Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Woolfolk Records 1951/10

Orbit, Fawcett, and Quality.

This is the last Monte Hale story William Woolfolk writes. I'm pleasantly surprised that I could identify the publication of as many as 14 out of the 35 in these records, considering that Hale's comics haven't been extensively indexed. (darkmark identified the 15th through 18th.)

The Grand Comics Database has mislisted the "World's Most Unpopular Boy" Captain Marvel Jr. story as "World's Most Popular Boy."

There was only one Dr. (not Mr.) Science story published, one explaining rockets written by Otto Binder, in CMJ 108, Apr/52.

October 1951 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

7 pg  No Man's Woman girl who regards men only as competitors
"I'm No Man's Woman" Love Diary 25, Feb/52
Captain Marvel Jr. Professor Edgewise's happy smoke
"Professor Edgewise's Happy Smoke" CMJ 112, Aug/52
Monte Hale sea of flame
"The Sea of Flame" MH Western 75, Aug/52
Ibis isle of forbidden fruit
"On the Isle of Forbidden Fruit" Whiz 147, July/52
Captain Marvel Jr. the derby donkey
"CMJ and the Derby Donkey" CMJ 110, June/52
10  Doll Man the ghastly giants
"DM and the Giants of Crime" DM 40, June/52
Doll Man the bleeding statue
"The Bleeding Statue" DM 40, June/52
Girl Trap true crime of car robberies of pick-up girls
"Girl Trap" Wanted 46, Mar/52
Captain Marvel Jr. Jr. becomes a space ambassador
"Ambassador to Pluto" CMJ 111, July/52
Captain Marvel Jr. gigantic buzzsaw
"CMJ and the Gigantic Buzzsaw" CMJ 110, June/52
Doll Man Mr. Magnet
"The Mysterious Mr. Magnet" DM 40, June/52
10  Kansas City Killer! the story of Binaggio
"Kansas City Killer" Wanted 46, Mar/52
Captain Marvel Jr. world's most unpopular boy
"CMJ, World's Most Unpopular Boy" CMJ 110, June/52
Mr. Science explains the H bomb

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Couple of Dick Wood Titles at Gold Key

Dick Wood wrote mainly (although not exclusively) for Gold Key in the Sixties. Having found his work on longer-running series like Star Trek, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, and Man from UNCLE, as well as the mystery books like Boris Karloff and Twilight Zone, as I go farther afield among the companie's titles I find a few more of his scripts.

Wood's extravagant expressions give him away; I'll lay a bet that "Great galloping Selenites" never figured in the shooting script of First Men in the Moon. There's the same sort of expression in the Lancer tier shown here.

First Men--'Great galloping Selenites', Lancer 3--'Blazing thunderballs'

Movie Comic is a title of convenience that never appears in the indicia and in fact on First Men doesn't even appear on the cover. That's an adaptation of the Ray Harryhausen movie of the H.G. Wells novel; Lancer presents original stories of the TV western with a ranch-and-family setup reminiscent of Bonanza.

Movie Comic

Mar/65 First Men in the Moon w: Dick Wood  a: Fred Fredericks


Feb/69 #1  Circumstantial Evidence w: Wood  a: Luis Dominguez
June/     #2  The Diamond-Studded Steer w: Wood  a: Dominguez
Sept/     #3  The Water Rustlers w: Wood  a: Dominguez

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Woolfolk Records 1951/9

Captain MArvel Jr 109 cover--Littlest Giant

As regular readers know, William Woolfolk kept ongoing records of writing and selling comic book scripts in the late Forties and early Fifties. The notebook pages were scanned awhile ago by Marc Svensson, with the cooperation of Donna Woolfolk. I've tracked down the dispositions of the scripts—the published titles and issues of publication—and added them in bold.

The publishers of this month's stories: Quality, Orbit, and Fawcett.

UPDATE: darkmark found the over possessive gal story in Love Journal, in which title I suspected it lurked, in the publication month I guessed it would fall in.

September 1951 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

7 pg  Doll Man sinister safari
"The Sinister Safari" DM 39, Apr/52
Doll Man ticket of terror
"Ticket of Terror" DM 39, Apr/52
My Sister's Shadow rival sisters
"My Sister's Shadow" Love Diary 26, Mar/52
Captain Marvel Jr. the planet hunter
"CMJ and Yblees the Planet Hunter" CMJ 109, May/52
I Knew What I Wanted over possessive gal 
"Wanted--a Man to Love Me" L Journal 13, Mar/52
Blackhawk blood on the Sphinx
"Blood on the Sphinx" BH 52, May/52
Captain Marvel Jr. Freddy Freeman's nightmare
"CMJ and the Horrible Nightmare of Freddy Freeman" CMJ 109, May/52
Captain Marvel Jr. the littlest giant
"CMJ Meets the Littlest Giant" CMJ 109, May/52
Captain Marvel Jr. a day in the life of Jr.
"A Day in the Life of CMJ" CMJ 111, July/52
Blackhawk Death's comet
"Death's Comet" BH 53, June/52

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Who Was Going to Play the Role of Gulliver?

