Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Twistin' Time Is Here (But Who Drew It?)

Dell's one-shot The Twist (July-Sept/62), riding the coattails of the dance craze, was written by Paul C. Ignizio. That attribution comes from Martin Grams Jr.'s book on "Car 54, Where Are You"; Ignizio wrote to the producers with a sample of his writing, the Dell tie-in to that show, and mentioned The Twist as another Dell he'd written. Mark Evanier's mention of that on his blog brought Ignizio to indexers' attention.

The artist of The Twist has gone misidentified, but he sneaked in versions of his name twice.

The interior art has gone misidentified because the cover artist signed his work. "Williams" is, I'd agree with the Grand Comics Database, Bill Williams. But he no more drew the insides here than Gil Kane drew every Marvel in the early Seventies.

The artist with this style in 1962 used it on other Dells like The Andy Griffith Show and Margie. He's Henry Scarpelli. (The GCD currently attributes Margie's art correctly but gives credit for Andy Griffith's to Bill Fraccio.)

A few years later Scarpelli would change his approach somewhat, using photo-reference stats on books such as McHale's Navy, something that he didn't use on those 1962 ones. After that, the deluge, as he refined the cartoonier style of his syndicated panel TV Tee-Hees. He set the Archie-like template for DC's teen books with covers and, generally with others penciling the interiors, inks. (I was surprised to find that he used his more "realistic" style at DC first, on Stanley and His Monster.)

The Twist, 'Scap's Trucking Co.'
On page 11 of The Twist, a car license plate reads H.I.S. Recognizing Scarpelli's style to begin with, I zeroed in on the initials. Although I couldn't find if his middle initial was indeed I, in the course of an Internet search I found confirmation of his second sneak. According to his 2010 obituary, his nickname was "Scap," and on page 24 (pictured with detail): Scap's Trucking Co.

1 comment:

  1. As I was reading this, I was worried that I was the guy who said Williams drew it (I've IDed a lot of Williams for the GCD), until I saw the art. No way I would attributed that art to Williams. It's fitting that Scarpelli would have drawn a music comic, as he later recieved a gold record (a part of Sotos Production).