Thursday, July 30, 2015

Wait Fifteen Years for Johnny Craig

At one point I thought I saw some Jack Kirby pencils at ACG when he never actually had anything published there. Seeing Johnny Craig pencils there in a 1949 story might make more sense, since he certainly worked for them a decade and a half later. The story in question (see the first tier excerpted) is "The Mummy's Cloth" in Adventures into the Unknown 7 (Oct-Nov/49), attributed in the Grand Comics Database to Craig with inks by Harry Lazarus.

AITU 7 two stories

Actually the penciller (if not full artist) is Pete Riss.

Riss has a number of stories correctly attributed at ACG in this period—the first story in Romantic Adventures 1 (Mar-Apr/49) for one, but more to the point, ones in AITU 4, 8, 10, and 11 in 1949-50.

Oh, and one more (from which I take my example's second tier): the next comics story in AITU 7, "Drums of the Undead."

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Double Date with Millie

The first tier above is the beginning of a one-page gag (in Millie the Model 32, Jan/52); the second tier comes from the top of a two-page piece ("What Makes Millie Mad?" in A Date with Millie 6, Aug/60). Stan Lee creates a splash page for the latter by—what do you think?—recycling again; in this case a cover gag from just the previous year (Millie 92, Sept/59). He adds a bit to connect them that may or may not be new.

Stan recycles Millie titles even more frequently than storylines; "A Peach at the Beach" turns up on three stories besides the one listed below. "Bedlam at the Beach" he uses twice within two issues: Life with Millie 12 and 13. "Beauty at the Beach" he uses twice within one issue: for a one-page gag and then a full story in Millie the Model 105.

A Date with Millie, the companion title to Millie the Model, changes its title to Life with Millie with #8.

Stories in A Date with Millie
reworking earlier scripts

Dec/59 [taking up a collection gag]
    from MILLIE 29 2nd 1-page gag
[art museum gag]
    from MILLIE 32 3rd 1-page gag
[the man in the tuxedo]
    from MILLIE 29 The Scheme
Jun/60 "The Burpi-Cola Beauts"
    from MILLIE 29 "Meet Miss Burpi-Cola"
Aug/     "A Peach at the Beach"
    from MILLIE 32 1st story

"Millie's Merry Pin-Up" [soda gag]
    from MILLIE 21 cover
"What Makes Millie Mad?"
    from MILLIE 92 cover for splash
    and MILLIE 32 5th 1-page gag for story
Oct/     "And That's No Bull"
    from MILLIE 39 Chili story
"Millie's Secret Admirer"
    from MILLIE 42 2nd Millie story

in Life with Millie

Dec/     "The Restless Rassler"
    from MILLIE 39 2nd Millie story
"Chili Dates a Star"
    from MILLIE 32 Chili story

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Quality Writer Comes to DC

BH 108--Mutiny of the Red Sailors

When DC buys Blackhawk from Quality they take over publication without a pause; Quality's final issue, 107, is cover-dated December, 1956. Dick Dillin and Chuck Cuidera become DC artists when they come over with the book. Also coming along is Robert Bernstein, the sole writer on the final batch of Quality issues.

The writers already at DC assigned to the feature at this point include Jack Miller and Dave Wood; possibly Dick Wood too, who had worked on it into 1955 at Quality. I'm still working out the authorship of the individual non-Bernstein stories.

It would seem that the only completed story art done at Quality that DC received in the deal is "The Mutiny of the Red Sailors" in 108; the letterer is whoever worked on the title as of 107. "The Threat from the Abyss" may have been passed along to DC as a script; it too is an anti-Communist story of the sort that DC didn't much do on their own (and it's the final story in which the Blackhawk song appears at the end). My opinion is that Bernstein wrote most of the stories here directly for DC; he's moved to Aquaman, Green Arrow, and Congo Bill by the end of 1957.

Robert Bernstein
Blackhawk Scripts at DC

Jan/57 108  The Threat from the Abyss
The Mutiny of the Red Sailors
Feb/    109  The Avalanche King
Blackhawk the Sorcerer
Mar/    110  The Mystery of Tigress Island
Apr/    111  The Perils of Blackie, the Wonder Bird
Trigger Craig's Magic Carpet
Aug/    115  The Tyrant's Return
Blackie Goes Wild

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Carl Pfeufer's DC Romance

One artist on a couple of romance stories at DC I felt I should be able to put a name to. It wasn't until I checked the Who's Who that the coin dropped and I got the name: Carl Pfeufer. I had seen some of his Sixties work on a few backups in the Harvey Thrillers—and on Super Green Beret at Lightning Comics. The tier below the "Two Hearts on a Tree" page is from Super Green Beret 2 (June/67).

Secret Hearts 121, Super Green Beret 2

The Who's Who has Pfeufer down for Secret Hearts but not for Falling in Love. It also credits him with work in Girl's Love Stories (likewise in 1967), but I haven't run across any of his stories there yet.

Carl Pfeufer at DC:
Falling in Love

Jan/67 88  Leave My Heart Alone

Secret Hearts

July/67 121  Two Hearts on a Tree

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Space Adventures--Carl Memling and More

Below are listed the stories in Charlton's Space Adventures that I attribute to Carl Memling from the writing style. While looking over the run, I came across some other items of interest.

