Sam Glanzman – writer, illustrator, and War Hero! I lament his sad passing

As many Charlton Comics fans, and Sam Glanzman fans are well aware of, already, Sam Glanzman passed away, sadly, back on July 12th, 2017.
Sam Glanzman was an illustrative talent with skills that were HUGE. And, had he been better known, as either a Marvel or a DC Comics artist, (though he did some fantastic work, for both, mostly for DC), I think his passing would have left an EVEN BIGGER lightning bolt, through the medium that is COMICS.
Had he been, primarly, a superhero comics artist, ironically, that lightning bolt through comics, when he passed away, would have been even bigger, still.
Ironic to me, at least, because the lion’s share of comics work that Sam Glanzman was, and IS best known for, throughout his tenure IN comics – was WAR comics. And he did some incredible work, in that comics genre!
I followed Sam Glanzman’s early work that was published in the 1960’s, including ‘The Lonely War of Willie Schultz’.
But I purchased them, decades after they came out. Having heard so much about them, for decades, from fans of this series – fans that were frequently RAVING about them, I eventually collected them, and enjoyed them – decades after they came out.
Because I was not a war comics fan, when they DID, at the time, come out. And it turned out, as I later realized, that It was my loss, not to have discovered them for myself, much earlier.
See, I was buying, reading, and loving non war comics, when Sam Glanzman war comics were coming out.
But as I said, I wasn’t a war comics fan, at that time. That came later.
Despite my early non-love of the war comics genre, when I was younger, it was these three Forces of Nature – Russ Heath, Joe Kubert, and Sam Glanzman, originally, (and in no particular order), who, jointly, eventually, dragged me, against my will – at the time, kicking and screaming all the way — into becoming an eventual Big War Comics Fan-!
Something similar happened to me in my forties, with jazz. When I was a kid, and even as a teenager, I used to ask my dad, how on Earth he could listen to that awful Jazz music?! And then, when I reached my forties, something must have changed in my brain. And I then found myself apologizing to my father, for my youthful non-understanding and early tone deafness. Because I finally ‘got’ jazz! And now? I have almost a hundred jazz records. And yes, I still play vinyl.
The Charlton Private Willy Schultz stories illustrated by Sam Glanzman, and written by Wil Franz, were more than fine — and they gave the incredibly unique story of an American soldier, falsely accused of a murder he didn’t commit. He escaped execution, by donning an enemy German uniform. Imagine, if you will, the horror of having to hide out in the uniform of the enemy — ANY enemy; while wanting to, but failing – to clear your name? As interesting a premise as this was to me, I was even more enamored of Mr. Glanzman’s numerous ‘USS Stevens’ U.S. Navy warship comics stories. They were what enthralled me, the most, about Sam Glanzman. These stories were in comics at a couple of publishers, over the decades – first, and mostly, at DC Comics, then at Marvel, in two separate graphic novels, and then, in Marvel’s Savage Tales, Volume Two series. And then, back to DC Comics, in the six issues of the title ‘Joe Kubert Presents.’
An important link to most all of these Sam Glanzman USS Stevens comics stories, is here: Sam J. Glanzman’s USS Stevens
The above is (not) an easy link to find on the internet. But, for those comics collectors who wish to collect the original comics editions of where each and every USS Stevens story originally appeared, this link is a treasure trove!
As recently as two weeks ago, I said to my First Comics editor, Rik Offenberger, THIS, about Sam Glanzman’s USS Stevens comics stories: “And, the damn shame is — to the best of my knowledge, these comics stories have never, ever been collected, in collected editions. And so, just as with Frank McLaughlin’s Judomaster, most younger comics fans are probably not even familiar with these Silver Age Sam Glanzman USS Stevens comics stories. The neat thing is that the USS Stevens stories were autobiographical, in that they were, and are based on the real, true life events, as experienced by a young Sam Glanzman, aboard that very same warship, the USS Stevens, during World War Two-! As such, they are fascinating, true-life experiences, that Sam Glanzman lived through, as a young man!” Unquote.
And then, I found that I was wrong; these Sam Glanzman USS Stevens comics stories HAVE been collected. And here is a write-up I found about this book that collects them:
Sam Glanzman: USS Stevens Collected book edition!
