Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Another Hidden Penciller

Falling in Love 122

Click it to see the double page at a better size. This is another case of a rather overpowering inker hiding the penciller's style is "I Want to Be Free--to Live, to Love" in DC's Falling in Love 122 (Apr/71). The Grand Comics Database suggests Tony deZuñiga is inking himself. But try to picture the pencils without the distraction of deZuñiga's very distinctive style; this artist usually inked himself through the Sixties. Take a moment to look for the characteristic poses in a number of panels, before going to the second page where I've named him.

Monday, September 6, 2021

A Trapani Ghost on the Ghost Who Walks, and Writers

'What the!!?!?!?'

"The Secret of the Golden Ransom" in Charlton's first issue of The Phantom--#30--may or may not have been a ghosting job as far as the editors knew, but it certainly ended up one for fandom, as the pencils as well as the inks have ever since been attributed to Sal Trapani. The penciller is José Delbo, artist on Billy the Kid at Charlton at the time.

The script was evidently passed along out of inventory from King, like Gary Poole's in the same issue and Dick Wood's in the next few. The writer is Pat Fortunato, who wrote the earlier Girl Phantom story, "The Riddle of the Witch," in #24. Note the profusion of exclamation points and question marks in one panel; this would be a noticeable characteristic of Fortunato's work in her credited (and uncredited) work on UFO Flying Saucers at Gold Key.

This post was just going to ID that one Charlton story, but upon seeing how other issues have been attributed on the Grand Comics Database, I ended expanding it by a lot. On the Gold Key issues, the GCD notes that some 40 years after these were published, Bill Harris said he wrote all the Phantom stories. The Comic Reader 40 is cited for attributing the story in #11 as by "Dick Wood?" in addition to "Bill Harris?" That story's note does suggest that actually Harris said he wrote the adaptations of Lee Falk strip stories, which makes more sense. TCR 32 also mentions Wood: "Dick Wood is still scripting SOLAR, and he'll be handling the original PHANTOM scripts." The source of the contemporary Gold Key news at TCR? Gold Key editor Bill Harris.

For your perusal: panels from the Claw story in Daredevil Comics 22 (Feb/46, Lev Gleason), "Interplanetary Olympics" in Jigsaw 2 (Dec/66, Harvey), and "The Terror Tiger" in Phantom 21, all with the use of "Kazar" for "Huzzah"--like "Great suffering Hannah" elsewhere, a sign of Dick Wood's scripting.


I suppose most of the stories not listed here through #30 are indeed by Bill Harris.

Some Phantom writers
Gold Key/King/Charlton

Apr/65 11  Blind Man's Bluff Dick Wood
June/    12  The Beast of Bengali Wood
Aug/    13  The Phantom Chronicles Wood
Nov/66 19  The Astronaut and the Pirates Wood
  The Masked Emissary Wood
Jan/67 20  The Adventures of the Girl Phantom Wood
  The Invisible Demon Jerry Siegel
Mar/    21  The Terror Tiger Wood
Mar/    22  The Secret of Magic Mountain Wood
Mar/    23  Delilah Wood
Aug/    24  The Riddle of the Witch Pat Fortunato
Oct/    26  The Pearl Raiders Wood
Nov/    27  The Story of Hero Gary Poole
Dec/    28  Diana's Deadly Tour Wood
Feb/69 30  The Secret of the Golden Ransom Fortunato
p: José Delbo  i: Sal Trapani

in Mandrake the Magician

Nov/66 The Pirate Raiders Wood
Mar/67 The Girl Phantom Wood

Monday, August 16, 2021

Weisbecker Sports and War at Fawcett

On these Clem Weisbecker pencil jobs at Fawcett, my impression is that Sheldon Moldoff inked most of the true-life baseball stories--in Jackie Robinson and Baseball Heroes. This page is from "Jackie Robinson Breaks into the Majors."

Jackie Robinson 3

One Jackie Robinson story among these issues is by an artist other than Weisbecker--"Jackie Robinson Carries the Pigskin" in #4.

Joe Louis #1 hasn't been scanned and put online yet, so its omission here doesn't mean Weisbecker didn't draw it. There's a bookseller's scan of page 1 that's obviously not by him, but a second look at the indicia shows that it's the Anglo-American version, and Canadian import laws meant they had to get the script redrawn by a Canadian artist. (The Grand Comics Database calls it a "reprint" but "remake" would be the better term.)

