A question on GA Timely covers. Stan Lee and Alex Schomburg
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That Fish piece and article is awesome. I had no idea he did so much other wok. Is there any type of full list of everything he did at least cover wise. This is a great thread.

 

James G

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After Simon and Kirby left in late 1941, Stan was an editor for just a few months before he went to war (stateside) in early 1942 until sometime in 1945.

Schomburg created plenty of covers unique to that style before Stan had any say at Timely and plenty of those covers while Stan was in the service.

I don't think Stan's input, if ever there was any, had a thing to do with the special talent that was Alex Schomburg.

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What I was curious about was how Xela might have felt from taking direction from a 18 year old kid.

As his Timely covers are much more dynamic than his Nedor covers, it would seem someone was giving him direction, at a minimum.

Edited by shadroch

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What I was curious about was how Xela might have felt from taking direction from a 18 year old kid.

As his Timely covers are much more dynamic than his Nedor covers, it would seem someone was giving him direction, at a minimum.

I went and looked up in a few sources I have about Stan and Alex and don't have anything that would indicate direction Stan gave to Alex.

 

It's certainly possible that he did receive some guidance from Nedor to simplify his images or that he deliberately gave Nedor a different style in order to make it look like they had a different cover artist than Timely. It was a common practice for artists drawing for more than one company to use a pseudonym and a different style for each.

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He was an editor for less than 6 months in late 1941 at the age of 19, after S&K left.

He then was in the military until 1945.

Schomburg's Timely covers were amazing regardless of who was there. It had nothing to do with Stan. He probably did 75%+ of his Timely covers either before Stan was an editor of while Stan was in the service.

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What I was curious about was how Xela might have felt from taking direction from a 18 year old kid.

As his Timely covers are much more dynamic than his Nedor covers, it would seem someone was giving him direction, at a minimum.

I went and looked up in a few sources I have about Stan and Alex and don't have anything that would indicate direction Stan gave to Alex.

 

It's certainly possible that he did receive some guidance from Nedor to simplify his images or that he deliberately gave Nedor a different style in order to make it look like they had a different cover artist than Timely. It was a common practice for artists drawing for more than one company to use a pseudonym and a different style for each.

 

That could be it. Something, or someone caused him to change his style somewhat. He signed most of his work, no matter where it was.

Would you mind sharing those sources. Outside of Stans statement posted above, I'm finding nothing about the two of them ,even though they worked together for several years.

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He probably got paid more at Timely, so he made sure to put in the extra detail. The objective nature of more planes, etc would make it easier for Mr. Goodman to see he got his moneys worth.

 

What I always wonder is why he didn't do more of the covers. Were the gaps significant?

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After Simon and Kirby left in late 1941, Stan was an editor for just a few months before he went to war (stateside) in early 1942 until sometime in 1945.

Schomburg created plenty of covers unique to that style before Stan had any say at Timely and plenty of those covers while Stan was in the service.

I don't think Stan's input, if ever there was any, had a thing to do with the special talent that was Alex Schomburg.

 

8325015841_ab48cb8995_b.jpg

 

14264967695_a9a975b8ca_c.jpg

14078317599_444fb74d7e_c.jpg

Was the text story created to describe the cover or the reverse?

Edited by BB-Gun

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After Simon and Kirby left in late 1941, Stan was an editor for just a few months before he went to war (stateside) in early 1942 until sometime in 1945.

Schomburg created plenty of covers unique to that style before Stan had any say at Timely and plenty of those covers while Stan was in the service.

I don't think Stan's input, if ever there was any, had a thing to do with the special talent that was Alex Schomburg.

 

Was the text story created to describe the cover or the reverse?

 

probably could've been either way. I just don't think another artist wouldn't have done the cover the way Schomburg did.

 

What I took issue with was the quote "What I'm wondering is did Stan say I need a cover that has Nazi's digging a tunnel under NY harbor and invading NYC, and give him a stick drawing of what he wanted...", as if Stan Lee designed these covers with a sketch plan for Schomburg to follow.

 

I see nothing that would make me think that.

 

That comic there as an example, from Harvey Comics, done while Stan was in the military (1944), is as Timely-esqe as anything he did.

 

Realistically, Stan MISSED most of the Timely Superhero boom, and came back in time for the last year or so of it.

 

Just as a small sampling, Alex did all of these covers while Stan was away in the military.

All very much the classic Schomburg style, that Stan wouldn't have had any input on whatsoever.

 

Without doing an official count, really it looks to me like Alex got a lot more work from Vince Fago, than he did Stan Lee:

marvelmystery41.jpgyoungallies07.jpgmarvelmystery42.jpgcaptainamerica26.jpghumantorch11.jpgcaptainamerica27.jpgcaptainamerica28.jpgallwinners09.jpghumantorch12.jpgallselect01.jpgsubmariner11.jpghumantorch13.jpgmarvelmystery51.jpgallselect02.jpgmarvelmystery53.jpg

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After Simon and Kirby left in late 1941, Stan was an editor for just a few months before he went to war (stateside) in early 1942 until sometime in 1945.