Dell's Gulliver's Travels 1 (Sept-Nov/65) was scripted and drawn as a licensed property, but then the license was lost to Dell or dropped by them. My only evidence is in the comic itself.

An animated-cartoon style for this comic seems an odd choice when Dell did other such classic story one-shots with art by the likes of Jack Sparling. Lemuel Gulliver's short proportions are the first odd thing I noticed. But when eventually I zeroed in on the thicker ink lines on Gulliver's face throughout, I realized he'd been redrawn, and then the nickel dropped.

Gulliver's Travels 1 page

Gulliver was drawn, at first, as Quincy Magoo.

Magoo's cartoonishly bulbous nose has been replaced with a more nearly realistic one and the bags under his eyes gotten rid of. But the one time an ear is seen under Gulliver's long hair, it's Magoo's—the top is folded down—and his jowls and chin are still obvious. The cover Gulliver's face doesn't much resemble the interior Gulliver's—his chin is not at all as pronounced; the cover was no doubt drawn after the licensing fell though.

The 1962 TV special "Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol," in which he acted the role of Ebenezer Scrooge, was successful enough that after the special's 1963 repeat "The Famous Adventures of Mister Magoo" came out as an ongoing primetime series in the 1964-65 season. Magoo (probably wearing contact lenses as an actor, as his nearsightedness was not in evidence) played such characters as D'Artagnan, Gunga Din, and Victor Frankenstein. Dell's Gulliver's Travels was published after the last of the original episodes was shown in 1965, but it had to have been begun as a tie-in to the show. Magoo never played Gulliver on the series; the comic was an original story in that sense.

The fact that the artist of Gulliver's Travels drew Dell's Mister Magoo numbers 4 and 5 two years earlier is obscured by that facial retouching but is, I think, evident in the supporting characters.

Mister Magoo 4 tier

I wonder if the artist was someone moonlighting from Dik Browne's studio or Mort Walker's, or with some other syndicated connection. The fact that the Grand Comics Database credits the coloring on Mister Magoo 4 (June-Aug/63) to Kelley Jarvis, who wasn't born until 1966, leaves me uninclined to take its second-hand artist guess seriously. For the record, it passes along a credit from a reprint (which I imagine Jarvis did color, decades later), a credit to J. R. Chilly, whom I take to mean Dell's art director, John Chilly (as he's named in the Who's Who).

UPDATE: Mark Evanier suggests longtime Mort Walker assistant Bob Gustavson as a possibility, and I think that's exactly who drew Mister Magoo 4 and 5 and Gulliver's Travels.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Woolfolk Records 1951/08

Monte Hale Western 75 The Man Who Cried Murder

Captain Marvel Jr. 108 is the point in the Grand Comics Database records at which my William Woolfolk CMJ credits from his writing style came from a run I'd seen on Jerry Bails' microfilm.

I can't find "Sky High Witness" in Wanted, the book for which, judging by the pay rate as well as the genre, it was intended. A few Orbit scripts were held back for rewrites (Woolfolk will note rewriting some himself), and the magazine's cancellation may have come before this one was judged ready.

August 1951 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

7 pg  Monte Hale man exchanges his identity for a killer's
MH Western
10  Blackhawk the earth planes
"The Hell Divers" BH 49, Feb/52
The Last Supper guy he envies is having last meal in death house
"His Last Meal" Wanted 49, Sept/52
T-Man to get shipment of grain to India
"The Devil's Agent" Police 113, Mar/52
Captain Marvel Jr. world's mightiest whale
8  "CMJ and the World's Mightiest Whale" CMJ 107, Mar/52
Captain Marvel Jr. world of Babel
8  "CMJ and the World of Babel" CMJ 108, Apr/52
Sky High Witness man on bridge girder to lose assassin
10  Doll Man horror weed, the world's worst narcotic
"The Death Drug" DM 39, Apr/52
Monte Hale man who cried murder
"The Man Who Cried Murder" MH Western 75, Aug/52
Passion's Fool farmer & fading actress
"Passion's Fool" Love Journal 12, Feb/52
Monte Hale the stolen sixgun
"The Stolen Six-Gun" MH Western 75, Aug/52
Ibis peril from the pyramids
"Peril from the Pyramids" Whiz 146, June/52
Captain Marvel Jr. Freddy Freeman's lost weekend
"CMJ and Freddy Freeman's Lost Week End" CMJ 108, Apr/52

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Otto Binder on The Westerner

Although Jerry Bails and Hames Ware in the Who's Who had Otto Binder writing Wild Bill Pecos for Orbit (giving his tenure as 1950-51), it seems there are no records of which particular stories he wrote. I've mentioned a number of times that at least some of Binder's records were compiled after the fact; as I understand it, Jerry went through his comic book collection with Otto and asked, "Is this story yours? Is this?" (After which he wrote in the credit on the stories' first pages.) But I suspect Jerry hadn't collected The Westerner.

Mostly Binder's stories here fill in around those noted in William Woolfolk's records; the question is where Binder comes aboard. I don't find any Binder stories on the title before issue 34 in 1951—although the tenure is correct in that he wrote the first of these in 1950. There are stories in 35, 36, and 37 by neither Binder nor Woolfolk.

