Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Woolfolk Records 1947/04

Feature 117 cover

These posts present my transcriptions of William Woolfolk's Golden Age comic book script-writing and -selling records from his handwritten notebook. Donna Woolfolk allowed the pages to be scanned by Marc Svensson. Boldface shows my addition of publication data not in the records.

Stories sold this month to Timely, Quality, Fawcett, EC, and Orbit.

I couldn't tell which Babs story went in which issue of Ozzie & Babs. NON-UPDATE: The Babs stories in both #1 and 2 concern department stores!

April 1947 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

7 pg Human Torchgirl runs a trucking line
"The Hyena Strikes" HT 30, May/48
11 Doll Manvs. Polka Dot
"Polka Dot on the Spot" Feature 117, Dec/47
Babsdep't store
Ozzie & Babs 1, Dec/47 or 2, Mar/48
11 Doll Manin a sideshow
"Mr. Skeleton" Feature 118, Jan/48
Hector the Inspectorworld's dumbest crook
"HTI Meets the World's Dumbest Crook" Animal Fables 7, Nov-Dec/47
Freddy FireflyAtomic Bug
"FF versus Atomic Bug" AF 7, Nov-Dec/47
11 Babsdress contest
O&B 1, Dec/47 or 2, Mar/48
11 Doll Manboy who knew all the answers
"The Boy Who Knew All the Answers" DM 15, Win/47
12 Captain Americaversus the Matador
"Meet the Matador" CA 65, Jan/48
Ibisthe Ibistick fails
"The Ibistick Fails" Whiz 92, Dec/47
Captain Marvelworld's worst actor
"The World's Worst Actor" CM Advs 79, Dec/47
11 Doll Mantranscontinental railroad
"The Undertaker" DM 15, Win/47
10 Blonde Phantomsultan of bankrupt country
"The Sultan Strikes" BP 16, Win/47-48
Juvenile DelinquentJay Jostyn
"Jay Jostyn: Radio's Mr. District Attorney" Wanted 9, Sept-Oct/47
Captain MarvelMinerva's true love
"Minerva's True Love" CM Advs 79, Dec/47
Captain Marvel Jr.wolf of Wall St.
"The Wolf of Wall Street" CMJ 55, Nov/47
12 Doll Manman in iron mask
"The Man in the Iron Mask" DM 15, Win/47
Captain Marvel run by machines
"The City of Machines" Master 86, Dec/47

Monday, November 28, 2011

"Till Death Do Us Part" 1950s Swipes

Marvel reprinted "Till Death Do Us Part" (Journey into Mystery 15, Apr/54), from its Atlas days, in Vault of Evil 4, Aug/73. Artist Vic Carrabotta signed the splash page. A number of years later, when Eclipse reprinted some stories from Standard in Seduction of the Innocent, I felt I recognized a few panels and eventually matched them up with "Till Death." I found another familiar panel in an EC reprint. Carrabotta's panels come first in each pair below:

JIM 15 and Unseen 13 panels with identical scowling man

On the right: "Grip on Life" art by Alex Toth from The Unseen 13, Nov/53.

JIM 15 and Unseen 9 panels with woman recoiling in horror

On the right: "Your Grave Is Ready" art by Ross Andru from The Unseen 9, Mar/53.

JIM 15 and Two-Fisted 33 panels with people tossed about by atom-bomb blast

On the bottom: "Atom Bomb!" art by Wally Wood, Two-Fisted Tales 33, May-June/53.

(Toth and Andru were inked here by, respectively, Mike Peppe and Mike Esposito, but the pencillers' layouts were what Carrabotta took.) I wonder how many swipes I've missed in this and other Carrabotta stories, when I happened to chance upon just these three source panels.

By the way: "Till Death Do Us Part" opens with a four-panel tier before the splash panel, and at one point someone says "Ow-w-w!" The unsigned writer is Hank Chapman.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Woolfolk Records 1947/03

March 1947's stories sold to Timely, Fawcett, and Quality; and, I'm pretty sure, Orbit—next month, Woolfolk records a better-described crime story that I could narrow down to a specific issue of Wanted, paid at the same rate as this one.

