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


  1. Larry Leiber...

    "It was in my family really. My brother was in it and he started when he was about 17 or 18 or whatever. Also my uncle was in it and a cousin of ours owned the company. At that time it was called Timely Comics and he owned it, Martin Goodman. I was just a kid and kids liked comics at that time. We didn’t have television then and so there were newspaper comics and the comic books. I used to like to draw and copy them and so on. I remember once, and I don’t know when it was, but my uncle, Rob Solomon, took me down to Timely Comics."

    Robert Solomon, Stan and Larry's uncle, was business manager at Timely. Goodman the owner, is the referred to cousin.

    - KD

  2. I should do an update I guess. Jean Davis Goodman was the actual cousin. Martin Goodman was the cousin by marriage.

  3. Very interesting information. Thank you for putting it in such a positive way. I am one of David Goodman's children and from time to time I check on anything written about our family . There are some articles on the Internet and written that seem to take a huge delight in pointing out anything and everything negative about our family and the business. Most of the people who would know anything about the family history is either too old, non- communicative or gone.
    As a child I visited the offices as often as my father could take me and always "disappeared " into the Marvel side of the offices (during the years they shared the floor on Madison Ave.) Most times I would be in the Art Department sitting on Ditko's knee watching him draw. When I got older I worked for a short time in the magazine art pool. Yes we were a close family.

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  5. Thanks, I apologize for allowing your comment to linger unpublished for almost a year. I still plan to update this, health willing, but I no axes to grind with the Goodman family. The Goodmans provided a large array of entertainment and enjoyment to the American (and I guess to the World) public. Most of the magazine readers had no idea, nor cared, who published it. But if they didnt like it, they wouldnt have bought it. Part of my then-household enjoyed Chip Goodman's Victorian furnishings magazines. No successful buisness or buisness owners are without their critics, and of course, hindsight is easy. But yes, let me again thank the Goodman family for all the enjoyment they provided.


Most comments this (and other) blogs get are by spammers. Those guys are way way talkative. I currently use word verification to slow them down. Signing a name, even a fake name, helps your chances.