Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Angel and the Ape Writers--Including Henry Boltinoff

One point makes it easy to tell E. Nelson Bridwell's scripting on DC's Angel and the Ape. Most of the other writers' ape-speak by Sam Simeon is gibberish, but Bridwell's, beginning with #4, is garbled English. In issue #6 the first story, "The Robbing Robot," is credited on the splash page to John Albano (thus I haven't listed it here). "The Ape of 1,000 Disguises" in the same issue is uncredited. Compare the ape-speak, given with translations. The ape-speak in Showcase #77 is garbled English too, but the sound effects confirm the scripting as Howard Post's.

'Anna ik katcha' and 'Miwudjumin'--'Me? What do you mean?'

Angel and the Ape #1 confuses me more each time I look. I would have said Post, perhaps, but the ape-speak is now gibberish.

Henry Boltinoff's writing in #7 is easy to spot when he uses the caption "And..." such as he's used in his page-or-two cartoon features like "Jerry the Jitterbug," where brevity counts. He's the best bet for that issue's other one-pagers that I couldn't be positive enough about to enter here.

I can't tell who plotted a story. In the case of Angel and the Ape #2, which I've left off this list too since it's credited, Sergio Aragon├ęs is in those credits as co-scripter with Bob Oksner, presumably plotter as he's listed first. Showcase #77? Supposedly Nelson Bridwell, supposedly Robert Kanigher, supposedly even Al Jaffee. I'd go with Bridwell from the contemporary On the Drawing Board #67 (June 1968) listing.

Angel and the Ape in SHOWCASE

Sep/68 #77  Angel and the Ape Howard Post


Mar-Apr/69 #3  The Curse of the Avarice Clan E. Nelson Bridwell
May-June/     #4  Remember the Chow Mein Bridwell
    The Case of Trouble on the Talk Show Bridwell
    Cheapskater's Waltz Bridwell
July-Aug/      #5  Pigeon Mob John Albano
    Hippie, Hippie, Hooray Albano
Sep-Oct/      #6  The Ape of 1,000 Disguises
  (Would You Believe Four?)


Nov-Dec/69 #7  A Busy Little Aunt Albano

  Suits Me Fine Henry Boltinoff

  The Case of the "Inside Job" Boltinoff
    The Case of the Millionaire Cat Boltinoff


  1. Nelson was so underrated as a writer. Thinking back to how many of his stories I enjoyed, I'd buy a "Best of Bridwell" collection in a heartbeat.

  2. I know I found his Super Friends better written than the actual Justice League of the time, as just one example, but I always looked forward to reading any story of his.

  3. I just talked to Sergio about ANGEL AND THE APE and he says he plotted only one issue. He told me he also plotted one issue of JERRY LEWIS but he had an argument with Murray Boltinoff about the pay on it and never did another or anything else for Boltinoff.

    It would not surprise me if Nelson did a lot of uncredited work on that comic, including plotting on the issues that Sergio didn't plot.

    1. And if the previous comment (or this one) is credited to Anonymous, that's me, Mark Evanier.

  4. I used to think that Nelson's going from fully writing to just plotting on features he'd created (Inferior Five and Secret Six) had something to do with the preferences of the editors who took over the titles. But considering Angel and the Ape had only the one editor (Joe Orlando), maybe it was just Nelson's ongoing assistant editor job with Mort Weisinger cutting into time he'd thought he could set aside for freelancing in the other DC editorial domains.

  5. I do not think the DC editors at the time really appreciated Nelson or what he had to offer. He was probably the smartest guy in the office but he didn't act like it. He acted like a menial and was treated accordingly...which was a shame.

  6. This is brilliant work. What a treasure trove for comic lovers. I was especially interested in the comments throughout where DC was insistent on creating a common overall look for their artwork, something I especially hated as a ten-year-old fan. I loved the uniqueness and quirkiness of artists like Kirby, Ayers and Ditko that was instantly recognizable. I would have bought a lot more DC titles (and others) if the art was more interesting. Keep up the great work.