Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Suuuuper Realism (Comparatively) on Ricky Nelson

Ricky Nelson FC 956

Pete Alvarado strayed over from animated-style comics (I associate him best with Andy Panda and Charlie Chicken among the many, many features he did) to pencil, and for all I know ink, the first issue of Dell's Ricky Nelson (Four Color 956, Dec/58) spinning off from the TV sitcom "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet." Russ Manning drew the fourth issue, and in between--who knows?

The best way to recognize an artist's work when he may be trying to match the models in a tie-in is to look at secondary characters--note the soda jerk Sam here. Still, Alvarado's characteristic finger shapes and arm positioning do show up at times on Ricky, as in the first panel here. The silhouette in the final panel is also a giveaway.

Alvarado would do Dell's first three issues of The Three Stooges in a style closer to animation cartooning, even though Moe, Larry, and Curly Joe are as "real" as Ricky Nelson.


  1. Having just spent time going through issues of Blue Bolt, looking for Dick Cole stories that might be attributed to Pete A., I decided to take a break and see what you posted recently. Yes, the Ricky Nelson looks more like the Alvardo that most of us are familiar with. the thumb and fingers are a good catch. As for Dick Cole - it's pretty obvious that the credited Bob Davis work is not just one person's art. Based on the known PA story in Speed Comics, I would guess he's the better artist (he went to NYC to try to break into pulps, during a break from animation, but ended up at Funnies, Inc); but I have no certainty

  2. Pete told me once that he never inked for Western Publishing...but his memory was not perfect on things like that.