Emil Gershwin (Starman, Flash Gordon, Tarzan) was my father. After he passed away in 1999, we were contacted by a number of people who wanted to know more about his life and work. One of those people was legendary comic book artist and animation designer Alex Toth. A few years before he himself passed away, we spoke at length and he followed up our conversation with a long letter about my dad, whom he called comic's "Mystery Man" - both because he was prolific in the crime and mystery genre and because he often preferred to ghost or draw under pseudonym. In this letter, it's also apparent what great love Alex Toth had for comic's Golden Age. Here are some excerpts.
The photo to the left is Emil Gershwin with his father Aaron Gershwin. Aaron was George and Ira Gershwin's uncle. My father was George and Ira's first cousin. At the time this photo was taken he was probably already at work as a comic book artist, having graduated from DeWitt Clinton High at 14 or 15, before he studied at N.Y.'s Art Students League. Also musically gifted, he could play the piano by ear, loved tennis, boating, animals and listening to people tell their stories. The particular words that come to mind....brilliant, funny, wise...and, missed, every day.