Monday, December 26, 2011

Tower's Peanut Butter Story Writer

In The Comic Reader 198 (Jan/82), Mike Tiefenbacher says that Ralph Reese "definitely wrote the famous 'peanut butter' Dynamo story ('Bad Day for Leonard Brown')." In Comic Interview 133 (1994), Dan Adkins mentions to Lou Mougin a "story about peanut butter or something" as being written by Reese. The Tower Comics checklist in Comic Book Artist 14 (Jan/01) credits the "Bad Day for Leonard Brown" script in Dynamo 3 to Reese.

The only problem is that the story in which Dynamo is buried in peanut butter (at a PB factory) is "Once upon a Time..."—the Weed story in Dynamo 4, drawn by Steve Ditko and Wally Wood (Chic Stone drew "Bad Day").

Dynamo 4 'Once upon a Time...'panels: Dynamo 'trapped by a ton of molten peanut butter'

I had to work pretty much from scratch at identifying Ralph Reese's writing style, since I didn't know which of those two to start from; but then finding a couple of Marvel stories crediting him as writer/artist helped. (With "fooey," "h'lo," and "woops" among the expressions tying together a group of Tower stories, I found "woops" in one of Reese's Marvel stories.) The peanut butter/bad day problem solved itself when I saw that he wrote both stories, among more than twenty at Tower.

Stories in Dynamo Written by Ralph Reese

Aug/66#1 A Day in the Life of DynamoDynamo
Oct/66#2 The Priceless CounterfeitDynamo
Mar/67#3 Bad Day for Leonard BrownDynamo
The Feats of SamsonDynamo
Honeymoon or High Noon?Dynamo
Weed vs. THUNDERWeed
June/67#4 The Secret Word Is...Dynamo
Dynamo's Day OffDynamo
The Weakest Man in the WorldDynamo
Once upon a Time...Weed

Stories in THUNDER Agents Written by Reese

Oct/66#9 Corporal Dynamo, U.S.A.Dynamo
Nov/66#10 Operation ArmageddonDynamo
June/67#13 The Black HelmetTHUNDER Agents
Sept/67#15 Hail to the ChiefDynamo
Dig We MustWeed
Oct/67#16 Dream of DoomDynamo
The End of the THUNDER Agents?THUNDER Agents
Dec/67#17 Return of the HyenaDynamo
Weed Out WestWeed
Put Them All Together, They Spell SPIDERDynamo
Sept/68#18 Dynamo and the Amazing Mr. MekDynamo
Secret of the Abominable SnowmenDynamo
Nov/68#19 Half an Hour of PowerDynamo
All-Girl GangDynamo

These are not necessarily every story Ralph Reese wrote for Tower; I'm still looking at a few in 1966 that I haven't yet convinced myself on. ("Corporal Dynamo" and "Operation Armageddon" just squeaked onto this list; "The Hyena" in Dynamo 2 didn't.)

Reese uses the names of Wood assistants Battersby, Brand, Coleman, Pearson, and Reese for some walk-on characters.


  1. Kind of fitting that the infamous Weed peanut butter story should be one of Reese's pieces.