Monday, December 10, 2018

The Two 1950s Human Torch Writers

Human Torch in Young Men 28

For completeness' sake I've listed all the Human Torch 1950s revival stories, but most of the Hank Chapman IDs are not new; I identified him on Young Men 24 and 25, and then Lou Mougin did on Human Torch 38's three stories, Sub-Mariner 35, and Captain America 78. When Chapman returns to the feature after the first YM stories, all of his scripts use Toro as narrator.

Joe Gill often sets up his story in the blurb, or fills in information in a caption, with the past participle: "They had defeated him." His use of past or present tense is inconsistent—a few times within a single script—but I found some of the stories in the different tenses tied together by references to the Torch's and Toro's "unique body chemistry." In his first two stories in YM 26 and 27 he uses "Up, flame!" and then "On flame!" before settling on the standard "Flame on!"

Human Torch scripts

Dec/53 24  The Return of...the Human Torch Hank Chapman
Feb/54 25  [The Young Old Men] Chapman
Mar/     26  [The Vulture] Joe Gill
Apr/     27  The Face of Death Gill
June/     28  [The Prize Was...the Moon] Gill


May/54 27  [The Jet] Gill
July/     28  [The Flying Saucer] Gill


Apr/54 36  [The Atomic Blaster] Gill

[Tyrannosaurus Rex] Gill
[The Monk] Gill
June/     37  Vampire Tale Gill

A Spy There Was... Gill
The Menace of the Unhuman Gill
Aug/     38  The World's End Chapman

In Korea Chapman
Flame On Chapman


Apr/54 33  [The Flying Saucers] Gill
Jun/     34  [Virus X] Gill
Aug/     35  Human Torch--Fugitive at Large Chapman


May/54 76  [The Vulture Returns] Gill
July/     77  [The Thing] Gill
Sept/     78  Playing with Fire Chapman

out of inventory

Sept/68 16  The Un-Human Chapman

...and a Sub-Mariner ID

There are a couple of exceptions to Bill Everett's run in Sub-Mariner's 1950s revival: two stories drawn by Bob Powell. It isn't a stretch to find Joe Gill on the Devil Octopus story when you know he's writing the Torch in the same issue. The Black Shark story in Men's Adventures 27 (May/54), though, is still a poser. "Aaeeeeegh" in two spellings and a "Walloping halibuts" suggest someone else yet to be determined.

Sub-Mariner script

Apr/54 36  [The Devil Octopus] Joe Gill

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Mort Meskin at Dell/Western

Mort Meskin and Jerry Robinson collaborated on signed stories elsewhere, like The Black Terror at Standard, so Meskin's helping out Robinson at Western/Dell is not coming out of left field. This one issue is the only instance of Meskin's work there that I've seen so far.

This would be the "other hands" on Silvertip that I mentioned in my post about Kubert and Kinstler at Western/Dell.

Silvertip in Four Color
Pencils by Mort Meskin
Inks by Jerry Robinson

Sept/57 835  The False Rider ifc intro
The False Rider

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Young Men's C.A. (You've Got Nothing to Lose)

Captain America isn't mentioned on the Who's Who list of Don Rico's work for Atlas, but the features that he did script, like Rawhide Kid and the various jungle ones, contain stories that match the style on the 1950s Cap revival. I've gone back on forth on this for some time, but I'll come down on the side of this being Rico.

'Li'l partner,' 'li'l pard,' 'li'l pal'

The panels are from the Serum to Korea story in CA 77, "The Sioux Strike" in Rawhide Kid 1 (Mar/55), and "While the Jungle Sleeps" in Lorna 17 (Jan/56).

Captain America scripts by Don Rico

Dec/53 24  Back from the Dead
Feb/54 26  Top Secret
Mar/     26  Captain America Turns Traitor
Apr/     27  Return of the Red Skull
June/     28  The Cargo of Death


May/54  27  The Girl Who Was Afraid
July/      28  Kill Captain America!


May/54  76  The Betrayers
Captain America Strikes
Come to the Commies
July/      77  You Die at Midnight 
The Man with No Face
[Serum to Korea]
Sep/      78  His Touch Is Death
The Green Dragon
The Hour of Doom

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Joe Kubert's Zorro, and More

Four Color 497 Zorro

At Western Publishing /Dell, Joe Kubert pencilled three features from novelists: Zorro, Max Brand's Silvertip, and Ernest Haycox's Western Marshal; and one TV tie-in: Steve Donovan, Western Marshal. The page above is from "The Sword of Zorro" in 1953

In the beginnings of Kubert's work on these, his inker was tending mostly to the close-up faces and nearer figures. Kubert's inks show on the backgrounds and distant figures. Even some of the display lettering is Kubert's. The emanata, to use Mort Walker's expression for the lines indicating emotion, are certainly a Kubert tool. The point arrives where Everett Raymond Kinstler inks mostly everything, but you can look hard enough and still see Kubert, ghostly, underneath; see the jail and especially its sign from "Silvertip's Trap" in 1959.

