Friday, July 25, 2014

Number 1609: Russ Heath,“The Executioner”

“The Executioner” has beautiful artwork, and a real feeling of the setting and time, Chicago, 1928. Russ Heath drew this violent crime tale.

The most jarring aspect of the tale is that it was published in Creepy magazine. Not that a stone killer isn’t creepy in his own right, but we expect more of the supernatural from that magazine. I assume Russ’s bona fides as one of the premier comic artists in the industry had something to do with its inclusion. Heath is credited with the story, although either he or the editor didn’t feel he was up to the task of dialogue, because they handed that to Cary Bates.

From Creepy #92 (1977):

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Number 1608: Herman goes to the birds; Wood’s Munsters story

 A tip of the Pap-cap to Ken Landgraf, who supplied the raw scans for this 1965 story from Gold Key’s The Munsters #8. Wallace Wood and his assistants did the artwork. According to an e-mail from Landgraf:
I spoke to [Dan] Adkins before he died...He and [Richard] Bassford penciled the job. Most likely they used faces from other Munster comics... Wood inked all the main figures, the assistants mostly filled in black areas and worked on inking the backgrounds ... KEN
Thanks, Ken. That provides an interesting insight into the Wallace Wood studio of the era. “Strictly For the Birds” isn’t a great story, and just pops up in the midst of a series mostly written, penciled and inked by artist Fred Fredericks. But anything done by Wood has its place on any Golden Age fan’s comic radar.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Number 1607: Go-Go gorillas

As a kid I bought comics with gorillas on the covers. I still perk up when I see a story featuring those powerful creatures.

These two stories fit the bill. Both of them are tales about turning men into gorillas. Naturally, “the best laid plans...” you know...they often don’t go as we expect.

“Killer’s Arms!” is from Charlton’s Strange Suspense Stories #22 (1954), drawn by Leon Winik and Ray Osrin. “The Beast,” credited to Manny Stallman, is from Atlas’ Strange Tales #1 (1951).

Ook! Ook!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Number 1606: Chas. M. Quinlan — Green skull, Red Robe, Blue Beetle

Chas. M. Quinlan, who drew this episode of Blue Beetle, was one of the older artists who began work in comics during the early days of the industry. He had a son, Charles Quinlan, Jr. According to some information Quinlan, Jr, while in high school, helped his father by writing scripts for him. A reference to his father in Quinlan Jr's 2011 obituary claims Quinlan Sr at one time was a rodeo star.

These are just tantalizing bits of information about the elder Quinlan, who left a body of work in comic books, but about whom very little seems to be known. If any family members read this I hope they will supply some information.

Quinlan’s distinctive action-packed art style shows in this otherwise typical WWII Nazi saboteur story from Blue Beetle #14 (1942).