A Month in the Life of the Comics
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Ernest Nordli

 

IMDB is a terrific resource -- it and GCD are tops in their respective fields as far as providing credits.

 

It looks like he continued doing regular animation work for years and must have been supplementing his income, like other animators, doing work for Dell and other publishers.

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Scrooge: I read the first page of each of these Beck stories in Capt Marvel. Are the whole stories as fun to read as they look?

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It looks like Avon hired the same cheap colorist to do their books as did a lot of the second-tier Fawcett titles. You would see coloring like on this page where a character is colored a single color for no rhyme or reason, and there might be just a couple other colors laid in the background, without regard to what was actually drawn. It's like you hired unskilled 10 year old to do it. And then told him to do it poorly.

 

762379-CptSS4Story3Pages.jpg

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Adam,

 

wow, talkative today. Thanks for the insights. Yes, I still can't figure out that stamp. I have books priced in Lira but I won them on eBay from an Italian dealer so those I can explain but these I am not quite sure. I would understand Deutschemark stamps as the US always has had bases in Germany but Sweden? Any one else knows? VG+?

 

Re: Nordli. I have to go run errands but exactly when did Dell establish their West Coast office. I thought it was later than this. Of course, this is assuming Nordli was in CA then. I guess we could look over his credits, see who he was working in animation for in 1950-1951 and cross-reference the location of that studio.

 

Re: Captain Marvel. The first two are as fun as they look. Again as I mentioned the last one really is weak. It was a fun read, the way King Kull and Sivana bantered and mostly took CM out of the first story.

 

Re: Coloring. It's funny you mention that since on one page in the CM, King Kull is left completely uncolored! Adam, what do you think of the choice of Green for the "BOOM" sound. Weird hey. Maybe the colorist paid attention to the fact that the bombs (that are hanging from trees as booby-trap) the soldiers exploded were fragmentation and napalm bombs and colored accordingly? Still does not explain the person in foreground on top tier right panel. Oh well, we know they are going to be garrish anyway.

 

Re: Google. Nope, I am a Yahooer. Strangely I feel I have better control of my searches using Yahoo! than Google. Must be force of habit. The results I get are more targeted to what I am looking for on Yahoo! I did read the Oddball comics assidiously for a while, printing them daily but the feature lost my interest after a while once the books were no longer truly Oddball.

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Adam,

 

wow, talkative today. Thanks for the insights. Yes, I still can't figure out that stamp. I have books priced in Lira but I won them on eBay from an Italian dealer so those I can explain but these I am not quite sure. I would understand Deutschemark stamps as the US always has had bases in Germany but Sweden? Any one else knows? VG+?

 

Re: Nordli. I have to go run errands but exactly when did Dell establish their West Coast office. I thought it was later than this. Of course, this is assuming Nordli was in CA then. I guess we could look over his credits, see who he was working in animation for in 1950-1951 and cross-reference the location of that studio.

 

Re: Captain Marvel. The first two are as fun as they look. Again as I mentioned the last one really is weak. It was a fun read, the way King Kull and Sivana bantered and mostly took CM out of the first story.

 

Re: Coloring. It's funny you mention that since on one page in the CM, King Kull is left completely uncolored! Adam, what do you think of the choice of Green for the "BOOM" sound. Weird hey. Maybe the colorist paid attention to the fact that the bombs (that are hanging from trees as booby-trap) the soldiers exploded were fragmentation and napalm bombs and colored accordingly? Still does not explain the person in foreground on top tier right panel. Oh well, we know they are going to be garrish anyway.

 

Re: Google. Nope, I am a Yahooer. Strangely I feel I have better control of my searches using Yahoo! than Google. Must be force of habit. The results I get are more targeted to what I am looking for on Yahoo! I did read the Oddball comics assidiously for a while, printing them daily but the feature lost my interest after a while once the books were no longer truly Oddball.

 

Re: Talkative. Too much work this week, it's time to play!

 

Re: Nordli has credit with Warner Bors cartoons who I always assumed were in CA. Dell was the printer for Western Publishing, who handled editorial content of issues until their separation/divorce. Carl Barks was in CA providing his work for Western in the 40s. Also, many animators who lived/worked in CA provided stories for the New York comic publishers. Evanier has written about this in his columns.

 

Re: Coloring. I think the green was used to complement the yellow. Wish I could ascribe more thought/intelligence to the colorist, but I just can't find a justification for it. They don't even seem to use very many shades of the primary colors, besides being too lazy to apply different colors to a person's face, coat, shirt, shoes, etc. I do think the colorist on the Capt Marvel pages was fine -- I can't comment on the missing color you mentioned but it does sound like a slip-up.

