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

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
MIGHTY MOUSE FUN CLUB MAGAZINE #1-2


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]

in TOM TERRIFIC #1-5

Spr/58 The Land of Strange Discoveries