Four Color 898 Silvertip

The only inside-front-cover page where I can see Kubert pencils is "Zorro's Pistol" in FC 538.

I haven't seen FC 572, "Silvertip's Search," but like the rest of these it's attributed to Kinstler, so it 's probably the 15th Kubert-and-Kinstler issue. The art on the other Silvertip not listed here, FC 835, "The False Riders," is by other hands.

As I was getting together these books out of order, it was after I'd started this list that I found this 2013 comment from Josemas on Comics Plus for FC 491: "Looks like Kinstler had been studying Kubert before doing this job."

Four Color
Pencils by Joe Kubert
Inks by
Everett Raymond Kinstler and Kubert

Aug/53 491  Silvertip
Sept/     497  The Sword of Zorro
Feb/54 534  Western Marshal
Mar/     538  The Mask of Zorro
Aug/     574  The Hand of Zorro
Oct/     591  Western Marshal: The Spanish Mine
Feb/55 613  Western Marshal and the Cattle War

Pencils by Kubert
Inks by Kinstler

Aug/     640  Western Marshal and the Iron Horse
Dec/     667  Silvertip and the Stolen Stallion
Feb/56 675  Steve Donovan: Showdown
Oct/     731  Silvertip and the Fighting Four
Feb/57 768  Steve Donovan: White Gold

Steve Donovan: Two Men Out
Apr/     789  Silvertip and the Valley Thieves
May/59 898  Silvertip's Trap

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Some Leo Dorfman TV Westerns

Here's Day 1 of Freshman Intro to Logic illustrated again: Otto Binder is known to have written Broken Arrow; Four Color 947 is an issue of Broken Arrow; therefore Otto Binder wrote Four Color 947. Shakespeare wrote plays; Hamilton is a play; therefore Shakespeare wrote Hamilton.

Short moments later...
Although at this point Leo Dorfman has yet to use the caption structure "In the next agonizing moment..." as heavily as he will in the Sixties, he's leading up to it with "Short moments later..."; these tiers are from his first issues of the respective titles below, with the stories "Vengeance Trail," "Last of the Buffalo," and  "The Maverick."

Another Dorfman clue is variations of "Eeeyowww" and "Yowww," whereas Paul S. Newman mostly sticks to a succint "Oww!" In Binder's Broken Arrow issue we find an "Ukkk!"


Nov/57 #855  Apache Dowry Otto Binder

Kingdom of Terror Binder
Nov/58 #947  Desert Ordeal Leo Dorfman

Vengeance Trail Dorfman

Trackdown Dorfman

CHEYENNE written by Leo Dorfman
(other issues written by Paul S. Newman)

May-July/58 #7  The Mustang Trail

Last of the Buffalo
Aug-Oct/     #8  Devil's Canyon

The Conspirators
Nov-Jan/59  #9  Manhunt

Trouble in Peace Valley
Feb-Apr/      #10  Gunpowder Pass

The Ghost Trail
May-July/     #11  The Rio Smugglers

The Crooked Circle

GUNSMOKE written by Dorfman
(other Dell and Gold Key issues written by Newman)

Feb-Mar/58 #7  Showdown

The Maverick
Apr-May/     #8  The Taming of Bull Halloran

Six-Gun Fury
June-July/     #9  Man Without a Gun

The Bounty Hunter
Aug-Sep/      #10  The Deadly Dude

Badge of Honor

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

More 60s Carl Pfeufer Work

Gentle Ben 4 The Collector
The art on Dell's TV tie-in Gentle Ben is an interesting progression across the issues: Henry Scarpelli on #1, José Delbo on #2, Scarpelli inking Delbo on #3—and then on #4 someone who was not the Dell stalwart that they were. The name of the mystery artist fell into place when I came back to look at that issue after finding Carl Pfeufer at Dell on one 2-issue title: The Courtship of Eddie's Father.

Carl Pfeufer art on Gentle Ben

Nov/68 The Derelict

The Collector
Dumb Animal?

All the stories in the 5-issue run (the last one a reprint, because of course Dell) of Gentle Ben were written by D. J. Arneson. His trademark "Great Scot" is in a few of them, and his use of ellipses instead of hyphens in stuttered words—"B...but" rather than "B-but"—in most.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Mr. District Attorney Writers III--"How in Hannah?"

