Monday, April 18, 2016

Happy 100th Birthday To Carl Burgos





A happy centennial birthday to the late creator of the Human Torch, born Max Finkelstein in New York City on April 18, 1916.

The son of Russian/Jewish immigrants and a seminal name in Timely and Atlas history, Carl Burgos is receiving more credit now by Timely/Atlas researchers than he ever did before by virtue of the critical recognition of an art style long unrecognized.  Let's take a look back at his career as it pertains primarily to Timely/Atlas. It's a phenomenally large body of fantastic work, long neglected and a large portion of it even longer unknown. It's time to finally give Carl Burgos his well-deserved due.

Burgos studied at the National Academy of Design in Manhattan and later worked for the Franklin Engraving Company, the outfit that produced the engraved printing plates for publisher Harry A. Chesler, where he soon broke into the comic book industry via the Chelser studio in 1938 for titles published by Centaur Publishing. Works here include "The Last Pirate" in Star Comics, "Air-Sub DX" in Amazing Mystery Funnies and Amazing Adventure Funnies, "Stoney Dawson" in Keen Detective Funnies,  and "Iron Skull" in Amazing Man Comics.

The early work in 1939 manifests an exciting crudity, very commonplace across the young industry. These aspiring adventure artists, bursting with ideas often beyond their primitive and undeveloped skills to adequately depict, were entering into a demanding, deadline-following sweatshop business where the finished product was more important than the craft utilized to produce it. Speed was any artist's greatest asset to a shop owner.  In a single year Burgos would make some gains and improvements that can be seen in the two "Iron Skull" stories below separated by six months.


Amazing Man Comics #5 (Sept/39): 











Amazing Man Comics #10 (Mar/40):













In 1939, Burgos and Bill Everett joined the staff of Lloyd Jacquet's Funnies Incorporated, set up by Jacquet after several years in the young industry.  Jacquet first had a tenure as an editor for pulp author and publishing entrepreneur Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, owner/publisher of National Allied Publications, (publisher of the very first comic book consisting of "new" material, rather than syndicated features, and the forerunner of DC Comics.) From National, Jacquet went to Centaur Publishing, where he worked with Burgos and Everett, before leaving to venture out on his own, taking the latter two with him.

One of the Jacquet shop's very first jobs was a premium giveaway comic book titled Motion Pictures Funnies Weekly, unique to us because of the inclusion in that issue of the underwater hero feature The Sub-Mariner, written and drawn by Bill Everett. There is long debate as to whether this book was actually ever published and given-away. It was not even known to exist until the early 1970's, when a handful of file copies were discovered in the Jacquet estate, leading to the still ongoing contention as to what was actually the debut of Everett's Sub-Mariner, Motion Pictures Funnies Weekly #1 or Marvel Comics #1, which published the feature padded with an additional 4 pages. That debate is for another time. (Included in that estate find were also cover proofs for issues #2 ,#3 and #4)

Motion Pictures Funnies Weekly #1 (1939) [First Funnies, Inc.] 
(Pay copy image courtesy of Heritage Auctions)
Cover by Fred Schwab





The next event would end up securing Burgos' place among comics' pantheon. At some point in early 1939, Jacquet's salesman Frank Torpey began to go to work on Martin Goodman, publisher of the notorious Red Circle line of pulp magazines. Up to this point, Goodman had been publishing pulp magazines on his own since his failed partnership with Louis Siblerkleit dissolved in the spring of 1934. With pulp sales across the industry heading downward (its heyday over), Goodman previously attempted to branch out into other types of publishing formats since 1937, trying all kinds of digests like Sex Health Magazine and Popular Digest, to little outside success. In fact at this very moment he was converting one of his shudder pulps Complete Detective to a new format, a true-crime detective magazine similarly titled Complete Detective Cases, believing that true-crime flats were possibly "the next big thing" on newsstands. Well, there was a "next big thing" on the newsstands, and it wasn't necessarily true-crime detective magazines (although they were certainly popular and profitable).

It's lost to history exactly what Frank Torpey told Goodman, how hard he needed to cajole, or what he used as a sales pitch, but it cannot be stated any more clearly that Goodman absolutely must have seen what was happening on the newsstands since the appearance of Action Comics #1, released one year earlier and taking the country by storm. Yet, was he hesitating? Goodman gave no indication he was interested in the new comic book format. Did he think it a passing fad? Likely not. Goodman would latch on to anything, ride it into the ground and get out before the crash, over and over during the course of his publishing career. His apprenticeship in the industry was in "circulation" so he understood newsstands and magazines, what sold and why it sold.  Did he feel he didn't have the "product" to fill these magazines, coming from a completely different mode of publishing (prose fiction)? Possibly.

