Monday, October 31, 2011

Bill Draut's Overwhelming Inks

Here's a story where the inker's style overwhelmed the penciller's. "The Young Man Who Cried...Werewolf...Once Too Often" in DC's Secrets of Sinister House 8 (Dec/72) was published without credits. It's been indexed as drawn by Bill Draut. But just as his pencils were almost buried by Joe Orlando's inks at Warren...

Secrets of Sinister House 8 page

The faces in close-up or medium shots certainly show Draut's clean lines. It's in the long shots that you can see the penciller's angular, somewhat awkward figures. See especially the man with the kerchief in the first panel and the policeman in the center of the second panel. The pencils are by Bernard Baily. He was most famous for the Spectre in the Forties, and continued with various publishers, doing mostly anthology work like this in the Fifties. Before returning for this story, he had worked on Prince Ra-Man in House of Secrets in the mid-Sixties. I believe "...Werewolf..." was his first Seventies comic book work (all of it at DC), and he returned to inking himself after this one story. He replaced Mike Kaluta on the Spawn of Frankenstein series in Phantom Stranger; his last comic book work appeared around 1975.

Sinister House 8 panel with 'Ahhhhrr' in dialogue

This panel from another page showcases Draut's inks again, more than Baily's pencils, but I chose it for its clue to the writer. On a number of his other mystery stories in the Seventies he uses the expression "Pshee!" from his signature series, but not on this story. However, the "Ahhhhrrr" leads me to ID this script as by Sugar & Spike's Sheldon Mayer.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Woolfolk Records 1946/09

Marvel Mystery 83 Cap story page with gambling den the 'House of Cards' mentioned

These scripts noted in William Woolfolk's notebook sold to Timely and Fawcett; and one sold to the Lutheran Church.

The "Death Mask Dance" story not only sat on the shelf for some time, but the editors expanded it by two pages to fit the slot as the Timely superheroes' first run drew to a close in 1949.

September 1946 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

12 pg Captain Americahouse that moves
Lutheran Church[giveaway]
Captain Marvel Jr.Jumbo the whale
"Jumbo the Whale" CMJ 48, Apr/47
Captain Americamasks of murder
"Death Mask Dance" Marvel Mystery 90, Feb/49
Captain Marvel Jr.bluecoat's honor
"A Bluecoat's Honor" CMJ 49, May/47
Captain Americahouse of cards
"The Devil to Pay" Mar Mys 83, June/47

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bill Finger on Captain America Again

"Beware the Medicine Man" in Captain America 57 (July/46) is another Timely script by Bill Finger that I just found.

Captain America 57 page with 'Arumph' in dialogue

Something he uses here that so far I've seen from no other writer is "Arumph" for "Harrumph."

Batman 5 panel with 'Arumph' in dialogue twice
Other stylistic indicators in this Cap story that Finger has used elsewhere are:

"____, but fast!"
colorful figure
lash out ____...
Meantime, in ____...
sturdy figure

And captions beginning with gerunds: Scanning the paper, ____...

The Cap artist here is Maurice del Bourgo, who did Green Arrow and Mike Gibbs: Guerrilla at DC; at Timely he also drew Mr. Wu in All Select 11 and Blonde Phantom 12.(The Batman art on "The Case of the Honest Crook" in Batman 5, Spr/41, is by Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson.)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Woolfolk Records 1946/08

Lance O'Casey 4 cover

This month Woolfolk sold stories to Fawcett, Parents, and Timely; and there are two more meant for OW but published by EC.

I couldn't find the issue number of the Dig Bailey story.

August 1946 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

9 pg Lance O'Caseyleopard men of atoll
"The Leopard Men of Bonge Atoll" LO'C 4, Sum/47
Hector the Inspector[untitled] Animal Fables 5, Aug/47
11 Lance O'Caseycurse of age
"The Curse of Age" LO'C 4, Sum/47
Danny Demon[untitled] AF 6, Sep-Oct/47
Dig BaileyTugboat Susie
Calling All Boys
Blonde Phantomdust of doom
10 Captain AmericaLaughing Boy
"Death Enters—Laughing" CA 61, Mar/47
Captain Americacrime from prison
"Prison Plunder" Marvel Mystery 81, Mar/47

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sal Trapani Metamorpho Swipes

