Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Batman Writers: Detective 301-326

Detective 322 panel: Batman with face in shadow
"I must be a creatue of the night..."
This is Batman's best period for me, the one in which I first read him. It didn't hurt to have the original writer still working on the character. The Clayface and Cat-Man series where each story built upon the earlier ones, the Dr. No-Face and Flying Bat-Cave stories, didn't disappoint in the rereading.

The stories I've read now for the first time are just as good. "The Bizarre Batman Genie" stands out—it uses the strange-transformation trope of the period to turn the second half into a Robin/Bat-Girl story when Batman becomes an antagonist.

"Targets of the Alien Z-Ray" in #305 is the only story in this run to use the sound effects Kwoom and Crzzzz and the creature roar "Rawwwr" that Arnold Drake, and not Bill Finger or Dave Wood, employs.

Batman in Detective 301-326—Writers

Mar/62#301 The Condemned BatmanBill Finger
Apr/    #302 The Bronze MenaceFinger
May/    #303 Murder in SkylandFinger
June/    #304 The Return of Clay-FaceFinger
July/    #305 Targets of the Alien Z-RayArnold Drake
Aug/    #306 The Wizard of 1,000 MenacesFinger
Sept/    #307 Alpha, the Experimental ManFinger
Oct/    #308 The Flame-MasterFinger
Nov/    #309 The Mystery of the Mardi Gras MurdersFinger
Dec/    #310 Bat-Mite's Super-CircusFinger
Jan/63#311 The Challenge of the Cat-ManFinger
Feb/    #312 The Secret of Clayface's PowerFinger
Mar/    #313 The Mystery of the $1,000,000 Treasure HuntDave Wood
Apr/    #314 Murder in MovielandFinger
May/    #315 The Jungle Man of Gotham CityWood
June/    #316 Double Batman vs. Double XWood
July/    #317 The Secrets of the Flying Bat-CaveFinger
Aug/    #318 The Cat-Man Strikes BackFinger
Sept/    #319 The Fantastic Dr. No-FaceWood
Oct/    #320 Batman and Robin—the Mummy Crime-FightersWood
Nov/    #321 The Terrible TrioWood
Dec/    #322 The Bizarre Batman GenieWood
Jan/64#323 The Zodiac MasterWood
Feb/    #324 Menace of the Robot BrainWood
Mar/    #325 The Strange Lives of the Cat-ManFinger
Apr/    #326 Captives of the Alien ZooWood

Friday, April 20, 2012


HOM 174 cover detail

The Grand Comics Database notes that this House of Mystery cover, #174's, was once attributed to Carmine Infantino on pencils and inks, and then Joe Orlando on pencils and George Roussos on inks. Now it's deemed to be by Nick Cardy; it's listed as one of his in The Art of Nick Cardy (and in the DC Showcase volume, for what that's worth).

Nick Cardy had nothing to do with this cover. Possibly he submitted one, noting it on his own records, but if so, his went unused. Cardy didn't draw the cover published.

HOM 174 cover: three kids before door with spectral hand beckoning them in
Maybe Infantino designed the cover, like he did others at the time. Maybe, maybe not. I don’t see Roussos’ work here.

My only question on the pencilling and inking here is whether Bill Draut might have helped pencil—note the head of the boy on our left. But going by his legs and so on, the main artist is Joe Orlando. I can't find the slightest trace of Nick Cardy's style in pencils or inks.

Does anybody see it here?

By the way, I ran across the GCD entry on HOM 174 when I glanced at the earlier issues, to find that attributions on Dial H for Hero that had been passed along from my twenty-year-old lists had been replaced—and I was still given the "credit." In fact, I had listed only the writers of 156-165 and 173, if I recall correctly; I didn't read the Binder and Dick Wood issues until March 2012, but I supposedly attributed them to Dave Wood. I certainly didn't credit 173 to Jack Miller. But somebody heard second-hand that Miller had taken over the feature, so blithely altered the entry from Dave Wood to Miller but left me still the source. (My latest Dial H list is a few posts back.)

Wikiality is always changing.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Doll Man Writers 1952-53

Doll Man 44 cover: Radioactive Man

Doll Man comes to the end of his run embracing the horror boom of the early Fifties.

These attributions to William Woolfolk come from my seeing his style in the scripting; I haven't seen the pages of his notebook that, if I'm correct, record these stories.

