Tuesday, March 24, 2020

A Go-Go Signature Check

For issue #2 of Charlton's mod humor comic Go-Go, the Grand Comics Database gives the writer of the Rotting Stmups and Return to Peculiar Place stories as "Craig Tennis? [as Tennis] (signed)." Which is fine as far as it goes, but the signatures are longer than "Tennis." The Rotting Stumps story is signed "Tennis Senoj" and the Return to Peculiar Place one is signed "Tennis Scarones."

Inasmuch as the only other Craig Tennis credits I know of are on the 1966 graphic novels Christopher Lee's Treasury of Terror (Pyramid) and Dracula (Ballantine), I figured "Senoj" in the first signature and in the "ones" part of the second is the packager of the two books, writer-artist Russ Jones. The third signature here is from DC's Mystery in Space 108 (June/66).

Go-Go 2 page and Russ Jones signatures

I can't see Jones' pencils in these Go-Go stories, so I'd credit him here as a inker. I was going to say co-writer--I would have thought the art on these two stories is completely Henry Scarpelli, the "Scar" part of the second signature although left out of the first. But then I asked myself how the writer would get hold of the art to sign it.

Of the four Scarpelli stories in #1 and 2, there seems to be someone else's pencilling in places at least on the Rotting Stumps story in #1--most notably the faces of the girls in the crowd scenes.

I'm not seeing D. J. Arneson's writing on these early issues. Note that #2's Miss Bikini Luv story is in the past tense, which is not the case in Arneson's stories as "Norm DiPluhm" in the later issues.

New attributions on Charlton's Go-Go #1-2
(underlined = signed)

June/66 The Rotting Stumps p: Henry Scarpelli, and another?

i: Scarpelli
Miss Bikini Luv w: ? (not D. J. Arneson)
Return to Peculiar Place w: ? (not Arneson)

a: Scarpelli
Aug/     The Rotting Stumps w: Craig Tennis

p: Scarpelli  i: Russ Jones
Miss Bikini Luv w: ? (not Arneson)
Return to Peculiar Place w: Tennis

p: Scarpelli  i: Jones

Friday, February 28, 2020

Spy Fighter Written by (Mostly) Robert Bernstein

Spy Fighters 1 'Eaaaa'

Clark Mason, Spy Fighter is a feature at Atlas written, all but two stories, by Robert Bernstein, including the origin in issue 1, "The Snake of Saigon," as seen here (art by George Tuska). The "Eaaaa" was my signal to look for other Bernstein mannerisms among the stories. Remember that he was writing Black Rider for Atlas at the time; there he actually got a number of credit lines thanks to artist Jay Scott Pike.

I can ID a few of the backup stories, ones written by main feature writers Bernstein or Hank Chapman. The one art ID I'll put forth is a story by the "Dinosaur Island" Batman artist, Paul Cooper.

Jumping on the war magazine bandwagon for a while, Clark Mason is in uniform as an Army lieutenant and then a captain, in combat in Korea in #9 through #13.

Clark Mason writers in Spy Fighters

Mar/51–Jul/52 1-9  (all Clark Mason stories) Robert Bernstein
Sep/52 10  P-38 Bernstein
The Vision Hank Chapman
Suicide Flight Bernstein
Nov/     11  (all Clark Mason stories) Bernstein
Jan/53  12  The Silent Death Bernstein
The Strange Enemy Chapman
   Captured! Bernstein
Mar/–Jul/53 13-15 (all Clark Mason stories) Bernstein

Backup stories in Spy Fighters

Sep/51 Deadliest of the Species pencils: Paul Cooper
Nov/     Arsenal for R-Day wr: Bernstein
Mar/52 The Tower of Terror wr: Bernstein
Sep/     10  Secret Weapon wr: Bernstein
Nov/     11  The Destroyer wr: Bernstein
Jan/53  12  The Human Target wr: Chapman

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Morrow After Kirby

Having looked through the Perry Rhodan covers earlier, I didn't make this connection until I was rereading Fantastic Four from the beginning. This Jack Kirby panel is from FF 66 (Sept/67), the first half of the Citadel of Science story that culminated in the revealing of Him. Notice what Gray Morrow used and didn't use in the 1973 A World Gone Mad painting--he incorporated the technician into a shape in the tech.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Oleck and Davis: The Gunsmoke Kid #1 That Never Was

Wyatt Earp 25 Gunsmoke Kid Origin
I would think that the Gunsmoke Kid was meant to be an ongoing series like the Kid from Dodge City and the Kid from Texas. Those two had their own 1957 titles that lasted all of two issues apiece; the Gunsmoke Kid didn't even make it as far as a number one issue before the Atlas Implosion struck. His four stories were printed out of inventory two years later in three of the post-Timely, pre-Marvel company's surviving Western titles.

As I was looking through Gunsmoke Western the last time, only one Jack Oleck backup story jumped out at me, but as I was going through Wyatt Earp I did notice his style on the Gunsmoke Kid story, and a closer look at the others showed he'd written all four. These tiers from the origin in WE 25 give us captions with the typical Oleck narration reflecting as much as reporting on past events.

Although Oleck left Atlas as of the Implosion, Davis would return a few times; as it happens, the cover to Gunsmoke Western 54 is a new Kid Colt/Wyatt Earp one by him.

