A Month in the Life of the Comics
6 6

661 posts in this topic

25,617 posts
I confess, when I hit latest post and was scrolling up to get the new stuff, I saw that and had to look to see who was posting!

 

Yeah, well ... it is ancient history by now really and I can't recall much (anything) from those halcyon days.

 

Mopsy is very cool btw. And I loved that GI in the foxhole story.

 

Mopsy gave me the chance to go back and look at Robbins's book and there is a lot of good general info in the book. One can find it everywhere remaindered these days and should grab a copy. I'm assuming you've got a copy Marc. The comic series itself is seldom seen, hence the beat-up taped copy I went ahead and bought for cheap. The strips themselves in the book are nothing to brag about.

 

Glad you enjoyed the tripping cows bit. It made me smile when I read the book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25,158 posts

Great posts, Scrooge. Been away from high-bandwidth internet and didn't dare look at one of your pages via dialup.

 

Carnotite to Might Mouse to Marines to Keefer. Fascinating to read -- thanks for taking the time to research and post. 893applaud-thumb.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25,617 posts

# 150

 

Motion Picture Comics # 109 - The Rough Riders of Durango - eBay Purchase

 

1335151-MPC109s.jpg

 

Content:

Inside front and back covers - Movie Stills

32 page movie adaptation by ?

 

I particularly like the colors on this book (esp. since my copy while not otherwise perfect has excellent gloss and reflectivity) and the reels logo.

 

Instead of placing the entire focus on Allan "Rocky" Lane since he had his own Fawcett series, I will channel Michelle Nolan, particularly, her article about comics and movies, "When Fawcett took a fancy to flicks!" from CBM # 44, February 1997 –

 

“[…] When Famous Funnies became the first regularly published newsstand comic book in 1934, the first ‘talkie’ had been introduced only seven years earlier. In more than a few families of the 1930’s and into the early 1940’s, not only had big brother or big sister grown up without comic books, but without films as we know them today.

 

With comics being the most cinematic of the print media, it was inevitable that comics would take advantage of the movies for subject material. Surprisingly, however, it took a long time for the idea to catch on. In fact, the idea did not catch on the first couple of times the title Movie Comics was tried.

 

1335151-MovieComicsDC.jpg

 

At both DC (then known as National) in 1939 and at Fiction House in 1946-47, unrelated titles by the same generic name became the first comic book failures at those two prolific Golden Age publishing houses. DC’s version lasted only six issues (all either scarce or rare and highly collectible now) and the Fiction House’s fling with film failed after only four issues (not quite as scarce but also quite collectible, with pretty Matt Baker art the feature attraction). [scrooge Note: it also provides you with the opportunity to own a comic with a drawn Mickey Rooney on the cover smirk.gif]

 

1335151-MovieComicsFictionHouse.jpg

 

Finally, when Fawcett tried the idea beginning in the late 1949, it worked - and it worked well enough to leave us with 35 collectible issues filled with film-as-comic book novel along with color covers (often on both sides) and black-and-white stills on the inside covers.

 

But the combination of an historic level of comic book competition and Fawcett’s own desire to concentrate on its then-burgeoning line of paperback books (the Gold Medal series) ended not only their two movie titles, but finished off within a year, all of the company’s wonderful comic book line.

 

Not many folks realize [scrooge Note: I do!] that in 1952, Fawcett was a comic book king during the year in which more newsstand comic books were produced than in any year until the 1990’s – a whopping 3,162, according to Southern California index expert Dan Stevenson, give or take a couple of issues that may or may not exist.

 

And part of Fawcett’s company-record production of 307 issues in 1952 (it tied with Dell for second place behind Marvel’s 407 and, believe it or not, published 12 more issues than DC!) included a dozen issues of Fawcett’s bi-monthly Motion Picture Comics and Fawcett Movie Comic. […]

 

By 1953, Fawcett was down drastically to 141 issues, a telling prelude to the final few comics from that firm, which were dated January 1954. Among those 141 was the final Fawcett movie comic – “Cripple Creek” in Motion Picture Comics # 114 (actually the 14th issue), dated January 1953. With that, it was left to Dell to carry the flag for the flicks, beginning in earnest in the mid-1950s and continuing for many, many successful issues.

 

[…] The big difference was that unlike Dell later in the 1950s and DC with its abortive effort in 1939 (and again for four issues of Feature Films in 1950), Fawcett did not try to get readers to see the “big picture” – in this case, quite literally. Most of the 35 Fawcett issues celebrate movies that are today almost totally forgotten and seldom seen, which adds to their attractiveness and mystique as collectibles of a bygone era.

 

1335151-MovieComicsDCFF.jpg

 

How many of you even know who George Montgomery was? He was a dashingly handsome, fairly well known action and western film actor in the 1940s and ‘50s and was married to the much better-known Dinah Shore from 1943-’60. He starred in both the first Fawcett film comic, the unnumbered Dakota Lil, in 1949 and in the last Cripple Creek, plus a third movie issue, The Texas Rangers.

 

1335151-MotionPictureDakotaLil.jpg

 

Or how many have ever heard of George Murphy? He was best known as a dancer who never quite became a first-rate star during the Hollywood studio era. He gave up his movie career after playing the lead role in the 1952 Walk East on Beacon, a little-remembered spy story nicely illustrated by Kurt Schaffenberger in Motion Picture Comics # 113.

 

[…] Montgomery was just about the biggest name Fawcett feted more than once. The biggest names to be illustrated in the series, of course, were Errol Flynn (well past his prime in Montana), Ray Milland and Hedy Lamarr (in the underrated moody western Copper Canyon), Burt Lancaster (marvelous in the rousing foreign legion riff, Ten Tall Men), James Stewart (in one of his least-known films Carbine Williams), Rhonda Fleming and Ronald Reagan (gloriously decorative and properly heroic, respectively, in The Last Outpost) and Robert Taylor and a breathtakingly beautiful 20-year-old Elizabeth Taylor (in Ivanhoe).

 

Big names, however, were the exception in the Fawcett series, which was obviously designed to appeal to action fans. However, the series has intense crossover interest for both western film buffs and comic book collectors, because no less than 15 of the comics celebrated classic Republic “B” westerns or Lash LaRue films (hey, they are classic, and I’ll shoot it out with anyone who says otherwise!).

 

1335151-MovieComicsFawcettMC1.jpg

1335151-MovieComicsFawcettMC2.jpg

1335151-MovieComicsFawcettMPC.jpg

 

One of the most personable and photogenic of all western stars, Allan “Rocky” Lane, was featured in a whopping eight issues! A personal favorite, big Rocky Lane was the kind of guy you always figured you could count on to be a friend, kind of like a big brother on a horse. There was no better, good-natured lawman in all of films. He was also one of the last “B” western series starts before the one-hour horse-opera genre virtually disappeared overnight in the 1952-’53 period, swallowed up by television. (Plenty of westerns were produced in the two decades after 1953, but most were bigger-budget productions, usually lasting much longer and starring actors who played a variety of roles.) In those “B” westerns, Rocky Lane played Rocky Lane, as it were, just as Lash LaRue played Lash LaRue and Monte Hale played Monte Hale.

 

Those three characters were among Fawcett’s biggest sellers, along with Hopalong Cassidy (who never appeared in the Fawcett movie series because actor William Boyd was no longer making new Hopalong Cassidy films by then). So Fawcett obviously saw a way to get their regular comics even more exposure.

