Sam Glanzman

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Sam Glanzman
Born Samuel J. Glanzman
(1924-12-05) December 5, 1924 (age 90)
Nationality American
Area(s) Artist
Pseudonym(s) Sam Glanz
SJG
Sam Decker
Notable works
Hercules
"The Lonely War of Willy Schultz"

Sam J. Glanzman (born December 5, 1924)[1][2] is an American comic-book artist, best known for his Charlton Comics series Hercules, about the mythological Greek demigod; his biographical war stories about his service aboard the U.S.S. Stevens for DC Comics and Marvel Comics; and the Charlton Comics Fightin' Army feature "The Lonely War of Willy Schultz", a Vietnam-era serial about a German-American U.S. Army captain during World War II.

Biography[edit]

Early life and career[edit]

Sam Glanzman, whose brothers are D. C. (Davis Charles) Glanzman, a comic-book artist,[3] and Louis "Lew" Glanzman, who began in comics before becoming a fine art painter,[4] ended his formal education after grade school.[5] Glanzman broke into comics in late 1939, during the period historians and fans call the Golden Age of comic books, at Funnies, Inc.,[4] one of the early "packagers" that supplied comics to publishers then entering the fledgling medium. There, for Centaur Publications, he wrote two-page text stories with incidental art for Amazing-Man Comics. Later for Harvey Comics, he created Fly-Man in the superhero anthology Spitfire Comics #1 (August 1941), writing and drawing the feature for at least two issues. He also contributed to Harvey's All-New Short Story Comics (where he published his first recorded war story); Champ Comics (doing the superhero the Human Meteor); and the radio-show tie-in series Green Hornet Comics through 1943.[6]

Following his World War II service in the U.S. Navy, during which he was stationed on the destroyer U.S.S. Stevens, he was discharged in 1946.[4] Glanzman eschewed comics ("I was getting $7.50 a page for [Fly-Man], pencils, inks, story, and coloring. ... I figured, 'Hell, that's not much money.'"[4]) and began a peripatetic career doing manual labor in cabinet shops, lumber mills, and boat yards. After marrying in the 1950s, he worked at Republic Aviation in Farmingdale, Long Island, New York, installing machine guns on military jets.[4] During this time, he lived in Rockaway, Queens, New York City, and in the Long Island towns of Valley Stream and Massapequa Park.[4]

Seeking to return to art, Glanzman had done some work for the Eastern Color series Heroic Comics and New Heroic Comics in 1950, and found better-paying assignments doing children's-book illustration. He additionally did possibly uncredited work for his brother, Louis Glanzman, on a hardcover-book series for children about aircraft.[4] Work was not steady, however, and Glanzman returned to Republic.[4]

Charlton Comics[edit]

Glanzman's cover of Hercules #11 (May 1969), unusually stylized for the time and medium.

In 1958, Glanzman began working with Pat Masulli, the executive editor of Charlton Comics, a low-paying publishing company. He specialized in stories for the war titles Attack, Battlefield Action, Fightin' Air Force, Fightin' Marines, Submarine Attack, U.S. Air Force Comics, and War at Sea, producing a large amount of authentically detailed work through mid-1961,[6] when he switched to Dell Comics. There he draw for the anthology Combat, drew the movie adaptation Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (and the similar, though unrelated, four-issue Voyage to the Deep), and a range of titles from lost-world adventure (Kona, Monarch of Monster Isle) to heartwarming animal drama (Lad: A Dog).[6] He occasionally still moonlighted for Charlton, using the initials "SJG" for his work on the 1962 Marco Polo movie adaptation and elsewhere.[6]

Beginning mid-1964, Glanzman moved regularly between Charlton and Dell assignments, almost exclusively on war stories, but also on a Charlton Tarzan series.[6] With writer Joe Gill, he created the Charlton hardboiled detective character Sarge Steel,[6] which would be acquired by DC Comics in 1983, when a fading Charlton sold the rights to many of its characters.

During this 1960s period fans and historians call the Silver Age of comic books, Glanzman, with writer Gill, created the Charlton mythological-adventure series Hercules: Adventures of the Man-God, which would run 13 issues (October 1967 – September 1969),[6] and showcase Glanzman's experimental side, where he might float Art Nouveau-bordered panels within action tableaux filled with Hieronymous Boschian nightmares.[7]

Also during this time he co-created, with writer Will Franz, "The Lonely War of Willy Schultz",[8] a departure from most other World War II features of this time, with conflicted American soldier of German heritage caught between loyalties. During combat in the European Theater, U.S. Army captain Schultz is falsely accused and convicted of murder; he escapes and blends into the German Army while seeking a way to clear his name and retain his Allied allegiance. The feature, reprinted as late as 1999,[9] was serialized in Charlton's Fightin' Army #76–80, 82-92 (October 1967 – July 1968, November 1968 – July 1970).[6]

