Friday, February 10, 2012

Not Really Comics: Ben Casey Film Stories

Ben Casey Film Stories cover: 'Tense hospital drama direct from the original TV film'

Here's a curiosity. While Dell was publishing the Ben Casey comic books, Gold Key published a tie-in, in comic book dimensions, that wasn't in comic book format. It adapted a couple of the TV episodes in prose, with photos, and although in a panel-style layout, it wasn't fumetti; it used no captions or dialog balloons. In black and white, at 36 pages including covers (each story was 16 pages), it cost 35 cents when the same-size Gold Key comics that month were 12 cents.

To quote the inside front cover: "These authentic picture stories have been created directly from BEN CASEY television films. They bring to life in a dramatic new form all the famous personalities, thrilling action, and suspense of the original stories. The following pages offer an unusual visual experience and exciting adventure in reading entertainment."

That same month Gold Key advertised the Gunsmoke Film Story but didn't publish it, as far as I can see.

I get the Newman credit from the Who's Who, which lists him as writing Ben Casey for Western, not Dell, in 1962. If he wrote Ben Casey, this is it. Note that since there are two stories, the title is not Ben Casey Film Story, singular, as Overstreet and the CGD have had it.

Ben Casey Film Stories—Written by Paul S. Newman
Nov/62#1 Operation Tycoonphotos

Thirty Days to Livephotos
Ben Casey Film Stories panels in photos and prose

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