 

Fawcett titles are among the most popular with Western comic book collectors because of their dazzling color photo covers and occasionally-nice interior art. The Fawcett movie series titles are among the best of those because they each carried several stills and generally had mighty pretty art and 32-page stories.

 

[…] Fawcett, by the way, may not have been the first to hit the stands with a 32-page movie adaptation comic book (the earlier DC and Fiction House attempts did not feature stories that long). That honor may go to the 1949 Magazine Enterprises title Movie Thrillers # 1, featuring a 32-page story by Ogden Whitney illustrating Rope of Sand, an entertaining Burt Lancaster adventure thriller. No month was given and this title was not part of ME’s A-1 numbering system for most of its comics, so collectors are uncertain as to whether Rope of Sand or the undated Dakota Lil hit the stands first.

 

Movie Love from Eastern Publishing (Famous Funnies) enjoyed a 22-issue run from 1950-53, illustrating at first two and later one movie per issue – generally big-budget “A” films – but this title was marketed primarily as a romance comic companion to the same firm’s Personal Love.”

 

As for our particular issue, it does feature Allan "Rocky" Lane. To help you judge of the faithfulness of the artist's rendition, here's a scan of the Rocky Lane and Black Jack picture that hangs in my office. (Yes ... I have a wall-full of B Western actors pictured with their horse in the office. After all, what's a cowboy worth without his ride?) -

 

1335151-MovieComicAllanRockyLane.jpg

 

Here's also the back cover of the comic -

1335151-MovieComicsBCs.jpg

 

The movie was released on January 30th, 1951. At the time, Rocky Lane was 42: Lane was born in Mishiwaka, Ind. in 1909 on September 22nd.

 

The movie plot can be summarized as: "Marshal Rocky Lane (Allan Lane) comes to the aid of Sheriff Bill Walters (Russ Ford) who is having a hard time trying to save the local farmers and ranchers from raids and hi-jackings. With Banker Johnson (Hal Price) about to foreclose on all their ranches and farms, the sheriff arranges for them to get a $40,000 advance on their next grain shipment so that they can pay off their notes at the bank. But the town's supposedly honest and harmless harness maker, John Blake (Steve Darrell), who is the brains behind the gang, has the messenger killed and the money stolen. The villain intends to drive several ranchers into bankruptcy so he can snatch up their property at dirt-cheap prices."

 

This B&W effort has a duration of 60 minutes. As was customary in the Allan "Rocky" Lane vehicles, Lane's horse Black Jack is afforded second billing in Rough Riders of Durango, while nominal leading lady Aline Towne is billed fourth. Even farther down the cast list is future Dukes of Hazzard co-star Denver Pyle.

 

Here's a photo of a young Pyle. In the story, Pyle is the gun-hand who shoots the courrier carrying the $40,000 advance. He dies at the hand of Rocky Lane about 2/3rds in the comic book story -

1335151-MovieComicsDenverPyle.jpg

 

Inside Front Cover Stills -

1335151-MPC109IFCs.jpg

 

Comic "Bill" -

1335151-MPC109Bills.jpg

 

Story Splash -

1335151-MPC109Splashs.jpg

 

Story Page -

1335151-MPC109Page1s.jpg

 

Story Next Page -

1335151-MPC109Page2s.jpg

 

Story Page, featuring the "leading lady" -

1335151-MPC109Page3s.jpg

 

Story Final Page -

1335151-MPC109Page4s.jpg

 

Inside Back Cover Stills -

1335151-MPC109IBCs.jpg

1335151-MPC109Page4s.jpg.abc5d27a764f5295aee63a370a8ebe74.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25,617 posts

# 151

 

Movie Love # 13 - eBay Purchase

 

1339843-MovieLove13s.jpg

 

Content:

Hong Kong by H.C. Kiefer 14 pgs

Actor & Actresses Cartoons by Frank Fogarty 3 pgs

The Stooge by Harold LeDoux 12 pgs

 

Recall from Michelle Nolan's article that: "Movie Love from Eastern Publishing (Famous Funnies) enjoyed a 22-issue run from 1950-53, illustrating at first two and later one movie per issue – generally big-budget “A” films – but this title was marketed primarily as a romance comic companion to the same firm’s Personal Love.”

 

1339843-MovieLoveGallery.jpg

 

In this issue, obviously, we have 2 movie adaptations. The cover features Hong Kong and the inside covers spotlight its leading characters. On the inside front cover, we learn more about Rhonda Fleming -

 

1339843-MovieLoveRF.jpg

 

1339843-MovieLoveIFC.jpg

 

Here's a picture of Rhonda with Bob Hope from her 1949 feature: The Great Lover -

1339843-MovieLoveRFBH.jpg

 

The first adaptation is pencilled by H.C. Kiefer. Kiefer has already been featured for both his work on Classics Illustrated where I retraced his career for Classics Illustrated as well as for his painted cover to Heroic Comics.

 

A brief recap states that: " Henry Carl Kiefer (1890 - 1957) studied at the Julian Atelier in Paris. After his studies, he began illustrating for pulp magazines. In 1935, Kiefer started illustrating for National/DC's 'Oliver Twist', 'Echo' and 'Sub Saunders'. He also cooperated on EC's 'War Against Crime'. From 1947 until 1953, Kiefer worked on the 'Classics Illustrated' series, doing most of the artwork of the early issues. Many of his issues were redrawn by other artists for the reprints, however. In 1953, Henry C. Kiefer retired from illustration. He died in 1957."

 

His non-classics work is extensive if you judge from +HENRY'>Jerry Bails's listing :

 

Comics Studio (Shop)

CHESLER STUDIO (a) c1937-c40

FUNNIES INC. (a) c1943-55

IGER STUDIO (a) c1940-c53

MAJESTIC STUDIOS (a) 1939-53

SANGOR STUDIO (a) 1942-48 unconfirmed

 

and then and through them for many publishers over the years:

ALMANAC PUBLISHING CO.1945

AMERICAN COMICS GROUP 1951

AVON COMICS 1947 and 1951

BAILY PUBLICATIONS 1944

BETTER PUBLICATIONS 1942-1948

BIMFORT & COMPANY1953

CENTAUR COMICS 1937

CHARLTON COMICS 1947 and 1951

CHESLER PUBLICATIONS 1941-1942

CONSOLIDATED BOOK 1944-1946

D.S. PUBLISHING 1948-1951

DC COMICS 1935-1937

DELL PUBLICATIONS 1942

EASTERN COLOR PRINTING 1944-1955

EC COMICS 1948-1950

FAWCETT COMICS 1944 and 1949-1951

FEATURE COMICS 1943-1946

FICTION HOUSE COMICS 1940-1953

FOX COMICS 1939-1941

GILBERTON 1947-1953

H. C. BLACKERBY 1945

HARVEY COMICS 1939-1944

HARWELL PUBLICATIONS 1952

LEADER ENTERPRISES 1945-1946

MAGAZINE ENTERPRISES 1944

MARVEL COMICS 1941 and 1943

MAYFAIR PUBLICATIONS 1945

NOVELTY COMICS 1942-1944

PARENTS' MAGAZINE PRESS 1941-1942

PELICAN COMICS 1940

QUALITY COMICS 1940-1942

RURAL HOME 1944-1946

STAR PUBLICATIONS 1948

STREET & SMITH COMICS 1940

TROJAN COMICS 1953-1955

U.S. CAMERA 1945-1946

YOUTHFUL MAGAZINES 1949-1953

ZIFF-DAVIS COMICS 1953

 

Whew!

