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# 159


Nyoka, The Jungle Girl # 65 - Con Purchase





Nyoka in The Togangi Plot - Chapter I - The Mysterious Commander by ? 8 pgs

Colonel Corn and Korny Kobb in Stage Struck by ? 4 pgs

Nyoka in The Togangi Plot - Chapter II - The Strange Plantings by ? 6 pgs

Big Bow and Little Arrow in The Unlucky Question by ? 4 pgs

Nyoka in The Togangi Plot - Chapter III - The Barbed Wire Trap by ? 7 pgs


You right away notice that the book-length Nyoka story is broken up into multiple chapters, an editorial wink at Nyoka's origin as a serial heroine (link provided to Grant Tracey's site about serials). Let's retrace the origin of this character and Kay Aldridge's career (link provided to Jerry Blake's heroes and heroines page) back to 1942.




"Kay Aldridge (1917-1995), Republic's first official "serial queen," and still more popular than any other serial heroine except for Linda Stirling herself, was a Southern girl, born in Florida and raised in Virginia. Kay, a fair-to-middling actress (she often said so herself) possessed a charm and enthusiasm (not to mention beauty) that more than made up for her acting inexperience and occasional lack of poise. Initially a model, she started her movie career as an up-and-coming starlet, appearing in several movies for Twentieth Century-Fox (a Charlie Chan who-dun-it and SHOOTING HIGH, with Gene Autry, to name two), but, like so many other serial performers, her A-movie career didn't pan out and she was snapped up by Republic Pictures. Her first of three serials was a sort of pseudo-sequel to an earlier successful Republic outing, JUNGLE GIRL (Republic, 1941), with Frances Gifford, who had been unable to do another serial for Republic due to contractual obligations."




"The new cliffhanger was PERILS OF NYOKA (Republic, 1942), one of the five serials directed by William Witney without his usual partner John English. Kay was Nyoka Gordon, the daughter of a noted scientist, who joined an expedition in search of her missing father and the lost Tablets of Hippocrates, which Professor Gordon had been in search of when he disappeared. Their search is severely hampered by the machinations of Vutura (Lorna Gray) a desert ruler who covets the treasure that is hidden with the tablets. The expedition and Nyoka undergo a lot of perils, but with the help of the valiant Dr. Larry Grayson (Clayton Moore, in a dynamic performance), Nyoka finds her father, and Vultura and her Arab minions are destroyed. PERILS OF NYOKA, an offbeat and exotic serial, contained an incredible amount of varied action, from Larry sword-fighting with the Arabs to Nyoka's frequent cat-fights with Vultura to innumerable fistfights, gunfights, and chases, all courtesy of director Witney. The entire cast all seemed to be having a lot of fun--almost as much fun as the serial's audience. PERILS OF NYOKA was one of Republic's biggest hits, and they immediately began planning more vehicles for Kay, whose popularity was now soaring among serial fans."


"Kay's next serial was DAREDEVILS OF THE WEST (Republic, 1943). She played June Foster, the daughter of a stage line owner who was trying to gain a government franchise. [...] DAREDEVILS OF THE WEST, directed by John English, has often been cited as the best and most action-packed Western serial ever made, if not the best serial period. Unfortunately, the complete print has been lost, even to collectors, ever since its first release."


Here's Aldridge with Alan 'Rocky' Lane in Daredevils of the West (after she starred with Clayton 'Lone Ranger' Moore in Perils of Nyoka) -



"Kay's final serial was HAUNTED HARBOR (Republic, 1944). Kay, like Linda Stirling, shortly after left acting for marriage and private life. In later years, she charmed the guests at many serial conventions with her friendliness and willingness to discuss her serials with her fans."




"Republic's Nyoka was a throwback to the silent era when serial stars such as Pearl White and Ruth Roland were cliffhanger queens. Perils of Nyoka, its title borrowed from the earlier White vehicle, Perils of Pauline (1914), was another in a long cycle of jungle pictures. But this film differed from most of its sound-era ancestors (Tarzan the Fearless [1933] and Darkest Africa [1936]) in that a woman—the full-breasted and somewhat boyish Kay Aldridge—starred as a female Tarzan. Loosely based on the work of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Perils of Nyoka was an unofficial sequel to the previous year’s Jungle Girl (a so-so actioner with the beautifully vivacious Frances Gifford), but now the setting had shifted from the jungle to the desert, and her surname changed from Meredith to Gordon (in order to save on royalties to the Burroughs estate). Aldridge’s Nyoka is a little tougher than Gifford’s, as she (well, actually stunt-man Dave Sharpe with a blonde wig) leaps from rocky slags onto horse-riding villains, plunges eighty feet into water, and dangles precariously over bubbling lava. She fights the wicked temptress, Vultura, rescues Larry from Vultura’s id-like Gorilla, Satan, and kills men with deadly marksmanship.


Aldridge, except for a vaguely pretentious accent as she repeatedly intones "FAH-ther," was charming, independent and tough. Dressed in khaki big-game-hunter clothes (a short-pant suit) Nyoka, like Fenimore-Cooper’s Natty Bumpo, is at home in the wilderness. Whenever one of her men warns her of imminent danger, she refuses to hold back: she busts ahead to confront evil directly (not unlike Lois Lane in the Max Fleischer Superman cartoons, trying to get that first-rate news story). Her spunk, energy, and refusal to follow masculine authority is extremely appealing to young girls and makes Nyoka one of the great serial heroines. When Caitlin, my oldest girl, was six years old, this adventure about explorers questing for the Hippocratic tablets and their inscribed cure for cancer(!), was one of her favorite movies. And no wonder.


"Perils of Nyoka benefitted from a slightly above-average budget, but it wasn’t the increased production values, contrary to what Jim Harmon and Donald F. Glut assert (in The Great Movie Serials, Doubleday Press, 1972), that make this serial a gem. Nyoka was made for $175,000. That’s not much more than other Republic gems like Spy Smasher, made three months before for $156,000, and The Mysterious Dr. Satan , shot in 1940, for $147,381. And there were more lavish serials—Captain America cost the studio over $220,000 in 1942—that were a clunky mess. No doubt, the Republic sheen livens up the mise-en-scene and creates a believable alternate universe, but Perils of Nyoka is a winner because of the collected imaginations of its writers and the direction of William Witney. Witney’s innovative use of close-ups, cutaways, and shot sequences invest his visuals with comic-book verve. And several of his cliffhangers and accompanying resolutions are amongst the most exciting and kinetic within the genre.




The dramatic close to Chapter Six, "Human Sacrifice," captures the rhythmic rush of comic book art. Nyoka, attempting to rescue her father, Dr. Henry Gordon—who has been hit on the head, forgotten his past and become the ruler of the evil Tauregs—is captured in a cave by the dark queen Vultura (Lorna Gray with brooding Cleopatra eyeshadowing). Nyoka, suspended by a rope, limply dangles above bubbling lava. Drums pound incessantly, anticipating the sacrifice. Witney’s rapid edits are like the alternating sizes and perspectives of comic book panels, and the dramatic parataxis of these collisions builds across time as Witney’s camera, in syncopation, crosses Nyoka’s stillness with intense close-ups of Vultura’s evil eyes and medium shots of an indifferent Professor Gordon looking on. Witney’s dramatic switches in perspectives are like alternating the dimensions of comic book panels, building tension across a penciller’s lines—Nyoka, eyes, drums, Dad. Finally, Nyoka twists, the drum pounds, and she falls into the fiery pit."