"Q" is a writer I can't name, who wrote quite a lot for Quality in the Fifties: war, horror, some Robin Hood, some Daniel Boone; not to mention Blackhawk just before DC took over the title. UPDATE: I'm replacing the letter with the writer's name, now that I've figured out who he is: Robert Bernstein.

As for IDing the artists on these stories, I'm throwing my hands in the air and walking away.

Doll Man Writers 1952-53

Feb/52#38 The Druid DeathWilliam Woolfolk
House of VampiresWoolfolk
Doll Man and the Voodoo MasterWoolfolk
Apr/    #39 The Death DrugWoolfolk
The Sinister SafariWoolfolk
Ticket of TerrorWoolfolk
June/    #40 Doll Man and the Giants of CrimeWoolfolk
The Mysterious Mr. MagnetWoolfolk
The Bleeding StatueWoolfolk
Aug/    #41 The Headless HorsemanWoolfolk
Darrel Dane's BodyguardWoolfolk
The Beast ManWoolfolk
Oct/    #42 The Mind-MonsterWoolfolk
The Spectre in SteelWoolfolk
Diary of DeathWoolfolk
Dec/    #43 The Thing That KilledWoolfolk
The Emerald Eye of EvilWoolfolk
Satan's SculptorWoolfolk
Feb/53#44 Radioactive ManWoolfolk
The Raiser of the DeadRobert Bernstein
Wanted: Darrel DaneBernstein
Apr/    #45  The Man with the Iron FaceWoolfolk
The Killers from X-T-B-2Woolfolk
The Doom BoxJoe Millard
June/    #46 The Monster from TomorrowMillard
Flame of EvilMillard
The Killer HawksMillard
Oct/    #47 Midget of MurderDick Wood
The Mad HypnotistWood
Crime's Mr. MagicWood

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Beverly Hillbillies Writer

BH 10 line-drawn cover: Clampetts and robot

The TV title The Beverly Hillbillies is the fourth longest-running title after Combat, Ghost Stories, and Alvin for Dell following its split with Western Publishing. All covers are photos except for #10 by Gene Colan (as noted in the GCD). #18 is the only issue with three individual stories; other issues may include chapter titles in multi-part stories.
I'd hazard that the one-page inside-cover stories in the early issues, that I haven't listed, were all written by Arneson; the art anomaly among them is that the IFC to #3 was drawn by Fraccio and Tallarico, not the main story's Henry Scarpelli.

#19-21 (inevitably, as Dell limps into the early Seventies) reprint #1-3.

The Beverly Hillbillies

Written by D.J. Arneson; pencilled by Bill Fraccio; inked and lettered by Tony Tallarico

June/63#1 Some Neighborly Help
Sept/    #2 Live Elegant

Written by Arneson; drawn by Henry Scarpelli

Dec/    #3 Community Chaos
Mar/64#4 Culture Vultures
June/    #5 Holiday Havoc
Sept/    #6 Treasure Hunt
Dec/    #7 The Show Must Go On
Mar/65#8 Jed's Birthday
June/    #9 Circus Daze
Sept/    #10 My Son, the Monster
Dec/    #11 The Call of the Jungle
Mar/66#12 Jed's Little Dream House
June/    #13 Flyin' Granny
Sept/    #14 Summer Camp Capers
Dec/    #15 Crazy Cruise
Mar/67#16 Hold That Line
May/    #17 Pass the Skis, Please
Aug/    #18 Granny's Goodie-Wagon
Inferior Decorating
Jethro's Great Romance

Monday, April 9, 2012

Dial H for Hero and G for Ghosts

It seems Jack Schiff, some time after the Sixties, recalled that Jack Miller had written Dial H for Hero. But then, Julius Schwartz remembered that he himself had used Gardner Fox as one of his writers on Superman. The credits on the Superman stories he edited (and the timing of Fox's being let go from DC) show Schwartz was mistaken. The writing style of the uncredited Dial H stories suggest that Schiff was equally mistaken. Schiff also noted, if I remember correctly, that Bob Kane actually did all the Batman artwork he supplied DC; I hate to think how many attributions on the Grand Comics Database would have to be changed if Schiff's recollections are taken for gospel on all subjects.