Otto Binder's style is pretty obvious: "Ulps," "Omigosh," "Yayyy." In the Lobo stories, with only American Indian characters, he doesn't use these informalities, so there I'm going by his style of exclamatory and explanatory captions. The cowboy expressions "Jumping horned toads" and "Howling coyotes" he uses also on a Fawcett story, "Ken Maynard and the Pied Piper of the West" (Ken Maynard Western 3, Apr/51)—again, Bails and Ware had this feature listed for Binder, but individual stories evidently were never singled out (#3 is the only issue I've seen so far). Binder shows a prediliction for alliterative names: Bronco Baily, Blazes Barns, Bushwhack Barton, Bruce Bates, Diablo Dan, Owlhoot Orton, Pete Piper.

The Westerner 41--The Twin Terrors--'Ulps'

The Westerner
scripts by Otto Binder:
Wild Bill Pecos (except as noted)

Mar/51 34  The Two-Gun Grandpappies
Death Hunt
Apr/     35  The Riddle of the Petrified Forest
May/     36  Wild Bill Pecos and the Tombstone Bugle
Tombstone City Goes Loco
June/     37  Gun Trouble
July/     38  The Kidnapped Cayuses
Aug/     39  Wild Bill Pecos and the Substitute Marshal
Sept/     40  Hostage for Death [LOBO THE WOLF BOY]
The Swirling Peril
The Greatest Hero or Hair-o of the West?
Dec/     41  The Three Great Tasks [LOBO THE WOLF BOY]
Nuggets Nugent and the Twin Terrors [NUGGETS NUGENT]
Wild Bill Pecos Guns for Nuggets

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Woolfolk Records 1951/07

LOve Diary 24 'I Tried to Buy Love' splash page

The publishers buying the stories are Orbit, Fawcett, and Quality—the latter for whom William Woolfolk starts writing some stories of private eye Ken Shannon, who not only has his own title but has taken Plastic Man's slot in Police.

July 1951 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

9 pg  Afraid to Be a Wife! girl who doesn't want a baby
"Afraid to Be a Wife" Love Diary 23, Dec/51
13  Pinhead and Foodini a robot machine that hunts gold
"Foodini's Robot Prospector" Pinhead and Foodini 4, Jan/52
Pinhead and Foodini single page gag
"Pinhead Strikes Back" P & F 4, Jan/52
Ibis prisoner on Charon's ferry
"Prisoner on Charon's Ferry" Whiz 143, Mar/52
Captain Marvel Jr. gets lazy
"CMJ Gets Lazy" CMJ 107, Mar/52
Ibis enchanted forest
"The Enchanted Forest" Whiz 144, Apr/52
Lord of Chicago Big Jim Colosimo
"Big Jim Colosimo . . . Crime Lord" Wanted 44, Jan/52
Ken Shannon suicide by a stranger
"Corpse on the Sidewalk" Police 112, Feb/52
Ibis magician of Mars
"Ibis and the Magician of Mars" Whiz 145, May/52
The Women I Paid For! man who has to buy his gal friends
7  "I Tried to Buy Love" L Diary 24, Jan/52
Ken Shannon stand-in for murder
"Stand-in for Murder" KS 4, Apr/52
Captain Marvel Jr. the horror dimension
"CMJ and the Horror Dimension" CMJ 107, Mar/52

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ernie Colon at Archie, 1960

Ernie Colón drew at least five pages at Archie in 1960. Maybe he did more—Archie put out a lot of comics at the time that I haven't read yet—but so far I've found his work in two issues of Archie's Madhouse. He drew "Stamps for Teens" (a two-pager) in #9, Dec/60, and "How to Read Tea Leaves" (three pages) in #10, Feb/61. His inking line is the giveaway, but the cheerleader and cartoonist stamps show his pencil style best, I think.

Archie's Madhouse 9 and 10--Stamps for Teens and How to Read Tea Leaves

These issues fall in the Madhouse run in which Sy Reit, as far as I can tell, is the sole writer. (George Gladir would take over as sole writer for some years, although the editors mixed together some Reit and Gladir stories for a few issues during the changeover. In the Seventies a number of writers, including Frank Doyle, scripted stories.) Reit and Colón are connected elsewhere in that both worked on the Harvey characters—Reit created Casper the Friendly Ghost before Casper was a Harvey character—but more closely in that together they did classics-type comics stories for Boy's Life such as "The Legends of King Arthur" (Aug/92).

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Woolfolk Records 1951/06

Captain Marvel Jr 106 City in the Mirage

William Woolfolk sells to his regulars—Quality, Orbit, and Fawcett—according to his notebook of sales.

The line-up for Tex Ritter 10 is exactly that of a Western Hero, with that title's three different features (Monte Hale and Tom Mix as well as Tex Ritter). These must have been the contents assembled for WH 113; its final issue from Fawcett was 112.