The Mary Marvel story was cut by a page. UPDATE: I posted it as appearing in MARVEL FAMILY 19 until corrected.

March 1947 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

12 pg Sub-Marinerships of all eras
"Viking's Vengeance" S-M 24, Win/48
12 Captain MarvelMr. Atom
"CM Meets Mr. Atom" CM Advs 78, Nov/47
11 Doll Manhorse race & boy
"The Sphinx" Feature 115, Oct/47
True Detective MysteryWanted
Captain Marvel who lived forever
"The Man Who Lived Forever" CMJ 54, Oct/47
12 Human Torchthief of Bagdad
"Terror from Baghdad" Mar Mys 84, Oct/47
Blonde PhantomFrankenstein's castle
"Horror at Haunted Castle" BP 14, Sum/47
11 Doll Mancrime doctor
"Elbows" Feature 116, Nov/47
11 Captain Marvel Jr. phantom canoe
"The Phantom Canoe" CMJ 56, Dec/47
Mary Marvelenchanted forest
6 "MM in the Enchanted Forest" MM 19, Dec/47
Marvel Familycurse on Marvels
"The Marvel Family Curse" MF 17, Nov/47
Ibisman who escaped from Hell
"Ibis and the Man who Escaped" Whiz 91, Nov/47

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Speed Carter, Spaceman Writer

Hank Chapman's getting writing credits at Timely/Atlas in the Fifties puts him ahead of all the other writers except Stan Lee, but the crediting was inconsistent. Spaceman shows this: Chapman's name appears on just two stories, the second and third ones in issue 3, but he scripted the entire series.

Spaceman 1 first story: splash panel, then one story panel

The splash page layouts that I mentioned in my post on the Human Torch stories written by Chapman appear among these stories: a splash panel taking almost the entire page, with one story panel; and a tier of story panels before the splash.

Spaceman 1 third story: four-panel tier, then splash panel

The contemporary-sounding "Holy smokes" in Chapman's Torch and mystery stories doesn't appear here; the futuristic "Great galaxy" and "Holy atoms" substitute. "Ow-w-w," with some variations of length and hyphenation, appears throughout.

panels from third and second Spaceman 1 stories: 'Ow-w-w' and 'O-w-w-w'

The Famous Explorers of Space back-ups take place in Speed Carter's past. The Eadeh and Savage art guesses I pass along from the GCD.

Speed Carter, Spaceman—written by Hank Chapman

Sept/53#1 Speed Carter, Spaceman, and the Pirate Planeta: Joe Maneely
Slaughter on a Stara: Maneely
The Robots' Revengea: Maneely
Nov/53#2 [The Birdmen of Uranus]a: Maneely
The Half-Horrors of Hyadesa: Maneely
Who Stole the Suna: Maneely
Jan/54#3 [Grave-Robbers from Outer Space]a: Maneely
[The Core People]a: Maneely
[The Bems]a: Maneely
Mar/54#4 [The Positpeople and the Neganatives]p: Mike Sekowsky  i: Jack Abel
[The Jet-Men]p: Sekowsky  i: Abel
[The Mosquito Men]p: Sekowsky  i: Abel
May/54#5 Die, Spaceman, Die!a: George Tuska
[Beastmen of Space]a: Tuska
A Slaughter in Spacea: Tuska
July/54#6 The Thing in Outer Spacea: Bob Forgione
The Kiss of Deatha: Forgione
[Spaceworld of the Scorpeople]a: Forgione

Famous Explorers of Space in Spaceman—written by Chapman

Sept/53#1 Venus: Earth's Twin Sistera: John Romita
Nov/53#2 Mercury: The Red-Hot Planetp: Bill Benulis  i: Abel
Jan/54#3 Mars: The Dying Planeta: Al Eadeh?
Mar/54#4 Jupiter: The Giant Planeta: Maneely
May/54#5 Ceres: The Biggest Little World in the Asteroid Belta: Bill Savage?
July/54#6 How Saturn Got Its Fourth Ringa: Benulis

Monday, November 21, 2011

Woolfolk Records 1947/02

Animal Fables 6 cover
This is the final month of the three where William Woolfolk left his scripts undescribed in his notebook. Some stories I've narrowed down to the likely title by page number; at this point the Blackhawk stories in Modern were 15 and then 13 pages, so this month's 12 and 14 pagers wouldn't fit there. "The Robe of Lucifer" is the only 12-page Doll Man from this period not already in Woolfolk's records (and it is in his style).

