North Texas Comic Book Show coming to Dallas this weekend
By Tom Ward
This weekend, the North Texas Comic Book Show will be hosting a two-day event in Dallas and one of the featured guests is the renowned golden age artist Allen Bellman.
Recently, I spoke with Bellman who told me he’s really excited about coming to north Texas for the first time along with his wife Roz. He’s familiar with Houston because his son lives there, but looks forward to coming to Dallas and meeting all the fans here. The show is at the Doubletree Hotel at Dallas Market Center, and gets started Saturday at 9:30 am.
To learn more about the show go to their website at www.comicbookdallas.com.
Allen was a long time artist at Timely/Marvel Comics for nearly 20 years, starting in the early 1940’s, and is probably best known to comic book fans as the background artist for Syd Shores’ Captain America. During this period of time he was a busy man working on numerous other titles as an inker and a penciller. The Human Torch, Sub Mariner Comics, All Winners Comics, Marvel Mystery, Young Allies, Jap Buster Johnson and Jet Dixon of the Space Squadron are just a few examples of the brilliant work he did during what is now commonly referred to as the Golden Age of comics.
Allen mentioned to me that he’ll turn 90 in June and he’s happily surprised to be in big demand at comic conventions around the country.
“I never dreamed there would be this much interest in comics after all these years.” Allen said.
Bellman left the comic book industry in the 1950’s and moved to South Florida where he joined the art department of a major daily newspaper, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
“After that I went into photography and won many nationwide photography contests, winning out over more than 20,000 entries. Hundreds of my photos have appeared in hardcover books, have been on exhibits in museums in Florida and received great reviews in numerous newspapers,” said Bellman. “Recently, I was described in one publication as an artist who now paints with his camera.”
This is an incredible opportunity for comic book fans across in the metroplex to meet one of the last living legends from the golden era of comics. Allen is terrific with the fans and his memory is uncanny, as he regaled me with great stories about the early days working with the likes of Stan Lee and other well-known artists from that time period.
“Thank the good lord that I can recall,” Allen said.
With all these new superhero movies hitting the silver screens, it is an exciting opportunity for fans of all ages to visit with one of the men that actually drew “Captain America” during the height of World War II. When the first Captain America movie came out called “Captain America: The First Avenger”, Allen and Roz got a big surprise when they received an invitation from the office of the producer and president of Marvel Films, Kevin Feige, to attend the premier of the film in Los Angeles.
“Once we reached the red carpet at the El Capitan Theatre is was no easy feat getting into the theatre even with an invitation due to all the security, Allen recalled. “Fortunately, we were personally escorted in by one of the vice presidents of Marvel Comics. After the film ended we attended the Supper Club for the party for guests attending the movie. It was there I had the chance to meet Kevin Feige, the producer, to personally thank him for inviting us.”
“Also, I had a chance to pose for photos with numerous members of the cast of the film'” said Allen. “It was a night to remember and never did I think, when I joined the Timely/Marvel Comics bullpen back in the early 1940’s, that this would happen to me!”
I don’t have enough space in my column to do justice to the long and marvelous career of Allen Bellman, so please check out his website www.allenbellman.com to learn more about a truly amazing man.
Tom Ward can be contacted at www.teetimewithtom.com