Schomburg created plenty of covers unique to that style before Stan had any say at Timely and plenty of those covers while Stan was in the service.

I don't think Stan's input, if ever there was any, had a thing to do with the special talent that was Alex Schomburg.

 

8325015841_ab48cb8995_b.jpg

 

14264967695_a9a975b8ca_c.jpg

14078317599_444fb74d7e_c.jpg

Was the text story created to describe the cover or the reverse?

 

Given the lame excuse Shock gives for letting Hitler and Tojo go, it's pretty clear the cover inspired the story. Even by GA standards the story itself is weak stuff, and what one would expect if a writer was given the task of explain how the heroes managed to grab Hitler & Tojo, but of course had to explain why they were still running free in the real world, and in addition wasn't getting paid enough to spend more than an hour or two to write the story.

 

It's also far more logical that the most important part of the comic in those days ( the cover) would be used to inspire the least important ( the two page text filler) than the other way around.

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I've often wondered why Marvel has never taken Stan Lee's first text story and turned it into a comic. I know it would be lame by today's standards, but as a curiosity item, I suspect it would be a best seller.

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On ‎5‎/‎24‎/‎2014 at 11:00 AM, jbcomicbox said:

I guess this would fit here.

 

The text following it, is my surmise that this cover was a prototype for Suspense 3

 

This is an article I did years ago for CBM....

 

PROTOTYPE OR RE-TREAD?

 

Click.

The last issue of CBM spotlighted the run of Suspense Comics, and particularly the third issue with the classic Schomburg cover. Other than the postage size reproduction in the Gerber Photo-Journal and occasionally viewing the book from afar at infrequently attended comicbook conventions, I had never had an opportunity to view the third issue with any degree of care until it was reproduced in the color gallery of CBM 30. After looking at it a bit, it seemed oddly familiar, as if I had seen it in some other form.

Click.

I pulled out a copy of All-New Comics 8. There it was. Another Schomburg cover. As viewed, there was a bound blond threatened by an upturned sword. Both issues have the woman surrounded by monstrous Nazis, some hooded in Klu Klux Klan fashion. Both impending executions are set in a tropical locale surrounded by raised walls or land with desperate rescues in sight. In one, a Nazi shoots a revolver from the lower right to the upper left while in the other the shot starts from the lower left and goes to the upper right. Instead of the spear set to be flung from up above in Suspense 3, there is a machine gun firing down into the scene of impending mayhem. Of course, the All-New cover prominently features the “Red Blazer” and the “Boy Heroes”, the title’s resident heroes. However, the overall composition and feel of each cover are obviously similar. Mere coincidence?

Click.

Suspense 3 has an April 1944 cover date while All-New 8 has a cover date of May 1944- only one month apart! Logic would dictate that Schomburg had to have created these covers in close temporal proximity to one another. Commencing with issue 6, All-New’s prior sporadic output went on an every other month schedule. One could hypothesize that the owner of the title would want to insure a regular schedule by having several issues already prepared. The first Schomburg cover was with the seventh issue. Could Schomburg have created the cover for issue 8 well in advance of its scheduled release? Is it possible that the cover to number 8 was the prototype/inspiration for one of the classic comicbook covers of all time? Is it possible that the cover to issue 8 was created before Suspense 3?

Click.

All-New Comics contained a text feature that was entitled “The Story Behind the Cover”. The text would then relate a short story. The cover to a particular issue illustrated a dramatic moment from that story. Obviously the text piece and cover in issue 8 involved the comic characters of that title. Succinctly, the story in All-New 8 involved the abduction and planned execution by Nazis of the daughter of the French commander in North Africa. However, these plot elements apply with equal force to the cover of Suspense 3 as demonstrated by the following abbreviated excerpt from All-New 8:

 

Marianna Le Clair was of that startling beauty which

made all stop to stare...Yes, she was a famous general’s

daughter. The General was...[the French] commander of Camel Corps..[in] North Africa. [As she strolled through a bazaar] ...on

a hot sultry day...a dirty rough hand..went across her mouth...

a sharp blow struck her temple....and she lost all

consciousness....

 

A shrill woman’s cry stabbed the sultry air ...

[T]russed by heavy rope, lying limp and helpless was pretty

Marianna....Over her hovered devilishly fantastic creatures,

garbed in weird costumes. To a side, a fiendish-face Nazi..

squatted. In the center of the piazza a ...man stood

raising a wicked short sword....

 

The cover to Suspense 3 had no relationship to the content of that comicbook. It may be stated that while this cover represents the ultimate “refinement” of the cover/concept of All-New 8, it is, nonetheless, a refinement. Clearly, the text piece of All-New 8 easily reflects the scene depicted on Suspense 3. Is the cover to All-New 8 the prototype for the cover to Suspense 3? Is the text piece of All-New 8 the inspiration for the cover of Suspense 3? You be the judge.

Click.