June 1951 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

7 pg  Doll Man the voodoo master
"DM and the Voodoo Master" DM 38, Feb/52
Wrong Way traffic signals trip up a crook
"Wrong Way" Wanted 43, Nov/51
Monte Hale chain gang vengeance
"Chain Gang Vengeance" Tex Ritter Western 10, Apr/52
Doll Man house of vampires
"House of Vampires" DM 38, Feb/52
Monte Hale The Owl—outlaw who sees in the dark
"MH Battles the Owl" Western Hero 112, Mar/52
10  Tong War Chinese gangsters
"Hatchet Man" Wanted 45, Feb/52
Ibis in King Arthur's Court
"Ibis Battles Sir Karnak" Whiz 142, Feb/52
10  Doll Man an ancient Druid treasure
"The Druid Death" DM 38, Feb/52
Private Piney & Miss Fitt gag stuff
1  Private Piney "It Never Rains But It Pours" Pinhead and Foodini 4, Jan/52
1  Little Miss Fitt "LMF Hits a Wrong Note" P & F 4, Jan/52
Cop They Couldn't Kill Harold Moore, hero cop who was indestructible
"The Cop They Couldn't Kill" Wanted 45, Feb/52
Captain Marvel Jr. becomes a 2 headed boy
"CMJ, Two-Headed Boy" CMJ 106, Feb/52
Captain Marvel Jr. helps Mr. Marks become a super salesman
"CMJ and the World's Greatest Salesman" CMJ 106, Feb/52
Captain Marvel Jr. city in the mirage
"CMJ and the City in the Mirage" CMJ 106, Feb/52

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Revolutionary War Wheel--Tomahawk 102-118 Writers

In "The Attack of the 'Gator God" Bill Finger reuses not only the War Wheel that he originated in Blackhawk 56 (Sept/52) at Quality; his heroes use pretty much the same method to defeat it (and Tomahawk's is a little more ingenious, as he leaves footprints over the trap).

Tomahawk 105 Smasher, Blackhawk 56 War Wheel

Most stories from Tomahawk 102 through 118 are drawn by Fred Ray, but for "The Attack of the 'Gator God" in #105 he only pencils; Bob Brown inks the story. Brown draws "Battle Hat" (#101), "The Frontier Frankenstein" (#103), and "The Ghost of Tomahawk" (#104) as well as the covers through #115. Irv Novick draws "The Mad Miser of Carlyle Castle" (#113).A letter column credits Jerry Grandenetti's pencils along with Joe Orlando's inks (credited for the only time in that combination that I'm aware of, after all the ghosting Grandenetti did for Orlando) on "Tomahawk: Guilty of Murder" (#118). Neal Adams draws the covers of #116-118.

The back-up stories not entered here are reprints; in "The League of Tomahawk Haters" in #113 (from #54), Dan Hunter has been minimally redrawn, recolored, and relettered into the young Ranger, Stovepipe.

Tomahawk 102-118
Writers (underlined=credited on story splash or in another issue's letters page)

J-F/66  #102  The Dragon Killers France Ed Herron
Bring Back a Prisoner—Alive Bill Finger
M-A/      #103  The Frontier Frankenstein Herron
The Super-Ranger with Nine Lives Herron
M-J/      #104  The Fearful Freak of Dunham's Dungeon Herron
Take Me Alive Finger
J-A/      #105  The Attack of the 'Gator God Finger
Hold That Bridge Herron
S-O/      #106  The Ghost of Tomahawk Herron
One-Man Fort Herron
N-D/      #107  The Tribe below the Earth Herron
Last Stand of the 3-in-1 Ranger Herron
J-F/67  #108  New Boss for the Rangers Herron
M-A/       #109  The Caveman Ranger Finger
The Toy Tiger Herron
M-J/      #110  Tomahawk Must Die Finger
J-A/      #111  Vengeance of the Devil-Dogs Herron
S-O/      #112  The Rangers vs. Tomahawk Finger
N-D/     #113  The Mad Miser of Carlyle Castle George Kashdan
J-F/68  #114  The Terrible Power of Chief Iron-Hands Carl Wessler

Traitor of the Totem Pole Finger
M-A/      #115  The Deadly Flaming Ranger Wessler
M-J/      #116  The Last Mile of Massacre Trail Wessler
The Making of a Hero Wessler
J-A/      #117 The Rangers' Last Stand Dave Wood & Murray   Boltinoff
The Gauntlet of Doom Wessler
S-O/      #118 Tomahawk: Guilty of Murder Kashdan
The Ranger Who Wouldn't Fight Herron

Splash page credits begin consistently with #119; the one story thereafter presented uncredited (drawn by Frank Thorne) is this one:

M-A/70  #127  Big Anvil's Big Lie Kashdan

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Woolfolk Records 1951/05

Doll Man 37 cover with Doll Girl

Fawcett, Quality, and Orbit, like clockwork, bought and published the stories William Woolfolk wrote this month.

He returns to writing Doll Man; in this story Martha Roberts (a supporting character since the first story) becomes Doll Girl, a role she'll play until the feature ends.

This is Woolfolk's final Wild Bill Pecos story as The Westerner reaches its final issue; it's published a page shorter than the script.

