Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Golden Age Batman Artist You Never Heard Of

When asked if he drew a number of the Batman stories listed below, Bob Kane said "Yes." He didn't explain why the creator of Batman, using this temporary new style, would be doing a few work-for-hire crime stories for DC a year later in Gang Busters and such. The pencils for those crime back-ups have been variously attributed to Jim Mooney or Charles Paris; evidently they evoked Batman in a way the indexers couldn't put their fingers on.

Dinosaur Island, Crooked Gambler

To be fair, I had some stories on this list (like "Nine Lives Has the Catwoman" in Batman 35) that I removed after a few more looks when I did see Bob Kane's work after all, or the work of various hands. (Maybe some of those Batman stories belong back here; maybe some here don't belong. The crime stories I'm sure of.) Although the inks for 35-36 have been attributed to Ray Burnley, with Jack Burnley's corroboration, I'd suggest there are different inkers on different stories; I won't try to ID them.

Above are tiers from two of the stories I saw in reprint in the Seventies ("Dinosaur Island" and "The Case of the Crooked Gambler"). For years I'd IDed this artist for myself as just the "Dinosaur Island artist." Then finally—last month—I saw a signed story by him at Atlas: "The House That Wasn't There" in Journey into Unknown Worlds 7 (Oct/51). The signature is Paul Cooper. He has other early-Fifties signed stories at Atlas as well as at companies like Youthful. He's not trying to ape Bob Kane at this point.

House That Wasn't There

Paul Cooper at DC:

Jun-Jul/46 35  Dinosaur Island
  Dick Grayson, Author
Aug-Sep/     36  The Penguin's Nest
  Stand-In for Danger
  Sir Batman at King Arthur's Court

Batman in Detective

Nov/46 117  Steeplejack's Showdown (plus cover)
May/47 123  The Dawn Patrol Crimes
Oct/     128  Crimes in Reverse

Batman in World's Finest

May-Jun/47 28  Crime under Glass
Nov-Dec/     31  The Man with the X-Ray Eyes
Jan-Feb/48 32  The Man Who Could Not Die
Jul-Aug/     35  Crime by the Book

Perfect Crime Mystery etc. in Mr. District Attorney

Jan-Feb/48 Studio Cop
Jul-Aug/     Border Cop
Sep-Oct/     The Murder with a Million Witnesses

Perfect Crime Mystery etc. in Gang Busters

Aug-Sep/48 The Case of the Crooked Gambler
Oct-Nov/49 12  The Case of the Perfect Alibi

Perfect Crime Mystery in Star Spangled Comics

Mar/49 90  Remote Control Murder

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Trapani and Friends at ACG

Sal Trapani and his ghost pencillers come aboard for ACG's final two years of operation. Bill Ely is his sole ghost there for nine stories as of the 1967-dated issues. Ely's regular assignment at DC, Rip Hunter, ended in late 1965.

My impression is that Rocco Mastroserio penciled the first page of "The Mirror of Mystery"; Dick Giordano certainly did the remaining three. What do you think?

Unknown Worlds 53 Mirror of Mystery

There were six other Ditko/Trapani stories at ACG after "My Ancestor—the Indian Scout," all credited to both artists, so not on these lists of ghosted ones. I daresay that Richard Hughes said "Oh, come on!" to the idea that the readers wouldn't recognize that particular penciller. (For what it's worth, after ghosting the pencils on Nukla 1 at Dell, Giordano gets a signature along with Trapani's on #2 and 4, as does Ditko on #4.)

Adventures into the Unknown

Dec-Jan/67 169  Two Vials from Vidalia p: Bill Ely
Jun-Jul/     173  Miss Hepzibah Takes a Trip p: Ely

Forbidden Worlds

Nov-Dec/65 132  The Mirror of Mystery p: Rocco Mastroserio, Dick Giordano
Jul/67  144  "Click, Click," Went the Machine p: Ely


Mar/67 The Terrible Teen-Agers p: Ely
Apr-May/     Vengeful Spirit p: Ely
Jun-Jul/     Sorry, You've Got the Wrong Ghosts p: Ely
Aug/     You've Got to Relax p: Ely

Unknown Worlds

Feb/66 45  My Ancestor—the Old Indian Scout p: Steve Ditko
Mar/     46  That's My Partner p: Giordano
Mar/67 53  The Haunted Brush p: Ely
Aug/     57  When the Gizmo Blew a Gasket p: Ely

Interestingly enough, there's an ACG story ghosted by rather than for Sal Trapani. The art on the other new story in Unknown Worlds 53 is credited solely to Bob Jenney, but Trapani is inking Jenney's pencils.

Unknown Worlds

Mar/67 53  Ghost Girls Don't Play Football i: Sal Trapani

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Second Try on a Trapani Ghost

Hogan's Heroes 4

Artist- and writer-spotting is more an art than a science, but the more it can be treated like a science, the better. If more and better evidence leads to a different conclusion, a theory evolves.