 

As for Hong Kong, the movie. It lasts 91 minutes and was released on April 4, 1952. "In this action adventure, American mercenary Jeff Williams (Ronald Regan) gets caught in a Communist airplane raid in China and manages to escape. During the process, he meets an orphan boy named Chang who possesses a valuable antique and decides to steal it. However, as the two end up traveling together, along with a beautiful Red Cross worker, Jeff comes to realize the error of his ways and attempts to reform."

 

This was the second time Flemind and Reagan paired in the movies; Fleming and Reagan’s first outing was also subject to a comic-book adaptation: Fawcett Movie Comic # 14 who came out briefly before this one.

 

1339843-MovieLoveIBCs.jpg

 

We should also note that it was on March 4, 1952 that Ronald Reagan married Nancy Davis and that she [Nancy] also had an April 1952 release: April 18 to be precise, "Talk About a Stranger" with George Murphy, mentioned in the previous write-up.

 

Hong Kong Splash -

1339843-MovieLoveHKSplashs.jpg

 

Hong Kong Page -

1339843-MovieLoveHKPage1s.jpg

 

Hong Kong Page -

1339843-MovieLoveHKPage2s.jpg

 

To fill out the issue there are 3 cartoon page by Frank Fogarty. Fogarty is of the same generation as Kiefer. Born in New York in 1887, Frank Fogarty got his artistic education at the Art Students League. He had his first work published in the New York Evening World when he was 16 years old. At the time, he specialized in sports and political cartoons. He improved his drawing and learned lettering when he was at the staff of the Sunday World. He eventually joined the American Press Association. Fogarty was art director of the New York Sun, and at Selznick Motion Pictures and Johnson Features. He has also worked for Warner Bros. He took over the 'Clarence' Sunday page from its creator Crawford Young, and continued it between 1930 and 1949. For 14 years, he has also drawn the 'Mr. & Mrs.' Sunday page for the Herald Tribune Syndicate.

 

Fogarty Page -

1339843-MovieLoveFFPage1s.jpg

 

How would you like to be referred as the "Loot Girl"? Here's the publicity shot of Gale Robbins that clearly Fogarty used in his rendition - (sorry for the blur, the original file I had was small) -

1339843-MovieLoveGaleRobbinsShot.jpg

 

Fogarty Page -

1339843-MovieLoveFFPage2s.jpg

 

Here's a contemporaneous shot of Mala Powers -

1339843-MovieLoveMalaPowersShot.jpg

 

The job of adapting "The Stooge" fell to another Famous Funnies common hand: Harold LeDoux. LeDoux's name is certainly more familiar for his syndicated strip work than his comic book work but he did a fair amount of work during this period.

 

1339843-MovieLoveLeDoux.jpg

 

Harold LeDoux, son of Antoine Ovide and Pauline Zulma LeDoux, was born in Port Arthur, Texas in 1926. He attended St. Mary Catholic Church, DeQueen Elementary School, and Woodrow Wilson Junior High and graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1944. Known best for his work on the "Judge Parker" comic strip, LeDoux's first job for a newspaper was as a route carrier for the Port Arthur News during high school. LeDoux spent some time working for the Texas Company and on merchant vessels before heading for Chicago to attend the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. LeDoux next went to work with Famous Funnies, the first comic book publishers. He became the assistant artist on a new newspaper strip called "Judge Parker" in 1953. He took charge of producing the art work for the strip in 1965. LeDoux retired in 2006, after having worked on the strip for over 50 years

 

Created in 1952 by Dr. Nicholas P. Dallis, Judge Parker is named after the Honorable Alan Parker, a distinguished jurist and action hero in the early days of the strip. In recent years, attorney Sam Driver along with his wife, Abbey Spencer and their two adopted daughters, Neddy and Sophie, became the central characters. Judge Parker’s son, Randy, also a lawyer, became Sam Driver’s partner in 1996, and adds a younger and more adventurous influence to the feature.

LeDoux lasts Sunday strip appeared in May 2006.

 

As for The Stooge, it has an interesting history in that it is a dramatic exception to the usual Martin and Lewis team-ups since it is laced with disturbing parallels to the real life Martin and Lewis. In fact, though filmed in 1951, it was held up release till 1953 because Paramount was unsure of its box office appeal due to its extensive dramatic moments. The actual release date ended up being February 4, 1953, about a year after the publication of this comic!

 

In this film, Dean is an unsuccessful broadway performer until his handlers convince him to become an act using a stooge - a guy already positioned in the audience and picked by Dean to be the butt of his jokes - Jerry Lewis. But Jerry begins to steal the show, and helps keep Dean on his toes. Dean's girlfriend and pals tell him to make Jerry an equal partner. Complications occur, while Dean sings and Jerry gets the laughs.

 

Note that Polly Bergen who plays Mary, Dean Martin's character's wife was recently seen as Kate Allen, Geena Davis' character's mom on Commander in Chief. Ironically, Bergen played the first female chief executive in the 1964 movie "Kisses for My President," in which Fred MacMurray played the befuddled first husband.

 

The Stooge Splash -

1339843-MovieLoveTSSplash.jpg

 

The Stooge Page -

1339843-MovieLoveTSPage1s.jpg

 

The Stooge Page -

1339843-MovieLoveTSPage2s.jpg

1339843-MovieLoveTSPage2s.jpg.dbc5acba5ff76bfd3905aa2700afcd3e.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25,022 posts

Thanks Scrooge. Never seen that Reagan cover before, wild! Great stuff as always. thumbsup2.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25,617 posts

Following are some reasons why I love the boards and the information exchange taking place - Kudos to these guys for passing along freely some books I needed for the collection -

 

HouseOfComics -

1355402-Bozo4s.jpg

 

Honky Cat -

1355402-Cookie35s.jpg

 

Reality Consensus -

1355402-HappyRabbit47s.jpg

 

with an added bonus of Happy and Buddy going to Paris and the Eiffel Tower in their first story smile.gif

1355402-HappyRabbit47Story1Page1s.jpg

 

and 143ksk with not one but two books! hail.gif

1355402-MyFriendIrma16s.jpg

1355402-Suzie85s.jpg

 

Thank you guys. You're the best flowerred.gif And also thanks anyone who takes an interest in the thread.

 

Next up is Mr. District Attorney as soon as I find time to scan some pages.

1355402-Suzie85s.jpg.f306fc50151e4581597c5b73926b8be9.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25,617 posts
# 126 - Little Iodine # 10

 

A small update on Hatlo. This ad was reproduced in the latest Hogan's Alley, # 14.

 

1356010-LittleIodine10-Hatlo-PostAd.jpg

1356010-LittleIodine10-Hatlo-PostAd.jpg.b4a3c094874f6009deb84a6b45d3ff29.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25,617 posts

# 152

 

Mr. District Attorney # 26 - Bought from Southern Cal Comics

 

1365389-MrDistrictAttorney26s.jpg

 

Contents: [iDs from the GCD]

Cover by Howard Purcell

Mr. DA in The Case of the Wanted Criminals by Howard Purcell 7 pgs

Mr. DA in The Crime of the Century by Howard Purcell 9 pgs

Tracking the Criminal by Morris Waldinger 1/2 pg

Beware the Rackets by Al McLean 1 pg

The Case of the Small-Time Hoofer by Ralph Mayo 4 pgs

Conscientious Cop Kaschub by Ben Allen 1/2 pg

Amazing Ray! by Morris Waldinger 1/2 pg

The Crime File by Ray Perry 2 pgs

Mr. DA in The Prisoner in Cell 13 by Howard Purcell 7 pgs

Law Oddities by Morris Waldinger 1/2 pg

 

As heralded on the cover, this comic features "Brand-new Adventures of Radio's No. 1 Hit!" and it was as Mr. District Attorney was in the period 1941-1949 the top-ranked mystery program on radio. The series was a licensed-property comic based on both a long-running radio show (first airing in 1939) and a television series (1951 - 1954). Narrated in the first person by the District Attorney of an unnamed big city, the stories are typical "men-in-suits" crime, depicting events that could have just as easily been shown on a low-budget live-action TV show.