May 1951 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

6 pg  Ibis ghost ship in the Arctic
"Ibis and the Ghost Ship" Whiz 141, Jan/52
10  Doll Man meets the Doll Girl
"Battles the Skull" DM 37, Dec/51
10  Foodini Foodini's summer hi-jinks
"Foodini's Summer Hi-jinks" Pinhead and Foodini 3, Nov/51
Captain Marvel Jr. the master of space
"CMJ Battles the Spacemaster" CMJ 105, Jan/52
Captain Marvel Jr. the invisible guest
"CMJ and the Invisible Guest" CMJ 105, Jan/52
Murder Alibi alibi witness turns out to be blind
"Wanted by a Killer: One Witness" Wanted 42, Oct/51
10  Blackhawk men from the future
"Men from the Future" BH 47, Dec/51
10  The Beach Mob Miami Beach gangsters in Chicago
"The Beach Mob" Wanted 43, Nov/51
Captain Marvel Jr. Sivana Jr. buys Louisiana Territory
"CMJ and the History Hoax" CMJ 105, Jan/52
Blackhawk the sea monsters
"The Sea Monsters" BH 47, Dec/51
10  Wild Bill Pecos dead man's fort
9  "Dead Man's Fort" The Westerner 41, Dec/51

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tomahawk 83-101 Writers

When Murray Boltinoff took over editing Tomahawk he changed the format from three stories per issue to a double-length one and a back-up (with #95 a full-lengther). #83, his first issue, introduces the "G.I.s of 1775," Tomahawk's Rangers, as supporting cast for the lead stories, but through #93 the back-ups still team Tomahawk with his original young partner Dan Hunter. The use of some fantastic elements carries over from Jack Schiff's stewardship.

Boltinoff didn't make any great change in the creative personnel; on this run the feature's mainstay artist Fred Ray drew all but one story, and one-time Tomahawk artist Bob Brown every cover, as well as the lead story in #98 and the backup in #101. Ed Herron and Dave Wood had been sharing the writing chores for a number of years under Schiff.

Tomahawk 86 page with gorilla King Colosso, sound effect Kwhamma

Boltinoff credits Herron, Ray, and letterer Stan Starkman every so often in the letters columns. The sure sign of Ed Herron's work in the Sixties is the sound effect Kwhamma; note the "a" at the end that the other DC writers at the time don't use. Some lettercol credits for Herron are for individual stories and some are general; he wrote most of this run, but not every single story before Bill Finger's first credit.

Tomahawk 83-101
Writers (underlined=credited on story or in letters page)

N-D/62 #83  20 against the Tribe France Ed   Herron
The Mighty Hand of Chief Great Storm Herron
J-F/63 #84  There's a Coward among the Rangers Herron
Miss Liberty's All-Girl Army Dave Wood
M-A/     #85  The Whispering War Herron
The Giant from Inside Earth Herron
M-J/     #86  The Rangers vs. King Colosso Herron
Lord Shilling—Yankee Ally Herron
J-A/     #87  The Secrets of Sgt. Witch Doctor Herron
The Tick Tock Terror Herron
S-O/     #88  The Rangers Who Held Back the Earth Herron
Miss Liberty Rides Again Herron
N-D/     #89  The Terrible Tree-Man Herron
Hold That Bridge Herron
J-F/64  #90  The Prisoner in the Pit Herron
Booby-Trap Town Herron
M-A/      #91  The Tribe below the Earth Herron
The Straw Soldiers of Devil Pass Herron
M-J/      #92  The Petrified Sentry of Peaceful Valley Herron
Target—Tomahawk Herron
J-A/      #93  The Return of King Colosso Herron
Dead Silence Herron
 S-O/      #94  Rip Van Ranger Herron
Heartbreak Hill Herron
N-D/      #95  The Tribe beneath the Sea Herron
J-F/65  #96  The Ranger Killers Herron
The Battle That Never Died Herron
M-A/      #97  The Prisoner behind the Bull's-Eye Herron
Coonskin Lottery Herron
 M-J/      #98  The Pied Piper Rangers Bill Finger
The Man in the Muzzle Herron
J-A/      #99  The Rangers vs. King Cobweb Herron
The Battle of Little Ben Finger
S-O/      #100  The Weird Water-Tomahawk Herron
The Ghost of Trigger Hill Finger
N-D/      #101  Tomahawk, Enemy Spy Herron
Battle Hat Finger

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Woolfolk Records 1951/04

Wanted 42
Fawcett, Orbit, and Quality, the three you'd expect, bought and published the stories William Woolfolk wrote this month.

Crime Lab is a recurring Wanted feature; this is Woolfolk's only installment.

Showing again how Woolfolk used the idea from an earlier story as a jumping-off point to get a script rolling: Captain Marvel Jr., fought a Zombie Master in a Woolfolk script back in Master 75 (Dec/46), written in August 1945; in very general outline this month's Ibis version follows the same plot—zombie master hiring out zombies—but it's a completely new script. In the same month he wrote a Super Rabbit story about a duplicator machine, but I've seen neither that story nor this month's second Pinhead and Foodini one. And Doll Man fought an Undertaker in Woolfolk stories before Wild Bill Pecos did.

UPDATE: darkmark found the Monte Hale story.

