Topic: Comic Book Artists
TODAY'S FEATURE - Blog #3153:
Today I want to blog about Allen Bellman, who will be celebrating his 86th Birthday on this upcoming Saturday June 6th! Besides that celebration, he also recently proved that "You Can Go Back Home Again!", as seen by the photos published above!
Allen was kind enough to send me the photos taken at his recent visit to the Marvel Offices, and I asked if he would consider sending me a little background info on this event. Below is his story:
Allen in Marvel Land
If someone told me this would be happening some 45 years ago I would think they were crazy.
Marvel occupies two floors and we were met by John, my contact in the company. First we had to sign in and then we started our tour. Did I expect Glitz and Plush ? yes but that wasn't the case.
The staff looked as if they were recruited from High School, not a gray hair to be seen, but then again we didn't meet everyone. I referred to them as "the new kids on the block".
Every comic book character had it's own staff and office, in fact, they had a department devoted to the Marvel toy's that could be purchased in many stores.
The atmosphere was quiet not what I can remember when I worked in the bullpen at Timely/Marvel, then again, there was an absence of artists as all art was freelanced.
The expression on the faces of the staff upon my introduction was worth the price of admission, in other words it was a joy.
My wife and I had to say "goodbye" to Marvel as a Limo was to pick us up, to take us to the airport, for our trip home.
That ended the story that Allen emailed me. He and I have communicated a few times before this, as I am Facebook Friend of his, and also a 'Member' of the Allen Bellman Group Face that Jeff McLaughlin started on Facebook.
I've also posted a few blogs on Allen's current activities, as seen in this link here: Allen Bellman noted in ComicBookCollectorsBlog.com.
Unfortunately, no one has started a 'Wikipedia' entry for Allen. There are several links to references about him, but no individual page.
The Grand Comics Database (GCD) has 50 entries of works credited to Allen Bellman. There are more to be entered, but works during that period of time were not always credited. Actually, the works usually were not credited on the pages for the most part. Here is the link to the Grand Comics Database for Allen Bellman's works.
You will notice that Allen worked in several genres of comic book during his time in comic books!
Additionally Allen tells me that there is a more complete listing of his works at his own website at AllenBellman.com. And yes, I've suggested that he have GCD update their database with those!
I had several more questions to ask of Allen, so he suggested we do it by phone.
Here are my questions, and part of his answers, via the phone call on Monday, May 31st of 2010, on Memorial Day. Please note, these are excerpts only as this blog post is pretty long already:
Michael D Hamersky (MDH): When did you join (Timely) Marvel?
Allen Bellman (AB): I started Columbus Day 1942. I saw an add in the New York Times. Backgrounds for Captain America. I was 18 years old. I was interviewed by Don Rico. At the McGraw Hill Bldg on 30th or 34th Street. Even though I didn't want to, I came in on Monday, the Holiday.
MDH: At what point was this on the Captain America feature?
AB: I would be doing backgrounds on Syd Shores. Simon & Kirby had already left. I never met Joe Simon until 4 years ago at a comic book expo in New Jersey.
MDH: When did you leave Marvel?
AB: I really don't remember. I was among the early ones during the time, (MDH: the Marvel Implosion?). I immediately went to Lev Gleason and worked for Charles Biro. Later I went back to Marvel on a freelance basis.
MDH: What was YOUR favorite feature / strip you worked on at Timely / Marvel?
AB: "Let's Play Detective". (MDH: Allen created this feature himself).
MDH: Who was your favorite character you worked on at Timely / Marvel?
AB: (immediately) Captain America!
MDH: What was your favorite genre of comics? I see that you worked in many, and I have posted a few covers in my earlier blogs about you.
AB: I hated to do horses, but did enjoy westerns. I had a fear of doing of horses. I overcame that by doing the westerns.
MDH: What character did Timely / Marvel have in its' history that you didn't work on, but wish that you did?
AB: None during that time, as I worked on so many, but I do wish I had an opportunity to do Spider-Man!
MDH: (Spider-Man was first published in 1962.)
Note: Allen and I talked about other subjects, including his wife Roz's Radio Program. Plus a story or two of those that had been interviewed on the program or booked at dances in the area. My wife, Tina, was in the 'home office' when I was interviewing Allen, and enjoyed the Bruce Springsteen references. Tina is from New Jersey, and a BIG Fan of Bruce! However those are stories for another time, another blog...!
Just a couple of more notes: Allen does commissions, which you can ask about at his web site. Allen also enjoys attending conventions. So you convention promoters out there...Be sure to check his web site for his contact info!
My thanks to Allen Bellman for taking the time to share his recent experience at Marvel Comics and on his past days with Timely / Marvel Comics. It was Great seeing the photos that he shared!
You can see more of Allen Bellman's works at his own web site at AllenBellman.com, plus be interactive with other Allen Bellman Fans at the Facebook page: Allen Bellman Fan Group started by Jeff McLaughlin.
And...Allen, I'm wishing YOU an early Happy Birthday!
Plus: My thanks again to all of YOU reading this blog and our earlier archived blog posts, now numbering over 3,150 in number!
~ Michael D Hamersky @ ComicBookCollectorsBlog.com
Note: Our online comic book store carries many different genres of comics from Marvel Comics at: