Bhob Stewart

Robert Marion Stewart, known as Bhob Stewart (November 12, 1937 – February 24, 2014) was an American writer, editor, cartoonist, filmmaker, and active fan who contributed to a variety of publications over a span of five decades. His articles and reviews appeared in TV Guide, Publishers Weekly, and other publications, along with online contributions to Allmovie, the Collecting Channel, and other sites. In 1980, he became the regular film columnist for Heavy Metal.

Bhob Stewart
Robert Marion Stewart

November 12, 1937
DiedFebruary 24, 2014 (aged 76)
Other namesBobby Stewart
OccupationEditor, artist, fan

Start in publishing and writing

Stewart got his start in science fiction fandom, publishing one of the earliest comics fanzines. He published The EC Fan Bulletin, the first EC fanzine, in 1953, and co-edited the Hugo Award-winning science fiction fanzine Xero (1960–1963). He is credited with predicting the arrival of "underground comics" (as a counterpart to underground films) during a panel discussion with Archie Goodwin and Ted White at the New York Comicon in July 1966..

As there were other science fiction fans at the time also named Bob Stewart, he adopted the spelling 'Bhob' for distinctiveness.[1]


In 1968, Stewart teamed with EC Comics publisher Bill Gaines to choose stories for The EC Horror Library of the 1950s (Nostalgia Press, 1971).

Stewart scripted for animation (Kissyfur) and created the short film, The Year the Universe Lost the Pennant (1961). He edited and designed magazines (Castle of Frankenstein, Flashback), wrote comics for several publishers (Byron Preiss, Marvel, Warren, Charlton, Heavy Metal) and contributed to Jay Lynch's Roxy Funnies (1972). He collaborated with Larry Hama on pages for Gothic Blimp Works, the underground comix tabloid published by the East Village Other, and succeeded Vaughn Bodé as editor, later teaming with Kim Deitch as co-editor of the tabloid.

Stewart devised Wacky Packages and other humor products for Topps, and was the editor of DC Comics' first trading cards series, Cosmic Cards and Cosmic Teams.

His readings of fantasy stories aired on Pacifica Radio's Midnight Chimes, and he contributed to numerous newspapers (The Real Paper), magazines (The Realist,[2] Galaxy Science Fiction) and books (Bare Bones).

His work as an illustrator appeared in Cavalier, The Village Voice, and Venture Science Fiction. In 2010-11, he was a contributor to the Wacky Packages Sketch Cards.

Teaching and curation

In May 1969, Stewart curated the first exhibition of comic book art by a major American museum. This was the "Phonus Balonus Show" at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., supervised by museum director Walter Hopps.[3] From 1970-1984, he taught at the New England School of Art and Design at Suffolk University.[4]


With Calvin Beck, he co-authored Scream Queens (Macmillan, 1978).

He worked closely with Mad's cartoonists while editing the Mad Style Guide (1994) and Gibson's line of Mad greeting cards (1995).

Time columnist Richard Corliss noted that "Bhob Stewart's handsome, comprehensive Against the Grain: Mad Artist Wallace Wood" (TwoMorrows, 2003) is a "gorgeous book on Wally Wood's art."[5] Stewart worked with Wood for a period starting in the late 1960s. In addition to the many illustrations, this biographical anthology features a selection of articles by artists once associated with Wood's studio. Stewart's biography of Wood can also be read at his blog, Potrzebie, where it is formatted with a different selection of Wood's artwork.

In 2017 and 2018, Fantagraphics Books published The Life and Legend of Wallace Wood ISBN 978-1-60699-815-1, ISBN 978-1-68396-068-3), a revised, expanded, and uncensored version of Against the Grain as a two-volume set of hardcover books: physically larger, in full color, and more in line with Stewart's original concept. It was Stewart's last publishing project, a project he spent more than 30 years on, but he did not live to see it in print.[6]


In 1961, Stewart made a 7-minute experimental film entitled The Year the Universe Lost the Pennant. Combining original material with found footage, both in color and black and white, the film was first screened in 1962.

