Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Another Trapani Ghost; Collect Them All

The Dell TV tie-in Hogan's Heroes, like Get Smart, has Steve Ditko on a couple of issues, ghosting for inker Sal Trapani. Ditko's style is so distinctive that any young reader at the time could recognize his work. After his issues, though, Trapani's ghosts are more harder to spot—and at some point, who knows? Trapani may even pencil for himself.

Hogan's Heroes 4 (Mar/67), "Operation Flick Flack,"  comes after a first issue pencilled by Dick Giordano and then Ditko's two issues. The place to expect Trapani to find his ghosts is at Charlton, and the artist I see pencilling here did work there in the later Sixties, although he's best known for his series work at Marvel in the Seventies.

The likenesses called for by a TV comic can stifle the artist's style; every time Colonel Hogan smiles throughout the issue, it's the same smile, as if only one photo were available of Bob Crane using that expression. In the panels here, the effort at making Lebeau look like Robert Clary seem strained (and not fully successful).

Hogan's Heroes 4' two panels of Lebeau and Newkirk

For some reason, there's no attempt (or a failed one) at using Richard Dawson's likeness as Newkirk, and that's where I see distinctive faces very much in penciller Don Perlin's style. UPDATE: It's not Perlin.


  1. For what it's worth, Dick Giordano told me he didn't think Trapani ever pencilled a story on his own. Since Dick was Sal's brother-in-law and shared studio space with him for a time, I wouldn't discount that.

    And Art Cappello told me he ghosted for Trapani. He didn't recall what it was on but he didn't think it was continuing characters and he knew it wasn't for a major publisher.

  2. Interesting, Martin, I am not saying you're wrong, but I read Hogan's Heroes #1 for the first time a couple of months ago, and I assumed Jim Aparo was the penciller, mainly going by the German sentry in panel 2, page 4, who I reckon is dead-on Aparo, and possibly also Colonel Klink in panel 2, page 7.

    But on the other hand I am not very familiar with Dick Giordano's pencils when inked by others, so maybe Giordano+Trapani is very similar to Aparo?

    Is it true that Paul S. Newman wrote ALL of Hogan's Heroes?

  3. Mark, I was giving Sal Trapani the benefit of the doubt, if you can call it that, figuring he did his own swipes in Metamorpho. That's not much benefit, admittedly!

    Lee, I'd love to take a look at Hogan's Heroes 1 again, in klight of those panels, but that will have to happen some time later--I can't find a scan any more. I can say that Paul S. Newman wrote only that first issue; D.J. Arneson took over with number 2.