As a lifelong fan of comic books, I enjoy learning about their history and the people who created them. One of the absolute best sources for this kind of information is TwoMorrows, the publisher of several magazines, books, and DVDs dedicated to the artform I follow so closely.
Back in 2001, the seventh issue of Alter Ego featured a retrospective of Mac Raboy, one of the greatest illustrators of comics' Golden Age. Best known for his spectacular work on Fawcett's Captain Marvel Jr., Raboy also drew the Green Lama and the Flash Gordon newspaper strip. Part of the Raboy coverage included Roger Hill's interview with Raboy's adult son David, whose recollections of his father's career and character were not at all what Hill was expecting to hear, making for an uncomfortable and somewhat depressing conversation. Appropriately enough, the interview was titled "Nothing is Ever Good Enough".
Roger Hill: Was he the kind of artist who saved copies of everything he did?
David Raboy: No, but my mother did. She was the family archivist, I guess you could call her. He had a habit of destroying his work, so it was hard to get it, sometimes.
RH: You mean, Mac would be dissatisfied with something he had drawn and he would just tear it up?
Raboy: Yeah. Nothing was ever good enough. Therefore it couldn't be seen by anyone because it would reflect poorly on him.
RH: Did your father seem happy drawing Flash Gordon?
Raboy: He hated it!
RH: That seems strange to me. I mean, a lot of the artists who started in comic books back in those days thought it was the supreme opportunity to get a respected newspaper strip, or any newspaper strip, for that matter. In Mac's case, he was able to take on one of the most famous adventure strips of all time and was able to follow in the footsteps of the great Alex Raymond.
Raboy: He hated it.
RH: Did he seem happy or appreciative that he got his originals back from King Features?
Raboy: I don't know if there ever was a reaction. I'm not aware that he really cared one way or another.
RH: And I don't suppose he ever talked about selling these originals?
Raboy: No. That would never even have been a consideration. They were put into the closet and they were not shown to anybody, and they were not available to anybody.
RH: Mac never gifted any Sunday page originals to anybody?
Raboy: No. Absolutely not. When you originally contacted me and wanted to talk about my father...you see, there's a lot that you don't know that is very personal within the family. There was and still is a reluctance about all of this. Even in the stuff that I'm telling you, it's not the whole picture, if you know what I mean.
RH: It's strange to me that he took great pride in his woodworking, sculpting, and set-designing abilities, and yet he just didn't have it for his pen and ink work on Flash Gordon.
Raboy: No, it was just--you have to understand. He had no use for King Features. He had no use for newspapers.
RH: But they paid him good money.
Raboy: Well, that's how he supported his family, but he didn't admire them. He didn't respect what he was doing. I told you, he hated Flash Gordon and detested what he was doing.
RH: Did Mac ever talk about his days working for comic books?
Raboy: Only in terms that were rather derogatory. I think he took some pride in having helped create Captain Marvel Jr. I do think he felt good about that.
RH: Was Mac buried up in (his hometown of) Golden's Bridge?
Raboy: No. There was no service, and my father was cremated. My father was an atheist, as was my mother. So there would not have been any ceremony of any kind. I too am an atheist and would not engage in ceremonies of that kind.