Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tony Tallarico With and Without Bill Fraccio

For decades, Tony Tallarico was assumed the penciller-inker of the anonymous work he did at Dell and as "Tony Williamsune" at Warren, and work elsewhere—even though art in exactly the same style at Charlton, on Blue Beetle and Son of Vulcan, was clearly credited to Bill Fraccio on pencils and Tallarico only on inks.

Assuming that Tallarico did do full art at some point, I wondered what his own pencils looked like, and this cover he signed is the clue. It's Charlton's Holi-Day Surprise 55 (Mar/67), the only issue. Some of the interior art is in this poster-like style, and some in the style more usually associated with Tallarico (i.e., pencilled by Fraccio). The puzzles, activity pages, and at least some of the one-page filler stories are drawn by Tallarico solo.

Holi-Day Surprise 55 cover signed 'Tallarico'

The centerpiece of the comic is a 20-page adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, and Bill Fraccio pencilled that. I'm not sure if Fraccio pencilled or merely influenced the layouts of some of the filler stories. (Click any of these to see at a better size.)

Holi-Day Surprise 55 filler page (Tallarico) and Christmas Carol splash (Fraccio/Tallarico)

Tallarico's full art on Holi-Day Surprise leads me to another instance, in the era when otherwise he mostly worked inking Fraccio. On Dell's Car 54, Where Are You? 4 (Feb' 63) the main story is by Fraccio/Tallarico, but the non-series backup is pencilled as well as inked by Tony Tallarico. #1-2 carry Car 54 stories cover-to-cover, and the #3 backup is pencilled by Fraccio; but the rest of the backups (#4-7) are by Tallarico. On the ones after #4's, I can see the Fraccio influence on the layouts, but I'm pretty sure it's only an influence when I compare backup to main story.

Car 54 4 main story page (Fraccio/Tallarico) and backup page (Tallarico)

Holi-Day Surprise contains two three-page stories by another artist (or two) that I'll leave to tomorrow.


  1. He's credited as the sole artist on work for the also-ran b/w humor magazines (Crazy, Cracked) and the "how-to-draw" books he did.

  2. That's stuff I haven't seen, but I believe Fraccio ghosted pencils for the credited Tallarico on things like The Great Society Comic Book. The how-to-draw books come late enough that I would expect they are indeed all-Tallarico.