Wednesday, December 20, 2017

And He Drew the Blonde Phantom, Too

All Select 11 Scarlet Scorpion

In the Blonde Phantom's first issue at Timely (All Select 11, Sid Shores pencilled the first BP story. I guess the inks (by someone I won't try to ID) made the art in the second story look superficially like that of the first. But it's pencilled by Pete Riss, artist on (to name only other female protagonists) Millie the Model, Mary Marvel, Toni Gayle, and ACG romance stories. He also pencilled the second story in the next issue (keeping the numbering with a title change, Blonde Phantom 12).

Pete Riss Pencils on
Blonde Phantom

Fall/46 AS 11  The Scarlet Scorpion
 Win/47 BP 12  Death After Dinner

The writer who created the Blonde Phantom in the two stories in AS 11 is one of those frustrating comic book mysteries, as I can follow the style from story to story without being able to name him (or her)—he also worked on Sub-Mariner and Human Torch, and the first of the crime anthologies, in 1946-48. He uses "crimester" for "gangster" and adjectivizes time in the captions: In lightning seconds, In split seconds, In speedy seconds, Swift moments later, and even A splash second later! The one name I can put to him is "not Stan Lee."

UPDATE: In reference to the preceding paragraph, Jake Oster has brought to my attention Alan Sulman's words in Alter Ego #104: "I created a new character called The Blonde Phantom, and I wrote those strips myself. I wrote a few Sub-Mariner and Captain America stories. I did not write The Human Torch." If he wrote the first BP stories, (recall that William Woolfolk was on board by the second issue) I can't reconcile that with his writing no Torch stories. Sulman's story "I Hate Me" in BP 15, credited in Stan Lee's Secrets Behind the Comics, is a four-pager with only three captions, and doesn't give much upon which to build an idea of his style.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Beard and Harper Mickey Mouse Serials

I.N.D.U.C.K.S. credits "The Red Wasp Mystery" to Cecil Beard, which gave a starting point. As mentioned in the comments to my previous post on them, I think it's easier to assume Beard and wife Alpine Harper, per his text page for Murray Boltinoff, collaborated at this point to a greater or lesser degree on everything rather than to assign stories solely to one or the other.

'Bourf! Bourf!

Pluto's "Bourf! Bourf!" in WDC&S 330 echoes the Hounds in their untiled Hounds and the Hare story in The Fox and the Crow 83 (Dec-Jan/64). Goofy echoes so many Fox and Crow (as well as Hound and Hare etc.) stories' "Ooo-hoo-hoo" in #358. (The Crow says it on the first page of F&C 83.) Note the nonstandard hyphenization of "Hoo-Doo" both here and in the Scooby Doo story "The Fiery Hoo-Doo."

There are a number of serials later in this run, setting aside these and Carl Fallberg's, that I can assign to one writing style, but can't be sure enough to say it's that of Beard & Harper. Maybe more on their style from other features will merge my two lists of writers' data and I can credit those stories to them in the future.

Beard & Harper Mickey Mouse serial scripts
in Walt Disney's Comics & Stories

Oct/66 to Jan/67 #313-316  The Treasure of Oomba Loomba
Feb/ to Apr/67 #317-319  The Red Wasp Mystery
May/ to Jul/67 #320-322  Lair of the Zoomby
Aug/ to Nov/67 #323-326  Trapped in Time
Dec/67 to Feb/68 #327-329  The Mystery of the Wiki-Waki Wot-Not
Mar/ to May/68 #330-332  The Mystery of the Dazzling Hoo-Doo
Dec/68 to Feb/69 #339-341  The Strange Case of Professor Zero
Dec/69 to Feb/70 #351-353  The Sorcerer of Donnybrook Castle
Mar/ to May/70 #354-356  Chief Bigfoot and the Ghost Warriors
Jun/ to Aug/70 #357-359  Journey to No-No Land
Sep/ to Nov/70 #360-362  The Sign of the Scorpion
May/ to Jul/73 #392-394  Flight of the Dragon

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Sal Trapani Pencils for Himself?/Not Yet, He Ain't

Wild, Wild West 3

On Gold Key's TV tie-in The Wild, Wild West #3, here's yet other Sal Trapani ghost that I can identify. Try to unimagine the Trapani inks; apart from the poses, the faces of James West in the second and sixth panel are probably the places where José Delbo's style best shows through. Delbo's first work in the U.S.A. was in 1966 at Charlton and Dell; he didn't show up at Gold Key without Trapani inks until around 1970, so I think we can assume that these are ghost pencils paid for by Trapani.

