The Golden Age of Comics with Artist Allen Bellman
At East Coast Comic Con, I had a chance to talk with Allen Bellman. He started working for Timely Comics (which became Marvel) when he was a teenager in 1942. He worked on Captain America, Human Torch, Sub-Mariner and All Winners during the Golden Age of comics. We talked about drawing Captain America, the other comics he worked on and how he got started working on comics.
Carl: I’m at East Coast Comic Con with Allen Bellman, who drew Captain America. And I’m going to ask some questions for my website:
Were you interested in art as a kid?
Allen Bellman: You bet your sweet bippy I was! I used to draw when I was a kid, younger than you, I’d draw on anything that was open with a pencil. I loved to tell stories with pictures.
Carl: How did you get interested in drawing comics?
Allen Bellman: Well, as I said, I always wanted to draw pictures that tell a story. I saw an ad in the New York Times. They wanted an artist to do backgrounds for Captain America. I applied and I got the job right away.
Carl: What comic was the most fun to draw?
Allen Bellman: What was most fun to draw? I loved everything Stan Lee gave me to do! I loved to draw, I love to tell stories. You tell a story just like you’re being a movie director, long shot, close ups, bird’s eye view, worm’s eye view, in other words, you have to make the page very interesting. So I loved everything I did. My favorite was Captain America, and I created something called Let’s Play Detective. A mystery that you turn upside down to get the solution.
Carl: You worked on Captain America and the Sub-Mariner. If they battled, who do you think would win?
Allen Bellman: Well, you know, let’s be practical here young man, these are only comic book characters. I have an agent, when somebody dies in a comic book, he cries. And I have to say to him, “Steven, it’s only a comic book character. So if Captain America fights with Sub-Mariner, if they fight under water, Sub-Mariner’s going to win. If they fight on land, Captain America is going to win. But why fight? Let’s be friends!
Carl: Thank you for answering my questions.
Allen Bellman: And good luck to you, young man! You’ve got a good future in front of you, and I may not be around to see you on television, but you’re going to be up there. And remember, when you talk to people, talk loud and strong. Don’t be pamby-wamby. Just speak up! Like Trump!
Thank you again, Allen Bellman! I hope to see you again soon!