Friday, October 23, 2015

One Springboard for Two Stories

As EC's publisher, Bill Gaines would read at home as much as he could to bring in "springboards" to story conferences with editor Al Feldstein. Generally they would take ideas, including some from Gaines's reading, to come up with plots and build new new stories around them. Famously, Ray Bradbury differed with them on the definition of "new" when they hewed too closely to a couple of his stories.

If comic book writers do any reading at all, of course others' ideas may resurface even unconsciously as springboards for scripts. Where is the line crossed into plagiarism?

C. M Kornbluth's story "The Little Black Bag" was published in Astounding Stories, July/50. The situation involves a doctor finding a bag of surgical instruments from the future. I've recognized that situation in two comic book stories that came out a few years later.

MT 134, SSS 36 strange instruments

"Little Black Bag" is from Marvel Tales 134 (May/55); artist Robert Q. Sale, and writer unknown. "The Strange Package" is from Strange Suspense Stories 36 (March/58); art by (of all people, at Charlton) Gene Colan and script by Joe Gill. [CORRECTED FROM SSS 33 PER PAUL BRIGG'S COMMENT]

Neither follows the Kornbluth story's plot at all closely; that had a grisly ECish ending, and these two stories came out under the Comcs Code. Still, (especially considering the Marvel story's title), it's obvious the writers were familiar with the prose story. I wonder if Edmond Hamilton springboarded it even further into "The Burglar Kit from the Future" in Jimmy Olsen...

As to Joe Gill's style, in "The Strange Package" there's a good example of his joining two sentences with an "and" but no comma in a caption: The hospital was close and he walked through the early, gathering darkness toward it!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Binder Records: Timely--Link to Art Lortie's Transcription

Art Lortie has transcribed Otto Binder's pay records, separating them by company. The first list he's posted is Binder's work for Timely, which covered 1941-48. Like William Woolfolk, Binder gave his scripts working titles that in many instances the editors changed. A few times the working title gives away the ending, so you can see the editors' point. At any rate, a number of stories in the records still have to be connected to the ones published.

This is the link:

Comparing Binder's records with Woolfolk's from the same era, it would seem that at Timely each was paid for quite a few more scripts than ended up drawn and published (I'm pretty certain it will prove so with Binder once all the published stories have been IDed). It happened most notably to both men on Captain America and Young Allies.

Millie 15 Hedy de Vine story: 'Sighhhh'

One difference between the two writers' work at Timely is that as it became apparent that the superheroes were destined to fade away for a while, Binder switched over to the teen titles there. This tier is from the Hedy de Vine story "Disguise the Limit" in Millie the Model 15 (Dec/48). I never looked for Binder's work among these stories, but knowing now that he was paid for this one (his title was "Incognito"), I can see the characteristic elongation of "Sighhhh."

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Girls' Romances 101-120 Artists

This is Jack Miller's first run on Girls' Romances; he returns after Barbara Friedlander edits the title. I picked this run because much of John Rosenberger's work at this point on DC's romance books gets mistaken for Gene Colan's, and Frank Bolle gets no recognition at all. Nor do Colan and J. Scott Pike get any love for inking themselves. I haven't seen issues 105 and 110. I've left out the reprints that come in toward the end of the run. And I've put aside the question of writers for now.

GR 106 'I'll Be Around' signed by Sachs

Bernard Sachs signs one story here on his own (he does the same on a story in Girls' Love Stories 111 and one in Young Romance 133, also 1965 issues). I'm going to take the signature at face value. His pencils, then, certainly remind you of an earlier Mike Sekowsky's, but in the latter's stories inked by others at this time Sekowsky's style has already become more exuberant.

There's one inker I can track from story to story for whom my best guess is Frank McLaughlin, although he's not known to be at DC this early. And if Art Peddy has any work here, I just can't ID him this late.

In "Too Handsome to Hold" in #104, where a young man happens to look just like actor Richard Chamberlain, I believe Tony Abruzzo rather than penciller Mike Sekowsky draws most of the Chamberlain faces.

Girls' Romances edited by Jack Miller

Jun/64 101  Tears for Sale a: John Rosenberger
Dreamers Love Their Dreams a: Rosenberger
Dear Peter... a: Frank Bolle
Come Back My Heart a: J. Scott Pike
Jul/     102  Something in Common p: Mike Sekowsky  i: Frank   Giacoia? & Joe Giella?
Out of a Dream a: Bolle
The Day My Heart Died p: Tony Abruzzo  i: Giacoia
Sep/      103  Port of Hope a: Bolle
Let's Fall in Love a: Bernard Sachs
Too Late for Tears a: Gene Colan
Oct/      104  A Change of Heart a: Sachs
Tell Him Tonight p: Abruzzo  i: Frank McLaughlin
Too Handsome to Hold p: Sekowsky   i: ?
Jan/65 106  Stand-In for Love a: Bolle
I'll Be Around a: Sachs (signed)
I'll Never Love Again a: Rosenberger
Mar/     107  Come Back to Yesterday p: Werner Roth  i: McLaughlin
The Love I Lost--Twice a: Gil Kane
Alone in Love a: Rosenberger
Apr/     108  I Was the Last to Know p: ?  i: Sachs
Come Home to Heartbreak p: Abruzzo?  i: McLaughlin
Take My Love a: Colan
Jun/     109  Why Would Anyone Love Me? a: Sachs
A Bedtime Story a: Bill Draut
When My Dreams Come True a: Colan
Sep/     111  How to Lose Your Boyfriend without Really Trying a: Rosenberger
He Only Loves Me--When He's Kissing Me a: Colan
Oct/     112  Too Much in Love? p: Roth  i: Bolle
All for the Love of Ronny p: Abruzzo  i: McLaughlin
Give Me Back My Love a: Rosenberger
Dec/     113  If I Ever Love Again--(I'll Keep a Lock on My Heart) a: Rosenberger
I'll Love You Forever p: John Romita  i: ?
Careless Heart--Careless Lips a: Pike
Jan/66 114  Phantom Love a: Colan
Heartbreak Follows Me p: Abruzzo  i: Sachs
Kiss and Tell a: Romita
Mar/     115  Please, Somebody--Love Me a: Rosenberger
Love at Second Sight a: Win Mortimer
Apr/      116  How Can He Love Me Now a: Pike
My Divided Heart p: ?  i: Sachs
June/     117  Girl in Trouble a: Colan
The Wrong Side of Love a: Rosenberger
July/      118  He Couldn't Trust Me a: Rosenberger
Say Goodbye to Love a: Colan
Sep/     119  Love Wasn't Enough for Him a: Colan
One Ticket--to Romance a: Sachs
Ask Me about Love--I'm an Expert p: Dick Giordano  i: Sal Trapani
Oct/      120  Can You Tell Someone to Love You? a: Manny Stallman
Maybe He'll Love Me Tomorrow a: Rosenberger