During the 1960s as well, Glanzman freelanced for Outdoor Life magazine.[3]

DC Comics[edit]

War-comic editor-artist Joe Kubert of DC Comics, one of the two industry leaders, brought Glanzman, a veteran in dual senses, to work on Our Army At War, Star Spangled War Stories, Weird War Tales and other combat titles including G.I. Combat, where for years he illustrated the feature "Haunted Tank". At DC, Glanzman began his series of biographical war stories about his service aboard the U.S.S. Stevens in Our Army at War #218 (April 1970).[10] Glanzman would also occasionally draw stories for DC's supernatural-mystery anthologies. By late 1979, with most of DC's war titles either canceled or converted to character series with established teams, Glanzman remained solely on G.I. Combat and began freelancing again for Charlton. Following his last "Haunted Tank" story, in G.I. Combat #288 (March 1987), Glanzman drew two more stories for DC a year later, in Sgt. Rock #420–421 (Feb.–April 1988). He would return to ink penciler Tim Truman on the Western miniseries Jonah Hex: Two Gun Mojo (September–December 1993), Jonah Hex: Riders of the Worm and Such (March–July 1995), and Jonah Hex: Shadows West (Feb.–April 1999) all written by Joe R. Lansdale.

Later career[edit]

A Sailor's Story / Marvel Graphic Novel #30 (March 1987). Cover art by Glanzman

Glanzman also contributed a handful of war stories to Marvel Comics from 1986–1989, in the black-and-white adventure magazine Savage Tales, the Marine Corps series Semper Fi, an issue of The 'Nam, and most notably A Sailor's Story / Marvel Graphic Novel #30 (March 1987), a 60-page true account, which he both wrote and drew, of his time on U.S.S. Stevens during World War II. Unusually for Marvel's graphic-novel line, it was released in hardcover rather than as a trade paperback. A trade paperback edition followed, together with a sequel, A Sailor's Story, Book Two: Winds, Dreams, and Dragons, which continued the story up to the end of the war.[6]

Other work in the 1990s included inking some issues of Turok Dinosaur Hunter for Acclaim Comics and Zorro for Topps Comics, and writing and drawing a serialized feature in Flashback Comics' Fantastic Worlds #1. His last known works are in two anthologies: Writing and drawing the 10-page, true-life story "On the Job: Cooks Tour," in the graphic-story trade paperback Streetwise (TwoMorrows Publishing, 2000, ISBN 1-893905-04-7), and the donated, four-page "There Were Tears in Her Eyes," in the squarebound benefit comic 9–11: The World's Finest Comic Book Writers & Artists Tell Stories to Remember #2 (2002).[6]

From 1999–2001, the Avalon Communications imprint America's Comic Group / ACG (not to be confused with American Comics Group / AGC) reprinted copious amounts of Glanzman's Charlton Comics work in a number of mostly one-shot titles, including Hercules, Flyboys, Nam Tales, Star Combat Tales, Total War, and ACG Comics Presents Fire and Steel.[6]

In 2003, Glanzman began working on webcomics, writing and drawing the 19th-century nautical adventure Apple Jack, and reteaming with his "Willy Schultz" writer, Will Franz, on the Roman centurion series The Eagle.[11]

USS Stevens stories[edit]

Glanzman's USS Stevens stories for DC Comics appear in:[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sam J. Glanzman at the Lambiek Comiclopedia. Archived November 4, 2010.
  2. ^ Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Archived from the original on October 29, 2010. Retrieved December 12, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Glanzman interview (August 2000). "Glanzman's Derby Days". Comic Book Artist (9) (TwoMorrows Publishing). p. 92. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Glanzman, Comic Book Artist, p. 90
  5. ^ Glanzman, Comic Book Artist, p. 93
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Sam Glanzman at the Grand Comics Database
  7. ^ Glanzman, Comic Book Artist, illustration p. 91
  8. ^ Glanzman, Comic Book Artist, pp. 91–92
  9. ^ The Lonely War Of Willy Schultz #1-4 (May – November 1999), published by Avalon Communications / America's Comics Group
  10. ^ McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 139. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. It was Glanzman's semi-autobiographical tales in Our Army at War that brought a harrowing realism to World War II that few war comics have matched. 
  11. ^ Comic Book Stories (webcomics site) at the Wayback Machine (archived October 12, 2006). Original site.
  12. ^ Glanzman's U.S.S. Stevens: The Stories. Archived October 22, 2009 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]