Thursday, February 20, 2014

Two Dell TV Tie-ins

There are a number of early Dell Sixties writers I haven't been able to identify and may never. I wouldn't be surprised if some of them are non-comics writers contacted by the "new" company as it split off from Western. Herbert D. Kastle (Brain Boy), Berhardt J. Hurwood (the Dracula Movie Classic), and Burt Hirschfeld (no specifics known) are three writers identified more with paperback work.

Carl Memling's writing I can identify; here are two of his short-run TV tie-ins. He stayed on each twice as long as any of the artists! "Ulppp" as seen in this page from Defenders 2 is a Memlingism.

Defenders 2 'Ulppp'

I can't figure the inker on Mike Sekowsky's pencils in Stoney Burke 1; the inks don't look like Mike Peppe's over Sekowsky as in Man from UNCLE or The Frogmen. I'd show a page but I'm having some problems staying logged in to the public-domain site with the downloads.

The Defenders

Nov/62 #1  The Defenders w: Carl Memling  a: Frank Springer
Apr/63 #2  Trial by Fury w: Memling  a: Gerald McCann

Stoney Burke

Aug/63 #1  Big Man, Big Hate w: Carl Memling  p: Mike Sekowsky
Nov/     #2  Target for a Sniper w: Memling  a: Jack Sparling


  1. Thanks for these! How about a rundown of the 77 Sunset Strip writers?

  2. I'll tell you who I think inked Mike Sekowsky on STONEY BURKE #1. I think at least six different guys inked Mike Sekowsky on STONEY BURKE #1...and it wouldn't surprise me if there were more than that.

    Frank Giacoia told me (and other confirmed it) that on his Dell and Western jobs, he sometimes had to get together a whole batch of friends to jam on a job and ink (or sometimes even pencil and ink) it over the weekend. I'd say this was one of these but there isn't enough Giacoia in it for him to have been the lead guy...though he does turn up a bit in it, especially in the latter half after the letterer changes to Gaspar. (And I'm blanking: Did Giacoia ever ink for Dell during this period?)

    I see Frank and I see Mike Peppe and I see Sekowsky himself and maybe Mike Esposito and there are also some parts that are definitely not by any of those guys. There are a few spots even that look like Frank Bolle, Andre LeBlanc and Don Heck. I'm just trying to figure out who got the job and then called in all his friends.

  3. Mark, I wonder if it wasn't so much a particular inker hired by Dell or Western having to call in all his friends, or if it was Mike Sekowsky himself consistently subcontracting the inking of his work outside DC among Giacoia and Giella, Peppe and Esposito and so on--inasmuch as he got combinations of the same inkers at Harvey and Tower. If your memory-blank is on whether Giacoia inked other artists' features for Dell, I don't recall that he did. If he worked on the Frogmen issue where Gil Kane and George Tuska had to step in and help on the penciling, it would still be through Sekowsky and not actually Dell, if my conjecture is correct.

    darkmark, I haven't taken too hard a look at the West Coast office adventure books around 1960 for the writers because the choice seems to be in most cases solely between Gaylord DuBois and the team of Freiwald and Schaefer (whom I'd imagine did 77 Sunset Strip). I can't come up with the names of other writers doing adventure there in the early Sixties, not until Russ Manning starts writing some of his own stories on Magnus. Don R. Christensen and Carl Fallberg write some adventure like Magnus and Lassie later in the decade. I have no idea who is there to write both The Invaders and The Green Hornet (the authorship of the latter seems to have been confused with Paul S. Newman's 1950s Green Hornet Four Color issue done for the East Coast office).

  4. I believe all the issues of FROGMEN were produced by Western Publishing before they broke off their publishing arrangement with Dell and before Dell ever started hiring comic book writers and artists on their own. There's no question Sekowsky and Giacoia both did a lot of work for Western but I don't recall Sekowsky doing much for Dell or Giacoia doing anything. Maybe something is slipping my mind.

    As I recall, almost all of Sekowsky's Tower jobs were inked officially by Giacoia but with Giella pitching in a lot. Was it around his time that Bernard Sachs stopped inking Sekowsky on JUSTICE LEAGUE and the job went to Giacoia who in turn gave half of it to Giella?

  5. Frogmen did start before the great Dell/Western schism, but it started on the Dell side--the title lasted into the mid-Sixties under their imprint. The first issues were produced in 1962 when Dell tested the waters by mixing in some of its in-house-produced books, identified as such deep in the indicia, with those it was still publishing for Western. You're right, Sekowsky didn't do nearly as much for Dell as he did for Western: that issue of Stoney Burke, a number of Frogmen issues, and the one-shots of King of Diamonds and On Stage look like his entire body of work there.

    I have the King of Diamonds issue (1962) in front of me and, since no filtrum goes uninked, my first thought would be that Giacoia had at least a hand in it. If you see Giacoia on Stoney Burke in 1963, you see him at new-model Dell.

    It was in 1966 that Sachs ended his run on JLA, and Giacoia and Giella did their two issues before Sid Greene took over, so Tower had indeed already gotten under way. I see that honest-to-official splash page credits on JLA began with those issues, and Giella got co-credit on the second.