Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Woolfolk Records 1947/11

Master Comics 92 cover

Fawcett and Quality are William Woolfolk's known publishers for this month. I don't know who bought the two true-crime stories that he left undescribed in his records; they were paid at two different page rates.

Possibly last month the editors asked Woolfolk for an 11-page Kid Eternity script for Hit Comics, then found they had greater need of a 14-pager when a Kid Eternity issue's deadline loomed.

My Tom Mix ID is purely a guess; this is the closest-matching title in the timeframe of the other Fawcett stories here. I had to get the title from an Ebay auction; if there's an index of Tom Mix Western, I can't find it. The Ebay auction didn't mention the page count.

November 1947 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

9 pg Captain Marvel Jr.space slavers
"The Space Slavers" Master 92, June/48
Captain Marvel goes blind
"CM's Blindness" Marvel Family 24, June/48
Kid Eternity(added to 11 pg story)
14 "The Hole in the Sky" KE 10, July/48
Captain Marvel Jr.the name of death
"The Name of Death" MF 24, June/48
15 Plastic Manthe man who could walk thru walls
"Penetro, Master of Solids" Police 80, July/48
Captain Marvelthe next step in man's evolution
"CM and the Men of Destiny" CM Advs 86, July/48
Ibisdescent into the Maelstrom
"The Descent into the Maelstrom" Whiz 99, July/48
True Crime[publication unknown]
11 Doll Manthe aerial hearse
"The Doll Man Meets His Deadly Enemy, the Undertaker" Feature 125, Aug/48
13 True Crime[publication unknown]
Captain Marvelthe rumor that wouldn't stop
"The Rumor That Wouldn't Stop" CM Advs 86, July/48
Tom Mixthe idol of outlaws
?? "Mistaken Identity" TM Western 7, July/48
15 Plastic Mangorilla becomes a genius
"Gargantua, the Phi Beta Gorilla" Police 81, Aug/48
Marvel Familyon trial in fake criminal court
"The MF on Trial" MF 25, July/48


  1. Martin, I have noticed that nowhere on Jerry Bails' "Who's Who" website is Woolfolk credited with writing Marvel Family. Such an oversight suggests that even Bails wasn't infallible. (In fact, Manly Wade Wellman is also NOT credited there as writing Marvel Family, yet I am sure I read in a 1970s issue of Shazam! - and maybe Steranko as well - that he wrote a huge number of Captain Marvel and family stories for Fawcett.)

    I'm looking forward to seeing (hopefully) the complete listing of Woolfolk's National/DC work.

  2. As one of the senior editors of the Who's Who - the "Who's Who" was never stated to be infallible - indeed Jerry would be shocked at such an idea. Listings are from 1) printed credits in comics 2) data sheets from creators 3) interviews with creators 4) artist (and some writer) IDs from experts. We were always finding new creators, who may have written a handful of stories in the golden age - and there are no doubt 100s+ still unknown. The Who's Who does list Wellman as writing Captain Marvel - but he was gone from Fawcett by early 1942. Wellman didn't make any list of what comics he wrote, and only a few text stories are signed (with a pen name), so we had to rely on his memory of what comics he wrote. He had no recall of writing other Marvel family stories other than Captain Marvel or how many he wrote.

  3. Lee, as another Who's Who editor for a time, I'll back up SangorShop--it was very much a project that could never expect to be finished. (Jerry had to create his own database program in the late 80s to move all the data collected to that point from paper to computer; there weren't yet any commercial ones that would cross-index and so on at the level he needed.) All the credits of comtemporary creators were going into the database as well; talk about a Niagara of information!

    I'm pretty sure that, like Wellman and many many others, William Woolfolk relied on his memory, rather than (in his case) the notebook he'd put away a few years earlier when he listed his credits for Jerry Bails. So Tom Mix and Moon Girl and others were left out, as well as the Marvel Family.

  4. My comments were never intended as a criticism of Jerry Bails and the tremendous effort he and his research team put into the "Who's Who" (which is a great and invaluable resource), but as statement that even the most comprehensive, conscientious, and scholarly reference tool (and its compilers) is only as good as its sources and interviewees, and the fact that a discovery of a document such as Woolfolk's records will often add to, and in some cases supercede previously held knowledge.

    I have the highest regard for Jerry Bails' and his colleagues monumental work, and my use of the words "not infallible" was never intended as a slight, though perhaps my use of English could have been better.

    If I may get off topic for a moment, I remember reading a letter by Manly Wade Wellman in an early issue of Shazam! that made some allusion to his comics-writing career, though I don't recall any details. I must dig it up and reread it some time; I don't know that it adds anything startling to current knowledge (or anything at all, really), but it may be of interest to some.

  5. Your mention of Wellman again, Lee, led me around the Internet to the story of his putting his name into the first story of Captain Marvel Adventures 1, and sure enough, the first letters of the first balloons on the first three pages spell out MANLY MADE TELLMAH--evidently the editors rewrote the dialog in places.

  6. Wellman also recalled some of the stories in Military Comics #33 - specially the Blackhawk and the Private Dogtag, and he probably did wrote those. He thought he might have written the whole issue - which it doesn't look like he did. He denied writing a Spirit story that featured some of his most famous creations! Julius Schwartz says that Wellman created the Phantom Stranger. Murphy Anderson recalls Wellman actually writing the stories (he said he was a big fan of Wellman's Weird Tales work, so was thrilled to draw his stories). Experts see Broome as writing the stories. (Hey Martin, what about you?)

  7. I have to admit that a little while ago I tried finding Wellman in the earliest Fawcett and MLJ books, where he's presumably the sole or main writer on short-loved strips like Lee Granger, but the style on every feature is so close to prose--the long descriptive captions--that I couldn't see much difference among them. I hope CMA 1 (and those Miltary 33 stories) will give me a better handle on his style, to apply to the Phantom Stranger at some point.