Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Swamped by Colletta

If you want all your pencillers' work homogenized into near indistinguishability, you could hire Vince Colletta to ink them. In proto-Marvel's Love Romances, My Own Romance, and Teen-Age Romance in 1960-61, Dick Giordano has a good number of stories—some signed and many not—inked by Colletta. As distinctive as Giordano's work should be, you have to work hard to find him under the inks, and when you figure that he's the main penciller for Colletta on this run of issues, you might start seeing him where he's not.

Among the possibilities, I can follow Matt Baker's style under Colletta's inks if I work hard at it; I believe, though, he's gone from these titles just before Giordano comes on board. Odin only knows what Colletta's own pencils might look like, if indeed he's doing any at this point. The Who's Who has Hy Eisman ghost-pencilling for Colletta on Marvel romances in the early Sixties, but no one (least of all me) has found him there yet.

LOve Romances 94 Too Shy for Love

One story attributed to Giordano/Colletta is "Too Shy for Love" (Love Romances 94, July/61). The actual penciller I see is an Atlas/Marvel anthology book regular who inks himself (and signs himself) on stories in 87 and 95.

Consider the male figure in the first panel of each of the first two tiers above; those show Paul Reinman's typical quirk of the head best. I can tell myself I see his style in the minister in the third tier and the main character, Ruth, in the first panel of the final tier. And I don't see any signs of Dick Giordano—but that's no thanks to Colletta!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

This Is Not the Wood Brother You're Looking For

Big Town was DC's tie-in to the radio/TV show about crusading newspaper editor Steve Wilson. When Julius Schwartz took over editing from Jack Schiff in the process of putting together #3, he inherited the records of scripts and artwork bought. I can't say how, but somewhere along the lines it seems a mistake has been made in crediting the writer of a few of those scripts.

Dave Wood would write Big Town stories for Julie, and wrote other features for him like Strong Bow. But from the evidence of the stories themselves, he didn't write all the stories he's supposed to have in issues 1-3. Some were actually by his brother Dick, who was at DC writing Vigilante and such.

Big Town 1 Deadline Nightmare

"Deadline Nightmare," the very first story, sports such interjections as "Great Hannah!" and "Suffering cats!" "Steve Wilson's Disgrace" in issue 3 sports "Great Hannah!" again and "Great suffering—!" These are the sort of Dick Wood expressions rampant in Man from UNCLE and Star Trek later at Gold Key. If Dave used them on a story added to the records by Schwartz first-hand, or in his credited stories much later for Murray Boltinoff, I haven't run across that story yet.

Dick and Dave did share some tells. "Phantom from the Past" in Big Town 2 uses "Great thunder" and "Great ghosts," so lacking more obvious Dick Woodisms, at this point I'd say crediting Dave is correct.

Big Town stories written by Dick Wood

Jan/51 Deadline Nighmare
The Forgotten Men of Skid Row
Mar/     Steve Wilson's Disgrace

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Dèjá Vu for Millie the Model

This list is only the first wavelet in a tide of Millie the Model refries, to use the term cat yronwode came up with for Spirit self-plagiarizations. Scripts are reused, if lightly rewritten, but the art is all-new. There are refries too in the Millie the Model Annual, and in the companion title A Date with Millie/Life with Millie. When the feature takes a turn into soap opera, of course the humor-related earlier stories can't be mined any more. But when Millie returns to humor in 1967—comes the deluge!

This is no doubt an incomplete list in that there are gaps in the early issues available; I could well have missed any number of first-time stories. What makes it harder is the lack of story titles in the Fifties. If a story seems familiar it has to be tracked down by looking at the comics themselves--and some around 1960 may be familiar because they're the originals for refries published around ten years later. ("Millie's Museum Madness" in 97 is the second of three uses of that story.)

As far as I can tell, Stan Lee reused his own scripts; he didn't dip back into the earliest Millie stories by other writers.

Millie 41, 101 'Run, Millie, Run'

1953-61 stories in Millie the Model
reworking earlier scripts


May/53 42  [The Scout] (CHILI)
    from MILLIE 35 Chili story
Dec/56 73  [Male Model] (CHILI)
    from MILLIE 32 Chili story
May/59 90  [No Proposal]
    from MILLIE 73 1st Millie story
Jul/60 97  The Other Woman
    from MILLIE 23 Clicker and the Other Woman
Millie's Museum Madness
    from MILLIE 35 3rd Millie story
Sept/     98  It's a Bet, Pet
    from MILLIE 39 4th 1-page gag
No Chance to Dance
    from MILLIE 39 1st Millie story
Jan/61 100  How Millie and Chili Met...
    from MILLIE 43 1st Millie story
Mar/     101  [information booth gag] cover
    from MILLIE 53 cover
Run, Millie, Run
    from MILLIE 41 1st Millie story
Let's Look for the Book
    from MILLIE 44 3rd 1-page gag
The Late Date
    from MILLIE 43 4th 1-page gag
Come to Baby
    from MILLIE 41 2nd 1-page gag
May/     102  Fuss in the Bus
    from MILLIE 32 4th 1-page gag situation

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Jack Oleck Dips His Toe in the Charlton Waters

As I was skimming the Fifties Charlton titles for Carl Memling stories, I had Dick Wood's handful jump out at me, since his interjections are so distinctive. Another writer not known to have worked there, whose distinction lies in his captions, got my attention with another four stories. Jack Oleck poses rhetorical questions and otherwise dwells on the characters' bad choices with specific phrases I'll go into in later posts on his work elsewhere.