In other words, I saw (here) Don Perlin-type faces under Sal Trapani's inks on Hogan's Heroes 4. But after finding the same penciller's style under Trapani inks in other comics, with some panels a bit more obvious, I revise my identification. Trapani's ghost penciller here is Bill Ely.

The funny thing is that I was led to this in a Trapani-less Charlton issue. The unsigned first story ("The Witness") in The Many Ghost of Dr. Graves 1 (May/67) was obviously by Ely but didn't seem to match up with the early-Sixties art of his at DC I was accustomed to. My first thought was, "He's using the same ghost penciller as Sal Trapani," and then I applied Occam's razor—it's simpler just to accept Ely as penciller in both instances.

The figures of Colonel Klink falling (especially in panel 3) on this Hogan's Heroes page are the clue to Ely's style here; that style peeks through on the cop in panel 1 of the Superheroes page, and more noticeably in the figure of Dan's father in panel 3.

Superheroes 1

Another penciller (or two) did Superheroes 3 and 4 for Trapani. Ely did more ghosting for him outside Dell, and I'll list those in the next post.

Bill Ely pencils on Hogan's Heroes

Mar/67 Operation Flick Flack

On Superheroes

Jan/67 The Origin of the Fab Four
Apr/     The Clowns
Nutt's Revenge

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Not the Two-Gun Kid

Crack Western 72--The Ghost of Grim Gulch

At Quality, Chuck Winter had a four-issue run in Buccaneers, as I posted here. He had twice that in Crack Western on Two-Gun Lil.

On the first four stories I'm taking the Grand Comics Database artist attributions as a start. I think I see three artists among the first four stories (the same one on #64 and 65). Leo Morey is known to have worked on the series, but I can't match him up from his signed stories at ACG a decade later; it may be that he's being inked by other hands here.

Two-Gun Lil in Crack Western

Nov/49 63  She Was Ready w: Joe Millard  a: Charles    Sultan?
Jan/50 64  The Forbidden Star w: ?  a: Leo Morey?
Mar/     65  The Dance Hall of Death w: ?  a: Morey?
May/     66  Even Frontier Terrorists Can Learn w: ?  a: ?
Jul/     67  Two-Gun Lil Votes against Lynch Law w: ?  a: Pete Riss
Sep/     68  Two-Gun Lil Conquers Western Crime w: ?  a: Riss
Nov/     69  Hot-Lead Two-Step w: Millard  a: Chuck Winter
Jan/51 70  The Taming of Big Bat McGrew w: Millard  a: Winter
Mar/     71  A Bargain in Bullets w: Millard  a: Winter
May/     72  The Ghost of Grim Gulch w: Millard  a: Winter
Jul/     73  Six-Guns from the Sky w: Millard  a: Winter
Sep/     74  Gun Trouble in Paradise w: Millard  a: Winter
Nov/     75  The Vultures of Goldhill w: Millard  a: Winter
Jan/52 76  The End of the Owlhoot Trail w: Millard  a: Winter
Mar/     77  A Heart as Big as a House w: ?  a: Pete Morisi
May/     78  Once upon a Time There Were Three Bassett Brothers w: Robert Bernstein  a:   Morisi
Sep/     80  The Murder on Stage w: Bernstein  a: Morisi
Nov/     81  The Target Is Two-Gun Lil w: Bernstein  a: Morisi
Jan/53  82  Target of Hot Lead w: Bernstein  a: Morisi
Mar/     83  The Fiend in Knee Pants w: Bernstein  p: John Forte     i: ?
May/     84  The Kissing Monster w: Bernstein  a: Edmond    Good

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Dick Wood at Charlton, 1956

Dick Wood was credited for scripts at Charlton, but that was in 1969. He had a run of Phantom stories just after the company took over the title from King Comics. Those may have been inventory scripts, or Charlton may have hired him for his familiarity with the character; three of his scripts were illustrated by Charlton artists like Jim Aparo. The fourth, the only one drawn there by Bill Lignante, I'd imagine was completed at King and so looks an inventory story on all counts. But to paraphrase Arlo Guthrie, that's not what I'm here to talk about.

I'm here to talk about 1956.

Blue Beetle in Nature Boy 3--'Jumping cats!'

Scanning Charlton's Fifties output for Carl Memling stories, I couldn't help seeing some by Dick Wood; his style is so colorful: "Great suffering Hannah!" or in the case above, "Jumping cats!" I find a handful of his stories, all in the one year. Before anyone asks, I haven't IDed the writer on the four other new Blue Beetle stories of the period, in BB 20 and 21 (June and August, 1955).