Clem Weisbecker pencils
on Fawcett sports and war


1949 (#1)  Jackie Robinson, Baseball Hero
Jul/50 #2  Jackie Robinson's First World Series
    Jackie Robinson and the Stolen Home Run
    Jackie Robinson and the Golden Cup
Sep/     #3  Jackie Robinson Breaks into the Majors
    Jackie Robinson Battles the Teen-Age Terror
    Jackie Robinson Rides the Whirlwind
Nov/     #4  Jackie Robinson Wins the Battling Crown
    Jackie Robinson and the Human Cat
1951 #5  Jackie Robinson and the Crucial Series
    Jackie Robinson and the Rookie on Trial
    Jackie Robinson, All American
1952 #6  Famous Plays by Jackie Robinson, Baseball Hero


Nov/50  #2  Joe Louis, Champion of Champions


1952  nn  The True Story of Baseball's Hall of Fame


1951 #1  Bob Swift and the Big Horn Bonanza
    Bob Swift and the King of the Lake
July/     #2  Tiger on a Bait Rod
    The Thrill Killers of the North
Sep/      #3  Fishing in Another World
    Bear Tracks to Danger
Nov/     #4  Sahib's Sacrifice
    Cannibal Trout
Jan/52 #5  Sun, Surf and Stripers
    Bob Swift and the Spotted Killer


Oct/52 #1  I'm the Best There Is
    A Snowball in Hades
Dec/     #2  Six Feet Under
    Strictly a Southpaw
Feb/53 #3  Human Bazooka
    Death Takes a Furlough
Apr/     #4  Death Warrant
    It Ain't Always Hell


Apr/53  #133  The Biggest Brass There Is [BILL BATTLE]


May/52 #3  Wanted: One MIG-15
Sep/      #5  They've Got to Kill Me!


Mar/52 #2  No More Noise from Snafu
Sep/53 #11  Long Time No Sea! [BILL BATTLE]

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Disc Jockeying Times Three, Not Two

A while ago I listed some of the teenager scripts that Jack Mendelsohn reworked at Tower from ones he’d written at Quality a decade earlier. One such pair was "Disc Jockeying" in CANDY 49 (July/54) and the story by the same title in GO-GO AND ANIMAL 2 (Oct/66). Now I’ve found an earlier source for the plot at DC--the untitled Liz story in SCRIBBLY 1 (Aug-Sep/48). They're in chronological order below: Liz, Candy, Go-Go. The heroine in each has thrown a platter party to replenish her record collection and every guest has brought a single with the same song.

Liz, Candy, Go-Go

The Go-Go script reworks the Candy one closely, but they don’t resemble the Liz one aside from the plot. Jack Mendelsohn was working at DC in 1948, or at least for Howie Post there, on Presto Pete and Jiminy and the Magic Book, but I can’t see any of his style in the Liz script.

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Clem's Cap

Cap 50 Scarface

Clem Weisbecker's handful of stories on Captain America are important because, of course, Captain America, and because they're a link between his earlier work at MLJ and later at Fawcett. (Another link is his late-Forties stories in Crime Must Pay the Penalty, at Ace, which have already been identified by James Vadeboncoeur, Jr.)

The page above is from "Scarface and the Script of Death." Some issues in this timeframe are online only as scans of old microfiche rather than of the actual comics, and the fuzziness makes it difficult to scrutinize the art. Inherent in the comics themselves is the number of different inkers. So Weisbecker may have more Cap stories, but these are the ones I can be sure enough of to list now, and not take another few weeks vacillating over some of the other stories.

Clem Weisbecker pencils on

Nov/45 #50  The Walking Dead
Jan/46 #52  The Case of the Telepathic Typewriter
Feb/     #53  The Robe of Evil
    Murder Etched in Stone
Mar/      #54  Scarface and the Script of Death
Apr/      #55  The Hands of Sensitivo

on Captain America in

Sum/46 #10  Crime Takes a Cruise

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Strange Tales by Jack Oleck

Strange Tales 48
Two captions from "The Last of Mister Grimm" in Strange Tales #48 signal Jack Oleck's style: his version of Had-I-but-known, But he didn't think of that, at first! and one supplementing the description of action with two digressions into moralizing: Cowards die many times...greed is a mighty force!

