Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Mo Marcus Briefly Visits the House of Secrets

HOS 84

It's easier to find an artist by their work on one-shot secondary characters than on established ones. Thus you don't want to ID the pencils here by looking at House of Secrets host Abel; the soda jerk, in both of his panels, is a typical Mo Marcus character; he looks like he fell lengthwise in a vise.

Most of the framing material in HOS under Dick Giordano's editorship follows a storyline through the introduction, the interludes if any, and into the conclusion of the issue. In #84 the intro leads into the first story but the conclusion follows a different storyline out of the last story. I believe Bill Draut pencilled for himself on the #84 intro. Since he did do full art on most of the HOS frame stories Draut's inking the Marcus conclusion in #84 and the Dick Dillin full frame in #82 does make them look at first glance like his work.

Some Dick Giordano-era House of Secrets attributions

Oct-Nov/69 #82  [frame story] p: Dick Dillin  i: Bill Draut

Realer than Real p: John Celardo  i: Vince Colletta
Sudden Madness p: Celardo  i: Celardo? Giordano?
The Little Old Winemaker w: D. J. Arneson
Feb-Mar/70 #84  [frame conclusion] p: Mo Marcus  i: Draut
Dec-Jan/71 #89  Where Dead Men Walk w: Jack Oleck

Jack Oleck is credited on the Direct Currents page in #89.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

A Writer Credited in the Letters Column

Robert Plate is credited on the splash pages with writing over half the stories of Homer K. Beagle, Demon Detective in Novelty's Young King Cole and its retitled continuation Criminals on the Run; from my study of them he wrote every Homer K. Beagle story.

Novelty beat EC and ACG in regularly running letter columns by the better part of a decade, as the company began theirs in 1940. On Plate's other series for Novelty no one was ever credited as writer on the stories themselves, but he was credited with creating Toni Gayle, as he had Homer K. Beagle, in the letter column of Young King Cole Volume 3 #12 (July 1948). Thus he wrote their stories in Volume 1 #1 (Fall/45). The editors also mention him as the writer of detective/model Toni's story in Vol 3 #12 itself, a credit reflected in the Grand Comics Database.

'Meet Toni Gayle' in YKC v1 #1

Here I've added the Toni Gayle stories I can be certain from the style that Plate wrote, although I believe he authored most of her series in YKC. I don't see him writing her stories when the series moves to Guns Against Gangsters and 4Most.

Toni Gayle written by Robert Plate
in Young King Cole


Fall/45 v1 #1  Meet Toni Gayle [credited]
Win/46 v1 #2  A Lesson in Crime Detection
Spr/     v1 #3  Close to a Cold, Cold Ending
Sum/     v1 #4  Hollywood, the Land of Make-Believe 
Dec-Jan/47 v2 #3  A Famous Winter Resort
June/     v2 #6  The Case of the Leaping Emerald
Sept/     v3 #2  Enacts the Role of a Dead Woman
Jan/48 v3 #6  Thrills and Chills in an Amusement Park
July/     v3 #12  Redstone Park [credited]

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Unnoticed Lassie Artist

Jerry Robinson drew Gold Key's Lassie #60-62, but he did full art on the Elephant Boy backups only.

Lassie 61

Mike Sekowsky's pencils are buried at times under Robinson's inks on the Lassie stories. This page is from "The Yawning Pit." I'd say Sekowsky is most obvious in the first panel; if you judge by the middle tier as you flip through the comic, you might be hard put to attach his name to the page.

This title, by the way, is an example of why when I've mentioned the separation between Western Publishing's East and West Coast offices I've said something along the lines of "most of the time," because West Coast writer Gaylord Du Bois and East Coast artists like Sekowsky, Robinson, Bob Fujitani, and Jack Sparling share a long run on Lassie.

Sekowsky/Robinson art on Lassie

Jan/63 #60  Between Life and Death

The Milk of Human Kindness
Apr/    #61  The Yawning Pit

Spears Among the Shadows
July/    #62  Monster of the Marshes

The Raft