Edited by adamstrange

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# 31

 

Classics Illustrated HRN 93 - Bought from Southern California Comics

 

764355-Classics93s.jpg

 

Content:

 

Cover by H.C. Kiefer

Pudd'nhead Wilson by H.C. Kiefer

Twain Biography 1 pg

Stories from the World of Sports - "With an Assist from Mother Nature" 1 pg

Stories of Early America - "The Capture of Fort Ticonderoga" 1 pg

American Presidents - "An Incident in the Life of George Washington" 1 pg

 

I fear that I will have to plug another book for this feature. In fact, I am posting two pages (hopefully readable) about H.C. Kiefer from William B. Jones, Jr.'s Classics Illustrateed, A cultural history with illustrations. I give you here the Amazon Link so you can see the book. This book should be available at your local library and I suggest you check it out. It is definitely worth a look (if not a purchase) for everyone. Notice the Ames Ware's review on Amazon that I reproduce here:

 

"This is a SUPERB book, which covers probably the least known of all the comic book genre...and yet a comic book product that people who might never have purchased another type of comic, are aware of...Classics Illustrated.

Since I know the author personally, I am in the position of knowing the tremendous amount of research that went into the making of this marvelous book...all the interviews with people who were vitally involved with the production of these amazing long lived comics. And as co-editor of the 4 volume Who's Who of American Comic Books, I am delighted to say much new information about the artists and adapters is brought to life by author Jones.

Interviews with Lou Cameron, Rudy Palais, the widow of Louis Zansky, the recently departed and wonderful George Evans and many other artists of the 40's and 50's make for wonderful reading . And the tributes to lesser known ones like Alex Blum, Henry Kiefer, Robert Hayward Webb, plus giants like Matt Baker, Reed Crandall and many more, make this wonderful book a must for all who love to read the real story behind the one comic book product that almost everybody knew about. And even though the "text was the thing" this book shows in great and interesting detail why the artists who worked on the Classics Illustrateds helped to make that true for readers of all ages!"

 

The book is heavily illustrated which was one of the main attractions for me in addition to the complete detailed listing with credits of each issue.

 

Here are two main pages about Kiefer who did the art on this book:

 

764355-HCKiefer1s.jpg

 

764355-HCKiefer2s.jpg

 

Once you consider that Classics showcased the artistry of (in no particular order) Palais, Orlando, LB Cole, Cameron, Evans, Saunders, Costanza, Tallarico, Sekowsky, Sparling, Battefield, Tartaglione, Morrow, Premiani, Kirby, Perlin, Severin, Crandall, Williamson & Torres & Krenkel, Ingels, Streeter, Schaffenberger, ... everyone should be able to find a copy of the series of interest. We still have to be honest and realize these creators probably didn't turn in their best efforts for Gilberton, it is still a cheap way to build a portfolio of some great artists.

 

Splash page listing the cast of characters

 

764355-Classics93Splashs.jpg

 

Life in the plantation down south

 

764355-Classics93Page1s.jpg

 

The big reveal thanks to the brand new science of fingerprinting

 

764355-Classics93Page2s.jpg

 

Inside front cover with it Who Am I feature and preview of next month new issue

 

764355-Classics93InsideCovers.jpg

 

P.S.: Have to go back out of town. Will be back in a few days.

764355-Classics93InsideCovers.jpg.e39199e055d376fbdb9d6150988b5fb4.jpg

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# 32

 

Comics on Parade # 82 - Antique Store purchase

 

769892-ComicsonParade82s.jpg

 

Content: Undated Strip reprints

 

As usual, the most informative site is Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Here's the entry:

 

"Like Snuffy Smith, Captain Easy, Steve Roper and many other comics stars, Nancy started out as a bit player and wound up taking over the series. Fritzi Ritz was a typical 1920s strip about a pretty girl, in the tradition of Cliff Sterrett's Positive Polly and Martin Branner's Winnie Winkle. It was created in 1922 by cartoonist Larry Whittington, and taken over in 1925 by 20-year-old Ernie Bushmiller. (Bushmiller's later claim of having created Fritzi is absolutely false.) Bushmiller's bold, clear art style, combined with his ability to construct a type of gag that appealed to a very broad audience, brought the strip to new heights of popularity — and his introduction of Fritzi's niece, Nancy, in 1933, carried it higher yet.