Dick Wood 1950s Charlton Scripts

Blue Beetle
in Nature Boy

Mar/56 Unmasked p: Charles Nicholas  i: Sal Trapani

anthology stories:
Out of This World

Aug/56 The Mission from Outer Space a:  Nicholas

Racket Squad in Action

Feb/56 20  The Portrait Racketeers p: Bill Molno  i: Trapani

Strange Suspense Stories

Aug/56 30  Lost Child p: Molno  i: Trapani

Friday, November 28, 2014

An Unheralded Sixties Marvel Artist

There are a number of comics at companies like Dell and Tower in the Sixties where Joe Giella shares the inking with Frank Giacoia—most noticeably over Mike Sekowsky's pencils, but with other pencillers as well. The publishers don't give credits to anyone on those stories.

On his work with Giacoia at mid-Sixties Marvel, Giella goes uncredited. Giacoia gets the credit (as "Frank Ray") when inking credit is given; the four girls' titles, Patsy Walker's and Millie the Model's, are the last to switch over to more than just writer and penciller signatures, in 1965.

There are some shake-ups in the art on Patsy Walker and Patsy and Hedy before this: Stan Goldberg and Sol Brodsky pinch-hitting for Al Hartley on pencils, for instance (Brodsky pencils PW 120 and 121 below, but Hartley returns for the others). Inkers such as Chic Stone and Vince Colletta come aboard for a few issues—it took Nick Caputo's ID of Stone on the GCD to place that artist for me on the feature; no problems with recognizing Colletta! I'd agree that the inking on P & H 101 is John Tartaglione's, so it's skipped below.

It looks as if Giella inks the majority of pages on all of these issues save P & H 102. I think I might see a few Giella pages where one close-up face has been inked by Giacoia, whose inks editor Stan Lee was no doubt expecting to see somewhere. Al Hartley's pencils manage to show through Giella's inks, but some of Sol Brodsky's pages might as well be pencilled by Giella himself in the Sheldon Moldoff style; these pages with their Bob Kane hands are from Patsy Walker 121.

Patsy Walker 121

Joe Giella does do some credited inking for Marvel a decade later, and in fact shares the inking credits with Frank Giacioa on Power Man 35 (Sep/76).

Joe Giella and Frank Giacoia inks
on Patsy Walker

Apr/65 120  What Can We Do about Nancy Brown?
Jun/     121  Another Spring, Another City, Another Love
Aug/     122  No Greater Love
Oct/     123  Don't Leave Me, My Love

on Patsy and Hedy

Jun/65 100  When a Girl Becomes...a Woman
Oct/     102  So Much Love, So Few Kisses [mostly Giacoia]
Aug/     103  Love's Finest Hour

Thursday, November 20, 2014

More Charlton Crime from Carl Memling

You'd imagine that Charlton's Racket Squad in Action would be the least objectionable of the crime comics, its subject matter being swindles rather than injuries to the eye or Tommy-gun massacres. I'm sure Frederick Wertham considered it a how-to manual, however; and certainly Charlton put out enough other material sitting there smoking and saying, "What are you gonna do? Comics-Code me?"

Walter B. Gibson is listed as assistant editor on issues 1-9. Although so far I've concentrated on finding Carl Memling's stories, it strikes me that Gibson could have written all the stories in #1-7 as well as "The Fake Bond Swindle" in #9.

Carl Memling turns out to be Charlton's main writer from mid-1953 into early 1955 by cover dates. (He’s well-represented in their horror comics too.) There are other writers; in Racket Squad 13, "Malignant Model Agency" and "The Basketball Scandals" are by the same person, whoever that may be. Ken Fitch is known to have written Racket Squad in 1955-56. Joe Gill starts writing for the title in 1956 (it did survive under the Code) and is its sole comics writer by the last issue, #29, in 1958.

Carl Memling Scripts in
Racket Squad in Action

Aug/53 In the Driver's Seat
The Death Notice Racket
Hush Money
The Misery Chiselers
Oct/     Two Fisted Fix
Reverse Twist
Letter Perfect
Jan/54 10  Stamp of Guilt
A Handful of Aces
When Two Thieves Meet
Door to Door Swindle
The Stradivarius Swindle
M-J/    11  Botticelli of the Bangtails
Photo Frame-Up
A-S/     12  Robbery by Appointment
The Ransom Swindle
Refund Artist
Protection Game
O-N/     13  Your Money or Your Face!
Hot Ice
A Case for the Police
Free Pick-Up
Jan/55 14  The Big Freeze
The Double-Talk-Artists
Mar/     15  Limited Edition
Double Trouble

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Ghost in Operation Bikini

"Operation Bikini," a 1963 AIP movie with Frankie Avalon, might sound like a Beach Party movie, but it came out before the first of that series; it was a World War II frogmen story. Until 1946 and the A-bomb tests there inspired a name for the new "atomic" swimsuit style, "Bikini" would have meant only the Pacific atoll. (AIP's publicity department didn't let that bother them for the posters.)