"In Chapter Seven’s resolution to the cliffhanger, Witney adds a cutaway to the rhythms and a traditional rescue gets some untraditional treatment. (SPOILERS ahead.) Larry (pre-Lone-Ranger Clayton Moore) and fellow explorer Red rush to the top of a hole outside the cave. They look down. Inside, a high-angle, point-of-view shot reveals Nyoka still limply twisting above bubbling lava. Larry and Red toss her a rope. Nyoka glances upward, and as she falls into the fire, they pull her out, because her hands are now wound around the rope. This kind of cheat, or expansion of our knowledge from the previous chapter (Larry and Red were absent but now present in the retelling of the events) may frustrate some serial novices, but for those who enjoy the rules of the genre this is a highly imaginative moment. The rope rescue, Larry and Red outside the cave looking in, is a wonderful surprise. Less imaginative cliffhangers would have had Nyoka fall and somehow miraculously miss the large fiery pit in the cave’s floor."


"There are several other stunning, imaginative settings that Nyoka is placed in. Stalagmites almost impale her after she falls into a hole; a collapsing Solomon-type temple nearly crushes her to death; a Poe-like swinging pendulum almost chops her in half; and an underground "water tornado" flushes her out of the cave toward apparent doom. But my favorite cliffhanger in this film is quiet and subtle. It occurs at the end of Chapter Two: "Death’s Chariot." Witney takes a six-shot cliffhanger and in the following week’s resolution expands it to seven. That one additional shot says a lot about female agency.


Between chapters two and three, Nyoka moves from possible victim to a woman-of-action. The original cliffhanger sequence has six shots: Nyoka collapsed inside a hurtling chariot; Larry riding his horse trying to stop it; long-shot, chariot rushing ahead; return to Nyoka collapsed inside; chariot point-of-view (the camera is inside it), as it careens toward the cliff’s edge; chariot over the cliff, wheels twisting in the air. The chariot point-of-view shot is the key to reading the scene. Surely, this apparently unmotivated perspective must belong to someone and can’t be the look of an inanimate object. Chapter Three’s resolution of the cliffhanger replaces shots four and five with three new shots: Nyoka waking up; Nyoka’s point-of-view of the cliff’s edge; Nyoka jumping, rolling free. This is simple film-making, but it’s also innovative—Witney’s cheat shot (his ability to close the previously absent reverse shot and reveal the character who’s looking and complete the motivation for the camera-in-the-chariot shot) makes logical sense within the previous shots’ compositions. Nyoka’s ability to rescue herself, to not rely on Larry and his horse, makes her a '90s woman."


In the comics, her first comic appearance was in Jungle Girl #1 in 1945 which changed title to Nyoka the Jungle Girl with issue 2 which lasted until issue #77. This series was published by Fawcett. Charlton later published a 9 issue series in 1955. The Fawcett series had a number of photo covers from the serial. Nyoka also had a run as a back up story in Master Comics (1944+ = 51-132) as well as in X-Mas Comics.


Several Nyoka complete stories are available online -


Master 91 by Bernard Krigstein who, "to repay his family's medical expenses, churned out hundreds of pages for Fawcett from 1947-48. "I never signed them; they were hackwork of the purest distillation. But they were fun, and helped me learn my trade."


Nyoka 40


Nyoka - Chapter I - Splash -



Nyoka - Chapter II - Splash -



Nyoka - Chapter III - Splash -



Nyoka - Chapter III - Final Page -



Filler I Splash -



Filler II Splash -



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# 160


Operation Peril # 9 - eBay purchase





Cover by Ogden Whitney

Danny Danger by [Leonard Starr] 8 pgs

Pirate Paradise by ? 2 pgs

The Time Travelers by George Wilhems 8 pgs

Champion of the Rustlers by ? 2 pgs

Typhoon Tyler by Ogden Whitney 8 pgs


We will concentrate coverage on Ogden Whitney as he delivers the best inside story here behind this lackluster cover. For more about ACG, you should consult the recent Alter Ego # 61 that reprints Michael Vance's Forbidden Adventures - The History of the American Comics Group.


“Hughes must have felt that if nothing were ventured, nothing would be gained. The American Comics Group further attempted to diversify its line in the early 1950s, adding two adventure anthology books to its stable of comic book titles. Operation Peril was published for sixteen issues, from 1950 to 1953, while Soldiers of Fortune ran for thirteen issues, from 1951 to 1953. Both titles were heavily influenced by such newspaper comic strips as Roy Crane’s Wash Tubbs and Milton Caniff’s Terry and the Pirates. Both ACG titles also resembled early issues of such DC Comics’ titles as Adventure Comics and Action Comics, before they and many other comics became dominated by superhero characters.


Of the two ACG titles, Operation Peril offered a wider variety of genres and story content. Three features dominated the title: “Typhoon Tyler”, “Danny Danger” and “The Time Travelers”. They would remain the main features until the title was converted into a war comic near the end of its run.


Typhoon Tyler was Indiana Jones’s grandfather in style, exotic locale, and plots. Ogden Whitney drew this feature. Typhoon’s sidekick, Charlie, looked a great deal like a later ACG character – Herbie – only older and balding. Since Herbie was designed by Whitney to resemble himself physically, one might call the character of Charlie the first draft of Herbie. As for Typhoon, he was a handsome, two-fisted rogue who always fought for the right, though initially in his prime motivation seemed to be either filling his own pockets or winning a pretty girl. Danny Danger was a tough-as-nails private eye, in a strip drawn by Leonard Starr. The strip’s first-person narration and style were inspired by Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer novels, though diluted somewhat to eliminate the sex and violence. The Time Travelers traveled through time with much the same flourish and style that would grace DC Comics’ better-known series Rip Hunter, Time Master, which came many years later. Both teams found themselves entangled with everything from dinosaurs to Roman gladiators.


Operation Peril also featured Western, adventure, and horror stories set in exotic locations. These were dropped, however, when the book was reduced from its original 52-page length, leaving Typhoon, Danny, and the Time Travelers to carry the title until its change in format. Peril became a war comic in response to the success of Frontline Combat and Two-Fisted Tales, which were published by EC Comics. Soldiers of Fortune also joined the war comics craze, and both ACG titles quickly died of sales shock.”


“[Ogden Whitney], indisputably, was the artist most associated with ACG in the years immediately preceding and following the institution of the Comics Code. He illustrated the vast majority of covers on ACG titles in the post-code years (and many before), and his work appeared in one or more of their titles every month.


Before becoming the premier artist at ACG, Whitney was a well-traveled professional. He was born in 1918, and his first known comic book work was for Donenfeld’s National Comics, drawing “Sandman” and “Cotton Carver” in Adventure Comics in 1939. Editor and publisher Vincent Sullivan brought Whitney from National / DC when he (Sullivan) left to form Columbia. Whitney’s most popular work before ACG was in stories featuring the character “Skyman”. This superhero and aviator was created in 1939 by Gardner F. Fox and editor Vincent Sullivan (who had formerly been an early Superman editor) for Columbia Comic Corporation. Whitney became author as well as artist of Skyman with its issue # 67, and he illustrated the feature until he was inducted in the army in 1943. Skyman was billed as “America’s National Hero” and battled the enemies of America. Whitney returned to draw and often to write Skyman from 1946 to 1949. Whitney also did work for Novelty (“Old Cap Hawkins”, 1942), Hillman (true comics, 1948), ME (covers, 1948-54), Ziff-Davis (science-fiction and love titles, 1950), Marvel (weird, war, love, jungle titles, 1952-54; Two-Gun Kid, SHIELD titles, 1966), Quality (love titles, Robin Hodd, 1954-56) and Tower (Noman and Dynamo superheroes, 1966-68). In 1953, he was the artist on the comic strip “Ken Weston.”


You can see Alex Toth's comments on a complete Skyman story here and read another complete Skyman story from Skyman # 3 here.


Whitney came to ACG in 1950, penciling and inking for almost all of their titles, either on covers or interior stories. Whitney had a simple, direct style, using just enough background detail to make a scene look real without distracting from the main action. There was never any question about what was happening in a Whitney story, for he put telling the story ahead of looking “arty”. He had the rare ability to make even a minor story readable without overpowering it with his art, and he even tried his hand at painted covers on Adventures into the Unknown # 109-113.