This 7-page Ibis has to be Part Two to last month's 6-page Part One in Whiz 88, featuring the Cat. The Ibis stories by Woolfolk in Whiz Comics' 80s and 90s are described in earlier and later months in these records; 85's is the sole story by someone else, as I interpret the styles. 88-90 have to fit in December-February's lists of scripts.

Stories sold to Timely, Quality, EC, and Fawcett this month.

February 1947 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

12 pg Doll Man"The Robe of Lucifer" DM 14, Autumn/47
12 Sub-MarinerMarvel Mystery or S-M
11 Doll ManFeature or DM
Hector the Inspector[untitled] Animal Fables 6, Sep-Oct/47
12 Human TorchMarvel Mystery or HT
12 BlackhawkBH
Captain MarvelWhiz or CM Advs or Marvel Family
Freddy Firefly[untitled] AF 6, Sep-Oct/47
14 BlackhawkBH
Ibis"Death of the Cat" Whiz 89, Sept/47
13 Kid EternityHit or KE

Friday, November 18, 2011

Dark Shadows Writers: Full Update

Updating my earlier post, here's a writers' index of the entire run of Gold Key's Dark Shadows; thanks go to darkmark for my seeing the issues filling in the first half of the list. The artist was Joe Certa.

Dark Shadows 8 panel with dialogue: '...have you read Arneson's account of witchcraft and voodooism in New England?'

D. J. Arneson had an uninterrupted 17-issue tenure on the feature (and then one more issue). This article by Jeff Thompson quotes editor Wallace Green on  how, after finishing the first issue's script, Arneson had to hustle with six more pages—they went with an epilogue instead of a second story—when it was decided to publish the issue with no ads.

Arneson is probably best known for graphic novels (as they had yet to be labeled in the Sixties) like The Great Society Comic Book, bylined along with artist Tony Tallarico. With Bill Fraccio's and Tallarico's art at Dell, he wrote the monster superheroes, Frankenstein, Dracula, and Werewolf; I misattributed those books' uncredited scripting some time ago to Don Segall.

To touch very briefly upon writers' styles here, when the scream "Augh" appears for the first time in the series in issue 18, I know that John Warner has come aboard; he's the only one of these four early-70s Gold Key writers to use that particular exclamation (although not in his every issue).

The issue numbers in boldface indicate the ones new to this update.

Dark Shadows Writers

Mar/69#1 The Vampire's PreyD. J. Arneson
Aug/69#2 The Fires of DarknessArneson
Nov/69#3 Return for RevengeArneson
Feb/70#4 The Man Who Could Not DieArneson
May/70#5 The Curse of Collins IsleArneson
Aug/70#6 Awake to EvilArneson
Nov/70#7 Wings of FearArneson
Feb/71#8 The Vampire TrapArneson
May/71#9 Creatures in TormentArneson
Aug/71#10 Souls in BondageArneson
Nov/71#11 The Thirteenth StarArneson
Feb/72#12 The GloveArneson
Apr/72#13 HellfireArneson
Jun/72#14 The Mystic PaintingArneson
Aug/72#15 The Night ChildrenArneson
Oct/72#16 The ScarabArneson
Dec/72#17 The Bride of Barnabas CollinsArneson
Feb/73#18 Guest in the HouseJohn David Warner
Apr/73#19 Island of Eternal LifeArneson
Jun/73#20 Quentin the VampireWarner
Aug/73#21 The Crimson CarnivalGerry Boudreau
Oct/73#22 Seed of EvilArnold Drake
Dec/73#23 The Cult of the DasniWarner
Feb/74#24 On Borrowed BloodDrake
Apr/74#25 The ImmortalWarner
Jun/74#26 The Witch DollsDrake
Aug/74#27 My Blood or YoursDrake
Oct/74#28 The VisitorWarner
Dec74#29 Stolen CenturiesWarner
Feb/75#30 The Weekend Witch HuntersDrake
May/75#31 The Doom of Helgi KolnissonWarner
Jun/75#32 The Secret of the LighthouseWarner
Aug/75#33 King of the WolvesDrake
Nov/75#34 Collinwood PossessedWarner
Feb/76#35 The Missing ManuscriptWarner

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Woolfolk Records 1947/01

Modern 64 cover
This is the second of three successive months where William Woolfolk went back to leaving the scripts undescribed in his records notebook. All boldface, as usual, shows my guesses at publication.