 

The man referred to as "Mr. District Attorney" or "Chief" in these stories is never mentioned or referred to by his actual name!

 

Created, written, and directed by former law student Ed Byron, the series was inspired by the early years of New York governor Thomas E. Dewey. It was Dewey's public war against racketeering which led to his election as governor. Phillips H. Lord, creator of Gangbusters, helped to develop the concept and coined the title. Byron lent an air of accuracy and immediacy to his scripts through close study of crime statistics, a library of criminology texts, following the newspapers, and even going around rough bars to gain tips, background, and color from crooks and police alike. His techniques sometimes enabled Byron to accurately predicting major crime waves before the news broke.

 

Produced throughout its run in New York City, the series began as a fifteen minute serial, becoming a half hour, self-contained series three months later. During 1942, Mr. District Attorney began battling Nazis, leading to conflicts with the FBI when the scripts reflected life too closely.

 

A Mr. District Attorney 1941 Big Little Book -

1365389-MrDA26BLBs.jpg

 

Mr. District Attorney- The nameless title role was played by several actors throughout the run, with the breakdown as follows:

Dwight Weist (1939 serials), Raymond Edward Johnson (1939 half hour shows),

Jay Jostyn (1940 through 1952; Jostyn also guest starred in the role in mystery sketches for the game show Quick as a Flash), David Brian (1952-1953 syndication).

 

Voice of the Law- The show's signature was the opening announcer, known as the "Voice of the Law," who defined the creed and duties of Mr. District Attorney. The role was played by Maurice Franklin and also Jay Jostyn, prior to taking over the lead role. Miss Miller- Edith Miller was the district attorney's faithful secretary, played throughout the run by Vicki Vola. Len Harrington- The D.A.'s chief investigator, a former cop; played by Walter Kinsella, who had been heard in various police roles during the early years, and by Len Doyle from 1940 onward.

 

Near the end of the radio run, the series was transferred to television. The first incarnation ran on ABC from October 1, 1951 through June 23, 1952, airing on alternate Mondays. The current radio cast reprised their roles: Jay Jostyn as Mr. District Attorney, Vicki Vola as Miss Miller, and Len Doyle as Harrington. In 1954, the show was revived in syndication by Ziv Television Programs, who had also handled the 1952-1953 radio syndication. David Brian reprised his role from that series, only now the D. A. had a name, Paul Garrett. Jackie Loughery was Miss Miller.

 

The main artist of this issue besides the utilities players is Howard Purcell (1918-1981):

 

"A longtime penciler and cover artist for DC Comics, one of the field's two largest firms, he co-created the Golden Age characters Sargon the Sorcerer and the Gay Ghost (renamed in the 1970s the Grim Ghost) for All-American Publications, one of the companies, with National Comics and Detective Comics, that merged to form DC. Purcell also drew the famous cover of Green Lantern #1 (Fall 1941).

 

Purcell's earliest known credit is National's Adventure Comics #53 (Aug. 1940), for which he wrote and drew the six-page feature "Mark Lansing". The titular adventurer's exploits with subterranean races and other science fictiony conceits ran through issue #62. By that time Purcell had drawn the cover of All-American's All Star Comics #2 (Fall 1940), reprinted as the cover of DC Comics' quirkily titled, 2006 hardcover collection All Star Archives #0, as well as the feature "Lando, Man of Magic" in World's Best Comics #1 (Spring 1941), and both the Green Lantern cover and the humorous adventure feature "Red, White and Blue" of All-American Comics #25 (April 1941).

 

Purcell and writer John Wentworth created Sargon the Sorcerer in the next month's issue. A minor character in what what would become the DC universe, Sargon was John Sargent, whose exposure to the "Ruby of Life" during infancy granted him magical powers that he used in adulthood to fight crime, keeping his supernatural abilities camoflauged in his guise as a stage magician. Purcell and Wentworth continued with the character through All-American Comics #50 (June 1943).

 

With writer Gardner Fox, Purcell created the Gay Ghost in All-American's Sensation Comics #1 (Jan. 1942). The character, renamed the Grim Ghost in the 1970s, was similar to National Comics' the Spectre in that he was a ghost (of Keith Everet, the fictional 18th-century Earl of Strethmere) who inhabited the body of a modern man, Charles Collins, to fight injustice — although unlike the genuinely grim Spectre, he did so with cheery (i.e., gay) swashbuckling.

 

Purcell's 1960s work included cover art for the DC series Sea Devils, and creating the supernatural character the Enchantress, with writer Bob Haney in Strange Adventures #187 (April 1966). Purcell did a smattering for Marvel Comics, including two "Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D." stories, over Jack Kirby layouts, in Strange Tales #143-144 (April-May 1966); and a Black Knight solo feature in Marvel Super-Heroes #17 (Nov. 1968).

 

Purcell's last known work was a story each in the DC supernatural anthology Weird Mystery Tales #1-3 (Aug.-Dec. 1972), plus the cover of #2."

 

As for Morris Waldinger, he was an artist, writer and letterer for several American comic book publications during the 1950s and 1960s. To the legendary Classics Illustrated series, he contributed Nordhoff and Hall's 'Mutiny on the Bounty', that appeared in 1952. He cooperated on several 'Wonder Woman' issues in the 1950s and 1960s, both as a scriptwriter and artist. He illustrated war, romance and western titles for Charlton, DC and Feature Comics. Waldinger was a letterer for DC from the 1950s throughout the 1970s.

 

The Case of the Wanted Criminals Splash -

1365389-MrDA26Story1s.jpg

 

The Case of the Wanted Criminals Page -

1365389-MrDA26Story1Pages.jpg

 

The Crime of the Century Splash -

1365389-MrDA26Story2s.jpg

 

The Crime of the Century Page -

1365389-MrDA26Story2Pages.jpg

 

The Prisoner in Cell 13 Splash -

1365389-MrDA26Story4s.jpg

 

The Prisoner in Cell 13 Page -

1365389-MrDA26Story4Pages.jpg

 

This is a good time to try to implement a new Crime Organization. Following J. Fred MacDonald's ideas from "Don't Touch that Dial; Radio Programming in American Life from 1920 to 1950," we can attempt to categorize Crime comic books.

 

According to MacDonald, “[…] There are three strategic criteria which appeared in all detective shows: 1) the attitude of the program toward crime and its solution; 2) the function of the central character’s personality; and 3) the view of life and society presented in the story – and depending upon the emphasis within each series, radio detective programs can be divided into three distinctive types: Realistic Detective, Glamorous Detective, and Neo-Realistic Detective.”

 

Here's a summary of each of these genres:

 

1) Realistic Detective programs are traditional, conservative, and ploddingly rational in their approach to solving crimes. The stress of the series is upon the logical process by which crime is solved. In these programs crime is an undesirable dimension of social reality. Everything in such programs, from the personality of the detective to the perspective it presented on life and society, is peripheral and without strategic value to the more realistic goal of finding the villain and thereby carrying out justice.”

