Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Joe Orlando's Girls' Love Stories' Creators

Girls's Love Stories 152 'Laura'

I chose a DC romance comic's run edited by Joe Orlando because he used one writer I can recognize at a glance paging through the comics: Jack Oleck. Another writer surprised me, although he's known to have worked for Orlando in 1969 on House of Mystery—see GLS 146 on the list.

As far as artists go—with the inkers striving to make everything look alike, you could ask ten people and get ten opinions, but here are mine. I will point out that "Laura" in #152 has been attributed to Art Saaf by his son, Steve Saaf per the CGD, but the evidence of the art itself shows that, under Jack Abel's inks, the pencils are by Werner Roth (above). On the other hand, Art Saaf's pencils under Colletta on "The Cheat" in #153 (below) have gone unattributed. "He Loves Me...He Loves Me Not" in #144 mostly looks like Roth, but on page five I see one panel with a close-up I'd otherwise credit to Saaf.


With the new stories hard enough to ID, I've left out the reprints with their slapdash updating obscuring things even further.

Note that the name in the #144 story is not Margaret but Margret; it took me a while to actually see that. I haven't seen issues 148, 154, or 156—romance comics not having been collected as assiduously as superhero ones, there aren't any uninterrupted runs of the DC titles that I can find.

Girls' Love Stories edited by Joe Orlando

Apr/69 142  Thrill-Chick w: ?  p: Jim Aparo  i: Bill Draut
So Long in Love w: ?  p: Win Mortimer
  i: Nick Cardy
What Should I Do? w: ?  p: Mortimer  i: Cardy
May/     143  Love Today--Cry Tomorrow w: Robert Kanigher
  p: Mortimer  i: Wally Wood
Only Love Can Create w: ?  a: Ernie Colón
Cindy w: ?  p: Mortimer  i: Cardy
Jul/      144  Can Love Last Forever? w: ?  a: John Rosenberger
He Loves Me...He Loves Me Not w: ?  p: Werner Roth?
  i: Vince Colletta
Memory of Margret w: ?  p: Ric Estrada  i: Colletta
Aug/      145  Tears for Tomorrow w: ?  p: Estrada
  i: George Roussos
My Secret w: John Albano  p: Jay Scott   Pike  i: Colletta
Oct/      146  Abandoned w: ?  p: Tony Abruzzo  i: ?
Which Love Is Mine? w: Otto Binder  a: Rosenberger
Nov/     147  Confessions w: ?  a: Rosenberger
The Ugliest Girl in the World w: ?  p: Mortimer  i: Jack Abel
Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up? w: Jack Miller  p: Estrada
  i: Colletta
Feb/70 149  Forbidden Love w: ?  p: Estrada  i: Abel
For Better or Worse w: Jack Oleck  p: Roth
  i: Colletta
...But Only in My Dreams w: Kanigher  a: Liz Berube
Confessions: Episode Three w: ?  a: Rosenberger
Apr/     150  Confessions: Episode #4 w: ?  a: Rosenberger
Her Secret Shame w: ?  a: Abruzzo
  (some Cardy?)
Wallflower w: Oleck  p: Roth  i: Wood   (some Murphy Anderson?)
May/     151  The Wrong Kind of Love w: Miller  p: Pike  i: Colletta
Love Thief w: ?  p: Roth  i: Abel
Confessions: Episode 5 w: ?  a: Rosenberger
July/     152  Laura w: ?  p: Roth  i: Abel
Confessions: Episode Six w: ?  a: Rosenberger
The Prettiest Girl in Town, Poor Thing w: Miller  a: George Tuska
Aug/     153  For Love or Money w: Oleck  a: Tony DeZuñiga
The Engagement Ring w: Oleck  a: Don Heck
The Cheat w: Oleck  p: Saaf  i: Colletta
The 3 Faces of Love w: ?  p: Mike Sekowsky
  i: Dick Giordano
Nov/     155  Will No One Trust Me Again? w: ?  p: John Calnan
  i: Joe Giella
Scrapbook of Tears w: ?  p: ?  i: Colletta
Feb/71 157  One Husband, Two Loves w: ?  p: Roth  i: Calnan??
Love Thy Neighbor w: Oleck  a: Saaf
Uptight (cheaters) w: Henry Boltinoff  a: Lee Elias
Uptight (wolf) w: Boltinoff  p: Mortimer  i: Abel
Anatomy of a Romance w: ?  a: DeZuñiga

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Would You Believe Alan Riefe?

Get Smart 5 Quilt While Ahead
I had no idea Alan Riefe wrote for Dell, but the style on Get Smart #3-7 seemed familiar to me what with sound effects like Ker-blammo; finally the penny dropped when it reminded me of Riefe's run on Jerry Lewis at DC and I compared lists.