As I said on the December 1946 post, the 13-page Blackhawk stories this month and last may have been written in the opposite order, but the Modern 63 and 64 stories are in Woolfolk's style and their writing would have to fit in December-January.

Woolfolk wrote the 14-page story in Kid Eternity 7 but not 6 or 8, by the style, and the next 14-pager he wrote, in July 1947, is described—it's in number 9.

This 6-page Ibis story's direct sequel is next month's 7-pager, both involving the villain the Cat.

The Miss America and Sub-Mariner stories of these lengths in Blonde Phantom 13 read like Woolfolk's style to me and the ones in 14 don't. Although a Spring cover date, on sale in Winter, meant almost no turnaround time for art and production, I feel these are the stories. If the on-sale date was much earlier than the very end of Winter quarter (late March) then, my seeing his style or no, this month's scripts couldn't have gotten into that issue. Blonde Phantom dropped from 52 pages to 36 with issue 13; I presume the editors had to hustle to fill a space with non-BP material.

Scripts sold to Timely, EC, Quality, and Fawcett this month.

January 1947 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

5 pg Miss America"Burning Witness" Blonde Phantom 13, Spr/47   ?
Sub-Mariner"Cruise of Death" BP 13, Spr/47   ?
FableAnimal Fables
13 Blackhawk"Thunder Bird" Modern 65, Sep/47
11 Doll ManFeature or DM
Captain Marvel Jr.Master or CMJ
14 Kid Eternity"Yo-Ho-Ho and a Bottle of Rum..." KE 7, Autumn/47
14 Doll ManDM 13, Sum/47 or 14, Autumn/47
Blonde PhantomMarvel Mystery or BP if cut by at least 1 page; otherwise unpublished
Ibis"The Man with Nine Lives" Whiz 88, Aug/47
Blonde PhantomMar Mys or BP
Captain Marvel Jr.Master or CMJ
Sergeant TwilightCaptain Midnight
12 Kid EternityKE

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Mandrake Writer

Dick Wood became known as a scripter on the King Features heroes in comic books when Phantom stories for Charlton credited him.  I imagine his first scripts for Charlton were passed along out of inventory when King's own short-lived comic book line ended operations.

Wood wrote King Comics' early Mandrake stories.

Mandrake 2 panels from its two stories

The singular expressions in these panels from the two stories in Mandrake 2—"Suffering Hannah" and "Great suffering Caesar" more so than "Great grief," which you can find from a number of other writers—are the sort I mentioned in my post on Dick Wood's Plastic Man stories at Quality in the Fifties. They don't show up in the first issue, but its "Y-yipes" and "Thunderation," among other things, are interjections Wood uses elsewhere.

Out of my handful of Mandrake issues, I come to writers I can't put names to in issues 4 and 6. (Jerry Siegel, by the way, told the Who’s Who that he wrote one Mandrake.) I would say that Wood wrote the Mandrake back-up in Flash Gordon 1. The inking credits here are Alberto Becattini's from the GCD; I hadn't recognized LeBlanc by myself.

some Dick Wood Mandrake stories

Sept/66#1 Menace of the City Junglep: Don Heck  i: Andre LeBlanc
The Flying Phantomp: Werner Roth  i: LeBlanc
Nov/66#2 Specter from Spacea: LeBlanc
The Phantom Casinoa: LeBlanc

a Dick Wood Mandrake in Flash Gordon

Sept/66#1 Midnight with Mandrakep: Heck  i: LeBlanc

Friday, November 11, 2011

Woolfolk Records 1946/12

Animal Fables 5 cover For December 1946 through February 1947 in his notebook, William Woolfolk went back to leaving his scripts undescribed.