How Ogden ended his career and his life is shrouded in mystery. But it is known that Whitney was never able to extricate himself from his drinking and died in obscurity sometime in the 1970s.”


Danny Danger by [Leonard Starr] Splash -




George Wilhelms (23/2/1913 - 6/2001, USA) In the early 1940s, George Carl Wilhems worked through the Binder and Sangor shops. During this period, he drew for Fiction House, doing among others 'Double-Slango Kids' in the Rangers of Freedom comic book, and other features like 'Camilla', 'Crash Barker', 'Gale Allen', 'Parachute Patrol' and 'Tabu'. He also contributed to Real Life Comics by Better Publications. An Army veteran of World War II, Wilhelms worked for the American Comics Group (ACG) in the 1950s and 1960s. He drew among others for the mystery comic books 'Forbidden Worlds' and 'Operation Peril' (the 'Time Travelers' series). Afterwards, he contributed to Gold Key's 'Twilight Zone'.


The Time Travelers by George Wilhems Splash -



The Time Travelers by George Wilhems Page -



Typhoon Tyler by Ogden Whitney Splash -



Typhoon Tyler by Ogden Whitney Page -



Typhoon Tyler by Ogden Whitney Page -



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# 160


Operation Peril # 9 - eBay purchase


Typhoon Tyler by Ogden Whitney Page -




As always, an intriguing glimpse into a title that I probably wouldn't investigate without a guide. Thanks, B'wana Michaël!


Interesting to see the borderless panels. I've read that those were mostly found at Dell/Gold Key because of their better printing facilities. Is that a myth, or did ACG also have access to higher quality presses and better craftsmen?



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As always, an intriguing glimpse into a title that I probably wouldn't investigate without a guide. Thanks, B'wana Michaël!


De rien, Sahib Jack. This book surprised me as well! I have a warped opinion of ACG, recalling mostly those okie post-code covers and I come to discover that pre-code ACG can be a lot of straight-forward fun. I avoided looking inside this book for well over a year and I am pleasantly surprised. The worst part of the book is the cover. Even though it has a nice 3-D feel to it, the appearance of the space-lizards is a let down.


Interesting to see the borderless panels. I've read that those were mostly found at Dell/Gold Key because of their better printing facilities. Is that a myth, or did ACG also have access to higher quality presses and better craftsmen?


I don't think it has to do with production quality, the use of borderless white panels is key. Production-wise they can certainly do it with no background color and art-wise, it's simple great use of white space by Whitney who liked to do that (See Toth's comments for more on that).


P.S.: Btw, the Wilhems story in this book is much better than that he drew in ACG's Forbidden Worlds for the same month.



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Interesting to see the borderless panels. I've read that those were mostly found at Dell/Gold Key because of their better printing facilities. Is that a myth, or did ACG also have access to higher quality presses and better craftsmen?


I don't think it has to do with production quality, the use of borderless white panels is key. Production-wise they can certainly do it with no background color and art-wise, it's simple great use of white space by Whitney who liked to do that (See Toth's comments for more on that).



I see -- it was borderless color panels that I was remembering. Carl Gafford is the one who gave me the information, quoted here:



Toth's commentary is a bit hard to read, isn't it?



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I claim foul. Even if it is a monster attacking you... you can't shoot him there. makepoint.gif

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I claim foul. Even if it is a monster attacking you... you can't shoot him there.


Pre-code. No holds barred.



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# 161


Out of the Night # 1 - eBay Purchase




Content: [iDs from the GCD]

Cover by Ken Bald

King of the Vampires by Charles Sultan 8 pgs

The Return of the Werewolf by Al Williamson 9 pgs

Time of Terror by Pete Gattuso 4 pgs

The Noose of Pearls by King Ward 7 pgs


It finally had to happen, I have little to no information on these guys. Well, ... almost. We all know Al Williamson and I am reposting his complete story here (posted elsewhere before) and Ken Bald has been extensively interviewed in Alter Ego in issue # 55 back in December 2005.


What's chagrining is the lack of information I could find about the other 3 (if we can trust the GCD's credits by LM). Pete Gattuso was mentioned recently in the Chesler thread as was Charles Sultan. King Ward's time in the industry was brief so it's more understandable but Sultan! I do hope there is more information about him out there that old-time historians will reveal to us eventually. It's too bad about Ward because he turns in the better job behind Williamson's.


George Tuska reveals that: "After high school I visited my aunt in New York City, where I ended up working a few odd jobs. One was designing women's costume jewelry. It was fun, but I soon found out that it just wasn't my thing. Shortly thereafter, a friend of mine invited me to work out with him, lifting weights at a local gym. I exercised for five hours that day. The next day I was so sore I couldn't get out of bed. My friend came over, and we dropped in to visit a friend of his who was a sculptor. His studio was on one of the West 70s Streets, overlooking Central Park. I never got to know his name, but he knew I was interested in art, so he recommended me to the National Academy of Design. At the time it was located at 104th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. Thus began my art career!


I had filled out an application as an artist and cartoonist at a professional agency in New York City. Will Eisner and Jerry Iger called for me to submit some art samples. I was soon accepted and asked to work in their studio. I worked alongside Bob Powell, Lou Fine, and Mike Sekowsky. Later the studio expanded, with Charles Sultan, John Celardo, Nick Cardy, and Toni Blum joining in. I worked on "Shark Brodie," "Spike Marlin," and other strips.


I soon left the Eisner & Iger studio to go work for Harry Chesler's shop. Chesler was currently handling some comics for Fawcett Publications, who couldn't keep up with the production of their successful and expanding line of comics. It was at this time I drew several early issues of Captain Marvel Adventures, as well as some other strips. We had a good group of artists at the Chesler shop: Ruben Moreira, Mac Raboy (who later worked for Fawcett), Ralph Astarita, and Charles Sultan, whom I had first met at Eisner & Iger's studio."


King of the Vampires Splash -



Williamson's The Return of the Werewolf Story -











Time of Terror Splash -



The Noose of Pearls Splash -



The Noose of Pearls Page -



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# 162


Patsy Walker # 39 - Bought from Tomorrow's Treasures




Content: [Credits from AtlasTales]

Cover by Al Jaffee

9646 7pg [Jaffee] Featuring: Patsy Walker

9647 Patsy's Club Page 1pg letters [Jaffee]

9654 6pg [Jaffee] Featuring: Patsy Walker

9596 Smooth as Silk 2pg text

9648 Patsy's Fashion Cut-Ups! 1pg doll [Jaffee]

9651 4pg [Jaffee] Featuring: Patsy Walker

9650 4pg [Jaffee] Featuring: Hedy Wolfe

9652 5pg [Jaffee] Featuring: Patsy Walker

9649 4pg [Jaffee] Featuring: Buzz Baxter

9653 6pg [Jaffee] Featuring: Patsy Walker

Notes: Includes parodies of Broadway star Lionel Barrymore ("Cornell Strathmore") and Hollywood actor Farley Granger ("Farley Ranger").


Continuing our exploration of the Timely line-up of teenage / working girls, we meet Patsy Walker whose career has span from 1944 to at least 2000.




According to the Toonopedia, "Patsy Walker is the Marvel Universe's queen of genre bending. She started out in teenage humor, dabbled in romance during the early 1950s, became a superhero in the '70s, wound up married to Daimon Hellstrom, Son of Satan, and has since joined the ranks of the Undead.


Patsy debuted in the second issue of Miss America Magazine (November, 1944) (where the eponymous hero was only one of several features). She got her own comic in 1945, as part of Marvel's girl-protagonist line, which at the time was rather extensive. With the possible exception of Millie the Model, Patsy was the most successful of the lot — her title was published continuously for twenty years; and that wasn't all. She also had a couple of spin-offs (Patsy & Hedy, 1952-67; and Patsy & Her Pals, 1953-57), and appeared in All-Teen, Teen Comics and Girls' Life during the 1940s and '50s.