 

Two important developments occurred in 1938. Sluggo Smith, Nancy's friend from the "wrong side of the tracks", was introduced in January; and later that year, Aunt Fritzi's name was dropped from the title of the daily strip, which continued as Nancy. At the same time, Bushmiller's Sunday page underwent a similar change. Formerly, half of it had been devoted to Fritzi and the other half to her boyfriend, Phil Fumble. Phil's half was taken over by Nancy. Years later, when newspaper space became tighter and cartoonists were no longer allowed whole pages to themselves, Fritzi's half disappeared, and the transformation was complete. Fritzi Ritz was a bit player where she had formerly been the star.

 

In 1936, United Feature Syndicate, which distributed the strip, launched Tip Top Comics, where Fritzi's and Nancy's strips were reprinted alongside Li'l Abner, Ella Cinders, The Captain & the Kids, and other United Feature stars. Through two changes of publisher (to St. John in 1955 and Dell in 1957), the title lasted until 1961. United's Sparkler Comics, which started in 1940, had a similar line-up and publishing history — but there, when St. John took over the publishing, most of the features were dropped and the title was changed to Nancy & Sluggo. Fritzi, Nancy and Phil also appeared in United Comics during the early 1950s.

 

When Dell took over the Nancy & Sluggo title, they assigned it to cartoonist John Stanley, whose decades of work on Little Lulu is highly regarded by today's comics aficionados. During Stanley's tenure, which lasted until the early 1960s, two characters were introduced — Sluggo's crabby neighbor, Mr. McOnion; and the little girl who lives in a haunted house, Oona Goosepimple. Oona, in particular, proved a memorable addition to the cast, despite the fact that neither she nor McOnion ever appeared outside of Stanley's comics. Nancy & Sluggo was discontinued in 1963, and Nancy never again appeared in comic books.

 

Nancy had two very brief and undistinguished careers as an animated character. In 1942, she became the only outside character ever licensed by Terrytoons, the studio that produced Mighty Mouse and Heckle & Jeckle. Only two cartoons came out, and they're virtually forgotten today. And in 1971, an Archie TV show used Nancy in one of its segments — rotating with The Captain & the Kids, Broom-Hilda, Smokey Stover, and other comic strip characters. These cartoons were reprised in 1978, under the title Fabulous Funnies.

 

Nancy's only recent foray outside of newspaper strips was onto a U.S. postage stamp. In 1995, she, along with The Katzenjammer Kids, Prince Valiant, Brenda Starr and several others, was part of the "Comic Strip Classics" series of commemoratives.

 

Toward the end of his life, Bushmiller relied more and more on his assistants, Al Plastino (best known for his work on Superman in the 1950s and '60s, and for ghosting Ferd'nand in the '70s and '80s) and Will Johnson. He died in 1982, and the strip was taken over by Mark Lansky. Lansky died in 1983, and Jerry Scott became Nancy's writer/artist. Scott completely revamped the strip, giving it both a more modern look and a sassier brand of humor. This seems not to have been very popular with the readers. When he left in 1995 to concentrate on Baby Blues (which he does with Rick Kirkman), the new team, Guy and Brad Gilchrist, drew their inspiration straight from Bushmiller — even to the point of re-using many of the earlier cartoonist's gags.

 

Although a few modern cartoonists, such as Art Spiegelman (Maus) and Bill Griffith (Zippy the Pinhead), cite Bushmiller's iconic style and communicative abilities as an inspiration — and although he did win the 1976 Reuben Award — Nancy's creator has enjoyed very little critical acclaim. But his work has always been immensely popular with the general public."

 

As usual, some interesting insights and some surprising names showing up, especially John Stanley's and Al Plastino's.

 

Looking around, you will realize that the perception on Bushmiller is mixed as in the above final paragraph. On one extreme are Scott McCloud's caustic comments: "[...]an approach so formulaic as to become the very definition of the "gag-strip"; a sense of humor so obscure, so mute, so without malice as to allow faithful readers to march through whole decades of art and story without ever once cracking a smile." In the middle is a more professional examination by R. C. Harvey in Children of the Yellow Kid where Harvey states that "Simingly a "kid strip," Nancy is actually a daily exercise in cartooning humor. Bushmiller always blended pictures and words for the comedy; indeed, most of his gags seem to spring from ingenious use of props, and almost none derive at all from the characters (who are, perforce, virtually without personality)." And in 1947, at the other end, Coulton Waugh saw "Bushmiller [as] a very talented cartoonist, with a dry, economical style, an uncluttered art sense refreshing to see; there are no scratchy pen thistles to hurt your eyes in his work. It is also comic work, pure but by no means simple [and forceful]".

