Monday, February 16, 2015

Arneson, Not Segall

The misattributions to Don Segall on the GCD for these books, coalescing as far as anyone can tell out of thin air, originated decades earlier with me, back around the time I misidentified some non-William Woolfolk stories as Woolfolk's. I was correct in making the leap from these Dell stories to the Tower ones, but started from a misidentification of the writer. From what I can see now, Don Segall worked at Dell up through the middle of 1965; these are from 1966-67.

DJ Arneson not long ago recalled writing a comic's entire first issue for Tower, an "Undersea guy." He actually wrote two issue's worth of those double-sized books, going by the style. He remembered writing the Dell monster superheroes specifically. His other series like the Monkees and Dark Shadows (to name only two) never got misattributed.

An early warning sign for Arneson's writing is "Great Scot" rather than "Scott" (although I've seen him use the latter once or twice). The full page here is from 1966's bookstore comic THE GREAT SOCIETY COMIC BOOK, on which he and Tony Tallarico (though not ghost-penciller Bill Fraccio) got cover and splash credits; the tier below it is from FLYING SAUCERS 1, art by Chic Stone.

Great Society Comic Book, Flying Saucers 1 'Great Scot'
DRACULA and FRANKENSTEIN, of course, took up their numbering after one-shot tie-ins to the Universal movies a few years earlier. DRACULA 5 was skipped. The reasoning is obvious: 5 would have reprinted 1, but they skipped over it to the superhero issues. It may be a persnickety reason for the numbering gap, but it is a reason, not the mistake that fans have called it.

Scripts by DJ ARNESON, not Don Segall, at Dell

DRACULA 6-8 (reprints 2-4)



FLYING SAUCERS 5 (reprints 1)

at Tower



  1. Great detective work as usual, Martin. I indexed the corrections for the GCD and credited you and your blog.

  2. It strikes me that if you've read Arneson using 'Great Scott!' with two 'T's, it may have been the book's editor changing the spelling.

    Tim Bateman

  3. Thanks, Nick; and Tim, if I saw that spelling in a later FLYING SAUCERS as I think I recall now, the editor was DJ Arneson. But yes, never take a published script as 100% the script that was bought.

    At least when editor Joe Kubert fixed art on books he edited, you could tell exactly what was his and what was left from the original. I had to figure out that any style quirks on Otto Binder's recorded EC scripts were Al Feldstein's. (Feldstein eventually gave up and let Jack Oleck's and Carl Wessler's later scripts run pretty much as written. Pretty much!)