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What writer hasn’t imagined meeting his characters? Usually such musings are left unrecorded, but a number of Flash creators have worked their way into their comic books.

See Also: Earth-Prime, History of the Flash

Sheldon Mayer, Editor

[Mayer confronts the Dimwits] Sheldon Mayer may be the first Flash creator to appear in the pages of his comic book. At the end of the first story in All-Flash #9, “Adventure of the Stolen Telescope,” Winky, Blinky and Noddy try to sell the story of their recent adventure to DC Comics. Sheldon Mayer himself turns them down, as he has just published that very adventure—in All-Flash #9.

DC Comics existed within the DC Universe of the time (what would eventually be called Earth-Two), and published the adventures of “real” super-heroes. This concept was used elsewhere, such as in the origin of Wildcat (inspired by a Green Lantern comic book). It would also be further explored, a half-century later, by Mark Millar.

Sheldon Mayer appeared once more in the reality-bending “The Man Who Unleashed the Past,” in All-Flash #14 (more on that in the next section).

  • All-Flash #9 (March–April 1943): “Adventure of the Stolen Telescope,” Gardner Fox
  • All-Flash #14 (Spring 1944): “The Man Who Unleashed the Past,” Gardner Fox

Sheldon Mayer is no stranger to appearing in comics, writing and drawing the semi-autobiographical Scribbly, the Boy Cartoonist from 1936–1951.

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E.E. Hibbard & Gardner Fox, Artist & Writer

[Noddy petitions artist E.E. Hibbard and writer Gardner Fox]

“The Man Who Unleashed the Past” plays with the nature of comic books. It starts with the Three Dimwits wandering into the All-American Comics offices, and seeing the pages for All-Flash #14. They decide to liven up the story, and make their own modifications. Editor Sheldon Mayer (see above) finds out who put it together, but it's too late to stop the presses.

The story features Noddy escaping certain death by crawling through a panel line; a pair of characters who wander through the margins of the story; an appeal to the readers to find out where the Thinker is hiding; clipping out a panel, and presenting it later as evidence at a trial; and an appeal to artist E.E. Hibbard and writer Gardner Fox to send the Flash to the rescue.

E.E. Hibbard may be the only artist to draw himself meeting the Flash in a published comic book.

  • All-Flash #14 (Spring 1944): “The Man Who Unleashed the Past,” Gardner Fox
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Julius Schwartz, Editor

[Portrait] In “The Flash—Fact or Fiction?” the speedster accidentally travels to Earth-Prime, a world with no superheroes, in which the exploits of Earth-1’s heroes are the stuff of comic books. Barry Allen heads straight for the one man he knows will help him: the publisher of his own comic. The Flash builds a working Cosmic Treadmill, returning to his own world and leaving it behind in the editor’s office.

Years later, the Julie Schwartz tribute book, DC Comics Presents: The Flash, features the Flash paying a visit to his friend the editor, just as he is confronted by an alien attacker. (Dimension travel—at least where the Flash is concerned—is not mentioned.)

  • Flash #179 (May 1968): “The Flash—Fact or Fiction?” Cary Bates
  • DC Comics Presents: The Flash (October 2004): “Flash Back!” Dennis O’Neil
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Cary Bates, Writer

[Portrait] Cary Bates wrote himself into “The Day I Saved the Flash!” Lost in a fog bank while driving to Athens, Ohio, he accidentally ends up on Earth-1 and in Central City. (This story established the city’s location.) While there, he learned that he could influence events through “plotting power” and helped the Flash capture the Trickster.

There is a follow-up story in Justice League of America #123–124 (1975, reprinted in Crisis on Multiple Earths #4) with Cary Bates as a villain, but I have not read it, and the only write-up I’ve seen completely pans it [archive.org].

  • Flash #228 (August 1974): “The Day I Saved the Flash!” Cary Bates
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Mark Millar, Writer

[Portrait] In a short story in The Flash 80-Page Giant #2, readers are treated to a scene from the DC Comics of the DCU. They publish adventures of “real life” super-heroes, and their specialy is authenticity. The DCU’s Mark Millar has writer’s block, and calls up the Flash for an interview. They meet in a Scottish pub, trying to come up with an idea for his next script.

  • Flash 80-Page Giant #2 (April 1999): “Your Life Is My Business,” Mark Millar
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Text by Kelson Vibber. Do not copy without permission.

Top of Page Art

  • Sheldon Mayer: All-Flash #9 (March–April 1943) - E.E. Hibbard
  • E.E. Hibbard & Gardner Fox: All-Flash #14 (Spring 1944) - E.E. Hibbard
  • Julius Schwartz: Flash (first series) #179 (May 1968) - Ross Andru and Mike Esposito
  • Cary Bates: Flash (first series) #228 (August 1974) - Irv Novick and Tex Blaisdell
  • Mark Millar: Flash 80-Page Giant #2 (April 1999) - Ariel Olivetti

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