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ALVIN SCHWARTZ, PAPA’ DI BIZARRO, SE N’E’ ANDATO (updated)

Bizarro

Un altro genio creativo del nostro mondo se n’è andato, lo scorso 28 ottobre.
Il suo nome, che sarà ignoto ai più, era Alvin Schwartz, ma sicuramente i meno giovincelli di noi avevano letto svariate sue storie anche nel Nembo Kid italiano: avventure di Batman e di altri personaggi della DC Comics della Silver Age, in particolare è accreditata a lui l’idea del personaggio di Bizarro e del suo mondo imperfetto: quella sorta di mostruosi e inetti “supermanni” conosciuti in Italia sugli albi di Arnoldo Mondadori come “i Duplex”.

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Sopra, l’anziano Schwartz è in una foto della CCBCAA (dal loro sito abbiamo appreso della scomparsa dello scrittore e sceneggiatore) nel corso della sua ultima apparizione pubblica presso una convention di Ottawa nel novembre 2009.

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Schwartz, che ha scritto anche romanzi, sceneggiature per il cinema e la televisione, sarà ricordato fra poche ore in un post di Mark Evanier nel siuo blog.
Ve lo segnaleremo.

Per il momento, alcune note sulla sua attività più schiettamente fumettistica.

Born in NYC in 1916, Alvin Schwartz wrote his first comics for Fairy Tale Parade in 1939, and wrote extensively for Shelley Mayer, then an editor at Max Gaines All-American Publications (later purchased by National/DC in 1944).

He had also done a short stint at Fawcett on Captain Marvel. Schwartz wrote his first Batman story in 1942, and his first Batman newspaper strip in Aug 1944 (an assignment he continued on until 1958) and his first Superman newspaper strip in Oct 1944.

AGGIORNAMENTO CORRETTO

Alberto Becattini
, in uno dei commenti che seguono al post sottolinea che la ricostruzione non è corretta :in realtà, la strip di Batman (prima serie) dura dal 1943 al 1946 (non 1958!), e Schwartz scrive le seguenti dailies:

Aug. 14, 1944- Jan. 27, 1945; July 9, 1945-Feb. 9, 1946; Mar. 25, 1946-Sept. 21, 1946

… e le seguenti Sundays:

July 29, 1945-June 16, 1946; Oct. 20-27, 1946.

Per quanto concerne le strips di Superman, invece, Schwartz scrive le dailies:

Oct. 30, 1944-Dec. 2, 1944 [#1815-1844]; 1947-1951; 1952- -Apr. 4, 1959 [#6338]

e le Sundays

Dec. 10, 1944- -1958 (on & off).

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He had a long association with Superman as the writer of both the Man of Steel’s newspaper strip and many of his comic book appearances, and one of his many enduring contributions to the Superman mythology was the first tale of Bizarro, a character who became a part of popular culture, quite apart from comics.

While writing most of DC’s newspaper strips between 1944 and 1952, he also went on to do stories for many of their comics magazines, working on characters such as Aquaman, Vigilante, Slam Bradley, Date With Judy, Buzzy, House of Mystery, Tomahawk, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Newsboy Legion and numerous others.

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Il ricordo di Mark Evanier ha raggiunto le sue pagine web News from Me. Accenna, sorprendentemente, anche al viaggio spirituale, mistico – nel senso di misterioso – compiuto da Alvin Schartz, dopo aver lasciato i supereroi DC (dal 1958). In qualche modo è stato suggerito proprio da questi. Una questione complessa. E complicata.

Pensa un po’…

Evanier:

His feelings were complicated and though he told me about them directly and I read about them in two books of his — An Unlikely Prophet and A Gathering of Selves, I’m not sure I completely understand his troubles.

Clearly though, he felt he needed to get away from comics and he did, working for a time in market research and also writing novels under an array of names, and motion pictures including several for the National Film Board of Canada.

For a long time, he believed his comic book work had been forgotten but several fans tracked him down in the late eighties and he began attending conventions and letting me interview him at several. He was a fascinating man who obviously put a lot of thought into his work before he did it, while he was doing it…and for decades after. He was also a very fine writer and we were happy to present him in 2006 with the Bill Finger Award for his lasting and important work.