Mr. D.A. 22 'How in Hannah?'

Here are the writers that jumped out at me on a sweep through these issues. The panel from "Blueprint of a Traitor" shows how Dick Wood can be easily spotted more often than not. As with France Edward Herron and Jack Miller, and of course other writers, he may have more stories in these issues, but ones where he hasn't been quite so obvious.

Mr. District Attorney writers Part 3

Sep-Oct/50 #17  The Bachelors of Crime Ed Herron
Nov-Dec/     #18  The Phantom Thief Herron
May-June/51 #21  The D.A. Pounds a Beat Herron
July-Aug/     #22  Blueprint of a Traitor Dick Wood
Sep-Oct/      #23  Diary of a Criminal Wood
   The Big Basketball Fix Wood
The Gang with 1,000 Gimmicks Herron
Nov-Dec/     #24  The Killer in the Iron Mask Herron
Jan-Feb/52 #25  I Hired My Killer! Herron
Mar-Apr/     #26  The Case of the Wanted Criminals Wood

The Prisoner in Cell 13 Herron
May-June/     #27  The Crimes of Caesar Torro Wood
July-Aug/     #28  The Sound Waves of Crime Wood
Sep-Oct/     #29  The Crimes of Mr. Jumbo Wood

The Case of the Outlaw Broadcasters Wood
Jan-Feb/53 #31  The Hot Money Gang Wood
Mar-Apr/     #32  The Case of the Bad Luck Clues Wood

The T.V. Gang Jack Miller
July-Aug/   #34  The Amazing Crimes of Mr. X Herron
Sep-Oct/    #35  This Crime for Hire Herron
Gangland's Rubout Squad Herron
Nov-Dec/    #36  The Chameleon of Crime Herron
The Life and Death of a Criminal Miller

Casebook Mystery in Mr. District Attorney

May-Jun/53 #33  The Case of the Night-Shift Scandal Miller

Friday, July 6, 2018

A Guess at a Madhouse Artist

I believe the artist who did three pieces for Madhouse, and as far as I can see nothing else for Archie, is Don Orehek. His style changes somewhat across the years at the B&W humor magazines like Cracked (the page here is from its #35, April/64), but I tell myself I see resemblances. The Madhouse page is from the #10 "Double Take." The first tier, at least, could be a Shut-Up at Cracked.

Madhouse 10, Cracked 35

Or this may be someone whose name we'll never know.

Don Orehek(?) art in Archie's Madhouse

Feb/61 10  Double Take
Apr/     11  How to Improve TV
Dec/     16  Double Take [new]

Monday, June 11, 2018

The Sensation Character Find of 1953--Slinky Stinky

Slinky Stinky
Slinky Stinky on Funny Animals 83 cover
Here's a character-centric update to my transcriptions in this blog's early days of William Woolfolk's records notebook. (The original material is in plain text; bold represents my additions.) For years I couldn't find these stories—I couldn't even find mention of the character online in 2012. That particular long national nightmare is over...

As far as I know, it wasn't until a scan of Fawcett's Funny Animals 83 (by Narfstar and darkmark) was released into the wild that the name Slinky Stinky got onto the Grand Comics Database. I've only just gotten around to looking at the scan.

Although I suspected he was related by the fact that Mr. Pooch was mentioned, Freddy Feline, I now can see, was never in the GCD at all. But the Slinky Stinky story title in FA 82, as now reported, matches up handily with Woolfolk's storyline description.

Woolfolk wrote the entirety of the Slinky Stinky canon, as #83 was the last Fawcett issue.

Written by William Woolfolk in March 1953

9 pg   Freddy Feline wants Pooch's swimming pool
as Slinky Stinky "The Stolen Swimming Pool" Funny Animals 82, Oct/53

In May 1953

9 pg   Slinky Stinky poses as hare in a hare hunt
"Safe—by a Hare!" FA 83, Jan/54
9 pg   Slinky Stinky tries to collect on Mr. Pooch's insurance
"Mr. Pooch's Policy" FA 83, Jan/54

Friday, May 18, 2018

Mr. District Attorney Writers--Spotlight on Phil Evans

Writer Phil Evans' records (published by Robin Snyder in his History of the Comics) specify some of his stories of Mr. District Attorney and the DC title's crime back-ups, but not all; there are unnamed others in the range of numbers 6-15 (I find one in #16 too).

