Tuesday, December 5th, is the birthday of one of my all-time favorite cartoonists, the great Sam Glanzman! (He's also one of my favorite human beings!)
Here's Wikipedia's entry about Sam:
"Sam J. Glanzman (born 1924) is an American comic-book artist, best known for his Charlton Comics series Hercules, about the mythological Greek demigod, and the 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.
"Glanzman, whose education ended after grade school, broke into comics in late 1939 during the Golden Age of comic books. At Centaur Publications, he wrote two-page text stories with incidental art for Amazing Man Comics. He created Fly-Man in Harvey Comics' superhero anthology Spitfire Comics #1 (Aug. 1941), writing and drawing the feature for at least two issues, and 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.
"Following his WWII military service in the U.S. Navy, stationed on the U.S.S. Stevens, he was discharged in 1946. 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.'") and began a peripatetic career doing manual labor in cabinet shops, lumber mills and boat yards. After getting married in the 1950s, he worked at Republic Aviation in Farmingdale, Long Island, New York, installing machine guns on military jets.
"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 ghosted (working for pay but no credit for another artist in his or her style) for his brother, Louis Glanzman, on an aircraft hardcover-book series for children. Work was not steady, however, and Glanzman returned to Republic.
"Still determined to work in art, Glanzman in 1958 answered a classified ad seeking comics artists, and began working with Pat Masulli, the Manhattan-based executive editor of Derby, Connecticut's Charlton Comics, a low-paying publisher who traditionally allowed its comics creators great creative freedom in exchange. He dove into war stories for the titles Attack, Battlefield Action, Fightin' Air Force, Fightin' Marines, Submarine Attack, U.S. Air Force Comics, and War at Sea producing a plethora through mid-1961, 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 supspiciously similar, four-issue Voyage to the Deep), and a range of titles from lost-world adventure (Kona) to heartwarming animal drama (Lad: A Dog). He occasionally still moonlighted for Charlton, using the initials "SJG" for his work on the 1962 Marco Polo movie adaptation and elsewhere.
"Beginning mid-1964, Glanzman moved regularly between Charlton and Dell assignments, almost exclusively on war stories, but also on a Charlton Tarzan series. With writer Joe Gill, he created the Charlton hardboiled detective character Sarge Steel, which would go on to be acquired by DC Comics when a fading Charlton sold the rights to many of its characters in 1983.
"At this point during what fans and historians call the Silver Age of comic books, Glanzman, with writer Gill, created the Charlton mythological-adventure series Hercules, which would run 13 issues (Oct. 1967 - Sept. 1969), and showcase Glanzman's experimental side, where he might float Art Nouveau-bordered panels within action tableaux filled with Hieronymous Boschian nightmares.
"He also during this time co-created, with writer Will Franz, "The Lonely War of Willy Schultz", a departure from most other combat features of this time, with its conflicted here caught between loyalties in the relatively clear-cut World War II. 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 well-regarded feature, reprinted as late as 1999, was serialized in Charlton's Fightin' Army #76-80, 82-92 (Oct. 1967 - July 1968, Nov. 1969 - July 1970).
"During the 1960s, Glanzman freelanced for Outdoor Life magazine.
"War-comic editor-artist Joe Kubert brought Glanzman, a veteran in dual senses, to work on G.I. Combat (for years illustrating the feature "Haunted Tank"), Our Army At War, Star Spangled War Stories, Weird War Tales and other combat titles at DC Comics, one of the two industry leaders. Glanzman would also occasionaly 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 (Sept.-Dec. 1993), Jonah Hex: Riders of the Worm and Such (March-July 1995), and Jonah Hex: Shadows West (Feb.-April 1999).
"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.
"Other work in the 1990s includes 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 1-893-90504-7), 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).
"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.
"In 2006, 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."
Sam has had an incredible career...and it's far from over! As a Navy brat, I particularly love his "USS Stevens" stories and, of course, A SAILOR'S STORY. I'm also nutzoid about his KONA, MONARCH OF MONSTER ISLE, an Oddball series that exemplifies Sam's unbelievable mastery of animal drawing. We may not draw anything alike, but he's one of my biggest influences!
Happy birthday, Sam!