Thursday, September 22, 2022

Sal Trapani Credit Where Due: Nature Boy

Nature Boy 5 Desert Intrigue 'Aiyyy'

After all the times that Sal Trapani was given the attribution for his ghosts' pencils, it's only fair to give him credit for some stories he did ink without being recognized. I'm not sure who did the pencils on "Starvation Valley" in Nature Boy #4. Could Bill Fraccio have done any?

Jerry Siegel has been correctly credited with the John Buscema drawn stories in #3 (the first issue) and #5. The guess at Joe Gill for #4 and one story in #5 happens to have hit the mark, but another writer known to have been at Charlton in the 1950s wasn't considered. That's Ken Fitch, whose "Aiyyy" is seen in his later Dell work such as Space Man.

Nature Boy

Aug/56 A World Gone Mad i: Sal Trapani

  Starvation Valley p: Molno?  i: Rocke Mastroserio?

  Nature Boy's Private War i: Trapani
  Peaceful Island i: Trapani
Feb/57 Desert Intrigue w: Ken Fitch   i: Trapani
    Menace from the Hills w: Fitch  i: Trapani
    Bringing Up Junior i: Trapani

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Robert Bernstein Starts Out on Crime Does Not Pay

'Eeeiii' Bonnie Parker CDNP 57

Flipping through Crime Does Not Pay, I'll stop to recheck a story for more Robert Bernstein clues once my eye has been caught by his typical exclamations like "Eeeiii" and "Iiiieee." This tier is from "Bonnie Parker" in #57.

"Ghouls' Gold," possibly Bernstein's first published comic book story, is given a rare credit line. He wrote for CDNP and other titles for the publisher, Lev Gleason, from 1943 to 1955; here's the first part of a listing.

I haven't seen CDNP 46 and 54.

Crime Does Not Pay Anthology Stories
Written by Robert Bernstein

Jan/46 43  Ghouls' Gold
Mar/     44  Mrs. Bluebeard
Sep/     47  A Weird Weekend (WHO DUNNIT?)
Nov/     48  The Greedy Gunman
    Mutiny on the Rock
Jan/47  49  Devil's Diary
    Mother of Murderers
    Brother Rats
Mar/     50  The Kill-Crazy Fleagle Brothers
    Danny Iamascia, Dutch Shultz's Triggerman
    The Invisible Killer (WHO DUNNIT?)
May/     51  The Hoover Brothers
    Pretty Boy Floyd, the Two-Faced Terrorr
    Washed in Blood
    Who Dunnit?
July/     53  Carlo Barone, the Murderous Bully
    Dr. Holmes, the Master of Murder Castle
    Death Stalks the Diamond (WHO DUNNIT?)
Sep/     55  Louis Lepke Buchalter
    "Shoe-Box" Annie
Oct/     56  The True Story of Big Mouth Nick Luciano
Nov/     57  Bonnie Parker
    The Wild Spree of the Laughing Sadist--Herman Duker
    Case of the Murdered Bathing Beauty (WHO DUNNIT?)
Dec/     58  Thomas Dun, Single-Handed Killer of Thousands
Jan/48 59  Vic Everhart, the Kill-Crazy Scoundrel
    Alvin Karpis
    Cut Rate Murder
    Financier of Death
Feb/     60  Verne Miller
    Who Dunnit?
    Was She a Monster?
Mar/     61  Clay Fogelman, Meanest Man of Crime
    Who Dunnit?
Apr/     62  William Nevinson, the Terror of the Roads
    William Bonney, Alias Billy the Kid
June/     64  Walter Legenza the Gangster
    Robert James
Aug/     66  The Savage Genna Brothers--Bootleggers
    Dick Richards
    Who Dunnit?
Sep/     67  Once There Were Three Killers from Brooklyn...
    The End of the Deadly O'Malley Gang
Oct/     68  Little Hymie Nabosco
    Belle Shirley, the Angel-Faced She-Devil
Nov/     69  The Gruesome Foursome--Including Emil, the Half-Wit

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

When Is a Self-Swipe Not a Swipe?

Cover painter Allen Anderson's comic book work was mostly for Ziff-Davis's comics, but even though Fiction House didn't use paintings for their comics covers, they of course used them on their pulps.

With comic books pencilers the first think you'd think at seeing these similar images is that the artist is swiping from an earlier work, even if his own, but in these cases Anderson might not have even looked at the earlier paintings if he was just reusing particular photos from modeling sessions.

Action, Planet, Lariat

Planet, Action, Planet

These are Action Stories Spring/47, Planet Stories January/51, and Lariat Story March/53; and Planet Stories Winter/47, Action Stories Winter/48, and Planet Stories January/52.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Dell Tie-ins by "The Mystic of the Lower East Side"

Wikipedia, may wonders never cease, has it almost right on Lionel Ziprin: "Ziprin wrote comic book scripts for Dell Comics in the mid-1960s, including Kona Monarch of Monster Island and several stories depicting combat during World War II." It was more accurately the early 1960s (and the "several stories" were the first 10 or 11 issues of Combat).

I mention the up-to-date Wikipedia entry because the original sources of info on Ziprin still floating around on the Internet, derived from his 2009 obit, sent historians way off in the wrong direction by saying he wrote for Dell "in the late forties and into the fifties." (In 2009 Mark Evanier, bringing the news of Ziprin to fandom's attention, soon concluded that "the bio of [Ziprin] had events somewhat out of sequence.") See the 2020 Allen Ginsberg Project post, which quotes that time frame but goes on to mention Ziprin's doing the first 10 issues of Kona without realizing that the 12-cent comic they show couldn't have come from that earlier era.