Originally distributed by the Film-Makers' Cooperative as a "Do-It-Yourself Happening Kit", the work was intended to be screened with an actor responding to the film. As one reviewer noted in his survey of experimental techniques in underground cinema: "Another unconventional device is the dialog between sound track and director in Bhob's Stewart's THE YEAR THE UNIVERSE LOST THE PENNANT which necessitates Mr. Stewart's presence at each showing of the film. So when you rent the film you get Mr. Stewart (live) with it. Even Hollywood cannot beat this one!" [7]

Stewart described the genesis of the film in his notes in the 1967 catalogue from the Film-Makers' Cooperative:

"When I was working on TYTULTPennant in 1961, I was just about to lose faith in my theory of random sometimes-free-associative images and junk the whole project. Then I took mescaline and knew instantly that I was right." [8]

Jonas Mekas rhapsodized about the film in the Village Voice:

"It is a breeze, an antidote. It loosens, it opens things up, it clears the air. You can breathe again. It is a sort of Dada poem, but it is also more than that. Maybe it is, as Ron Rice says, dazendada." [9]

In addition to his own film, Stewart also appeared in a short film by Andy Warhol, and acted in three features by the independent filmmaker Joseph Marzano, including Man Outside, in which he played the starring role.[10]

Death and legacy

After 35 years of living with emphysema, Stewart died on February 24, 2014, in Plymouth, Massachusetts.[11] In October of that year, it was announced that a scholarship fund was to be established in his memory.[12]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Dooley, Michael. Broken Frontier Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Richard, Paul. "Corcoran Exhibit Draws X Rating", The Washington Post, May 21, 1969.
  4. ^ Spurgeon, Tom. "NESAD Starts Scholarship Fund For Former Teacher Bhob Stewart" The Comics Reporter website; October 20, 2014
  5. ^ Corliss, Richard. Time: "That Old Feeling: Hail, Harvey!" Archived 2007-01-01 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Report to Readers: The Life and Legend of Wallace Wood Volume 2". The Comics Journal. 2018-03-19. Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  7. ^ Al Van Starrex, "The Runaway Underground Cinema" (magazine article), p. 13
  8. ^ Film-Maker's Cooperative Catalogue No. 4 (1967)
  9. ^ Jonas Mekas, review, Village Voice (1962)
  10. ^ IMDB, Bhob Stewart
  11. ^ "Bhob Stewart, 1937-2014". The Comics Journal. 2014-02-26. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
  12. ^ Glyer, Mike. "Bhob Stewart Memorial and Scholarship Announced" October 20, 2014

External links

1966 in comics

Notable events of 1966 in comics. See also List of years in comics.

Algol (fanzine)

Algol: The Magazine About Science Fiction was published from 1963–1984 by Andrew Porter. The name was changed to Starship in 1979.It won a Hugo Award for Best Fanzine in 1974, in a tie with Richard E. Geis' Science Fiction Review; and received five other nominations for the Hugo (1973, 1975, 1976, and 1981). Initially a two-page fanzine printed by spirit duplicator, it expanded rapidly, moving to offset covers, then adding mimeographed contents, ultimately becoming a printed publication with the 16th issue. It went to a full color cover with the 24th issue; ultimately the circulation rose to 7,000. Columnists at various times included Ted White, Richard A. Lupoff, Susan Wood, Vincent Di Fate, Robert Silverberg, Frederik Pohl, Joe Sanders, and Bhob Stewart.

Captain Easy

Captain Easy, Soldier of Fortune was an American action/adventure comic strip created by Roy Crane that was syndicated by Newspaper Enterprise Association beginning on Sunday, July 30, 1933. The strip ran for more than five decades until it was discontinued in 1988.

Castle of Frankenstein

Castle of Frankenstein was an American horror, science fiction and fantasy film magazine, published between 1962 and 1975 by Calvin Thomas Beck's Gothic Castle Publishing Company, distributed by Kable News. Larry Ivie - who also was cover artist for several early issues - and Ken Beale edited the first three issues. Writer-artist Bhob Stewart edited the magazine from 1963 into the early 1970s. Although promoted and sold as a "monster magazine," readers were aware that Castle of Frankenstein, at the time, was the only nationally distributed magazine devoted to a legitimate and serious coverage of B movies. In addition to its central focus on classic and current horror films, Castle of Frankenstein also devoted pages to amateur filmmakers and fanzines. Its advertising pages sold full-length silent feature films such as The Lost World and The Golem.

