Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A "New" Writer at Atlas

For about half a year there was a Camelot-like moment in 1953 in which writers as well as artist were routinely credited at a comic book company. Trojan gave the credits on the inside-front-page tables of contents on their anthology magazines.

The main four writers were Paul S. Newman, Jack Miller, Martin Smith, and Richard Kahn. A while ago SangorShop asked me if I could extrapolate Smith's stories for other companies from these. So far I haven't, but serendipity led me to find some of Richard Kahn's work at a company where he hadn't been known to write—Timely/Atlas/Marvel-to-come.

Kent Blake 28

Noticeable connections among these Kent Blake spy stories at Atlas ishown in this tier from #4 are "A few minutes later!" and the drawn-out "Argghhh"; I'd made a list of characteritics for "Writer KB" and found it matching the new one I was making up for Kahn.

The writing for the next batch of Kent Blake stories seemed likely to be by the same writer, but suddenly, as Blake goes back into uniform and to Korea, the sound effect "Pi-toon" for cannon fire turns up frequently, and I haven't seen in in Kahn's later war stories for Trojan—so I'm still considering those Blake stories.

The artist on these stories is Tom Gill.

Richard Kahn scripts on
Kent Blake of the Secret Service—Part 1?


Sep/51 Terror in Tibet
The Stolen Plans
Nightmare in China
Nov/     Terror Underground
Jaws of Justice
The Limping Man
Jan/52 Condemned to Death
The Man with Two Faces
Dangerous Vacation
Mar/    Tunnel of Death
Blood on the Sand
Deadlier Than the Male

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

No "Created by Bob Kane" Credit Here

Here's a book based on a comic strip by Bob Kane before Batman. The Gottfredson-influenced "Peter Pupp" appeared in the early Jumbo Comics in the 1937-39, supplied by the Eisner-Iger Syndicate.

Peter Pupp cover

The children's book Adventures of Peter Pupp (Play Action Books) came out in 1944. The writer and artist were Iger staff members: writer Ruth Roche (whom most probably remember as the adapter of Frankenstein in Classic Comics) and artist David Icove.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Future Man to Karzz to Jorzz

Three Otto Binder pieces bear some resemblances. The later ones certainly weren't rewrites, but when Binder sat down to write anew, evidently he was inspired by his earlier work. The resemblance of the first two is old news, but I just read the third and had to compare it to the second to reassure myself that it is indeed a new novel.

AW 21, Earth-Wrecker, Mind from Outer Space

In "Menace from the Future World" in All Winners 21 (Winter, 1947), Future Man, who has mental powers, fights the All Winners Squad, who are led by Captain America. To clear 20th Century Earth for his people of 1,000,000 A.D. Earth to inhabit, Future Man intends to use super-science weapons of extermination on five continents.

In The Avengers Battle the Earth-Wrecker (1967), Karzz, an alien from the future, fights the Avengers, who are led by Captain America. He's hidden world-wrecking super weapons in four corners of the globe, as he wants to create an alternate time-line where 70th Century Earth never stands in the way of his galactic conquests.

In The Mind from Outer Space (1972), the alien Jorzz, a free mind with mental powers,is after segments of a super-science secret hidden 35,000 years earlier in four corners of the globe, one that will enable him to conquer the galaxy as he had planned to before he was disembodied back then. The heroes from a scientific think tank fight him with technological super-powers.

The heroes jokingly refer to Jorzz a number of times as "Mister Mind."

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Bernstein Black Rider

Some of Robert Bernstein's scripts for the costumed Western hero Black Rider at Timely/Atlas are credited—artist Jay Scott Pike added Bernstein's name when he signed his art. (Ernie Hart's Fifties writing credits also come from Pike's adding the scripter's name.) However, Pike didn't credit all of Bernstein's scripts on his stories, and there were other artists who didn't go to that trouble.

Black Rider was suspended with #18, and when it returned almost two years later there was a new writer, whose distinctive gunshots—"Whram"—don't identify him but show him as the main writer of Kid Colt at the time too.