A thought and consideration for his relenting has always stuck in my head as I've spent two decades or more delving into earliest publishing history of Martin Goodman. Is it possible that Goodman heard through the grapevine that his #1 peer competitor in cheaper pulp publishing, his former partner and mentor, Louis Silberkleit, was also poised to enter the nascent comic book market? My guess (with no evidence whatsoever) is that it was possibly so, and considering that he beat Silberkleit's MLJ Magazines to the comic stands by one single month (MLJ published Blue Ribbon Comics #1 cover month Nov/39), may lend credence to this.

Whatever the reason and the reasoning, Goodman took Torpey's suggestion that he let Jacquet's company, First Funnies, Inc., handle all the production work. They would provide the product and all Goodman had to do was publish it.

*** (Goodman was forever thankful to Frank Torpey, paying him a monthly stipend ongoing and hiring him as a sometimes editor on his magazine line into the 1950's. As Timely alumni Allen Bellman once told me, "Torpey walked around and we never really knew what he actually did!") ***

*** (Lloyd Jacquet curiously ended up with the envious reputation of having been the editor on both the very first DC and Marvel comic books!) ***

Taking the name "Marvel" from his Red Circle science-fiction pulp, Martin Goodman agreed to try Marvel Comics #1 and it was released with an Oct/39 cover date. When the order from Goodman, via Torpey, came in, I can only imagine the scrambling at Funnies, Inc. as features were considered and material assembled. I can envision Jacquet telling Everett to pull out his Sub-Mariner story and add pages to stretch it. A slew of Jacquet creators like Carl Burgos (The Human Torch), Paul Gustavson (The Angel), Ben Thompson (a nod to Goodman's 3-issue pulp jungle hero Ka-Zar from 1937-38, edited by Goodman's late brother Sidney Charles Goodman), and Fred Schwab, Ray Gill, Sam Gilman, Art Pinajian, and Al Anders, all contributed a variety of different types of features, hoping to strike gold with one or two as Harry Donenfeld and Jack Liebowitz had with Superman in 1938 and The Batman just recently in early 1939,

*** (Donenfeld and Liebowitz had contentiously (and conveniently) forced Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson out and  taken over National Allied Publications "just" as Superman was due to appear in Action Comics.) ***

But the book needed a hook, something to make it stand out.The 16 page lead feature was poised to be Carl Burgos' newest creation, "The Human Torch", a pulp-ish nod to science fiction as the character was not a human at all, or even an alien from another planet. It was a a robot, or more specifically, a "synthetic man". Goodman was going to pull out all the stops. At the dawn of his career, he had worked for pioneer publisher Hugo Gernsback and was witness to the birth of magazine science fiction, Gernsback's Amazing Stories. He also learned at the feet of Gernsback that it was magazine covers that sold newsstand magazines. Goodman made the decision not to allow Funnies Inc. to decide and render the cover, but to seek out Gernsback's #1 cover artist, the great Frank R. Paul (someone he obviously knew, from his, ahem... "Gernsback days"), to provide a pulp-like cover painting to front his new comic magazine.

Marvel Comics #1 (Oct/39):
Cover art: Frank R. Paul

This is John Compton's personal copy, once bound into a spiral notebook with the first 12 issues. You can see the "Property of Funnies Inc." at the top.




The "Human Torch" story below that starts the book off is crude in execution as was Burgos' debut "Iron Cross" story above from 2 months previous. But what it lacked in craft it more than made up for in verve. Burgos gets a lot of story into these 16 pages, breaking up the pages into small panels and having the action excitingly fast-paced. The blazing red of the Torch's body contrasts against everything else in the story and I can imagine an 8 year old kid in 1939 going bonkers for it, even more so than for the much better constructed and illustrated "Sub-Mariner" by the Bill Everett, a superior artistic talent.

The scans below again come from John Compton's personal copy. You can see pencil marks in the margins where he criticized the coloring in many places. The first issue was printed at a printer different from subsequent issues after Goodman realized the problem. As usual, Goodman initially went for the cheapest printer.



