A number of the Movie Classics (and other Dell titles) included among their artists combinations of Vince Colletta, Dick Giordano, Joe Sinnott, John Tartaglione, Frank McLaughlin, Sal Trapani, and various Trapani ghosts. Operation Bikini (Oct/63) most obviously features Colletta's inks on the entire issue.

I can tell myself that I see a few Giordano poses or faces on later pages. That may just be because I expect to see him there, but certainly there were multi-artist jams among this loose group of artists at Dell. His deciding the poses would make those pages his pencils, of course, not inks. On one or two of the later pages I could admit the possibility of pencils by, say, Sinnott.

Most pages' pencils, though, belong to none of that group, it seems to me. Giordano or Sinnott's pencils usually show better through Colletta's inks, overwhelming as the inks are. There's one touch that I don't recall seeing Sinnott or Giordano use that made me consider a particular artist.

Operation Bikini, Daniel Boone 6, AITU 146

I believe the penciller on most of the book, certainly the first part, is Sam Citron. Note the distinctive motion lines around the head of Malone in the second panel of the Dell page. Compare with the same from "Menace of the Renegades" in Quality's Exploits of Daniel Boone 6 (Sept/56).  And see the lines used to indicate not head-swiveling but confusion in "Strange Planet" from ACG's Adventures into the Unknown 146 (Feb/64). On the latter story, Citron's pencils are credited (Pete Costanza is the inker).

At least those various artists' Dells would give indexers something to pore over for half a century—and beyond...

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Blackhawk Backups 1956

Blackhawk 101 Baron von Richtofen
For their final year publishing comic books, Quality dropped the Chop-Chop reprints in Blackhawk as of #95 and instituted a series of aviation backup stories; "Rescue from the Sky" concerns civilian aviation, but after that they're all military-related.

The art credits are straightforward: Sam Citron on all. He was Quality's artist of choice that year on Robin Hood Tales, and inked others into his look on Exploits of Daniel Boone.

The writers are the Blackhawk writers and, in point of fact, the remaining Quality writers. For what it's worth, the Who's Who lists John Broome, of all people, on 1956 Blackhawk backups, but I can't see him on the any of the three I haven't been able to attribute to Bernstein or Millard.

Blackhawk Backups 1956
Art by Sam Citron

Jan/56 96  Rescue from the Sky w: ?
Feb/    97  War in the Sky w: Joe Millard
Mar/    98  David and Goliath in the Sky w: Millard
Apr/    99  Fear and Flight w: ?
May/    100  The Ghost Plane w: Robert Bernstein
June/    101  The Incredible Exploits of Baron von Richtofen w:  ?
July/    102  Critical Target w: Bernstein
Aug/    103  Fighter for Freedom w: Bernstein
Sept/    104  Caged w: Bernstein
Oct/     105  Winged Menace w: Bernstein
Nov/     106  Sam's Sixth Sense w: Bernstein
Dec/     107  Red Helicopter Ambush w: Bernstein

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Joe Shuster's Charlton Ghost

Bill Molno was a Charlton mainstay for a decade or more on the anthology books; I see his occasional series entries mostly on the Westerns. Unless I've missed earlier stories, his debut at the company in 1954 was ghost pencils for Joe Shuster. Mark Evanier gives Dick Giordano's explanation of the ghosting in a comment on the previous post .

Here's a page from "The Well of Fear" in Strange Suspense Stories 21 compared with one from about three and a half years later—after Joe Shuster's credits are long gone—"The House of Man," Out of This World 7 (Feb/58). Molno is inking himself on this one
Strange Suspense Stories 21 and Out of This World 7
There are a few more stories with Shuster's credit at Charlton that I haven't seen—hot rod ones, for instance. Unsigned 1954 stories penciled by Molno and inked by others include "Food for Thought" (SSS 20, Aug), "Who Will He Be?" and "This Bite Is Sweet" (SSS 21, Sept), "Mental Wizard" and, possibly, "The Crusher" (The Thing 16, Sept), and "Where Do They Lurk?" (This Magazine Is Haunted 19, Aug). I mention them thinking of the uncredited Jerry Grandenetti pieces in the mid-Sixties that have been misattributed to Joe Orlando, for whom he was ghosting elsewhere at the time. There are other "Shuster" stories in the GCD that could be looked at a second time.

Bill Molno Stories Ghost-Penciling for Joe Shuster
(Inked by Ray Osrin except as noted)

Crime and Justice

July/54 19  The Death Watch [RADIO PATROL]
Sep/     20  The Anniversary Gift [MR & MRS CHASE]
A Deadly Circle [RADIO PATROL]
Nov/     21  The $64,000 Question [MR & MRS CHASE]
Road Pirates
Finale for Fingers

Racket Squad in Action

A-S/54 12  Robbery by Appointment
The Ransom Swindle
Protection Game
O-N/     13  Malignant Model Agency
The Basketball Scandals

Space Adventures

M-J/54 11  Interplanetary Safari (inked by Dick Giordano)

Strange Suspense Stories

July/54 19  Give Back My Body (no inker signature)
Sept/     21  The Well of Fear
Nov/     22  The Secret of the Box

The Thing

Sept/54 16  Death of a Gambler (inked by Vince Alascia)

This Magazine Is Haunted

July/54 18  The Last Earl (inked by John Belfi)
Sept/    20  Quest of the Beyond

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Carl Memling at Charlton--Who Knew?

