Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Lighter Side of Ponytail

Dell editor D.J. Arneson recalls Lee Holley producing the entirety of the comic book spinoff of his syndicated daily panel/Sunday strip Ponytail, editorial input unneeded at Dell's end, and that's true as of issue 4 (and in fact through the title's run, including at Charlton later). Holley did supply all the covers from the very beginning, and there were some panel reprints.

I'll stick with "produce" rather than just "write and draw", because according to the Bails and Ware Who's Who, Frank Hill assisted Holly on the strip and on the comic book, so the later work was not necessarily Holley solo.

Ponytail 1 'Bar-B-Cute'

The Who's Who credits Dave Berg and Bob Gustafson with the feature in the first years at Dell. Berg does a pretty good job of ghosting Holley's art style, but he doesn't try to replicate it exactly. Secondary characters are the best place to find something closer to a ghost artist's own style; see Donald's parents in panel 4 above.

Ponytail 3 'Phone-y'

The Who's Who credit for Bob Gustafson is for writing, unconfirmed, but his art should be evident. Some Mort Walker-style touches give him away, as in Dell's Gulliver's Travels; he tries even less to mimic Holley on the Cassie back-ups, as above. He may well have written these two issues; it looks like a single writer did all the stories. The Grand Comics Database has given Frank Hill the credit for issue 2's stories, but per Bails and Ware this would be before his time on the strip.


Jul-Sep/62 Half Baked * w, a: Dave Berg
Brace Yourself w, a: Berg
Swell Smell w, a: Berg
Bar-B-Cute w, a: Berg
Bubble Trouble w, a: Berg
Dress Right Dress w, a: Berg
Rain in the Face * w, a: Berg
Apr-Jun/63 Wedding Belles * w: ?  a: Bob Gustafson
What the Doctor Ordered w: ?  a: Gustafson
Danger--Woman Driver [CASSIE] w: ?  a: Gustafson
Dress Mess w: ?  a: Gustafson
Gift of Gab w: ?  a: Gustafson
The Merry Chase w: ?  a: Gustafson
Best Test * w: ?  a: Gustafson
Jul-Sep/    Low Down Trick * w: ?  a: Gustafson
Palsy Walsy w: ?  a: Gustafson
Tele-wise w: ?  a: Gustafson
Beautiful But Not Dumb w: ?  a: Gustafson
Secret Admirer w: ?  a: Gustafson
Phone-y [CASSIE] w: ?  a: Gustafson
Poodle Doodle * w: ?  a: Gustafson
(* single page)