Thursday, May 30, 2019

Mickey Klar Marks's Zany Giraffe

Mickey Klar Marks donated her papers to the University of Southern Mississippi, and an inventory is online. These are not records like William Woolfolk's notebook, but rather copies--I suppose carbons--of her scripts, with a notation on each as to the publisher who bought it.

For comic books Marks wrote mostly fiction text pieces, but she did write a few comics stories. The Zany Giraffe series in Novelty's, later Premium's, Frisky Fables is hers. Although the installments were published without titles, these are her working ones. The only byline on each was "art by Jim Adams."

Frisky Fables v1 #3 Zany Engineers a Rescue
The story hook in each episode is that Zany is the only one who can solve a problem for the forest creatures but since giraffes have no vocal cords, it takes some effort to get his idea across.

Zany Giraffe's strip appeared on-and-off. I believe these are all of the strip's original appearances. There are a handful of scripts in the USM collection that seem to have gone unpublished: Zany Earns a Badge; Zany Giraffe, American; A New Twist; and Zany Takes a Stand. I can't reconcile any with the story below with my descriptions in brackets. However, the collection of papers may not not complete; there are some bylined text pieces of hers published whose typescripts are not at USM (at least under the published titles).

Zany Giraffe in Frisky Fables
written by Mickey Klar Marks

Win/46 v1 #3  Zany Engineers a Rescue
Apr/     v2 #1  Zany Solves a Mystery
July/     v2 #4  Zany Furthers Education
Sept/     v2 #6  Zany Almost Talks
Oct/     v2 #7  Zany and the Tigers
Nov/     v2 #8  Zany Starts a Trading Post
Feb/47 v2 #11  Zany Debunks a Ghost
Apr/     v3 #1  Zany Sticks His Neck Out
May/     v3 #2  The Taffy Pull
Aug/     v3 #5  [making Spots the Cat see spots]
Oct/     v3 #7  Zany Giraffe Becomes Mayor
Dec/     v3 #9  Zany Helps Heat a House
Feb-Mar/49 v4 #7  Zany Stars in a New Role
Aug-Sept/     v5 #3  Zany Turns Nautical

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Who Are Roppe?

Charlton Davy Crockett 1, Gold Key Daniel Boone 6

The signature "Roppe" on the cover of Charlton's Davy Crockett #1 in 1955 is a portmanteau name like "Brangelina." In this case it's Mike Roy and Mike Peppe. The fact that they did the issue's first story (unsigned) gives more pages of art to corroborate the ID.

Roy and Peppe were doing a knock-off here of Fess Parker's Davy Crockett from "Disneyland"; a decade later they were drawing Parker as another frontiersman, as in the story tier above, from Gold Key's Daniel Boone 6 (Aug/66).

I assume this first issue is assembled out of inventory bought from one of those companies getting out of comics in the mid-Fifties, but I have no idea which. There are a Red Roan text story and Big Bow and Little Arrow humor piece from Fawcett, but Charlton mixed those into everything.

Roy and Peppe art on
Charlton's Davy Crockett


Aug/55 [cover]
Indian Attack

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Jack Oleck's Western Oeuvre

Jack Oleck did all of one Western story for DC that I can think of, and it was a weird Western. EC had long given up on Westerns by the time he worked for them, and so far I haven't run across any such stories by him at Atlas.

As he was writing weird, crime, and romance for Prize, he did have two distinct blocks of issues on their Prize Western--and almost all on series. In fact, he wrote all of the Preacher and Jeff Baker stories and created the Drifter as well, although I don't think he wrote all of that series' stories.

PRize Western 84 Lynch Law

Oleck's style is most distinctive when he philosophizes in captions in addition to the standard description, as in the first one in the story proper of "Lynch Law." He uses "In the end, __" and "Almost, __" often. To corroborate myself on some of these stories I did look further into his exclamations and sound effects.

Prize Comics Western

Written by Jack Oleck


Jul-Aug/50 82  The Preacher
Death Draws a Circle [NON-FICTION]
Sep-Oct/     83  The Danger Trail [PREACHER]
Nov-Dec/     84  Lynch Law [PREACHER]
Jan-Feb/51  85  Dead Man's Gold [PREACHER]
Mar-Apr/      86  War Party [JEFF BAKER]
    
Range War [PREACHER]
May-Jun/      87  Vengeance Trail [JEFF BAKER]
    
The Preacher Goes Home
Jul-Aug/      88  Ambush! [JEFF BAKER]
    
Double Trouble [PREACHER]
Sep-Oct/      89  Trouble in Lost Valley [JEFF BAKER]
    
Death on the River [PREACHER]
Nov-Dec/     90  Six Gun Law [PREACHER]
Mar-Apr/52  92  Buffalo Stampede [JEFF BAKER]
Nov-Dec/55  114  American Eagle Meets the Maverick
  
The Drifter
American Eagle Discovers a Secret Weapon
Jan-Feb/56    115  Bad Medicine [AMERICAN EAGLE]
  
The Drifter Uncovers the Brand of the Outlaw
American Eagle Arranges a Duel
Sep-Oct/       118  Liberty Belle [AMERICAN EAGLE]
Nov-Dec/      119  American Eagle Battles a Fanged Fury
  
The Drifter Stirs Up a Hornet's Nest of Lies, Loot and Lead

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Joe Gill--After the Human Torch, What?

