Friend of Fandom, Platinum/Golden Age Historian, fellow CBH group moderator and my dear family friend, David Armstrong interviewed over forty old-time comic book professionals from 1997-2005 on set at various venues, including Platinum, Golden and Silver Age greats. As a teenager, Armstrong went to the original 1965 Dave Kaler New York Comic Convention, and it was during this convention that he realized that meeting creators were fleeting cherished moments after personally speaking with Bill Finger and Otto Binder who both passed away shortly after. He met Jim Steranko at the same convention, and a year later at the 1966 Benson NY Comic Con, dressed in one of the original cosplays as Captain America, and his photo as such is documented in museum exhibits and history books.
After some time, he purchased Golden Age comic books from famous dealer, Hal Kinneythen later trekked to Hollywood, functioning as the production manager for Steranko’s horror adaptation of his Marvel Comic, “At the Stroke of Midnight!” (1969) to film, Shadowhouse (1973),
worked as a film projectionist for the American Film Institute, then film editor for John Cassavetes, and head of television at Vestron. He eventually served as Vice President of the USA Network, and then Senior VP at MGM, during which he self-funded the production, equipment and research required to film these comic book legends all while introducing them to fans at dinners at San Diego Comic Con International as head of the American Association of Comicbook Collectors.
With Armstrong’s permission and coordination over the past five months I’m proud to have digitized, frame by frame remastered, edited, time-stamped and post-produced most of the footage to be shown at the Comic Book Historians YouTube Channel in the CBH Interview video format for comic history scholars to appreciate and learn from his 25 years of hard work, focus and determination in cataloguing these creators’ oral histories, personalities, and motivations.
I felt a kinship with this project and David, partly due to my own obsession with collecting interviews like I’ve done with Jim Steranko, Neal Adams and the others on the CBH Podcast. Restoration, remastering and production is also something of a hobby of mine, including the podcast’s and channel’s post-production, visual restoration of Leo O’Mealia pages for Nicky Wheeler Nicholson and David Armstrong’s beautiful book, DC Comics Before Superman (2018), and audio remastering John A. Mozzer‘s wonderful interviews of various people in Jim Steranko’s life (1973) as well as comic artist Jack Keller (1973) and dealer, Hal Kinney (1974). I learned new tools for this task, to give David’s hard work and interviews the respect they deserve as close as possible to feeling like they were just filmed yesterday.
Check them out here:
Martin Filchock who worked at Comics Magazine Company and Centaur and drew some of the earliest strips for comic books.
Irv Novick who worked at the Chesler shop, Lev Gleason, MLJ and eventually DC Comics
Joe Kubert who worked with Frank Temerson, Norman Maurer, St. John and eventually DC Comics.
Harry Lampert who worked for Max Fleischer and then Sheldon Mayer at All-American, co-creating the Flash.
Irwin Hasen who worked with Harry Chesler, All-American and DC Comics and co-created Wildcat.
Irwin Donenfeld, son of Harry Donenfeld (the elder Harry), and former editorial director and executive vice president of DC Comics.
Carmine Infantino, Golden and Silver Age artist and former editorial director and publisher of DC Comics.
Chuck Cuidera, co-creator of Blackhawk, Golden and Silver Age artist.
George Tuska who discusses working with Eisner and Iger, Fiction House and Marvel.
Jim Mooney, former pulp artist who discusses his Golden Age work, and working on Batman, Supergirl and Marvel’s Spider-Man.
Ramona Fradon who entered comics in the 1950s, drawing Aquaman, Metamorpho, Superfriends and other properties for DC Comics.
Will Eisner who discusses how he entered comics, Eisner and Iger, Quality Comics, etc.
Vin Sullivan the editor of Action Comics 1, and Detective Comics 27, who worked at DC before and in the initial stages of Donenfeld and Liebowitz’ takeover.
Sy Barry who discusses working with Dan Barry, penciling and inking for various golden age venues including DC Comics before working on the Phantom.
John Buscema who discusses his career retrospective with Timely, Dell, Marvel from the late 40s and onward.
John Romita Sr. who discusses his work with Atlas Comics, DC Romance comics, and Marvel with Stan Lee.
Ric Estrada who discusses his time at Hillman, and eventually DC Comics.
Fred Guardineer discusses working at National/DC pre-Superman
The elusive John Broome who discusses writing for pulps and comics in the Golden and Silver Age, and why he left DC suddenly.
Creig Flessel, platinum and golden age artist who was on staff with Major Malcolm Wheeler Nicholson at National Allied Publications.
Joe Simon, who discusses how he entered comics, and his early forays into comics with Kirby, Liebowitz, Eisner and others.
Nick Cardy, who discusses working with Eisner in the Golden Age, his interests in illustration, and his comics, Aquaman, Teen Titans, as well as westerns and romance titles at DC Comics.
Murphy Anderson, who discusses both his Buck Rogers comic strip work as well as his comic book work with Chesler, Iger, Fiction House and DC Comics with Julius Schwartz.
Marv Levy who discusses his work in various golden age studios including Bernard Baily and Lloyd Jacquet.
Joe Giella who discusses his time at Timely Comics and DC Comics.
Marie Severin, Marvel artist who reminisces about Joe Maneely and Stan Lee.
Julius Schwartz pulp writer agent who edited comics at All-American and DC Comics.
Mike Carlin & Andy Helfer discuss their input on the SUPERBOY TV Show
Arnold Drake, pulp writer, graphic novelist and co-creator of the Doom Patrol.
Lee Ames, artist for the Iger Studio and creator of the Draw 50 series.
Jerry Robinson, co-creator of the Joker and artist for Batman.
Bob Fujitani, co-creator of Doc Solar and Flash Gordon artist.
Nick Cardy returns for a part 2 interview by David Armstrong in 2005.
Lily Renée interview by David Armstrong 2018
The cartoon of David Armstrong shown in the videos and thumbnail art was drawn by Jack Davis himself.
His interview collection is something that historians, scholars, professionals and fans will certainly learn new things from, especially in regard to the content and relationships between players in the Platinum, Golden and Silver Age. If so, please dont hesitate to thank David, for introducing many, on a personal level, to these comic book legends, most of whom are no longer with us.
Thanks to Marvel Comics’ Tom Brevoort for giving these interviews a shout out.
Read Alex Grand’s Understanding Superhero Comic Books published by McFarland Books in 2023 with Foreword by Jim Steranko with editorial reviews by comic book professionals, Jim Shooter, Tom Palmer, Tom DeFalco, Danny Fingeroth, Alex Segura, Carl Potts, Guy Dorian Sr. and more. In the meantime enjoy the show: In the United States, the term graphic novel was…