Following employment as an editor for publisher Joe Weider, Calvin Beck (1929–1989) entered the monster magazine arena in 1959 with his one-shot issue Journal of Frankenstein, which had only a small circulation. As an experiment, Beck printed part of the run on slick paper. After a hiatus and a title change, Beck returned with the debut issue of Castle of Frankenstein in 1962.

Beck claimed that since his magazine carried no outside advertising, a standardized schedule was unneeded. Issues were published whenever they were completed, leading to an erratic, irregular schedule. Distribution also varied; while many well-stocked periodical outlets did not carry the magazine, some less-likely outlets (such as grocery stores) did.

The magazine ran 25 issues, plus one annual (the 1967 "Fearbook"); the final issue was published in 1975. Beck cancelled his magazine not because of poor sales but to devote his energy to writing books. During its primary run, Castle of Frankenstein outlasted the majority of monster magazines that filled the market for two decades, with the notable exception of Famous Monsters of Filmland.

In 1999, publisher Dennis Druktenis revived both Castle of Frankenstein (releasing 10 more issues) and the original title Journal of Frankenstein (releasing five more issues).

DC Cosmic Cards

DC Cosmic Cards is a card set made by Impel/SkyBox in 1992. In a format similar to the earlier Marvel Universe Cards, the set featured biographies of DC characters from the Silver Age, teams, crossovers and events.

Artists for this series included Murphy Anderson, M. D. Bright, Paris Cullins, Dick Giordano, Carmine Infantino, Gil Kane, Joe Kubert, Steve Leialoha, Shawn McManus, Martin Nodell, Jerry Ordway, Joe Orlando, Howard Post, P. Craig Russell, Tom Sutton and Trevor Von Eeden.Holograms for the series were drawn by Walt Simonson.

East Village Other

The East Village Other (often abbreviated as EVO), was an American underground newspaper in New York City, issued biweekly during the 1960s. It was described by The New York Times as "a New York newspaper so countercultural that it made The Village Voice look like a church circular."Published by Walter Bowart, EVO was among the first countercultural newspapers to emerge, following the Los Angeles Free Press, which had begun publishing a few months earlier. It was an important publication for the underground comix movement, featuring comic strips by artists including Robert Crumb, Kim Deitch, Trina Robbins, Spain Rodriguez, Gilbert Shelton and Art Spiegelman before underground comic books emerged from San Francisco with the first issue of Zap Comix.

Ghostly Tales

Ghostly Tales was a horror-suspense anthology comic book series published by Charlton Comics from 1966 to 1984 (though it was primarily a reprint title from 1978 onward). The book was "hosted" by Mr. L. Dedd (later changed to I. M. Dedd), a middle-aged gentleman with purplish skin and horns who dressed like a vampire. Mr. Dedd spun his "ghostly tales" from the parlor of his "haunted house".

Ghostly Tales was part of a wave of new horror and suspense comics published by Charlton during this period. Its sister titles, with many of the same creators, were the Charlton anthologies The Many Ghosts of Doctor Graves (with host Dr. M. T. Graves), Haunted (with hosts Impy and then Baron Weirwulf), Ghost Manor (with host Mr. Bones), and Ghostly Haunts (with host Winnie the Witch).

Gothic Blimp Works

Gothic Blimp Works, an all-comics tabloid published in 1969 by Peter Leggieri and the East Village Other, was billed as "the first Sunday underground comic paper". During its eight-issue run, the publication displayed comics in both color and black-and-white. The first issue was titled Gothic Blimp Works Presents: Jive Comics.

Piranha Press

Piranha Press, an imprint of DC Comics from 1989 to 1994, was a response by DC to the growing interest in alternative comics. The imprint was edited by Mark Nevelow, who instead of developing comics with the established names in the alternative comics field, chose to introduce several unknown illustrators with an eclectic and diverse line of experimental graphic novels and stories. Unusual for the time, Nevelow succeeded in getting DC to agree to contracts giving creator ownership to writers and artists.


Potrzebie (; Polish pronunciation: [pɔtˈʂɛbʲe] dative/locative of potrzeba, "a need") is a Polish word popularized by its non sequitur use as a running gag in the early issues of Mad not long after the comic book began in 1952.