 

Shows such as: The Eno Crime Club which aired Tuesdays with the clues and on Wednesdays the final act acting out the solution was aired, The Adventures of Ellery Queen, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, True Detective Mysteries, 20,000 Years in Sing-Sing, Homicide Squad, Calling All Cars, Tales of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Gangbusters, G-Men, Counterspy, Mr. District Attorney, Policewoman, Treasury Agent, Special Investigator, Dr. Standish: Medical Examiner, …

 

2) In Glamorous Detective programs, the embellishment of characters with irrelevant or peripheral traits was as much a part of the program as the story line. Here, listeners found their traditional “whodunit” augmented with the likes of trivial conversations between the hero and the people he encountered, loquacious descriptions, comedic relationships between the hero and his partner, and even sexual tensions between male and female characters. The process of investigation and apprehension was not insignificant in these programs, and neither was the general image of the society they projected. Often, however, such matters seemed more a concession to logic than a deliberate emphasis of the program. Instead, the Glamorous Detective series presented listeners with a personalized, attractive, and familiar recurring character that an audience could like for his charm and wit, even more than for his investigatory brilliance.”

 

Shows such as: The Fat Man, The Thin Man, The Adventures of Chick Carter, The Adventures of Leonidas Witheral, Mr. and Mrs. North; Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar; The Shadow, The Green Hornet, Murder and Mr. Malone; Casey, Crime Photographer; The Adventures of Father Brown; Blackstone, the Magic Detective; The Case Book of Gregory Hood, Mr. Mercury, The Saint; Richard Diamond, Private Detective; Boston Blackie, The New Adventures of Mike Shayne, The Falcon, Charlie Chan, Philo Vance, Let George Do It, Nero Wolfe, …

 

3) The hallmark of the Neo-Realistic format was its emphasis upon crime as a symptom of deeper social sickness. The likable personalities that dominated the Glamorous series now gave way to a group of disillusioned, embittered men who reluctantly went about their professions. These characters usually expressed an abusive tone when dealing with others – be they clients, criminals, police, or bystanders. They also articulated a general disdain for most of the positive symbols of civilization and social order. Instead of stressing the rational process of crime detection found prominently in the Realistic pattern, these programs emphasized ugly crimes investigated by brutalized detectives existing within a depressingly grim environment.

 

Shows such as: Twenty-First Precinct, Pat Novak for hire, Broadway Is My Beat, The Line Up, The Man from Homicide; Jeff Regan, Investigator; Dyke Easter, Detective; Johnny Madero, Pier 23; Dragnet, …"

 

Consequently, I have tried to organize the Crime comic books from March 1952 into these three categories and find that there are:

 

1) 17 Realistic series - All True Crime Cases, Amazing Detective Cases, Big Town, Crime and Justice, Crime Can't Win, Crime Cases, Crime Detective Comics, Crime Exposed, Crime Must Lose!, Ellery Queen, Fugitives from Justice, Gang Busters, Headline Comics, Justice Comics, Justice Traps the Guilty, Mr. District Attorney, Real Clue Crime Stories.

 

2) 9 Glamorous series - Crime Clinic, Crime Smashers, Ken Shannon, Kerry Drake Detective Cases, Mike Barnett, Man against Crime, Police Comics, Rocky Jorden, Private Eye, Spirit, T-Man

 

3) 14 Neo-Realistic series - All-Famous Crime, Crime and Punishment, Crime Does Not Pay, Crime Fighting Detective, Crime Must Pay the Penalty, Crime Suspenstories, Down with Crime, Famous Gangsters (Lucky Luciano), Gangsters and Gun Molls, Murderous Gangsters, Perfect Crime, Police Lineup, Thrilling Crime Cases, Wanted Comics.

 

I welcome any comment / discussion on my assigning books to any particular category.

1365389-MrDA26Story4Pages.jpg.4111f0f7d8b2ad2cac64510dd0b2d7a3.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11,345 posts

I have a real soft spot for Mr. District Attorney so I'm glad to see it hit the list.

 

Who are the biggest crime comics experts on the boards?

 

Marc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25,617 posts

# 153

 

Murderous Gangsters # 3 - eBay purchase

 

1367198-MurderoudGangsters3s.jpg

 

Contents:

Killer Bait by Michael Becker and Vince Alascia 7 pgs

Brothers in Crime! by [Mort Lawrence] 7 pgs

Jed Hawkins - Cold Blooded Killer! by ? 4 pgs

Nick Marek - Shakedown Racketeer! by Ed Goldfarb and Bob Baer 6 pgs

 

This book falls into a small category of books Avon produced around this time period including a number were one-shots: "Famous Gangsters, Murderous Gangsters, Parole Breakers, Behind Prison Bars, Police Line-Up, Prison Break, and Gangsters and Gun Molls, all published between 1951 and 1952. These better-than-average books contained art by Wally Wood, Everett Kinstler, Syd Shores, Joe Kubert and Mort Lawrence. Avon thumbed its nose at Dr. Wertham when it published Reform School Girl under its Realistic Banner. “The graphic story of boys and girls running wild in the violence-ridden slums of today” said the blurb over the title. The picture and title were lifted from an Avon pocket book published in 1948."

 

This title actually was first published for two issues under the Avon Periodicals banner before finishing its four issue run with two issues under the Realistic banner -

1367198-MurderousGangtersCombos.jpg

 

In this book, we find a lot of usual suspects from that time period. First, we find a collaboration of Michael D. Becker with Vince Alascia on inks. Becker worked primarily from 49 to 53 for Avon, Atlas and Hillman. Alascia had a much longer career in the industry.

 

“Vince Alascia a.k.a. Nicholas Alascia (born 1914, died c. 2001), was an American comic book artist known for his work on Captain America during the Golden Age of comics, and for his 23-year run as inker on a single creative team, with penciler Charles Nicholas and writer Joe Gill at Charlton Comics from 1953 to 1976.

 

Vince Alascia was on staff at Timely Comics, the 1940s predecessor of Marvel Comics, where the artist and comics historian Jim Steranko credits him for art as early as USA Comics #5 (Summer 1942), on the masked-crimefighter feature "American Avenger".

 

After Captain America creators Joe Simon and Jack Kirby left Timely after issue #10 of the eponymous book, Alascia penciled Cap's adventures in the sister title All Select Comics #2-10 (Winter 1943/1944 to Summer 1946), generally inked by Allen Bellman, and in several issues of All Winners Comics, with a variety of inkers, starting with #11 (Winter 1943/1944). Syd Shores and Al Avison had taken over art duties on Captain America Comics following the departure of creators Joe Simon and Jack Kirby after issue #10 (Jan. 1942), and Alascia shortly afterward filled-in as Shores' inker while Avison did his World War II military service.

 

Alascia later went into rotation as one of the various Captain America artists in any given issue. Examples of his work in Cap's flagship title include the story "Ali Baba and His Forty Nazis" in Captain America Comics #32 (Nov. 1943), inking Ken Bald, and "The Crime Dictator" in Captain America Comics #47 (June 1945), which Alascia penciled. It was Alascia, inked by Bob Powell, who drew the Captain American and Bucky chapter in the landmark book-length, all-star stories of the All-Winners Squad in the (non-hyphenated) All Winners Comics #19 (Fall 1946) and #21 (Winter 1946; there was no issue #20). Additionally in issue #19, Alascia inked Shores on the Miss America chapter. In issue #21, he additionally pencilled both the Whizzer chapter and the final chapter, and inked Avison's Sub-Mariner chapter.

