I no longer remember how I learned Stan Goldberg lived in my town of Jericho. Maybe it was from my younger brother Neil who was friends with Stan’s son at school. Heck, he lived just a few blocks over, so when I learned a real, live comic book artist lived nearby, I arranged to go meet him. I remember being escorted to his home studio which was filled with books, and papers, and filing cabinets. He had a huge drawing table and was most friendly. The details of the conversation are lost to memory but I recall the thrill of walking out with a full figure blue-pencil sketch of Binky, which he had been drawing for DC Comics.
I didn’t know then that Stan was among the last guys to get in during what is now known as the Golden Age of comics. I had no clue he had drawn for Stan Lee in a nice, realistic style for over a decade before shifting over to become the company’s lead colorist, picking the hues that have been immortalized during the dawn of the Marvel Universe. When Millie the Model was reconfigured to compete with Archie, Stan’s style easily adapted and he went on from Millie to Binky to Archie without missing a beat.
Stan left us yesterday and his legacy is being justly celebrated.
Interestingly, our paths continued to cross through the subsequent years. We’d come across one another at a convention and he was always warm and welcoming, never failing to ask about Neil. I only got meet his wife Pauline once, at the wedding of Charlie Kochman a few years back. They made a marvelous couple and I applauded their efforts with Parents of Murdered Children in honor of their daughter Heidi.
About 18 months ago, Stan and I began discussing putting his career into book form. He was beginning to sift through and pack up his papers, preparing to donate them to a library. But as he went through them, he knew there were more stories to tell, ones that never came up during the infrequent interviews over the years. He was comfortable with me and asked if we could work on it together, provided we could find a publisher interested.
Alas, the ones I contacted pretty much said yeah, he’s great and I’d love to read it but his name isn’t big enough to justify a contract. One asked to see the complete manuscript, which Stan wasn’t interested in investing the time. With his passing, so goes an eyewitness and active participant during some of comics’ greatest events.