Thursday, April 19, 2012

Weisinger on Woolfolk

      My most recent posting of William Woolfolk's scathing "obituary" of Mort Weisinger has stirred some emotions. While most of the responses I've received echo Woolfolk's dim view of Weisinger, one was far different. It came from Mort's son, Dr. Hendrie "Hank' Weisinger.

      Dr. Weisinger, who happens to be a noted psychologist specializing in emotional intelligence, asked that I post his reply to Woolfolk's essay. While this already appears in the comments section to the Woolfolk post, I feel it's only fair that I give Dr. Weisinger an equal platform for his rebuttal.

Maybe you can post this. I'd appreciate it,
hank weisinger

      It is amazing that with so many negative perceptions said about Mort Weisinger, he maintained his position for thirty years. Other writers and editors came and went. they all had brilliant ideas, created concepts for Superman, but Weisinger took credit for all of them and somehow, convinced others that they were his ideas and gave these talented folks nothing but a kick in the pants. Wow, the guys who ran DC must of been blind.

      I don't know who it was, but surely, it was not Weisinger who got Superman on I Love Lucy, or thought of making Superman the spokesman for JFK's physical fitness program, or innovated comics with the annual. It must of been people like Woolfolk. Amzazing that Woolfolk's books never became bestsellers, like his friend Irving Wallace's and Ray Bradbury, who said, "It was Weisinger who discovered me; he took my story out of a slush pile," or the great Rod Serling: "Weisinger was a very talented man." How could the Society of Magazine Writers-now The American Society of Journalist and Authors, create the Mort Weisinger Award. What is wrong with Root's author, Alex Hailey, proclaiming, "Mort loaned me money so I could pay my dues and never asked to be repaid." These people should be shamed and humiliated for not recognizing the true Mort Weisinger who would yell at a writer for misspelling a word. Shame on all the science fiction experts who thought of him as a science fiction founder and for all the free lance writers, like award winning Sally Olds who proclaim he "inspired me." What is wrong with the editors of Saturday Evening Post, Readers' Digest, Life, and dozens of other magazines for publishing his articles that were so poorly written--they all should of been fired.

      There is something wrong with the comic industry to let a man who passes ideas of others off as his own, berates and humiliates others, who is a terrible writer stay in such a top position longer than all the other talented editors. It is amazing what you get by with when you are a creative genius.

      It is interesting that Woolfolk forgot to mention all the hospitality he and his wife received from the Weisinger on hot, humid summer days, when they would spend the weekend, swim in his pool, and eat his food. That Woolfolk sure knows how to tell a story.


  1. Me, I just don't know. But I'm really glad that you've presented at least two sides of this story.

  2. I suspect the truth about Mort Weisinger lies somewhere in between Dr. Hank's views and Bill Woolfolk's views. Whatever else we may think of MW, the comic books he edited sold very very well and entertained many readers for many years.

    Jake Oster

    BTW, when did Robert O. Erisman edit Captain America Comics??? I thought they went from Joe Simon to Stan Lee to Vince Fago and back to Stan Lee.

  3. Truth is often in the eye of the beholder, Jake. Each man experienced Mort in a different way--one as an employee the other as a son. In the spirit of fairness, I can only present both sides and let the reader decide.

    And while I can't really answer the Erisman question with any authority, but I can direct you to someone who can--my buddy, Michael Vassallo and his Timely-Atlas blog which can be seen right here: