by Jimmm Kelly
the seekers: i’ll never find another you
Born February 4 ’24, Janet Waldo was a young starlet who appeared in numerable bit parts–and a few leading roles–in the late ’30s and early ’40s. Her big break was in radio, where she voiced many characters, but her leading role was as 15 year-old Corliss Archer on the long running radio program MEET CORLISS ARCHER (Shirley Temple played Corliss in the movies, while Ann Baker played the character on television).
When Fox published a MEET CORLISS ARCHER comic book [it only ran for three issues in ’48, as it came out toward the end of Fox’s publishing life]–Iger Studio artist Al Feldstein based the appearance of the teen Corliss on the much more developed Janet Waldo (by then in her mid-twenties).
Waldo went on to other prominent voice work, including the voice of Judy Jetson in the THE JETSONS and the voice of Josie in JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS.
Feldstein certainly gave Corliss/Janet uplifting endowments. This is most evident in issue No. 1 (March ’48)–as shown on the cover and inside pages. The page with Corliss in bra and slip is from issue No. 2 (May ’48). All art by Feldstein–
Batman’s arch foe took inspiration from Conrad Veidt in THE MAN WHO LAUGHS, the ’28 silent movie based on the Victor Hugo novel. Below: cover art for DETECTIVE COMICS 71 (January ’43) by Jerry Robinson [reprinted in AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS No. 4 (January-February ’75)]; art from BATMAN No. 1 (Spring ’40) by Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson and art from DETECTIVE COMICS 475 (February ’78) by Marshall Rogers and Terry Austin [reprinted in COMIC BOOK ARTIST COLLECTION Vol. 2 (2002, TwoMorrows Publication)].
Two-Face took inspration from THE STRANGE CASE OF DOCTOR JEKYLL AND MISTER HYDE by Robert Louis Stevenson and the cinematic adaptations of that novella. Below: poster art for the Spencer Tracy movie and the cover art by Neal Adams for BATMAN 234 (August ’71).
Bruce Wayne’s butler was originally a portly, balding gentleman. When the movie serial, BATMAN (’43), featured William Austin in the role of Alfred, the comics version of Alfred went on a weight loss program–and apparently decided to comb over his bald patch. Below: Here Comes Alfred, BATMAN 16 (April-May ’43) [reprinted in BATMAN 213 (July-August ’69); William Austin in BATMAN (’43) with Lewis Wilson and Douglas Croft; and the Batman newspaper strip (October 27 ’43), art by Bob Kane [reprinted in BATMAN DAILIES Vol. 1: 1943 – 1944 (November ’90)].
Sir Thomas Sean Connery was born August 25 ’30, in Foutainbridge, Edinburgh, Scotland.
For some unaccountable reason Norman Nodel, the artist for BEN CASEY No. 4 (February ’63), decided to use Sean Connery’s likeness for the villain in the story–
Sean Connery, of course, is famous for having played James Bond. In the ’60s comic strip, Yaroslav “Larry” Horak illustrated Bond to resemble Connery somewhat [as shown on the left–reprinted in THE MENOMONEE FALLS GAZETTE Vol. 3, No. 114 (February 18 ’74)] . JOHN WARD SECRET AGENT [isse No. 1 (’75)]–a one-issue wonder from Vancouver’s Delta Publications–is a blatant copy of the Connery-style James Bond [shown on the right–artist unknown]–
Vartox was a sometime adversary, but ultimately a compatriot of Superman’s [shown here in his first appearance from SUPERMAN 281 (November ’74)]. From the planet Valeron, Vartox was modelled after Sean Connery’s Zed role in the movie ZARDOZ (’74), directed by John Boorman–
Born Vincent Edward Zoino in Brooklyn, NY, on July 9 ’28, Vince Edwards had a twin brother, Robert Zoino. Edwards was often compared to Richard Chamberlain–the star of DR. KILDARE–and a heated rivalry arose between the two actors. In ’64, they had a dispute in New York’s Central Park, where Edwards threw his ice cream cone at Chamberlain’s suit–they were never to speak to each other again after that. BEN CASEY was produced by Bing Crosby’s production company.
Neal Adams worked on the syndicated newspaper strip. These strips–January 13 – 18 ’64–are from THE MENOMONEE FALLS GAZETTE Vol. 3, No. 106 (December 24 ’73)–
Buddy van Horn was the stunt coordinator and a stuntman on Disney’s ZORRO. He was the stunt double for Guy Williams in many of the action scenes. Some dueling scenes in ZORRO involved Williams as Zorro and van Horn doubling for other actors.
Williams was also Will Cartwright on BONANZA, John Robinson in LOST IN SPACE and Sindbad in CAPTAIN SINDBAD–and had appeared in a number of roles before his starring role as ZORRO (’57 – ’61). But Zorro was the role he was born to play. And he played it not just on the small screen, but at live performances in Disneyland and later in Argentina, where he lived in semi-retirement–and where he was celebrated for being El Zorro.
