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Scott’s Classic Comics Corner: Spotlight on Alfonso Greene

In each of the last two years, in recognition of Black History Month, I’ve written brief overviews of Golden Age creators of African American descent. This year, I thought that I would continue the tradition with a look at the little known Alfonso Greene.

Digging up information on Alfonso Greene is not the easiest task in the world. I could simply rehash what I’ve learned, but the best thing I’ve yet to read on Greene can be found at Ken Quattro’s excellent site: The Comics Detective. Alfsonso Greene at the Comics Detective. There’s some great stuff there, including stories recounted by Alex Toth, which would be amazing if even half true. The best I can do this week is to provide some additional information about where his work can be found along with some examples.

Greene did a decent amount of work for Eastern Color in its Heroic Comics title, as well as producing work for the likes of Gilberton and Fox. His first regular work was on the Wonder Women of History back-up feature in Wonder Woman during the mid-40s. These were 4 page biographies of historically important women such as Abigail Adams, Sojourner Truth and Helen Keller. I’ve always admired attempts at teaching history through the comic book medium. It’s doubtful that any of these will ever be reprinted.

Greene’s only other regular gig at DC/National was on the Black Pirate strip, which ran in Sensation Comics and later All-American Comics. In my opinion, it was on this strip that Greene really began to establish a personal style. In some ways, it’s still run of the mill Golden Age art. There are, however, certain flairs in the action sequences, that suggest some real talent. By my count, there more than a half dozen Black Pirate strips by Greene. Some Black Pirate stories were reprinted during the 1970s, but I believe that they were all Sheldon Moldoff drawn tales.

From 1956 until the time of the Atlas Implosion, Greene did quite a bit of work for Stan Lee at Atlas. Here’s a great page originally published in World of Fantasy #11 (April, 1958), which can be found for a lot less dough in Crypt of Shadows #19 (September 1975). I really love this page, from the twisting body in the semi-splash to the shadow on the brick wall in the second panel. I have a feeling that Greene could have done some amazing work for Warren’s line of black and white magazines had he continued working into the 60s.

Greene also did a decent amount of western work at Atlas, including this story originally published in Kid Colt Outlaw #76 (May, 1958). I’ve got good news for frugal collectors; it can also be found in Kid Colt Outlaw #229 (April, 1979).

As I have said, not much is known about Greene or the specifics of what he did after leaving comics and what he was up to during the first half of the 50s. If anyone has additional info, I’d love to hear it. For more comic book chat, stop by my blog: Seduction of the Indifferent

7 Comments

I honestly never have heard of Greene, so this has been eye-opening, thanks Scott.

The World of Fantasy page is reminiscent of Krigstein and Gil Kane (never thought I would put those artists together), though original in its own right. I’m already disappointed he didn’t do comics work after the ’50s– he was obviously starting to come out with some striking work by that point.

Ditto. What Graeme said.

Thanks guys – I appreciate the feedback. Sometimes I feel like a tree falling in the forest ’round these parts.

Hi Scott ,I’m one of the guys who reads your blog so I’m sorry if I sometimes I dont leave comments…I particularly enjoyed the one about DC trying to revive space titles with mistery in space and time warp etc… by the way I have an image burned in my memory about these guy who is floating naked in space and he looks kinda like oliver queen (green arrow ) or morgan the warlord and there are some cubes floating in space with people in a fetal position and the guy gets picked up by a space ship and if I remember correctly he had died and resurrected any info or lead will be appreciated.. thanks

Scott, I read your posts all the time. I just don’t respond very often except when I have a question. But it’s one of my favorite features on the blog.

I have the actual numbers, and I can assure you, a goodly amount of people are reading the column. Keep up the good work, Scott, your column is a very nice read (which is why I asked you to write it, natch).

Waaay late comment, here, but Scott, you need to know that this is one of the few columns that I read top to bottom, every installment. Similar to other people, I just rarely have anything to contribute other than awe.

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