"Operation Bikini," a 1963 AIP movie with Frankie Avalon, might sound like a Beach Party movie, but it came out before the first of that series; it was a World War II frogmen story. Until 1946 and the A-bomb tests there inspired a name for the new "atomic" swimsuit style, "Bikini" would have meant only the Pacific atoll. (AIP's publicity department didn't let that bother them for the posters.)
A number of the Movie Classics (and other Dell titles)
included among their artists combinations of Vince Colletta, Dick Giordano, Joe
Sinnott, John Tartaglione, Frank McLaughlin, Sal Trapani, and various Trapani
ghosts. Operation Bikini (Oct/63) most obviously features
Colletta's inks on the entire issue.
I can tell myself that I see a few Giordano poses or faces on
later pages. That may just be because I expect to see him there, but certainly
there were multi-artist jams among this loose group of artists at Dell. His
deciding the poses would make those pages his pencils, of course, not inks. On
one or two of the later pages I could admit the possibility of pencils by, say,
Most pages' pencils, though, belong to none of that group, it seems to me. Giordano or Sinnott's pencils usually show better through Colletta's inks, overwhelming as the inks are. There's one touch that I don't recall seeing Sinnott or Giordano use that made
me consider a particular artist.
I believe the penciller on most of the book, certainly
the first part, is Sam Citron. Note the distinctive motion lines around the
head of Malone in the second panel of the Dell page. Compare with the same from
"Menace of the Renegades" in Quality's Exploits of Daniel Boone 6
(Sept/56). And see the lines used to
indicate not head-swiveling but confusion in "Strange Planet" from
ACG's Adventures into the Unknown 146 (Feb/64). On the latter story, Citron's
pencils are credited (Pete Costanza is the inker).
At least those various artists' Dells would give indexers
something to pore over for half a century—and beyond...