Alter Ego #18, October 2002 published Jim Amash’s interview with Stan Goldberg who said Hank Chapman married Bonnie Hano (see page 12). Did they really marry each other?
An excellent article, by Ger Apeldoorn, about Hank Chapman is at The Comics Detective website. It was posted in 2010. Bonnie Hano has a brief profile at Women in Comics Wiki. She passed away in April 2022. Here’s additional information about Chapman and Hano to help answer the question.
Henry Peter Chapman was born Henry Csepielewski on May 3, 1915, in Utica, New York, according to the New York State Birth Index at Ancestry.com.
Over the decades, there were various spellings of Chapman’s birth surname.
The 1915 New York state census said Chapman was the youngest of two sons born to Martin and Adeline Ciapaskely, both Russian immigrants. They lived in Utica at 47 Cottage Place. His father was a shoemaker.
The 1920 United States Census recorded the Cypel family in Utica at 1217 Lincoln Avenue. It’s not clear if they were related to Cypel family preceding them.
According to the 1925 New York state census, Chapman, his mother, brother and sister were Utica residents at 610 Cottage Place. The status of his father is not known. Their surname was spelled Ciepolowski.
Chapman’s mother and brother were listed on the previous sheet.
The 1930 census recorded the Czepelewska family in Utica at 1225 Francis Street. Hano makes her first appearance in this census.
Bonnie Hano was born Bonnie Abraham on September 12, 1926 in Sioux City, Iowa, according to the Iowa Birth Index at Ancestry.com. Her parents were Leon Abraham and Rose Gelfand (not Gelfund), both Romanian immigrants.
In the 1930 census, Hano was the youngest of two sisters. They were Sioux City residents at 213 West Second Street. Her father was a presser at a dry cleaner.
According to the 1940 census, the Abrahams were in Sioux City at 1117 West 11th Street.
In Utica, the census counted the Chepman family at 430 Mandeville Street. Chapman worked as a weaver at a cotton mill.
In the early 1940s, Chapman signed his World War II draft card. His address was the same. His mother’s surname was spelled Cepelewski. Chapman’s description was six feet, 170 pounds, with brown eyes and hair. Chapman was a photographer when he enlisted on January 3, 1942 in the Army Air Corps. His veteran’s files said he was discharged on September 19, 1945.
Chapman got his training in Sarasota, Florida. He wrote for the U.S. Army Air Corps Field News newspaper that was printed in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Below is a page with five articles and a poem by Chapman.
The Service Men’s Club column in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, November 30, 1943, said
Now that the Christmas season is so near we at the Service Men’s club are beginning to get cards and letters from our boys and girls from all points of the compass.Today we receive the Christmas card gotten out by the “ol’ 97th Bombardment Group”, from S/Sgt. Henry P. Chapman, 12044277, Headquarters, 97 Bombardment Group, APO 520, New York city. Says Sgt. Chapman: “Africa, Yuletide Greetings, the name Sarasota will always be synonymous with unselfishness, kindness and munificence to us of the “ol’ 97th.”
While Chapman was serving in the European Theater, Hano was in high school and graduated in 1944 from Sioux City’s Central High School.
1944 Maroon and White yearbook
At some point, Hano and Chapman moved to New York City. When they met at the Timely/Atlas office, they were married but not to each other.
On January 19, 1946, Bonnie Abraham and Jack Herman (not the person at Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999) obtained Brooklyn marriage license number 1491 and married that day. She used her maiden name so I believe this was her first marriage. This is notable because she was Bonnie Herman in her marriage to Arnold Hano.
Almost six months later on June 15, 1946, Chapman and Gloria F. Brady obtained Bronx marriage license number 6817. They married on or shortly after that date. The New York City marriage register for Chapman is below; the actual license and certificate are not yet available.
Based on the following timeline Chapman and Hano were never husband and wife.
Chapman enlists January 1942; serves in Europe.
Hano graduates June 1944.
Chapman discharged September 1945.
Hano marries January 1946.
Chapman marries June 1946.
The time frame was too tight for Chapman and Hano to have married and divorced. And there’s no New York record of their marriage. The Jack Kirby Collector #69, Fall 2016, published David Laurence Wilson’s interview with Hano and her husband. Here’s what she said.
Do you know what’s so crazy? I looked up something one day, and I found on the Internet that I was Hank Chapman’s first wife. I don’t know where they ever got that. When I met Hank, he was married to Gloria, whom he called Toni, and we knew her as Toni. They became very good friends of ours. So how did I get married to Hank on the Internet? How do things like that happen?
