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

Monday, April 25, 2022

Robert Bernstein Writes Desperado

This is a way of dipping my toe in the water on Robert Bernstein's scripts for Lev Gleason; he was a major writer for them mostly after Dick Wood (their tenures overlapped in 1946-47) and alongside Carl Wessler and others. There may well be more Bernstein stories here that didn't jump out at me if he didn't use his typical exclamations.

Desperado not surprisingly is spun off Crime Does Not Pay as an anthology of nothing but Wild West crime stories after CDNP ran them every so often. With #9 Desperado became the Western masked hero book Black Diamond Western.

In lieu of CDNP's Mr. Crime, the lead story of most issues of Desperado was narrated by an object--a gallows, a coin, a boot--long before that became a staple of the DC war books. Here a gun is narrating "Joe Slade" in #1.

Desperado Anthology Stories
Written by Robert Bernstein

June/48 Joe Slade
    Sam Bass, the Cross Eyed Dead Shot
Aug/     Teton Jackson
Sep/     The Hole-in-the-Wall Gang and Its Leader "Kid" Curry
    Crazy Sam Brown
    Johnny Ringo
Oct/     "Doc" Holliday
    Wes Hardin
Nov/     King Hunter, the Self-Proclaimed King
    Clay Cottrell
    "Rattlesnake Jake" Fallon
    Bat Slater
Dec/     Joe Bowler
    Sheriff Ted Tucker
    Burly Will Grady and His Band of Ruthless Rustlers
Jan/49  One Man Against Two Armies
    "Buckskin" Frank Combs
Feb/      Cesar Leporello and the Phony Diamond of the Rio Grande
    Fools' Gold
    Blind Man's Bluff

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Mix-and-Match Swipe

Gutenberg Montiero's cover painting for Creepy 24 (Dec/68) swipes two earlier paintings.

Masters of Horror pb, Black Mask Sept 46, Creepy 24

An unknown artist painted the cover for the Berkley paperback Masters of Horror (1967); Rafael De Soto painted the one for the pulp magazine Black Mask (Sept/46).

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Artist of the First (or Second) Modern Graphic Novel

1950's Mansion of Evil from Fawcett Gold Medal Books is credited only to the scripter, Joseph Millard. The artist is Bud Thompson. The tiers below, from the story "Guilty of Murder" in the final issue of Fawcett's Captain Marvel Jr.--#119, June 1953--show some of the same silhouetted or partially silhouetted figures as in Mansion of Evil.

Mansion of Evil, CMJ 119

The previous guess on the Mansion of Evil art is George Evans--but only on two of the eleven chapters, when the style is the same throughout.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Auteurs of the Graphic Novel

Uncle Pogo So-So Stories, Theb Flintstones on the Rocks, Don Martin Steps Out

Nowadays every issue of a comic book is a temporarily embarrassed graphic novel.

My definition of graphic novel: A book using original comics material in narrative. The important word here is book, so length isn't a criterion--"novel" encompasses collections (like A Contract with God, by the way). A magazine isn't a book, so His Name Is Savage, for instance, doesn't meet the definition. And if it isn't limited to original material, the floodgates open for an appalling number of titles from comic strips and comic books. Note that these three Pogo books are the original-material ones among, otherwise, collections. I say "in narrative" to omit single-page gags of the "talking in pictures" sort, although fumetti would otherwise fit--for instance, in the 70s, Richard J. Anobile's Fotonovels. (And so if we were including magazines, Charlton's 1963 full-length Black Zoo would predate the 1968 His Name Is Savage anyway.)

Mansion of Evil and It Rhymes with Lust are each dated just 1950, so which one is the first modern graphic novel is a question--but it's one or the other.

I'm pushing the definition of "original" with Passionella, but one of the four stores is original and the others have been revised and redrawn for the book. I dithered over the six 1962 Tintin books form Golden Pres--they are new American translations--and decided not to include them. Belmont's High Camp Superheroes and My Son the Teenager I left off too, as the new material in them was prepared for the comics and by luck came out in the paperbacks first.

Can you think of any I'm missing through 1970? UPDATE--2 days later--The Monkees occurred to me when I happened to be thinking of the more usual TV tie-in comics and novels.

1940s-60s American Graphic Novels
abbreviations: mass market paperbacks, hardcovers, trade paperbacks

1950  Mansion of Evil  Fawcett pb
   It Rhymes with Lust St. John digest
1953  Uncle Pogo So-So Stories S&S hc, tp
1954  The Pogo Stepmother Goose S&S tp
1955  The Pogo Peek-a-Book S&S hc, tp
1959  Passionella and Other Stories McGraw-Hill tp
  Harvey Kurtzman's Jungle Book Ballantine pb
1960  The Flintstones on the Rocks Dell small tp
  Huck and Yogi Jamboree Dell small tp
1962  Don Martin Steps Out Signet pb
    [and many more MAD originals]
1966  Christopher Lee's Treasury of Terror Pyramid pb
  Dracula Ballantine pb
  The Monkees Popular Library pb
  The Great Society Comic Book Parallax small tp
  Bobman and Teddy Parallax small tp
  Kosher Comics Parallax small tp
1967  The Man from M.O.T.H.E.R. Parallax smaller tp

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Dick Wood and Mr. Crime

CDNP 35 'Suffering Hannah,' 'Ho, folks'

Dick Wood was credited for any number of stories in Crime Does Not Pay at Lev Gleason, but by no means all. This is a list of his anonymous ones that I've found. There are CDNP issues missing here that haven't been scanned yet. Scarce due to Forties paper drives? Fifties comic book burnings?

Dick Wood is recognizable by expressions like "Suffering Hannah," and in Crime Does Not Pay he has an even easier-to-spot characteristic on some stories. Starting with the bylined story "The True Life Story of 'Pretty Boy Floyd'" leading off #27, when he uses narrator Mr. Crime, very often the latter prefaces a speech or caption with "Ho, folks," or "Ho, Pretty Boy" to the protagonist, or just "Ho," all with a comma--"Ho, and where is he now?" The tiers are from the bylined story "One-Man Crime Wave" in #35.

I've mentioned Wood's use of the exclamation "Kazar" in The Claw, Jigsaw, and The Phantom; here he uses it in, for instance, "The True Story of Jean Cavillac" in #31 and "Wild Beasts of Paris" in #38--and it's after seeing it here that I realize it's meant for "Huzzah."

Dick Wood scripts without byline

May/   27  The Dead-Eye Romeo
    The Strange Saga of Rafael Red Lopez
Sep/   29  The True Story of "Two-Gun" Crowley
Nov/    30  The Texas Terrors
    Crime Close-Ups
Jan/44 31  The True Story of Jean Cavillac
    The Million Dollar Robbery
Mar/    32  The Man Who Loved Murder
    SeƱorita of Sin
    Playboys of Crime
Jan/45 37  10 Years of Terror: Vincent Piazzero
    Case of the Confident Killer
    The Singing Slayer
Mar/     38  The Meek Murderer
    Murder by Night
    Wild Beasts of Paris
May/     39  Blonde Queen of Crime
    The Case of the Tell-Tale Watch
    The Crime of Terry Almodovar
Sep/     41  The Cocksure Counterfeiter
    Who Dunnit?
Jan/46 43  Case of the Love Sick Clown
    Doctor of Evil
Mar/     44  The True Story of "Legs" Diamond
    Death on the Tracks
May/     45  The True Story of John Dillinger
    The Fire Fiend
    Crime of the Friendly Enemy
Sep/      47  Thug's Throne
    The Horrible Halzingers
Jan/47  49  The Case of the Voodooed Hangars
Mar/      50  The Belmont Bandit