With an 80,000 initial print run, Marvel Comics #1 was published by Goodman's brand new sub-publishing company, Timely Publications, used for the first time a month earlier as the publisher of record for his Reader's Digest clone, Popular Digest Vol 1, #1 (Sept/39). But with early returns, Goodman seemingly panicked and cancelled the title, then immediately rescinded and ordered up a second printing of 800,000 (the Nov/39 dated issues) when he realized he had a hit on his hands. By the second issue, Goodman would change the title to Marvel Mystery Comics, the actual reason lost to history, but we can infer the likely idea is that he would tinker incessantly with covers and titles (he did this in his earlier pulp line, cancelling and changing titles on a whim), looking for something that would click.

Goodman was now a comic book publisher and immediately turned his attention to expanding the line. For the rest of the decade, most of his fortune would come from comic book sales.

Carl Burgos' Human Torch was Goodman's very first hit character (really, a co-hit with Everett's Sub-Mariner). Within a year he would be the near exclusive cover feature on the title and would remain so until the end of the decade. The flaming reds streaking across the newsstand covers by the great Alex Schomburg (also a Goodman pulp alumnus) was a tremendous sales help and Goodman was absolutely convinced the Torch on the cover sold comic books.

Marvel Mystery Comics #2 (Dec/39):




Marvel Mystery Comics #3 (Jan/40):



Marvel Mystery Comics #4 (Feb/40):



Marvel Mystery Comics #5 (Mar/40):



Marvel Mystery Comics #6 (Apr/40):



Marvel Mystery Comics #7 (May/40):



Marvel Mystery Comics #8 (June/40):



Marvel Mystery Comics #9 (July/40):





Marvel Mystery Comics #10 (Aug/40):




Marvel Mystery Comics #11 (Sept/40):




Marvel Mystery Comics #12 (Oct/40):




Early on, in the summer of 1940 the Torch spun off into his own title and now the demand for story art soared. The strange numbering of Vol 1, #2 is due to the fact it continued the numbering of the cancelled Red Raven Comics Vol 1, #1.

The Human Torch Vol 1, #2 (Fall/40) [#1]



The first issue of the Torch's solo book, Vol 1, #2 (Fall/40) also had a mostly fictional biography of Burgos and the Torch's creation....



Marvel Mystery Comics #13 (Nov/40):




Marvel Mystery Comics #14 (Dec/40):



Marvel Mystery Comics #15 (Jan/41):




Human Torch #3 [#2] (Winter/41) (story 1):




Human Torch #3 [#2](Winter/41) (story 2):





Marvel Mystery Comics #16 (Feb/41):




Marvel Mystery Comics #17 (Mar/41):




Marvel Mystery Comics #18 (Apr/41):





Human Torch #4 [#3](Spring/41) (story 1):




Human Torch #4 [#3](Spring/41) (story 2):




Marvel Mystery Comics #19 (May/41):





Marvel Mystery Comics #20 (June/41):






Marvel Mystery Comics #21 (July/41):




All Winners #1 (Summer/41):





Human Torch #5a [#4] (Summer/41) (story 1):





Human Torch #5a [#4] (Summer/41) (story 2):





Human Torch #5a [#4] (Summer/41): (text story illustration):
Script: Stan Lee
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

A text story illustration of a very early Stan Lee text story.




Marvel Mystery Comics #22 (Aug/41):





Marvel Mystery Comics #23 (Sept/41):





Marvel Mystery Comics #24 (Oct/41):





All Winners #2 (Fall/41):

No Carl Burgos. This appears to be all Harry Sahle. No signatures.




Human Torch #5b [#4] (Fall/41):

This is the big one! A 60 page story told in three chapters!! The Human Torch and the Sub-Mariner! The only problem is that I don't believe Carl Burgos had too much to do with this story artistically. It looks like Bill Everett and Harry Sahle. And there are no Burgos signatures (or any signatures) anywhere.






Marvel Mystery Comics #25 (Nov/41):





Marvel Mystery Comics #26 (Dec/41):




Marvel Mystery Comics #27 (Jan/42):




All Winners #3 (Winter/42):

Like issue #2, minimal to no Burgos, seemingly. All Harry Sahle.




Human Torch #6 (Winter/42) (story 1):

Burgos is back.



Human Torch #6 (Winter/42) (story 2):

No Burgos. Maybe Harry Sahle and Al Fagaly.




