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.


  1. Here's an interesting story told by Carrabotta.
    VC: I was 21 years old when I started out in comic books. I lived in New York and I had just come back from the Marine Corp.
    I made some samples up and we canvassed New York city and went to every publishing house you could think of. One of them, of course, was Timely Comics which ended up being Marvel later on, but nothing really happened and I couldn’t get in to see anyone like Stan Lee. Finally my wife and I ended up with a cup of coffee walking the streets of New York and I got to see Jack Kirby. He’s really the one who got me started. My wife and I went over together to Jack Kirby’s office, which was then called Simon and Kirby, and Jack took me into his office and looked my stuff. My sat in the lobby and by this time she was about eight and half months pregnant. So I went into Jack’s office and he looked at my stuff and said, “Well this is nice,” because I was an amateur and I don’t think I was very good at the time. [laughter] So he walks out into the lobby and while he’s telling me, “You know Vic, your work is nice, but don’t call me, I’ll call you.” It was the old story, the brush off, and as he walked out my wife stood up and I said, “Jack, this is my wife Connie.” He looked her up and down and he did a double take and saw that she was pregnant and what ran across his mind was, “This poor guy, he needs work,” and he said, “How are you?” and introduced himself to my wife and said, “By the way, have you seen Stan Lee at Timely Comics?” I said, “Yes Jack, I went there but I couldn’t get to see Stan.” I was walking around with a pack full of amateurish work; I couldn’t even afford a proper portfolio. He said, “Well, wait a minute,” and he went back into his cubby hole and he writes a letter and sealed it and said, “Take this back to Stan now.” So I took it back to Stan and got past the secretary and I was sitting across the desk from Stan Lee. Stan was a very casual guy and had his feet up on the desk and he said, “Oh, Jack says you can draw this and that,” and I said, “Yes Stan, would you like to see me work?” and he said, “No, that’s ok. Here,” and he threw a script across the desk and said, “I want this back in a week.” And that was the beginning of my comic book career.
    I never knew what was in the letter; obviously it was Jack telling Stan to help this poor guy. And that’s how I got started in comics. Had it not been for Jack Kirby I’d probably be laying bricks with my cousin or something.

    Patrick Ford

  2. Patrick, thanks for passing along Vic Carrabotta's story. There were giants in those days...