Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Kirby Insanity

Simon & Kirby swept in and out of Charlton in 1955 with a handful of comics—some out of inventory from Prize, but some original. With From Here to Insanity Jack Kirby took over an established title for its final issue as a four-color comic.

From Here to Insanity 11 'Old Love'splash by Bill Draut
 
On Black Magic, earlier, Bill Draut's art doesn't let much of Kirby's putative layouts show through, but on this story (above) it does—even more so on later pages.

"Dorothy and Digby" is left over from the previous issue's staff. Fred Ottenheimer did "Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch House" and "Cristofer Clumsiness" in #10 as well as stories in earlier issues. He initialed the splash page detailed below.

Dorothy and Digby splash initials 'F.O.'
 
The Kirby-pencilled features in this issue where I don't see enough to identify the writer are the one-pagers. If they're not by Kirby, though, I'd be surprised. He drew the cover, too. Unindexed here: the inside front cover uses mostly found art; the text 2-pager is one whose writer I can't ID. Inkers on the Kirby pencils? I can't tell. The inker on "Rex Mortgage" tries to bring something of the comic strip's look to the faces; the inker on "Tweetie Piper" and "90-Pound Weakling" just about obliterates Kirby's pencils.

From Here to Insanity—the S&K issue


Aug/55 11  Old Love w, layouts: Jack Kirby  a: Bill Draut
    Expressions... w: ?  p: Kirby
    Line 'Em Up w, p: Kirby
    The Psycho News w: ?  p: Kirby
    Dorothy and Digby w: ?  a: Fred Ottenheimer
    Rex Mortgage M.D.? w, p: Kirby

  Walt Chisely's 20,000 Lugs under the Sea w, p: Kirby
    Build It Yourself w, p: Kirby
    Comet Feldmeyer, the Ace of Space w, p: Kirby
    Foreign Intrigues w, p: Kirby
    Tweetie Piper w: ?  p: Kirby
    Be a Successful 90-Pound Weakling w: ?  p: Kirby

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Woolfolk Records 1948/10

Marvel Family 36 cover
 
As with September 1948, I reconstructed the notebook page. Some hard-to-decipher words I figured out by working back from the stories in William Woolfolk's style that I found in the appropriate months, but I haven't seen the Monte Hales of this period. The next installment of Woolfolk's records will be January 1950.

Orbit, Quality, and Fawcett are the publishers. This is Kid Eternity's final issue of Hit; he'll be replaced by Mississippi steamboat captain Jeb Rivers (by other hands). The Golden Age of superheroes is losing steam...

UPDATE: Until Wanted 19 became available as a scan, the known story that seemed to fit this first one's description was "The Strange Case of Mortimer Dollard," the lead in issue 20. He may well have written that one too, of course—next month.

October 1948 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

12 pg  True Crime businessman bandit
    "Business Man Bandit" Wanted 19, May/49
11  Doll Man contest for minstrels
    "The Minstrel's Ballad of Mayhem" Feature 138, Sep/49
Captain Marvel meets Trouble
  "Never Trouble Trouble" CM Advs 96, May/49
Captain Marvel Jr. gravity stops
    "The Day Gravity Stopped" CMJ 73, May/49
Monte Hale river island that ceases to be _____
    MH Western or Western Hero c. May or June/49
13  Kid Eternity The Mummy, a pharaoh's curse
    "The Mummy" Hit 60, Sept/49
Ibis a gambling house where souls are the stakes
    "His Greatest Gamble" Whiz 110, June/49
Monte Hale meets the _____
    MH Western or Western Hero c. May or June/49
15  Bad Man's Land
  as Wild Bill Pecos "Bad Man's Land" The Westerner 20, Apr/49
15  Plastic Man man who can split up like an amoeba
    "Twinning Terror" Police 93, Aug/49
21  Marvel Family invaders from infinity
    "The Invaders from Infinity" MF 36, June/49

Thursday, January 17, 2013

G.I. Combat 1-5

G.I. Combat began at Quality. Much later, after DC bought the title, the WWII stories of the Haunted Tank headlined; but in 1952-3 this anthology presented nothing but contemporary Korean War stories.

I can identify the three writers by style but can name only one of them, Joe Millard. "Q" worked on Ken Shannon, T-Man, Blackhawk, Exploits of Daniel Boone, Robin Hood Tales, and Web of Evil—and wrote a couple of stories for Doll Man—from 1951 or '52 to Quality's demise at the end of 1956. "GIC A" I've so far found scripting only on this title. The first story here uses "damn" and "dammit" but that experiment in precode adult-aimed writing ends before the issue and the title get any older. UPDATE: "Q" is Robert Bernstein.

Indexers have reflexively named Chuck Cuidera as Reed Crandall's inker on most of his stories at Quality, no matter the actual style (or the reports of other inkers like Les Zakarin or Sam Burlockoff on some of his strips). In the case of the first G.I. Combat story, however, Crandall's inker is indeed Cuidera. Note the faces of the lieutenant in the top tier panels as examples of Crandall's pencils and the sergeant's face in the bottom tier's middle panel as most obviously Cuidera's inks.

G.I. Combat I first story page--Crandall pencils, Cuidera inks
 
My impression is that Pete Morisi and Sam Citron ink themselves on this title, but the difference between John Daly stories' inks at DC and Quality suggests he didn't ink himself at both. After the obscuring inks over Charles Nicholas's pencils in #1, the inking of his stories here is pretty consistent, and so although I've never seen his inks credited later at Charlton or DC, I'll venture that he does ink himself from #2 on.

