Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Carmine Infantino Starts Off in Comics with Cap

I don't think anything earlier has been found: Carmine Infantino hit the ground running in comic books with a handful of stories on a major character, Captain America, in 1943.

From Cap 27, note the face of the French Underground fighter Pierre in panel 1; more to the point, look at him running in panel 6.
Cap 27 Blitzkrieg to Berlin

Infantino-pencilled stories in Captain America

June/43 27  Blitzkrieg to Berlin
July/     28  The Vultures of Violent Death

I dithered over whether the one-month earlier "Invasion of the Killer Beasts" was by Infantino—it seems so much cruder—but then I found that the Marvel Masterworks reprint credited him as one of the pencillers (others unknown), so I'll go along with that.

in U.S.A. Comics

May/43 The Invasion of the Killer Beasts

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Blackhawk Writers 1956

Blackhawk 107 One Minute Till Doom--Quality's final Blackhawk story

This will echo the lists for Quality's Exploits of Daniel Boone and Robin Hood Tales in 1956. Joe Millard had been writing for Quality for some time; Robert Bernstein was Quality's final writer before they gave up the ghost in 1956. It's been pointed out that the plot of Blackhawk 101's "The Lost Island" is lifted from Marvel Boy 1's "The Lost World" (Dec/50); but although Bernstein was writing for Timely/Atlas at that point, I can't find his stylistic prints on the Marvel Boy story.

Blackhawk Writers 1956

Jan/56 96  7 Graves for 7 Blackhawks Joe Millard
Case of the Missing Blackhawk  Millard
Doom in the Deep Millard
Feb/    97  The Horde of the Bat Millard
Hitler's Daughter Millard
Revolt of the Slave Workers Millard
Mar/    98  The Phantom Saboteur Millard
The Temple of Doom Millard
The Black Flag Millard
Apr/    99  The Queen of Blackhawk Island Millard
The War That Never Ended Robert Bernstein
The Underground Menace Bernstein
May/    100  The Delphian Menace Bernstein
The Citadel of Hate     ?
The Steel Scorpion Millard
June/    101  General Steel Millard
Satan's Paymaster Millard
The Lost Island Bernstein
July/    102  Master of Mankind Millard
The Doom Cloud Millard
The Red Professor's Secret Bernstein
Aug/    103  The Super Race Bernstein
The Man Who Stole Tomorrow Millard
Menace from the Skies Bernstein
Sept/    104  Rescue under Fire Bernstein
Treachery in the Antarctic Bernstein
The Jet Menace Bernstein
Oct/     105  Nightmare Cruise Bernstein
The Red Kamakaze Terror Bernstein
The Master of Treachery Bernstein
Nov/     106  The Flying Tank Platoon Bernstein
Stars of Disaster Bernstein
The Red Raiders Bernstein
Dec/     107  The Winged Menace Bernstein
Red Timetable of Treachery Bernstein
One Minute Till Doom Bernstein

Bernstein spells "Kamakaze" with an "a" throughout the story in #105, although the cover has it "Kamikaze."

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Model for Doc Played Flash Gordon

This is either a huge coincidence or a very esoteric in-joke on the part of cover artist Gray Morrow. I know which one I go with.

Buster Crabbe; Doc Caliban

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Woolfolk Records 1953/04

SSWS 14--Pitchfork Army
DC and Orbit are the companies buying the scripts.

The "$100,000 on Clark Kent's Head" syndicated strip sequence ends at eight weeks.

My transcriptions of William Woolfolk's records, to the end of his career in comic books, continue with May 1953 in this post. He began his records with September 1944 after a few years of writing comics; he didn't describe any story further than the feature name through December 1944. I began blogging these transcriptions with January 1945's, when he began putting in descriptions. But a list of the strips he was writing is better than nothing (and I can find the publication of one or two through number of pages or his style), so those four months of 1944 will be my posts when I return to this subject.

April 1953 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

6 pg  Superman syndicate 2nd week
Superman strip, May 25-30/53
10  I Put a Price on Love girl who takes men for all she can get
"I Put a Price on Love" Love Journal 21, Nov/53
Battle of the Alamo only the flag survives to tell the story
"Ghosts of the Alamo" All-American Men of War 7, Oct-Nov/53
Superman syndicate 3rd week
Superman strip, June 1-6/53
12  Superboy coronation of Lana Lang
"The Coronation of Lana Lang" Adventure 192, Sept/53
Superman syndicate 4th week
Superman strip, June 8-13/53
Farmers Can't Fight farmer vs. Hessians in the Revolutionary War
"Pitchfork Army" Star Spangled War Stories 14, Nov/53
Superman syndicate 5th week
Superman strip, June 15-20/53
Superman syndicate 6th week
Superman strip, June 22-27/53
Fighting Heart gal loves a prizefighter
10  "Fighting Heart" Love Diary 37, Oct/53
12  Superman syndicate 7th & 8th weeks
Superman strip, June 29-July 4, 6-11/53

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ray Cummings Writes Captain America

Ray Cummings, once a secretary/assistant to Thomas Edison, wrote science fiction and horror for the pulp magazines, beginning with The Girl in the Golden Atom in 1919 and on to around 1950. One novel, The Exile of Time, was reprinted by Ace Books in 1965 with a new cover painting by 1940s Captain America cover artist Alex Schomburg—appropriately enough, since Cummings had scripts in some of those Cap issues.

