Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dale Evans Writer: Joe Millard

That Joe Millard was the first writer on Sierra Smith back-ups in Dale Evans (see previous post) leads to the fact that he was the first writer on Dale Evans herself. Some quirks shared among the Dale stories and the Sierra story in #1 are "Ulp," "Owoooff," and "Eeeow." "Ub-blub" or a variation is used in both strips (as well as many at Quality)—as shown here from the Sierra story in Dale Evans 7 and her own story, the first  in Dale 4. (I included part of the next panel in the Dale Evans story to show Dale herself, although in long shot and from the back, in the crane cab.) Alex Toth art on Sierra and Jay McArdle art on Dale.

Sierra Smith dialog: 'Ub-blub-gurgle-glug!'; Dale Evans dialog: 'Ub-blub!'

A few decades after Dale Evans Comics was published, Ryerson Johnson recalled that he had written the strip, and thought that he had written the first appearance of the character Uncle Six. But the wheelchair-riding retired sheriff appears in the first story in the first issue, written in Joe Millard's style.

I had thought that the stories identified below with a question mark were Johnson's; they all seemed to match up with the style in some Wyoming Kid stories, another series he worked on. But in Robin Snyder's History of Comics, (Aug/90), the bibiography of Phil Evans' comics work shows stories (no title given) in Dale Evans 8 and 9.

Paul Talbot, in a letter to Grand Comics Database co-founder Bob Klein, recalled writing Dale Evans as well; there does seem to be at least one more writer alongside "?" after Millard leaves. I hope to sort this out in the future!

The comic lasted until #24 (July-Aug/52).

Dale Evans written by Millard and others

S-O/48#1 Secret of Ghost Town GreedMillard
'Readin', Robbin' and Six-Gun 'RithmeticMillard
The Spirit of Annie OakleyMillard
N-D/    #2 Roughneck RomeosMillard
The Evil Eye of Eagle EyeMillard
The Rodeo RatMillard
J-F/49#3 Diamonds Ain't HayMillard
The Two-Ton Crime WaveMillard
The River of Never-ReturnMillard
M-A/    #4 Phantom of Cactus CanyonMillard
Mere Slip of the GunMillard
A Dead Man's LifeMillard
M-J/    #5 The Thin Air DisappearancesMillard
Those Deadly DreamsMillard
Dale Evans of the Pony ExpressMillard
J-A/    #6 The Horse-Thief Catcher Millard
The Alibi Bullet ?
Riot at Roughhouse Rancho Millard
S-O/    #7 The Belles of Buffalo Wallow?
City of Dreadful Dust Millard
Canyon of DisasterMillard
N-D/    #8 Gobblers and Gold DustMillard
The East Goes West?
Oil Is Where You Find It?
J-F/50#9 The Ship of the Desert?
On the Merry-Go-Round?
The Money Tree?
M-A/    #10 Dale Evans...Mining Engineer?
The Senator Goes West ?
The Prince of BangistanMillard
M-J/    #11 Talent Scout for Danger ?
Bullets and Balloons?
The Snow Broncos of Pride Mountain?
J-A/    #12 The Horse That Forgot to Remember?
The State Fair FraudMillard
Fancy Footwork Millard

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sierra Smith Writer: Joe Millard

Joe Millard was credited with the first Sierra Smith story's script in the reprint in Detective 418 (Dec/71). The style matches up with stories at Fawcett and Quality, most notably the latter company's detective strips like Ken Shannon and T-Man. Pictured are the use of "Ooooo" in both Sierra Smith in Dale Evans 3 and Ken Shannon in Police 104 (Feb/51), and "gumfoot" (for gumshoe) in Sierra in Dale 5 and T-Man in Police 104. Other Millard quirks in the series are "Ulp" in almost every story, "Eeeahh," and "Owoooff."

Sierra Smith and Ken Shannon panels: 'Ooooo, my head' and 'Ooooo, I give up'

Coincidentally or not, Alex Toth left Sierra Smith at the same time as Millard; the strip continued (under others including artist Al Ulmer) for the run of the comic, missing #20 and the final issue, #24, as the page count dropped. The Detective reprint credits Frank Giacoia as inker on the first Sierra; some more Sierra stories signed solely by Toth may be inked by others as well.

Sierra Smith and T-Man panels: 'gum-foot'and 'gumfoot'

Although this list merely confirms guesses at the authorship of the Sierra Smith series beyond the first story, it leads into my next post on another Joe Millard series.