Stan Goldberg’s claim about their marriage had spread far and wide in books, magazines and websites.
In the 1950 census, Chapman and Gloria were residing in Queens, New York at 67-38 108th Street. He was an editor at a comic book publishing company. Hano and Jack have not yet been found.
In the late 1940s, Hano was working for publisher Martin Goodman at Magazine Management. The 1950 Literary Market Place listed Hano as associate editor Bonnie Herman at Lion Books, Inc., and the rest of the staff that included Arnold Hano, the editor.
They married in Greenwich, Connecticut on June 30, 1951. (In 1950 or 1951, Arnold Hano’s 1942 marriage to Marjorie Adele Mosheim ended in divorce. They had a son and daughter.)
Hano left Lion to work at Timely and assist Stan Lee who wrote a poem to her. When Chapman left Timely, Hano took over his job as production manager.
In 1952, Hano and her husband lived at 124 East 24th Street in Manhattan. Both were members of the American Labor Party. Their address, in 1953, was 230 West 105th Street.
Under the pseudonyms Matthew Gant and Mike Heller, Hano wrote Valley of Angry Men (1953), So I’m a Heel (1957), and The Manhunter (1957).
... In 1955, Arnold Hano moved with his wife Bonnie and their daughter Laurel to Laguna Beach, California.
Desert Magazine, February 1959, said
After a New Mexico vacation in 1952, free lance writer and photographer Henry P. Chapman quit his editorial staff job with a New York publishing house and moved West. Today an adobe in Tesuque is his home and office, and the Indians of the Tesuque Pueblo his neighbors.Henry and his wife, Toni, have “prospected for facts and photos all over the world and in most of the 49 United States.” His article in this month’s Desert, “Rockhounding with a Camera,” tells how they gather “treasure” in the Southwest.
Chapman passed away on October 18, 1973, in New Mexico. He was laid to rest at the Santa Fe National Cemetery. A brief obituary appeared in the Santa Fe New Mexican, October 19, 1973.
Chapman, Henry P. 58—Passed away at his home in Tesuque, Thursday afternoon following a sudden illness, veteran of World War II and a resident of Santa Fe area for the last twenty years. Survived by wife Toni. Arrangements to be announced later through Memorial Chapel.
Hano passed away on April 18, 2022. Four days later a long obituary appeared in the Laguna Beach Independent.
Grand Comics Database has a checklist of Chapman’s work.
American Legion, January 1960, “The Day I Died!” by Chapman. The story was reprinted in Military Intelligence: Its Heroes and Legends (1987)
Desert Magazine, various issues with Chapman’s articles, photographs or just a mention
Savage Art: A Biography of Jim Thompson (1995), Bonnie Hano was a family therapist.
Timely-Atlas-Comics, Martin Goodman: The Marilyn Monroe Covers, Articles and Photo Features; Arnold Hano was editor of Focus.
Laguna Beach Independent, March 17, 2022, Laguna Beach offers fond farewell to Arnold Hano
Time, August 15, 1955, a review of Arnold Hano’s A Day in the Bleachers
Women in Comics Posts
(Next post on Sunday: 1987 and 2023 Chinese New Year Greetings)
Thanks for all the research and straightening it out. After the 2016 piece I contacted Bonnie Hano and apologized for spreading the misinformation. I knew I had read it somewhere, but did not remember it was the Goldberg interview. Since I have no no information to return the subject om my own blog, I never corrected it online. So I am glad you did. But... there are still a few futehr questions to be answered. I further researched the work of Chapman and his wive Toni, and have come to the conclusion that it could never have been enough for them to live on. Chapman continued writing stories for DC into the late fifties, but I never found out what he did to make money after that. It may have involved his work as a cameraman. I would love to know if he has any surviving family members. Like you, I could not find a death date for Toni. Is she still alive in Santa Fe? Are there children or other family members? It is tmepting to think that someone who was a cameraman in WWII and made a living making pictures in the fifties, would have made pictures at the Timely offices where he worked as well. Imagine finding those pictures! Chapman also came up in another hobby projects, that of the late forties and early fifties cartoon community. Chapman appears to have been a cartoonist as well and some of his work has been found by Mike Vassello. He also turns up as the 'New York correspondence' of the cartoonist's magazine American Cartoonist. Shawn Clancy has a whole bunch of them and posted them on the Comic History Exchange a couple of years ago.ReplyDelete
Thanks for all the research and straightening it out.ReplyDelete
Wow! What a lot of info. It was much easier when I could just call up my long-term acquaintance Arnold and take a swing by his house. ... David Laurence WilsonReplyDelete