JSB 1996

 

 

 

 

147550.jpg.b1048bd33bfc1677798f6b9835a72b69.jpg

147551.jpg.8ca7b61908beb0b57e0c4fe91f124785.jpg

All New Comics #8 Text feature "Story behnd the Cover"

IMG_20190502_224549.thumb.jpg.592d6faabb20110debb45d1e401d2638.jpgIMG_20190502_224621.thumb.jpg.129e265bdd5015a6d48765cc674c4770.jpg

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On 5/23/2014 at 11:51 PM, shadroch said:

I recently read where Stan Lee would personally come up with the initial cover designs for

Marvels SA books. He supposedly would knock off thirty ideas in a half hour or so.

Did he do the same with the GA books, does anyone know?

The reason I'm asking is because I am slowly putting together a decent collection of Alex Schomburg covers, and his Timely work blows away his Nedor hero work, in my opinion. Most of his Black Terror covers pale besides the Cap and Human torch covers, as far as I'm concerned. Was he working off a concept for the Timely covers or did he have carte blanc to do what he wanted.

Is the relationship between Stan and Alex discussed anywhere? If there was a relationship.

Vince Fago answered the Schomburg method in this interview. End of first page and 2nd pagehm

Timely Fago9a.jpg

Timely Fago9b.jpg

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I interviewed both Stan Lee and Gil Kane -- and so many others -- for "Comics: Between the Panels."

Stan claimed, "In those (early) days, you would buy a book according to what cover appealed to you the most. You had to make your covers stand out. On every cover, I made up the title, I wrote the cover blurbs, and I designed the cover."

I had to ask: Every cover?

"The monster covers and everything," Stan said. "All the time I was there. For 50 years. Every cover that went through that place went through me. Covers were strictly my area."

Your witness, Gil:

"That happens to be absolutely untrue," Kane said. "I did 900 covers and the only thing that he would say is, 'We need a cover for this.' You would have to submit ideas; after a while, he didn't even get involved in the covers."

 

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If what Fago is saying is true, this might be the kind of pencil rough that could have been passed on to Schomburg as a guide. He might have looked at it but then totally re-envisioned the idea on a separate canvas to match his style.  

ZAMISC mart nodell UNPUBLISHED TIMELY COVER.jpg

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Here's Schomburg's first two covers for Timely. Daring Mystery #1 hit the newsstands October 30, 1939 and Marvel Mystery Comics #3 on November 17, 1939. Already you can see his style in its infancy stages - the multiple characters, the crazy action in Daring Mystery...

Stan Lee wouldn't write his first story for Timely, much less edit or have a say in things until Captain America Comics #3 a full one year and three months later (March 17, 1941). Vince Fago wouldn't pencil his first book for Timely until Krazy Komics was released on May 21, 1942, a full 2 years and 6 months from then.

daringmystery01.jpg

marvelmystery03.jpg

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We'll assume Stan didn't immediately become an editor upon writing his first story for Timely, but meanwhile, here's what Alex came up with before Stan had any of his first work even published:

All released late 1939/early 1940, you can see his work has much of what he'd refine on his later covers. If someone WAS directing him as to what to draw, it would be the same concepts Lee and Fago would merely copy later. Most likely though, as we'd see the same style later on in his non-Timely work, this was the creative genius of Alex Schomburg and NOT Stan Lee or Vince Fago.

 

Screen Shot 2019-09-05 at 6.27.30 AM.png

marvelmystery04.jpg

daringmystery02.jpg

mysticcomics01.jpg

marvelmystery05.jpg

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I mean come on. His style would get slicker and more cartoony (in a good way), but everything is here. This is Alex Schomburg in the earliest stage of his career. All of these released through March of 1940. He hadn't even been in the business 6 months yet!

Nazi's, bondage, weird cults, the Human Torch burning through walls to save the day... THIS was Alex Schomburg. No one else.

daringmystery03.jpg

mysticcomics02.jpg

marvelmystery06.jpg

daringmystery04.jpg

marvelmystery07.jpg

mysticcomics03.jpg

Edited by Chuck Gower

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We're still a year away from Stan Lee even writing his first story and two years away from Vince Fago even working for Timely.

Here are some highlights of Schomburg, pre-Stan Lee's first Marvel story. It seems the creation of the Sub-Mariner really had an impact on Alex. Could Bill Everett given Schomburg some input on the character? If he did, Alex took what he was told and worked it perfectly within his growing style.

 

marvelmystery09.jpg

marvelmystery10.jpg

marvelmystery11.jpg

marvelmystery13.jpg

marvelmystery14.jpg

Edited by Chuck Gower

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Still four months away from Stan's first written story (text only), a time when as he describe's it, "In those days [the artists] dipped the pen in ink, [so] I had to make sure the inkwells were filled", Lee recalled in 2009. "I went down and got them their lunch, I did proofreading, I erased the pencils from the finished pages for them".

Meanwhile, Alex gives us a peek of greater things to come with this classic cover that hit newsstands in November 27, 1940...

marvelmystery15.jpg

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