Alvin Carl Hollingsworth and Negro Romance #2

Alvin Carl Hollingsworth and Negro Romance #2

The PBS series History Detectives did a segment on issue #2 of Negro Romance. The video features an appearance by Sequential Crush author, Jacque Nodell, and the website also provides scans of the first story in the book.

The episode, very importantly, identified the author of the book as Roy Ald, then an editor at Fawcett, and the artist as Alvin Hollingsworth. Alvin Hollingsworth was African American and, following his career in comics, went on to become a celebrated representational and abstract artist, before passing away in 2000.

Alvin Carl Hollingsworth was born in Harlem, New York City, New York, of West Indian parents, and began drawing at age 4. By 12 he was an art assistant on Holyoke Publishing’s Cat-Man Comics. Attending The High School of Music & Art, he was a classmate of future comic book artist and editor Joe Kubert.

Hollingworth began illustrating for crime comics. Since it was not standard practice during this era for comic-book credits to be given routinely, comprehensive credits are difficult to ascertain; Hollingsworth’s first confirmed comic-book work is the signed, four-page war comics story “Robot Plane” in Aviation Press’ Contact Comics #5, which he both penciled and inked. Through the remainder of the 1940s, he confirmably drew for Holyoke’s Captain Aero Comics, and Fiction House’s Wings Comics, where he did the feature “Suicide Smith” at least sporadically from 1946 to 1950. He is tentatively identified under the initials “A. H.” as an artist on the feature “Captain Power” in Novack Publishing’s Great Comics in 1945.

In the following decade, credited as Alvin Hollingsworth or A. C. Hollingsworth, he drew for a number of publishers and series, including Avon Comics’ and later Superior Publishers Limited’s The Mask of Dr. Fu Manchu; Premier Magazines’ Police Against Crime; Ribage’s romance comic Youthful Romances; and horror comics such as Master Comics’ Dark Mysteries and Trojan Magazines’ Beware.

As Al Hollingsworth, he drew horror comics including Avon’s Witchcraft and Premier’s Mysterious Stories, and romance comics such as Lev Gleason Publications’ Boy Loves Girl. One standard source credits him, without specification, as an artist on stories for Fox Comics and on war stories for the publisher Spotlight.

 

 

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