Sunday, January 10, 2021

Beck & Costanza Bring Mickey Marks to Canada

Robin Hood & Co. 33 In the Groove text

In the inventory of comic book writer Mickey Klar Marks' papers at the University of Southern Mississippi there are stories noted as sold to "Bech and Cortaza" and "Bill and Cortazar" (with the collection's transcriber putting a "(?)" after those names). To comics fans, as SangorShop has pointed out, this is obviously "Beck and Costanza" written in the records themselves.

The C.C. Beck-Pete Costanza Studio supplied scripts to Canadian publisher Anglo-American in the mid-40s (importing American artwork wasn't allowed). Otto Binder's scripts for AA may or may not have gone through the studio. But per her records, Mickey Marks' text pieces certainly did. They were published anonymously. Three formed a series about private detective Britt Nielson.

There's a text piece called "The Gold Seal" sold to Beck & Costanza in 1946 that I can't track down. Marks also sold two untitled comics stories to them in 1945 for a series called Dink, but if these ever came out (under a different series title, perhaps?), who can tell? Just to confuse things, there was a Dink series by Milt Hammer at the U.S. publisher Novelty, cheek by jowl at times with Marks' credited text pieces there.

Britt Nielson text pieces by Mickey Klar Marks
published at Anglo-American
(all anonymously)

THREE ACES Feb/46  51  Hear No Evil
THREE ACES Sep-Oct/46  54  The Plastic Madonna
ROBIN HOOD AND CO. Oct-Nov/46  33  In the Groove

Miscellaneous text pieces 

FREELANCE Apr/46  31  Vermont Comes to Texas
ROBIN HOOD AND CO. Jun-Jul/46  31  The Wrong Signal
GRAND SLAM Aug-Sep/46  54  "Daisy" Rafferty

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Molno on Dell's Superheroes

Superheroes 3

I'd IDed Bill Ely ghosting pencils for Sal Trapani on Dell's Superheroes #1-2, and my best guess at the time at #3-4 was Bill Fraccio.  In his blog, though, Lee Hartsfeld was tracking down Bill Molno ghosting Trapani, and suggested him as the penciller for Superheroes #3. Lee didn't get to pursue that on his blog before he discontinued it, so I'll back him up with this post and say that Molno ghosted #4 too.

I've repeated my IDs of Ely so these lists cover all the data not on the Grand Comics Database. #3's cover is the only one I 'd commit to Molno on, but I wouldn't be surprised if he and Ely pencilled their respective covers on 1, 2, and 4 too.

The writer looks the same for all four issues. But is it someone whose sole credit is this series or is it one of the usual suspects going for a more "with-it," caption-heavy style (and more in the manner of Bob Haney than Stan Lee)?


Jan/67 The Origin of the Fab Four (3 pts) p: Bill Ely
Apr/     The Clowns p: Ely

  Nutt's Revenge p: Ely
Enslaved p: Ely
May/   (cover)
p: Bill Molno
     Meet Coalman p: Molno
     The Mad Magician p: Molno
  Nepto of the Reef p: Molno
June/   The Hypno-Trap p: Molno
     Metamorphosis p: Molno
  Meet Mr. Mod p: Molno
  Endsville p: Molno

Monday, November 23, 2020

8 or 9 Carl Memling Stories on Cowboy Western

This was going to be merely a writer's list post, and yet what should appear but another refry--a script reused with new art. This one may hold a record--the refry appeared a mere two issues after the original, and under the same title. "Cry for Revenge" is slightly rewritten from a standalone in Charton's Cowboy Western 47 to a Golden Arrow series story in #49.

Cowboy Western 47, 49

But speaking of the writer's list, there were a few Western comics at Charlton during Carl Memling's tenure, alongside the more numerous weird and crime titles he wrote for. I was reminded of him when I flipped through Cowboy Western 48 and saw a character in the Rip Ryan story say he was "practicin' triggernometry"--a line used ten years later in the first three isssues of Dell's Idaho, one of Memling's credits in the Who's Who. Another sign in "Trigger Bait" of the writer of Idaho is calling guns "smokepoles"--a term Golden Arrow uses, too, in his "Cry for Revenge" story.

Written by Carl Memling:
Cowboy Western

Dec/53 47  Sentence of Death [RIP RYAN]
The Way of a Killer
    Trail's End
    Cry for Revenge
Spr/54  48  Trigger Bait [RIP RYAN]
    One Horsepower
May/      49  Triple-Test
    The Deadly Wolf-Pack [BLACK JACK]

Cry for Revenge [GOLDEN ARROW]

Monday, November 2, 2020

Inspiration Before the Giant Turtle Man

Startling Stories 3/40, JO 43

Mort Weisinger's reuse of cover images from the Standard pulps, where he had been an editor in the 1940s, has been pointed out often, but I don't know if this one has been. The iconic such swipe is "The Giant Turtle Man" in Jimmy Olsen 52 (June/61), from a Thrilling Wonder Stories cover. Here, from the previous year, is a JO cover (#43, March/60) not using the original pulp cover's design but borrowing a monster design from it. The artist of Startling Stories March 1940 is uncredited. Curt Swan pencilled the JO cover as well as the story, and did the follow-up cover and story in JO 47 (Sep/60) and used the monster as the centerpiece of the cover of 80 Pg. Giant 6 (1965), Superman featuring Fantastic Things and Creatures.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Open the Door Six Times, Then Two More

Funny Stuff 25, Animal Antics 49 'Open de door'

In my skimming the 1950s DC funny animal titles, a couple of stories with reused scripts jumped out at me, because the originals were so distinctive--they were part of a comic book with a running gag throughout the different strips in the issue.