Sierra Smith, Western Detective in Dale Evans Comics
written by Joe Millard, pencilled by Alex Toth

S-O/48#1 The Case of the Terrified Tenderfoot
N-D/    #2 The Case of the Battered Balloonist
J-F/49#3 The Case of the Perfumed Plunder
M-A/    #4 The Case of the Outlawed Outlaw
M-J/    #5 The Case of the Forgotten Stagecoach
J-A/    #6 Case of the Colossal Fossil
S-O/    #7 Case of the Teetering Tower
N-D/    #8 The Case of the Five-Cent Fortune
J-F/50#9 The Case of the Haunted Horse
M-A/    #10 The Case of the Oily Worm
M-J/    #11 The Case of the Furious Fiddler

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Gil Kane and a Tiny Titan--1948

Doll Man 19 page: The Noose, henchmen, fake Darrel Dane, Doll Man

I'm told it's not news that Gil Kane drew Doll Man, over a decade before he drew the Atom. But I'll say, as I've said about others in earlier posts, that I haven't seen his credit on the Internet for a particular story, in this case "The Noose" in Doll Man 19 (Nov/48). The scripter is William Woolfolk.

In articles about the creation of the Atom, I've seen Doll Man mentioned as an inspiration, but the interviews I've seen haven't mentioned that Kane once drew the character. (So far I haven't run across a second time.)

It looks like the Doll Man figures have been heavily inked or even redrawn to bring them more closely into line with the Quality house style. Think of Jack Kirby's Superman and Olsen faces "corrected" by publisher's decree in his first issues of Jimmy Olsen; Kirby is still credited as penciller. The above page is where Kane's work shows through on most of the figures; on other pages Doll Man is not the only one unrecognizable as being by Kane. The Noose himself is almost always very obviously Kane's.

DM 19 panel: Doll Man and The Noose

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Writers: Batman 151-163

This is the Batman run that ends when the New Look takes over in #164.

One difference between Bill Finger and Dave Wood in a number of their scripts is that Finger calls Batman the caped crime-fighter and Wood calls him the cowled crime-fighter. Another is that Finger does not use "Great gosh" or "Great grief" as Wood does.

The art on these stories is by Sheldon Moldoff and Charles Paris, with one exception: Moldoff inks himself on "Bat-Girl—Batwoman II" in #163 (one of Alfred's imaginary stories of the future).

Batman 163 panels: grown Dick Grayson, then entire future Batman family; pencils and inks by Moldoff

Batman 151-163 Writers

Nov/62151 Batman's New Secret IdentityBill Finger
The Mystery Gadget from the StarsJerry Coleman
Dec/    152 Formula for DoomFinger
The False Face SocietyFinger
Memorial to an AstronautFinger
Feb/63153 Prisoners of Three WorldsFinger
Mar/    154 Danger Strikes FourFinger
The Amazing Odyssey of Batman and RobinFinger
The Strange Experiment of Dr. DornFinger
May/    155 Batman's Psychic TwinDave Wood
The Return of the PenguinFinger
June/    156 The Secret of the Ant-ManFinger
Robin Dies at DawnFinger
Aug/    157 The Villain of the YearWood
The Hunt for Batman's Secret IdentityFinger
Sept/    158 Ace—the Super Bat-HoundWood
Secret of the Impossible PerilsFinger
Batman and Robin—ImpostorsWood
Nov/    159 The Great Clayface-Joker FeudFinger
The Boyhood of Bruce Wayne, Jr.Finger
Dec/    160 The Mystery of Madcap IslandFinger
The Alien Boss of Gotham CityWood
Feb/64161 The New Crimes of the Mad HatterWood
The Bat-Mite HeroWood
Mar/    162 The Batman CreatureWood
Robin's New Secret IdentityWood
May/    163 Bat-Girl—Batwoman IIFinger
The Joker JuryFinger

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Trapani Ghost: Can You See Who?

El Dorado close-up of John Wayne

It looks like this has been a question mark for 45 years (if not, the attribution hasn't gotten onto the Internet): the penciller under Sal Trapani's inks on Dell's Movie Classic of the John Wayne Western, El Dorado (Oct/67).

El Dorado sequence

Trapani's inks are pretty overwhelming on most of the book; I think it helps to narrow things down to a few panels and sequences, ones where the penciller's style shows through as best it can.

El Dorado panels

This is not Steve Ditko, Dick Giordano, Charles Nicholas, Bill Molno, Jack Keller, Wayne Howard, or Jack Abel.

El Dorado sequence

I've left this penciller's name on the comment screen so you can guess the artist with a fresh eye and without the influence of glimpsing my ID.

El Dorado panels with sound effects