Part of the quote from Ziprin himself (in it he never says nineteen forties or fifties) mentions his doing movie adaptations too. So far I've found one movie adaptation by him and three original-story TV tie-ins. The Aladdin plot he was stuck with (although it would have aligned with his interests in mysticism) but the three TV ones are, like Kona, worthy of the description "hallucinogenic."

The Grand Comics Database doesn't even include Lionel Ziprin yet; it still attributes the early issues of Kona to Don Segall (derived from, I think--mea culpa--a long-ago misatttribution by me).

Wonders of Aladdin

Ziprin was writing directly for Dell. In 1961-62 the split into Dell and Gold Key was looming, as according to the indicias these issues were among those "Designed and Produced by Dell Publishing" whereas most in this portion of the Four Color run were still "Designed and Produced by Western Printing and Lithographing" although all were printed and published by Dell. Perhaps that explains Paul S. Newman's records showing "Aladdin"; maybe Western bought a script from him before they found they'd lost some individual properties to their own printers. Newman's writing is, in a word, straightforward, whereas the page here is typical of Ziprin's more flamboyant style as seen in his Kona.

All the one-page inside-cover/back cover fillers in these were very likely written by Ziprin too. It seems to me, by the way, that some other writer did issue #2 of 87th Precinct.

Some Lionel Ziprin scripts in FOUR COLOR

1961 1255  The Wonders of Aladdin
Feb-Apr/62 1301  Adventures in Paradise: Circle of Fire
Mar-May/     1308  Tales of the Wizard of Oz
Apr-Jun/     1309  87th Precinct: Blind Man's Bluff...

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Obscure Shuster: Ace

Just before Joe Shuster did a love story and a filler in the same issue for Standard in 1950 he did a love story for Ace: "Romance on the Range" in Western Love Trails 7, November 1949. The title lasted only from #7 to #9. I'm only just getting into Ace's comics, with the romance titles on the back burner, so I don't know if he did any more for them. The inks are different from the Standard story and filler's, but one way or the other this story's inks don't look at all to me like early Superman work, i.e. Shuster himself.

Monday, June 6, 2022

The Fawcett Movie Adaptation Writers

Otto Binder wrote three of Fawcett's 35 movie comics issues; the series started off written by Joe Millard and then became Leo Dorfman's most notable assignment there.

Here's a page from "Code of the Silver Sage" with Rocky Lane (Motion Picture Comics 102). The clues to lead to Leo Dorfman are "As" and "Just then" in the captions, but the clincher is the use of periods--all of these not exclusive to Dorfman, but used by him much more often than the other writers at Fawcett at the time. "Ivanhoe" and "The Red Badge of Courage" are, as I never tire of pointing out, the "classics in comics" mentioned in an early 70s Superboy text page and taken by fandom at the time as meaning Classics Illustrated.
Motion Picture Comics 101

Fawcett movie one-shots

1949   Dakota Lil Joe Millard
1950   Copper Canyon Millard

  Destination Moon Otto Binder

  Montana Millard

  Pioneer Marshal Millard
  Powder River Rustlers Millard
  Singing Guns Millard

Fawcett Movie Comic

1950 Gunmen of Abilene Binder
Dec/     King of the Bull Whip Leo Dorfman
The Old Frontier Dorfman
10  The Missourians Dorfman
11  The Thundering Trail Dorfman
Aug/     12  Rustlers on Horseback Dorfman
Oct/     13  Warpath Dorfman
Dec/     14  The Last Oupost Dorfman
Feb/52 15  The Man from Planet X Binder
16  Ten Tall Men Dorfman
June/     17  Rose of Cimarron Dorfman
18  The Brigand Dorfman
Oct/     19  Carbine Williams Dorfman
Dec/     20  Ivanhoe Dorfman

Motion Picture

1950 101  The Vanishing Westerner Millard
Jan/51 102  Code of the Silver Sage Dorfman
103  Covered Wagon Raid
104  Vigilante Hideout Dorfman
105  The Red Badge of Courage
Sep/     106  The Texas Rangers
Nov/     107  Frisco Tornado
Jan/52  108  Mask of the Avenger
Mar/     109  Rough Riders of Durango
110  When Worlds Collide
July/     111  The Vanishing Outpost
112  Brave Warrior
Nov/     113  Walk East on Beacon Dorfman
Jan/53  114  Cripple Creek Dorfman

Monday, May 23, 2022

Bunny Backups

Bunny_Ball_Fantasy In the Bunny Ball Fantasy Theater backups in Harvey's Bunny, Howie Post has been IDed on the Sooper Hippie stories, but Hy Eisman, the Bunny artist, has been attributed the art for the first Fruitman stories and the Yvoorg Nam one. He doesn't start on Fruitman until issue 9. He may be inked by Henry Scarpelli on some, and Scarpelli may do complete art again toward the end of the run. (I see him with Eisman in varying degrees on the Bunny stories too.)

The inking on these three Post stories in particular stumps me--it doesn't look like his own as seen on Anthro, for instance--so as far as inking goes, I'll venture only that Scarpelli inked himself here.

Bunny 8 Fruitman

Bunny Ball Fantasy Theater Pencillers in early Bunny

Nov/67 Fruitman Warren Kremer
Mar/68 Yvoorg Nam Howie Post
Oct/      Flower People [SOOPER HIPPIE] Post
Feb/69 Love Beads [SOOPER HIPPIE] Post
Apr/     The Great Feast [FRUITMAN] Henry Scarpelli full art
May/     Shmasty and McGee [FRUITMAN] Hy Eisman