 

No amount of disagreement has stopped Nancy from still being published after 83 years (from the first Fritzi Ritz) or 72 years (since Nancy's first appeareance) or 67 years (since the strip changed name). The strip is carried by United Media as drawn by the Gilchrist Studios who run an all-about Nancy page here.

 

Let me give you two gags from this issue.

 

769892-ComicsonParade82Page1s.jpg

 

769892-ComicsonParade82Page2s.jpg

769892-ComicsonParade82Page2s.jpg.01e5de4fefd7318e2f31830f2f4fb86a.jpg

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# 33

 

Coo Coo Comics # 61 - Bought from Metro

 

770696-CooCooComics61s.jpg

 

Content:

 

Supermouse in Calling Father Time 14 pgs

Happy Rabbit 1/2 pg

Wally Wolf in Grunts and Groans 2 pgs

Custer Crocodile in Catsup with his Sleep 1 pg

Butch and Buttercup in Knock Wood! 5 pgs

Freddy Frog in Big Business 1 pg

Coo Coo in Birds of a Feather 6 pgs

 

Clearly, the star of this comic is Supermouse. Fortunately for me, the Toonopedia comes to my rescue again because otherwise I wouldn't be able to tell you much about this comic. So, with rightful credits, the Toonopedia informs us that "during the early 1940s, comic book racks were rife with superheroes. But only a few stalwarts managed to survive beyond 1950. These included the biggest names — names such as Plastic Man … Captain Marvel … The Justice Society of America … Supermouse (aka "The Big Cheese") … who may have been a mere funny animal, but he was the longest-running comic book star the publishing empire of Ned Pines ever had.

 

Pines was one of many pulp magazine publishers who got into comic books the minute they saw what success DC Comics was having with Superman. Like most, he entered the field with a bunch of anthology titles anchored by superheroes, such as Exciting Comics (where The Black Terror was the star), Startling Comics (Fighting Yank) and Thrilling Comics (Doc Strange, no relation). Also like most, he started diversifying the minute it began to look like the public might be getting tired of that genre. In 1942 and '43, he introduced a couple of humor titles for kids, Happy Comics and Coo Coo Comics. It was in the first issue of the latter (October, 1942) that Supermouse made his debut.

 

October, 1942 was also the month Terrytoons introduced an animated character named Super Mouse. Terrytoons mogul Paul Terry retroactively changed the name of his to Mighty Mouse, to avoid publicizing someone else's character. Between them, these mice were the first two ongoing funny animal superheroes (tho Bugs Bunny had previously been "Super-Duper Rabbit" in a oneshot story in the Looney Tunes comic book). Since normal publishing lead times caused comic books to appear on the stands a couple of months before their cover dates, the edge goes to this one as the very first to appear before the public — the precursor to DC's Terrific Whatzit, Marvel's Super Rabbit, Fox's Cosmo Cat, and all the rest.

 

Some people say the two super-powered rodents were connected, based on information leakage from Terry's studio to that of Ben Sangor, which packaged comics for Pines. Others say there wasn't. Among the latter is cartoonist Kin Platt, who created the one in comic books, tho it's true he'd worked for Terrytoons in the past. In any case, the name was the only possible connection, as they were two entirely different characters.

 

Soupie (as Supermouse was often addressed) was one of the few married funny animals, as well as one of the few married superheroes. His wife's name was Mabel. He also had a nephew named Roscoe. His arch-enemy was Terrible Tom, a cat. He got his super powers by eating super cheese (which was made from the milk of a super cow); and quite a few stories, especially in the early days, revolved around others either depriving him of his stash or making use of it themselves. And never mind the fact that super cheese, like the substances ingested by Atomic Mouse, Atom the Cat and many other superheroes both smooth-skinned and furry, was what we would nowadays call a drug.

 

Supermouse went on to become either the most successful funny animal superhero ever to come out of comic books or the second-most, depending on whether or not Super Goof's secret identity as Disney's Goofy disqualifies him as a native-born comic book character. Tho the Coo Coo title fell by the wayside in 1952, he'd gotten his own comic in '48, and kept it until Fall, 1958. It ended only when the publishing company itself (which had gone by the names Standard, Better, Nedor and several others over the years) folded. Among the writers and artists to work on the character were Dan Gordon (creator of The Flintstones), Richard Hughes (creator of Herbie) and Gene Fawcette (who had credits at Quality Comics, Dell and many other publishers).

 

In the years since, there have been a few unauthorized reprints of Supermouse, and a handful of stories can be found here and there on the Internet. It isn't even clear who, if anyone, owns the rights to the old Standard/Pines/Nedor characters. Still, as the spiritual ancestor of Captain Carrot, The Amazing Spider-Ham, Courageous Cat and all the rest, he has a permanent place in cartoon history."

