Sal Amendola did a great issue of BATMAN in 1978 (#296). Who was he and whatever happened to him? Where can I find more of his work?
— Jeffrey Glover (email@example.com)
Sal’s had quite a long career in the comics business. I contacted him for a brief bio and he sent along the following…
** I started in comics in 1969 doing stories for Dick Giordano’s WITCHING HOUR. At DC, I went on to do coloring; lettering; letters page headings (I did some really great designs and artwork – Flash, Aquaman, the original Teen Titans …); some Batman stories; with Curt Swan, the Cary Bates adaptation of the third Superman movie; a Green Arrow story; a Green Arrow / Black Canary story; four John Carter of Mars stories (I did one really good job; one, really bad; two, in between); inked two Marv Wolfman / Tom Sutton STAR TREK covers and one full STAR TREK story; became talent coordinator / editor (did some really great stuff in those positions that will forever go unappreciated, or totally unrecognized). Did the artwork for a really nicely-written Batman children’s book, “The Black Egg of Atlantis,” by Neal Barrett, Jr.
Became Dick’s assistant editor, 1970.
Got stuck in Sol Harrison’s / Jack Adler’s production department, while Dick’s assistant editor, and after Dick left DC. [See my contribution in TwoMorrow’s STREETWISE.]
Went to Marvel. I was “associate editor”, doing letters pages, coloring, backgrounds …. They rightly fired me. It was clear that my heart belonged to DC when, at an Academy of Comic Book Arts Awards ceremony, I had to sit at the Marvel table but cheered wildly every time someone from DC won an award.
Went back to DC, where Archie Goodwin published my Batman story, (“Night of the Stalker,” which I’d originally titled “D?j? Vu”) dialogued from my completed pencils and panel-by-panel, page-by-page written outline by then-roommate, Steve Engleheart. The story was originally rejected by Julie Schwartz. It was nominated by ACBA as “Best of Year”. [Archie Goodwin and Walt Simonson won the award for Manhunter. I called Walt when the nominations were announced, and told him that my first wish was that he and Archie would tie with me for the award. If that couldn’t happen, I’d wished that I’d win. If that couldn’t happen, I’d wished that they’d win. That third wish came true.]
Began teaching for the School of Visual Arts, 1974. Then (concurrently), at the Kubert School in the early 80’s. Then (concurrent with SVA), at Fashion Institute of Technology in 1988.
Did Archie Comics; storyboards (mostly through Continuity Associates); advertising for a local (Brooklyn) supermarket chain ….
Assisted on a comic strip; ghosted a couple of weeks on another strip.
Am now “waiting to hear” on the completed first manuscript of a series of Young Adult books, THE YOOMEE ADVENTURES, the first volume of which I want Gray Morrow to illustrate. If this series becomes what I envision, it will ultimately bring a lot of work to many writer- and artist-friends and colleagues, and continue to become a source of creativity and income for many other people (and for me, too, of course). I used to say, “I may be deluding myself, but I think the manuscript’s good.” I no longer qualify the statement. I believe it’s good. **
Some other info from Sal’s resume…
Book jacket, “Left At East Gate”; MARLOWE & Co.
Interior illustrations, “Witnessed”; SIMON & SCHUSTER
Batman children’s book, “Black Egg of Atlantis”; LITTLE, BROWN
EDITOR, TALENT COORDINATOR:
DC COMICS, 1983 – 1986
ARCHIE COMICS, 1974 – 1976 & 1987
MARVEL COMICS, 1972
ARTIST/WRITER/ASSISTANT EDITOR/PRODUCTION STAFF:
DC COMICS, 1969 – 1986
Publications included SUPERMAN, BATMAN, and STAR TREK.
ACADEMY of COMIC BOOK ARTS; officer, early 1970’s.
NATIONAL CARTOONISTS SOCIETY, since 1980; Professional Committee, 1987; Founder/first Chairman, New York Metropolitan area NCS, 1993-94.
SOCIETY of ILLUSTRATORS, 1998.
ACBA, “Best Story [writer-artist] 1974” BATMAN: “Night of the Stalker”
NCS, “Best Comic Book Artist” 1987.
FREELANCE ILLUSTRATOR, since 1969:
Children’s books, advertising, TV art, storyboards, comic strips; illustrated incidents as described by guests on the Maury Povich TV Show.
Two art instruction books, early 1980’s
Entire perspective section-plus, THE ILLUSTRATED COMIC ART WORKSHOP, VOL. I;
PERSPECTIVE FOR ARTISTS, by Sal Amendola, 1984.
SRV + 1; To self-publish writing and art, including 274 page allegorical treatise, OTHER INTELLIGENCES, A SOCIOPOLITICAL VIEW. **
Sal has invited me to be a guest speaker in one of his classes at the School of Visual Arts and I spent an enjoyable afternoon talking about the changes in technology, particularly the development of computerized coloring and color separations. He encouraged me to develop a course for SVA so that I could join the group of comics pros there (including Carmine Infantino, Joey Cavalieri, and Jack C. Harris). I did in fact propose a course, but other commitments resulted in my not being able to pursue it.
Thanks for the update, Sal, and let’s hope THE YOOMEE ADVENTURES goes from “waiting to hear” to “on the schedule” really soon.