I was looking for Carl Memling scripts at Timely/Atlas in the Fifties, where he's known to have written for the horror anthologies (I haven't found any of his there yet); but with his style fresh in my mind, when I was merely reading some Fifties Charlton comics and not expecting to recognize writers, I happened across him. A Memling trademark that I've mentioned before is sirens or car engines going "Rowrrrrr."

Crime and Justice 19, The 64,000 Dollar Question--'Rowrrrrr'

There are one or two more Crime and Justice scripts that could be Memling's, but I'll err on the side of caution and leave them off for now. I'll get to more titles eventually; he wrote quite a bit in two years or so.

The writers known to have done some work for Charlton in the early-through-mid-Fifties include Walter B. Gibson, Bruce Hamilton, Ken Fitch, Harry Shorten, and Jerry Siegel. Fitch was one writer who, in addition to scripts written directly for Charlton, had work published there out of other companies' bought-out inventories. Joe Gill was writing for Charlton around 1954 but didn't become their house writer, filling almost all the pages, for another few years.

Carl Memling Scripts in
Crime and Justice

July/53 14  Down the Drain
Three O'Clock Shadow
Sep/     15  Vacation from Violence [MR & MRS CHASE]
Behind Locked Doors
Stormy Crossing
Eye Witness
Nov/     16  Peril on the Pacific [MR & MRS CHASE]
The Hatchet Is Buried
Feb/54 17  No Way Out
Apr/     18  Killer on the Loose [RADIO PATROL]
Terror under the Big Top [MR & MRS CHASE]
July/     19  Three's a Mob
Sep/     20  A Deadly Circle [RADIO PATROL]
Nov/     21  The $64,000 Question [MR & MRS CHASE]
Road Pirates

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Carmine Infantino Starts Off in Comics with Cap

I don't think anything earlier has been found: Carmine Infantino hit the ground running in comic books with a handful of stories on a major character, Captain America, in 1943.

From Cap 27, note the face of the French Underground fighter Pierre in panel 1; more to the point, look at him running in panel 6.
Cap 27 Blitzkrieg to Berlin

Infantino-pencilled stories in Captain America

June/43 27  Blitzkrieg to Berlin
July/     28  The Vultures of Violent Death

I dithered over whether the one-month earlier "Invasion of the Killer Beasts" was by Infantino—it seems so much cruder—but then I found that the Marvel Masterworks reprint credited him as one of the pencillers (others unknown), so I'll go along with that.

in U.S.A. Comics

May/43 The Invasion of the Killer Beasts

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Blackhawk Writers 1956

Blackhawk 107 One Minute Till Doom--Quality's final Blackhawk story

This will echo the lists for Quality's Exploits of Daniel Boone and Robin Hood Tales in 1956. Joe Millard had been writing for Quality for some time; Robert Bernstein was Quality's final writer before they gave up the ghost in 1956. It's been pointed out that the plot of Blackhawk 101's "The Lost Island" is lifted from Marvel Boy 1's "The Lost World" (Dec/50); but although Bernstein was writing for Timely/Atlas at that point, I can't find his stylistic prints on the Marvel Boy story.

Blackhawk Writers 1956

Jan/56 96  7 Graves for 7 Blackhawks Joe Millard
Case of the Missing Blackhawk  Millard
Doom in the Deep Millard
Feb/    97  The Horde of the Bat Millard
Hitler's Daughter Millard
Revolt of the Slave Workers Millard
Mar/    98  The Phantom Saboteur Millard
The Temple of Doom Millard
The Black Flag Millard
Apr/    99  The Queen of Blackhawk Island Millard
The War That Never Ended Robert Bernstein
The Underground Menace Bernstein
May/    100  The Delphian Menace Bernstein
The Citadel of Hate     ?
The Steel Scorpion Millard
June/    101  General Steel Millard
Satan's Paymaster Millard
The Lost Island Bernstein
July/    102  Master of Mankind Millard
The Doom Cloud Millard
The Red Professor's Secret Bernstein
Aug/    103  The Super Race Bernstein
The Man Who Stole Tomorrow Millard
Menace from the Skies Bernstein
Sept/    104  Rescue under Fire Bernstein
Treachery in the Antarctic Bernstein
The Jet Menace Bernstein
Oct/     105  Nightmare Cruise Bernstein
The Red Kamakaze Terror Bernstein
The Master of Treachery Bernstein
Nov/     106  The Flying Tank Platoon Bernstein
Stars of Disaster Bernstein
The Red Raiders Bernstein
Dec/     107  The Winged Menace Bernstein
Red Timetable of Treachery Bernstein
One Minute Till Doom Bernstein

Bernstein spells "Kamakaze" with an "a" throughout the story in #105, although the cover has it "Kamikaze."