 

Speaking of a handful of stories found on the Internet, you can read the very first Supermouse story here and another one here and yet another here.

 

For today, all is left is to show 3 pages of Supermouse and get a glimpse at Coo Coo who gave the book its name.

 

770696-CooCooComicsStory1s.jpg

 

770696-CooCooComics61Story1Page1s.jpg

 

770696-CooCooComics61Story1Page2s.jpg

 

770696-CooCooComics61Story5s.jpg

 

 

P.S.: My wife tends to prefer simple covers to busy covers (à la Atlas multi-preview-panels or à la copy-heavy Lev Gleason).

770696-CooCooComics61Story5s.jpg.1e4dafffef05204ec6bb88ad35c830a6.jpg

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You're back! 893applaud-thumb.gif

 

A day without a Month, is a like a year without a Santa Clause.

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Surprisingly this is the first Dell we run across. It is surprising because 1) Dell is the third most frequent publisher this month and 2) I am only missing the Bozo to have all the Dells I need.

 

I love this thread and am happy to give you our copy of that Bozo if you want it. Since you'll be displaying these all at once I'm not sure what kind of minimum eye appeal you want. Ours has a good spine and relatively flat cover but does have three pieces out of the cover. Both right-hand corners and one annoying one near the spine. Anyway, PM me with a mailing address if you want it.

 

I agree with AdamStrange that your posts are well-worth saving. The other day I saw a flier for a new company that will take your blog and put it into a hardcover book. The first thing I thought of was this project. Not that it's necessarily a candidate for that treatment but just that it deserves some sort of permanence in your collection.

 

Back to happily lurking week after week,

Marc

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# 34

 

Crack Western # 77 - Bought from Tomorrow's Treasures

 

771837-CrackWestern77s.jpg

 

Content:

 

Arizona Raines in Comanche Terror! by Reed Crandall 9 pgs

Two-Gun Lil by Pete Morisi [?] 5 pgs

Bob Allen, Frontier Marshal in The Black Gun Gang by ? 7 pgs

The Whip by ? 7 pgs

 

The obvious star of this book is Reed Crandall whom we already saw in Blackhawk but decided to concentrate on Bill Ward. Even though, we'll meet Reed again (at least in Police Comics), it is time to give him his dues. As per this Comic Art & Graphix Gallery biography:

 

"Reed Crandall was born in Winslow, Indiana on February 22, 1917. His career in art started at the age of four when he wowed his parents with some of his earliest drawings. In 1935 he recieved an art scholarship at the Cleveland School of Art in northeast Ohio.

 

After graduating, he moved to New York at the invitation of a publisher of children's books, but after illustrating just one cover, Reed left the company. He then went to work for the NEA Syndicate as an editorial cartoonist before finally landing a job at the Eisner-Iger shop on Manhattan's east side.

 

At this time he worked alongside such greats as Will Eisner, Lou Fine, Paul Gustavson, Alex Kotsky, & Fred Gardineer. Eisner & Fine, through the distinct quality & innovative style of their illustrations were revolutionizing the comic art form, and working alongside them, Reed's work bloomed into maturity within an imperceptively short period. It was said that his art was so good and respected at the shop that the other artists would stop work to watch Reed & look at his pages. Finally Iger told him to stop bringing his work into the office.

 

Almost all of his output at this time went to the Quality Comics Group which published such titles as Hit, Crack, Smash, Military (later Modern) and Uncle Sam which later became Blackhawk Comics.

 

In the beginning, one of his chores was inking Lou Fines wonderful Military Comics covers. After a few issues of that, Everett M. (Busy) Arnold, the publisher of Quality saw his beautiful fine-lined renderings, he reportedly hired hem exclusively, and Reed took over the reigns of penciling & Chuck Cuidera (& probably others) inked over Reed's work. Some of the features he drew included the Ray, Firebrand, Hercules, Uncle Sam, Dollman & the Blackhawks. Those fantastic group shots of the Blackhawks ficghtings hordes of villains are breath-taking.

 

Before long Reed was illustrating all of the Blackhawk & Dollman stories, which he continued to draw for almost fifteen years, with a short hiatus from 1942-44 during which time he served in the Army Air Force, where he picked up the neccessary knowledge to draw the great militaria that was neccesary to the Blackhawk series.

 

Over the course of those years, the stories & art of these books became a reflection of the social & real world fears of Americans. From the Nazi & Yellow threat theme of the second World War years thru the late forties Crime comic era and into the Red Menace & Horror themes of the early fifties.

