Amazing World of DC COMICS, #5, Sheldon Mayer,Sugar and Spike,The Flash,Green Lantern,Hawkman,Wonder Woman,Justice Society of America
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Amazing World of DC COMICS, #5
Sheldon Mayer Spotlight Issue
▲ BEAUTIFUL VERY FINE (News Stand "Mint") CONDITION, with the usual surface wear & slight rubbing to covers and edges from being read, displayed, handled and stored.
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High quality production values is what separates DC Comic's early attempt to emulate the growing "fanzine" marketplace from the "cheap" DIY quality 'zines produced by fans at the time. It was also a response to Marvel Comics' home grown attempt with F.O.O.M. Magazine which was in many ways closer in the "cheapness" that traditional fanzines could afford. Both of these magazines were subscription based and were not available to the general fan, reader and collector on news stands so the print runs were smaller most copies are considered scarce & somewhat "hard to find". This all changed when COMIC BOOK SHOPS started popping up spontaneously around the same time. [My Quality Comics shop opened as New Jersey's first comic shop in 1976] and these magazines became available from a small group of independent wholesalers and they became available to the general public of comic book readers and collectors.
Essentially these 2 magazines were marketing tools to promote comic book products as well as advertising for current and forthcoming projects.
This issue is an "ALL" Sheldon Mayer issue but there are also pieces on writer/editor Murray Boltinoff, Julie Schwartz, Space Cabby, Alex Toth, Pages of The BAT-MAN newspaper comic strip, and of course A LOT OF...
SUGAR AND SPIKE!!!
Sheldon Mayer (April 1, 1917 – December 21, 1991) was an American comics artist, writer, and editor. One of the earliest employees of Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson's National Allied Publications, Mayer produced almost all of his comics work for the company that would become known as DC Comics.
In 1936, he joined the McClure Syndicate "as an editor working for comics industry pioneer M.C. Gaines." While working for the McClure syndicate, Mayer came across Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's unsold Superman comics strip, which he "immediately fell in love with." He recalled in a 1985 book that, "The syndicated press rejected it about fifteen times. I was singing [its] praises so much that in 1938 Gaines finally took the strip up to Harry Donenfeld, who was looking for original material to run in his new title, Action Comics,"
In 1939, "Gaines left McClure to enter into a partnership with [National Periodical Publications]," and Mayer went with him, becoming the first editor of the All-American [Publications] line, then run as a separate entity from National/DC, publishers of Superman and Batman. Mayer edited and participated in the creation of - among others - the Flash (in Flash Comics), Green Lantern, Hawkman, Wonder Woman and All-Star Comics, home to the Justice Society of America.
Mayer retired from editing in 1948, "to devote himself full-time to cartooning". He began to write and draw a number of humor comics for National, including the features The Three Mouseketeers, Leave It to Binky, a teenage humor book, and Sugar and Spike. Leave It to Binky debuted in February 1948 while Scribbly received its own title in August 1948. He also created the funny-animal backup feature "Doodles Duck", starring a dimwitted, easily angered instigator and his smarter, calmer nephew Lemuel, in Animal Antics #40 (Sept. 1952).
Sugar and Spike proved to be one of Mayer's longest-lasting strips, starring two babies who could communicate in baby talk that adults could not understand. Mayer even signed the stories he drew, something rare at National Periodical Publications in the late 1950s when Sugar and Spike debuted.
In the 1970s, when failing eyesight limited his drawing ability, he continued to work for National/DC, contributing scripts to the companies horror and mystery magazines, including most notably House of Mystery, House of Secrets and Forbidden Tales of Dark Mansion. With artist Tony DeZuniga, he co-created the "Black Orchid" feature which ran in Adventure Comics #428-430 in 1973. Mayer wrote and drew several "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" treasuries starting in 1972. These were published as Limited Collectors' Edition C–24, C–33, C–42, C–50 and All-New Collectors' Edition C–53, C–60. Additionally, one digest format edition was published as The Best of DC #4 (March–April 1980). In 1978, Mayer wrote and drew a "How to Draw Batman Booklet" as part of an ongoing debate with DC editor Paul Levitz regarding continuity in comic books. In the 50th anniversary publication Fifty Who Made DC Great, Mayer is cited as still writing and drawing "for the company that first published his great discovery, Superman, forty-seven years ago."
After successful cataract surgery, Mayer returned to drawing Sugar and Spike stories for the international market and only a few have been reprinted in the United States. The American reprints appeared in the digest sized comics series The Best of DC #29, 41, 47, 58, 65, and 68. In 1992, Sugar and Spike #99 was published as part of the DC Silver Age Classics series; this featured two previously unpublished stories by Mayer. DC writer and executive Paul Levitz has described Sugar and Spike as being "Mayer's most charming and enduring creation" while novelist and Sandman creator Neil Gaiman has stated "Sheldon Mayer's Sugar and Spike series...is the most charming thing I've ever seen in comics." [wiki]
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