On his blog Lee's Comic Rack Lee Hartsfeld has identified Bill Molno as Trapani's ghost on issue 4. After that issue, I have yet to ID the pencillers.

Leo Dorfman uses captions like A startling moment later... and In the next astonishing moment... throughout the series.

The Wild, Wild West—written by Leo Dorfman

June/66 #1  Outlaw Empire a: Alden McWilliams
Nov/     #2  The Phantom from the Past a: McWilliams
June/68 #3  The Stolen Empire p: José Delbo  i: Sal Trapani
Dec/     #4  Montezuma's Gold p: Bill Molno  i: Trapani
Apr/69 #5  The Night of the Tongs p: ?   i: Trapani
July/     #6  Maximilian's Treasure p: ?   i: Trapani
Oct/     #7  The Night of the Buccaneer p: ?   i: Trapani

Sunday, October 15, 2017

A Few Beard & Harper Stories at Gold Key

Husband-and-wife team Cecil Beard and Alpine Harper were the writers on the Fox and Crow and related strips like The Hounds and the Hare, Flippity and Flop, and Tito and His Burrito at DC. The Fox and Crow strip lasted into 1968.

Editor Murray Boltinoff had Cecil Beard give a quick bio in F&C 97, in which he identified Alpine Harper as his collaborator and noted that, having been writing comics for 20 years in '66, "by now, I think we've written for almost every comic character in the business."

I found a few of their later scripts at Gold Key by their distinctive "Ooo-hoo-hoo." From one story in it I could work out that they did the entire single issue of the time-travel sitcom tie-in It's About Time; I believe they did more stories of Scooby Doo than I've listed here, but it will take more study to be sure of the ones without "Ooo-hoo-hoo." The tiers are from the untitled first story in Fox and the Crow 90 (Feb-March/65); "A Better Mousetrap"; and "That's Snow Ghost."

Cecil Beard & Alpine Harper Scripts on
It's About Time

Jan/67 The Day of the Widget
  A Lesson in Courtship
A Better Mousetrap

on Scooby Doo

Dec/70 The Ghostly Sea Diver
Mar/71 That's Snow Ghost
Aug/73 20  The Fiery Hoo-Doo

Monday, September 18, 2017

Swipes Across the Water

It's not Roy Lichtenstein, but here are examples of comic book line art being swiped into paintings—artists Mehmet Gülergün (Nachts, wenn die Toten kommen, May 27, 1980) and Özcan Eralp (Das Geisterhaus von Lockwood Hill, Oct. 28, 1981) are not going for arch Pop Art camp as they use Nestor Redondo's and Jim Aparo's compositions from Swamp Thing 13 (Dec, 1974) and Weird Mystery Tales 4 (Jan-Feb, 1973).

ST 13, WMT 4, 2 Grusel-Krimi volumes

Silber Grusel-Krimi ("Silver Horror-Thriller") is a heftroman series; the heftromane (roughly "notebook novels") have been called the German pulps (the original Perry Rhodan series was one of them) but I'd call them closer to the predecessors of the American pulps, the dime novels. Prose pamphlets, they're on average 64 pages long in comic-book-style stapled binding, and many titles have come out weekly. They cover the gamut of genres: horror, SF, romance, Western, crime. There was one fairly long-running superhero series, 1956-76: when the publisher finished translating (and no doubt abridging) most of the Black Bat pulp novels from the USA, they got German writers to continue with originals.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Jack Mendelsohn Art and Scripts on Terrytoons Comics

MMFCM 2 Gaston Le Crayon

Above is a page from "The Corny Dream," the Gaston Le Crayon story in Mighty Mouse Fun Club Magazine #2 (Winter/57, Pines). Jack Mendelsohn previews the kid's drawing style he'll use on his syndicated strip Jacky's Diary, in this story of the old-time melodrama characters Gaston has drawn who escape his easel.

Mendelsohn was solely a writer on strips like Candy and Marmaduke Mouse at Quality, and Angel and Supermouse at Pines. When Pines acquired the Terrytoons titles, though, all his work that I've seen so far on those books was done as writer/artist. His writing style is a little different to match his art style—storybookish, mostly with captions in the past tense—but consistent throughout his Terrytoons work. For a sampling of his work I've listed issues I've seen so far that include his Tom Terrific scripts/art. He has only one story in Tom's own book. He's in later issues of MMFCM as well as in the other Terrytoon titles; in addition to the features here he also worked on Heckle and Jeckle, and Dinky Duck.

