Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Joe Orlando's Other Ghost

Joe Orlando used Jerry Grandenetti as a ghost penciller in the mid-Sixties at Warren (on anthology stories and the Adam Link series) and at DC (on The Inferior Five and Scooter). Grandenetti's unmistakable pencils are enough of a clue, but his sound effects lettering was the clincher in an argument, for a while, as to whether Orlando changed his style for a couple of years so it coincidentally resembled Grandenetti's. Once Grandenetti started contributing full art to Warren under his own name, Orlando did some pencilling for himself again—and in cases like the later Adam Link stories, started inking even more heavily so that Grandenetti's pencilling style was, finally, nearly obscured. (How much Orlando contributed at all to "his" DC stories pencilled by Grandenetti, when Mike Esposito inked them, is a question to ponder.)

Creepy 7 pencils by Bill Draut, inks by Joe Orlando

But Jerry Grandenetti wasn't Joe Orlando's only ghost. The art in "Image of Bluebeard" in Creepy 7, Feb/66 (written by Bill Pearson) is credited solely to Orlando, and its pencils have since been attributed to Jerry Grandenetti. This looks more like Orlando himself on pencils again, at first glance, but it isn't. His ghost penciller here is Bill Draut.

more art from Creepy 7

The boy's face in the panel below from DC's Forbidden Tales of Dark Mansion 12 (Sept/73), "A Change of Bodies" (written by John Albano) is typical of Bill Draut's work. Compare with the policeman in the background in the middle panel above.

Dark Mansion 12 art by Draut

Draut inked Grandenetti at times DC under editor Orlando (Phantom Stranger) and they both worked on Swing with Scooter. Draut contributed to "Ahead of the Game" in Warren's Eerie 2 (March/66)—I haven't the issue to look at any more—did he ink Grandenetti as the GCD says, or pencil for Orlando?


  1. Martin, considering the page rates of the day, I wonder how anyone made money jobbing out pencils to other artists.

    I'm not naïve, but I never thought about it. When I saw a credit for Joe Orlando I figured it was drawn by J.O. and not Jerry Grandinetti. From now on I'll look a little closer.

    Did Orlando use ghosts during his time at EC Comics?

  2. Pappy, as far as I can tell, he didn't use ghosts until the Sixties.

    I can see the point of ghosting on a big-time comic strip (although I don't much approve of it--give credit!) but on a few one-shot comic book stories, no, it doesn't seem like the way to mint cash.

  3. Hi Martin,

    I just discovered your blog and absolutely love it. You're a well respected name and you've done an excellent job in identifying both artists and writers. I mainly concentrate on art id, but you are providing an invaluable service to fandom and I look forward to reading earlier posts.

    I was never aware that Orlando had a ghost, although I did notice a diference in his style in those Warren stories. I will go back and take another look at them.

    I recently started a blog of my own that mainly focuses on Marvel circa 1960s and 1970s, which covers many topics but also focuses on art id, including a list of covers I believe Kirby inked for Marvel in the early 1960s. If you're interested you can take a look here:

    Thanks again for presenting a well researched and fascinating blog.

  4. Thanks, Nick. I haven't had much to say about Marvel, but you show that there's plenty still to search out behind the credits there. I never thought of looking for Kirby inks at Marvel beyond the Fantasy Masterpieces issue, but there they are, where you point them out. I'll be looking in at your blog!

  5. I have the original art to Adam Link from Creepy #9... I definitely see the Grandenetti pencils--- Now that I looked for it. Uncle Creepy's feet look like Grandenetti's work..

  6. At least Grandenetti & Draut were good artists. Who drew the atrocious DC Phantom mini-series in 1988, I wonder?

  7. This blog thread interests me while pondering and researching Tales to Astonish #61 Giantman "When Walks the Andoid" 14 page story published in 1964. Its credited on GCD by Fred Hembeck to pencilling by Joe Orlando who apparantly would not make changes and, out out necessity redrawn to meet deadlines, and quality concerns, raised by editor Stan Lee, ultimately credited to Steve Ditko.
    Peeling back the paste overs on the original art, the uninked pencils unmistakably appear to be the undisputable style of Don Heck. The inked under-panels look like the style of Jerry Grandinetti. This was the mystery!
    Could it be that Ayers was on vacation, Heck produced penciled panels that were then lettered by Sam Rosen, and then the pages were given to Orlando to ink. Could it be that Jerry Grandenetti inked instead of Orlando, creating an unfixable non marvel style mess?
    Ultimately Ditko and George Roussos were called in to redraw the story and save the day.
    Clearly this issue is the most worked on of all all mid 1960s, with involvement by numerous Marvel professionals, artists and inkers, and the Grandinetti/Orlando connnection is particularly"Astonishing"!

  8. I can see why asking Joe Orlando to make changes quickly wouldn’t work out very well if he wasn’t the one actually doing the work, especially if Stan needed him to do it right away in the Bullpen. At least Grandenetti did get a little more work from Marvel under his own name in TTA #86, and in Arrgh #2.