BOBRO’S TRIVIA QUIZ
1. FLASH COMICS would have starred who before they changed the names of the book and the character?
2. It’s the home country of Mariah Romanova and the Black Widow; what is it?
3. Vietnam vet Phil Reardon’s optic nerves got connected to his fingertips, turning him into what villain?
4. Epic was the first home of what series, which got its “Farewell” from Vertigo?
5. In a change of pace from super-heroics, SHOWCASE #43 presented what soon-to-be famous spy and which enemy?
6. She became a villain to avenge the death of Roscoe Dillon; what name did she adopt?
7. TV stars Robert Culp and Bill Cosby were nowhere to be seen, but King Faraday was; name the book.
8. Hi-Jack began his crime career as part of what group?
9. Eventually, which member of Hero Hotline wanted to become a surgeon?
10. Control, after seeing his wife executed, was promoted to run what organization?
11. Lecturing at a school assembly, Johnny Storm inspired Spider-Man to go back and defeat which villain?
12. Using which two metals put the biggest dent in Doc Magnus’s Metal Men budget?
13. Even THEY were not ready when the cast of what TV show teamed up with Spider-Man?
BOBRO’S FUN FACTS TO KNOW & TELL:
1. Prior to his long TV career, Bill Cosby was a stand-up comedian whose albums include “Why Is There Air?”
2. Spiders feed only on living prey.
3. The highest active volcano in Asia is Mt. Kiuchevskoi in Russia; it erupted most recently in 1990.
FEEDBACK FROM THE EMAILBOX:
I can’t say exactly where the story may have appeared about the Parasite actually having kids, but I do remember it being brought up in SUPERMAN # 322.
— Wayne P. Bertrand II (The1TheOnlyWPB2@aol.com)
Here’s the story on the lost Parasite story mentioned in last week’s column:
The story that recounted the Parasite’s marriage to a lawyer named Lorna and the birth of their kids, Trini and Troy, was actually published, albeit only in Germany. In 1981, DC began creating original Superman stories for its insatiable German audience at the request of their West German publisher, Ehapa, as related in a comprehensive article by Dave Peterson in THE COMICS BUYER’S GUIDE # 519. The episodes ranged from forty-six page “novels” intended for a quarterly graphic album to thirty-pagers for SUPERMAN HEFT. Unlike Disney, who permitted additional adventures of Donald Duck and company to be produced by foreign publishers, DC generated the additional Superman adventures themselves. Writers included Bob Rozakis, Paul Kupperberg, Cary Bates, E. Nelson Bridwell and Elliot Maggin while artists ranged from Curt Swan and Alex Saviuk to Gil Kane and Alex Toth.
DC published several of the stories in English over the next few years but they never had a chance to publish “The Parasite Curse,” which is credited to Cary Bates, Alex Saviuk and Dave Hunt. The installation of the post-Crisis John Byrne-continuity pretty much killed any chances of the story ever seeing print and the hints offered in 1986’s WHO’S WHO # 17 are as close as any American readers are likely to get to seeing that story.
— John Wells (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thanks, guys. A few of the stories that were done for Ehapa actually did see print in issues of ACTION COMICS and SUPERMAN, but the Parasite tale was not among them.
While I don’t believe Howard the Duck joined the Defenders, he did meet up with them in the Howard The Duck tabloid. And yes, it was written by Steve Gerber during the period when he was writing both books.
–Tom Galloway (email@example.com)
It was in Howard The Duck Annual #1 that he met and fought alongside The Defenders, thus since The Defenders are a non-group, he qualifies as a non-member!
— Steve Chung (SChung1968@Juno.com)
My research — aided by the above — indicates that it was in the Tabloid (MARVEL TREASURY EDITION #12) that the meeting occurred.
The reason for the proliferation of various simian characters in the DC books was based on the “evidence” that gorillas on the covers sold well. If I recall correctly, wasn’t there a similar theory about the color red?
— Bob Kahan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Red logos in particular, as I recall.
Regarding your recent trivia question: “Looking for his PhD, Ray Palmer would have to write what?”
Generally, the work that is written for a PhD is called a dissertation (though it will contain a thesis). On the graduate level, a “thesis” (or a Master’s Thesis) is what we call the work that is written for the MA, MS, or MBA (etc.) degrees.
— Thom Young (email@example.com)
Obviously, I should have consulted with my wife the PhD before using that particular question..
Beginning next week, I’ll be away on my annual summer teaching stint for the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth summer program. Never fear, there will still be new columns appearing here every Monday and there’ll be a few surprises in them. And you can continue to send your questions and comments using the handy box in the column on the left.
This week’s theme is shaken, not stirred: Ian Fleming’s original James Bond novels.
1. Captain Thunder (“Thunderball”)
2. Russia (“From Russia With Love”)
3. The Ten-Eyed Man (“For Your Eyes Only”)
4. MOONSHADOW (“Moonraker”)
5. James Bond and Doctor No (“Doctor No”)
6. Golden Glider (“Man With the Golden Gun”)
7. I–SPY (“The Spy Who Loved Me”)
8. The Royal Flush Gang (“Casino Royale”)
9. Diamondette (“Diamonds Are Forever”)
10. Office of Strategic Services – O.S.S. (“On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”)
11. Doctor Octopus (“Octopussy”)
12. Platinum and Gold (“Goldfinger”)
13. Saturday Night Live (“Live and Let Die”)
Trivia…Daily Trivia. Check it out at www.wfcomics.com/trivia.
Copyright ? 2000 to 2003 by Bob Rozakis. All Rights Reserved.