Allen Bellman Dies: ‘Captain America’ Artist In Comics’ Golden Age Was 95

Legendary Marvel comic book artist Allen Bellman, left, meets Miami Marlins mascot Billy the Marlin dressed as Captain America before the start of a baseball game between the Miami Marlins and the Colorado Rockies, Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) AP Images

Allen Bellman, one of the last links to the early days of Captain America in comic books, died March 9 after a short illness. He was 95 and lived in Florida, according to an announcement posted to Facebook by San Diego Comic Fest.

“Last year we hosted Allen as our Golden Age Guest of Honor. He was a kind man and forthcoming to all of the fans who came by his table. He told stories of his days at Timely Comics in the 1940s, working on Captain America, Young Allies, Human Torch and The Destroyer. He left his mark on the world of comics and he will be missed. He was a brilliant creator and a good friend. Rest in Peace, Allen Bellman.”

Bellman was born in New York City in June 1924, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants who fled that country’s pogroms. He became intrigued by comics when he saw an issue of Action Comics #1, which he purchased. He began drawing on his own and did one-panel cartoons for several New York newspapers, including the Brooklyn Eagle and New York Daily Mirror.

He answered a newspaper ad for an artist in 1942 and began work for Timely Comics/Atlas Comics, which became Marvel Comics in the early 1960s.
One of his first assignments was Captain America. He soon graduated to other titles, and in the pre-Comics Code Authority days, worked on horror, crime and western titles in what’s now called the Golden Age of Comics. When Timely closed, he became a freelancer and retired from the comic book industry in the 1960s.
He later self-published a book on his career called Timely Confidential: When the Golden Age of Comic Books Was Young, released in 2017 with editors Michael J. Vassallo and Audrey Parente. He continued to attend comic book conventions into his 90s, regaling fans with tales of the early years.
No information was immediately available on survivors or memorial plans.

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