"The Uncharted Planet" in #6 (May/53) is lifted from A. E. Van Vogt's story "Enchanted Village" in the magazine Other Worlds (July/50). It had already been lifted in Atlas/Marvel's Journey into Unknown Worlds 9 (Feb/52) as "The Four Walls" and would be legitimately adapted in Marvel's Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction 4 (July/75). The Charlton version is drawn by Art Cappello while the Marvel adaptation's art is by Dick Giordano. (The latter's script is by Don and Maggie Thompson.)

Space Advs 6, UWOSF 4

Without the ECs before me but going by memory, I'm going to venture that "Transformation" (art by a younger Dick Giordano) in SA 7 (July/53) lifts one of their stories. From a list of their titles, I'd figure the original for "There'll Be Some Changes Made!" in Weird Science 14 (July-Aug/52). I don't want to ruin the endings; maybe someone with access to both can say yea or nay.

And I can ID one other story's writer in this period. "Jealousy on Kano" in #16 (May/55) is by Ken Fitch ("Aaiiiyyy!"). He wrote some stories for Charlton, and had some published by them out of inventory bought from other publishers; with the art on this one by Bernie Krigstein, I'm going to guess it was done for someone else.

Carl Memling Scripts in
Space Adventures

July/53 The Doomed Civilization
Sep/     All for Love
Win/54 Speed-Up
A Fistful of Doom
The Good Old Days
The Day Fido Sang
Spr/     10  Canterbury's Camera

Back to Earth
Aug/     12  Too Much to Swallow

The Morning After

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

"Mary Poppin Fink"--Artist

"Yesterday's Monster" in Charlton's Strange Suspense Stories v2 #1 (October/67), from which comes the first page above, is credited to Mary Poppin Fink. (I can't help wondering if the story's writer, Denny O'Neil, contributed the name.)

Responding to my previous post, Jake Oster by email and darkmark in a comment wondered if the artist on the very first Rang-A-Tang story at MLJ might be Edd Ashe, who's listed in the Who's Who as doing the feature in 1939-40. I don't think so after comparing the old-fashioned cross-hatched style of that story with Ashe's contemporary signed work at MLJ.

But speaking of Ashe and the Who's Who, it says he had work in Strange Suspense Stories from Charlton in 1967--that would be "Yesterday's Monster." The second page above is from "Spirits Can be Good Joes," credited to Ashe as full artist in ACG's Forbidden Worlds 133 (Jan-Feb/66). I could take Charlton job as pencils only, as per the WW, but with no idea of the inker.

The Who's Who actually gives all sorts of credits to Ashe at Charlton in the 60s that I haven't stumbled across yet, mostly on anthology stories. He's supposed to have done Space Adventures in 1967 too, which led me to look at the story drawn by Spoonerized jazzman "Melonious Thonk" in #60, but that's in quite a different style. (It too was written by Denny O'Neil, and again I'd suspect he christened the artist.)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Who Wasn't the Artist on Rang-A-Tang?

Blue Ribbin 1 Rang-A-Tang

The Rang-A-Tang the Wonder Dog story in MLJ's Blue Ribbon Comics 1 (Nov/39) is bylined "By Norman Danberg." In a number of the comics of the time, it can be difficult to tell if the artist or the writer is being credited. Here I'll disagree with the Grand Comics Database; this is the writer.

Norman Danberg could have been a writer-artist like fellow pulp/comic book man Joe Archibald, but I don't think so. Danberg is better known as Norman Daniels; he wrote under many pen names in the pulps, and wrote paperbacks under both his own name and with or under the name of his wife Dorothy Daniels.

The fact that the art on the illos in Blue Ribbon 1's text story,"Death around the Bend," is identical to Rang-A-Tang's doesn't make Danberg that artist either; a so far anonymous artist did both, as well as #2's Rang-A-Tang story and both issue's covers.

In Chesler's Star Rangers 1 (Feb/37) the strip "Ghost Riders" is bylined "By Norman Daniels"; it's not until the third-to-last panel that this story's artist (W. M. Allison, the cover artist) happens to sign his name. The GCD leaves out Allison's credit, but does read this byline as saying Daniels is the writer. The GCD treats Danberg and Daniels as separate people.

One miscredit for Daniels in prose work has lasted some fifty years now; it slipped handily onto the Internet, so it will no doubt last forever. He's supposed to have been one of the writers of Doc Savage.

Will Murray put paid to that in the late Seventies. Somebody who'd seen the Street & Smith payment records had conflated the Laurence Dovovan on them with the better-known Norman Daniels. On you can still see "Laurence Donovan (alias Norman Danberg)". The original fan explanation was that "Danberg wrote his Doc Savage novels under the name Laurence Donovan." Stop and think about that for a moment. The Doc Savage novels were, of course, written under the name Kenneth Robeson! As Murray pointed out when he showed that Donovan was in fact Laurence Donovan, Daniels did write backup stories for the Doc Savage magazine, and did swipe a Lester Dent Doc Savage, Devil on the Moon, for his Avengers (Steed and Tara King) novel Moon Express. That didn't make him a Doc Savage writer.