Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Western Nighthawk's First Writer

When DC's anthology Western Comics gains a new cover feature with Pow-Wow Smith in #43 (Jan-Feb/1954), Julius Schwartz has become editor. As on his other books he records payments to writers and artists, and he inherits, to some extent, Jack Schiff's payment records for the title; thus there are more extensive Western writer credits in the Grand Comics Database than you might have expected. The surviving records don't, unfortunately, extend all the way back to #1.

Masked and double-identitied Nighthawk took over the slot of the similar Vigilante with #5 (and missed #6). Western 5 came out in the same month as DC's Dale Evans Comics, where writer Joe Millard's best-known DC work, the Sierra Smith back-up strip (not to mention his Dale Evans stories) begins. Millard's run on Nighthawk coincides, as it happens, with Charles Paris's run of pencils and inks on the feature.

Western 5 Nighthawk--'Eeeeow'

The incidence of  "Eeeeow" led me to Millard as the author on these. For another thing, he begins a few balloons per story with "Gulp!", a habit that Gardner Fox and Don Cameron, soon Western's go-to authors, don't have. Millard's exclamatory captions are reminiscent of Otto Binder's.

These are all of Millard's Nighthawk stories. I can see that #13 and 14's are by a single author, although one I can't put a name to; an Alan Brennan is known from the Who's Who to have written Nighthawk in 1950, so take that as you will. In another few issues Cameron and Fox write their first Nighthawks.

Nighthawk in Western Comics
Scripts by Joe Millard
Art by Charles Paris

Sep-Oct/48 #5  The Lair of the Timberwolf
Jan-Feb/49 #7  The Loaded Scales of Justice
Mar-Apr/     #8  Wagon-Wheel War
May-Jun/     #9  The Scattered Clue
Jul-Aug/     #10  Tunnel of Terror
Sep-Oct/     #11  The Terror at Tumble-Down Ranch
Nov-Dec/     #12  One Sheriff Too Many
Jan-Feb/50 #13  There Was a Crooked Man

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Woolfolk Records 1952/07

Actiopn 176--Muscles for Money
Fawcett and Orbit stories—and a story for DC. William Woolfolk is known, from Julius Schwartz's records of the scripts bought in his and Robert Kanigher's office, to have written a Wonder Woman story in 1948. The DC stories attributed to Woolfolk on the GCD between that story and these (October will start a steady supply of scripts to the publisher) were misidentified (by me) some years ago. When I finish posting the Woolfolk records, I hope to take a new look at those stories and see who might have written them; I trust it will turn out to be a single writer.

By virtue of this, her second story, Vampira is the final continuing villain Woolfolk creates in comic books.

The undersized genii story seems to be the same as next month's too-lazy genii, entered twice, although recorded as paid both times; it's published under a title closer to the second entry's description. This happens in Woolfolk's final writing months with the Superman story about impossible headlines entered twice (in March and May 1954).

Prescription for Happiness, like S.O.S. for Love, is a department with no story individually titled. This one has to fit this issue, as there were only two 2-page Prescriptions hereabouts, and when Woolfolk writes the next one he describes it.

UPDATE: I had misidentified this Superman story as "Super Manor," Action 179. When darkmark IDed the story written in October 1952 as that one, I went back to find which story fit this description better.

July 1952 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

12 pg  Superman Super goes money mad
"Muscles for Money" Action 176, Jan/53
Captain Marvel Jr. beast of the battlefield
"CMJ and Vampira's Beast of the Battlefield" Marvel Family 85, July/53
10  The Rain, the Deadly Rain vengeance of a rain god
"The Rain, the Deadly Rain" Strange Stories from Another World 5, Feb/53
10  Man Who Defeated Death chessmaster vs. Death
7  "The Man Who Defeated Death" Beware! Terror Tales 7, May/53
S.O.S. for Love [untitled SOSFL] Love Journal
10  The Fleshless Ones skeletons from below the earth
"The Fleshless Ones" Worlds of Fear 10, June/53
Prescription for Happiness [untitled PFH] Love Diary 32, Dec/52
10  Horror at the Lighthouse sea monster that eats humans
"Horror at the Lighthouse" BTT 6, Mar/53
Love Me As I Am girl wins guy just being herself
"Love Me As I Am" L Journal 17, Feb/53
The Butcher gangster kills gal friend & boss
"The Butcher" Wanted 51, Dec/52
Captain Marvel Jr. the undersized genii
[duplicate entry?]

