Saturday, July 30, 2011

William Woolfolk's Records Book

Captain Marvel Junior 37 cover: Freddy Freeman's newsstand with Fawcett comic books displayed
William Woolfolk was one of the most prolific and sought-after writers of the Golden Age. At any point in 1941-54 he was writing for a number of companies. Woolfolk went on to write prestigious television series like The Defenders, and bestselling novels like The President's Doctor. But in comics he went almost always uncredited, the times being what they were; seeing one of his very few credited stories, a Grand Comics Database indexer assumed from the two names given that Woolfolk must be the penciller and the artist the inker.

It turns out that he kept a meticulous sales record of his comic book scripts. A few years ago his daughter, author Donna Woolfolk, let Marc Svensson scan the old notebook. That was a generation ago in scanning technology; it was a long and meticulous task for Marc. I've transcribed the handwritten pages and added, where I could, the information that Woolfolk left out: where the stories were published. For the first few years, he entered only the feature name, but in 1945 he started entering thumbnail story descriptions.

One of the 7-page Captain Marvel Junior scripts he wrote in late 1944, recorded without a description in the notebook, was probably the first of three appearances of Graybeard, who took up crime again after serving a 99-year prison sentence. That story was published in CMJ 37, the April 1946 issue. (Woolfolk no doubt had stories published in a number of the comics pictured on the cover, as he was also writing Captain Marvel, Mary Marvel, Captain Midnight, Don Winslow, and others for Fawcett at this time.) I credit him with this story because the January 1945 page of the records book notes the second Graybeard script, and the May page the third. Next post: the first 1945 page and my transcription.


  1. Thanks for publishing the Woolfolk records. As a CMJ fan I'm always interested in who wrote the stories. Some of Junior's best story were written by Woolfolk.

  2. Yes, I think William Woolfolk made the character his own, especially in Junior's later run.

  3. Olá. Estou pesquisando sobre William Woolfolk. É um ator desconhecido pra mim, no caso, aqui no Brasil. Estou lendo o livro "O Médico do Presidente" The President's Doctor" - estou gostando do livro. Obrigada pelas informações no teu blog. Grande abraço