After the cancellation of everything but MAD at EC in 1956, Oleck continued writing for Prize as he had been, and soon picked up work at Harvey and Timely/Atlas/pre-Marvel. At Atlas he was in on the early issues of new titles like World of Fantasy and World of Suspense. A look at a longer-running title like Strange Tales shows his tenure didn't predate those titles' mid-1956 beginnings.

The Comics Code was a good year old by the time Oleck started at Atlas. The Atlas Implosion took place with #58 (May/57), so as of #59 (Oct/57) scripts and art were out of inventory. The monster phase begins to show with #67 (Feb/59), with artists Jack Kirby and Don Heck becoming regulars, and newly written scripts by mostly Stan Lee and Larry Lieber becoming necessary.

Jack Oleck scripts
in Strange Tales

July/56 #48  The Last of Mister Grimm
Aug/      #49  The Animal
    The Man Who Cried
Dec/     #53  The Man Who Crushed Rocks
Jan/57 #54  Trapped in the Dark
Mar/      #56  Something Is on This Ship!
    Nothing Can Stop It
Apr/     #57  You Used to Be Me
    Murder on His Mind
Dec/     #60  Rude Awakening
Feb/58 #61  The Laundry Machines
  The Disappearing Man
  Menace of the Mirror
Apr/     #62  The Invaders
  It Happened That Night
  Alone in the Night
June/     #63  He Never Came Out
Oct/     #65  Afraid to Open the Door

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Two Who Drew Lance O'Casey and One Who Didn't

The Poisoned Sea Mystery, Whiz 128

After a 49-issue absence from Whiz Comics Lance O'Casey returns with #103 and art by Louis Cazeneuve, recognizable from his work on Boy Commandos, Seven Soldiers of Victory, and so on at DC. There's another artist, whom I can't ID, and the next along is Clem Weisbecker, whose Fawcett movie comics I listed in my previous post. The run from #132 to the end, #155, is said to include Charles Tomsey art, but I haven't got a handle on his style.
The Grand Comics Database has attributed the Lance O'Casey stories in #119, 123, 125, and 128 to Dick Dillin. I can see why a reader could be reminded of Blackhawk art, but Weisbecker's trademark long square faces do show through under different inkers on the different stories. Shown is a page from "The Poisoned Sea Mystery." Suffice it to say that the inking on the four O'Casey stories mentioned above is no more Dillin's than the pencilling is.

Issues not listed here between #103-131 do not have Lance O'Casey stories.

Lance O'Casey in WHIZ COMICS

Nov/48 #103  LOC and the Lamp of Three Wishes a: Louis Cazeneuve
Dec/     #104  The Perils of the Pearls a: Cazeneuve
Jan/49 #105  LOC Meets Longo of the Congo a: Cazeneuve
Mar/     #107  LOC and the Lady Pirate  a: Cazeneuve
Apr/     #108  The Bandit Birds a: ?
May/     #109  LOC and the Pirate's Festival a: ?
July/      #111  The Stolen Starfish a: ?
Aug/     #112  Magnet of Death a: Cazeneuve
Sep/     #113  Doomed! a: Cazeneuve
Nov/     #115  LOC and the Photo of Death a: Cazeneuve
Jan/50  #117  The Plight of Homer Whittington, Jr. p: Clem Weisbecker
Mar/     #119  The Pan American Bull Session p: Weisbecker
Apr/     #120  The Strange Fight a: Cazeneuve
May/     #121  Frame Up p: Weisbecker
July/     #123  Treachery Under Cover p: Weisbecker
Aug/     #124  The Death Warrants p: Weisbecker
Sep/     #125  Dangerous Cargo p: Weisbecker
Nov/     #127  The Reign of Terror p: Weisbecker
Dec/     #128  The Poisoned Sea Mystery p: Weisbecker
Jan/51  #129  Pirate Warfare p: Weisbecker
Mar/     #131  LOC Raids the Antarctic Hide-Out p: Weisbecker

The Grand Comics Database has credited Cazeneuve with some of the Whiz issues listed but mistakenly on Golden Arrow instead of Lance O'Casey (not that I can give a name to the GA artist at this particular point).

Golden Arrow in WHIZ COMICS

Nov/48 #103  GA and the Passenger Bandit a: NOT Cazeneuve
Dec/     #104  The Vanishing Payrolls a: NOT Cazeneuve
Jan/49 #105  GA and the Duo of Crime a: NOT Cazeneuve
Mar/     #107  GA and the Treacherous Masquerade a: NOT Cazeneuve