Saturday, February 25, 2012

I Dream of Jeannie and the Photostats

As I pointed out about Gold Key's The Twilight Zone, on a number of stories the editors reused a photostat of one particular piece of art to add Rod Serling's head atop the body the story's artist had drawn.

On the first issue of Dell's I Dream of Jeannie (Apr/66), the artist takes that to the limit.

I Dream of Jeannie 1 page: astronaut Tony Nelson, scientist Stella, genie Jeannie

On this page, the Tony Nelson faces in panels 1 and 4 are identical. Likewise his faces in panels 2, 3, and 6. (After panel 2, that one is flipped left for right.) In places the head is the wrong size for the body; in panels 1and 5 it's also turned far away from where he should be looking. It's not in the same artistic style as scientist Stella's face at all.

These are the main two images of the character face the artist uses throughout the comic, over and over, traced originally from photos of Larry Hagman. I see a couple of different stats used sparingly on other pages. He relies on only one or two of Barbara Eden as Jeannie, although on this page it looks as if he's actually drawn her face. In a few spots he draws Tony's face—a very few.

"Sky High" is a full-length three-chapter story. The writer is Paul S. Newman, but I have no idea as to the shortcut-taking artist. (For what it's worth, the Grand Comics Database attributes the art to someone the Who's Who never heard of, a Michael Arnes. My level of confidence in the ID wouldn't be improved by finding it a misspelling.)


  1. Oh, for sure it's a misspelling - and it took me a couple of minutes to recall the right spelling: Michael Arens. He'as not someone I feel sure I can ID.

  2. My final sentences were snarkiness--I'd thought of Mike Arens myself. From what I've seen of his identified work, he was a better artist, but I'll admit that's a value judgment. His working on the West Coast at Hanna-Barbera and at Western's LA offices, when Dell's editorial offices were in New York, is another reason I don't think this is his.

    I could be proven wrong...!

  3. The artist, whoever he was, used publicity photos of Barbara and Larry to draw their faces correctly- as theirs were the only "authorized" ones to be reproduced in the comic book. He "traced" most of the same photos repeatedly, and it shows.

    1. I can think of other artists like Henry Scarpelli who use a few photos over and over, so their characters are always posing their heads the same way, but at least they're drawing the faces anew each time each time and in their own style.