I was concentrating on the crime and horror/mystery titles, so Oleck may have a few war or romance scripts at Charlton too. All four stories here are drawn by Steve Ditko.

SSS 32 A World of His Own

Jack Oleck scripts in Out of This World

Mar/57 The Supermen
Jun/      Flying Dutchman

in Strange Suspense Stories

May/57 32  A World of His Own

The Last Laugh

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Pete Riss Superman Stories

I posted the text earlier about Pete Riss actually drawing the Superman stories that have been attributed to Sam Citron for so long—here are the lists of his work on the character.

I see that in Citron's art for Warren, Gold Key, and DC in the Sixties, he has some poses reminiscent of Wayne Boring's as far as the tilt of a head here and there; I wonder if his Superman work was all with Boring and the Shuster studio, and thus particularly hard to pick out? Pete Riss is not at all hard to pick out when you compare these stories with his credited work at Timely.
World's Finest 17 The Great Godini--'Killer Riss' poster
On that earlier post I misremembered the "Killer Riss" sneak as from "The Quicksilver Kid," but it was from "The Great Godini."

Pete Riss art on Superman

Jan-Feb/44 26  The Quicksilver Kid
May-June/     28  The Golden Galleons
Nov-Dec/     31  Tune Up Time for Crime

A Dog's Tale

The Treasure House of History
May-June/45 34  The United States Navy

The Canyon That Went Berserk

When the World Got Tired
Jan-Feb/46 38  The Battle of the Atoms

The Bad Old Knights

The Man of Stone
July-Aug/     41  Too Many Pranksters

Clark Kent's Bodyguard

A Modern Alice in Wonderland

on Superman in Action Comics

Dec/43 67  Make Way for Fate
Mar/44 70  Superman Takes a Holiday
June/     73  The Hobby Robbers
May/46 96  Haircut--and a Close Shave

on Superman in World's Finest Comics

Spring/45 17  The Great Godini

on Lois Lane in Superman
(untitled stories)


May-June/45 34  [Dirty Dealings with a Dictaphone]
Sep-Oct/     36  [Burying Treasure]
Nov-Dec/     37  [A Blowtorch for Big Larkin]
Jan-Feb/46 38  [The Brazil Nut]
Mar-Apr/    39  [The Twice-Stolen Pendant]
May-June/     40  [Go Fly a Kite]
Sep-Oct/     42  [The Bowling Brawl]

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Four More Cap Stories by Mort Leav

Mort Leav's final Captain America story (found so far), "Double Identity" in All Winners 1 Volume 2 (Aug/48), is very obviously not by one of the usual artists. That's the one where he's most likely inking his own pencils. Out of eight post-war Cap stories (the number he recalled doing), I've come up with four more, some probably inked by other hands, one certainly so. This page from "The Last Case of Inspector Leeds" uses one of his floating-head-and-squiggly-border shots, and the woman (especially in the third panel) could have come from one of his stories for Orbit in Love Diary or Wanted. This story's art does strike me as not only his pencils but his inks.
Cap 60 'Inspector Leeds'
Syd Shores inked "Pennies from Heaven." What makes it even easier to mistake the story for his is that, as far as I can tell, he did pencil the splash page as well. I'd say Otto Binder wrote "Pennies"; "Inspector Leeds" is noted in William Woolfolk's records.

Orbit, by chance, used a number of Cap artists, past or future: Leav, Shores, Vince Alascia, Maurice Del Bourgo, Mort Lawrence, John Buscema, and Gene Colan.

This leaves three more Cap stories by Mort Leav to look for.

Mort Leav art in Captain America

Nov/46 59  Pennies from Heaven (inks and pg 1 pencils: Syd Shores)
Jan/47 60  The Last Case of Inspector Leeds

The Big Fight
Mar/     61  The Bullfrog Terror

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Thank You, Thing: More Memling

The Thing is Charlton's first horror book. They shortly pick up This Magazine Is Haunted from Fawcett, but after that their weird-story titles fall under the Comics Code and can't be called horror.

The Thing 17 'Bad Blood'--signed Dick Ayers

The Thing starts as a showcase for artists Bob Forgione, John Belfi, and the like, but about two-thirds along in its run becomes more the Charlton we recognize with the coming of Dick Ayers, Bill Molno, and most importantly Steve Ditko. Carl Memling starts writing before the change in the artists' lineup, and from then on has at least one story in every issue through the final one. He may have written more stories than those here, but these are the ones of which I can be positive. There are two Memling tells in the final balloon above.

The Thing
Written by Carl Memling

May/53 A Grave Situation


Death Has Deep Roots
Jul/      Mardu's Masterpiece
The Road to Madness


Operation Massacre
The Dead Man's Hand
Sep/     10  Flower of Evil

Into the Fire


Death Has Three Fingers
N-D/     11  Hansel and Gretel
The Glitter of Evil

Deep Freeze


Blind Vengeance
Feb/54 12  Melvin Comes Home
Apr/     13  Poor Fish
June/     14  The Evil Eye

Doom in the Air


Blind Vengeance
J-A/     15  Day of Reckoning
Sep/     16  Death of a Gambler

Picture of the Future


Mental Wizard
     The Crusher
Nov/     17  Bad Blood