Gunsmoke Kid
Written by Jack Oleck, art by Jack Davis
in Gunsmoke Western

Sep/59 54  When Gunslingers Meet
Nov/     55  Hired Gun

in Wyatt Earp

Oct/59 25  [Origin of the Gunsmoke Kid]

in Kid Colt

Nov/59 87  Secret Weapon

Saturday, December 28, 2019

The Artist on Gold Key's Wally

I had no idea who did the art on Gold Key's teen title Wally (#1, Dec/62–#4, Sep/63). I wondered if I'd seen it on a syndicated strip like Penny, but that one didn't match up.

Some time later I saw the same artist's work on a couple of fillers in Standard's Kathy--but that still didn't give me a name. And some time after that I found it again, in more of those fillers, on Standard's Intimate Love 25 (Nov/53). Here, however, James Vadeboncoeur, Jr., had already IDed the artist: Paul Robinson.

Robinson did do a sydicated strip--Etta Kett--for almost half a century: from 1925 to 1974. The day's strip here is from 1966. On the four issues of Wally he drew the Wally stories, backup Yvette stories, covers, and text headers; this tier is from "Ballots and Belles" in #2.

Are there any assistants involved? I don't know. The Wally writer is hardly likely to be John Stanley as the GCD guesses; he was pretty busy over at Dell at the time. UPDATE: Jake Oster has told me that in an Alter Ego interview Herb Rogoff recalled writing Wally for editor Wally Green.

These are Robinson's fillers in that issue of Kathy at Standard:

June/53 15  How's About That!! Starring Beezey!!
Justeen and Bucky

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Gunsmoke Western's Antedi-Lee-vian Kid Colt Writer

Gunsmoke Western 39

In an interview where Joe Gill was describing how he wrote at such a sustained pace, his example was not any one of the many Charlton characters but Kid Colt at Timely/Atlas. One sign of his scripting is "This was [situation]," as here on the splash of "No Place to Turn," as well as the splash caption of "The Gunhawks of Terror Street" and the first caption after the splash in "Showdown Street."

The Atlas Implosion occurred after Gunsmoke Western #42. There were enough Kid Colt stories on hand to lead off two more issues when the title returned, and then Stan Lee took up writing (and signing) the Gunsmoke Western Kid Colt stories.

#32 is the first issue, as the title takes over Black Rider's numbering. On the Kid's own magazine and the many other anthology titles he also starred in at the time, Gill started writing the character in 1954. (UPDATE: see the comments--I had a non-Kid Colt story down for #37 but have fixed that mistake.]

Joe Gill's Kid Colt scripts in
Gunsmoke Western

Dec/55 32  The Plunderers
Feb/56 33  Never Say Die
Apr/     34  Badman's Bluff
Jun/     35  Date with Destiny
Aug/     36  Clean-Up in Buckhorn
Oct/     37  Double-Cross Trail
Dec/     38  The Phantom of Caribou Flats
Jan/57 39  No Place to Turn
Apr/     40  Showdown Street
Jun/     41  Two Guns for Freedom
Aug/     42  The Gunhawks of Terror Street
Nov/     43  Trail to Tombstone
Jan/58  44  Gunhawk's Mecca

As a bonus: this is the only Jack Oleck script that jumps out at me in the entire run of Gunsmoke Western. With so many anthology titles cancelled in the Implosion, it took a while to fit in the non-series stories from a suddenly huge inventory.

Jack Oleck's backup script in
Gunsmoke Western

Jan/59 50  The Stranger from Red River

Friday, November 15, 2019

Jetta by Dan DeCarlo--But Not Exclusively

Dan DeCarlo started out Standard's Jetta but did not do the entire three-issue run. "What a Specimen" is indisputably DeCarlo--down to the dog--but "Pardon My Power (the bottom tier here) is just as indisputably not. The girl in the foreground in the second panel sure looks like a Joe Edwards one to me.

I think the inker on most of the Jetta stories and covers is Rudy Lapick, which would help explain the different pencillers' work being taken for that of one; Lapick and DeCarlo have a Leroy story signed together at Standard in Roger Dodger #5 (Aug/52).

Fred Eng signed the Zoomer back-up in #5. His inking credits on #4 are from the Grand Comiucs Database.

I picked out the writing style of Joe Archibald--at this point Standard's editor--on Supermouse, comparing it with his signed work a decade earlier at Ace; when I'm sure of more of his stories for the Mouse of Might I'll start posting those. The ones I've given question marks here are not 100% certainties but fairly good possibilities.


Dec.52 [cover] p: Dan DeCarlo
Man Trouble w: Joe Archibald  p: DeCarlo

Jet Jaunt w: Archibald? p: DeCarlo

Frat Race [ZOOMER] a: Fred Eng
My Cosmic Hero w: Archibald  p: DeCarlo
 Feb/53 [cover] p: DeCarlo
What a Specimen w: Archibald  p: DeCarlo

Music from Afar w: Archibald?  p: not DeCarlo  i: Eng
Time Out for Trouble [ZOOMER] w: Archibald  p: not DeCarlo  i: Eng
Pardon My Power w: Archibald  p: Joe Edwards
Apr/   [cover] p: DeCarlo
Act Your Age! w: Archibald  p: Edwards?
Double Trouble [ZOOMER] w: Archibald? a: Eng?
Atom and Evil w: ? p: same as "Music" in #6  
Celestial Celebrity w: Archibald?  p: Edwards