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November 07, 2007


mark weinstein

On the Flash Comics cover to the right of Mickey Rooney: George Sanders? (All About Eve)

Mark Engblom

Good guess, Mark (the drawing certainly resembles shots of Sanders), but ultimately I have no way of knowing for sure. Part of the problem with matching the faces with stars is the accuracy of the likenesses the illustrator was able to hit. Judging from the faces I recognize, he did a pretty good job....but for the stars I'm less familiar with, even if he was slightly off with the likeness, that makes it all the more difficult identifying them. I had really hoped I could have them identified for the piece, but that didn't work out.

Anyone else have any clue who the faces are? I suppose the best solution would be to match them up to the exact publicity photos they were all (most likely) based on.


Great covers and info! Regarding Flash #28, I can't find an exact match (publicity photo) but I think that's supposed to be Charles Boyer, given the arched brows over hooded eyes, the sideburns and the lips.

The Beatles appeared in the Torch/Thing tale in Strange Tales #130 (March '65). And E. Nelson Bridwell must've really admired Woody Allen; not only because of the appearance in Maniaks you cite, but it's said that Bridwell based the Inferior Five's Merryman on Woody.

You are spot on about kids not being the right audience for Don Rickles. As a kid I remember seeing one-page stories/public service announcements (I assume) in some '60s DC comics, which featured Steve Allen as a "Clark Kent" lookalike, and Superman. I had no idea who this Steve Allen character was!

Mark Engblom

Hey, Shar...thanks for the insight on the Flash cover. I really wish I had a complete listing of Who's Who.

It would've been great if the Beatles appeared on a cover of Strange Tales #130 so I could've included in in my survey (no, Ben and Johnny with Beatle wigs don't count)!

Interesting...I didn't know Marryman was based on Woody Allen. He must've been the hot comedian at that time.

Re: Steve Allen. Mort Weisinger, the editor of the Superman titles, was constantly going on about how Steve Allen looked so much like (how he envisioned) Clark Kent. I would wager most of the celebrity cameos I featured didn't have much impact on younger readers at the time.


Gary Cooper in the garrison cap as Sergeant York.

Mark Engblom

Thanks, Byrneward. I never would have guessed that myself.


Let's not forget that Siegel and Shuster named Superman's alter ego Clark Kent after two actors they admired -- Clark Gable, no surprise there, and the now-forgotten Kent Taylor (who starred with Gable's future wife, Carole Lombard, in the 1933 Paramount jungle potboiler "White Woman," also featuring Charles Laughton).

Mark Engblom

Hey, Vincent...thanks for the info! I knew about the "Clark" part of his name, but I had never heard about (or had forgotten about) the origin of the "Kent" portion.

Funny how creators tended to use popular stars for their superhero alter egos back in the day. I know they did the same thing for the Golden Age Green Lantern (Alan Scott) as well as the Silver Age Flash (Barry Allen).


Slighttly altered in appearance. Three of the Ramones (Joey, Johnny and Tommy without the shades) make an unheralded guest appearance on the cover of Marvel's HOWARD THE DUCK #24. Presumably Gene Colan used the Ramones' debut album, or the Punk Magazine photo spread that it was taken from as a model.


Of course, to be fair, neither Funnyman nor Fatman were meant to be taken too seriously. There's been a recent trade paperback collection of Funnyman and it's actually pretty good really, if you don't mind some intentional silliness.

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