In his comment on my first Sal Trapani post, Mark Evanier mentioned the artist's work on DC's Metamorpho containing many swipes from Ramona Fradon's earlier work on the title. The example that hit me when I then reread the series was the figure of Simon Stagg that Trapani swiped three times. The first detail here is from Fradon's cover to issue 5 (Mar-Apr/66). She stopped doing story art with issue 4, but continued with the covers, as far as I can tell, through 8. The next three details are from the stories in 11 (Mar-Apr/67) and 12 (May-June /67) and a contest page in 15 (Nov-Dec/67). The inker on the cover and story pages is Charles Paris; Trapani may have inked himself on the contest page.

Ramona Fradon's figure of Simon Stagg with hands to head; Sal Trapani's three swipes

Booksteve posted on his blog a Trapani Metamorpho swipe from a Jack Kirby Captain America panel. In my comment I cited swipes from Kirby's Fantastic Four. To illustrate with the correct FF story (my memory was off by a couple of issues), here are details from FF 65 (Aug/67) and a tier from that Nov-Dec/67 Metamorpho 15. The Metamorpho dialogue is by Bob Haney.

Jack Kirby's figures of Fantastic Four members floating in a dream dimension; Sal Trapani's swipes with Metamorpho and Element Girl floating in a sub-atomic world

The Kirby swipes in this issue are limited to the sequence of Metamorpho and Element Girl in a sub-atomic world, including the page and a half before this one.

The rest of the issue you could take for Trapani actually pencilling for himself—I don't offhand see any more Fradon swipes—but I wonder if I don't see some of Bill Fraccio's style there, as in Dell's Super Heroes where he ghosted for Trapani. This bears further looking into!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Woolfolk Records 1946/07

Blonde Phantom 12 cover
To reiterate: in regular type is my transcription of William Woolfolk's comic book script-selling records (minus, for brevity, the payment sums). My additions of publication data are in bold type. I've seen the records through the auspices of Donna Woolfolk and Marc Svensson.

Woolfolk averaged 120 or so pages of scripts a month, I'd estimate, hitting 202 pages in November 1945. After this month's uncharacteristically low 44 pages he'll work his way back to over 120 a month.

These stories sold to Timely and Parents, and again one was meant for his short-lived own company OW—the eventual payment wasn't recorded this month—but published by EC.

And "Party Line" netted $15 a page, when the best price from the usual publishers was $10, so I suspect it was for a promotional giveaway comic.

July 1946 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

8 pg Party Line
12 Freddy Fireflyego exchanger
"Freddy Firefly Meets Professor Mantis" Animal Fables 4, Sum/47
Blonde Phantomrocket atom bombs
"Skyride to Doom" [Chapter I] BP 12, Win/47
Dig Baileysalvage of racing yacht
"Salvage of the Santa Maria" Calling All Boys 10, Mar/47
Blonde Phantomrocket atom bombs
"Chapter II Skyride to Doom" BP 12, Win/47

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"The Private Life of Captain America" Writer

Captain America 59 caption: The Legend of Captain America! Who He Is, and How He Came to Be

The writer of "The Private Life of Captain America" in CA 59 (Nov/1946) is exactly the one you'd guess by that first caption.

Batman 1 title: The Legend of the Batman--Who He Is and How He Came to Be

Batman co-creator Bill Finger is known to have written, for Timely, the All Winners Squad story in All Winners 19 (Fall/46). In the Who's Who of American Comic Books, Captain America is listed as another feature he wrote for the company.

Two years later, Finger would write "The Origin of Batman" (Batman 47, June-July/48) and "The Origin of Superman" (Superman 53, July-Aug/48) at DC, each of which would recount the origin and add some new twist—in the first case, Batman's finding his parents' killer, Joe Chill; in the second, Superman's first encounter with Kryptonite and learning he's from Krypton. The Captain America story, after recounting the origin, sets up Steve Rogers as a teacher at the Lee School, with Bucky a student (they're already civilians before the story begins) and then gives them a new case. I don't know who the artist is; the entire origin section is swiped, and I would imagine with editorial approval, from Kirby & Simon in CA 1.

