Remembering Allen Bellman, 1924-2020
From a young age, Allen (“Al”) Bellman was undeniably drawn to comic books. After picking up his first comic from newsstands in the late 1930s, Bellman was hooked, and it led him to pursue his passion for art and drawing both in school and his spare time. Years later, Bellman began what would be a long career in comics, cementing his place in history as a highly-respected artist of the Golden Age.
After graduating from his studies in New York City at 18 years old, Bellman began to look for his career start nearby. Reading through the pages of The New York Times, he noticed an ad for an artist opening at Timely Comics, and he decided to respond. He quickly got the job, and before he knew it, he was drawing for CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS, one of Timely Comics’ two-fisted bestsellers in 1942.
The young man soon became a busy artist at the company, drawing steady pages and paychecks throughout the decade for early Marvel series such as THE HUMAN TORCH, YOUNG ALLIES, ALL SELECT COMICS, MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS, and KID KOMICS. At the time, most artists work went uncredited in the comics business. However, Bellman wrote and drew the strip “Let’s Play Detective” (sometimes called “Are You a Detective?”) that appeared under his byline in many Timely comics.
After leaving the comics industry, Bellman worked for the art department of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Photography was his calling, and he won a number of national awards for his eye for incredibly unique and high-quality shots. Later in life, he became a highly-respected staple at comic conventions – a kind of ambassador of the Golden Age – and a link to a bygone era that brought both Marvel and the industry to where they are today.
Allen Bellman will be missed by many and remembered for his vital contributions to comics. We offer condolences and our thoughts to his family and loved ones.