During that time, Patsy was more-or-less a female Archie — a redhead who had a dark-haired rival (Hedy Wolfe), as well as the usual accoutrements of boyfriend (Buzz Baxter), parents, teachers, etc. Her publisher occasionally used the Katy Keene schtick of having her wear clothes based on readers' designs, and she did have a brief fling, starting in 1950 (when one of the hottest comics on the stands was Young Romance), of her comics being packaged like romance magazines. But otherwise, she was a fairly typical representative of the high school hijinx genre.


Borrowing from Doc V.'s Comic Art Gallery, here's some Hartley Patsy art -



By 1967, when the last title she was appearing in finally ended, Marvel had established a tradition of nurturing series-less characters, and trying to find ways to capitalize on them. That practice had hitherto been applied only to superheroes and the like — but in 1972, Patsy was back, as a supporting character in a series starring The Beast, a former member of The X-Men.


During the intervening years, she'd graduated high school and married Buzz — but their marriage was already on the rocks. By the time The Beast's short-lived series ended, she was a free woman, and had irrevocably become part of the superhero milieu.




It wasn't long before she got super powers of her own, first by acquiring devices formerly used by a minor early-1970s Marvel character called The Cat, and later through training by an older superhero, Moondragon, on Saturn's moon, Titan. Dubbing herself "Hellcat", she hung around with The Avengers for a while, then found a longer-lasting berth in The Defenders. In Defenders #89 (November, 1980), writers David Anthony Kraft and Ed Hannigan, and artists Don Perlin and Pablo Marcos, paid homage to Hellcat's off-genre origins by contriving to devote a page to a map of Patsy Walker's neighborhood.


It was during this period that Patsy met and married fellow Defender Daimon Hellstrom, the Son of Satan. Since then she's been killed off, got better, been retconned into Satan spawn in her own right, and later had her own comic again, or at least a mini-series — only this time, the name of it wasn't Patsy Walker, but Hellcat."


It seems that most of the book was drawn by Al Jaffee, better known today for his long-standing work on Mad.




"Al Jaffee (born March 13, 1921) is a cartoonist, best known for his work in MAD Magazine. He was born in what is now known as Savannah, Georgia.


Jaffee began his career in 1941 working as a comic book artist for several publications, including Timely Comics. He created several humor features for Timely, including "Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal". For approximately a year and a half in the late 1940's, Al Jaffee was editing Timely's humor and teen age comics. He joined the "Usual Gang of *spoon*" (as they call themselves) at MAD in 1955. In 1964 he created the MAD fold-in. The MAD fold-in, a feature in which a picture inside the back cover of the magazine is folded to reveal a new "hidden" picture (as well as a new caption), quickly became one of MAD's signature features and still appears in the magazine.




Jaffee has contributed to many MAD features both a writer and an artist. Some that he created include "Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions", and several articles on inventions and gadgets in an elaborately detailed style. Many of these features he has expanded into stand-alone books.


Jaffee continues to do commercial artwork for advertising, and he illustrates children's books. MAD's oldest regular contributor, he has appeared in at least 400 issues of the magazine, a total unmatched by any other writer or artist there.


Al's NCS profile -



During the March 13, 2006 episode of his show The Colbert Report, on Jaffee's 85th birthday, comedian Stephen Colbert saluted the artist with a fold-in birthday cake. The cake featured the salutory message "Al, you have repeatedly shown artistry & care of great credit to your field." But when the center section of the cake was removed, the remainder read, "Al, you are old."


Alter Ego ran an extended interview of Al conducted by Jim Amash, concentrating on his days at Timely. Here are some excerpts:


"JA: I know this is getting ahead of ourselves, but did you create “Patsy Walker”?


JAFFEE: I did not


JA: There’s been debate about this. Could Stuart Little or his wife Bessie have created her?


JAFFEE: Not Stuart Little. The name “Lord” comes to mind. Was there a lady working there with the last name Lord?


JA: I believe Ruth Atkinson Ford was the original artist.


JAFFEE: It may have been her, but I can’t say because I was in the service when Patsy was created. I know Chris Rule did “Patsy Walker,” but he had to co-ordinate with a writer, and that writer’s name was Lord. She came along later. I vaguely remember the name Bessie Little.


JS: She was an editor for some of Martin Goodman’s magazines


JAFFEE: Along with Mel Blum, and all those people? Well, she might have done that, because “Patsy Walker” was a response to a very successful movie and Broadway play, called Junior Miss. This was the age of the teenager; anything that had teenagers in it sold. That’s why Archie Comics became so popular at that time.


I know that a woman created “Patsy Walker” and Chris Rule did the artwork. Stan Lee decided to give it to me. I think what Stan liked about me, and maybe others like me, was that we were writer/artists. The communications between your writer self and artist self was clearer. You’d write a story, knowing what kind of dramatic effect you wanted in the art. Also, I think, to Stan’s credit, he saved himself a lot of work. If he found a writer/artist he could trust, he could just hand that person a job and leave them alone. There’d be less traffic for him to deal with. He never edited my stuff. "


"Jaffee: By the way, a number of years ago, Stan Goldberg came over to me and asked if I had any of my Patsy Walker comics. I told him I didn’t. Stan said, “Well, I’m going to give you a fresh batch of them and I’ll tell you why. I’ve read and reread the stories that you did, and I got so many story ideas from them.” Now, I don’t mean that he was copying my stuff; what he was saying was that by reading a Patsy Walker he got ideas for stories of his own.


I did the same thing. I listened to the teenage radio shows, and they’d give me an idea of an area to do a story. Naturally, I couldn’t copy a radio show in a five-page comic book story, but it gave me a place to go. That’s what Stan was saying, and I thought it was a great compliment to me.


Getting back to your question about signing out work at Timely, I personally would have been reluctant to sign something I didn’t create. “Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal” was signed because I created It., and Stan Lee didn’t have any objection. But when lawsuits began to crop up, like Siegel and Shuster with Superman, I think the word must have come down from somewhere to drop the bylines. Look, they didn’t have to give us instructions. They could have just taken the credits out."


Patsy Splash - Pay close attention to the person on TV for a "freer" Jaffee, a harbinger of his later work for Mad.



Hedy Splash -



Patsy Page -



Patsy Fashion -



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# 163


Paul Terry's Comics # 91 - eBay purchase





Various lengths stories with the usual cast of Terry-Toons


We have already visited this neighborhood with the coverage of Dinky Duck, Heckle and Jeckle and Mighty Mouse, all Terry-Toons characters who earned their own comic series. For this entry, I will shift the focus to the father of them all: Paul Terry. [bio info cobbled from multiple online sources as well as Maltin's and Barrier's books]




Paul Terry (February 19, 1887–October 25, 1971) --born in San Mateo, raised in San Francisco--attended Polytechnic High and began as a cartoonist in newspapers (San Francisco Bulletin, San Francisco Call-Examiner) between 1904 and 1914. After having drawn comics for King Features in 1913, Mr. Terry moved on to producing many, many cartoons between the years of 1915 and 1955


Paul Terry became interested in animation around 1914, after viewing Winsor McCay's GERTIE THE DINOSAUR. While working as an illustrator at the New York Press, he began work on his first film, LITTLE HERMAN, which he sold to the Thanhouser film company. After contracting some work from William Randolph Hearst, he beame a staff artist at the J. R. Bray Studios, producing his Farmer Alfalfa series. He left Bray in 1917 to join the Army. At the end of WW I, Terry formed a company with several fellow animators and produced Farmer Alfalfa cartoons for Paramount until 1920. In 1920 he teamed with writer Howard Estabrook and began making the Aesop's Fables series for Pathé, many featuring Terry's Farmer Alfalfa character. To fund the cartoons, Terry set up an arrangement with The Keith-Albee Theater circuit, and formed Fables Pictures, Inc. The company was 90% owned by Keith-Albee (which eventually became RKO), with Terry owning the remaining 10%.


