Monday, September 1, 2014

Stan Goldberg (1932-2014)

Pauline and Stan Goldberg, Society of Illustrators (October 12, 2013)

It is with terrible sadness that I report the passing of Stan Goldberg on August 31 at the age of 82. The icon of silver-age colorists and the man who carried the mantle at Archie Comics for 40 years had been ailing, following a recent stroke.

There will be many career overviews appearing online, especially about Stan's career at Archie Comics, but the best place to learn about Stan Goldberg will always be in an interview he gave to Jim Amash in Alter Ego Magazine Vol 3, #18 (October 2002). Titled "The Goldberg Variations" (a play on the famous 30 baroque variations by Johann Sebastian Bach), it encompassed 27 pages of Stan talking about his entire career oeuvre up to that point in time. I recommend it to anyone who wants to really hear Stan in his own words.

I got to know Stan and his lovely wife Pauline over the last 7 years. I would see them at shows, be invited to sit at their table and talk about comics, Stan's history, or just about anything at all. Stan was a frequent guest at the New York Comicon and always made time for us when we showed up.

At the 2010 con I was on hand for a nice meeting of various factions and generations of Timely history. In the two photos I took below, the first is of Stan and Syd Shores' daughter Nancy Karlebach, who was attending with her husband. The second is of Al Jaffee, Pauline, Nancy and Stan.

What follows is a bit of low-rez video I also took at the same time. Forgive the quality but I was able to capture a few moments (26 seconds) of the actual live flavor of the real time surrounding the photos.

Here are some shots from the March 31, 2012 Big Apple Con:

First, Co-CEO Nancy Silberkleit posted a wonderful tribute to Stan Goldberg on her blog here:

One of the two images used, also on the BLEEDING COOL website, was a photo of Stan Lee and Stan G. meeting at the con. Right smack in the middle is yours truly, taking in the scene. Right behind Stan Goldberg is Timely artist Allen Bellman

Stan Goldberg at his table signing a copy of Marvel Tales #109, his only pre-code horror story!

Stan Goldberg and Jim Steranko comparing notes while looking through original Millie The Model pages at Stan's table:

Stan Goldberg and Jim Salicrup:

Now here are some real treats! First a great photo of Stan sketching Betty for a fan:  (That's Ken Bald in the background attending his very first comic con.)

And now the same scene rendered live with a full minute of video.

Here is an interesting discussion between Stan and Nick Caputo about a particular issue of Modeling With Millie that Nick discovered had Jack Kirby's hand in.

And Stan Goldberg, Timely's Allen Bellman and Nancy Shores-Karlebach, giving the famous "Bellman Fist"

But the best time I ever had with Stan Goldberg was at the launch of my and Blake Bell's book, The Secret History of Marvel Comics, on October 12, 2013 at The Society of Illustrators in Manhattan. I had picked Stan's memory about working for Martin Goodman and he is quoted extensively inside. The event coincided with the Saturday night of the New York Comicon so plans were extremely awkward and hectic as Fantagraphics had flown in 100 copies of the book prior to official publication

Blake and I planned the event with a slide show presentation about the book and I made an attempt to get as many creators who had worked for, and had known Martin Goodman, as I could. We wanted them onstage for short interviews and a question-and-answer session about their careers with Timely/Marvel. After the event, they would take part in a signing as well as a cocktail dinner. My short list had about 5 creators in the NY area and one by one the list kept getting shorter until only two were left, Al Jaffee and Stan Goldberg. I invited Stan Lee, who was in town for the con, but he was unable to arrange his schedule to attend, sending me an e-mail afterwards relating that he'd have loved to have been there with his old pals Jaffee and Goldberg.

Here are some photos from that event. Most photos were taken by Barry Pearl. The black and white photos were taken by William Byron.

Some photos before the event began:

Pauline, Nancy Shores-Karlebach and Stan

Al Jaffee, Paul Levitz and Carol Tilley

The event itself:

Al Jaffee and Stan Goldberg

Myself, Blake Bell, Al Jaffee and Stan Goldberg

After-event photos:

The Goldbergs and the Caputos (Nick and John)

Stan, Frank Lovece, Pauline and Frank's wife Maitland
(photo courtesy Frank Lovece)

The signing:


The cocktail dinner upstairs after the book signing was a wonderful event. While the area was well-filled with attendees, we corralled a table in the back and settled down with Al Jaffee, Stan, Pauline, Nancy Shores-Karlebach Blake Bell, Nick Caputo, Barry Pearl, my own family. Stan was telling stories about the old days as I bent the ear of Al Jaffee for the better part of an hour. If anyone out there has any other photos from this event, please contact me as I'd love to put them up. I also have video of the entire event that will become available in the future.