Some of Finger's stylistic tells that I've found in various of his stories, and that he uses in this Cap one, are:

action garb
"Big boy"
"It seems ___"
"a look-see"
a melee ensues
Meantime, ___...
A quick change of [costume] and...
swing into action
unleash a sledge-hammer blow
vital people

And there's a cutaway diagram.

You can see that the more indications of style match up, the better; otherwise you might assume John Stanley wrote this story. "Yow!"

Another Cap story that I can attribute to Bill Finger is "The Sportsman of Crime" in CA 58 (Sept/46). The flashback caption starting "So-and-so's story: '____'" is a Fingerism found in a number of Batman stories.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Woolfolk Records Update 2

I've updated these in the posts themselves; here are a correction, and some more additions to the publication data that I didn't have when I posted these particular months of William Woolfolk's comic book scripting records. These scripts are all for Fawcett.

Mary Marvel: I found the story when I saw the issue of Wow. The story was cut by a page.

Captain Midnight: I misread "Casey James" as "Casey Jones" and zoned on the Captain Midnight line, reading it as Captain Marvel. Casey James is a recurring character (he's building a transcontinental railway) in Captain Midnight.

The "Captain Marvel Traps a Sleepwalker" story's issue I scrambled as I turned my original list into HTML for the blog; darkmark pointed out the error. And darkmark supplied the three Don Winslow stories' publication info.

Now that I've looked through the relevant Timely issues, I'll say that all ten Captain America stories that I couldn't identify from December 1945 through March 1946 (in other words, all except "The Last Case of Inspector Leeds" in CA 60) went unpublished, as darkmark in his comment on the post about February 1946 surmised (he helped me see those issues).

February 1945
8 pg Mary Marveljuvenile delinquent double
7 pg "Trouble on the Double" Wow 41, Feb/46
Don Winslowtrail of the S-29
"On the Trail of the S-29" DW 24, May/46
March 1945
Don WinslowHollywood goes to the Pacific
"Hollywood Bound" DW 44, Apr/47
April 1945
Captain MidnightCasey James in swamp
Capt Mid
Don Winslowdynamite ship
"The Good Ship SS Courageous" DW 49, Sept/47
February 1946
Captain Marveltraps a sleepwalker
"CM Traps a Sleepwalker" CM Advs 71, Apr/47

Friday, October 14, 2011

Woolfolk Records 1946/06

Animal Fables 3 cover
These stories sold to Timely and the unknown Railroader Ray company; and this month, Woolfolk noted payment received (but entered in the notebook some time later?) from EC.

The first "Fuddy and Bustle" story (on the September 1945 records) appeared in Mad Hatter 2, the swan song of Woolfolk's company OW; there's no payment noted for this one. EC didn't pick up that series.

"Billy Boy's Fancy," on the other hand, was paid for, but at less than the usual companies' rates; I have no idea where or if it appeared.

June 1946 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

10 pg Freddy Fireflyinvasion of the bees
[untitled] Animal Fables 3, Spr/47
Danny Demonmysterious Mr. Fiend
[untitled] AF 3, Spr/47
Korky Kangroothe old witch
[untitled] AF 4, Sum/47
Rusty the Lonesome Trainlonely train
[untitled] AF 7, Nov-Dec/47
Young Alliesmayor for a day
"Terror at Twilight" Marvel Mystery 83, July/47
Hector the Inspectormost conceited crook
[untitled] AF 3, Spr/47
Aesop Fableshare & tortoise, ant & grasshopper
3 "The Hare and the Tortoise" AF 3, Spr/47
2 "The Ant and the Grasshopper" AF 3, Spr/47
Billy Boy's Fancyloses his merry go round horse
14 Railroader Raybuilding a tunnel
Young Alliesthe Crossbow
Fuddy & Bustlein a haunted house

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Star Spangled War Stories-Star Trek Crossover

The science fiction story backing up the Unknown Soldier in DC's Star Spangled War Stories 170 (June/73)— "U.F.M."—tells of a deserter from a military starship who finds an Ultimate Fighting Machine on an empty planet; it's a doomsday bomb that triggers itself. The story is credited to writer Gerry Boudreau and signed by artist Walt Simonson.

