Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Paul Gustavson Flits By on Plastic Man

The best place to look in order to identify an artist on a series story is not in the continuing characters, who are expected to be on-model, but with one-time walk-ons. An example is Curt Swan's earliest Superman stories, where Superman himself is comparatively cartoonish in physique to match the contemporary artists' version, but the crowd scene folks are afforded more of Swan's trademark realism.

So here in Plastic Man #41, as Paul Gustavson appears for one issue (except for the Woozy solo story, pencilled by Jack Cole), Plas and Woozy look much as they do every issue, but the gangster that Plas replaces in the page from "Beast," especially in the last panel, and the Rajah in the tier from "Red Wreckers," best show the Gustavson style to me.

Plastic Man 41

It would be a lot easier to tell apart the pencillers if the inking weren't imposing a rather muddy house style on everything. The scripts are by Joe Millard.

Plastic Man Pencilled by Paul Gustavson

May/53 41  The Beast with the Bloody Claws
The Bounding Bandit
The Red Wreckers of Rangistan

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Kid Colt: The Rest of the Stories

In his 1947 tome Secrets Behind the Comics Stan Lee shows the script layout in use at Timely--panel descriptions down the left-hand side of the page, captions/dialogue down the right hand. It seems like extra work for the writer--figuring out the spacing needed to match up the panels in the two columns--but certainly it would make it easier for the artist and letterer to focus on only what each needs.

It would also make it easier for the editor if he wants to keep the panel descriptions from the original writer but for whatever reason get a second writer to replace the text. According to his records, Paul S. Newman sold "His Brother's Keeper" in Wild Western #8 to Timely. But from the style, Ernie Hart wrote it. I would figure Newman's left-hand side of the script was used and then Hart did a replacement right-hand side. (Occasionally Timely bought scripts for ongoing strips that weren't even "salvaged" like this--a good ten Captain Americas from William Woolfolk, per his records, were paid for but then never published.)

WW 8, TTA 47 'We pick up the trail again'

Here's what makes me assign the final script of "His Brother's Keeper" to Hart: "We pick up the trail again" in that story and then in the Ant-Man story "Music to Scream By" in Tales to Astonish 47 (Sep/63), credited as H. E. Huntley. I'd be a touch less than 100% certain only if I ever ran across Newman using the authorial "we" anywhere.

UPDATE: Robin Snyder tells me he's deleting "His Brother's Keeper" from the Newman bibliography, as Paul S. Newman's earliest credits were reconstructed based on having the books in his files (for most of Newman's career, commencing soon after, his records contain much more corroborating material). "He advised me to delete any credit if there was the slightest doubt that it was his. He was aware that some writers also kept records and he preferred to give up any credit if he or I thought it possible he was mistaken."

Kid Colt writers in All Western Winners

Win/48-Apr/49 2-4  Kid Colt stories E. H. Hart

in Western Winners

June/-Aug/49 5-6  Kid Colt stories Hart

in Best Western

June/-Aug/49 58-59  Kid Colt stories Hart

in Wild Western

Nov/48-Jan/49 4-5  Kid Colt stories Hart
May/     The Curse of the Chinese Idol Hart (credited in sneak)
July/     His Brother's Keeper plot: Paul S. Newman
dialogue: Hart
Oct/     The End of the Trail Hart
Feb/-Aug/52 20-23  Kid Colt stories Leon Lazarus
Oct/     24  Whip Savage [2 parts] Hart
Dec/52-Sep/53 25-29  Kid Colt stories [2 each, 25-26] Lazarus
Oct/     30  Justice in His Holsters Hart
Dec/53-Sep/57 31-57  Kid Colt stories Joe Gill

in Two-Gun Kid

Nov/49 10  The Hunter and the Hunted Hart
June/54 14  [The New Deputy] Gill
Aug/     15  The New Sheriff Lazarus
Sep/54-Feb/55 16-21  Kid Colt stories Gill

in Two Gun Western

Aug/51-June/52 9-14  Kid Colt stories Lazarus

in Black Rider

Jan/-Mar/55 26-27  Kid Colt stories Gill