Marvel Mystery Comics #28 (Feb/42):





Marvel Mystery Comics #29 (Mar/42):





Marvel Mystery Comics #30 (Apr/42):




All Winners #4 (Spring/42):

After two issues with minimal input, Burgos is back, possibly with Al Fagaly.




Human Torch #7 (Spring/42) (story 1):




Human Torch #7 (Spring/42) (story 2):





Marvel Mystery Comics #31 (May/42):





Marvel Mystery Comics #32 (June/42):

The last issue with a Carl Burgos signature. How much of this (and the last several) being much Burgos is up for debate, but at least his name is still there. After this issue, all Human Torch stories in Marvel Mystery Comics, Human Torch and All Winners are without Carl Burgos involvement as best as can be determined, as Burgos enters the service.







In general, Burgos (and helped by Harry Sahle) handled the early Torch himself in the Marvel Mystery Comics title through mid 1942 and his artwork improved a great deal issue after issue. When exactly Sahle began to assist/ink is unknown but by 1942 other hands were in there helping, assisting, and in some instances producing full story art even in stories bearing Burgos' name on the splash panel. In the solo title, after the first 4 quarterly issues of mostly Burgos, its evident the feature became Burgos/Sahle, and by the end of the second year, carried no Burgos at all. To be complete, I've included here all the stories through 1942 with Burgos' name, even if doubtful of Burgos' involvement. At the very least, he was likely supervising them.

In 1941, as seen above, the Human Torch feature was included in the new title All Winners Comics, the early issues all carrying a Carl Burgos byline. How much Burgos is in these stories remains up for debate.

The first and best of  the immediate post-Burgos Torch artists was the aforementioned Harry Sahle, and others like Al Fagaly, Edd Ashe, Harry Fiske and Ed Hamilton, all Funnies Inc. artists, did commendable work. In the post-war period the best Torch artist of all was the great Jimmy Thompson and a who's who of Timely golden-age artists all helped contribute to the character's legacy, including Allen Bellman, Al Camy, Carmine Infantino, Marty Nodel, Don Rico, Mike Sekowsky and Syd Shores.          


With the success of Goodman's new comic book line, Timely Comics and Funnies Inc. were an apparent successful team. They often socialized as a group and all the particulars knew each other.


New Year's Eve 1940: Carl Burgos, Martin Goodman and Lloyd Jacquet




New Year's Eve 1940: Paul Gustavson, Ben Thompson, Martin Goodman, Carl Burgos




Prelude to Bambi: August 14, 1942:

This is a classic, iconic photo of the entire Timely and Funnies Inc. staff luncheon at the Hotel Astor, prior to viewing the Walt Disney film Bambi. The film debuted the day before on August 13th at Radio City Music Hall. Both Carl Burgos and Bill Everett are conspicuously absent, likely now in the service.

From left to right: Ernie Hart, Vince Alascia, Mario Acquaviva, unknown, Moe Worthman, Dick Lascalzo, Ray Gill, Stan Lee, Jim Fitzsimmons, Frank Torpey, Lloyd Jacquet, Martin Goodman, George Klein, Don Rico, Ed Winiarski, Mike Sekowsky, Syd Shores, Bill King, Dennis Neville, Jim Mooney and Gary Keller




But Martin Goodman was a shrewd businessman and immediately grasped the concept that cutting out the middle man, Funnies Inc., would save enormously. While other new titles like Mystic and Daring Mystery Comics utilized material from additional shops (Chesler, et al), he had already begun to put together his own small art and editorial staff, hiring away Joe Simon from Fox Publications (who brought Jack Kirby with him). Simon (who also previously had freelanced for Jacquet) is on record that Goodman wanted him to find ways to wean away from Funnies, Inc., but the "printed" record shows that it took until the near end of the war for Funnies, Inc. to contractually relinquish full control on the Human Torch and Sub-Mariner features, well after everything else was produced in-house or done on a freelance basis by Timely. (Simon and Kirby would soon turn out their own #1 hit, Captain America Comics (Mar/41), using a culled staff of their own outside the Timely offices).

1940 and into early 1941 was also early enough for Goodman to still be a bit unsure of the longer potential in comic books. Yes, he had a hit, but would it last? This was really the only time that there was a strong cross-pollination between his long-standing pulps, his venture into magazines and his nascent comic books. New editor Joe Simon had double duty as art editor on Goodman's pulps  and new true-crime magazines (prior to the soon arrival of Mel Blum, who would art-edit Goodman's entire non-comic book line up through 1957.)





