The first clue to an Evans story is his use of "Hmm" or "Huh" at the beginning of a sentence but following by a comma rather than the more usual dash or ellipsis (not that he doesn't use those too). These are panels from "Fake Accident Racket," which is in the records, and "The Alibi King," which isn't; the latter uses "Huh" in this fashion a good four times. Pencils by Howard Purcell on issues 6 through 59.

Huh, sentence

Mr. District Attorney writers Part 2
(* = in Phil Evans' records)

Nov-Dec/48 #6  The Big Frame Ed Herron
Jan-Feb/49 #7  The People vs. Killer Kale Herron
The Case of the Vanishing Crook Herron

The Street of Forgotten Men Herron
Mar-Apr/     #8  The Rise and Fall of "Lucky" Lynn Phil Evans
   The Case of the Money Makers Herron
May-June/     #9  The Case of the Living Counterfeits Herron
July-Aug/     #10  Dragnet Herron
Sep-Oct/      #11  The Game That Has No Winners Evans *

The Man Who Laughed at Bullets Herron

Second Chance Farm Herron
Nov-Dec/     #12  Fake Accident Racket Evans *

I Defended the Monkey Man Evans
Jan-Feb/50 #13  The Execution of Caesar Larsen Herron

The False Rumor Factory Evans *

Where Is Marvyn Moon? Herron
Mar-Apr/     #14  The Alibi King Evans

Murder at Ceiling Zero Evans
May-June/     #15  Prison Train Herron

The Man Who Fooled Juries Herron
July-Aug/     #16  The Crime Warden Evans

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Mr. District Attorney: Eppure è Ed Dobrotka

Nowadays I can't compare this artist's work to any of what he did on Superman, because on the Grand Comics Database the Jerry Siegel records at one remove of the Shuster Shop work seem to be disappearing Ed Dobrotka from the feature and replacing him in the history books with the mistakenly mentioned Sam Citron.

Well, Dobrotka also worked on the Seven Soldiers of Victory at DC, and Captain Triumph and Betty Bates at Quality (Sam Citron worked there too, but on different features and later, in a style recognizable from his credited stories later still at ACG). Here is art from the Betty Bates story in Hit 40 (May 1946) to compare with panels from DC's radio show tie-in title Mr. District Attorney—ones from "The Million-Dollar Racket," "Station K-I-L-L," and "The Case of the Fat Crook." A very different inking style almost suffocates the pencils on Mr. District Attorney; still, art-spotters have discerned Dobrotka's style underneath, but—sigh—misattributed it to Citron.

Hit 40, Mr DA 1, 2, 3

France Edward Herron's scripts are distinctive enough to jump out at me while I'm primarily looking for the artist.

Mr. District Attorney stories
pencilled by Ed Dobrotka

Jan-Feb/48 #1  The Innocent Forger
The Five Days That Shook a City
The Million-Dollar Racket w: Ed Herron
The Spook Crooks
Mar-Apr/     #2  The Richest Man in Prison w: Herron
The Case of the Crooked Models
The Case of the Blind Crook w: Herron
Station K-I-L-L
May-June/     #3  The Honest Convicts w: Herron
The Case of the Fat Crook w: Herron
In This Corner—Death w: Herron
July-Aug/     #4  The Merchant of Death w: Herron

The False Code of Honor w: Herron
Death Writes a Forgery
The Case of the Loan Shark
Sept-Oct/     #5  The Booby-Trap Killer
The Gas-Man Sleuth w: Herron
The Counterfeit Medicine Mob

Thursday, March 29, 2018

More Sekowsky/Robinson

There's no question that Mike Sekowsky worked on Dear Nancy Parker, Gold Key's short-lived romance title. "Going Steady," the final Nancy Parker story in #2, has long been noted as his pencils; the inks are by Sekowsky perennial Frank Giacoia (and maybe Joe Giella, who often teamed with Giacoia on inking Sekowsky).

Sekowsky penciled the rest of the Nancy Parker stories too, as this page from "Sick at Heart" in #1 shows, even more clearly than the page I used as an example on my Lassie post. (This post is restating of my reply to Alberto's comment on that post—here I can show this page.) Again, the inks are, I take it, Jerry Robinson's. If Sekowsky did "Going Steady" for Gold Key then he must have done these stories for them too; he isn't actually a ghost for Robinson.

As on Lassie 60-62's Elephant Boy backup, the Nancy Parker Great Loves backup does not involve Mike Sekowsky.

Sekowsky/Robinson art on Dear Nancy Parker

June/63 #1  Sick at Heart

Love Song for One
Delay for Love
Sep/      #2  Summer Romance
I'm Misunderstood

Friday, March 9, 2018

Joe Millard's Love and Jugheads

Quality put out a lot of romance stories, and on a lot of them I have no idea of the writer, but on the short-run western themed Range Romances I was able to ID writer Joe Millard—no stranger to westerns—on a good handful of stories.

