Friday, November 27, 2009

2009 The Martian Manhunter Archives Volume 1 Biographies Page by Tom Hartley

Click to Download as a PDF

Tom Hartley wasn't about to rest on his laurels when his Archives Biographies Page, good for four out of five imaginary volumes, didn't take into account all the talents who would appear in a Volume One. No longer, as they're all here! You can download the PDF here.


Artist Joe Certa began his comics career in the mid-1940s. He worked for DC throughout the 1950s and 1960s, drawing the Robotman and Captain Compass back-up features in DETECTIVE COMICS, and every one of the John Jones, Manhunter from Mars stories, which ran in issues #225-326 and continued in HOUSE OF MYSTERY #143-173. Much of his later work was for Gold Key on various horror and mystery titles, including the comics adaptation of the TV show, Dark Shadows. Certa died in 1986.

A popular author of science fiction stories and novels, Hamilton began his career in the 1920s, writing for all of the major SF pulp magazines. In the 1940s he was the primary force behind the Captain Future franchise, an SF pulp designed for juvenile readers. Beginning in 1946 Hamilton wrote Superman and Batman stories for DC Comics. He retired from comics in 1966, and died in 1977.

Born Robert Kahn in 1916, Bob Kane is best known as the creator of Batman, who debuted in 1939 in DETECTIVE COMICS #27. Kane’s began working for DC Comics in 1938 on features such as Clip Carson and Rusty and His Pals, but Batman was his first big success. Kane drew the early Batman stories himself, but to meet the increased demand for Batman material, he later hired assistants, including Jerry Robinson, Sheldon Moldoff, Dick Sprang, Lew Sayre Schwartz and others. In 1965 he was asked to help with the development of the Batman TV show, and worked as a creative consultant on director Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman movie. In the late 1960s he began exhibiting paintings in galleries. Kane died in 1998.

Jack Miller was a DC editor from 1964-1969, handling such titles as STRANGE ADVENTURES, INFERIOR FIVE, MANIAKS, WONDER WOMAN and various romance titles. From the 1940s through much of the 1960s he also wrote comics, especially for DC, including such features as Deadman, Blackhawk, Aquaman, Batman, Jimmy Olsen, Congo Bill, and John Jones, Manhunter from Mars. He also wrote novels and nonfiction works, and some TV animation. Miller died in 1970.

Paris began his comics career in 1941, inking and lettering the Crimson Avenger feature in DETECTIVE COMICS. From 1943-1964 he was part of Batman creator Bob Kane’s studio, inking Batman stories pencilled by Bob Kane, Dick Sprang, Sheldon Moldoff, Lew Sayre Schwartz and others. Retired from comics, he currently lives in Arizona.

A biochemist, teacher and writer, Joe Samachson earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Yale. He was an Assistant Professor at the College of Medicine, University of Illinois. At the Veterans Administration Hospital in Hines, Illinois, he headed a research unit dealing with diseases that affect the skeleton. He also worked as a Research Chemist for the American Molasses Company until 1938, leaving to become a freelance technical writer. As a writer, he translated a number of scientific papers (he taught himself Russian). He also wrote books for young people and science fiction under the pseudonym William Morrison. In the 1940s and 1950s he worked for DC Comics on scripts for Batman, Sandman, Green Arrow, Airwave, Robotman, Tomahawk and other characters. In 1955 he and artist Joe Certa created the Martian Manhunter in the pages of DETECTIVE COMICS #225. With his wife Dorothy Samachson, he wrote about theater, music, ballet, archeology and a number of other subjects. Samachson died in 1980.

Lew Sayre Schwartz drew over a hundred Batman stories in the mid-1950s, all uncredited (until recently) as one of Bob Kane’s ghost artists. But Schwartz’s art style stood out for fans. He also worked on syndicated comic strips such as Brick Bradford and Secret Agent X-9. He left comics in 1953 and helped form a company that produced many short films for Sesame Street. In 2002, he wrote an adaptation of Moby Dick, illustrated by Dick Giordano.

This prolific writer crafted a diverse spectrum of tales for DC Comics. His writing credits included features in ALL-AMERICAN WESTERN, THE ADVENTURES OF REX THE WONDER DOG, HOUSE OF MYSTERY, OUR ARMY AT WAR, WORLD’S FINEST (Tomahawk), STAR-SPANGLED WAR STORIES, as well as BATMAN and DETECTIVE COMICS. Wood is perhaps best remembered for his collaborations with Jack Kirby on GREEN ARROW, CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN, and the short-lived Sky Masters syndicated strip, which was co-written by his brother Dick Wood.


Tom said...

The Jack Miller and Dave Wood bios are from actual DC Archives. Thanks to Fin Fang Foom and AussieStu of the Marvel Masterworks Message Board for providing the texts. The others are adapted from Wikipedia and other online sources.

LissBirds said...

Samachson sounded like a very interesting person. A Ph.D. in biochem? Whoa.

I'm curious to see if I can find some of his sci-fi writing. He sounded like a real renaissance man. He sounded very similar to Asimov, who also had a background in chemistry and also wrote non-fiction books on all sorts of topics, from the Bible to Shakespeare.