In 1928, Keith-Albee sold their interest in the renamed Fables Studio to Amadee J. Van Beuren and his Van Beuren Productions. Terry and Van Beuren disagreed over the direction the cartoons should take. Van Beuren wanted to synchronize the sound tracks, while Terry was content to add simple sound tracks to his silent product. The disagreement led to Terry leaving Fables Studio.


Terry then teamed with animator Frank Moser and formed a new company. They released their product through Educational Pictures, who in turn supplied the cartoons to the short-subject department of Twentieth Century Fox. Terry continued to resist changes in the production of his animated product. Terry's first color cartoon wasn't released until 1938, and that was only because of pressure from Fox and Educational.




The Terrytoons studio, located in New Rochelle, New York, United States, operated from 1928 to 1968. Its most popular characters included Mighty Mouse, Gandy Goose, Dinky Duck, Deputy Dawg, Luno and Heckle and Jeckle; these cartoons and all of its others were released to theatres under the studio's solitary Terrytoons banner by 20th Century Fox.


Through much of its history, the studio was considered one of the lowest quality houses in the field to the point where Paul Terry noted, "Disney is the Tiffany's in this business, and I am the Woolworth's." To that end, it had the lowest budgets and it was among the slowest to adapt to new technologies such as sound (in about 1930) and Technicolor (in 1942), while its graphic style remained remarkably static for decades. This conservative attitude was aggravated by its inflexible release schedule which Paul Terry took pride for providing a new cartoon every other week, regardless of the cost to the quality of the films.


Despite these practices, Terrytoons was nominated four times for the Academy Award for Animated Short Film: All out for V in 1942, My Boy, Johnny in 1944, Mighty Mouse in Gypsy Life in 1945, and Sidney's Family Tree in 1958.


The studio was sold outright by the retiring Paul Terry to CBS in 1955; 20th Century Fox continued to distribute the studio's releases. The following year, CBS put it under the management of UPA alumnus Gene Deitch, who had to work with even lower budgets. Deitch's most notable works at the studio were the Tom Terrific cartoon segments for the Captain Kangaroo television show. He also introduced a number of new characters, such as Sick Sick Sidney, John Doormat, and Clint Clobber. Deitch brought much creativity and life to the Terrytoons cartoons, but because he was the new man at the studio, he wasn't entirely welcome. An internal battle was fought by studio stalwarts and unfortunately, Deitch was forced out.




After Deitch was fired in 1958, Bill Weiss took control of the studio. Under his supervision, Heckle and Jeckle and Mighty Mouse went back into production. In addition, the studio began producing the Deputy Dawg series for television in 1960.


The most notable talent at Terrytoons in the 1960s was animator/director/producer Ralph Bakshi, who got his start with Terrytoons in the 1950s and later helmed the Mighty Heroes series. Bakshi would later go on to direct "Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures" in 1987.


After the departure of Bakshi after 1966, the studio basically petered out and finally closed in 1968; however, the film library was still regularly rereleased to theatres by 20th Century Fox. Fortunately for the studio, its existing cartoon library saw a long life in TV reruns. The Terrytoons cartoons (especially Mighty Mouse and Deputy Dawg) were syndicated to many local TV markets, and they were a staple of after-school and Saturday morning cartoon shows for over three decades, from the 1950s through the 1980s, until the television rights to the library were acquired by USA Network in 1989 and has hardly been used since.


In the 1970s, the CBS Films properties were spun off to create Viacom, which itself re-merged with CBS in 1999. Fox, meanwhile, held the worldwide theatrical rights to Terrytoons until Viacom merged with Paramount Pictures in 1994. Today, with Viacom once again split from CBS, Paramount Pictures (still a Viacom division) handles the theatrical and home entertainment distribution of the classic Terrytoons library, while CBS Paramount Television (having split from Viacom) holds television distribution, even though the Terrytoons cartoons have not been seen since it was withdrawn from television syndication in the 1980s.


In the late 70's, Filmation Studios licensed the rights in order to make a new Mighty Mouse series. Later in 1987, Ralph Bakshi produced Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures which lasted for two seasons. Bakshi and John Kricfalusi inspired the staff to try and get as much Jim Tyer style drawing in the show. Tyer, a stand out Terry animator of the original cartoons, with an absolutely weird and unique way of animating the Terrytoon Characters, became a strong influence on the artists of the Bakshi series. In 2002, the Terrytoons characters returned to television in an original commercial for cheese. A brand-new feature-length animated film featuring Terrytoons is now in development by Paramount and sister cable network Nickelodeon.


You know that I have a soft-side for Timely funny animals work. Seeing how St John handled these characters after Timely makes one's senses hurt. To ease the pain (and thanks to my recent purchase from ShiverBones), I'll add some 1945 Timely Terry-Toons pages to this post. The contrast is shocking.


Mighty Mouse Final Page -



Gandy Goose and Sourpuss Splash -



Heckle & Jeckle Page -



Terry Bears Page -





Terry Toons # 30 - this issue was published pre-Mighty Mouse first comic appearance -



Gandy and Sourpuss Splash - Check out that Gorilla! -



Oscar Pig and Grunty Story - Note that the story "features" both Veronica Pond which allows me to re-post a pic of Veronice Lake and the leading man is a caricature of Mike Sekowsky - The location given for the Isle is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean -









Veronica cloud9.gif -



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# 164


Pep Comics # 90 - eBay purchase





Cover by [Joe Edwards]

Archie in Winter Carnival by ? 7 pgs

Suzie in The Hats in the Fire by ? 6 pgs

Wilbur in For Goodness Sake by Joe Edwards 7 pgs

Jughead in Knights of the Night by ? 6 pgs

Katy Keene by Bill Woggon 6 pgs

Li'l Jinx in Too Good to be True! by Joe Edwards 5 pgs




It becomes difficult to cover the many Archie titles as they involve generally the same characters and the same creators. Fortunately, this entry features an important series, one of MLJ's big Four and I will repeat Michele Nolan's words in her CGC Newsletter coverage:


"Pep was the longest-running title with a superhero. The Shield, the original patriotic hero, appeared from #1 (Jan. 1940) through #65 (Jan. 1948). But you've got to look a lot harder at Pep than you do at Blue Ribbon or Top Notch.


The Comet – an original concept with blazing eyes – ran in #1-16, followed by his death in #17. It was in that issue that MLJ's best period piece, The Hangman, took over in a unique story. The Comet became the first comic book superhero to die in that tale; The Hangman, his brother, succeeded him. Nifty concept.


Minor characters abound in Pep: The Press Guardian #1-11, Fireball #12-20 (a Human Torch knockoff), and Madam Satan #16-21. Captain Commando started in #30 and ran in most issues through #56. None of these are worth getting too excited over.


So your best bet is to get one issue of Pep #1-11, followed by another issue of Pep #16-20. If you can get #17, though, that's a true prize. The most sought-after issue of Pep, of course, is #22 (Dec. 1941) with the first Archie story, but that is a spendy, spendy book, especially considering that the story has been reprinted several times. Veronica first appeared in #26, making all the difference in the world in the success of the series; Betty and Jughead were there from the start.


Just about any issue of Pep with Shield and Hangman stories (#17-47) is well worth acquiring. It's one of the most underrated of all Golden Age comics, since you get early Archie and Co., along with Captain Commando."