Range Romances 4

On "Kisses of Hate" as seen here he uses "Grawwwk," something you see more often in his Plastic Man than in the typical romance story, but he also uses a term from his other westerns: "jughead" for a horse.

Joe Millard
Range Romances Scripts

Dec/49 Petticoat Law
Outlaw Love
Tenderfoot Sweetheart
Feb/50 2   Rustled Kisses
She-Devil Canyon
Passion for Vengeance
 June/    4   Kisses of Hate

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Mo Marcus Briefly Visits the House of Secrets

HOS 84

It's easier to find an artist by their work on one-shot secondary characters than on established ones. Thus you don't want to ID the pencils here by looking at House of Secrets host Abel; the soda jerk, in both of his panels, is a typical Mo Marcus character; he looks like he fell lengthwise in a vise.

Most of the framing material in HOS under Dick Giordano's editorship follows a storyline through the introduction, the interludes if any, and into the conclusion of the issue. In #84 the intro leads into the first story but the conclusion follows a different storyline out of the last story. I believe Bill Draut pencilled for himself on the #84 intro. Since he did do full art on most of the HOS frame stories Draut's inking the Marcus conclusion in #84 and the Dick Dillin full frame in #82 does make them look at first glance like his work.

Some Dick Giordano-era House of Secrets attributions

Oct-Nov/69 #82  [frame story] p: Dick Dillin  i: Bill Draut

Realer than Real p: John Celardo  i: Vince Colletta
Sudden Madness p: Celardo  i: Celardo? Giordano?
The Little Old Winemaker w: D. J. Arneson
Feb-Mar/70 #84  [frame conclusion] p: Mo Marcus  i: Draut
Dec-Jan/71 #89  Where Dead Men Walk w: Jack Oleck

Jack Oleck is credited on the Direct Currents page in #89.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

A Writer Credited in the Letters Column

Robert Plate is credited on the splash pages with writing over half the stories of Homer K. Beagle, Demon Detective in Novelty's Young King Cole and its retitled continuation Criminals on the Run; from my study of them he wrote every Homer K. Beagle story.

Novelty beat EC and ACG in regularly running letter columns by the better part of a decade, as the company began theirs in 1940. On Plate's other series for Novelty no one was ever credited as writer on the stories themselves, but he was credited with creating Toni Gayle, as he had Homer K. Beagle, in the letter column of Young King Cole Volume 3 #12 (July 1948). Thus he wrote their stories in Volume 1 #1 (Fall/45). The editors also mention him as the writer of detective/model Toni's story in Vol 3 #12 itself, a credit reflected in the Grand Comics Database.

'Meet Toni Gayle' in YKC v1 #1

Here I've added the Toni Gayle stories I can be certain from the style that Plate wrote, although I believe he authored most of her series in YKC. I don't see him writing her stories when the series moves to Guns Against Gangsters and 4Most.

Toni Gayle written by Robert Plate
in Young King Cole

Fall/45 v1 #1  Meet Toni Gayle [credited]
Win/46 v1 #2  A Lesson in Crime Detection
Spr/     v1 #3  Close to a Cold, Cold Ending
Sum/     v1 #4  Hollywood, the Land of Make-Believe 
Dec-Jan/47 v2 #3  A Famous Winter Resort
June/     v2 #6  The Case of the Leaping Emerald
Sept/     v3 #2  Enacts the Role of a Dead Woman
Jan/48 v3 #6  Thrills and Chills in an Amusement Park
July/     v3 #12  Redstone Park [credited]

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Unnoticed Lassie Artist

Jerry Robinson drew Gold Key's Lassie #60-62, but he did full art on the Elephant Boy backups only.

Lassie 61

Mike Sekowsky's pencils are buried at times under Robinson's inks on the Lassie stories. This page is from "The Yawning Pit." I'd say Sekowsky is most obvious in the first panel; if you judge by the middle tier as you flip through the comic, you might be hard put to attach his name to the page.

This title, by the way, is an example of why when I've mentioned the separation between Western Publishing's East and West Coast offices I've said something along the lines of "most of the time," because West Coast writer Gaylord Du Bois and East Coast artists like Sekowsky, Robinson, Bob Fujitani, and Jack Sparling share a long run on Lassie.

Sekowsky/Robinson art on Lassie

Jan/63 #60  Between Life and Death

The Milk of Human Kindness
Apr/    #61  The Yawning Pit

Spears Among the Shadows
July/    #62  Monster of the Marshes

The Raft