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Model for Doc Played Flash Gordon

This is either a huge coincidence or a very esoteric in-joke on the part of cover artist Gray Morrow. I know which one I go with.

Buster Crabbe; Doc Caliban

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Woolfolk Records 1953/04

SSWS 14--Pitchfork Army
DC and Orbit are the companies buying the scripts.

The "$100,000 on Clark Kent's Head" syndicated strip sequence ends at eight weeks.

My transcriptions of William Woolfolk's records, to the end of his career in comic books, continue with May 1953 in this post. He began his records with September 1944 after a few years of writing comics; he didn't describe any story further than the feature name through December 1944. I began blogging these transcriptions with January 1945's, when he began putting in descriptions. But a list of the strips he was writing is better than nothing (and I can find the publication of one or two through number of pages or his style), so those four months of 1944 will be my posts when I return to this subject.

April 1953 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

6 pg  Superman syndicate 2nd week
Superman strip, May 25-30/53
10  I Put a Price on Love girl who takes men for all she can get
"I Put a Price on Love" Love Journal 21, Nov/53
Battle of the Alamo only the flag survives to tell the story
"Ghosts of the Alamo" All-American Men of War 7, Oct-Nov/53
Superman syndicate 3rd week
Superman strip, June 1-6/53
12  Superboy coronation of Lana Lang
"The Coronation of Lana Lang" Adventure 192, Sept/53
Superman syndicate 4th week
Superman strip, June 8-13/53
Farmers Can't Fight farmer vs. Hessians in the Revolutionary War
"Pitchfork Army" Star Spangled War Stories 14, Nov/53
Superman syndicate 5th week
Superman strip, June 15-20/53
Superman syndicate 6th week
Superman strip, June 22-27/53
Fighting Heart gal loves a prizefighter
10  "Fighting Heart" Love Diary 37, Oct/53
12  Superman syndicate 7th & 8th weeks
Superman strip, June 29-July 4, 6-11/53

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ray Cummings Writes Captain America

Ray Cummings, once a secretary/assistant to Thomas Edison, wrote science fiction and horror for the pulp magazines, beginning with The Girl in the Golden Atom in 1919 and on to around 1950. One novel, The Exile of Time, was reprinted by Ace Books in 1965 with a new cover painting by 1940s Captain America cover artist Alex Schomburg—appropriately enough, since Cummings had scripts in some of those Cap issues.

Cummings is credited with "The Princess of the Atom" in Captain America Comics, but without his actual name mentioned—the coming attraction in issue 24 just calls him the author of Girl in the Golden Atom. "The Princess of the Atom" two-parter uses the basic situation of "Girl in the Golden Atom"—miniaturizing into an atom world by means of a drug—but otherwise is a new plot.

The noticeable style characteristic on "Princess" that led me to the first of the other stories is "Oh migosh."

Cap 25 Princess--'Oh migosh'

He's known to have written Sub-Mariner and the Human Torch too, but so far, concentrating on Cap, I have yet to run across any stories of those characters by him. Another pass through the Caps may well find more Cummings stories.

Ray Cummings scripts on Captain America

Apr/43 25  The Princess of the Atom
May/     26  The Princess of the Atom Part II
June/     27  North of the Border
Aug/     29  The King of the Dinosaurs
The Case of the Phantom Engineer
The Case of the Headless Monster
Sep/     30  The House of the Laughing Death

on Captain America in All Winners

Win/43-44 11  The Case of the Yellow Fire Monster

on Captain America in U.S.A. Comics

Sep/43 10  The Cylinder of Death

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Woolfolk Records 1953/03

Love Diary 36--Not the Right TypeOrbit and DC, buyers. And: in 1952-53, William Woolfolk has noted the publishers alongside the stories; the Freddy Feline is sold to Fawcett. Pooch is mentioned in the May '53-written Slinky Stinky stories, Woolfolk's last for the company. When I posted that month's records out of order, I guessed from Woolfolk's "F" code that Fawcett was the publisher, but hadn't seen these previous years to confirm the same code on, for instance, Captain Marvel Jr. stories. The company bought these funny animal scripts but I don't find them published. UPDATE: And in fact Freddy Feline was turned into Slinky Stinky for that character's debut story.

I can't read the handwriting about a "Mickey J____ character" and can't guess the cultural reference, but the Love Diary 36 story "Easy to Love" is about a girl who works as a housemaid for the man she falls in love with.