 

Other Timely work includes episodes of "The Young Allies" in Kid Komics and The Young Allies; covers and occasional interor art on "The Patriot and other features in the omnibus title Marvel Mystery Comics; and occasional work in Blonde Phantom.

 

After Timely's downsizing in 1948, Alascia freelanced for such other comics companies as Avon, where he inked Green Lantern creator Martin Nodell on stories in that publisher's 1950s comics City Of The Living Dead and Eerie. While the latter is no relation to Warren Publishing's black-and-white horror-comics magazine of that name, a Modell/Alascia Eerie story was coincidentally reprinted in a similar magazine published by Warren competitor Skywald Publications, Nightmare #1 (Dec. 1970).

 

Mostly, however, Alascia worked with Charlton Comics of Derby, Connecticut, teamed with Charles Nicholas (the 1921-1985 comics artist of that name) on a full gamut of crime, suspense, mystery, science fiction, war, Western, romance, and hot-rod titles, beginning with Crime and Justice #16 (Jan. 1953). The art team would sometimes sign its work Nicholas & Alascia.

 

As a penciler, Alascia's notable work for Charlton includes the Aug. 1956 premiere issue of Tales of the Mysterious Traveler.

 

Quotes

Jess Nevins:"Alascia is one of those pros who did a wide range of work on a number of books over the years, but is almost completely forgotten about today; he did some work on Captain America [Comics] and on U.S. Marines In Action, and Six-Gun Heroes. His work ... strikes me as a cross between Sheldon Moldoff and Mort Meskin, and if you know anything about Golden Age artists, you know that those two are names to conjure with."

 

Gill Fox: "Vince Alascia took an art course that was an offshoot of the course at Textile [High School, in New York City]. I was deeply impressed with Vince's talent; he did great stuff for the yearbook. Years later, I went to see him and he had totally changed. I tried to get him to make a move into a better kind of work, but I couldn't get him to do it. Vince had an uninspired art career.

 

Giordano: "If you take a close look at Vince's inking style, you'll find it bears a close resemblance to Alex Raymond's style on Rip Kirby; that was very popular at that time. ... Vince used to have these Rip Kirby strips in front of him, looking at them while he was inking. But what he was inking had nothing to do with the strip he was looking at. I don't know what he got out of it except inspiration."

 

Mort Lawrence we've already seen in the thread for his efforts in Airboy, Crime Detective and Hot Rod and Speedway all for Hillman and this for Realistic / Avon. Here's a neat Lawrence cover for Hot Rod and Speedway # 4 -

 

1367198-HotRodandSpeedway4MortLawrences.jpg

 

Finally we see another "famous" team in Edwin Goldfard with Bob Baer, usual known as Goldfarb Baer as many of their teaming were signed, à la "Nicholas Alascia" which were actually Charlie Nicholas & Vince Alascia. [Note the Wikipedia entry is not clear and probably erroneous is a.k.a-ing Vince as Nicholas Alascia) or à la Montes Bache for pencils by Bill Montes and inks by Ernie Bache. The Golfarb Baer team worked mostly from 51 to 54 for Avon, Story and Youthful with some for Atlas.

 

Killer Bait Becker / Alascia Splash -

1367198-MurderousGangsters3Story1s.jpg

 

Killer Bait Becker / Alascia Page -

1367198-MurderousGangsters3Story1Pages.jpg

 

Brothers in Crime! Mort Lawrence Splash -

1367198-MurderousGangsters3Story2s.jpg

 

Brothers in Crime! Mort Lawrence Splash -

1367198-MurderousGangsters3Story2Pages.jpg

 

Nick Marek - Shakedown Racketeer! Goldfarb / Baer Splash -

1367198-MurderousGangsters3Story4s.jpg

 

Nick Marek - Shakedown Racketeer! Goldfarb / Baer Splash -

1367198-MurderousGangsters3Story4Pages.jpg

 

 

Inside Front Cover - Not Kinstler but nicely done -

1367198-MurderousGangsters3IFCs.jpg

 

I pegged this book in the Neo-Realistic category in the previous entry. I felt this a good fit because unlike radio shows, this comic and the others issued by Avon do not follow the story from either a detective or other agents of the law perspective nor from an impartial narrator but from the viewpoint of the gangster.

 

The definition finished with: "these programs emphasized ugly crimes investigated by brutalized detectives existing within a depressingly grim environment."

 

I find these final panels from the Nick Marek - Shakedown Racketeer! story to be quite indicative of the mood of the story, especially the final words from the law officer -

1367198-MurderousGangsters3Story4Panels.jpg

1367198-HotRodandSpeedway4MortLawrences.jpg.77fdc114279bd4ad5fd869b52faf51f0.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25,158 posts

with an added bonus of Happy and Buddy going to Paris and the Eiffel Tower in their first story

 

You struck gold on this one! 893applaud-thumb.gif

 

 

 

1355402-HappyRabbit47Story1Page1s.jpg :

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25,158 posts

One more reason to like Mort Lawrence -- terrific cover!

 

1367198-HotRodandSpeedway4MortLawrences.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25,617 posts

# 154

 

Mutt & Jeff # 56 - eBay purchase

 

1370379-MuttJeff56s.jpg

 

Content:

Mutt & Jeff and Cicero's Cat cartoons

 

1370379-MuttJeffGallery.jpg

 

Referencing again the invaluable Toonopedia, we know that:

 

1370379-MuttJeffCigarLabel.jpg

 

"Mutt & Jeff, by Harry Conway "Bud" Fisher, which started in The San Francisco Chronicle on November 15, 1907, is generally believed to be the first daily comic strip — not just the first to appear in "strip" form (with the panels running across the newspaper page, rather than vertically or in a square box), but the first to appear on a reliable, six-day-a-week schedule, with continuing characters. It is not — that distinction probably belongs to A. Piker Clerk, by Clare Briggs, which predated it by about four years. But Fisher's strip is the first to make a notable success of it, and therefore the one that established the trend in that direction. (By the way, Fisher is not related to "Ham" Fisher, who created Joe Palooka.)

 

The strip's original title was A. Mutt (the initial stood for Augustus). The character had previously been spotted in Fisher's sports cartoons, but wasn't named until the strip began. The name may, as some comics historians say, have been chosen to signify his position in the household hierarchy, i.e., analogous to that of the family pooch; or it may, say others, have been short for "muttonhead". Mutt enjoyed gambling at the racetrack (which is why, like Fisher's earlier work, the strip appeared in the sports section, back before daily papers had comics pages), but had to answer to his shrewish wife for this avocation.

 

If the strip had remained tied to that setting, it would probably have run its course in a few years and been as thoroughly forgotten as the Briggs work is today. But in on March 27, 1908, tall, skinny Mutt met the diminutive Jeff, and the series began to transcend its limited venue. Mutt's easygoing dimwittedness contrasted to great comic effect with the fact that Jeff was certifiably insane (they first met in a mental institution). Its scope broadened immensely (in fact, later that year, Mutt became the very first toon candidate for U.S. president), and before long "Mutt & Jeff" actually became a part of the English language, a slang term for a tall person paired with a short one.