Both Simon and the newly arrived Jack Kirby, in addition to churning out features like "The Vision" in Marvel Mystery Comics, "Marvel Boy" and "The Fiery Mask" in Daring Mystery Comics, as well as their own Captain America (and  secondary features) also moonlighted in both the pulps and the magazines, producing spot illustrations and beautiful double-paged pulp splashes

*** (For a complete look at all the Goodman Simon & Kirby pulp and magazine illustrations, check out my and Blake Bell's Secret History of Marvel Comics, available on Amazon!) ***


Amazing Detective Cases Vol 1, #5 (Aug/41):




National Detective Cases Vol 1, #2 (May/41):






Goodman cross-advertised his new comic book line in these pulp magazines, showcasing the new Marvel Comics, Marvel Mystery Comics, Daring Mystery Comics and Mystic in pulps including Complete Sports (Nov/39, Apr/40) and Sky Devils (Feb/40), trying to entice the adventure fiction reader into giving the new adventure hero comic books a try. If you look at the ad on the below right for Marvel Mystery Comics #6, each listed feature has a sub-heading that connects it to pulp readers and an exact pulp or pulps he was already publishing.... "Marvel Flame Man", associates with Marvel pulp; "Wonderman of the Under Seas", associates general adventure pulp; "Marvel of the Age", again associates Marvel pulp; "Gang-Smasher Supreme", associates crime pulps; "Prince of the Jungle", directly associates Ka-Zar pulp; "Rider of Western 2-Gun Justice, associates innumerable Western pulps; "Mystery Detective", associates detective pulps.































Carl Burgos even contributed a one-page "Human Torch" ad that was run in at least three different pulp issues, Two-Gun Western Novels Magazine Vol 2, #3 (Oct/40), Best Western Vol 4, #5 (Nov/40) and Marvel Stories Vol 2, #2 (Nov/40).  The ad below ran about the same time that Marvel Mystery Comics #12 and #13 were on the newsstands.





*** (Martin Goodman was so in love with the Human Torch that he even loaned the name/logo over to one of his true-crime detective magazines to use in a story about a pyromaniac  From Amazing Detective Cases Vol 2, #4 (Aug/42) p.22-23......) ***




1940-41 was an exciting year for Timely and Burgos. His Human Torch was a huge success and there were several hero character cross-overs where the Funnies Inc. staff would historically work all weekend teaming up epic battles between the Torch and Everett's Sub-Mariner. Burgos and Everett would work on all pages, each artist rendering only his character while a bevy of background artists and inkers followed them in rapid succession, while writers directed traffic on the spot. But the fun wouldn't last and the party broken up.WWII would see to that.


Marvel Mystery Comics #8 (June/40) (last panel):




Marvel Mystery Comics #10 (Aug/40) (page 1):




Burgos entered the service in 1942, but not before creating The White Streak for Novelty PressTarget Comics in 1940 and The Thunderer (with writer John Compton) in Daring Mystery Comics #7 (Apr/41).

Target Comics Vol 1, #1 (Feb/40):











Daring Mystery Comics #7 (Apr/41):
Script: John Compton
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos & Harry Sahle (?)














He spent 4 years in the service, including a year in Germany during the post-war occupation. According to his daughter Susan (interviewed by Jim Amash in Alter Ego #49, June/05), Burgos kept a journal during his time in Germany and was deeply affected by his wartime service; events and experiences he was reluctant to talk about when he returned. How the war affected him is truly unknown, as Burgos apparently kept a lot of it to himself. Could there be a hint in his art? We'll see.

(Photo courtesy of Susan Burgos)


Burgos returned from the war, married his wife Doris in 1947, and joined the Timely staff situated on the 14th floor of the Empire State Building. The post-war Timely line-up was markedly changed from just a few years earlier. Gone were most of the experimental, scattershot hero titles, leaving only a core of the most popular titles, Marvel Mystery Comics, Sub-Mariner, Human Torch and Captain America. Hero sales were falling precipitously, in spite of new blood like Blonde Phantom. Timely dove into the humor genre in 1942 with Comedy Comics, Joker Comics, Krazy Komics and the licensed Terrytoons. This exploded in 1943-47 with a score more including numerous teen titles cashing in on the Archie craze, including Millie the Model, Patsy Walker, Tessie the Typist, Nellie the Nurse, Hedy Devine, Frankie, Georgie, Willie, Cindy, Jeanie, Lana, Margie, Mitzi, Rusty, and Oscar.