Here are stories that sold to Fawcett, Quality, and Timely; and stories that had to have been directly commissioned from EC (Land of the Lost being an established title), after it had been buying Woolfolk's inventory of stories meant for his own company, OW.

The 13-page Blackhawk stories this month and next may have been written in the opposite order, but the Modern 63 and 64 stories are in Woolfolk's style and would have to fit here.

This is the only Ibis slot in Whiz where a story will fit amid the described ones written in earlier and later months; January and February's, at 6 and 7 pages, will form a two-parter.

December 1946 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

11 pg Doll ManFeature or DM
Aesop FableAnimal Fables
Land of the LostLand of the Lost 8, Nov-Dec/47 or 9, Spr/48
Blonde PhantomMarvel Mystery or BP
11 Doll ManFeature or DM
Freddy Firefly"Firefly Battles the Red Ants" AF 5, July-Aug/47
Captain Marvel Jr.Master or CMJ
Ibis"The School for Sorcerers" Whiz 90, Oct/47
Blonde PhantomMar Mys or BP
13 Blackhawk"Invaders from the Moon" Modern 64, Aug/47
Captain Marvel Jr.Master or CMJ or Marvel Family
Mary MarvelWow or MM or MF

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The First Human Torch Writer (of the Fifties)

Hank Chapman wrote the Human Torch in the Forties, if only as one of those remembered pitching in on the marathon weekend putting together a Torch/Sub-Mariner battle issue. I haven't yet run across his other stories in that decade. Luckily for me in tracking down his style, Chapman in a number of Fifties stories at Timely/Atlas was uncharacteristically (for a writer at the time) given a credit line. He was probably best known for his war stories, and he continued writing that genre in the Sixties at DC.

Uncredited, Chapman wrote the first two Torch stories in the Fifties revival, in Young Men 24 (Dec/53) and 25 (Feb/54).

Young Men 24 Human Torch page 1: 'Holy smokes!' in dialog

Art on the YM 24 story is by Russ Heath, with the exception of a splash panel pasteover of the Torch by Carl Burgos.

YM 24 Torch panels: 'Ow-w-w!' in each

The first clue to Chapman's writing a story is "Ow-w-w"—most often hyphenated exactly like that, but not always. That's best as an indication when the other writers at the particular company and time aren't using it, of course. And "Holy Smokes" in the splash panel helps lead me to Chapman here. The following panels are from a story with Chapman's credit line, "My Brother . . . the Ghoul" in Adventures into Weird Worlds 6 (May/52), with art by George Roussos.

Advs into Weird Worlds 6 story panels: 'Ow-w-w!'; 'Holy smokes!'

Another occasional clue to Chapman is seen by comparing the first page of Young Men 25's Torch story with the first page of "My Brother . . . the Ghoul" (and note "Holy Smokes" again in the Torch splash).

Young Men 25 Torch page 1: 4-panel tier, then splash panel; 'Holy smokes!'

Advs into Weird Worlds 6 page 1: 4-panel tier, then splash panel; 'Story by Hank Chapman' credit

The tier of panels before the splash in each case is something Chapman uses off and on; also, for that matter, the splash with a single story panel following, as in YM 24.

Other writers did the rest of the superhero stories in Atlas's short-lived revival experiment of the mid-Fifties.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Woolfolk Records 1946/11

Hopalong Cassidy 8 cover

These William Woolfolk scripts sold to Fawcett and Quality. The Mary Marvel story was cut by a page.

Woolfolk reused the flame planes concept from the Captain Midnight story he wrote in March 1945.

And this is the first month where I could add every single story's publication data to the original notations (boldface shows what wasn't in the records notebook).