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Twistin' Time Is Here (But Who Drew It?)

Dell's one-shot The Twist (July-Sept/62), riding the coattails of the dance craze, was written by Paul C. Ignizio. That attribution comes from Martin Grams Jr.'s book on "Car 54, Where Are You"; Ignizio wrote to the producers with a sample of his writing, the Dell tie-in to that show, and mentioned The Twist as another Dell he'd written. Mark Evanier's mention of that on his blog brought Ignizio to indexers' attention.

The artist of The Twist has gone misidentified, but he sneaked in versions of his name twice.

The interior art has gone misidentified because the cover artist signed his work. "Williams" is, I'd agree with the Grand Comics Database, Bill Williams. But he no more drew the insides here than Gil Kane drew every Marvel in the early Seventies.

The artist with this style in 1962 used it on other Dells like The Andy Griffith Show and Margie. He's Henry Scarpelli. (The GCD currently attributes Margie's art correctly but gives credit for Andy Griffith's to Bill Fraccio.)

A few years later Scarpelli would change his approach somewhat, using photo-reference stats on books such as McHale's Navy, something that he didn't use on those 1962 ones. After that, the deluge, as he refined the cartoonier style of his syndicated panel TV Tee-Hees. He set the Archie-like template for DC's teen books with covers and, generally with others penciling the interiors, inks. (I was surprised to find that he used his more "realistic" style at DC first, on Stanley and His Monster.)

The Twist, 'Scap's Trucking Co.'
On page 11 of The Twist, a car license plate reads H.I.S. Recognizing Scarpelli's style to begin with, I zeroed in on the initials. Although I couldn't find if his middle initial was indeed I, in the course of an Internet search I found confirmation of his second sneak. According to his 2010 obituary, his nickname was "Scap," and on page 24 (pictured with detail): Scap's Trucking Co.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Woolfolk Records 1952/06

Doll Man 45 The Doom Box

Mostly Fawcett stories (and half of those for the horror anthologies), with two stories written for Quality and one for Orbit this month.

William Woolfolk's final Doll Man stories; his and Fawcett's final Ibis. The Ibis story Charlton published later in Danger and Adventure 22 must have been done new, not taken out of Fawcett inventory.

The Wanted 51 cover identifies "Holiday of Horror" as a Mausoleum of Weird Crimes installment, but the splash page doesn't.

June 1952 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk
6 pg  Captain Marvel Jr. Vampira & her gorilla
"CMJ Battles Vampira, Queen of Terror" CMJ 116, Dec/52
Captain Marvel Jr. hammer of hell
"CMJ and the Hammer of Hate" CMJ 118, Apr/53
10  Doll Man Radioactive Man
"Radioactive Man" DM 44, Feb/53
The Lonely One man keeps a corpse for company
"The Lonely One" Beware! Terror Tales 5, Jan/53
The Ghoul of Eldritch Manor man looking for a ghoul—which is himself
"The Ghoul at Eldritch Manor" BTT 5, Jan/53
Dracula's Daughter a Hollywood vampire queen—meets a real vampire
"Vampire's Daughter" Strange Stories from Another World 5, Feb/53
Ibis guardians of the tomb
"Ibis and the Guardians of the Tomb" Whiz 155, June/53
Captain Marvel Jr. guilty of murder
"Guilty of Murder" CMJ 119, June/53
10  Doll Man meets Metal Face
"The Man with the Iron Face" DM 45, Apr/53
10  They Are Watching You rodents are going to take over the world
"They Are Watching You" Worlds of Fear 9, Apr/53
Holiday of Horror case history of a drug addict
8  "Holiday of Horror" Wanted 51, Dec/52