April 1951 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

7 pg  Captain Marvel Jr. queen of witches
"CMJ Battles the Queen of the Witches" CMJ 104, Dec/51
10  Foodini talking camel
"Foodini's Talking Camel" Pinhead and Foodini 4, Jan/52
12  Wild Bill Pecos meets the Undertaker
"WBP Meets the Undertaker" The Westerner 40, Oct/51
Monte Hale mystery of the three wills
"The Mystery of the Three Wills" Western Hero 110, Jan/52
This Way—to Death! underworld finger man—puts finger on himself
"This Way—to Death!" Wanted 41, Sept/51
Private Piney & Miss Fitt gag stuff
1  Private Piney "It Pays to Advertise" P & F 3, Nov/51
1  Little Miss Fitt "Be Prepared" P & F 3, Nov/51
10  Pinhead and Foodini machine that can duplicate anything
13  "Too Many Pinheads" P & F 3, Nov/51
Crime Lab murderer caught by fact French horn blows offkey when cold
"The Musical Murder" Wanted 41, Sept/51
Blackhawk invaders from Inferno
"Weird Invaders from Inferno" BH 47, Dec/51
12  The Real Story of Murder Inc. Abe Reles & his role in Murder Inc.
10  "Murder Inc." Wanted 42, Oct/51
Ibis the zombie master
"The Zombie Master" Whiz 140, Dec/51

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

More Mo Marcus at Dell

It took me three posts in a row (one, two, three) to come to a conclusion on the artist of Dell's The Monkees #1 (if by coming to a conclusion one means agreeing with Mark Evanier's identification of the artist.) It's Mo Marcus. Jerry Marcus later confirmed Mark's ID; Dick Giordano, the artist hired to do that issue, asked Jerry's father to pencil the job for him. José Delbo, of course, drew The Monkees from #2 on.

Who's Minding the Mint? (Aug/67) is Dell's Movie Classic one-shot adapting the film produced by comic book artist and Stooge-in-law Norm Maurer. Its art has been attributed to Delbo and then Henry Scapelli, but the pencils are by Mo Marcus; the skinny, angular limbs are the trademark seen in that first issue of The Monkees. (These are Jim Hutton and Walter Brennan, by the way; Marcus is able to capture their likenesses without the traced still-photo paste-ups that typefied Scarpelli's Dell tie-in work at this point).

Who's Minding the Mint

The writer escapes me so far. The inker is a question, too. Giordano and company (Sal Trapani and Frank McLaughlin)? On some pages I wonder if I see John Tartaglione's inkwork, but at Dell he pencilled much more often than he inked. The Mo Marcus art that I've seen signed at Charlton was inked by Rocco Mastroserio, so maybe I'm not recognizing Marcus's own inks here.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Woolfolk Records 1951/03

Westerner 39 Lobo the Wolf Boy splash page

Fawcett, Orbit, and Quality comics.

Since William Woolfolk didn't have any Pinhead & Foodini stories in issue 1, I'm assuming his gag pages for the title didn't start in that issue either. He writes three set of gags in this and later months, fitting into the final three of the four issues.

The Lobo story is another case where the editors have changed Woolfolk's title at the page top, with the logo, but let his version remain at the end of the blurb below.

March 1951 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

6 pg  Ibis the pipes of Pan
"The Pipes of Pan" Whiz 139, Nov/51
11  Wild Bill Pecos secret of the lost caves
"The Secret of the Lost Caves" The Westerner 39, Aug/51
Curtains for a Killer theatre ticket alibi—but there was no show that night
"Curtains for a Killer" Wanted 40, Aug/51
12  Broadway Bandit gang specializing in night club robberies
"The Broadway Bandit" Wanted 40, Aug/51
Private Piney & Miss Fitt gag stuff
1  Private Piney "Always Room for One More" Pinhead and Foodini 2, Sept/51
1  Little Miss Fitt "Something to Bank On" P & F 2, Sept/51
Blackhawk the invisible men
"The Invisible Men" BH 45, Oct/51
Captain Marvel Jr. the thing that grew
"CMJ Battles the Thing That Grew" CMJ 103, Nov/51
Lobo, the Wolf Boy wolf kingdom
"Lobo the Wolf Boy Fights Fury the Terror Wolf" The Westerner 39, Aug/51
Wild Bill Pecos last bullet
"The Last Bullet" The Westerner 39, Aug/51
12  Goons with Guns hired strikebreakers, inc.
"Goons with Guns" Wanted 41, Sept/51
Monte Hale killer's faith in his guns
MH Western or Western Hero c. Dec/51
Captain Marvel Jr. palace of lost ideas
"CMJ and the Palace of Lost Ideas" CMJ 104, Dec/51

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

There's a Mistake You Don't See Every Day, Chauncey

I was going to post this page from Eerie Tales 1-and-only merely to showcase the howling error of a sort I can't recall seeing anywhere else (but then, I haven't read every comic book published). Then I realized I had an art attribution differing from one of the GCD's for this issue (in fact, for this story).

