Saturday, December 19, 2020

Molno on Dell's Superheroes

Superheroes 3

I'd IDed Bill Ely ghosting pencils for Sal Trapani on Dell's Superheroes #1-2, and my best guess at the time at #3-4 was Bill Fraccio.  In his blog, though, Lee Hartsfeld was tracking down Bill Molno ghosting Trapani, and suggested him as the penciller for Superheroes #3. Lee didn't get to pursue that on his blog before he discontinued it, so I'll back him up with this post and say that Molno ghosted #4 too.

I've repeated my IDs of Ely so these lists cover all the data not on the Grand Comics Database. #3's cover is the only one I 'd commit to Molno on, but I wouldn't be surprised if he and Ely pencilled their respective covers on 1, 2, and 4 too.

The writer looks the same for all four issues. But is it someone whose sole credit is this series or is it one of the usual suspects going for a more "with-it," caption-heavy style (and more in the manner of Bob Haney than Stan Lee)?


Jan/67 The Origin of the Fab Four (3 pts) p: Bill Ely
Apr/     The Clowns p: Ely

  Nutt's Revenge p: Ely
Enslaved p: Ely
May/   (cover)
p: Bill Molno
     Meet Coalman p: Molno
     The Mad Magician p: Molno
  Nepto of the Reef p: Molno
June/   The Hypno-Trap p: Molno
     Metamorphosis p: Molno
  Meet Mr. Mod p: Molno
  Endsville p: Molno


  1. Hope we can track the writer soon!

  2. Replies
    1. He was asked and said he didn't, according to the CGD entry on #1.

    2. Maybe Don Segall?

    3. I don't rule him out, but the semi-campy style doesn't sound much like his script on Inferior Five, where you'd think if this were his, he'd use it there too.

  3. I asked Don Segall and he said he didn't recall doing a book called SUPERHEROES. The thing he remembered best was a lot of stories for comics based on the BARBIE doll. Don's memory was not the best. He also recalled that most of his scripts were drawn by Tony Tallarico and I don't think that's true. (He had framed on his wall, a drawing Tony had done for him.)

    By the way: I don't know if I've mentioned this before but Don was a close friend of Alan Alda's. Alda spoke at Don's funeral and also helped Don out financially when times were tough. Alda wrote and starred in a movie called SWEET LIBERTY in which he based one of the main characters on Don...not only based it on him but Don did a screen test to see if he was a good enough actor to play himself. It turned out he wasn't so they then hired Bob Hoskins for the role and Hoskins moved in with Don for a few weeks to study him and to perfect what was basically a Don Segall impression.

    Don did play a bit part in a TV Movie starring Vanna White called GODDESS OF LOVE. He was also one of the writers of it. He had some pretty impressive credentials as a TV writer and he was a terrific guy.

    1. Backing up Don Segall's not recalling doing SUPERHEROES, I don't see any scripts recognizably his on anything else at Dell after early 1966.

  4. Thinking it might be Dave Kaler, but probably not.

  5. As long as we're making wild guesses, how about Joe Gill. Wasn't he writing Toka, Jungle King around this time???

    1. At one point I thought it might possibly be Gill, but the campy style just doesn't sound like his campy style (as on later issues of Charlton's Hercules).

  6. My last guess: Paul S. Newman???

  7. A very late thank you for confirming my Molno i.d. for #3. I believe I suspected he was behind #4, too.