Below is the sure signal of Mendelsohn's art style: the freeform windows and the Platonic ideal of a lamppost in his cityscape backgrounds.

MMFCM 2 Mighty Mouse

Jack Mendelsohn scripts/art in

Fall/57 How the Mighty Mouse Fun Club Was Organized... [MIGHTY MOUSE]

Peculiar Picnic [TOM TERRIFIC]
Monkey Business [GASTON LE CRAYON]
The Elf's Money [CLINT CLOBBER]
Strange Footprints [FLEBUS]
Win/    cover
Guests from the Stars [MIGHTY MOUSE]
The Corny Dream [GASTON LE CRAYON]

Ancient China [TOM TERRIFIC]
A Day in the Attic [CLINT CLOBBER]
The Reluctant Pup [FLEBUS]


Spr/58 The Land of Strange Discoveries

Thursday, July 27, 2017

A Yosemite Sam Artist: John Langton

Gold Key's Yosemite Sam starts in 1970 as a reprint title, with Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig stories relogoed. With issue 6 new stories begin by the usual crew like writer Don R. Christensen and artists Phil DeLara and Pete Alvarado.

With issue 14 it switches from the West Coast offices of Western Publishing to the East Coast. In the next years there are stories by Paul S. Newman, Arnold Drake, and Steve Skeates. One of the artists known to the Who's Who is John Langton. Since he did a lot of work for Cracked, his style is easy enough to pick out. (The signed tier is from "A Cracked Alphabet Book About Politicians" in #70, August 1968.)

Cracked 70, YS 15

I'm missing a few issues, but #14 through 47 does seem to be the range of Langton's original work on the title.

John Langton art on Yosemite Sam

June/73 14  Shore 'Nuff
A Hair Raising Experience
Aug/     15  Sing a Song of  Pirates

Steer Clear
Sep/     16  For Snoring Out Loud
Oil's Well That Ends Well
Dec/     18  End of the Line
Feb/74 19  How the West Was Won
Apr/     20  Man Overboard
Noah's Ark Is Sunk
June/     21  Sam's Slapjacks
Aug/   22  Friends to the End
The Last of the Bad Men
Oct/     23  Rioting Rivals
Dec/     25  The Secret Formuls
Feb/75 26  Keep Dreaming
Apr/     27  It's a Gas!

Bum's Away
June/     28  Seaweed Sal
July/     30  The World's Greatest Mustache
Sep/     31  Lucky Day

Sea Scout Rout
Dec/     33  If It Isn't Christopher Columbus
Feb/76 34  Mop Art
June/     36  Model Behavior
July/   37  High Seas
The Old Shell Game
Radioactive Rabbit
Aug/     38  Laboratory Retriever
Sep/     39  Wind Wagon Sam
Oct/     40  Take Pity on a Pioneer
June/77 44  Fat's the Way It Goes
Aug/     46  Wanted
Sep/     47  Policeman's Brawl

Friday, June 23, 2017

Robert Bernstein Found at Toby

Sands of the Pacific 1 'Ikkkkk'

I haven't looked at much of Toby's output, but one point similar to what I'd seen at Quality jumped out at me: "Ikkkkk" in "The White Octopus" (art by Fred Kida). From there I knew to look for Robert Bernstein, and found a few stories of his so far at a company where, like Quality, he hadn't been known to write. The untitled stories in Black Knight 1 seem to be written by someone else.

The two Sands of the South Pacific stories could be Bernstein's first teaming with John Rosenberger, artist on so many of his Fly and Jaguar scripts at Archie in the early 60s.

The Black Knight

May/53 Human Sacrifice

Sands of the South Pacific

Jan/53 Death Dive
The Crocodile Killers
The White Octopus [FIJI JOE]

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Bill Williams Draws Tippy Teen

The Who's Who has Bill Williams at Tower drawing Tippy Teen in 1965 and her boyfriend Tommy in 1968--but wait, there's more. And this is not necessarily a complete list.

I found it easier to figure out Williams' style from his Fifties features like Henry Aldrich than from his Sixties work like Dunc and Loo, Kookie, Millie the Model, and Debbi. On the latter two, for instance, the editors have him emulating the styles set by the main artists at the time: respectively Stan Goldberg in serious mode, and Henry Scarpelli. And at Marvel and DC the inkers like Giacoia, Colletta, and McLaughlin further set him off from this work at Tower, where he has any number of inkers (possibly himself among them).

