Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Blackhawk Writers 1955

The fewest gaps in my writer IDs on Blackhawk at Quality are in 1955-56, the final two years of Quality Comics; those gaps fall in 1956, and I'll try to fill them in the near future.

See if any Dick Wood or Bill Finger flags jump out at you in these tiers from #84's "The End of Blackhawk Island" and "The Race of Doom."

Blackhawk 84-2--'Suffering Caesar'--and 3--'Wha-at?'

Unless I've missed an anomalous story, by this point Dick Dillin (pencils) and Chuck Cuidera (inks) are doing all the art on Blackhawk, including the covers. The Chop Chop back-ups by other hands are reprints.

Blackhawk Writers 1955

Jan/55 84  The Dreaded Brain Beam Dick Wood
The End of Blackhawk Island Wood
The Race of Doom Bill Finger
Feb/    85  The Fiendish Impersonator Wood
The Fire-Wheel Wood
The Super-Sonic Menace Wood
 Mar/    86  The Human Torpedoes Wood
The Weapon for Conquest Wood
Suicide Decoy Wood
 Apr/    87  Inferno from the Sky Wood
The Sea Wolf Wood
The Ordeal of a Blackhawk Wood
 May/    88  Thunder, the Indestructible Wood
The Incredible Silencer Wood
The Phantom Sniper Wood
 June/    89  The Super Communists Wood
The Fight for Survival Wood
The Ghost Raiders of the Sky Wood
July/    90  The Storm King Wood
The Bubbles of Doom Wood
Villainess Who Smashed the Blackhawk Team Wood
Aug/    91  Treason in the Underground Wood
The Statue That Attacked Blackhawk Island Wood
The Steel Colossus Finger
 Sept/    92  Prisoners of the Black Dungeon Wood
The World Traitor Wood
The Flying Cutlass Wood
 Oct/    93  Garg the Destroyer Joe Millard
The Floating Fortress Wood
Breaking through the Time Barrier Wood
 Nov/    94  Web of the Black Widow Millard
Blind Victory Millard
The Prophet of Doom Millard
Dec/     95  Madame Fury, Queen of Pirates Millard
Terra, the Trapper Millard
Lhala, Tigress of the Desert Millard

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Woolfolk Records 1950/09

Whiz 133 Ibis first page

After a time of selling to just Fawcett and Orbit, William Woolfolk includes Quality again among his publishers with this month.

He has used the last man on Earth concept before, in Plastic Man, but this CMJ story is entirely different.

This is the point at which Woolfolk notes payment for the Anthony Action script he wrote on speculation back in May 1946 (most likely for his own company, O.W., before it expired); he sells the story to Orbit and it's published in Wanted 31-32.

September 1950 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

10 pg  Captain Marvel Jr. Captain Marvel Jr. vanishes!
"Captain Marvel Jr. Vanishes" CMJ 96, Apr/51
Find My Killer man locks up his enemy in chains in a hidden room
"Don't Let Me Die" Wanted 35, Mar/51
Captain Marvel Jr. gets the touch of life
10  "CMJ and the Touch of Life" CMJ 98, June/51
10  Wild Bill Pecos the prairie pirates
"WBP and the Prairie Pirates" The Westerner 33, Feb/51
Captain Marvel Jr. the space fishermen
"CMJ and the Space Fisherman" CMJ 95, Mar/51
12  Blackhawk the spores of terror
"The Spores of Terror" BH 39, Apr/51
Captain Marvel Jr. the last man on Earth
"CMJ Meets the Last Man on Earth" CMJ 97, May/51
Wild Bill Pecos the secret of Lulu Belle
"The Secret of Lulu Belle" The Westerner 33, Feb/51
Wild Bill Pecos Wild Bill turns coward
"Afraid to Fight" The Westerner 33, Feb/51
Ibis invaders from the rubber world
"Ibis and the Invaders from the Rubber World" Whiz 133, May/51
10  Hot Money man organizes a huge counterfeiting ring
"Hot Money" Wanted 34, Feb/51
Monte Hale the dam on Rampage River
MH Western or Western Hero c. Apr or May/51
Captain Marvel Jr. the dumb dodo
"CMJ and the Dumb Dodo" CMJ 96, Apr/51
Captain Marvel Jr. Marvel Jr.'s strange appetite
"CMJ's Strange Appetite" CMJ 98, June/51
Shoe Shine thrifty man trapped in crime when he spends
"Shoe Shine" Wanted 35, Mar/51
10  Blackhawk city that time forgot
"The City That Time Forgot" BH 42, July/51