Here's some video from the dinner upstairs, which lasted over an hour. At this time most patrons were gone and we were left by ourselves in the back. Stan and Al are seated in the back, Nancy Shores-Karlebach is standing first talking to Pauline, then Al and Stan, Blake Bell walks in and out and Nick Caputo, John Caputo and Barry Pearl converse at the table. During a quick camera pan, my wife Maggie can be seen at a lower table. I'm in the back eating next to Al.  The conversation is muffled due to the microphone being away from us on the camera and the large amount of background noise. The novice cameraman was probably my son Jason.

The event came to a late close and my wife Maggie and my daughter Michelle drove Stan and Pauline back home to Queens while I took Al Jaffee home and headed back north with Blake and his son Luke. A week after the event, my wife received this in the mail from Stan. I gather Maggie must have told Stan what a big Archie fan she was while they were driving.

One last photo of Stan taking a question from the audience. Stan Goldberg was a gentleman, a warm human being and one hell of a cartoonist. We will all miss him a great deal.


Al Jaffee worked for Timely as a freelancer starting in 1942, was the co-creator of "Ziggy Pig & Silly Seal" in Krazy Komics, took over "Squat Car Squad" from Kin Platt in Joker Comics, ghosted "The Imp" in Captain America Comics for Chad Grothkopf, further developed Super Rabbit, penciled numerous Timely teen titles, took over "Patsy Walker" from Christopher Rule, and had been an associate editor by the later 1940's, all while drawing Patsy Walker in 3 separate titles up through the early 1950's (Patsy Walker, Patsy and Hedy, Miss America).

Stan Goldberg started at the age of 17 in the coloring department at Timely in the Empire State Building, under the auspices of Martin Goodman's brother, Arthur Goodman and fellow colorist Jon D'Agostino. Not getting along with Arthur at all, Goldberg began to work directly for Stan Lee instead and rose to running the Timely/Atlas color department himself through the Atlas Implosion in the Spring of 1957. Also in the late 1950's/early-to-mid 1960's, he contributed cartoons for Abe Goodman's Humorama line of girlie digests.

Zip (Sept/65)

Goldberg came back as a freelance colorist when work resumed but the next important step was the assignment to launch a new teen title, Kathy in 1959. Penciling the entire book and the cover, Stan's inker on the first issue (Oct/59) was Christopher Rule. Kathy lasted 27 issues into 1964 but concurrently Goldberg took over Millie The Model and My Girl Pearl from a departed Dan DeCarlo (who was moving over to Archie Publications, a place Stan would follow to in 1968) when Pearl was rebooted after a 3-year hiatus.

Stan, by my reckoning, likely penciled many stories (and a few covers) in 1958-59 issues of post-implosion Atlas romance titles, often under Vince Colleta's inks. He would also pencil two stories in Linda Carter - Student Nurse #5 (all the rest of the stories in the series were drawn by Al Hartley), Patsy WalkerPatsy and Hedy, A Date With Millie, Modeling With Millie, Mad About MillieChili, a romance story in Our Love Story #12, and draw the covers and some interiors for various short-run late 1960's/early 1970's Marvel titles like Harvey, Li'l Pals and Li'l Kids, before working for Archie Comics exclusively in the 1970's through 2010. Most importantly to the Marvel silver-age, Stan created the color conceptualization for the entirety of Marvel's silver-age output, including being responsible for the Hulk's color being green!

What follows is a tour through Stan Goldberg's Timely/Atlas and Marvel eras as an artist, not a colorist. I'm mostly giving cover examples showing the breadth of his work.

We'll start with a rare event, a Stan Goldberg penciled and inked  pre-code horror story, "The Cave of Death" in Marvel Tales #109 (Oct/52), scripted by Clayton Martin, a childhood friend of Joe Maneely who scripted for Atlas in the early to mid 1950's.

And now the teen titles! 

First, a page of original art I have from Millie The Model #107 that features the appearance by Jack Kirby!