On the Tippy strips his work stands out from the other artists' by his characters' habit of throwing their heads back. The page above is from "On with the Show" in Tippy #1.

Bill Williams Pencils on Tippy Teen

Nov/65 Better Date Than Never
On with the Show inks: Rudy Lapick
Jan/66 A Sight for Sore Eyes
Apr/     Potions of Love splash art: Samm Schwartz
Mar/67 11  Kissin' Cousins
June/     13  It's a Mod, Mod World
Nov/68 21  Whatever Lulu Wants [TOMMY]
Sept/69 24  3rd Degree Burns [TOMMY gag]
Higher Education [GO-GO gag]
Oct/      25  What's Cookin? [TOMMY]
Wheeling and Dealing [TOMMY]
Peddle Meddle

On Go-Go and Animal

Sept/67 Thrown for a Loss [ANIMAL]
Sept/68 10  Painful Lesson [GO-GO]

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Dorothy Woolfolk on Love Diary #11-20--"Oh, glory!"

These are the stories in Love Diary #11-20 that I'm sure are written by Dorothy Woolfolk; there are others I still have down with a question mark. All three panels here with her trademark "Oh, glory" come from different points in the same story: "Prisoner of Love."

Love Diary 13 'Oh, glory' x 3

The stories plotted by William Woolfolk I already included on my transcriptions of his records, working them out from his descriptions. There were four more stories he plotted for Dorothy mentioned in the record book but with no descriptions; those would fall somewhere around #10-16.

Love Diary scripts by
Dorothy Woolfolk included in #11-20

Dec/50 #11  Wedding Dress for Sale
Mama's Girl
Jan/51 #12  John's Other Love
Poor Little Rich Girl
Someday I'll Find You
Big City Girl
Feb/     #13  Prisoner of Love
I Was a Fat Girl
Not Meant for Love
Mar/     #14  I Was a Pick-Up
Apr/      #15  I Loved a No-Good Guy
June/      #17  Back Alley Girl [plotted by William Woolfolk]
I Was a Slave to Tradition [plotted by William]
July/       #18  Betrayed  [plotted by William]
They Called Me Spitfire
Lonely for Love
Aug/       #19  The Cheat [plotted by William]
My Reckless Moment [plotted by William]
Sep/       #20  Sailor's Sweetheart
Ladies Man

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Pete Riss Draws Mike Barnett and/or Mike Danger

I noticed at separate times that these Fawcett stories were by Pete Riss and that the first two Mike Danger stories in Charlton's Danger and Adventure (#24 and 25) were by him too. Since the earlier issues of the Charlton title contained Fawcett inventory material, I figured the Mike Danger stories were from that company, but off the top of my head couldn't figure where.

When they bought material from Fawcett, of course Charlton didn't get the rights to TV character Mike Barnett. They pulled a Windy and Willy on him in these reprints. When I finally connected the stories, I saw that the Grand Comuics database IDed the retitled Charlton story "The Racing Stable Mystery" (D & A 24, June/55) as reprinting "Death Goes to the Races" but didn't give the source of "The Mint of Dr. Dionysus" (D & A 25, Aug/55), which wasn't retitled.

The first two Johnny Adventure stories, in those same issues, look like they were lifted from Alex Raymond's Jungle Jim, and I have no idea whatsoever if it was directly, or from where.

Pete Riss Art
on Mike Barnett, Man Against Crime

Dec/51 Kill the Umpire!

The Mint of Dr. Dionysus
Feb/52 Mike Barnett, Man Against Crime and the Mystery   of the Blue Madonna

The Lead Poison Cure
Apr/     Death Goes to the Races
Jun/     The Case of the Old Hobo

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Mary Carey's Disney Movie Adaptations

WD Showcase 10,41,54

Mary Carey's only credit in the comics themselves was on the Golden Press adaptation of the 1981 movie Clash of the Titans. The Who's Who attributed a handful of 1970s Disney adaptations to her. The question was, how far back did her tenure go? As it happens, her run on Disney live-action movie adaptations coincides with the run of Walt Disney Showcase. It just now took me some extra time to work back to her writing The Boatniks and Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