Eerie Tales 1 The Suckspect dialogue: 'Canst thou account for her majesty's every moment, sire? Let the queen prove she is not a vampire! Queen stands erect and king angrily defends her.' Next panel described: Queen stands erect and king angrily defends her

Eerie Tales predated Creepy by half a decade. Michael T. Gilbert unearthed it in Alter Ego, and later Joe Simon confirmed editing it. The magazine itself presented only joke editorial credits, just as a number of humor B&Ws did at the time, and was published by the otherwise unknown Hastings Associates (just as DC later published the two short-lived Kirby magazines as Hampshire House, for the sake, one supposes, of plausible deniability).

Gilbert, Hames Ware, James Vadeboncoeur Jr., and Dr. Michael J. Vassallos pored over the artwork for attribution; I pass along their credit of Ken Battefield on "Shroud Number Nine," who would never have occurred to me. They guessed at Bob Powell for the "The Suckspect" (pictured). Bob Powell's story later in the issue, "The Unbeliever," shows his style pretty unmistakably; "The Suckspect" doesn't, to me. Those gray washes don't help art-spotting! But look at the leftmost figure in the second panel, for instance; that's where Joe Orlando's work shows best on this page. The four art experts did suggest assistants helping on this story's art; I can't disagree with that.

Just before posting, I found a comment on Harry Mendryk's Jack Kirby Museum attributing every story in this and its the predecessor one-shot title Weird Mysteries to Carl Wessler; here's where I stood when I composed this post: "From the Greyble to the Grave" jumped out at me as a Carl Wessler script at the climax, when the protagonist screams "Nyaaaaa!" "The Stalker" ends up more or less in the same place as Wessler's "The Night I Watched Myself Die" (The Unexpected 105, Mar-Apr/68, DC), although otherwise they're two very different stories (and the later one moreover makes sense). He may have written "The Suckspect" and "Shroud Number Nine;" if he wrote "The Unbeliever," I'd say it was rewritten. (From the comment by Rick on Harry's blog, I take it that all of these stories are indeed in Wessler's records, although the CGD entry credits no writer at all.) UPDATE: Robin Snyder informs me that Carl Wessler's account book does not include those three stories. It also omits "Shocked to Death," so that argues against my thinking I see his style there; I've added question marks to that credit below. On the other hand, the records show that Wessler wrote the issue's text piece, "Frozen Stiff," which was meant to be continued in the never-published issue 2.

There was a question of whether the morgue keeper in Eerie Tales, unnamed in the stories, is technically Morgue'n from Weird Mysteries (which I'd love to see in total). He is; his name is on the morgue wagon in the cover painting.

Eerie Tales

July/59 The Stalker w: Carl Wessler  a: Gray   Morrow
Gunk w: Wessler  a: George Tuska
The Suckspect w: ?  a: Joe Orlando
Burn! w: Wessler  a: Morrow
Shroud Number Nine w: ?  a: Ken Battefield
The Unbeliever w: ?  a: Bob Powell
Shocked to Death w: Wessler??  a: Paul Reinman
From the Greyble to the Grave w: Wessler  a: Angelo Torres
Little Miss Gruesome w: Wessler  a: Reinman
Lower Than Hell w: Wessler  a: Al Williamson

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Woolfolk Records 1951/02

Pinhead and Foodini 2
And now for something fairly different: the TV tie-in Pinhead and Foodini. (Not completely different; William Woolfolk wrote a few stories of the radio tie-in comic Land of the Lost.)

Fawcett, Orbit, and Quality are the publishers this month.

These three love stories were plotted for Dorothy Woolfolk in the shorter page lengths and were published at the longer lengths corresponding to her scripts.

The Wild Bill Pecos story "Draw with Death" expands upon the plot of Woolfolk's Arizona Raines text piece "Draw against Death" (Crack Western 68, Sept/50), written in April 1950.

February 1951 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

6 pg  Captain Marvel Jr. the millionairedale
"CMJ Meets the Millionairedale" CMJ 103, Nov/51
plot for Dorothy girl loves an older man
12  "Betrayed" Love Diary 18, July/51
12  Mad Magician of Crime ex-vaudevillian turns to crime to make headlines
"The Mad Magician of Crime" Wanted 39, July/51
10  Foodini machine to make decisions
"Foodini's Think Tank" Pinhead and Foodini 2, Sept/51
plot for Dorothy my reckless moment—should I tell?
10  "My Reckless Moment" L Diary 19, Aug/51
10  Blackhawk BH Island becomes a trap for BHs
"The Island of Death" BH 45, Oct/51
Wild Bill Pecos crippled, must draw against a killer
"Draw with Death" The Westerner 38, July/51
Lobo, the Wolf Boy mysterious wolf kills people in village—is it Lobo?
"Battles the Killer Wolf" The Westerner 38, July/51
plot for Dorothy girl who stole my life
12  "The Cheat" L Diary 19, Aug/51
Captain Marvel Jr. the money mad monarch
8  "CMJ and the Money-Mad Monarch" CMJ 103, Nov/51
13  Foodini Pinhead goes wild
"Pinhead Goes Wild" P & F 2, Sept/51
Murder Message new typewriter holds a murder message on cylinder
"Murder Message" Wanted 39, July/51
Blackhawk atomic bomb on the loose
"BH and the Unholy Three" BH 45, Oct/51
Ibis curse of the fire king
"The Curse of the Fire King" Whiz 138, Oct/51

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Leo Dorfman, Total Warlord of M.A.R.S.