 

When Quality scaled down their line, Reed began doing work over at EC. The artist he worked alongside here are some of the most revered names in the business. Greats like Frazetta, Williamson, Ingels, Johnny Craig, Jack Davis and the heaven-blessed Wally Wood were just some of them.

 

The genre's he drew for crossed from SF to Suspenstory to Horror, but some think his best work here were his Piracy comic covers, two of which were homages (or swipes) of famous Howard Pyle paintings from his "Book of Pirates".

 

When EC & Quality both folded comic production in 1955/56, Reed did occasional work for Atlas/Marvel, Classics Illustrated (Gilberton) and shortly after Buster Brown shoestores, who issued their own monthly giveaway comic book. The Interplanetary Police feature Reed drew in collaboration with Ray Willner was science fiction at it's best.

 

In 1960 he landed a contract with Treasure Chest Comics & drew stories for them for twelve years doing stories & covers as often as twice a month for the bi-weekly comic.

 

Then in 1964 he increased his workload further & we began to be treated to some the best work of his career. Warren Publishing, the publisher of Famous Monsters of Filmland - one of the most influential magazines of this hobby & many others- was about to begin with a line of horro comic titles in magazine format. The resultant titles, Creepy, Eerie, Blazing Combat & later Vampirella; were resurrections of the EC Comics horror & war titles of the fifties. Part of this resurection neccesitated the assemblage of the former's artistic alumnis.

 

At Warren his talent had come to it's epoch, and Reed's exquisite illustrations for his gothic horror & historic war stories were poetry on paper. Whereas in the forties he employed the liberal usage of india ink to blacken open areas to negative space, to achieve the shaded effect he simply (?) would pen hundreds of small parallel lines into the panel's spaces. The effort was, like one of his early characters at Quality, "Herculean".

 

Also in 1964, Reed through his friend Al Williamson, acquired work at Canaveral Press where he drew bookplates & covers for the Edgar Rice Burrough's characters "John Carter" and the legendary "Tarzan". Unfortunately, Canaveral folded before Reed's entire output for them was published & many great pieces were left to languish in the pages of fan publications.

 

A little while later, after Williamson left the King "Flash Gordon" comic, he drew several issues of the title.

 

Unfortunately, by the late sixties his work began to show the effects of years of alchohol abuse & Reed's age until finally his illustrations of the anatomical form, which was once his greatest strength, slowly took on the deformed look of less talented artists, and finally in 1973 his last contribution to comics was published in Creepy #54 (This Graveyard is Not Deserted). And his long and illustrious career in comics, which had spanned more than thirty years, had ended.

 

In 1974, Reed began working as a janitor & night watchman with Pizza Hut in Wichita, Kansas. After suffering a stroke in 1975, he settled into a rest home for the elderly where he spent the next seven years until a massive coronary ended his life on September 13, 1982."

 

If you wonder how early Reed's talent developed, check this out:

 

771837-CrandallMural.jpg

 

According to this article Reed painted those in 1933 at the young age of 15 or 16. Then three years he, ironically for this column, switched medium and left us this (as per this article):

 

771837-CrandallScrooge.jpg

 

Also of interest, the Arizona Raines feature debuted as Arizona Ames in CRACK WESTERN #63 (1949) but was forced to change his name almost immediately (effective with #66), presumably because famed Western novelist Zane Grey already had a character by that name. Under his revised name, Arizona continued through CRACK #84 (1953). He had a horse named Thunder and a kid sidekick named Spurs. Spurs' horse was Calico. Art on the strip was primarily by the renowned Reed Crandall though Paul Gustavson contributed some stories, as well.

 

According to the Obscure DCU Guide, "Two-Gun Lil appeared in CRACK WESTERN #63-84. She was Lillian Peters and frequently joined forces with her Uncle Mike Peters (no relation to the editorial/MOTHER GOOSE & GRIM cartoonist). Art on the strip was by Pete Morisi, perhaps best known as PAM on Charlton's Thunderbolt series in the 1960s."

 

Question of the day: according to the splash below, is this Morisi at work here? (I feel it could be as per Lil's face and the hand at the bottom left foreground in the opening panel as well as the wood grain on the bar. Am I way off here?) Oh I am also open for suggestions about Bob Allen and The Whip's artists.