Of course the book by issue # 90 is a vastly different entity with the Riverdale folks having long over-taken the content. I've decided still to keep the focus on the Pep run and its Riverdale denizens. I propose an historical iconographic study of the main four players: Archie, Betty, Jughead and Veronica. The montages below are chronological drawing from Pep issues from # 22 with the characters' first appearance (# 26 for Veronica, of course) and stretching across then down up to the last Shield issue or thereabouts.


Archie - As mentioned elsewhere, Archie gained a few years very quickly in the series. It would take a few more issues for him to acquire his "waffle" hair-cut and yet an extra year to "stabilize" in his depiction.



Betty - This may be surprising to most but Betty's "model" was very fluid over the early years. What was most striking to me going over these stories is that Betty must have spent a semester or two studying abroad away from Riverdale because she is absent for a significant stretch of issues in the 30's and 40's.



Veronica - Contrast her evolution, or lack thereof, to Betty's. Veronica was born perfect (Boy, would she like to hear that!) and little was altered in her appearance beyond artistic differences in the illustrator's style.



Jughead - Jughead's visual character congealed faster than Archie. We do notice that his nose lengthened over time.



Archie Story Splash -



Suzie Story Splash -



Katy Keene Splash -



K.O. Fashion Page -



Archie In-House Ad Combo -



Tootsie Roll Ad - One of the best I've run across and worthy to be posted here -



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# 165


Perfect Crime # 22 - Con Purchase





Cover by ?

Steve Duncan in Boom Town by Cal Massey 8 pgs

The Man they Could not Kill by ? 6 pgs

Marked for Murder by ? 5 pgs

Crime by Fire by ? [illegible / signed] 3 pgs

Sgt. Audley V. Walsh Speaks 2 pg text [same artist illo]

The Squeeze by ? [same artist signed] 3 pgs


Here's another interest title from a small publisher. Cross Publications ran only 3 series with the Perfect Crime running the longest: 33 issues from 1949 to 1953. In contrast, the other two properties lasted respectively 4 and 5 issues. 4 issues of Uncle Milty starring Milton Berle and 5 issues of Super Circus, another property.




Scott Shaw! in an entry of his Oddball Comics series states that: "Super Circus [...] is based on the SUPER CIRCUS TV series, which was a long-running (January 16, 1949 – June 3, 1956) and popular circus-themed children’s show that starred Claude Kirshner as the ringmaster and Mary Hartline as his curly-haired blonde assistant. The series also featured three clowns: “Cliffy” (Cliffy Sobier), “Scampy” (Bardy Patton and Sandy Dobritch) and “Nicky” (Nicky Francis). SUPER CIRCUS originated in Chicago but relocated to New York in 1955 with mustachioed loudmouth Jerry Colonna as the new ringmaster.”


Ad featuring the Super Circus cast -



The run of Perfect Crime showcases some very strong visual cover as represented in this composite shot -



Perfect Crime seemingly played up the "good" aspect of Crime comics on its cover: "How Police Smash the Perfect Crime" and "The Crusade against Crime & Murder" but the interiors bely that this is a different brand of crime comics. The editor made the decision though to add language on every page that Crime does not pay such as: "The murderer is always weak! He can't make a Perfect Crime" or "The Perfect Crime will always produce the Perfect Clue."


The lead story in this issue is signed by Cal Massey with whom I am familiar due to his Atlas work. AtlasTales.com records 50 Massey stories between 1951 and 1957, mostly in Crime and War comics with the odd Romance and Western story sneaking in.


In February 1996, the Philadelphia Inquirer ran an interview with Massey:


"Cal Massey said that the wonderful images that appear on his canvases come to him during his daily meditations. He jots them on notecards and stores them in a filing cabinet that stands near the easel in his studio. "Everything in my work is spiritual," the 70-year-old artist said.


Entering the artist's home/gallery studio on Dawson Street is almost a spiritual experience in itself. Messiah, a rendition of a black Christ as one with the earth, standing between the galaxies and the oceans, is the first painting a visitor notices. Near it hangs "Angel Heart", which Massey considers one of his most popular works, inspired in part by the lack of black angels in traditional artwork. The angel's hair, styled in a full Afro, is a tribute to the natural beauty of the black woman, Massey said.


For years, Massey's work has represented the black community in the art world. Now the artist, whose work already hangs on the walls of Congress members and rock stars, will see his work hang from the necks of Olympians. Massey was one of 13 artists from around the world chosen to design a commemorative medal for the 1996 ,Summer Olympics in Atlanta. His design, The High Jump, depicts a young black woman - her back arched slightly, her knees bent - as her thighs begin to top the bar. He said his is the only medal that features an athlete of color.


"I'm proud to be a role model," Massey said.


The High Jump will be cast in sterling silver and run two inches in diameter. The medals will go on sale in late March or early April, and remain available until after the Games end. The Olympic Committee expects to raise more than $20 million through the sale of the commemorative medals. Massey, a former Franklin Mint designer and sculptor, designed the mint's first commemorative medal -a Mac arthur Memorial Medal- and went on to design more than 200 medallic designs for the mint.


He began drawing at age 4, when he traced newspaper comic strips by holding them up to a window. Growing up with his mother and four siblings in Morton, Delaware County, the young artist used pen and paper to communicate with the world around him. One of his brothers communicated with sound. Once, Massey joined his musician brother at a jazz band rehearsal in the city, and found himself sketching John Coltrane and other greats of that era. After graduating from the Hussian School of Art in Philadelphia in 1950, Massey went into the comic book industry. There, he drew everything from science fiction tales to so many war stories "that I got battle-fatigued." But without that experience the artist said, he doesn't think he'd be where he is today.


"As a comic book illustrator, I drew blood and guts all the time, but you got to do what you got to do," Massey said. "Comic strips are behind all these works here today." It's hard to see that as one examines the paintings hanging in the artist's home and gallery. The colors Massey uses are soft ones- pinks, greens, and yellows - that gently blend into each other, not the bold red and blues of the strips. The subject matter is different, too. A supernatural of a different kind is being appreciated in Massey's work now. His "Genesis" series featuring orbs of orange fire and blue ice, are strong, spiritual works.


The faces staring out from Massey's canvases aren't all unfamiliar. He used his grandson's face as a model when he illustrated "My First Kwanzaa Book" a few years ago. A neighborhood girl modeled for the painting "African Woman in Bondage", and it is his wife's figure striking a proud pose in "Ashanti Woman".




The Olympic committee invited Massey to submit work to its competition after seeing a sculpture he did for the Statue of Liberty's renovation project in the mid-1980's.Massey's bas-relief plaque showed two women arriving on Ellis Island from the French West Indies. As now, Massey's work in the show was the only one depicting individuals of color. Although friends tell him it's time to retire, Massey believes that age is a matter of arteries." Besides, he can't stop now: "I still have 200 more paintings to do" he said, gesturing to his filing cabinet."


His son-in-law recently shared that Cal "tells a story of when he worked in comics in the fifties in NYC, including for a time under the great Jack Davis. Jack was super busy and successful already, but also very nice in a strange way: he helped out the younger struggling artists by tossing out his brand new sable brushes EVERY EVENING so the guys could scramble for them in Jack's wastebasket (carefully placed on top) and get free, like-new brushes!”


Attractive Massey Splash -



Massey Next Page -



Massey Next Page -



The Man they Could not Kill Splash -



Marked for Murder Page -



The Squeeze Splash -



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# 166


Perfect Love # 4 - eBay purchase




Scandal or Romance by ? 8 pgs

Jean Simmons and Stewart Granger - They Fought for Happiness by Everett Raymond Kinstler 5 pgs

I Loved a Toreador by ? 8 pgs

The Voice of my Heart by ? 6 pgs


Here's another product of the star-burst that Ziff-Davis was in the early 50's. The title was short-lived and quickly forgotten. The GCD has few of the covers in its gallery.




For those paying close attention, issue # 4 is listed as April-May on the cover, yet I included it in my set because issue # 3 is listed as Winter and I have made the decision to include Spring issues in the set hence by default issue # 4 was selected for this title. A date stamp on the back of the book placed it on newsstands on Feb. 8, 1952.


