Prior to joining DC Comics, Dan DiDio (now co-Publisher of DC) worked in television animation. I met him when he was an exec over at ABC, and later wrote for him when he worked on ReBoot (the first half-hour, completely computer-animated TV series). We were also pals outside the animation business, sharing two interests: comic books and horror films. While chatting about the latter, Dan mentioned that his sister Anne was a big fan of the New York-based, TV horror host, Zacherley. In fact, they kept up a correspondence over several years in the Fifties and Sixties.
Anne wrote poems and skits that John Zacherle read on the air, she visited the set, and he even visited the DiDio home.
Although I was a Detroit kid who grew up with Morgus the Magnificent, I had seen Zacherley on several covers of Famous Monsters of Filmland. (That’s probably because his show was picked up by other TV stations across the country.)
Anyway, when Dan said that his sister Anne (now deceased) had kept a scrapbook of all her photos and letters, I couldn’t wait to see it!
So Dan and I had dinner (just before he left L.A. for New York), and he handed over Anne’s scrapbook for me to scan! Cool! I also interviewed Dan on tape (which I will find one of these decades) about his sister’s friendship with the infamous Zacherley. My goal was to scan and organize the scrapbook, then write an article about the Anne/Zacherley friendship for one of the monster zines floating around at that time. (This was probably late 2001.) Well, “the best laid plans” and all that… I never finished scanning the scrapbook or writing the article.
Flash forward 14 years. Here I sit with the scrapbook (recently found in my storage shed), finally finishing up the scanning. What with a divorce and six house moves, it’s a marvel I found the book at all! But it will soon be finished, and I will return the precious documents to Dan very soon.
As for the article, I’m not sure if Dan still wants me to share his sister’s personal correspondence with the world, so that will have to wait. But in the interim, I’ll share some of the non-personal items, like clippings and flyers and ads and such. So with no particular agenda or timeline to adhere to, let me present: The Zacherley Blog Stuff – Part 1
Here is a photo giveaway when John was going by the name “Roland” in Philadelphia during the late 50’s.
Some random clippings (the first from 1958 TV Guide).
A membership card….
And to finish off today’s post, a note on the back of an envelope from Sept 1960.
More to come!
[Personal photos are (c) Dan DiDio]