 

Fisher hadn't been doing the feature long before William Randolph Hearst hired him away, and he began doing it for Hearst's San Francisco Examiner, instead. The Chronicle tried to continue it with another artist, but Fisher had taken the precaution of copyrighting it in his own name, and The Chronicle was forced to stop. It was soon appearing in Hearst papers nationwide, and was also distributed by King Features Syndicate soon as that Hearst subsidiary got off the ground. In 1913, Fisher moved it to The Wheeler Syndicate (later known as Bell Syndicate). King tried to prevent the move, but again, Fisher succeeded in asserting his ownership rights. [scrooge: Note the very high profile Fisher's name and the Trade Mark has on this cover].

 

By this time, Fisher was relying more on his assistants than his own work, and spent most of his time enjoying the huge amounts of money the strip earned for him. In fact, his first shot at an animated version fell through because animator Paul Terry was unable to get him to sit still and work on getting the venture off the ground. Nonetheless, Mutt & Jeff became an early success in animation (the first of hundreds of silent cartoons was released Feb. 10, 1913), which only increased Fisher's wealth, distancing him even further from the strip itself.

 

Of all the "assistants" who wrote and drew Mutt & Jeff, the one who devoted more of his career to it than any other was Al Smith, who took it on in 1932 and stayed until 1980 — only two years before the strip's demise [scrooge: and 6 years before Smith's death in 1986]. It was Smith who created the Sunday page's topper, Cicero's Cat, about Mutt's son's pet, which was added in 1933. Smith also toned down the domestic strife, humanizing Mrs. Mutt to broaden the strip's family appeal. Although he was solely responsible for writing and drawing Mutt & Jeff, it was not until 1954, when Fisher died, that Smith started signing his own name to it.

 

1370379-MuttJeffFamousFunnies1.jpg

 

Mutt & Jeff also had a lengthy, if low-key, career in comic books. They were prominently featured on the cover of Famous Funnies #1, the first comic book in the modern format; but during the late 1930s they appeared mostly in the back pages of several strip reprint comics. They found a lasting berth in DC's All-American Comics, where, starting in the first issue, they were among several newspaper comics scattered among the non-reprinted features. DC gave them their own comic in 1939 (simultaneous with doing the same for their own Superman). They continued publishing it until 1958, when it was taken over by Dell Comics. Dell published it for only a year before handing it over to Harvey, which published it until 1965.

 

After the comic book ended, Mutt & Jeff continued as a newspaper feature for another 17 years. But in 1982, after an impressive 75-year run — and having outlasted even the long-enduring tenure of Al Smith — the strip was finally laid to rest. Today, there are no definitive reprint editions, nor is the feature a merchandising bonanza. There aren't even very many devoted fans to lament the passing of what had by then become rather an old-fashioned series. But its place in the history of comics is secure."

 

From what I'm reading about the feature, apart from its early claim to fame, the feature itself is not the subject of many laudatory comments, attesting a lack of lasting quality to the strip itself.

 

Mutt & Jeff Page -

1370379-MuttJeff56Page1s.jpg

 

Cicero's Cat Page -

1370379-MuttJeff56Page2s.jpg

 

Mutt & Jeff Page - This one's for Jack -

1370379-MuttJeff56Page3s.jpg

 

Mutt & Jeff Page -

1370379-MuttJeff56Page4s.jpg

1370379-MuttJeff56Page4s.jpg.8cb1d16dbbade359e013e4e5d8221df4.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25,617 posts

# 155

 

My Friend Irma # 16 - from 143ksk

 

1375582-MyFriendIrma16s.jpg

 

Content:

9573 - Lee DeCarlo 6pg

9612 - Lee DeCarlo 3pg

9540 - Lee DeCarlo 1pg

9540 - Lee DeCarlo 1pg

9540 - Lee DeCarlo 1pg

9540 - Lee DeCarlo 1pg

9543 - Irma's Dept. of Utter Confusion! Lee DeCarlo 1pg activity

9544 - Irma's Fashions Lee DeCarlo 1pg doll

9574 - Lee DeCarlo 4pg

9540 - Lee DeCarlo 1pg

9611 - Lee DeCarlo 5pg

 

Here's one of those Atlas titles so feared by even the most arduous indexers. At least, all the features are My Friend Irmas.

 

1375582-MyFriendIrma-MaryWilson.jpg

 

As for the CBS Laff-Riot, My Friend Irma was a radio & TV situation comedy created by writer-director-producer Cy Howard. Dependable and level-headed Jane Stacy (Cathy Lewis) narrated the misadventures of her innocent and bewildered roommate, Irma Peterson (Marie Wilson), a dim-bulb stenographer. Wilson portrayed the character on radio, in two films and a TV series.

 

1375582-MyFriendIrma-MaryWilsonV.jpg

 

Irma was possibly the kookiest secretary in the entire world. She was friendly, enthusiastic, sexy, and very wacky. She just had no sense of logic. Irma was so dumb that she believed that flypaper was airline stationery paper!

 

The show's creator Cy Howard, who also went on to produce Life with Luigi, was hesitant to cast the lead roles because he felt that the show's success depended on the actresses' awesome portrayal of their characters. His uncertainty flew straight out the window when Cathy Lewis arrived to read the part of 'Jane Stacy.' At the time, Cathy Lewis, who started as a singer with Kay Kyser and Herbie Kay, was already well-established in the radio community. With Cathy Lewis on board, the show would soar, giving an average Hooper rating of 20-plus!

 

The show was on CBS on Monday nights from 10 to 10:30 DST

 

The hit radio series with Marie Wilson ran on CBS Radio from April 11, 1947 to August 23, 1954. The TV version, seen on CBS from January 8, 1952 until June 25, 1954, was the first series telecast from the CBS Television City facility in Hollywood.

 

The TV show actually changed format over time. First, in 1952 and 1953, the scene is New York City at Mrs. O'Reilly's Boarding House, 185 West 73rd Street, Manhattan, Apartment 3-B, was the residence of secretaries Irma Peterson, a

beautiful but dumb blonde, and Jane Stacey, a level-headed girl who is constantly plagued by Irma's scatterbrained antics. Stories depict their romantic heartaches: Irma and her boyfriend, the impoverished and jobless Al, a con artist who sees her, his "Chicken," as only a means by which to further his harebrained money-making ventures; and Jane and her boyfriend, her multi-millionaire employer, Richard Rhinelander III, an investment counselor who she struggles to impress and hope-fully one day marry. Jane, aware of a audience, speaks directly to the camera and establishes scenes.

 

1375582-MyFriendIrma-MarieWilsonIV.jpg

 

Then, in 1953 and 1954, Irma had a new roommate in newspaper reporter Kay

Foster (Jane had moved to Panama), her seven-year-old nephew Bobby had come to live with her, and she had a new boyfriend named Joe Vance. Her original nutty

neighbor Professor Kropotkin, the violinist at the Paradise Burlesque, was also gone, replaced by an eccentric actor, Mr. Corday. The original regulars left in the cast were Irma, her landlady Mrs. O'Reilly, and Mr. Clyde, the blustery, cranky

attorney for whom she worked.

 

The series was the first to be broadcast from the new CBS Television Center in Hollywood and was done live.

 

1375582-MyFriendIrmaMoviePoster.jpg

 

The movie My Friend Irma (1949) starred Marie Wilson and Diana Lynn but is mainly remembered today for introducing Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis to moviegoers, resulting in even more screen time for Martin and Lewis in the sequel, My Friend Irma Goes West (1950).