Russ Jones

Russ Jones (born July 16, 1942 in Ontario) is a Canadian novelist, illustrator, and magazine editor, active in the publishing and entertainment industries over a half-century, best known as the creator of the magazine Creepy for Warren Publishing. As the founding editor of Creepy in 1963, he is notable for a significant milestone in comics history by proving there was a readership eager to read graphic stories in a black-and-white magazine format rather than in a color comic book.During the mid-1960s, Jones also pioneered the presentation of original comics formatted directly for paperback books, such as Christopher Lee's Treasury of Terror (Pyramid, 1966).

Something to Believe In (film)

Something to Believe In is a 1998 film directed by John Hough and starring William McNamara, Tom Conti, and Maria Pitillo.

The Realist

The Realist was a pioneering magazine of "social-political-religious criticism and satire", intended as a hybrid of a grown-ups version of Mad and Lyle Stuart's anti-censorship monthly The Independent. Edited and published by Paul Krassner, and often regarded as a milestone in the American underground or countercultural press of the mid-20th century, it was a nationally-distributed newsstand publication as early as 1958. Publication was discontinued in 2001.

The Sunday Funnies

The Sunday Funnies is a publication reprinting vintage Sunday comic strips at a large size (16"x22") in color. The format is similar to that traditionally used by newspapers to publish color comics, yet instead of newsprint, it is printed on a quality, non-glossy, 60 pound offset stock for clarity and longevity. Featured are classic American comic strips from the late 19th century to the 1930s. The publication's title is taken from the generic label ("Sunday funnies") often used for the color comics sections of Sunday newspapers.

Virgil Partch

Virgil Franklin Partch (October 17, 1916 – August 10, 1984) was an American magazine gag cartoonist of the 1940s and 1950s, generally signing his work VIP. Additionally, he created the newspaper comic strips Big George and The Captain's Gig. He published 19 books of illustrations and drew art for children's books.

Despite being a gagwriter for The New Yorker, his own cartoons were rarely published there because, according to comics historian Bhob Stewart, "New Yorker editor Harold Ross disliked VIP's drawing style."

Wash Tubbs

Wash Tubbs was an American comic strip created by Roy Crane that ran from April 14, 1924, to 1949, when it merged into Crane's related strip Captain Easy.

Initially titled Washington Tubbs II, it originally was a gag-a-day strip which focused on the mundane misadventures of the title character, a bespectacled bumbler who ran a store. However, Crane soon switched from gag-a-day to continuity storylines. He reinvented the strip after its 12th week to make it the first true action/adventure comic strip, initially by having Tubbs leave the store and join a circus. To research this, Crane spent many days with a circus, even incorporating characters in the strip based directly on the circus performers he knew personally.On Sundays, Wash Tubbs appeared as a topper, or subsidiary strip, from 1927 to 1933 over J. R. Williams' Out Our Way with the Willets Sunday strip.

Woody Gelman

Woodrow Gelman (1915 – February 9, 1978), better known as Woody Gelman, was a publisher, cartoonist, novelist and an artist-writer for both animation and comic books. As the publisher of Nostalgia Press, he pioneered the reprinting of vintage comic strips in quality hardcovers and trade paperbacks. As an editor and art director for two-and-a-half decades at Topps Chewing Gum, he introduced many innovations in trading cards and humor products.

Gelman was the co-creator of Popsicle Pete and the co-creator of Bazooka Joe for Topps. He was also a co-creator of Mars Attacks, adapted into the 1996 movie by Tim Burton.Born in Brooklyn, Gelman attended City College of New York, Cooper Union and Pratt Institute before signing on as an assistant animator, in-betweener and scripter with Max Fleischer's studio in 1939, continuing to write for Famous Studios in 1946.He is the uncle of the psychologist Susan Gelman and the statistician Andrew Gelman.

Xero (SF fanzine)

Xero was a fanzine edited and published by Dick Lupoff, Pat Lupoff and Bhob Stewart from 1960 to 1963, winning a Hugo Award in the latter year. With science fiction and comic books as the core subjects, Xero also featured essays, satire, articles, poetry, artwork and cartoons on a wide range of other topics, material later collected into two hardcover books.

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