Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sal Trapani's Ghosts: Wayne Howard

Wayne Howard worked for DC and did some inking for Marvel, but his chief work was at Charlton. He created the anthology Midnight Tales (1972-76) with its hosts The Midnight Philosopher and Arachne. Each issue had a theme; for instance, the stories in #7 are "Ooze," "Goo," "Sludge," and "Muck."  Professor Cyrus Coffin and his niece Arachne were featured not only in the frame stories but in a number of the main stories as well. Although the series started with scripts by Nicola Cuti and with stories drawn by other artists as well, by the end of the run Howard was writing and drawing the entire issue. The covers were all gags unrelated to the interiors; he got to sign them and thus the book "Created by Wayne Howard."

He's another Charlton artist who showed up at Gold Key ghost pencilling for Sal Trapani. In Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery 43 (Oct/72), Howard pencils "Forbidden Rituals."

Boris Karloff 43 pencilled by Howard, inked by Trapani

My comparison is from Midnight Tales 2 (Feb/73) and the frame story "The Class of '76." The hand to face, little finger separate, is a typical female character's gesture throughout the artist's work.

Midnight Tales 2 art by Howard

Wayne Howard also pencilled for Sal Trapani on "The Stalking Time Bomb" in Boris Karloff 42 (Aug/72). Both BK stories were written by Dick Wood. I believe Howard pencilled for Trapani on the story "My Granddaughter Will Haunt You" in Shadow Play 1 (June/82). Shadow Play and Shroud of Mystery were one-shot last gasps by Western (their comics called no longer Gold Key but Whitman). The stories came out of the recently-cancelled mystery anthologies' inventory. If I'm correct that the writer on "Granddaughter" is Leo Dorfman, then that story was in inventory for about ten years, somehow shelved when Dorfman left as sole author of the Ripley's Believe It or Not title.


  1. As always, appreciated, Martin.

  2. I can't recall, but was Shadow Play and Shroud of Mystery edited by Robin Snyder? You might email
    him and see if he was, and what he remembers.

  3. My memory of the timing is that Robin Snyder's editorship was at the very, very end of Western's publishing comic books, and his material didn't made it to print as Whitmans once they decided to quit. So, for instance, Star Guider by Jack C. Harris and Steve Ditko for the projected title Astral Frontier had to be published a bit later by Renegade. I hadn't connected Astral Frontier and Shadow Play with him.