 

Arizona Raines

 

771837-CrackWestern77Story1s.jpg

 

Two-Gun Lil

 

771837-CrackWestern77Story2s.jpg

 

Bob Allen, Frontier Marshall

 

771837-CrackWestern77Story3s.jpg

 

The Whip (Notice the nice bill on the back wall of the saloon)

 

771837-CrackWestern77Story4s.jpg

771837-CrackWestern77Story4s.jpg.408467739293de63a00c1c6632b7e8c0.jpg

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# 35

 

Crime and Punishment # 48 - Bought from Tomorrow's Treasures

 

773073-CrimeandPunishment48s.jpg

 

Content:

Murder at the Masquerade by A.M.William(?) 7 pgs

Henry Darpis - Public Enemy no.1 by ? 8 pgs

Caught in a Web by Di Preta 6 pgs

Death on Wheels by Fred Guardiner (Sic) 5 pgs

 

And yes as the masthead states, it is "A Thrill a Minute". A few things to note on this. First, it is always nice to look at a Lev Gleason book because the stories tend to be signed so we know who worked on the pages. Second, the cover is not "signed" per se when in general Charlie Biro did the covers but I am guessing that the name of the Band CB was Charlie's way to sign this cover and I have a further hunch that the seating band members could very well be Charlie and Bob (or Lev possibly). I don't have my copy of the recent and excellent coverage of Lev Gleason in CBM to check with the pictures but that's a possibility.

 

I am fairly sure we will see Tony Di Preta again so let me concentrate of Fred Guardineer today. A few bio facts from the Comiclopedia:

 

"Fred Guardineer was born in Albany, New York. After acquiring his fine arts degree in 1935, he went to New York City and drew for several pulp magazines before joining the Harry "A" Chesler shop in 1936. There he drew adventure features for the Chesler books, such as 'Lobo' and 'Dan Hastings', before beginning his freelance comic book career in 1938.

 

Guardineer worked for Centaur (between 1937 and 1939), National (1937 - 1940, working on the 'Zatara', 'Pep Morgan', and 'Speed Sanders' strips and covers), Marvel (1941), Quality (1941 - 1944, working on the 'Tor', 'Merlin', 'Quicksilver', and 'Marksman' strips), Hillman (1946 - 1947), Eastern, Pines, Gleason (1946 - 1953, working mostly on crime stories), and for Me (1952 - 1955, on 'Durango Kid').

 

Fred Guardineer retired from comics in 1955, at the age of 42, and became a government employee. He moved to San Ramon, California, where he died in 2002."

 

Fred is probably best remembered for his work on Zatara and the covers he did for DC at that time period such as this Action 16 . I'll let others post their copies if they want. Ron Goulart describes Guardineer's art as drawn "in a flat, strongly outlined style and (he) treated each panel as part of the overall design of the page. He favored bright, basic colors. The witches, warlocks, monsters, and madmen he drew for features like Zatara had individuality, and his damsels in distress were pretty and distinctively dressed." AE 10 had an interview with Fred and, more recently, the latest issue of Comic Art Magazine profiles Fred's journal from 1935-1936.

 

Onto all four splash pages:

 

Masquerade story

 

773073-CrimeandPunishment48Story1s.jpg

 

Henry Darpis didn't turn up on any Yahoo! nor Google search

 

773073-CrimeandPunishment48Story2s.jpg

 

Di Preta story

 

773073-CrimeandPunishment48Story3s.jpg

 

Guardineer's race story

 

773073-CrimeandPunishment48Story4s.jpg

773073-CrimeandPunishment48Story4s.jpg.7ebb3da5acfaaa3e9a5cb28d4fda090b.jpg

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Great stuff, Scrooge! thumbsup2.gif

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# 32

 

Comics on Parade # 82 - Antique Store purchase

 

769892-ComicsonParade82Page2s.jpg

 

I looked at this page before I looked at your post and thought, that's just the like the pacing and storytelling of John Stanley. Then I read your write-up and understood why.

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Another set of excellent posts. Those are a real labor of love that are deserving of being "pinned" for their educational value.

 

Question of the day: according to the splash below, is this Morisi at work here? (I feel it could be as per Lil's face and the hand at the bottom left foreground in the opening panel as well as the wood grain on the bar. Am I way off here?) Oh I am also open for suggestions about Bob Allen and The Whip's artists.

 

I with you on the Pete Morisi. He's a big fan of Tuska, and like him, used a reasonable number of figures in silhouette, like in the splash pane. The gal in the center of the splash looks like a swipe of the kind of gal that Infantino was drawing at the time. It doesn't make it any easier to identify an artist when they cheat like that.

 

I have no suggestions for you on the other artists.

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Murder at the Masquerade by A.M.William(?) 7 pgs

 

Any chance that is Al(den) McWilliams? If so, you'll have a lot to write about.

 

Henry Darpis didn't turn up on any Yahoo! nor Google search

 

A rip off of Alvin Karpis?

