was August 1941.

paperback book:
Sabotage!  The Secret War Against America  by Michael Sayers and Albert E. Kahn
        1944 stapled, reprints the 1942 Harper & Brothers hardback edition

Bernard and Latzen worked together up to circa 1948.
Clement  J. Wyle  (c1903 - 1991) was the editor of Picture Scoop  #1-3 in 1942. Under his birth name of Alex J. Whynman, he was active in Zionist activities in the 1920s.  In 1946, he and his wife started a PR firm,  They also wrote radio and TV shows.

Picture Scoop was looking for material for it's first (October) issue as early as April 11 1942.  At that time, they were using the stationary of Magazine House, Inc.  By the end of April they were using Picture Scoop, Inc letterhead, but used Magazine House occasionally.   The Post Office declared the second issue obscene (it might rate a PG-13 these days, or maybe just a PG,  so smut-hounds will be disappointed). The 4th issue (March 1943) was an inventory job.

update 4 September 2012.  22 December  2014.  10 June 2025

Thursday, April 14, 2011

sweeping and mopping the floors

OK, let me finish the clean-up work here, on this the new improved blog, where basically I just
chat about the history of comics - mostly golden age, nothing newer than 1970. My focus in on the creators and not the creation.  It's on the product and not the "universe".  The folks who created these 10-15 cent comics were human beings, worthy of respect.
  I read my first comic book around 1960 - It was an I Go Pogo, right after that it was Classics Illustrated and Classics Illustrated Juniors, followed by the World Around Us.  And every couple of months, we'd get the new
March of Comics and the (forgettable) Wrangler Rodeo Comics.  Around 1964, it was Dennis the Menace and Disney comics, followed by other Gold Keys, and then in 1966: Batman Pop Tart Comics
(no caption)
Marvel comics in 1968, and comics fandom in 1969.

Wrote for fanzines in the 1970s on, members of various APAs,
senior editor of the Who's Who of American Comic Books
and now here.