November 1946 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

9 pg Hopalong Cassidyphantom stage coach
"The Phantom Stagecoach" HC 8, June/47
15 Blackhawkflame planes
"The Flame Planes" Modern 62, Apr/47
Captain Marvel who hated midnight
"The Man Who Feared Midnight" CMJ 51, July/47
Mary Marveltown couldn't lie
7 "The Town That Couldn't Lie" Marvel Family 13, July/47
Captain Marvel Jr.magic cap
"The Magic Cap" CMJ 51, July/47
11 Doll Man20 year old mail
"The Return of the Undertaker" Feature 111, June/47
11 BlackhawkCondor Man
"The Condor Man" BH 16, Autumn/47
11 Doll ManMr. Curio & his miniatures
"Mr. Curio and His Miniatures" Feature 112, July/47
Ibishousing shortage ghosts
"Ghost of a Chance" Whiz 87, July/47
Captain Marvel round the Horn
"Voyage 'Round the Horn" Master 81, July/47

Friday, November 4, 2011

Change the Reprint to Fit

Weird Wonder Tales 2 cover: scaly little aliens drag man toward flying saucer
In a Comic Book Legends Revealed post, Brian Cronin quotes Roy Thomas about the time Chip Goodman (son of Marvel publisher Martin Goodman) gave some editorial input: demanding a cover for a Kid Colt reprint issue feature outlaws in animal masks. That meant the reprint story art, which featured nothing of the kind, had to be altered in a couple of panels to match the cover.

Here's another reprint where, as already pointed out in the Grand Comics Database, a story was altered (and again with masks). I submit that it was changed for the same reason as the Kid Colt story: to match the cover. Who knows whose decision it was? Weird Wonder Tales 2 (Feb/74), cover by Gil Kane and Frank Giacoia,  reprints "The Little People" from Marvel Tales 138 (Sept/55). The title is changed to "I Was Kidnapped by a Flying Saucer"—to match the cover. (Possibly the scripter is Joe Gill.)

The hurried redrawing certainly sticks out in the midst of Paul Reinman's earlier art:

Marvel Tales 138 panels: alien little men capture man; WWT 2 panels: same, but little men take off masks to reveal scaly faces

From the next page:

more panels comparing little human-looking aliens in Marvel Tales and scaly aliens in WWT

The "improvements" don't end with the art. You can't miss where some dialogue has been relettered to fit the new plot point. In panels not shown here, names have been relettered, just as poorly, to those of Marvel Bullpenners: "Mabel" to "Carla," "Colonel Mite and his wife" to "Don the Dwarf and Tiny Tony," and "Cluny the Giant" to "Marvin the Giant"—but not consistently; "Cluny" is left unchanged once.

I can't cite a single instance where altering a story in reprint improved it for this reader. Reprints have been changed for any number of purposes beyond fitting the story to a new cover or a production person's whim. For instance:

cutting the story length
acquiescing to the Comics Code or new publisher policies
updating fashions or culture references
retconning or annotating
replacing a character because the license has expired, or for other reasons
redesigning the page
rewriting the story entirely

Every great once in a while, I suppose, an actual mistake in the original has been fixed.

I think the readers and original creators are respected more just by reprinting the stories unaltered.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Woolfolk Records 1946/10

Blackhawk 15 cover

William Woolfolk's scripts in October went to Quality, Fawcett, and Timely.

Not only does the Blonde Phantom story in issue 13 of her title fit the number of pages given for this month's undescribed script, but it's in Woolfolk's style—the exclamation "Good glory!" (the BP story, top) is one clue to his work, as seen in another tier from the Captain America story (bottom) in Marvel Mystery 83 that Woolfolk submitted in September.

Blonde Phantom 13 tier (art by Syd Shores) and Marvel Mystery 83 Captain America tier, sharing exclamation 'Good Glory'

The Hopalong Cassidy story's final disposition is a mystery to me.

October 1946 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

11 pg Blackhawkisland in the sky
"The Island in the Sky" BH 15, Sum/47
Hopalong Cassidyplays a bluff
Blonde Phantom"Peril from the Past" BP 13, Spr/47
12 Blackhawksky matador
"The Sky Matador" BH 15, Sum/47
13 Doll ManFat Catt
"The Man with Nine Lives" Feature 110, May/47
Captain Americagets amnesia
"24 Hours of Terror" Marvel Mystery 82, May/47
Captain Americamurder at the Mardi Gras
6 "The Murder at the Mardi Gras" BP 16, Win/47-48
12 Doll ManLazarus returns from the dead
"The Man Who Returned from the Dead" DM 13, Sum/47