Saturday, February 4, 2017

Morrow Swiped, or First Draft?

Presented for your consideration, two cover paintings: Marvel's Monsters Unleashed 1 (dated only 1973—but June, to work backwards from the second quarterly issue's given month/year), signed by Gray Morrow, and the first volume of the Danish publisher Interpresse's paperback series Rædselkabinettet (Horror-Cabinet), 1974. Varulves blodhævn means Werewolf's Blood-Feud, although the novel is a translation of Raymond Giles' Night of the Vampire.

Considering the dates, the first stab at explaining the differences between the covers would be that an unidentified artist repainted Morrow's. That sort of thing has happened; the German Doc Savage book series generally reprinted the Bantam covers (obliterating the signatures), but on a few volumes someone obviously swiped James Bama, "improving" on his monochromatic scheme, and on one, Fred Pfeiffer's Doc was swiped onto an entirely new background.

But really, the 1973 werewolf cover is much better in terms of composition and such, with the figures larger, than the 1974 one. It was painted with the placement of magazine text in mind, which on the book cover leaves a lot of unused space. I doubt the Danish publishers wanted the cover more demure, as another Rædselkabinettet cover has a topless vampiress painted from a Hammer Films still.

One way or the other, the background of the painting is Morrow's. My feeling is that the 1974 cover is a first draft by him, possibly from a few years earlier (this woman's face is, admittedly, the least obviously Morrow-looking part of the cover). Now the question is, can that feeling be backed up? Did that different version of Monsters Unleashed #1 turn up in a fanzine in the Seventies? I know Kelly Freas' Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction #1 has been printed with his figures intact and not the John Romita overlays the cover was published with.

How that earlier painting would end up across the Atlantic is, of course, a good question in itself.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A Scooter Artist from the Madhouse

Teen humor again, but this time to ID an artist on Swing with Scooter not previously known to have worked at DC.

Gus Lemoine first signed his name on Fitzgerald's 1976-77 Fast Willie Jackson. Art spotters have worked backward to identify him on Archie's Madhouse. These concurrent Scooter stories match up with that style--right down to the low-rent "chicken fat" of the signs (Madhouse 64, Oct/68, probably contains the most Lemoine pages in one issue). Maybe he's inking himself somewhere among the Archie and DC stories, but I couldn't say where.

Scooter 14 seems to be Howie Post's only issue writing the feature. The Sylvester story's art is signed by Henry Scarpelli.

The Win Mortimer story I list here has been miscredited to Bob Oksner (the inker has been correctly IDed as Tex Blaisdell). There's a hiatus between this first story of Mortimer's for Scooter and his run on the feature in, mostly, #21-30.

Swing with Scooter

June-July/68 13  Oh, Happy, Happy, Here's Cap'n Clappy p: Win Mortimer
Aug-Sep/     14  Sylvester...Son of Ahbu w: Howie Post
Sir Scooter...Dragon Slayer w: Post  p: Gus Lemoine
Better Never Than Late w: Post  p: Lemoine

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Candy and Jonesy and Go-Go and Animal

Jonesy 4, Go-Go 1 'Your half comes to...'

When Jack Mendelsohn reused old scripts as a writer for Tippy Teen and her friends Go-Go and Animal at Tower, he reused his own from Quality in the Fifties—not only for Candy but for the shorter-lived Jonesy.

Go-Go and Animal 3 seems a good place to stop, as so far I haven't seen any such reruns in #4.

Jack Mendelsohn's
Go-Go and Animal 1-3 scripts
reworking his Candy and Jonesy ones

Aug/66 cover gag
    from JONESY 4 (Feb/54)
Come as You Aren't
    from "Come as You Aren't" CANDY 35 (Feb/53)
Dance Clown Dance
    from "Go, Man, Go" CANDY 56 (Oct/55)

Violin Violation
    from 5th Candy story CANDY 40 (July/53)

Fortune Hunting
    from "Fortune Hunting" CANDY 45 (Dec/53)
Rags to Riches (ANIMAL)
    from "Rags to Riches" JONESY 8 (Oct/54)
Oct/   Getting the Shakes (ANIMAL)
    from "The Shakes" CANDY 33 (Dec/532)
Disk Jockeying
    from "Disk Jockeying" CANDY 49 (July/54)
Donkey Business (EGGHEAD)
    from GABBY story "Donkey Business" JONESY 7 (Aug/54)

The Hard Sell (ANIMAL)
    from "The Hard Sell " CANDY 36 (Mar/53)
Mar/67 Outside Wire (ANIMAL)
    from "Outside Wire" CANDY 30 (Sept/52)

One Track Mind (ANIMAL)
    from "One Track Mind" JONESY 8 (Oct/54)
Stage Struck Out (TIPPY)
    from "Egg Hamlet" CANDY 42 (Sep/53)
Gift 'Til It Hurts
    from "Seasonal Employment" CANDY 54 (May/55)

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A "New" Writer at Atlas

For about half a year there was a Camelot-like moment in 1953 in which writers as well as artist were routinely credited at a comic book company. Trojan gave the credits on the inside-front-page tables of contents on their anthology magazines.