It isn't completely out of left field, but a syndicated Superman strip sequence is a change of pace. Technically this was published by the syndicate, but DC bought the scripts from Woolfolk. Six tiers, a week's dailies, are paid as six pages (or three times as many panels), and in fact at a slightly higher rate. He continues writing the sequence next month. UPDATE: SangorShop supplied the strips' publication dates.

March 1953 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

6 pg  That's How I Am athletic girl loves a lifeguard
"Not the Right Type" Love Diary 36, Sept/53
10  Superman Superman becomes pet of space men
"A Doghouse for Superman" Superman 84, Aug-Sept/53
Command Performance an actor who hates to play Nazis
"Command Performance" Star Spangled War Stories 13, Sept/53
10  Superboy makes a 4th dimension movie in the future
"The Movie Star of Tomorrow" Superboy 27, Aug-Sept/53
Freddy Feline wants Pooch's swimming pool
as Slinky Stinky "The Stolen Swimming Pool" Funny Animals 82, Oct/53
Flight into Passion can a girl go too far and keep her man?
"Flight into Passion" L Diary 36, Sept/53
Battle Decision detective after crook—in the Army
"Battle Detective" SSWS 13, Sept/53
Treacherous Love girl works for a Mickey J____ character
10  "Easy to Love" L Diary 36, Sept/53
12  Batman the invisible Batman
"The Invisible Batman" Detective 199, Nov/53
Superman syndicate $100,000 on Clark Kent's head
Superman strip,  May 18 to May 23/53
Killer Tanks! a man who is deathly afraid of the German tanks
"Killer Tank" Our Army at War 14, Dec/53

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Lee Marrs' First Comic Book Work?

When an artist is doing a licensed property, the best bet for identifying them by style is to look at the one-shot secondary characters. So, if I'm IDing correctly on these pages:

Lee Marrs' comic book work, both in undergrounds and mainstream, came after working on syndicated strips (writing gags on "Hi and Lois" for King in 1969 and doing backgrounds on "Little Orphan Annie" for Chicago Tribune-New York News starting in the same year, according to the Who's Who). Her underground work first appeared in 1972. I'd assumed her first four-color comic book credit was DC's Plop in 1974.

Blondie 175--Dagwood and the Go-Go Girl

It would seem it was actually Blondie—at King's mid-Sixties comic book division. Out of a spotty collection (there could be something earlier), I see her work in #175 (Dec/67) on the story "Dagwood and the Go-Go Girl." Possibly she did "Emergency Dinner" in that issue and just possibly "Blondie Makes the Switch." The Dagwood story "The Offer" I'm pretty sure is by someone else, not that I could say who. The main artist on the Blondie comic books, Paul Fung Jr., channeled Chic Young more thoroughly.

Popeye 120--Have a Happy, Pappy

Lee Marrs also drew an entire issue of Popeye (apart from regular artist/editor George Wildman’s cover), licensed from King at Charlton, a little later: #120 (Jun/73). It looks like she drew an unrelated back-up, Marvin the Mailman in "Dog Gone It," in Popeye 103 (Aug/70). Again, my collection is incomplete; she may have done other work on the title.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Woolfolk Records 1953/02

All-Star Western 72 Trigger Twins

Back to just Orbit and DC as publishers here.

With "Song of My Heart" paid at a rate lower than for regular writing, I believe that William Woolfolk is revising one of his own stories, but if so, the title has already been revised from one we've seen earlier.

Woolfolk's sole western for DC has been known, like the war stories, from the Julius Schwartz payment records.

February 1953 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

7 pg  revision of Song of My Heart "Song of My Heart" Love Journal 19, June/53
Too Many Sweethearts girl at an Army post
"Too Many Sweethearts" L Journal 20, Sept/53
12  Superman caravan of doom
"The Covered Wagon of Doom" Action 184, Sept/53
S.O.S. for Love a fat girl's problem
[untitled SOSFL] L Journal 19, June/53
Trigger Twins one twin is mysteriously missing
"Legend of a Lawman" All-Star Western 72, Aug-Sept/53

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Unknown Aparo Art Again

Jim Aparo is in his first year of work at DC when Girls' Love Stories 142 (Apr/69) comes out. The general rule with the romance comics is anonymity, and here editor Jack Miller makes Aparo even more anonymous by assigning him an overwhelming inker, Bill Draut, on the story "Thrill-Chick." (There are none of the nonconventional, angled panel borders Aparo uses on Aquaman, either.)

Girls' Love Stories 142

I started looking over the late-60s/early-70s DC romance comics in search of possible Richard Hughes scripts, but haven't run across any so far. I can see stories by Robert Kanigher, Jack Miller, and Jack Oleck, but the other writers like Barbara Friedlander, Lee Goldsmith, and Phyllis Reed (as given in the Who's Who) I haven't been able to credit with stories at this point. I'm sure there are writers not yet connected with these books. In other words, I can't ID the writer of "Thrill-Chick."