 

1375582-MyFriendIrmaLobbyCard.jpg

 

As for Marie Wilson, she was born on August 19th, 1916, Katherine Elizabeth Wilson in Anaheim, California, she began her show business career in New York City as a dancer on the Broadway stage. She gained national prominence with My Friend Irma on radio, television and on film and as a result built a career playing the quintessential blonde bimbo appearing in numerous comedies and performing in Ken Murray's famous Hollywood "Blackouts". During World War II, Wilson was one of the volunteer performers at the Hollywood Canteen.

 

This is a Marie Wilson with Ann Nagel but is it the Marie Wilson, I'm not sure. Any opinions?

1375582-MyFriendIram-MarieWilson-AnnNagel.jpg

 

Marie Wilson's talents have been recognized with three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to radio at 6301 Hollywood Blvd., for television at 6765 Hollywood Blvd., and for motion pictures at 6601 Hollywood Blvd.

 

1375582-MyFriendIrma-MaryWilsonIII.jpg

 

As for her post-1947-1954 Irma work: her open, grinning face belying her age, Wilson continued doing her dumb-blonde act into the 1960s, starring in summer stock and dinner-theater productions of Born Yesterday and appearing in commercials. Marie Wilson's last TV assignment was a voice-over role in the 1970 animated cartoon series Where's Huddles?; two years later, she died of cancer at the age of 56 on November 23rd, 1972.

 

You can listen to some My Friend Irma radio shows online with such episodes as Irma Inherits some Money, Irma and the Lonely Hearts club, Irma and the race horse or Irma's brother shows up.

 

Story 1 Page -

1375582-MyFriendIrma26Story1Page1s.jpg

 

Story 1 Next Page -

1375582-MyFriendIrma26Story1Page2s.jpg

 

One-Pager -

1375582-MyFriendIrma26OnePagers.jpg

 

Here's where young Roberta purpotedly lived in Brooklyn -

1375582-MyFriendIrma-Brooklyn-NY.jpg

 

Irma-isms Contest Result Announcement -

1375582-MyFriendIrma26Irma-isms.jpg

 

Here's the current Google Map location of the Contest address -

1375582-MyFriendIrma-MailingAddress-NY.jpg

 

Irma Fashions -

1375582-MyFriendIrma26IrmaFashion.jpg

 

Here's a 3-page sequence of Irma reminiscing about her school days -

1375582-MyFriendIrma26Story4PageTrue1s.jpg

1375582-MyFriendIrma26Story4Page2s.jpg

1375582-MyFriendIrma26Story4Page1s.jpg

1375582-MyFriendIrma-MarieWilsonIV.jpg.68ade6af6625794d01d07a90e1d72b95.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8,352 posts
# 155

 

My Friend Irma # 16 - from 143ksk

 

ANOTHER GREAT WRITE-UP! Sorry, no comments yet on Mutt & Jeff yet either, but I haven't finished reading it. This week has been so busy that I've barely been able to keep up with the Endless Obadiah thread. Please don't be discouraged by the lack of feedback.

 

I have to say that the ten or so posted pages of Irma is about all I could take at one sitting. This sort of "dumb bunny" humor wears out its welcome very quickly for me. When my son was young, there was a popular kids' book series about Amelia Bedelia that was just like Irma -- constant misunderstanding of the simplest phrases. I never made it through reading a whole book to him before it went back into the pile for something less exasperating (often Tintin).

 

Jack

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11,345 posts

I definitely just got a good primer in both Mutt and Jeff and My Friend Irma! 893applaud-thumb.gif

 

Definitely more fun to read all these carefully selected pieces than just, say, reading page after page of Toonopedia. Thanks to Scrooge, as always.

 

Btw, the cover galleries you've been posting lately are a great touch and I hope that when you get all of this into a more permanent format that you do the same for each of the titles.

 

Marc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25,617 posts
I have to say that the ten or so posted pages of Irma is about all I could take at one sitting. This sort of "dumb bunny" humor wears out its welcome very quickly for me.

 

I will admit that I felt the same way about 4 pages in because they packed the misunderstandings in at the pace of at least one every other panel. Sheeshh, it's pushing the limit and it is grating.

 

Marc, I wish I could edit my prior posts to put in those galleries. I must admit I started putting them in when I had little to mention about a book, just to fill in the entry but I agree that it helps place the issue at hand within the series context. cloud9.gif the GCD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17,068 posts

Geez Scrooge! You have contributed more to my comics education and its place in scontemporary society then just about anyone or anything I can think of. Thanks for all the effort! thumbsup2.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 posts

Scrooge wrote:

 

After Captain America creators Joe Simon and Jack Kirby left Timely after issue #10 of the eponymous book, Alascia penciled Cap's adventures in the sister title All Select Comics #2-10 (Winter 1943/1944 to Summer 1946), generally inked by Allen Bellman, and in several issues of All Winners Comics, with a variety of inkers, starting with #11 (Winter 1943/1944). Syd Shores and Al Avison had taken over art duties on Captain America Comics following the departure of creators Joe Simon and Jack Kirby after issue #10 (Jan. 1942), and Alascia shortly afterward filled-in as Shores' inker while Avison did his World War II military service.

 

Allen Bellman started his career doing backgrounds on Captain America stories pencilled by Syd Shores. Vince Alascia was Shores' primary inker. Bellman "never" inked any stories pencilled by Vince Alascia.

 

Alascia later went into rotation as one of the various Captain America artists in any given issue. Examples of his work in Cap's flagship title include the story "Ali Baba and His Forty Nazis" in Captain America Comics #32 (Nov. 1943), inking Ken Bald, and "The Crime Dictator" in Captain America Comics #47 (June 1945), which Alascia penciled. It was Alascia, inked by Bob Powell, who drew the Captain American and Bucky chapter in the landmark book-length, all-star stories of the All-Winners Squad in the (non-hyphenated) All Winners Comics #19 (Fall 1946) and #21 (Winter 1946; there was no issue #20). Additionally in issue #19, Alascia inked Shores on the Miss America chapter. In issue #21, he additionally pencilled both the Whizzer chapter and the final chapter, and inked Avison's Sub-Mariner chapter.

 

Ok, I think I may see where this came from. If you got a lot of these Timely credits

from the GCD I'm going to advise everyone to take them with a grain of salt. Many years ago when the GCD first started, the indexer who entered Timely credits put in pretty much whatever he wanted including made-up credits, and the result has been promulgated errors for years and years across printed material and web pages. It drives me absolutely up the wall how much damage has been done to accuracy. I've been slowly and systematically trying to correct the damage. Above, if "you" identified Alascia inked by Powell or if the credit is in the actual book, I'd have no problem. I could challenege you but at least it would all be opinions. But if the credit was from the GCD it is 100% likely wrong! Alascia was almost exclusively an inker on the Timely staff and Powell was inking no one. Powell was a penciller with his own stable of inkers and background artists like Howard Nostrand, Marty Epp and George Seifringer. Powell did no inking for Timely. He was never on staff and could not have ever inked Vince Alascia who was exclusively an inker and not even a penciller. When I went over the first ALL WINNERS masterworks after publication I saw the same incorrect Timely credits culled from the GCD. For the second upcoming volume I'm going over the credits in advance of publication for Marvel.

 

Doc V.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 posts

Howdy folks,

 

Sorry about replying a year late to this thread but in case no one has commented by now, the unsigned story above "The Man in the Lake" is by Allen Bellman. The -script is by Carl Wessler.

 

Doc V.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
6 6