Star Spangled War Stories 180: a patrol finds a menacing plant-metal hybrid

In the sequel by the same creators, "Return" in SSWS 180 (May-June/74), a patrol from the "empty" planet's civilization-gone-underground finds that the U.F.M.'s explosion hurled a part of itself, the Mind Module, to their side of the world, where it genetically engineers fauna and metal into a new killing device. Kyr and Rhuna destroy, they think, the last remnant of the U.F.M.

SSWS 180: Kyr gives Rhuna a bracelet charm--The End

However, the happy ending of that story is premature; it seems Kyr died in Rhuna's arms, in a scene by another artist.

Star Trek 22: Kyr gives Rhuna a bracelet charm and dies, in flashback

Rhuna tells that to Captain James T. Kirk in "Siege in Superspace" in Gold Key's Star Trek 22. The Enterprise has been sucked through a black hole into this other universe. Kirk and his crew help fight more vegetable-metalloid monsters. The trinket Kyr gave Rhuna was a remnant of the Mind Module, directing its monsters to the underground city. The Federation starship returns to its own universe, by creating another black hole when it destroys the Mind Module in a nova.

The Star Trek story was uncredited, but it was of course written by Gerry Boudreau (the artist was Alberto Giolitti). I didn't catch this surreptitious intercompany crossover when it came out, and for good reason—it was published out of order. Star Trek 22 was dated January 1974. Rhuna was telling Kirk a backstory that the readers hadn't yet seen.

By the way, the bearded and bespectacled man on the right in the first panel I've shown is Walt Simonson. Kyr, with his muttonchops, looks a lot like Howard Chaykin; I suspect other real-life people as more "actors" in the story.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Woolfolk Records 1946/05

Captain Midnight 50 cover

William Woolfolk's scripts this month were written for Fawcett, Timely, and the Association of Banks; one ended up at EC; and another was a Railroader Ray backup for the unknown publisher of earlier months.

Lastly, "Action Unlimited" went unpaid-for at this point, intended for another OW title, but eventually sold to Orbit. Possibly because he expected to publish it himself, the script carried Woolfolk's writing credit, which Orbit kept.

May 1946 Comic Book Stories by William Woolfolk

4 pg railroad story
Bozo the Bullat the rodeo
[untitled] Animal Fables 2, Win/46
Captain Marvelsaves Sivana
"CM Saves Sivana" CM Advs 78, Nov/47
Captain Midnightmoon creature
"The Moon Creatures" Capt Mid 50, Apr/47
20 Action Unlimitedson of a fascist
10 "Action Unlimited" Wanted 31, Nov/50
11 "Action Unlimited (Part Two)" Wanted 32, Dec/50
Assoc. of Bankspossibly in "Peter Penny and His Magic Dollar" giveaway, 1947, from American Bankers Assoc.
Young Alliesclown who couldn't laugh
"The Clown Who Killed for a Laugh" Sub-Mariner 22, Spr/47
Young AlliesMother Goose murders
"The Mother Goose Murders" Marvel Mystery 81, Mar/47

Friday, October 7, 2011

Early Cosmic at DC

'The Hotel' in Weird Mystery Tales 4

"The Hotel," an uncredited two-page filler, was the cover story in DC's Weird Mystery Tales 4 (Jan-Feb/1973). In the letter column of issue 6, assistant editor E. Nelson Bridwell answered a request for the credits by saying it was written and drawn by Jack Sparling. In number 8 a reader who obviously had seen the writer/artist's work at Marvel corrected that misidentification; the story is by Jim Starlin. Bridwell admited that he'd confused the somewhat-similar names. The moral: take even credits supplied by editors with a grain of salt! The Grand Comics Database notes that it previously attributed the art to Wayne Howard, and I think he could indeed have done the inks. When the GCD art credits were corrected to Starlin, writing credit remained with Sparling, missing the point that his WMT 6 lettercol mention was incorrect—period.

'The Spell' in House of Mystery 207

"The Spell" appeared at DC earlier, in House of Mystery 207 (Oct/72). It went uncredited as well. This time no one noticed the artist's style, it being only his second professional story published; he'd just been in Marvel's Journey into Mystery 1 (also dated Oct/72, but Marvel at the time dated most of their comics, like this one, a month ahead of DC). His pencils there were overpowered by Mike Ploog's inks. The GCD has, the last I looked today, credited the inks on "The Spell" to Dan Adkins (which I could see) but the pencils to George Tuska.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Woolfolk Records 1946/04

Animal Fables 2 cover
William Woolfolk submitted stories this month to Timely and Fawcett; there are ones written for OW but ending up at EC; and one is evidently for the company that paid for Railroader Ray in earlier months.