Riefe goes on to write for paperbacks in the Seventies, some under his own name, some under pseudonyms, and some under house names, on detective and Western series. One earlier comics-related credit is as sole writer on one of those magazines adding funny speech balloons to news and Hollywood photos, 1964-65's three-issue Talking Pictures.

Issues 1-4 are full-length stories. "Quilt While Ahead" is a pun on "Quit While Ahead"; the latter is not the actual title. Dick Giordano is ghosting the pencils on Get Smart 1; Sal Trapani takes the sole signature in the run on that issue (two times if you count #8's reprint). Tony Tallarico does no work on Get Smart.

GET SMART

June/66 #1  The Hairless Hound Caper w: ?  p: Dick Giordano
  i: Sal Trapani
Sept/     #2  The Dumb Bunny w: ?  p: Steve Ditko
  i: Trapani
Nov/     #3  The Nuclear Gumball Caper w: Alan Riefe  p: Ditko
  i: Trapani
Jan/67 #4  The Great Baseball Caper w: Riefe  a: Henry Scarpelli
Mar/     #5  The Great Fly Caper w: Riefe  a: Scarpelli
Quilt While Ahead w: Riefe  a: Scarpelli
The Double Purpose Porpoise Caper w: Riefe  a: Scarpelli
Apr/     #6  The Kookie Kanine Kaper w: Riefe  a: Scarpelli
The Captured Copter Caper w: Riefe  a: Scarpelli
The Screwball Scooter Caper w: Riefe  a Scarpelli
Aug/     #7  The 4000 Year Old Man Kaper w: Riefe  a: Scarpelli
The Airborne Bathysphere Caper w: Riefe  a: Scarpelli
The Infiltration Caper w: Riefe  a Scarpelli

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Who Expected This Artist Here?

Two stories among the Dick Giordano/Vince Colletta ones at early-Sixties Timely-Atlas-Marvel have probably passed as Giordano's pencil work because like his they whisper "Charlton" to the reader's subconscious. For comparison with "No Dates for the Dance," the bottom tier with a typical pose is from the latter company's The Young Doctors 1 (Jan/63), inked by Vince Alascia.


Charles Nicholas otherwise last worked for Timely in the Forties. I don't know if you'd actually call this ghosting for Colletta, considering Dick Giordano got to sign some of his stories in the run. But I doubt editor Stan Lee directly poached Nicholas here. As Mark Evanier has pointed out (concerning Joe Orlando's bringing in Jerry Grandenetti's work), editors were probably just as happy to trust some artists like Orlando and Colletta to do all the work of subcontracting the pencils.

Charles Nicholas pencils, Vince Colletta inks

Love Romances


Sep/60 89  No Dates for the Dance

Teen-Age Romance

Sep/60 77  The Mistake of Mary Dixon

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Jack Oleck's Five-Way Revision

ISF 25, WWT 27 'I'm not too old'

Jack Oleck didn't actually sell the same story to five different companies. He sold the same setup and twist ending, though, in these five scripts. A rocket captain is too old to continue in space when split-second decisions have to be made by those with the reflexes of the young. Irony ensues.

A comparison of the stories shows that Oleck wrote each one anew. Even in the final panel where he has to make the same point, he comes close on some but obviously is going from memory and is rephrasing. Although other writers at, for instance, Prize, plagiarized EC scripts, Oleck's style shows up in the newly written work on the Atlas, Prize, and Harvey versions just as well as in the recorded EC and credited DC versions.

The plots vary in places as they make their way to the twist. The Harvey story is only two pages long, so it has to rush right along. Some share a space war setting, and two present flashbacks to the protagonist's father.

The Harvey version kept the story alive in the Sixties too; it was reprinted in Double-Dare Adventures 1 (Dec/66).

Incredible Science Fiction (EC)

Sep-Oct/55 31  Has-Been a: Wally Wood

Strange Tales (Atlas)

Aug/56 49  The Man Who Cried a: John Forte

Black Magic (Prize)

Nov-Dec/57 v 6 2  The Old Man a: Marvin Stein

Black Cat Mystic (Harvey)

Mar/58 62  The Has-Been a: Doug Wildey

Weird War Tales (DC)

July/74 27  The Veteran p: Paul Kirchner

i: Tex Blaisdell

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Swamped by Colletta

If you want all your pencillers' work homogenized into near indistinguishability, you could hire Vince Colletta to ink them. In proto-Marvel's Love Romances, My Own Romance, and Teen-Age Romance in 1960-61, Dick Giordano has a good number of stories—some signed and many not—inked by Colletta. As distinctive as Giordano's work should be, you have to work hard to find him under the inks, and when you figure that he's the main penciller for Colletta on this run of issues, you might start seeing him where he's not.