All the strips in Funny Stuff 25 (Sept/47) are untitled stories. At the end of the first Dodo and the Frog story, the Frog is stuck in the Dodo's closet yelling "Open de door, Dodo!"

("Open the Door, Richard" was a vaudeville routine whose song verion was released as a record in 1946 and got on the Billboard charts in 1947.)

Then in the 3 Mouseketeers story a house is seen in one panel's background with "Open da door, Dodo" coming from it; likewise in the Henry the Laffing Hyena story a similar balloon is making its way under a door. (These could be editorial emendations.) Blackie Bear in his story interacts with the Frog in the closet; so does J. Rufus Lion in his. There's a Dodo and the Frog half-pager with the Frog still in there, and finally the second D&F story gives the situation a punchline.

In Animal Antics 49 (Mar-Apr/54) the Nip and Chip story refries the first of FS 25's D&F stories--never getting to the actual punchline of the entire Frog-in-the-closet saga. Interestingly enough, there's a cameo at Nip's home: the Dodo. The Raccoon Kids story "Boom!" refries the earlier Blackie Bear story, but the house in this version remains the Dodo's--and he's the one in the closet this time. The Professor from the Nutsy Squirrel strip plays the same role in both the Blackie and Raccoon Kids versions.

I don't know who wrote the Funny Stuff stories, and the refries are pretty much that person's work transcribed, but from the tales about editor Larry Nadle, he may well have vouchered DC checks for himself for the "new" scripts.

reworking earlier scripts

Mar-Apr/54 49  (NIP AND CHIP)
        from FUNNY STUFF 25 1st Dodo and the Frog story

        from FUNNY STUFF 25 Blackie Bear story

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Rawhide Kid and Wyatt Earp and a Couple of Writers

Here are two Atlas western hero writer's lists--taking up not too much space since there's only one writer on each before Stan Lee takes over (and in fact his Rawhide Kid is the completely new version started with Jack Kirby a couple of years after this one is cancelled). This isn't too surprising; in 1954-58, Joe Gill has ended up the sole Kid Colt writer pre-Lee.

Wyatt Earp 5 'My name's Annie Mozee'

"The Day Marshal Earp Met Annie Oakley" in WE 5 (July/56) guest-stars the Atlas version of Annie from her own comic book--her 1955-56 feature being written solely by Hank Chapman. To bring her a little more in line with the historical Annie and thus further the conceit that this Wyatt Earp comic is "based upon the facts and legends from the career of the amazing life of Wyatt Earp," this is the only time her real name is mentioned.

scripts by Don Rico

Mar/55-Sep/57 1-16  all Rawhide Kid scripts

Rawhide Kid script by Rico

Dec/58  20  The Last Outlaw

scripts by Hank Chapman

Nov/55-Feb/58  1-15  all Wyatt Earp scripts

Wyatt Earp script by Chapman

Jan/56  47  The Lion of Tombstone

Wyatt Earp scripts by Chapman

Jun/56  35  The Terror of Tombstone
Aug/     36  Apaches on the Warpath
Jan/58  44  Apache Trouble

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy and Mr. Bozo

Both of Dell's titles from Larry Harmon cartoons, after the first issues, are done by the same so far unidentified writer and artist on all the comics stories, including one-pagers and backups. Compare the titles of these stories from the second issue of each: Bozo the Clown #2 (April-June/63), and Laurel and Hardy #2, (March-May/63).

Bozo 2 Double-Trouble Flubble Bubble, L&H 2 Flip-Flop Tip-Top Secret

I don't recognize the styles from anything else at Dell--or in fact anywhere--so I suggest that the material was supplied by Larry Harmon's production company.

The first issues Dell evidently did in-house. Tony Tallarico, who had nothing to do with issues 2-4, did the art on Bozo #1--and as happened only occasionally at this point, without Bill Fraccio pencils.

Paul C. Ignizio has cited Laurel and Hardy as one of the titles he wrote for Dell, along with Car 54, Where Are You? and The Twist. If L&H #1 was indeed the only issue done at Dell, it's the one most likely to be his. A point of similarity that jumps out between L&H #1 and Car 54 #3 (Oct/62) is Indians who say "I/Me scalpum!" (I'm still looking over Car 54--I don't think Ignizio wrote every issue.)

(* = single page)

May-June/62 #1  Facts About Clowns [TEXT] * p, i: Tony Tallarico
    Circus to the Moon p, i: Tallarico
    The Chimp That Made a Monkey Out of Bozo
p, i: Tallarico
    The Worm That Had the Strangest Tale
p, i: Tallarico
    The Clown in Show Business [TEXT] *
p, i: Tallarico
    Make Up and Costumes of Clowns [TEXT] *
p, i: Tallarico


(* = single page)

Aug-Oct/62 #1  A Record Lunch * w: Paul C. Ignizio
    The Tourists w: Ignizio
    Bell of the Brawl * w: Ignizio
    Hair and There * w: Ignizio