Leo Dorfman wrote the entire run of Gold Key's Total War/M.A.R.S. Patrol Total War. (M.A.R.S. is the Marine Attack Rescue Service, a four-man team vital in the fight against invaders on America soil).

Wally Wood has gotten the attribution for writing the first three issues, just as Jack Cole has for all his Plastic Man stories, but with no better reason than that he wrote some of his own work elsewhere. Could Wood have brought the concept and plots to Gold Key? Very possible, but who can say? The "new writer" finally identifies the invaders as extraterrestrials, which supposedly proves a point, but he doesn't do it in issue 4, the first with the new artists; he works his way up to confirming the fact in #5.

Here are tiers from issues 3, 4, and 9. Do you notice a similarity in writing style? There's also Dorfman's use of captions beginning with "As" quite a bit, and at least one siren going "Howeee."

3--In the next hair-raising moment... 4--But in the next desperate instant... 9--In the next catastrophic moment...

I'm not sure exactly how the Wood/Adkins art was broken down: if one did layouts, one complete pencils, one complete inks; or more likely nothing so clearcut. And of course others may have helped. The inks on the remaining issues seem to me to match up with Mike Peppe's on, say, Mike Sekowsky's pencils on Man from U.N.C.L.E. Most often Roy and Peppe worked as a team, like Andru and Esposito—but the only signature in the series, on the splash page of #10, is Roy's alone.

Total War written by Leo Dorfman

July/65 Target: America a: Wally Wood & Dan Adkins
Oct/     Sneak Attack a: Wood & Adkins
Breakthrough a: Wood & Adkins

M.A.R.S. Patrol Total War written by Dorfman

Sept/66 Operation Copperhead a: Wood & Adkins
Oct/67 Operation Deep-Freeze p: Mike Roy  i: Mike Peppe
May/68 Mystery Beachhead p: Roy  i: Peppe
Aug/     Operation Snake-in-the-Brass p: Roy  i: Peppe
Nov/     The Death Wind p: Roy  i: Peppe
Feb/69 Tomorrow Is Doomsday p: Roy  i: Peppe
May/     City under Fire p: Roy  i: Peppe
Aug/     10  The Dragon's Teeth p: Roy  i: Peppe?

Friday, August 30, 2013

A Tsunami of Swill FREE through Tuesday! Who'd Turn Up Their Nose at That?

Tsunami of Swill: Secret of the Ebook Crapnado by Charles Deckins is my novelty ebook short, normally priced at $0.99 but F*R*E*E for the asking at Amazon's Kindle Store beginning now and lasting over the Labor Day weekend (and through Tuesday). This may be the only link I post; I don't expect to add one over in the right-hand column under my "real" books. The joke won't explain itself there!

^ ^ Amazon Link! ^ ^
Last week, thriller author Joe Konrath issued a challenge on his blog, A Newbie's Guide to Publishing. He confessed that he had put out a handful of very short humorous how-to ebooks under a pen name: he wrote jokes, edited, formatted, created a cover on Paint, and published on Amazon in a hour or so per book. (He's made a few dollars a month on them without any promotion.) His challenge to the writers reading his blog: do the same in eight hours.

Many of those accepting the challenge wrote stories over the weekend about their series characters, or otherwise took up ideas in their normal genre. They put together some impressive covers in a hurry, out of stock photos. Others went a little farther afield, into the dangerous morass of humor. I too took my influence from the books Konrath put out as Dr. Hans Uberass, most notably How to Stop Farting. My cover should prove it; I tried to create one as generic-looking as possible (embrace the Comic Sans!), one that says "I dare you to spend good money on this book."

The influence to publish something in less than a day came from Konrath, but my plot came out of a thread on the Kindle Boards' Writers Café. A self-styled industry insider in New York publishing had blogged a typo-laden rant about those crappy independent ebooks flooding the Internet, and within a day the entire blog was mysteriously deleted. That set me on the trail of the amazing facts: all those ebooks are part of a global conspiracy. My tagline: Tsunami of Swill is based on a 7% true story.

This is strictly an ebook, in part for the sake of the joke. In order to do free promotions, I had to sign it up exclusively with Kindle. As I've mentioned before, the Kindle Reading Apps for PC, Mac, Smartphone, Tablet, and even your browser are free downloads from Amazon at any time. My books come without Digital Rights Management, so you can use the Calibre ebook library management program (also a free download) to convert from Kindle's Mobi format into Epub or whatever your e-reader requires.

Writers: the Konrath challenge per se is over—he blogs the results today—but nothing's stopping you from trying it for yourself. 2500 words in a couple of days, and you can "cheat" and get editing or formatting help, of course; but one way or the other you can publish a short ebook for a lark before the week is out. How liberating is that?

Remember: Tsunami of Swill: Secret of the Ebook Crapnado by Charles Deckins is absolutely F*R*E*E through this Tuesday. And if time is money, it won't take up too much of that, either; it's short!

We now return to our regularly scheduled comic book blogging.