Wild Western 18 Murderers of Crippled Bend--'Bernstein and Pike

Black Rider Written by Robert Bernstein

Jan/51 12  The Town That Vanished
Marked for Murder
Trek of Terror
Hot Lead Reunion
Six-Gun Salute
Mar/    13  The Terrified Tribe
The Deadly Double-Cross
The Secret in the Sand
The Strange Man
May/     14  The Horror Castle

The Tree Pirates Strike
Close Shave
The Metal Menace
Jul/      15  The Poiusoned Bottles
The Silent Scream

The Sign of the Wolf
Returns from the Dead
Sep/      16  Dear Black Rider...
Three-Cornered Feud
Mass Murder in Montana
Nov/     17  Black Rider's Vengeance
Mirror of Death [credited]
The Biggest Liar in Tombstone
The Ghost on Four Legs [credited]
Jan/52  18  The Indian with Two Hearts [credited]
Tombstone Termites [credited]
The Ferry at Killer's Creek [credited]

in Two-Gun Western

Apr/52 13  Doomsday Gang [credited]
Jun/     14  The Mountain of Doom [credited]

in Wild Western

Feb/51 14  The Day Black Rider Died
Apr/     15  The Man Who Died Twice
Jun/      16  The Texas Tigress
Aug/     17  Brand of Terror
Oct/      18  The Murderers of Crippled Bend [credited]
Dec/     19  Vultures of the Rio Grande [credited]

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

3 Villains of Doom's Stories Adapted

3 Villains of Doom fc and bc 'Wham! Zowie!'

In the 1966 novel Batman vs. 3 Villains of Doom the Penguin, the Joker, and Catwoman vie for the Academy Award of crime, a golden machine gun: the Tommy. DC in the person of E. Nelson Bridwell considered the novel canon, mentioning the Tommy in a World's Finest letter column.

Although William Woolfolk (as Winston Lyon) certainly followed the Batman TV show in the details—Robin's "Holy" exclamations, Chief O'Hara, the bust of Shakespeare—the three villains' schemes are adapted from comic book stories. (And the Catwoman is wearing her comic-book costume, with its full-head mask and green cape.)

Once I recognized the stories' sources from their synopses in the Batman volume of Michael Fleisher's Encyclopedia of Comic Book Heroes, I assumed they must have been written by Woolfolk—having seen pages of a few of his scripts in fanzines, I thought he might have kept them on hand. Evidently not, at least in this case; once I saw the stories themselves, I changed my opinion. Copies of these stories must have been pulled from the files and sent along to him by DC.

Stories Adapted in Batman vs. 3 Villains of Doom

 Apr-May/50 Batman #58  The State-Bird Crimes w: Edmond Hamilton 
  June/47 Det #124  The Crime Parade w: Hamilton
  Apr/47 Det #122  The Black Cat Crimes w: Hamilton?

Sunday, August 7, 2016

A Ghost for John Severin

On my posts about Sal Trapani's ghost pencillers, I figured he knew most of them from their working together at Charlton. I suspected the same sort of thing applied with John Severin's finding a ghost for this story from Cracked 70 (Aug/68). "Snow Flake and the Seven Dwarfs" is signed only "Severin" in his handwriting, and only the regular Cracked artists are listed in the masthead. I wondered where he could have known this artist from, and figured it must have been when he was drawing at EC; this penciller was the colorist there.

Cracked 70 Snow Flake

All kidding aside, Marie Severin would have her pencils inked by her brother, with both credited for the first time, a couple of years later at Marvel on Kull the Conqueror. There may be more examples of this ghosting at Cracked, but an awful lot of its issues are hard to come by nowadays.

Friday, July 15, 2016

A Curt Swan Crime Story with a Tiny Difference

Curt Swan was a mainstay at DC for some four decades. Along with his superhero and war strips for them in the early Fifties, Curt Swan worked on the company's Gangbusters and other crime features.

Swan art in Crime Cases 25

But this Swan-pencilled story, "Killer at Large," was published in Crime Cases 25 (Nov/50)—from Timely/Atlas/Marvel.