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Woolfolk Records 1953/01

Adventure 191--The Two Clark Kents

A William Woolfolk story bought by Fawcett is followed here by ones for DC and Orbit. That story isn't published by Fawcett; This Magazine Is Haunted 16 is Charlton's second issue after buying the rights to the title and inventory.

And Woolfolk returns to Archie Publications after writing Black Hood and so forth in the early-to-mid Forties; but with a try at the company's by-now flagship character he scores another rare rejection and moves on.

January 1953 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

5 pg  The Evil Ministers political leaders who are really demons
"The Evil Ministers" This Magazine Is Haunted 16, Mar/54
Operation Tall Tales a tall tale teller who does heroic deeds and can't prove it
8  "Operation: Tall Tales" All-American Men of War 6, Aug-Sept/53
12  Superman the new Krypton
"The Return of Planet Krypton" Action 182, July/53
Archie the burglar alarm [reject]
The Girl That I Marry bachelor tells why he couldn't marry
"The Girl That I Marry" Love Diary 35, June/53
Flying Blind a blind pilot has to take in a jet fighter
"Flying Blind" Our Army at War 12, July/53
12  Superman the perfect plot to kill Superman
"The Perfect Plot to Kill Superman" Action 183, Aug/53
Prescription for Happiness girl learns she doesn't love soldier
[untitled PFH] L Diary 35, June/53
12  Superboy Clark Kent's double lives in his home
"The Two Clark Kents" Adventure 191, Aug/53
Fighting Man doctor who wants to see real combat
"Soldier without Armor" OAAW 14, Sept/53

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Lighter Side of Ponytail

Dell editor D.J. Arneson recalls Lee Holley producing the entirety of the comic book spinoff of his syndicated daily panel/Sunday strip Ponytail, editorial input unneeded at Dell's end, and that's true as of issue 4 (and in fact through the title's run, including at Charlton later). Holley did supply all the covers from the very beginning, and there were some panel reprints.

I'll stick with "produce" rather than just "write and draw", because according to the Bails and Ware Who's Who, Frank Hill assisted Holly on the strip and on the comic book, so the later work was not necessarily Holley solo.

Ponytail 1 'Bar-B-Cute'

The Who's Who credits Dave Berg and Bob Gustafson with the feature in the first years at Dell. Berg does a pretty good job of ghosting Holley's art style, but he doesn't try to replicate it exactly. Secondary characters are the best place to find something closer to a ghost artist's own style; see Donald's parents in panel 4 above.

Ponytail 3 'Phone-y'

The Who's Who credit for Bob Gustafson is for writing, unconfirmed, but his art should be evident. Some Mort Walker-style touches give him away, as in Dell's Gulliver's Travels; he tries even less to mimic Holley on the Cassie back-ups, as above. He may well have written these two issues; it looks like a single writer did all the stories. The Grand Comics Database has given Frank Hill the credit for issue 2's stories, but per Bails and Ware this would be before his time on the strip.


Jul-Sep/62 Half Baked * w, a: Dave Berg
Brace Yourself w, a: Berg
Swell Smell w, a: Berg
Bar-B-Cute w, a: Berg
Bubble Trouble w, a: Berg
Dress Right Dress w, a: Berg
Rain in the Face * w, a: Berg
Apr-Jun/63 Wedding Belles * w: ?  a: Bob Gustafson
What the Doctor Ordered w: ?  a: Gustafson
Danger--Woman Driver [CASSIE] w: ?  a: Gustafson
Dress Mess w: ?  a: Gustafson
Gift of Gab w: ?  a: Gustafson
The Merry Chase w: ?  a: Gustafson
Best Test * w: ?  a: Gustafson
Jul-Sep/    Low Down Trick * w: ?  a: Gustafson
Palsy Walsy w: ?  a: Gustafson
Tele-wise w: ?  a: Gustafson
Beautiful But Not Dumb w: ?  a: Gustafson
Secret Admirer w: ?  a: Gustafson
Phone-y [CASSIE] w: ?  a: Gustafson
Poodle Doodle * w: ?  a: Gustafson
(* single page)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Woolfolk Records 1952/12

Another month, like last, of only five stories entered in the records book; for the only time, a single publisher: DC.

The authorship of William Woolfolk's war stories is already known, from Julius Schwartz's pay records for the books he and Robert Kanigher each edited.

Detective 196--City without Guns

December 1952 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

12 pg  Batman city without guns
"City without Guns" Detective 196, Aug/53
10  Superboy Superboy's manager
"Superboy Hired a Manager" Superboy 26, June-July/53
The Milk Run "Pappy" of an air squadron in World War II
"Ghost Ace" Our Army at War 13, Aug/53
10  Superman Clark Kent goes to prison
"Clark Kent—Convict" Superman 83, July-Aug/53
Drummer Boy boy drummer at Waterloo
"Drummer of Waterloo" OAAW 14, Sept/53