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

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