Tuesday, February 26, 2013
That Strange Feeling That You've Been Here Before
Some of the notable examples of comic book features recycling stories are in The Spirit, the Superman family, and the Marvel western and weird titles. That's not even counting writers redoing stories they did at other companies; I can think of a Jack Oleck story appearing at EC, Harvey, Prize, and DC. The rewrites I speak of are ones instigated by the editors; as Mort Weisinger is supposed to have rationalized it, there's a new audience of kids every five years.
This pair of stories at Charlton—"The Black Cat" in Unusual Tales 41 (Sept/63) and "The Golden Horse" in Strange Suspense Stories 73 (Jan/65)—came out only a year and a third apart; I don't see the editors not being in on it. The same artist, Rocco Mastroserio, drew both. If there's anything not by the original writer, Joe Gill, in the rewrite, I can't see it. Panel for panel this is the same story, rewritten to fit a different historical period. In both versions a statuette falls and shatters, but in the second it's made of gold, a flubbed detail that shows the speed with which Charton work was done; Gill later told that he couldn't afford to do second drafts at the page rates.