Mary Carey Scripts
in Walt Disney Showcase

Oct/70 The Boatniks
Jan/72 Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Sep/     10  Napoleon and Samantha
Apr/73 14  The World's Greatest Athlete
Aug/74 24  Herbie Rides Again
Feb/75 27  Island at the Top of the World
Jun/     29  Escape to Witch Mountain
Oct/77 41  Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo
Apr/78 43  Pete's Dragon
May/     44  Return from Witch Mountain
Sep/     46  The Cat from Outer Space
Mar/79 49  North Avenue Irregulars
Sep/     52  Unidentified Flying Oddball
Jan/80 54  The Black Hole [repr from tabloid edition]

After Eric Freiwald and Robert Schaefer's last Disney movie adaptation (I believe The Legend of Young Dick Turpin, May/66), another writer to whom I haven't yet put a name took over on those one-shots, including the two the CGD assigns tentatively to Mary Carey, The Gnome-Mobile and Blackbeard's Ghost. His or her last movie comic, as far as I can see, was The Love Bug (June/69). This writer also did TV tie-ins like The Invaders and The Green Hornet.

But wait—the GCD says Paul S. Newman wrote The Green Hornet 3-issue run of 1967. No. In that year it's extremely unlikely that a writer for Western Publishing's East Coast office does a West Coast book (as the Dan Spiegle art shows this to be). Per his records, Newman wrote the Green Hornet in Four Color 496, Sept/53. There's a logical fallacy in taking that to mean he wrote every Green Hornet story published by Western.

One clue to this West Coast writer's style is captions like Several minutes have passed... and other variations on "time has passed." I have yet to see that in a single Newman script.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Morrow Swiped, or First Draft?

Presented for your consideration, two cover paintings: Marvel's Monsters Unleashed 1 (dated only 1973—but June, to work backwards from the second quarterly issue's given month/year), signed by Gray Morrow, and the first volume of the Danish publisher Interpresse's paperback series Rædselkabinettet (Horror-Cabinet), 1974. Varulves blodhævn means Werewolf's Blood-Feud, although the novel is a translation of Raymond Giles' Night of the Vampire.

Considering the dates, the first stab at explaining the differences between the covers would be that an unidentified artist repainted Morrow's. That sort of thing has happened; the German Doc Savage book series generally reprinted the Bantam covers (obliterating the signatures), but on a few volumes someone obviously swiped James Bama, "improving" on his monochromatic scheme, and on one, Fred Pfeiffer's Doc was swiped onto an entirely new background.

But really, the 1973 werewolf cover is much better in terms of composition and such, with the figures larger, than the 1974 one. It was painted with the placement of magazine text in mind, which on the book cover leaves a lot of unused space. I doubt the Danish publishers wanted the cover more demure, as another Rædselkabinettet cover has a topless vampiress painted from a Hammer Films still.

One way or the other, the background of the painting is Morrow's. My feeling is that the 1974 cover is a first draft by him, possibly from a few years earlier (this woman's face is, admittedly, the least obviously Morrow-looking part of the cover). Now the question is, can that feeling be backed up? Did that different version of Monsters Unleashed #1 turn up in a fanzine in the Seventies? I know Kelly Freas' Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction #1 has been printed with his figures intact and not the John Romita overlays the cover was published with.

How that earlier painting would end up across the Atlantic is, of course, a good question in itself.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A Scooter Artist from the Madhouse

Teen humor again, but this time to ID an artist on Swing with Scooter not previously known to have worked at DC.

Gus Lemoine first signed his name on Fitzgerald's 1976-77 Fast Willie Jackson. Art spotters have worked backward to identify him on Archie's Madhouse. These concurrent Scooter stories match up with that style--right down to the low-rent "chicken fat" of the signs (Madhouse 64, Oct/68, probably contains the most Lemoine pages in one issue). Maybe he's inking himself somewhere among the Archie and DC stories, but I couldn't say where.

Scooter 14 seems to be Howie Post's only issue writing the feature. The Sylvester story's art is signed by Henry Scarpelli.

The Win Mortimer story I list here has been miscredited to Bob Oksner (the inker has been correctly IDed as Tex Blaisdell). There's a hiatus between this first story of Mortimer's for Scooter and his run on the feature in, mostly, #21-30.

Swing with Scooter

June-July/68 13  Oh, Happy, Happy, Here's Cap'n Clappy p: Win Mortimer
Aug-Sep/     14  Sylvester...Son of Ahbu w: Howie Post
Sir Scooter...Dragon Slayer w: Post  p: Gus Lemoine
Better Never Than Late w: Post  p: Lemoine