FW Presents – Irwin Hasen


In honor of the legendary comic artist Irwin Hasen’s 100th birthday Rob is joined by fellow Joe Kubert School alum Sean Tiffany to discuss the man’s career, the little-seen DONDI movie, and what it was like to have Irwin as an instructor. Put Batman in it!

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10 responses to “FW Presents – Irwin Hasen

  1. That was a really enjoyable episode. I’ve heard of the Dondi strip, and actually met an American chap on a cruise ship who was named for the character. I know Irwin Hasen’s DC work, sure a talented fella.

    Sean’s a great guest, I’d love more Kubert school memory shows. But boy, I feel sorry for that prostitute he went with… gawd, that must have been seriously unpleasant for her.

    I’ve just watched Tex Blaisdell on To Tell the Truth… that wasn’t a toughie, was it?

    That Patti Page song was rather cute!

  2. Great hearing the both of you, discussing stories from the past. Listening to the both of took me back to when we all worked together. I was lucky enough to design a book on Irwin titled “Loverboy”. A light hearted autobiography about Irwin. http://www.mcnabbstudios.com/page12/.

    Great Job and in the words of Irwin “Excellent”!


  3. What an episode! That virginity story deserves it’s place in this network’s Hall of Fame. I hope there’s more disclosed about L’il Robbie K’s days at the JKS.

    Also, always good to hear a guest who also appreciates the wonder that is Erin Gray.

  4. I remember going to conventions in the early 2000’s at the church across the street from Fordham University and Mr. Hasen was always a mainstay. I’d pass his table with those awesome prints he had (usually done on hard cardstock and colored in marker) When I had the money, I went up to his table to get an autograph but also buy a print. I had my heart set on a Wildcat one but he didn’t have anymore. I got an Alan Scott and a Justice Society print though and those were amazing. Even better, he was a sweet old man who I had the pleasure to talk to for a few minutes.

    I was sad to hear of his passing a few years ago. He lived quite a life!

  5. What a great episode! Yes, I want more Sean and more Kubert School talk. The Kubert School was a pipe dream of mine, since I wanted to work in comics my whole life, but I was too much of a homebody to move to NJ. I can relate to learning that the comic game just wasn’t for me. When I worked on several indie books no one ever heard of and saw some pretty big names I knew barely scraping by, I knew I personally couldn’t risk raising a family on that shaky foundation alone.

    I met Irwin Hasen at one of those cons, I think it was Pittsburgh in 2000. He and Julius Schwartz were together, and I walked up to their table and presented Roy Thomas’ then-new All-Star Companion Vol. 1 to sign. I found Mr. Hasen’s bio page, and he graciously signed it. Then I found a page featuring a very young Julie Schwartz and asked for his signature there. Hasen took one look at the old photo and told his old friend “You were one handsome mother f#$@er!!!”

    Needless to say, that was the highlight of my con experience!


  6. This was a delightful conversation! I too would like to hear more of “Tales From Art School.” I’d also like to hear a dialog with Rob and Chris, successful artists, talk about the challenges of sequential art and why, despite their love of it, they chose not to pursue it. Maybe a roundtable with F & W guests like Sean Tiffany and Michel Fiffe.
    Dondi was a strip which I knew of, but was not familiar with. I was lucky enough to be a kid at the end of the age of newspapers. Boston had three Sunday papers, with comics, when I was just learning to read. We got the Globe, but my grandfather would get the Sunday Herald or the Sunday Record-American. When we would visit them on a Sunday, that meant there were lots of new comics strips for me to read! Dondi was one of them. It’s very clear to me. I remember seeing the strip and being curious about it. What does “Dondi” mean? I’ve never heard of anyone named “Dondi!” But, my curiosity was not enough to get me to read it. It was too “realistic.” I wanted comic strips about bald-headed children, vikings, and Bumsteads.
    Kudos to Irwin Hasen and his long career!

  7. Terrific episode! It was great to hear more tales from the Kubert School. Even though some stories have been told before, we heard a different perspective. Sort of a Rashomon take on some of the tales.

    Irwin definitely had an effect on the way Rob thinks. A few days after listening to this episode, I was listening to Ryan Daly’s Secret Origins podcast (still catching up on back episodes of F&W Network shows). It was the Secret Origins 42 episode. Specifically, the listener feedback section regarding SO issue 41 featuring the Flash’s Rogues Gallery. Rob’s comment was regarding the Flash’s absence from the issue. He commented that if they wanted to make the issue more marketable, the Flash should have been included and thrown in Batman!

  8. Wonderful episode and fascinating discussion! Would love to hear more of Rob and Sean discuss the Kubert School!!

    Now years after we recorded the WHO’S WHO episode featuring Wildcat, I’m sad I didn’t know more about Irwin Hasen at the time. :(

    Truly a great listen! Thanks!

  9. We had Dondi in our papers for a while, and the movie even played on TV one afternoon. For a week after the movie, we still found it hilarious to pepper our conversations with, “Buddeeee,” so I’m guessing that wasn’t the style of the strip at that time.

    I’ve been trying to work out when we had the strip. I remember two storylines, one involving a man, either rich or royal, creating his own heir through cloning, which must have been ripped from the headlines of “In His Image: The Cloning of a Man” from 1978; the other must have been a bicentennial story, after weeks leading up to Dondi getting a balloon ride, the balloon goes up a gets lost; come the Sunday page and the balloon is floating over the countryside, the last panel shows a couple of Redcoats on the ground staring up at it! They were historical re-enactors. A startling image, but I knew we weren’t going to have time travel, and years later I knew we weren’t going to have Mad Science (I don’t remember for sure, but I’m willing to bet the clone saga ended with Dondi looking up all big-eyed and convincing the man that adoption was the way to go). “Dondi” wasn’t that kind of strip, and, for all Irwin Hasen said, “Put Batman in it,” I’m glad to think he didn’t try to reshape it into something it wasn’t.

    Thanks for raising the memories, buddeeee.

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