Cummings is credited with "The Princess of the Atom" in Captain America Comics, but without his actual name mentioned—the coming attraction in issue 24 just calls him the author of Girl in the Golden Atom. "The Princess of the Atom" two-parter uses the basic situation of "Girl in the Golden Atom"—miniaturizing into an atom world by means of a drug—but otherwise is a new plot.

The noticeable style characteristic on "Princess" that led me to the first of the other stories is "Oh migosh."

Cap 25 Princess--'Oh migosh'

He's known to have written Sub-Mariner and the Human Torch too, but so far, concentrating on Cap, I have yet to run across any stories of those characters by him. Another pass through the Caps may well find more Cummings stories.

Ray Cummings scripts on Captain America

Apr/43 25  The Princess of the Atom
May/     26  The Princess of the Atom Part II
June/     27  North of the Border
Aug/     29  The King of the Dinosaurs
The Case of the Phantom Engineer
The Case of the Headless Monster
Sep/     30  The House of the Laughing Death

on Captain America in All Winners

Win/43-44 11  The Case of the Yellow Fire Monster

on Captain America in U.S.A. Comics

Sep/43 10  The Cylinder of Death

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Woolfolk Records 1953/03

Love Diary 36--Not the Right TypeOrbit and DC, buyers. And: in 1952-53, William Woolfolk has noted the publishers alongside the stories; the Freddy Feline is sold to Fawcett. Pooch is mentioned in the May '53-written Slinky Stinky stories, Woolfolk's last for the company. When I posted that month's records out of order, I guessed from Woolfolk's "F" code that Fawcett was the publisher, but hadn't seen these previous years to confirm the same code on, for instance, Captain Marvel Jr. stories. The company bought these funny animal scripts but I don't find them published.

I can't read the handwriting about a "Mickey J____ character" and can't guess the cultural reference, but the Love Diary 36 story "Easy to Love" is about a girl who works as a housemaid for the man she falls in love with.

It isn't completely out of left field, but a syndicated Superman strip sequence is a change of pace. Technically this was published by the syndicate, but DC bought the scripts from Woolfolk. Six tiers, a week's dailies, are paid as six pages (or three times as many panels), and in fact at a slightly higher rate. He continues writing the sequence next month. UPDATE: SangorShop supplied the strips' publication dates.

March 1953 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

6 pg  That's How I Am athletic girl loves a lifeguard
"Not the Right Type" Love Diary 36, Sept/53
10  Superman Superman becomes pet of space men
"A Doghouse for Superman" Superman 84, Aug-Sept/53
Command Performance an actor who hates to play Nazis
"Command Performance" Star Spangled War Stories 13, Sept/53
10  Superboy makes a 4th dimension movie in the future
"The Movie Star of Tomorrow" Superboy 27, Aug-Sept/53
Freddy Feline wants Pooch's swimming pool
Flight into Passion can a girl go too far and keep her man?
"Flight into Passion" L Diary 36, Sept/53
Battle Decision detective after crook—in the Army
"Battle Detective" SSWS 13, Sept/53
Treacherous Love girl works for a Mickey J____ character
10  "Easy to Love" L Diary 36, Sept/53
12  Batman the invisible Batman
"The Invisible Batman" Detective 199, Nov/53
Superman syndicate $100,000 on Clark Kent's head
Superman strip,  May 18 to May 23/53
Killer Tanks! a man who is deathly afraid of the German tanks
"Killer Tank" Our Army at War 14, Dec/53

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Lee Marrs' First Comic Book Work?

When an artist is doing a licensed property, the best bet for identifying them by style is to look at the one-shot secondary characters. So, if I'm IDing correctly on these pages:

Lee Marrs' comic book work, both in undergrounds and mainstream, came after working on syndicated strips (writing gags on "Hi and Lois" for King in 1969 and doing backgrounds on "Little Orphan Annie" for Chicago Tribune-New York News starting in the same year, according to the Who's Who). Her underground work first appeared in 1972. I'd assumed her first four-color comic book credit was DC's Plop in 1974.

Blondie 175--Dagwood and the Go-Go Girl

It would seem it was actually Blondie—at King's mid-Sixties comic book division. Out of a spotty collection (there could be something earlier), I see her work in #175 (Dec/67) on the story "Dagwood and the Go-Go Girl." Possibly she did "Emergency Dinner" in that issue and just possibly "Blondie Makes the Switch." The Dagwood story "The Offer" I'm pretty sure is by someone else, not that I could say who. The main artist on the Blondie comic books, Paul Fung Jr., channeled Chic Young more thoroughly.

Popeye 120--Have a Happy, Pappy

Lee Marrs also drew an entire issue of Popeye (apart from regular artist/editor George Wildman’s cover), licensed from King at Charlton, a little later: #120 (Jun/73). It looks like she drew an unrelated back-up, Marvin the Mailman in "Dog Gone It," in Popeye 103 (Aug/70). Again, my collection is incomplete; she may have done other work on the title.