This is one of the features Joe Gill wrote at Timely/Atlas after the Human Torch revival. The only story in Spy Thillers that I can't make out as his is the backup in #4, which is actually a war story--it may have been brought over from one of the battle mags.

'This is' in Spy Thillers 1, 3 captions
"This is" in captions is one of  the clues to Joe Gill--here you see it in "The Double Identities" and "Oil!" In the same tier in the latter you see it in the past tense too, as you're more likely to see it in Gill's Charlton scripts.

Rick Davis in Spy Thrillers—Written by Joe Gill

Nov/54 #1  The Double Identities
The Purple Pyramid
The Eyes of Death [MISC SPY]
The Ticking Death
Jan/55 #2  The Whirl of Death
The Unseen Killers
Incident [MISC SPY]
The Telltale Machines
Mar/     #3  Safari of Death
The Moon Rocket
Oil! [MISC SPY]
The Hatchet Man
May/     #4  The China Doll
The Tiger's Claws
The Deadly Dutch Plates

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

A One-Shot Wonder at Dell Penciling The Music Man

This penciler did only one comic for Dell: the Movie Classic The Music Man (January 1963). His style is rather overwhelmed under the inking, so IDing him calls for the thought experiment of unseeing the inks. It might be easier to imagine someone else's inks here. Try John Forte's; he inked Curt Swan to good effect on a number of Superman family stories at DC.


And, yes, on pretty much every other John Forte penciling job that I can think of he inked himself. But here we are. I don't know if this is a tag team of a couple of inkers or just one getting more rushed as the pages pile up, but by the later pages the inking doesn't look much like it does on these two. Those later pages in particular make me think of Frank McLaughlin as a possible suspect.
And the writer is unknown. It may just be because I'm so familiar with the movie of The Music Man, but this strikes me as the one Movie Classic that uses just as much as possible from the movie script verbatim (apart from necessarily condensing and bridging). The other Dell movie adaptations of the period, by Ken Fitch, Don Segall, and yet more unknowns, take a freer hand with the source material.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Candy to Felix to Tippy

I've posted some of Jack Mendelsohn's Tippy Teen scripts at Tower recycled from his own Candy ones at Quality. A closer look at his Felix the Cat work at Dell showed me some of those were recycled from Quality—not only Candy but the funny animals. Then I saw that he redid some Felixes for Tippy and her friend Go-Go. (Let me repeat that, from the style, he scripted all these stories—he didn't plagiarize anyone else's.)

A Venn diagram would overlap with one story used at all three publishers:

Candy 44, Felix 3, Go-Go 7 ice cream story

Jack Mendelsohn Felix the Cat
scripts reworked from his Quality ones


Apr-June/63 Frozen Assets
    from "Asleep in the Deep-Freeze"
     CANDY 44 (Nov/53)
July-Sep/     The Vicious Cycle

    from "Nervous Repair Service"

      BUSTER BEAR 6 (Oct/55)

Tale of a Fish

    from "Fish Story"

      MARMADUKE MOUSE 48 (Sep/54)

A Sample Assignment

    from "Buster Gets the Goods"

      BUSTER BEAR 6 (Oct/55)

reworked from Felix in Tippy Teen

Apr/67 12  Beaux & Arrows

    from "Beaux and Arrows"

      FELIX 2 (Jan-Mar/63)
Oct/     16  Foul Weather Friends

    from "Fair Weather Enemies"

      FELIX 3 (Apr-June/63)

in Go-Go and Animal

Dec/ 67 The Ice-Cream Man Cometh
    from "Asleep in the Deep-Freeze"
      CANDY 44 (Nov/53)

    via "Frozen Assets"

      FELIX 3 (Apr-June/63)

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Phil Evans on the Flying A

On most other features that the Who's Who lists Phil Evans as writing at Western/Dell, his scripts appear much more frequently than on Gene Autry--to the point that sheer guesswork as to his scripts on the Grand Comics Database gives a correct credit a number of times. On Autry's long-running book, though, there are just a handful of Evans credits. Likewise he wrote only one story for the TV title The Flying A's Range Rider--fitting in here inasmuch the Flying A is Gene Autry's production company, named for his ranch.

This partial page from "Gene Autry and the Ghost Prison" sets off Evans alarm twice: his putting a comma after "Haw" and "Huh" instead of an exclamation point. "Wal," of course, is more likely to take a comma to begin with, and you will find it in Autry scripts by other hands.
Gene Autry 45

Written by Phil Evans:
Gene Autry


Sep/50 43  GA and Owlhoots of Deadwood Mesa
Nov/     45  GA and the Ghost Prison
Dec/52  70  GA and the Combination
Mar/53  73  The Wrong Hireling
Apr/      74  Treetop Trickery
Murder Map
May/54  87  GA and the Haunted Spiderweb

Misc. Western Gene Autry back-up


Mar/53  73  Ghost Town Girl

Range Rider in Four Color


Apr/52  404  RR and the Monster of the Desert