 

I've read a thing or two make me doubt the accuracy of many of these "true" crime stories. Do you know anyone that's tried to look these up? Anyone?

Edited by adamstrange

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# 32

 

Comics on Parade # 82 - Antique Store purchase

 

769892-ComicsonParade82Page2s.jpg

 

I looked at this page before I looked at your post and thought, that's just the like the pacing and storytelling of John Stanley. Then I read your write-up and understood why.

 

Actually, this page is a reprint of a Sunday strip (probably late '40s vintage by the look of the art) and is by Bushmiller. Stanley didn't work on Nancy until significantly later.

 

The Bushmiller work on Fritzi and Nancy was excellent during the '30s and '40s, but deteriorated rapidly thereafter to the point where the '60s and later strips are all but unreadable.

 

I would encourage anyone who has an interest in comic strip art to pick up a few of the early issues of Comics on Parade that are devoted to Nancy and Fritzi (eg #32, 35, 38) they are very enjoyable thumbsup2.gif

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# 32

 

Comics on Parade # 82 - Antique Store purchase

 

I looked at this page before I looked at your post and thought, that's just the like the pacing and storytelling of John Stanley. Then I read your write-up and understood why.

 

Actually, this page is a reprint of a Sunday strip (probably late '40s vintage by the look of the art) and is by Bushmiller. Stanley didn't work on Nancy until significantly later.

 

The Bushmiller work on Fritzi and Nancy was excellent during the '30s and '40s, but deteriorated rapidly thereafter to the point where the '60s and later strips are all but unreadable.

 

I would encourage anyone who has an interest in comic strip art to pick up a few of the early issues of Comics on Parade that are devoted to Nancy and Fritzi (eg #32, 35, 38) they are very enjoyable thumbsup2.gif

 

Thanks for the info! thumbsup2.gif

 

So Stanley may have learned from Bushmiller? Or am I just imagining a similarity?

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# 32

 

Comics on Parade # 82 - Antique Store purchase

 

I looked at this page before I looked at your post and thought, that's just the like the pacing and storytelling of John Stanley. Then I read your write-up and understood why.

 

Actually, this page is a reprint of a Sunday strip (probably late '40s vintage by the look of the art) and is by Bushmiller. Stanley didn't work on Nancy until significantly later.

 

The Bushmiller work on Fritzi and Nancy was excellent during the '30s and '40s, but deteriorated rapidly thereafter to the point where the '60s and later strips are all but unreadable.

 

I would encourage anyone who has an interest in comic strip art to pick up a few of the early issues of Comics on Parade that are devoted to Nancy and Fritzi (eg #32, 35, 38) they are very enjoyable thumbsup2.gif

 

Thanks for the info! thumbsup2.gif

 

So Stanley may have learned from Bushmiller? Or am I just imagining a similarity?

 

Good question and I don't know the answer frown.gif

 

Bushmiller certainly predates Stanley, but whether or not he was an influence... confused-smiley-013.gif

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Murder at the Masquerade by A.M.William(?) 7 pgs

 

Any chance that is Al(den) McWilliams? If so, you'll have a lot to write about.

 

Henry Darpis didn't turn up on any Yahoo! nor Google search

 

A rip off of Alvin Karpis?

 

I've read a thing or two make me doubt the accuracy of many of these "true" crime stories. Does you know anyone that's tried to look these up? Anyone?

 

Wow, the thread is alive tonight.

 

1. When I saw the signature I immediately read it as McWilliams as you did Adam because the name is familiar but reading carefully, this can hardly be read as McWilliams because there is no final s and there is no shadow of the c of Mc.

 

2. I think you're onto something about Alvin Karpis. His criminal career matches the time period as well as the fact that "He robbed banks, had shoot-outs with the police, kidnapped the wealthy for ransoms, and held up trains. He joined forces with Freddie Barker and his brothers to form the Karpis-Barker gang, known in crime mythology as the Ma Barker Gang.

 

(Ma Barker was not a criminal but merely a devoted mother living with her sons. Only after the old woman was riddled with FBI bullets and killed with Freddie at their home in Florida, did the authorities start the rumour that she was the mastermind of the gang.)"

 

I am going to read over the story because I seem to remember such a character as Ma in it which would clinch the ID. Thanks for the good tip. No having grown up in this country, these are the types of reference that I will miss.

 

3. Comics on Parade: the indicia carries over many copyright years: 1944-45-48-49-52 probably reflecting the original years of publication of the reprinted strips. Unfortunately, there are no dates on the strips themselves. I am glad you guys liked my scanning selection. I thought that one was the strongest strip in the whole book.

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