Among the possibilities, I can follow Matt Baker's style under Colletta's inks if I work hard at it; I believe, though, he's gone from these titles just before Giordano comes on board. Odin only knows what Colletta's own pencils might look like, if indeed he's doing any at this point. The Who's Who has Hy Eisman ghost-pencilling for Colletta on Marvel romances in the early Sixties, but no one (least of all me) has found him there yet.

LOve Romances 94 Too Shy for Love

One story attributed to Giordano/Colletta is "Too Shy for Love" (Love Romances 94, July/61). The actual penciller I see is an Atlas/Marvel anthology book regular who inks himself (and signs himself) on stories in 87 and 95.

Consider the male figure in the first panel of each of the first two tiers above; those show Paul Reinman's typical quirk of the head best. I can tell myself I see his style in the minister in the third tier and the main character, Ruth, in the first panel of the final tier. And I don't see any signs of Dick Giordano—but that's no thanks to Colletta!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

This Is Not the Wood Brother You're Looking For

Big Town was DC's tie-in to the radio/TV show about crusading newspaper editor Steve Wilson. When Julius Schwartz took over editing from Jack Schiff in the process of putting together #3, he inherited the records of scripts and artwork bought. I can't say how, but somewhere along the lines it seems a mistake has been made in crediting the writer of a few of those scripts.

Dave Wood would write Big Town stories for Julie, and wrote other features for him like Strong Bow. But from the evidence of the stories themselves, he didn't write all the stories he's supposed to have in issues 1-3. Some were actually by his brother Dick, who was at DC writing Vigilante and such.

Big Town 1 Deadline Nightmare

"Deadline Nightmare," the very first story, sports such interjections as "Great Hannah!" and "Suffering cats!" "Steve Wilson's Disgrace" in issue 3 sports "Great Hannah!" again and "Great suffering—!" These are the sort of Dick Wood expressions rampant in Man from UNCLE and Star Trek later at Gold Key. If Dave used them on a story added to the records by Schwartz first-hand, or in his credited stories much later for Murray Boltinoff, I haven't run across that story yet.

Dick and Dave did share some tells. "Phantom from the Past" in Big Town 2 uses "Great thunder" and "Great ghosts," so lacking more obvious Dick Woodisms, at this point I'd say crediting Dave is correct.

Big Town stories written by Dick Wood

Jan/51 Deadline Nighmare
The Forgotten Men of Skid Row
Mar/     Steve Wilson's Disgrace

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Dèjá Vu for Millie the Model

This list is only the first wavelet in a tide of Millie the Model refries, to use the term cat yronwode came up with for Spirit self-plagiarizations. Scripts are reused, if lightly rewritten, but the art is all-new. There are refries too in the Millie the Model Annual, and in the companion title A Date with Millie/Life with Millie. When the feature takes a turn into soap opera, of course the humor-related earlier stories can't be mined any more. But when Millie returns to humor in 1967—comes the deluge!

This is no doubt an incomplete list in that there are gaps in the early issues available; I could well have missed any number of first-time stories. What makes it harder is the lack of story titles in the Fifties. If a story seems familiar it has to be tracked down by looking at the comics themselves--and some around 1960 may be familiar because they're the originals for refries published around ten years later. ("Millie's Museum Madness" in 97 is the second of three uses of that story.)

As far as I can tell, Stan Lee reused his own scripts; he didn't dip back into the earliest Millie stories by other writers.

Millie 41, 101 'Run, Millie, Run'

1953-61 stories in Millie the Model
reworking earlier scripts


May/53 42  [The Scout] (CHILI)
    from MILLIE 35 Chili story
Dec/56 73  [Male Model] (CHILI)
    from MILLIE 32 Chili story
May/59 90  [No Proposal]
    from MILLIE 73 1st Millie story
Jul/60 97  The Other Woman
    from MILLIE 23 Clicker and the Other Woman
Millie's Museum Madness
    from MILLIE 35 3rd Millie story
Sept/     98  It's a Bet, Pet
    from MILLIE 39 4th 1-page gag
No Chance to Dance
    from MILLIE 39 1st Millie story
Jan/61 100  How Millie and Chili Met...
    from MILLIE 43 1st Millie story
Mar/     101  [information booth gag] cover
    from MILLIE 53 cover
Run, Millie, Run
    from MILLIE 41 1st Millie story
Let's Look for the Book
    from MILLIE 44 3rd 1-page gag
The Late Date
    from MILLIE 43 4th 1-page gag
Come to Baby
    from MILLIE 41 2nd 1-page gag
May/     102  Fuss in the Bus
    from MILLIE 32 4th 1-page gag situation