The cover pencils are by Crandall: #1, 3-5, and Dick Dillin: #2.

G.I. Combat 1-5

Oct/52 Beyond the Call of Duty w: Robert Bernstein
        p: Reed Crandall
        i: Chuck Cuidera
    Killing Pitch w: "GIC A"  a: Pete Morisi
    The Runt Breaks Through w: Bernstein  p: Charles Nicholas
    Trumpet of Death w: "GIC A"  a: ?
Dec/     Operation Massacre w: Bernstein  p: John Daly
    Prison Camp Slaughter w: Bernstein  a: Morisi

  Behind Enemy Lines w: "GIC A"  a: ?

  The Human Fly on Heartbreak Hill w: "GIC A"  a: Nicholas
Feb/53 Havoc behind Red Lines w: Bernstein  p: Daly
    An Indestructible Marine w: "GIC A"  a: ?
    No Grandstand in Hell w: Joe Millard  p: Crandall
    Suicide Decoy w: Bernstein  a: Nicholas
Mar/     Bridge to Bloody Hell w: Millard  p: Dick Dillin
    Vengeance Raid w: Millard  a: Sam Citron
    The Lieutenant Attacks w: "GIC A"  a: ?
    One Man Army w: "GIC A"  p: Crandall
Apr/     Vindicated under Fire w: "GIC A"  p: Dillin
    Glamour Guys of Hell w: Bernstein  a: ?
    Hell Breaks Loose on Suicide Hill w: Millard  a: Citron
    Death of a Coward w: Bernstein  p: Crandall

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Woolfolk Records 1948/09

Westerner 19 cover
The records for November 1948 through December 1950 are unavailable; the available 100 months of William Woolfolk's records are about a hundred more than most Golden Age writers left. This month and next are ones I reconstructed, so there are a few words that escaped me. I had to backtrack on some; "Avernus" was just a squiggle until I read the Ibis story following last month's.

I can't find a Plastic Man story (at 15 pages it would have to be for Police, not Plastic Man) in Woolfolk's style in the appropriate timeframe, let alone one that fits what may be "crazy crimes."

"Blackhawk against Blackhawk" is in Woolfolk's style and published in a month you might expect. The villain's name in the published piece is Mung; his plot involves midget radios.

I could find the title of the Wild Bill Pecos story, as changed from Woolfolk's, but not its page count; his previous lead stories for The Westerner have been cut by a page or so. The Wanted story may have been published under another title.

Publishers: Quality, Orbit, and Fawcett.

September 1948 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

15 pg  Plastic Man the crazy ____
    Police
15  Custer's Last Stand
  as Wild Bill Pecos "Custer's Massacre" The Westerner 19, Mar/49
Lance O'Casey giant bandit birds
  "The Bandit Birds" Whiz 108, Apr/49
Captain Marvel the great polar ice cap
    "CM and the Great Polar Ice Cap" CM Advs 95, Apr/49
Monte Hale the men who died twice
    "The Men Who Died Twice" Western Hero 77, Apr/49
11  Blackhawk Major Morgue? & his midget _____
    "Blackhawk against Blackhawk" BH 25, June/49
Ibis Avernus entrance under desert
    "The Land of the Lost" Whiz 109, May/49
10  Man Who Couldn't Kill "The Man Who Couldn't Kill" Wanted 19, Mar/49
Wanted features [two 2-pagers] Wanted 19, Mar/49
Monte Hale installments from ____
    "Installment for Plunder" Western Hero 78, May/49
Captain Marvel the great balloon race
    "CM and the Big Balloon Race around the World" CM Advs 96, May/49

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Writer: Batman 131-140

I'll repeat the story editors gave of Bill Finger: he was forever cadging advances but had a real hard time producing scripts.

Oh, so? Not in these issues, he didn't.

On the art side, Sheldon Moldoff did almost as many stories in this run, spelled only on the pencils of stories 131/2 and 133/1, by Dick Sprang, and on the cover of 135 by Dick Dillin.

Batman 136 cover--'Challenge of the Joker'

This run begins Alfred's stories of the second Batman and Robin team and introduces Bat-Girl. Batwoman, Bat-Hound, Bat-Mite, and the Joker appear. There are a few alien and transformation stories. Superman makes an appearance and Green Arrow is mentioned.

Batman 131-140 Writer

May/60131 The Dog That Betrayed BatmanBill Finger
The Case of the Deadly GemsFinger
The Second Batman and Robin TeamFinger
June/    132 The Martian from Gotham CityFinger
The Three Faces of BatmanFinger
The Lair of the Sea-FoxFinger
Aug/    133 Crimes of the Kite-ManFinger
The Voyage of the S.S. BatmanFinger
Batwoman's Publicity AgentFinger
Sept/    134 The Rainbow CreatureFinger
Batman's Secret EnemyFinger
The Deadly DummyFinger
Nov/    135 Crimes of the WheelFinger
The Return of the Second Batman and Robin TeamFinger
Menace of the Sky CreatureFinger
Dec/    136 The Case of the Crazy CrimesFinger
The Town That Hated BatmanFinger
The Challenge of the JokerFinger
Feb/61137 Robin's New BossFinger
The Bandit with 1,000 BrandsFinger
Teacher from the StarsFinger
Mar/    138 Batman's MasterFinger
The Simple Crimes of Simple SimonFinger
The Secret of the Sea BeastFinger
May/    139 The Blue BowmanFinger
Island of 1,000 TrapsFinger
Bat-GirlFinger
June/    140 The Ghost of the JokerFinger
The Charmed Life of BatmanFinger
The Eighth Wonder of SpaceFinger