Kathy #1 (Oct/59); Pencils, Stan Goldberg; Inks, Christopher Rule

Kathy #1 (Oct/59); T-427 p.1; Goldberg/Rule

Kathy #8 (Dec/60)

Kathy #24 (Aug/63)

My Girl Pearl #7 (Aug/60)
My Girl Pearl #7 (Oct/60)

My Girl Pearl #7 (Feb/61)

Millie The Model #89 (Mar/59)

Millie The Model #94 (Jan/60)

Millie The Model #96 (May/60)

Millie The Model #102 (May/61)

Millie The Model #105 (Nov/61)

Millie The Model #106 (Jan/62)

Millie The Model #107 (Mar/62)

Millie The Model #125 (Dec/64)

Millie The Model #129 (July/65)

Millie The Model #135 (Feb/66)

Millie The Model #141 (Sept/66)

Millie The Model #144 (Dec/66)

Millie The Model #146 (Feb/67)

Millie The Model #148 (Apr/67)

Millie The Model #164 (Nov/68)

Millie The Model #175 (Oct/69)

Millie The Model #181 (Apr/70)

Millie The Model #190 (June/71)

Millie The Model #195 (Apr/72)

Millie The Model #200 (Feb/73)

Millie The Model #207 (Dec/73)

Millie The Model Annual #4 (1965)

Millie The Model Annual #5 (1966)

Millie The Model Annual #7 (Sept/68)

Millie The Model Annual #12 (1975)

A Date With Millie #7 (Oct/60) [2nd series]

Life With Millie #12 (Aug/61)

Modeling With Millie #41 (Sept/65)

Modeling With Millie #44 (Dec/65)

Modeling With Millie #46 (Apr/66)

Mad About Millie #9 (Mar/70)

Mad About Millie #10 (Apr/70)

Mad About Millie Special #1 (Nov/71)

Patsy Walker #119 (Feb/65)

Patsy Walker #120 (Apr/65)

Patsy Walker #123 (Oct/65)

Patsy and Hedy #100 (June/65)

The next cover is a puzzle. The main figure looks like Al Hartley drew it over a Jack Kirby layout! The images in the back look like Stan Goldberg or could be all Al Hartley. I include this one only because it's kind of cool!

Patsy and Hedy #101 (Aug/65)

Patsy and Hedy #104 (Feb/66)

Patsy and Hedy #106 (June/66)

Patsy and Hedy #110 (Feb/67)

Chili #8 (Dec/69)

Chili #8 (Oct/73)

Chili Special #1 (Dec/71)

Harvey #1 (Oct/70)

Harvey #2 (Dec/70)

Li'l Kids #2 (Oct/71)

Li'l Kids #3 (Nov/71)

Li'l Kids #8 (Oct/72)

Li'l Kids #9 (Dec/72)

Li'l Pals #2 (Nov/72)

Li'l Pals #3 (Jan/73)

Li'l Pals #5 (May/73)


  1. Great pictures!!
    Would love to see the video.
    The cover to Millie the Model #89 looks like Dan DeCarlo to me. Did Stan ink it?

  2. Rocco, you could be right. This is at the exact point when DeCarlo was leaving. I'll have to pull out the issue and look inside also.

    1. Doc V.
      Let me know. I think Dan did the inside too and he did the issues up to #92,covers too. I think #93 is the first Stan cover and its a nice one.

  3. Mike,

    I'm glad to have had the pleasure of being at conventions with you when Stan Goldberg was there and always enjoying his company. Like you, my favorite memory is from the Society of Illustrators, where I had time to sit next to Stan at the cocktail dinner and talk comics. He will truly be missed.

    Incidentally, isn't the Millie the Model # 147 cover the work of Bill Williams, who drew issues 146-150? And Patsy and Hedy # 101 may be all Hartley pencils, with possible inks by Frank Giacoia.

  4. Nick, I agree about Hartley in P&H #101. I let it up because I like the cover! I don't have Millie v#147 up on the site.

  5. Sorry, Mike. I meant Millie # 148.

  6. Time is the ultimate enemy. Everything seemed just right a few months ago. But in just a few moments we lost Dick Ayers and Stan. I am so glad we took the pictures and you have the video.

  7. I am selling stuff on ebay and I noticed that H426 in Love Tales #66 looks familiar. You don't have it here, but I am assuming it is by Stan Goldberg. Unless it's by Dan DeCarlo, which is even less likely (but the poses are like his work as well, even though it is realisticly drawn).

    1. Ger, that story has always puzzled me. It's not Dan DeCarlo and it could be Goldberg. (Damn! I wish I could ask him!). It almost looks like Goldberg could have penciled it and maybe someone else's hand is also there. I think I see glimpses of Morrie Weiss but just can't be sure. But I agree that there is a good change Stan Goldberg is in the story.