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Mary Marvel's Butler, Amateur Sleuth

In the third Mary Marvel story of her series, "A Telegram to Adventure" (Wow 11, March 10, 1943) the Bromfield butler Jives is introduced (Mary Batson Bromfield and her foster-mother had a different-looking butler called Peeves in the first story). We're told that "Jives is an addict of detective stories! And because of that, his imagination is a little 'overworked'!" When he trails Mary to discover the job she's keeping secret (telegram messenger), he lets a gang think he's English Harry, the slickest crook in the rackets.

Wow 15--'Arrumph!

The Wayne butler Alfred first appears in Batman 15 (April-May, 1943). Alfred, too, fancies himself a criminologist—on the splash page of "Here Comes Alfred" he's wearing a Sherlock Holmes deerstalker cap. These issues of Batman from DC and Wow from Fawcett would have been in production at about the same time.

Alfred's first story was written by Don Cameron. But Jives's was by Batman co-creator Bill Finger.

This post explains how a particular Captain America story jumped out at me as Finger's. The same writerly trademark is in "Telegram to Adventure": the throat-clearing "Arrumph," a spelling without an initial "H" used by no one else that I know of. As Mary can tell, Jives harrumphs when he lies, and so this becomes a plot point. (Mary winks at the readers with an "Arrumph" herself in the final panel.) When I encountered this I thought "Bill Finger???" only to find that, according to the Who's Who, he was indeed at Fawcett—known to be writing Captain Marvel, at any rate—in 1942-3.

Jives amateur-sleuths again in the next story, "Mary Marvel and the Anxious Auctioneer," (Wow 16, April 7, '43) and this time he wears the deerstalker cap. But here the writer is Joe Millard.

I won't try to guess at the Mary Marvel artists. I suppose Marc Swayze may be in there somewhere, but this is the point at which Fawcett starts using multiple artists in the production-line shop system on some features. That the Mary Marvel figures are by different artists than the secondary figures becomes more and more obvious over the next few issues of Wow.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Woolfolk Records 1950/08

The Westerner 32 cover

The stories William Woolfolk entered in his records book as writing this month sold to Orbit and Fawcett.

Although the title of "Not Necessarily Dead" was changed by Orbit, the phrase still appears at the end of the splash page blurb—the place where many Golden Age stories repeated the title. "Case of the Perjured Parrot" kept Woolfolk's title up through the house ad of the previous month; perhaps, shortly after that, the editors decided not to go with an Erle Stanley Gardner title.

August 1950 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

9 pg  Not Necessarily Dead victim of delusions really sees a murder done
"He's the Killer" Wanted 33, Jan/51
Ibis the Earth Brain
"Ibis Battles the Earth Brain" Whiz 132, Apr/51
11  Wild Bill Pecos Widowmaker's revenge
"Widowmaker's Revenge" The Westerner 32, Jan/51
Wild Bill Pecos meets Lobo, the wolf boy
"Lobo the Wolf Boy" The Westerner 32, Jan/51
Captain Marvel Jr. the world's strangest zoo
"CMJ and the World's Strangest Zoo" CMJ 96, Apr/51
Wild Bill Pecos legend of the outlaw
"Legend of the Outlaw" The Westerner 32, Jan/51
Nuggets Nugent mistaken for an outlaw
"NN Slaps Leather with Whiskers Wilson" The Westerner 32, Jan/51
Captain Marvel Jr. battles Vengeance Mountain
"CMJ Battles Vengeance Mountain" CMJ 96, Apr/51
Case of the Perjured Parrot a talking parrot betrays a killer
"The Green Parrot Murder Case" Wanted 34, Feb/51
Captain Marvel Jr. the ark of space
"CMJ and the Ark from Space" CMJ 98, June/51
11  Wild Bill Pecos battles the Thunderbird
"The Thunderbird Strikes" The Westerner 33, Feb/51