IN A MUSEUM? 150 150 Paul Levitz

Smiling at the sight of a couple of issues of ETCETERA & THE COMIC READER hanging on the wall of the NEW YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY. They’ve mounted an exhibit entitled “Superheroes In Gotham” which I strongly suggest you check out. The history detailed is pretty straight-forward, but the artifacts presented are worth the trip (and I’m not talking about my ‘zines…yet).

Jerry Siegel’s old manual typewriter opens the exhibit, and sent me back into recalling his meticulously detailed lists of the Legion stories he wrote so I could get the credits right when I was doing the reprints. Then there’s a real treasure, two of Steve Ditko’s pages from AMAZING FANTASY #15. The originals are gorgeous, with detail in the line that was long lost in the miserable reproduction methods of the period. Steve’s sharply penned faces are worth the trip in themselves.

Spin around, and there’s one of H.G. Peter’s early color designs for Wonder Woman in a costume that certainly wouldn’t have become iconic, as well as one of his later covers. There’s also a SENSATION cover by Irwin Hasen from the period when it was morphing into a romance comic. Irwin lived near the Historical Society, and would have been smiling at the sight. Probably flirting with any tall pretty woman who came near it, too.

Other goodies include an original George Reeves Superman costume, a Julie Newmar Catwoman outfit, a program from the very first comic con in 1964, and more packed into a few small rooms. And the Batmobile from the ’60s show parked in the Society lobby.

Oh, and one of those ETC/TCR issues? The cover is an ad page of THE SHADOW by Bernie Wrightson that was done as his sample for the series in 1972 but never published other than on my zine. It’s worth a look.

The exhibit’s up until February 21st.

  • I was really unhappy to see the misinformation there that Phil Seuling pretty much started comics conventions in NYC, and that nowhere was Dave Kaler’s ComiCon at the Hotel Broadway Central—for which I ran off the program on my Ditto machine— mentioned, nor was the 1966 convention at the Sheraton-Park Hotel, chaired by John Benson and Mike McInerney, and on which I worked. *Sigh*…

    • A lot of the early history of the conventions has gotten lost or become fuzzy, as has much of the history of fandom. Someone will have to write the book about it someday…

      Glad you’re still connecting, Andy. My copy of the ’66 program book is handily on my shelf, even though I was too young to attend. Pretty cool convention committee you were on!