Sam Glanzman, a comic book artist who broke into the comic book industry during the 1930s, passed away Wednesday morning at the age of 92. Glanzman is best remembered for his longtime stints on war comics for DC, Dell and Charlton Comics, as well as his graphic novel, A Sailor’s Story, which he originally released at Marvel in the 1980s before being re-released by Dover Publications in 2015.
Glanzman got his start in comics in 1939, working for the comic book packager, Funnies, Inc. (a company that would supply finished comic book stories that could be published as is by comic book companies). When the United States entered World War II, Glanzman served in the United States Navy aboard the U.S.S. Stevens. Glanzman served until 1946. He did not initially return to comic books after World War II, working a variety of other jobs until he got a gig working for Charlton Comics in the late 1950s.
He worked mostly on war comics for Charlton, before then getting a gig at Dell Comics working on Dell’s war comic, Combat, as well as various other assignments.
He eventually began working regularly for both Charlton and Dell throughout the rest of the 1960s.
In 1967, Glanzman and writer Joe Gill created the fantasy adventure series, Hercules, for Charlton.
Glanzman also started his “The Lonely War of Willy Schultz” series in Chartlon’s war comics (working with writer Will Franz), about a conflicted German-American soldier during World War II.
As the 1970s began, Joe Kubert hired Glanzman to work for DC Comics’ war comics. Glanzman had a long stint drawing the “Haunted Tank” feature.
He also started a series of real-life back-up stories about his time on the U.S.S. Stevens during World War II. His “U.S.S. Stevens” stories would run all over DC’s war comics line throughout the 1970s. These highly personal, acclaimed stories were beloved by many readers.
During the 1980s, Glanzman worked on Marvel’s short-lived return to war comics (coordinated by the great Larry Hama). He was a regular on the short-lived (but acclaimed) Marine Corps series, Semper Fi. He drew the most acclaim, however, for the graphic novel, A Sailor’s Story, telling the story of his experiences on the U.S.S. Stevens during the war. A sequel would later be released and Dover Publications re-collected the story in 2015.
Glanzman did some new “U.S.S. Stevens” stories in the Joe Kubert Presents series that DC put out (that sadly wasn’t completed yet when Kubert passed away in 2012).
Dover Publications also put out a collection of Glanzman’s U.S.S. Stevens stories.
Finally, Dover just recently put together a tribute book for Glanzman when he suffered a recent fall, which led to him entering hospice care.
You can support the Forever project (which will benefit Glanzman’s widow, Sue, here.
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