Saturday, January 27, 2018

A Writer Credited in the Letters Column

Robert Plate is credited on the splash pages with writing over half the stories of Homer K. Beagle, Demon Detective in Novelty's Young King Cole and its retitled continuation Criminals on the Run; from my study of them he wrote every Homer K. Beagle story.

Novelty beat EC and ACG in regularly running letter columns by the better part of a decade, as the company began theirs in 1940. On Plate's other series for Novelty no one was ever credited as writer on the stories themselves, but he was credited with creating Toni Gayle, as he had Homer K. Beagle, in the letter column of Young King Cole Volume 3 #12 (July 1948). Thus he wrote their stories in Volume 1 #1 (Fall/45). The editors also mention him as the writer of detective/model Toni's story in Vol 3 #12 itself, a credit reflected in the Grand Comics Database.

'Meet Toni Gayle' in YKC v1 #1

Here I've added the Toni Gayle stories I can be certain from the style that Plate wrote, although I believe he authored most of her series in YKC. I don't see him writing her stories when the series moves to Guns Against Gangsters and 4Most.

Toni Gayle written by Robert Plate
in Young King Cole

Fall/45 v1 #1  Meet Toni Gayle [credited]
Win/46 v1 #2  A Lesson in Crime Detection
Spr/     v1 #3  Close to a Cold, Cold Ending
Sum/     v1 #4  Hollywood, the Land of Make-Believe 
Dec-Jan/47 v2 #3  A Famous Winter Resort
June/     v2 #6  The Case of the Leaping Emerald
Sept/     v3 #2  Enacts the Role of a Dead Woman
Jan/48 v3 #6  Thrills and Chills in an Amusement Park
July/     v3 #12  Redstone Park [credited]


  1. I see that Plate's obit mentioned that he wrote Captain Midnight. Of course it says "comic strips" but I suspect these are comic "strips" in comic books....

  2. I thought the same thing when Jake Oster passed along the obit by email. After a glance over the CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT issues I have, one story jumped out looking like it could be by Plate: "Sergeant Twilight--Man or Maestro?" in #41 (June/46). Ichabod Mudd of course is similar to Homer K. Beagle, Demon Detective, as a comic-relief type.