The only identified artist this issue is Ray Kinstler, generally ubiquitous in Avon books but who also gladly worked for Ziff-Davis as they paid better than anyone else in the industry at the time. In fact, here is an excerpt from Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr's book on and with Kinstler: "Everett Raymond Kinstler: The Artist's Journey Through Popular Culture, 1942-1962".


"1952 was a profitable year for Ray. It would be eight years before he again reached the income level of that year, but the success came with a price. He had to deliver two hundred jobs, including one hundred and twenty-five to Avon alone. Each job required him to make at least one unique trip to the publisher. The time spent picking up and delivering jobs was eating into the time he could devote to actually working and to his personal paintings. Often he could combine visits to more than one company, but the outings were occurring three or four times a week.


Some of his 1952 work was for the Ziff-Davis Publishing Company, where the rates were half again as high as at Avon. It was there that he first met long time friend Herb Rogoff. Rogoff was one of the editors who replaced Jerry Siegel, the man who had been hired to launch the Z-D comic book line.


Rogoff, a comic veteran of five years, had been a sports cartoonist, a writer for Hillman Publications, and an assistant editor under Siegel. At the time Herb was promoted to the editor position, Ray Kinstler had only done one or two single-page ‘fillers’ for Siegel. “I had seen Ray’s Ziff-Davis work,” says Rogoff, “ I thought he was ninety years old! This was James Montgomery Flagg in the flesh. When he came up to deliver a job and I saw him for the first time, I said, ‘You can’t be! You can’t be Ray Kinstler. You’re too young!’ [scrooge Note: Kinstler, born in 1926, was in fact 26] But he was, and he continued to produce the most marvelous pen and ink work I’d seen.”


Rogoff also attended Music and Art High School but started a year after Ray. They were essentially the same age, which lends an informed air to his recollections of the young Kinstler.


“Ray was a good looking guy and he didn’t sound like he was from New York City. He dressed quite nattily and he liked baseball. The first job I gave him was to draw cover portraits of the hosts for our three sports comics. We had Bill Stern’s Sports Book, Red Grange’s Football Thrills and Bob Feller’s Baseball Thrills.


Scrooge: Here's a small gallery of ZD's sports books with a picture of each host -




“The only time I ever saw Ray disheveled was the time he painted a Wildboy cover for us overnight. It was a passable job, quite remarkable, actually, for an oil painting done start-to-finish in less than twenty hours. We paid him for it, but it was eventually replaced with a line drawing pen and ink cover. It was following a series of covers by famed pulp cover artist Norman Saunders and the discrepancy was just too great.”


Scrooge: Looking over the Wildboy covers, the cover was intended for issue # 7, August-September 1952. Here's the cover actually printed.



By 1953 the Ziff-Davis comic book line had folded. The inventory of stories and the reprint rights were sold to Archer St. John, who paid the same rate as everyone else. Ray did not pursue work at St. John but looked elsewhere in an effort to find assignments that would allow him to spend more time in the studio and less time on the streets of New York delivering jobs.


The difficulty lay in the nature of the pulp and comic book markets. The pulps required one or two illustrations per story. The comic book format was four to six stories per issue. The editors of both wanted variety, so an artist was seldom commissioned to illustrate more than a portion of an issue.”


I highly recommend the book for more about Ray's career in comic, pulp and magazine illustration. The book is lavishly illustrated with crisp reproductions on slick paper.


Scandal or Romance Splash - Young school teacher Phyllis Grant is asked to tutor after class hunky Don Rockford, 22, a returning student who left high-school at 16 for a 5-year stint in the Navy. Romance ensues in spite of the town's disdain. Phyllis eventually gets her day at the school board meeting to defend her love and her position is maintained and she marries Don.




Jean Simmons and Stewart Granger - They Fought for Happiness by Everett Raymond Kinstler - This is "A True Perfect Love Story". Kinstler illustrates in this 5-pager the ups-and-downs of Simmons and Granger relationship to their marriage that was delayed by their career demands. Here's the complete story with bio annotation -






Here's how Stewart Granger ended on the set of Caesar and Cleopatra where he met Jean Simmons -



Caption: Frankfurt, Germany, April 12, 1955: British film star Stewart Granger does some shopping during a brief stop at the Rhein-Main airport. Granger was on his way back to London from Pakistan, where he completed location shots for his latest film, Bhowani Junction, which also starred Ava Gardner.


"Stewart Granger was born James Leblanche Stewart in London, the grandson of the actor Luigi Lablache. He attended, Epsom College but left after deciding not to pursue a medical degree. He decided to try acting and attended Webber-Douglas School of Dramatic Art, London. By 1935 he made his stage debut in "The Cardinal at Hull". He was with the Birmingham Repertory Company between 1936 and 1937, and in 1938 he made his debut in the West End, London in "The Sun Never Sets". He had been gradually rising through the ranks of better stage roles when World War II began, and he joined the British Army in 1940. However, he was eventually disabled (1942) which brought his release from military service.


With a dearth of leading men for British movies he quickly landed his first film opportunity The Man in Grey (1943) for Gainsborough Pictures. This was the first installment of the company's successful series of romance films. Not to be confused with American actor 'James Stewart' , James Leblanche Stewart became Stewart Granger (though he was 'Jimmy' to his off-screen friends). But the film work was unsatisfying. He was forever cast as the dashing hero type, while fellow up-and-coming actor 'James Mason' always garnered the more substantial Gainsborough part. When Mason got the nod from Hollywood, Granger inherited better parts and in some star company in one case, the sophisticated Caesar and Cleopatra (1945) with Claude Rains and Vivien Leigh and a very young bit player already being noticed, 'Jean Simmons' ."


and here's how Jean Simmons ended on that same set:




"JEAN MERILYN SIMMONS was born on January 31, 1929 to Charles Simmons, a gymnastics instructor and former Olympic athlete, and his wife, Winifred Ada (Loveland) Simmons. The youngest of four children, Jean was a high-spirited child who grew up happily in a working class suburb of London, England and attended the Orange Hill School for Girls in Golders Green.


Shortly after World War II broke out in 1939, Jean and her siblings (Edna, Harold and Lorna) were evacuated to Somerset. In 1943, she returned to London and enrolled, along with her sister Edna, in the Ada Foster School of Dance. Two weeks after she arrived, film producer Val Guest came to the school searching for a young girl to play Margaret Lockwood's teenage daughter in his upcoming film GIVE US THE MOON (1943). Despite her lack of experience, Jean won the role and impressed the producer with her instinctive talent and ability to cry on command.


For the next few years, with the help of dance mistress Ada Foster, Jean secured bit parts in other British productions including MR. EMMANUEL and MEET SEXTON BLAKE (both 1944). She didn't seriously consider acting as a profession however, and instead, completed her teacher's license at age 16. Nevertheless, her performance in THE WAY TO THE STARS (1945) caught the attention of producer Gabriel Pascal (who had launched the film careers of British leading ladies Vivien Leigh and Deborah Kerr), and to Jean's surprise, Pascal offered her a seven-year contract with the J. Arthur Rank Studio. Still just 16 years old, Jean accepted. Shortly thereafter, her father Charles died suddenly at age 57.


Under contract to Rank, Jean's first film appearance (as a harpist in CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA (1946)), did little to further her career."





"After their encounter, Granger's lead roles to the end of the decade were substantial, but Simmons was unwittingly moving on into British film history with small but memorable roles for 'David Lean' , 'Michael Powell' , and in a big way, 'Lawrence Olivier' , as Ophelia in his historic Hamlet (1948) for which she received an Oscar nomination. Granger and she were brought together as co-stars in the comedy Adam and Evelyne (1949) . This time around the chemistry off camera was there as well, and they became engaged. About the same time Granger's hope of interesting Hollywood was realized for him and his bride-to-be. He married and signed with MGM in 1950. Once in Hollywood he was getting star billing leads in romantic roles that the audiences loved."




