Thursday, April 2, 2015

Jack Oleck Dips His Toe in the Charlton Waters

As I was skimming the Fifties Charlton titles for Carl Memling stories, I had Dick Wood's handful jump out at me, since his interjections are so distinctive. Another writer not known to have worked there, whose distinction lies in his captions, got my attention with another four stories. Jack Oleck poses rhetorical questions and otherwise dwells on the characters' bad choices with specific phrases I'll go into in later posts on his work elsewhere.

I was concentrating on the crime and horror/mystery titles, so Oleck may have a few war or romance scripts at Charlton too. All four stories here are drawn by Steve Ditko.

SSS 32 A World of His Own

Jack Oleck scripts in Out of This World

Mar/57 The Supermen
Jun/      Flying Dutchman

in Strange Suspense Stories

May/57 32  A World of His Own

The Last Laugh


  1. Martin - Another great piece of detective work. It looks very possible that you may find more Oleck stories at Charlton.

  2. Thanks, Nick. I wonder where Oleck was between 1959 and 1969 when, as far as I can see, he was out of comics--he had one novel published in '59 (Messalina--one paperback edition had a cover by James Bama) and then, who knows?

    1. Nick, I am Jack's daughter and can tell you where he was! Jack raised 3 kids with his wife and introduced the Interior Decorators News during that period. He lived out on Long Island, commuting to NYC on the LIRR daily. He published a number of books including Messalina and Theodora, a reflection of his interest in Greek and Roman history, as well as at least one television drama and a number of spin offs from popular movies Eventually, he returned to comics, writing under his own name and under some pen names

  3. Interesting. Did he do uncredited comic book work, write in another field; magazines, film scripts, animation? Another mystery we'll probably never have all the answers to.

  4. according to Who's Who Oleck was the publisher and editor of Interior Decorator News from 1957-1969, although an online search hasn't turned up one issue thus far.

  5. That's reminiscent of William Woolfolk's going into magazine publishing/editing--although his choices of confidential news and space fact seem a little more comic-booky.

  6. blogspot ate my comments again - so this will be shorter. Olecks's Interior Decorator News - later Interior Decorator and Contract News is listed in Ayer's as starting in 1957. Ran at least ten years (if Ayers is correct about the start date). Price is listed as free, so I would assume a controlled circulation publication supported by advertising.

  7. I'm wondering if maybe this material maybe dates to 1953-54 and is something Joe Simon sold to Charlton along with the Mainline inventory?

  8. I'd think that the Ditko art is 1957 work, and so this is Oleck working directly for Charlton. Whether Charlton received any scripts among the ready-to-print pages in the various other companies' inventories is a good question; I've only recognized the inventory stuff by the art.