Monday, June 22, 2015

Bullet Review: Alter Ego #133 & Jim Mooney

Alter Ego is a comic magazine publised by TwoMorrows which focuses on golden age and silver age creators. Edited and basically run by comic legend Roy Thomas, the magazine is really a treasure trove for amateur comic historians like me.

Last week, Alter Ego #133 came out and included a very long interview of Jim Mooney done before his unfortunate death several years ago. Mooney drew the first first years of Supergirl's adventures in Action Comics, starting with her second adventure in Action Comics #253 and continuing for almost a decade.

His career started long before his work on Supergirl and continued long after he left Action Comics but for me he is the definitive Supergirl artist. So I was eager to hear what he had to say, especially about Kara.

Get ready for a surprise. The word he used most about her is 'bored'! So sad.
Now I suppose that doing anything for 9 years would get monotonous. But I was hoping he would have a love for the character, especially given the apparent love that he put into the books.

Later in the interview, he does say that he got bored with many of the comics he was put on because the stores became repetitive and boring to him.

The article/interview is nearly 40 pages and includes a lot of stunning pictures including this personal commission Mooney did for someone. Just beautiful.

And also this commission and print focusing on Streaky!

So fantastic!

I do like that he put in that knowing little nod to readers at the end of the stories.

And hearing about his approach to commissions was also interesting.

I have to be honest, I forgot he actually worked on Ms. Marvel for a while. The Danvers girls! Two of my favorite characters!

We also get a little Streaky history as well.

Mooney created Streaky and modeled him after his own cat!

It is telling that he felt he needed to move on from DC because of the influence of Neal Adams and realism in the book. I am pretty sure that Kurt Schaffenberger, maybe even more cartoony than Mooney, worked there through the early 80s.

As a Supergirl fan, even hearing how bored he was with Kara, I enjoyed reading this interview. And as a comic buff, it was truly fascinating to see his earliest stuff, including Batman stories from the Sprang/Robinson era and even characters he created in the Golden Age. And while I think of him as a DC guy because of Supergirl, his time at Marvel was pretty prolific. That is also covered in the magazine.

Great stuff!


Craig said...

I haven't read the interview yet, so I'm not sure if this was covered, but in another interview, when it discussed volume 1 of the Supergirl archives, he wasn't happy with Frank Miller's rendition of Kara, feeling there was no love involved for the character, and how he would have been happy to have drawn a new cover for her. He also did work on Suprema, making it look like a Silver Age Supergirl story he would have done himself back in the day. He may have been bored with Supergirl then, but I think that, at least over the years, he really did love the character, and Streaky. With regard to the second Ms. Danvers, the fact that he drew her also is just another reason why I think of Carol as being a Marvel version of Kara (who in an "Imaginary Story"/ parallel Earth went by Carole as her secret identity of Superwoman in Action Comics ## 332, 333).

Anonymous said...

I think when he said Supergirl was boring he was referring to the writing, because the SA SG had some clunkers in her bibliography lets face it. And the poor guy had to deal with Mort Weisinger as well which was no picnic by common consent.
What I always liked about Mooney is that he would kick it up a notch if he thought the writing was worth it, (Expl the very Marvel-Comics-ish story "Brainiac's Blitz" or the waay ahead of it's time "How Superwoman trained Superboy").
I had some emails go back and forth with him later on in life he had some affection for the character believe me.


Anonymous said...

Great article, however, I think that Mr. Mooney is incorrect in one thing. While Supermonkey may indeed have preceded Streaky, Comet the Superhorse certainly did not. (I looked it up on Wikipedia).

Streaky first appeared in Action #261, February, 1960, while the first appearance of Comet the Superhorse was with Superboy in Adventure Comics #293, February, 1962.

Gerry Beritela

Martin Gray said...

Fantastic, I never knew this Alter Ego issue was out, I shall download it later. I can see getting bored with a job, at least it never showed in the work.

I am so against nude Kara commissions it is untrue!

Roy Thomas says his naming Carol Danvers with that surname must have been subconscious, he says it definitely wasn't deliberate.

Anj said...

He never says he dislikes Supergirl. But that word bored does spring up a lot. I suppose the stories were relatively stock fare back then.

Definitely worth a read!