Jack Miller certainly did write for House of Mystery when it carried Dial H, but he wrote the Martian Manhunter stories. He and Dave Wood share some ways of writing—both use "Great ghosts" and Tense moments later..., but they differ in other ways. Where Wood uses "O-oh," Miller makes use of "Oh-h-h-h." The first Dial H story, among others, has a couple of instances of Wood's pausing after a first word: "I'm...back to normal again!" and "He's...entering an escape hatch of some kind!"

The two Otto Binder stories contain his old standby "Ulps." The Bill Finger story uses "Wha-aat." The Dick Wood stories boast "Great suffering cats" and "Howling horrors." Since these are the only stories of his I've seen for DC at this time—he had moved over to Gold Key, King, and Harvey—I wonder if he ghosted them for his brother Dave.

HOM 173: superhero Strata Man, then later, Robby Reed and policeman

And I believe the final Dial H for Hero story is another example of Charles Nicholas' ghost pencilling for Sal Trapani. The pose of the policeman in the middle panel is typical Nicholas.

Dial H for Hero in House of Mystery

Jan/66#156 Dial H for Herow: Dave Wood  a: Jim Mooney
Mar/    #157 The Marauders from Thunderbolt Islandw: Dave Wood  a: Mooney
Apr/    #158 Dial V for Villainw: Dave Wood  a: Mooney
June/    #159 The Clay-Creep Clanw: Dave Wood  a: Mooney
July/    #160 The Wizard of Lightw: Dave Wood  a: Mooney
Sept/    #161 The Mummy with Six Headsw: Dave Wood  a: Mooney
Oct/    #162 The Monster-Maker of Littlevillew: Bill Finger  a: Mooney
Dec/    #163 Baron Bug and His Insect Armyw: Dave Wood  a: Mooney
Jan/67#164 Dr. Cyclops—the Villain with the Doomsday Starew: Dave Wood  a: Mooney
Mar/    #165 The Freak Super-Heroesw: Dave Wood  p: Mooney i: George Roussos
Apr/    #166 The King of the Cursesw: Dave Wood  p: Mooney i: Roussos
June/    #167 The Fantastic Rainbow Raiderw: Otto Binder  p: Mooney i: Roussos
July/    #168 The Marauding Moon Manw: Dave Wood  p: Mooney i: Roussos
Sept/    #169 The Terrible Toymasterw: Binder  a: Mooney
Oct/    #170 Thunderbolt's Secret Weaponw: Dave Wood  a: Mooney
Dec/    #171 The Micro-Monstersw: Dick Wood  a: Frank Springer
Feb/68#172 The Monsters from the H-Dialw: Dick Wood  a: Springer
Apr/    #173 Revolt of the H-Dialw: Dave Wood  p: Charles Nicholas  i: Sal Trapani

Covers by Jim Mooney except #163: Carmine Infantino/Joe Giella; 171: Nick Cardy; 172: Frank Springer; and 173: Jack Sparling.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

John Belfi Sneak on Plastic Man

John Belfi noted that he inked Jack Cole on Plastic Man in the early Forties, but it seems he didn't say which stories he inked.

Actually, he did indicate at least one. He sneaked his name into the Plas episode in Police Comics 23 (Oct/43), the ghost train story. See the name on the suitcase tag in the middle foreground.

Police 23 panel aboard freight car; suitcase tag 'Belfi'

Monday, April 2, 2012

Time Tunnel and Land of the Giants

Time Tunnel 1 splash: Tony Newman and Doug Phillips tumbling through time

On these two titles from Gold Key—tie-ins to science fiction TV shows produced by Irwin Allen—the writer credits are as straightforward as on Girl from UNCLE: one writer on each.

Art on both titles came from Tom Gill. I can't tell how much was contributed by John Verpoorten, who's known to have assisted Gill on Time Tunnel; Ted Galindo pencilled for Gill on Land of the Giants. The Time Tunnel covers were paintings by George Wilson; Giants used photo covers.

The Time Tunnel

Feb/67#1 The AssassinsPaul S. Newman
The Lion or the Volcano?Newman
Mars CountdownNewman
July/    #2 The ConquerorsNewman
The CaptivesNewman

Land of the Giants

Apr/68#1 The Mini-CriminalsDick Wood
Jan/69#2 Countdown to EscapeWood
Mar/    #3 Giant Damsel in DistressWood
June/    #4 Safari in GiantlandWood
Sep/    #5 Operation Mini-SurgeonWood