The main four writers were Paul S. Newman, Jack Miller, Martin Smith, and Richard Kahn. A while ago SangorShop asked me if I could extrapolate Smith's stories for other companies from these. So far I haven't, but serendipity led me to find some of Richard Kahn's work at a company where he hadn't been known to write—Timely/Atlas/Marvel-to-come.

Kent Blake 28

Noticeable connections among these Kent Blake spy stories at Atlas ishown in this tier from #4 are "A few minutes later!" and the drawn-out "Argghhh"; I'd made a list of characteritics for "Writer KB" and found it matching the new one I was making up for Kahn.

The writing for the next batch of Kent Blake stories seemed likely to be by the same writer, but suddenly, as Blake goes back into uniform and to Korea, the sound effect "Pi-toon" for cannon fire turns up frequently, and I haven't seen in in Kahn's later war stories for Trojan—so I'm still considering those Blake stories.

The artist on these stories is Tom Gill.

Richard Kahn scripts on
Kent Blake of the Secret Service—Part 1?

Sep/51 Terror in Tibet
The Stolen Plans
Nightmare in China
Nov/     Terror Underground
Jaws of Justice
The Limping Man
Jan/52 Condemned to Death
The Man with Two Faces
Dangerous Vacation
Mar/    Tunnel of Death
Blood on the Sand
Deadlier Than the Male

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

No "Created by Bob Kane" Credit Here

Here's a book based on a comic strip by Bob Kane before Batman. The Gottfredson-influenced "Peter Pupp" appeared in the early Jumbo Comics in the 1937-39, supplied by the Eisner-Iger Syndicate.

Peter Pupp cover

The children's book Adventures of Peter Pupp (Play Action Books) came out in 1944. The writer and artist were Iger staff members: writer Ruth Roche (whom most probably remember as the adapter of Frankenstein in Classic Comics) and artist David Icove.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Future Man to Karzz to Jorzz

Three Otto Binder pieces bear some resemblances. The later ones certainly weren't rewrites, but when Binder sat down to write anew, evidently he was inspired by his earlier work. The resemblance of the first two is old news, but I just read the third and had to compare it to the second to reassure myself that it is indeed a new novel.

AW 21, Earth-Wrecker, Mind from Outer Space

In "Menace from the Future World" in All Winners 21 (Winter, 1947), Future Man, who has mental powers, fights the All Winners Squad, who are led by Captain America. To clear 20th Century Earth for his people of 1,000,000 A.D. Earth to inhabit, Future Man intends to use super-science weapons of extermination on five continents.

In The Avengers Battle the Earth-Wrecker (1967), Karzz, an alien from the future, fights the Avengers, who are led by Captain America. He's hidden world-wrecking super weapons in four corners of the globe, as he wants to create an alternate time-line where 70th Century Earth never stands in the way of his galactic conquests.

In The Mind from Outer Space (1972), the alien Jorzz, a free mind with mental powers,is after segments of a super-science secret hidden 35,000 years earlier in four corners of the globe, one that will enable him to conquer the galaxy as he had planned to before he was disembodied back then. The heroes from a scientific think tank fight him with technological super-powers.

The heroes jokingly refer to Jorzz a number of times as "Mister Mind."

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Bernstein Black Rider

Some of Robert Bernstein's scripts for the costumed Western hero Black Rider at Timely/Atlas are credited—artist Jay Scott Pike added Bernstein's name when he signed his art. (Ernie Hart's Fifties writing credits also come from Pike's adding the scripter's name.) However, Pike didn't credit all of Bernstein's scripts on his stories, and there were other artists who didn't go to that trouble.

Black Rider was suspended with #18, and when it returned almost two years later there was a new writer, whose distinctive gunshots—"Whram"—don't identify him but show him as the main writer of Kid Colt at the time too.

Wild Western 18 Murderers of Crippled Bend--'Bernstein and Pike

Black Rider Written by Robert Bernstein

Jan/51 12  The Town That Vanished
Marked for Murder
Trek of Terror
Hot Lead Reunion
Six-Gun Salute
Mar/    13  The Terrified Tribe
The Deadly Double-Cross
The Secret in the Sand
The Strange Man
May/     14  The Horror Castle

The Tree Pirates Strike
Close Shave
The Metal Menace
Jul/      15  The Poiusoned Bottles
The Silent Scream

The Sign of the Wolf
Returns from the Dead
Sep/      16  Dear Black Rider...
Three-Cornered Feud
Mass Murder in Montana
Nov/     17  Black Rider's Vengeance
Mirror of Death [credited]
The Biggest Liar in Tombstone
The Ghost on Four Legs [credited]
Jan/52  18  The Indian with Two Hearts [credited]
Tombstone Termites [credited]
The Ferry at Killer's Creek [credited]

in Two-Gun Western

Apr/52 13  Doomsday Gang [credited]
Jun/     14  The Mountain of Doom [credited]

in Wild Western

Feb/51 14  The Day Black Rider Died
Apr/     15  The Man Who Died Twice
Jun/      16  The Texas Tigress
Aug/     17  Brand of Terror
Oct/      18  The Murderers of Crippled Bend [credited]
Dec/     19  Vultures of the Rio Grande [credited]