Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Woolfolk Records 1952/03

Police 121 Ken Shannon

Stories for Orbit, Quality, and Fawcett.

Finally a discernible reason for a title change: a non-William Woolfolk story published in Wanted 44, Jan/52, was already titled "Death Row."

S.O.S. for Love, again, is a continuing department with no individual story titles. (UPDATE: darkmark confirmed the following reasoning that had made me leave LJ 15, which I haven't seen, as merely a guess when I posted.) This one isn't in the same issue, Love Journal 16, as this month's story "Shameful Love"; 16's concerns a mother, but one who high-pressures her daughter's dates about marriage. The LJ 16 letters page identifies the previous issue's S.O.S. as from a man.

March 1952 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

3 pg  S.O.S. for Love mother wants to live with son
[untitled SOSFL] Love Journal 15, Aug/52
Ken Shannon the curse of the clawed killer
"Case of the Clawed Killer" Police 121, Nov/52
10  Death Row 5 men in death row
9  "5 Doors to Death" Wanted 51, Dec/52
Under Cover Club pages "Under Cover Club" Wanted
Wanted criminal Wanted
10  Monsters of the Mind man pursued by monsters of which he is one
"Monsters of the Mind" Strange Stories from Another World 4, Dec/52
Plastic Man the hounds of horror
"The Hounds of Horror" PM 39, Jan/53
Captain Marvel Jr. curse of the fire demon
"CMJ and the Curse of the Fire Demon" CMJ 115, Nov/52
Ibis an undertaker makes a zombie
"Ibis and the Undertaker's Revenge" Whiz 152, Dec/52
10  Shameful Love girl who falls for an alcoholic
"Shameful Love" L Journal 16, Nov/52
10  Doll Man the thing that killed
"The Thing that Killed" DM 43, Dec/52
Captain Marvel Jr. scientist from the future
"CMJ and the Scientist from the Future" CMJ 116, Dec/52
Dog That Cried Murder a killer who is haunted by a dead dog
Mausoleum of Weird Crimes "The Dog That Cried Murder" Wanted 49, Sept/52
Captain Marvel Jr. space voters
"CMJ and the Space Voters" CMJ 116, Dec/52
Coin of Killers coin that brings death to owners
6  "Coin of Killers" Wanted 50, Oct/52
10  Ken Shannon mansion of mangled men
"Mansion of Mangled Men" KS 8, Dec/52

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Felix the Cat by Jack Mendelsohn, c. age 36 1/2

Jack Mendelsohn worked in comic books and animation. His Sunday syndicated strip, "Jackys Diary," ran 1959-61. Written and drawn as if by a five-year-old, and bylined "Jacky Mendelsohn, age 32½," the joke at its heart evidently flew over the heads of readers and newspaper editors who thought it was by a five-year-old.

When I went to index Dell's early-Sixties Felix the Cat for myself, I figured I'd differentiate the artists by "Felix artist 1," "Felix artist 2," and so on. One I gave a more descriptive identification: "Mendelsohn-like," since the simplicity somehow reminded me of the deliberately childlike style he affected on "Jacky's Diary."

But as I was looking at the stories' art, I realized that I recognized the writing on a run of three issues that included the "Mendelsohn-like" artist's work. I'd seen it on the earlier Supermouse at Pines and the later Tippy Teen at Tower, which I knew from the Who's Who that Jack Mendelsohn had worked on. Bails and Ware also place him at Dell at the time. His website mentions the Dell issue of Miss Peach that he wrote and drew in a spot-on imitation of Mell Lazarus's style. As I found after "discovering" these Felix stories, the Who's Who has him writing the syndicated strip in 1948-52, and his site mentions Felix as one of his comic book credits.

Jacky's Diary Four Color 1091, Felix 2

Eventually I tied together the art styles between Jacky's Dairy and Felix, I think; note the cobblestones as well as the background buildings in the street scenes. I find that deliberately primitive art style on only two Felix stories, but it seems to me that other artists could have been working over Mendelsohn's layouts on other stories he wrote here; I think I see one of those artists on a later issue or two. I can't tell if he wrote any of the one-pagers in #2-4. These three are the only issues out of the twelve-issue run that he wrote; I'm still trying to see if I can ID anyone else on the strip at Dell.

Felix the Cat
written by Jack Mendelsohn

Jan-Mar/63 Beaux and Arrows a: Mendelsohn
You Must've Been a Beautiful Baby a: Mendelsohn
High Finance
Apr-Jun/     Fair Weather Enemies
You Auto Be in Pictures
Good Neighbor Policy
Frozen Assets
Jul-Sep/     The Vicious Cycle
Tale of a Fish
A Sample Assignment
There Auto Be a Law

Felix the Cat backups
written by Mendelsohn

Jan-Mar/63 Early to Bed [ROCK AND ROLLO]
Apr-Jun/     Spring Fever [PUSSYFOOT]
Jul-Sep/     A Moving Story [ROCK AND ROLLO]

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Woolfolk Records 1952/02

Fawcett, Orbit, and Quality: buyers of the scripts this month.