At times Korky Kangaroo is spelled in Woolfolk's notebook and at EC as Kangroo.

The Captain Marvel "School Editor" story was the closest I could find to match "Sports Editor," but there would have been some rewriting if so. "School Editor" involves a character called Dean Martin—not the singer co-star of the early issues of Jerry Lewis's comic, but a Mr. Martin who's dean of a school.

On the Young Allies story I need help in narrowing it down to issue of publication. Possibly, like the earlier 15-page YA stories, it went unpublished; it's not one of the final three, in Marvel Mystery 81-83.

April 1946 Comic Book Stories by William Woolfolk

7 pg Young Alliesif the shoe fits
Marvel Mys [thru 80, Apr/47]
Ibisghostly cavalier
"The Ghostly Cavalier" Whiz 83, Feb/47
Korky Kangroovoice thrower
[untitled] Animal Fables 3, Spr/47
Aesop fablesfox & grapes, frog & ox, lion & mouse
2 "The Fox and the Grapes" AF 2, Win/46
2 "The Frog and the Ox"AF 3, Spr/47
2 "The Lion and the Mouse"AF 2, Win/46
Ibisking of darkness
"The King of Darkness" Whiz 84, Apr/47
Captain Marvelsports editor
"Billy Batson—School Editor" CM Advs 75, Aug/47
Captain Marvelsecret life of
"The Secret Life of CM" CM Advs 77, Oct/47
Mary Marvelreversed impulses
"Reversed Impulses" MM 10, Mar/47
railroad story
Captain Marveldate the world ended
"The Fate of the World" CM Advs 74, July/47

Monday, October 3, 2011

Hawkman Writers 1967

When Murray Boltinoff took over editing Hawkman from Julius Schwartz, credits appeared in only two issues. The art team on all six issues was Blackhawk's penciller and inker, Dick Dillin and Chuck Cuidera. Joe Kubert did the cover to #27, and I believe Jack Abel inked Dillin's cover for #24. The writers credited were Bob Haney on #22 and Raymond Marais on #26; the letters page in #24 did say that Haney was no longer writing the book.

Hawkman Writers under Murray Boltinoff

Oct-Nov/66#22 Quoth the Falcon, "Hawkman Die!"Bob Haney
Dec-Jan/67#23 The Hawkman from 1,000,000 B.C.Richard Hughes
Feb-Mar/67#24 The Robot Raiders from Planet MidnightHughes
Apr-May/67#25 Return of the Death GoddessHughes
June-July/67#26 Last Stand on ThanagarRaymond Marais
Aug-Sep/67#27 ...When the Snow-Fiend StrikesMarais

Richard Hughes edited and wrote for Standard in the Forties, then ACG; when he instituted credits at the latter in the Sixties, he was pretty much the sole writer under an army of pen names. After ACG folded, he did a little more writing at DC, whose owners overlapped with ACG's.  At DC, by the way, he adapted his style in the captions from past tense to present to conform to the house style in superhero scripts.

From Hawkman 23 and the Nemesis story "Come Out Shooting" in ACG's Adventures into the Unknown 165 (June-July/66), the latter credited to writer "Shane O'Shea" and artist Chic Stone, note the sound effect spelled in a way I haven't seen from anyone else at DC:

Hawkman 23 and AITU 165 panels by Richard Hughes sharing sound effect 'Pouf'

And from the same two stories, the hyphenation and length of "Oh-hhhh" typical of Hughes:

Hawkman 23 and AITU 165 panels by Hughes sharing 'Oh-hhhh'

"The Bride of Titanman" in Lois Lane 79 (Nov/67) contains an "Oh-hhh" and for good measure an "Oh-hhhhh." (It also has a man in the street leering "Woo-woo" at Lois, as happens in "Come Out Shooting.") The final panel of "The Wrongo Superman" in Jimmy Olsen 114 (Sep/68) gives us six "Pouf"s; a panel in Hawkman 24 can come up with only three:

Hawkman 24 panel with three 'Pouf's