PAGES: 416
The legendary Sam Glanzman set many of his tales on the USS Stevens, the World War II destroyer on which he served. This full-color, hardcover treasury collects more than 60 short Stevens adventures from Our Army at War, G. I. Combat, and other ’70s DC war comics. It also includes longer pieces from Marvel’s 1986 revival of Savage Tales magazine, the cover of 1967’s Combat, Sam’s very first illustration of the ship, letters to Sam from Presidents Barack Obama and George H.W. Bush, and much more. This collection also boasts a newly created, four page USS Stevens story, written and drawn by Sam Glanzman himself!”
I think you can guess what my next gift to myself is going to be!
The Sam Glanzman’s Charlton Comics’ (totally UNauthorized by the E.R.B. estate) ‘Jungle Tales of Tarzan’ 4 issues, in the 1960’s Silver Age, were often much better than what (some of) the Gold Key/-Western Publishing (and) Dell Tarzan comics titles being put out were like, in terms of interest and quality – Jesse March, notwithstanding. It turns out that these Silver Age Charlton Comics Jungle Tales of Tarzan have also been collected, and they are also available for purchase, on, and on ebay, as well!
Sam Glanzman, interestingly enough, had two brothers, D.C. (Davis Charles) Glanzman, and Louis ‘Lew’ Glanzman, who started in comics as well. And later, Louis Glanzman became a fine art painter.
The three Glanzman brothers’ parents were Jewish, which is true of too many great comic book artists and writers, to count!
The comics industry was predominantly created by Jewish people, many of them immigrants.
While Sam Glanzman is not ‘known’ as a superhero artist, commencing in 1939, he worked for Centaur Publications. There, he penned 2 page text/-prose fiction stories, in Amazing-Man Comics. Still later, he created a character, which he illustrated, called Fly-Man, in ‘Spitfire Comics’ number one and two. The first issue of this title premiered in August, 1941.
However, this was a completely different character from that of the Silver Age Archie/-‘Mighty Comics’ Adventures of The Fly title, later (also) called Fly-Man. In fact, Mr. Glanzman’s Fly-Man superhero’s costume had a full face mask, as does Marvel’s Spider-Man.
Mr. Glanzman produced some Green Hornet Comics stories, in 1943. And Sam Glanzman’s first war comics story was in a title published by Harvey Comics, entitled All-New Short Story Comics.
In the title Champ Comics, there appeared Sam Glanzman’s second superhero, which was ‘The Human Meteor.’
One of the best interviews I ever read, with Sam Glanzman as the subject, was in Comic Book Artist # 9 – from the year 2000 – which I pulled out of mothballs weeks ago, and read again. This issue of Comic Book Artist is a Charlton Comics theme issue, and it is recommended.
In the late 1950’s, Sam Glanzman began doing a lot of war comics work, in the titles Attack, Battlefield Action, Fightin’ Air Force, Fightin’ Marines, Submarine Attack, U.S. Air Force Comics, and War At Sea. Also at Charlton Comics, Mr. Glanzman’s thirteen issue run on the title ‘Hercules: Adventures of The Man God’, is very well-regarded! There is some top-notch work, in these!
In 1961, Mr. Glanzman began doing a plethora of movie and TV tie-in comics titles, at Dell Comics.
In the very late 1990s, a lot of Sam Glanzman’s war comics and other work was reprinted in Canada, in both English, and in  (Québécois) – Quebec French – published by Roger Broughton. Both the English and French versions of these black and white reprint ‘ACG’ comics titles (not to be confused with the 1950’s and 1960’s ‘American Comics Group/-ACG’ comics titles), were numerous, in terms of titles. I have a large assortment of both English and French editions of these.
Two Marvel favourite war titles of mine were Semper Fi and The Nam; Sam Glanzman did a handful of Semper Fi issues, and at least one issue of The Nam.
Mr. Glanzman put his inking skills to use on some Turok, Dinosaur Hunter issues that were published by Acclaim Comics.
And – you just knew I was going to figure out a way to shoe-horn Zorro in here, somewhere: he also inked some Zorro issues over at Topps Comic; these tales of ‘The Fox’ having been written by the one and only – acclaimed writer, Don McGregor.
In the early 2000s, Sam Glanzman began doing web comics, online, commencing with ‘Applejack’, and then he worked again, also online, on the Roman centurion epic ‘The Eagle!’
Sam Glanzman was born on December the fifth, 1924, and he passed away on July the twelve, 2017.
And we are all the poorer for it.
Your fans are Legion, Mr. Glanzman. He was a writer, an illustrator, and most importantly – a real-life war hero!

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