S.O.S. for Love is a continuing department with no individual story titles.
William Woolfolk used the concept of a riverman battling a construction project a few years earlier in Plastic Man 12 (July/48), but this Ibis story is otherwise entirely new; the two rivermen have very different origins.

UPDATE: darkmark found the first two Love Journal stories here.

CMJ 115--Thousand-Eyed Idol

February 1952 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

8 pg  Captain Marvel Jr. train that left the Earth
"CMJ and the Train That Traveled through Space" CMJ 114, Oct/52
S.O.S. for Love a girl whose guy hugs the limelight
[untitled SOSFL] Love Journal 14, June/52
Ibis the weeds that could think
"Ibis and the Menace of the Horror Weeds" Whiz 150, Oct/52
Second-Best Love girl forced to date friend of the family
"Second Best Love" L Journal 15, Aug/52
Ibis the amazing riverman
"Ibis Battles the Amazing Riverman" Whiz 151, Nov/52
Captain Marvel Jr. city in the maelstrom
"CMJ and the City in the Maelstrom" CMJ 119, June/53
Blackhawk. last stand on Suicide Island
"Last Stand on Suicide Island" BH 58, Nov/52
10  Love Vampire crippled sister who steals man from heroine
"Love Vampire" L Journal 15, Aug/52
editorial work on story for Ray Hermann
Doll Man diary of a dead man
"Diary of Death" DM 41, Oct/52
editorial work for Ray Hermann
Doll Man the spectre in steel
"The Spectre in Steel" DM 41, Oct/52
Captain Marvel Jr. 1000 eyed idol of doom—whose eyes are flying saucers
7  "CMJ and the Thousand Eyed Idol of Doom" CMJ 115, Nov/52
Hot Rod Killers only nurses get murdered
"Hot-Rod Killers" Wanted 49, Sept/52
Dead Man's Revenge a man caught by corpse of man he killed
Mausoleum of Weird Crimes "Eyes of Vengeance" Wanted 49, Sept/52

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Take the Credits with a Grain of Salt: Vampirella

Editors haven't always gotten the credits right in the comic itself, and in some cases, almost 45 years later, the errors haven't been corrected in indexing. The first nine issues of Vampirella from Warren, in 1969-71, provide examples.

#1 left off the credits for the final story, "A Room Full of Changes," but—if you assumed the other credits were correct, as I'd say they are—you could work out from the list of contributors on the contents page that this was the one story written for the issue by Nicola Cuti, and that the artist was Ernie Colón.

In #2, the script for "Montezuma's Monster" was miscredited to Don Glut, but in the #3 letters page corrected it to R. Michael Rosen—when he pointed out the mistake. He was listed in #2's list of contributors.

#5 brings the miscredit that has been dutifully entered in the Grand Comics Database. The art on "The Craft of a Cat's Eye" is credited to John Fantucchio, like that of "Ghoul Girl" later in the issue. The artist team, under their collective pen name, is in the list of contributors: "Tony Williamsune," actually Bill Fraccio and Tony Tallarico. Critics may have moaned and groaned about their art—but that means it should be, at the very least, distinctive, doesn't it? The full page here is from "Cat's Eye" (the only story in the issue not signed, by the way) and the tier is from "Ghoul Girl."

Vampirella 5 'Craft of a Cat's Eye' and 'Ghoul Girl'

#7 credits the art of "Collection Creation" to "Williamsune." This mistake has been caught in the GCD; the actual artist, listed as a contributor, is Jerry Grandenetti.

In #9, the editors use a writer/artist's pen name, which is not a mistake on their part, but the GCD ought to credit "Alac Justice" as Jack Katz, identified as such by the Who's Who. If Katz's style is so hard to ID because he wasn't doing that much in mainstream comics at the time, can the same be said for #4's "David StClair" (meant for "St. Clair," I'd say, but misspelled "Sinclair" in the GCD)? Ernie Colón had stories under his own name for comparison's sake in issues 1, 2, and 7 as well as in Creepy and Eerie.

Speaking of pen names, let me return to one I mentioned: Tony Williamsune. On Vampirella, the GCD never mentions the penciller in that team of Tony and William: Bill Fraccio. One can see where the mistake comes from, since in #1 he's ghosting the pencils for Tony Tallarico, who takes the sole credit. But a look elsewhere gives more information about their styles. Gunmaster at Charlton gives a comparison of Fraccio's pencils under various inkers: not only Tallarico (#2) but Ernie Bache (#1, 3, 4), Vince Colletta (#87), and Frank McLaughlin (#89). (Yes, the numbering changed to take up another title's—it's Charlton.) #89 gives a credit line to Fraccio and McLaughlin. It repeats that credit in the bottom margin of a back-up story drawn by José Delbo—bringing me back to my original statement about the trustworthiness of credits.