Welcome to the working week. Today we have Gary Groth in conversation with Irwin Hasen for what was his final extensive interview.
GROTH: Any other stories from the old days you want to tell?
HASEN: I went to a whorehouse one night. I came back to my buddies and said, “You bastards, I got laid.”
GROTH: How old were you?
HASEN: Around 17 or 18. A prizefighter took me up there. The gangsters sent me up there. I mean it. [When] I worked for a boxing magazine called Bang Magazine, gangsters were all over. One day I’m sitting at a typewriter while the boss is in bed with some woman, and this guy comes into the office, wearing a gray suit. That was Bugsy Siegel’s partner. I’m sitting at the typewriter. He’s a famous murderer. Forgot his name. How quick you forget famous murderers. And as he’s leaving he turns around to me and tells Billy Stevens, my boss, he said, “The kid’s got pimples, get him laid.” [Groth laughs] And he turned around and left. Izzy Singer was a prizefighter—right there, his picture’s up on my wall [pointing to a photograph]. He was sitting and reading the comics and my boss says “Izzy, here’s ten bucks, get the kid laid. Take him uptown.” He took me uptown and I’m shaking like a leaf, I’m 17. I felt like I was gonna crap in my pants. Izzy Singer took me uptown on the subway and he takes me to an apartment building up on 97th Street. I’ll never forget it: whorehouse. And a girl opens the door and says, “What’s this?” “Billy wants to get him fixed up.” And she took me into her room—and a gentle lovely lady, it could’ve been worse. I’ll never forget her, and she says, “Take it easy, relax.” And I got through and it was a gentle sex thing for a young kid. I go up to my buddies who were playing cards on the floor in their home. And I come into the room with them sitting there, and I’ll never forget their look, I said, “You sons of bitches, I got laid this morning.” This is from the gangster. He’s a tiny guy, murderer. One of the worst murderers—I forgot his name. So that’s what happened.
Charlie Hebdo Scoop: “From April Fool’s day,” a source at Charlie Hebdo told TCJ, “using an international team, the weekly will also boast an English-language version. After issue #1179 (25 February), we debuted a digital version designed for smartphones and tablets. Now, starting with CHARLIE #1184, every week’s paper will appear in English. Our application is available on iPhone and iPad, for Android tablets and smartphones and for Windows 8.1. The application is free, but each issue will cost €2.99 (euros). Subscriptions, via http://charliehebdo.fr, are also available. Francophone fans abroad will still have the digital option.”
Palomar has passed a review and will remain in the Rio Rancho, NM libraries.
It’s new Peter Bagge!
The sex-comic/Spider-Man connection continues: Bill Ward assisted John Romita in the 1960s.