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
[unpublished]
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.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Woolfolk Records 1953/02

All-Star Western 72 Trigger Twins

Back to just Orbit and DC as publishers here.

With "Song of My Heart" paid at a rate lower than for regular writing, I believe that William Woolfolk is revising one of his own stories, but if so, the title has already been revised from one we've seen earlier.

Woolfolk's sole western for DC has been known, like the war stories, from the Julius Schwartz payment records.

February 1953 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

7 pg  revision of Song of My Heart "Song of My Heart" Love Journal 19, June/53
Too Many Sweethearts girl at an Army post
"Too Many Sweethearts" L Journal 20, Sept/53
12  Superman caravan of doom
"The Covered Wagon of Doom" Action 184, Sept/53
S.O.S. for Love a fat girl's problem
[untitled SOSFL] L Journal 19, June/53
Trigger Twins one twin is mysteriously missing
"Legend of a Lawman" All-Star Western 72, Aug-Sept/53

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Unknown Aparo Art Again

Jim Aparo is in his first year of work at DC when Girls' Love Stories 142 (Apr/69) comes out. The general rule with the romance comics is anonymity, and here editor Jack Miller makes Aparo even more anonymous by assigning him an overwhelming inker, Bill Draut, on the story "Thrill-Chick." (There are none of the nonconventional, angled panel borders Aparo uses on Aquaman, either.)

Girls' Love Stories 142

I started looking over the late-60s/early-70s DC romance comics in search of possible Richard Hughes scripts, but haven't run across any so far. I can see stories by Robert Kanigher, Jack Miller, and Jack Oleck, but the other writers like Barbara Friedlander, Lee Goldsmith, and Phyllis Reed (as given in the Who's Who) I haven't been able to credit with stories at this point. I'm sure there are writers not yet connected with these books. In other words, I can't ID the writer of "Thrill-Chick."

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Woolfolk Records 1953/01

Adventure 191--The Two Clark Kents

A William Woolfolk story bought by Fawcett is followed here by ones for DC and Orbit. That story isn't published by Fawcett; This Magazine Is Haunted 16 is Charlton's second issue after buying the rights to the title and inventory.

And Woolfolk returns to Archie Publications after writing Black Hood and so forth in the early-to-mid Forties; but with a try at the company's by-now flagship character he scores another rare rejection and moves on.

January 1953 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

5 pg  The Evil Ministers political leaders who are really demons
"The Evil Ministers" This Magazine Is Haunted 16, Mar/54
Operation Tall Tales a tall tale teller who does heroic deeds and can't prove it
8  "Operation: Tall Tales" All-American Men of War 6, Aug-Sept/53
12  Superman the new Krypton
"The Return of Planet Krypton" Action 182, July/53
Archie the burglar alarm [reject]
The Girl That I Marry bachelor tells why he couldn't marry
"The Girl That I Marry" Love Diary 35, June/53
Flying Blind a blind pilot has to take in a jet fighter
"Flying Blind" Our Army at War 12, July/53
12  Superman the perfect plot to kill Superman
"The Perfect Plot to Kill Superman" Action 183, Aug/53
Prescription for Happiness girl learns she doesn't love soldier
[untitled PFH] L Diary 35, June/53
12  Superboy Clark Kent's double lives in his home
"The Two Clark Kents" Adventure 191, Aug/53
Fighting Man doctor who wants to see real combat
"Soldier without Armor" OAAW 14, Sept/53

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Lighter Side of Ponytail

Dell editor D.J. Arneson recalls Lee Holley producing the entirety of the comic book spinoff of his syndicated daily panel/Sunday strip Ponytail, editorial input unneeded at Dell's end, and that's true as of issue 4 (and in fact through the title's run, including at Charlton later). Holley did supply all the covers from the very beginning, and there were some panel reprints.

I'll stick with "produce" rather than just "write and draw", because according to the Bails and Ware Who's Who, Frank Hill assisted Holly on the strip and on the comic book, so the later work was not necessarily Holley solo.

Ponytail 1 'Bar-B-Cute'

The Who's Who credits Dave Berg and Bob Gustafson with the feature in the first years at Dell. Berg does a pretty good job of ghosting Holley's art style, but he doesn't try to replicate it exactly. Secondary characters are the best place to find something closer to a ghost artist's own style; see Donald's parents in panel 4 above.

Ponytail 3 'Phone-y'

The Who's Who credit for Bob Gustafson is for writing, unconfirmed, but his art should be evident. Some Mort Walker-style touches give him away, as in Dell's Gulliver's Travels; he tries even less to mimic Holley on the Cassie back-ups, as above. He may well have written these two issues; it looks like a single writer did all the stories. The Grand Comics Database has given Frank Hill the credit for issue 2's stories, but per Bails and Ware this would be before his time on the strip.

Ponytail
1-3


Jul-Sep/62 Half Baked * w, a: Dave Berg
Brace Yourself w, a: Berg
Swell Smell w, a: Berg
Bar-B-Cute w, a: Berg
Bubble Trouble w, a: Berg
Dress Right Dress w, a: Berg
Rain in the Face * w, a: Berg
Apr-Jun/63 Wedding Belles * w: ?  a: Bob Gustafson
What the Doctor Ordered w: ?  a: Gustafson
Danger--Woman Driver [CASSIE] w: ?  a: Gustafson
Dress Mess w: ?  a: Gustafson
Gift of Gab w: ?  a: Gustafson
The Merry Chase w: ?  a: Gustafson
Best Test * w: ?  a: Gustafson
Jul-Sep/    Low Down Trick * w: ?  a: Gustafson
Palsy Walsy w: ?  a: Gustafson
Tele-wise w: ?  a: Gustafson
Beautiful But Not Dumb w: ?  a: Gustafson
Secret Admirer w: ?  a: Gustafson
Phone-y [CASSIE] w: ?  a: Gustafson
Poodle Doodle * w: ?  a: Gustafson
(* single page)