Guy Williams put on live shows as Zorro in Argentina and all over South America. Other former cast members from ZORRO would come down to Argentina to vist Williams and they would play out scenes for the enjoyment of the public.
Back cover photo of Guy Williams as Zorro–ZORRO No. 2 (May ’66)–and an action sequence from ZORRO No. 9 (March ’68) by Alex Toth [all reprinted from earlier Dell issues]–
guy williams – behind The Mask – zorro
Part of the charm of SUPERMAN’S PAL, JIMMY OLSEN was that it could be a very ridiculous comic book. Jack Kirby seemed to take that to heart when he took over the series in the ’70s This is the only thing that can account for his strange decision to include a Don Rickles look alike in issues 139 and 141 of Jimmy’s funny book. Goody Rickels (note the different spelling) is a strange employee of WGBS who dresses up in super-hero garb and is barely tolerated by his boss Morgan Edge. And by the way, Edge was apparently modelled on the actor Kevin McCarthy. Art by Jack Kirby, Vince Colletta and Murphy Anderson–
Goody Rickels and Don Rickles meet when Don comes by the WGBS offices–
ALL NEW COLLECTORS’ EDITION C-56 (’78)– a special tabloid size comic, with a wrap-around cardstock cover–was an enterprise that took a long time to see the light of day. It was a clash of titans–Superman and Muhammad Ali–that took a titanic effort from many quarters. Its spectacular cover was no easy feat–although Kubert’s design didn’t call for an illustrious cast of characters in the crowd for this boxing match–Neal Adams’ finished version was a who’s who of reknowned figures of the ’70s–
The number of Superman doppelgangers in the comic books is truly staggering when you try to count them up. But Superman has had his fair share of doubles in the real world, too. The resemblance between Clark Kent and Steve Allen in the ’50s was remarkable enough that it was referenced in the Superman newspaper strip [reprinted here in THE AMAZING WORLD OF SUPERMAN: METROPOLIS EDITION (’73)–strips from September 26 ’55 and December 23 ’55–also a strip from October 5 ’40]–
66 superman filmation featurette pt.1 & pt. 2
When production of a spectacular new SUPERMAN movie began in the ’70s, Christopher Reeve’s resemblance to the Swan Superman was an ace in his favour–as reported in AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS No. 14 (March-April ’77)–
Joe Shuster used the likeness of Joanne Carter (at the time an artist’s model) for his Lois Lane. Later on, Joanne Carter married Superman’s other creator, Jerry Siegel.
Many actresses have played Lois over the years. One of the most notable of them is Noel Neill, who first played Lois in the serial, SUPERMAN (’48), opposite Kirk Alyn as the Man of Steel. Both returned for the second serial, ATOM MAN VS. SUPERMAN (’50). But when THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN began on television in ’52, Phyllis Coates was cast opposite George Reeves.
After the first two seasons, however, Noel Neill returned to the role.
Noel Neill also had a cameo appearance, along with Kirk Alyn, in SUPERMAN THE MOVIE (’78), as the parents of Lois Lane.
Noel Neill’s style no doubt influenced the comic book Lois Lane in turn. Below: LOIS LANE ANNUAL No. 2 (Summer ’63)–cover by Kurt Schaffenberger–featuring a text page about Noel Neill–
In ’75, Lesley Ann Warren played Lois Lane in the ABC TV special adaptation of the Broadway musical, IT’S A BIRD…IT’S A PLANE…IT’S SUPERMAN. As well, Warren screen-tested opposite Christopher Reeve for the role of Lois in SUPERMAN THE MOVIE (’78).
I always had a hard time distinguishing Lesley Ann Warren from Susan Sarandon; although, as they’ve aged, they’ve become much easier to tell apart.
Lesley Ann Warren was cast as the mother of Teri Hatcher (another Lois Lane actress) on DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES. Not the first time a former Lois played mother to Hatcher–as Phyllis Coates played Lois Lane’s mother on LOIS AND CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN. Hatcher has also played the mother of Lois Lane (Erica Durance) on SMALLVILLE.
Born as Linda Jean Cordova Carter, on July 24 ’51, Lynda Carter was a former Miss World USA, who stepped into the role of the Amazing Amazon.
The stunt double for Lynda Carter on WONDER WOMAN was Jeannie Epper, who came from a family with a long tradition in stunt work–her father, brothers and daughter have all been professional stunt people.
AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS No. 15 (May-June ’77), cover by Mike Nasser, aka Mike Netzer–
All characters, logos, and images are owned and © 2013 by current copyright holders. They are used here for educational and review purposes.