CBR today has a story about my old friend Vincent Fago. Vincent was a cartoonist who had at one time been the editor of Marvel Comics (then called Timely) during World War II.
When I was living in Hanover, New Hampshire, during my high school years (1977-1981), Vincent Fago (who died in 2002) and his wife D’Ann (who died just this year, at the age of either 99 or 100) were friends of my family though church. Although I knew he wrote cartoon books, he never mentioned his history at Marvel (modesty on his part, I guess) despite his knowing I was a comic book fan, so I didn’t find out about that until years later.
The Fagos were an utterly delightful, warm, eccentric couple; I have fond memories of dinners at their cozy house across the state line in Vermont, with Vincent showing me his latest cartoons (the one that stuck in my mind was a whimsical picture of a flock of migrating birds being held aloft on platforms carried by beavers, with the caption “Very lazy are twilly eavers; when they fly down south they use trained beavers”), and D’Ann waxing indignant over a passage in a history book that described the Pilgrims as “coming to America, bringing their wives” (a consciousness-raising moment for me).
When I was making an animated film for a high school project, Vincent helped arrange for me to be interviewed on the radio about it. (Alas, both the film itself and the recording of the interview are long gone – though I do have all the stills for the film.) Later, when our family’s belongings were being sold off for debt, Vincent also helped save most of my comic book collection (long story). (Another set of friends saved our book collection.) I’m sorry I lost touch with the Fagos after we left Hanover; they are definitely missed.