As for Jean, "in the fall of 1950, [she] visited the United States to promote TRIO (1950), a collection of three Somerset Maugham stories in which she appeared, and when Life Magazine chose the film as its Motion Picture of the Week, Jean earned a spot on the magazine's cover. A few weeks later, Jean returned to the United States, this time with Gabriel Pascal who had arranged for Jean to appear in his first American production, a film adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's ANDROCLES AND THE LION, which was to be filmed at RKO. Shortly after she arrived however, on December 20, 1950, 21-year-old Jean eloped to Tucson, Arizona and married 37-year-old Stewart Granger (who had signed with MGM and moved to Hollywood the previous year). Upon her return to California, Jean suddenly found her career at a standstill when ANDROCLES AND THE LION ran into production problems and, unbeknownst to Jean, RKO head Howard Hughes purchased the remaining six months of her Rank contract. In July 1951, Simmons (advised by Granger) entered into contentious contract negotiations with RKO, but when Hughes claimed that an oral agreement with Rank precluded her being loaned to any other studio, Simmons and Granger sued RKO. The legal battle raged for over a year, during which time she completed ANDROCLES AND THE LION (1952) and appeared opposite Robert Mitchum in Otto Preminger's noir thriller ANGEL FACE (1952). When the suit was finally settled, RKO had a three-year contract for Jean's services but was obligated to pay the Grangers $250,000 in addition to their legal fees. Furthermore, Jean won the right to work on loan to other studios -- and at a substantial salary."





The couple worked in several films together as in 1953's Young Bess about the coming of age of Queen Elizabeth I, where Granger had the romantic lead, but Simmons was the focus of the movie.



"In June 1956, the Grangers became United States citizens, and the following September, Jean gave birth to a daughter whom she named Tracy after her friend and THE ACTRESS co-star Spencer Tracy. The Grangers were also joined in Hollywood by Stewart's two children, Jamie and Lindsay, whose mother had become ill and was no longer able to care for them. In 1957, Jean and Stewart purchased an 8,000-acre ranch in Nogales, Arizona where the couple set up house and Stewart pursued a keen interest in raising cattle. Over the next three years, despite her residence in Arizona, Jean forged ahead with her career, appearing in a series of high-profile films for various studios, many of which were bolstered above their modest potential by Jean's sincere performances. She made a crucial contribution to Robert Wise's war-time drama UNTIL THEY SAIL (1957) opposite Paul Newman, and gave one of the best performances of her career in William Wyler's epic western THE BIG COUNTRY (1958) with Gregory Peck."




"Jean's film career hit its peak in 1960 with the release of three major films. She traveled to Spain to replace Sabine Bethmann as Kirk Douglas' wife in the slave epic SPARTACUS (1960) which featured an all-star cast and proved a runaway success at the box office. Then, in Richard Brooks' ELMER GANTRY (1960), she played evangelist Sister Sharon Falconner opposite Burt Lancaster's Oscar-winning performance as the title character, and was unjustly overlooked for an Oscar nomination herself. Lastly, she traveled to England to appear with friends Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr and Robert Mitchum in the drawing room comedy THE GRASS IS GREENER (1960), giving perhaps the best comic performance of her career.


While in England shooting THE GRASS IS GREENER in June 1960, Jean announced her intention to seek a divorce from Granger, and the suit was filed three weeks later in Arizona. As Granger himself commented to the press, "I don't mind Jean leaving me. It's like a child breaking away from an over-protective parent." (*4) When the divorce was granted, Jean retained custody of Tracy and, on November 1, 1960, married writer-director Richard Brooks who had directed her in ELMER GANTRY. Following the birth (in July 1961) of a second daughter, Kate, named after Katharine Hepburn, Jean took time off from her career to raise her children."


Jean Simmons is still alive at 78, living in Southern California while Stewart Granger died of cancer in Santa Monica in 1993 at age 80.


I Loved a Toreador Splash - I don't have an ID for this story but he does look familiar



I Loved a Toreador Page - Very familiar is the face in the top tier right hand-side panel. I have seen this elsewhere but can't place it right now.



The Voice of my Heart Splash -



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Just came across this scan while surfing the site. The story "Over The Hill" in Battle #7 is drawn by Bill LaCava.


Doc V.

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Just came across this scan while surfing the site. The story "Over The Hill" in Battle #7 is drawn by Bill LaCava.


Doc V.


Thanks Doc. I appreciate the info. thumbsup2.gif

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FYI, regarding the creation of Patsy Walker, I interviewed Bessie Little before she died. And according to her, husband Stuart Little did indeed create Patsy Walker.



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FYI, regarding the creation of Patsy Walker, I interviewed Bessie Little before she died. And according to her, husband Stuart Little did indeed create Patsy Walker.




Was he 4 inches tall and did he have a tail? stooges.gif


Welcome to the boards! hi.gif


If there's anything more that you'd like to share we'd from you interview we'd love to hear it. For example, did Stuart create any of the other Marvel female characters?

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# 167


Peter Porkchops # 14 - eBay purchase




Cover by [Otto Feuer]

Inside Front Cover - Buzzy in a Public Service message for Social Welfare and Youth-Serving Organizations

Peter Porkchops by [Otto Feuer] 6 pgs [Note - Illustrates the cover]

Biggety Bear by [Rube Grossman] 5 pgs

Goofy Goose by ? 5 pages

Crystal Gazing 2 pg text

Peter Porkchops by [Otto Feuer] 6 pgs

Inside Back Cover - In-house Ad


As mentioned elsewhere, I have been looking at covering Peter Porkchops for months without finding a satisfying angle because I have already covered much of what there is to cover:


1) I talked about Feuer's DC career to some length when we discussed his creation of the Dodo and the Frog in the entry for Funny Stuff,


2) I talked about the DC funny animals stable while covering Leading Screen Comics. I referred to Michele Nolan's short history of DC funny animals and also we explored in length Peter Porkchops's career.


As a side-note, we've already seen Biggety Bear in Animal Antics with the Racoon Kids.


Peter Porkchops' own comic had a sizable run of 62 issues spanning 10 years from Nov / Dec 1949 to 1959 -



As for Otto Feuer, while I couldn't locate a picture of him, he made his mark more in animation than in comics as achievements on the funny animals lines are generally discounted by collectors. According to the comiclopedia,


"Born in Germany [in 1907], Otto Feuer got his artistic education at the Cooper Union in New York City. He began his career working at the Fleischer/Famous animation studios during the 1930s and early 1940s. Around 1943, he turned to comic book art and joined the Sangor Studio. After some contributions to 'Jungle Antics' by Better Publications and 'Silly Goose' by Dell, Feuer became one of the main artists for DC's funny animal comic lines, like Comic Cavalcade, Animal Antics, Funny Stuff and Funny Folks.


Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, he worked on many features, including 'The Dodo and the Frog', 'Peter Porkchops', 'Nip 'n' Chip', 'Bernard the Brave', 'Fraidy Cat' and 'Raccoon Kids'. Features like 'Peter Porkchops' and 'The Dodo and the Frog' eventually got their own comic book. In 1955, he founded his own animation studio for TV cartoon commercials, Animotion Associates. Feuer has been working as an animator for Filmation during most of the 1970s and early 1980s."


Feuer died on December 18, 1998 followed by his wife within a year. He left behind two sons and many grand-children.


Peter Porkchops Story 1 -



Peter Porkchops Story 1 Page -



Peter Porkchops Story 2 - "Atta boy, now you're cooking with uranium!" 27_laughing.gif



Peter Porkchops Story 2 Page -



In-house Ad featuring the Fox and the Crow -



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