Without missing a beat, Burgos returned to the Human Torch, penciling two stories in #28 (Fall/47). The title was now quarterly and Burgos would give it up immediately as he does not appear in issues #30, #31 nor #33. (Unfortunately, I was unable to examine concurrent issues of Marvel Mystery Comics, except for the final issue, #92, June/49, and can confirm he's not there.)

The Human Torch #28 (Fall/47): (story one) #R-512
Script: ?
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: ?
















The Human Torch #28 (Fall/47): (story two) #2042
Script: ?
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: ?








Also by the time of Burgos' return, Timely was expanding into the crime comics market spear-headed in the industry earlier by Lev Gleason's Crime Does Not Pay. In mid 1947, Timely released simultaneously Justice Comics and Official True Crime Cases, both with Fall cover dates and Syd Shores covers.





























The first issue of Official True Crime Cases (#24, Fall/47) featured an 8 page crime story by Burgos, signing the story on the last page (giving us a wonderful ID corroboration opportunity.). This was published at the exact same time as the Human Torch #28 stories above, and the art is nearly identical, pencils and inks. Timely staff work was usually done in a piecemeal, assembly-line fashion, with separate jobs for pencil artists and ink artists. While Burgos could have had some sort of seniority that allowed him to ink his own work, the result seems too slick to be his inks, or his background panel effects. So the inker is unknown to me. The job # of R-535 places it immediately after the lead Torch story above (R-512).

Official True Crime Cases #24 (#1) (Fall/47): #R-535
Script: ?
Pencils: Carl Burgos (signed)
Inks: ?












If 1947 was the year Timely started publishing crime comics, then 1948 was the year it tested the market's strength. Four new titles were introduced.... Crime Fighters, Lawbreakers Always Lose (Gene Colan's debut) and Crime Exposed were standard anthology crime comics. The fourth title, Complete Mystery, was not.

Complete Mystery had two distinct runs. The last 4 issues were standard pre-code crime anthologies. The first four issues were an experimental attempt at full-length stories. Stan Lee culled his favorite artists and wrote issues #2, #3 and #4 all himself. Issue #1 was 25 pages of Gene Colan pencils; #2 was 25 pages of Syd Shores pencils; And #3 and #4 were 25 and 18 pages each by Carl Burgos. Issues #2. #3 and #4 had distinct credit attribution, as seen in the splash below. This was extremely uncommon at Timely at this time. If you want a reason Burgos gave up the Human Torch, the answer is right here,

Complete Mystery #3 (Dec/48): #4041 (25 pages)
Cover: Gene Colan (?)
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: ?
Script: Stan Lee





The cover looks to possibly be Gene Colan. The story below also looks like it was done by multiple hands. Burgos is the penciler and one or two different inkers worked on it. I'm making a guess that Bill Walsh could have been one of them, but I am very uncertain.





























Complete Mystery #4 (Feb/49): #4443 (18 pages)
Cover: ?
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: ?
Script: Stan Lee

Here's the splash. The rest of the story are too many pages in too fragile a book to scan.







Most of 1948 and into 1949 it becomes difficult to definitively find Burgos at Timely. He's likely toiling away in early crime and western stories as well as horror in (1949). Most of this work is still only partially identified or suspected.. I've caught glimpses of what may be his work, pencils and/or inks in All Western Winners, Justice Comics and Marvel Tales #93. But these are more "sightings" than definitive credits. Burgos may as well have resorted back to standard Timely staff work where he was just one cog in the assembly line of diverse hands on covers and in stories. This makes glimpses just that, "glimpses" and definitive attributions nearly impossible, as will be manifested below in a few samples.

Crime Fighters #6 (Mar/49): #4528 (7 pages)
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: ?

This appears to have been penciled by Carl Burgos. The inker is unknown and I can swear I catch glimpses of Gene Colan panels in this story (there are two other Colan stories in this very issue!) Again, possibly a diverse hands job. The job # of 4528 shows the story hails back from the time the two Complete Mystery stories were created.










Lawbreakers Always Lose #7 (Apr/49):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos ?

This may be a Burgos cover in some capacity.





Marvel Tales #93 (Aug/49):


Is this Burgos with a different inker? Or himself? I don't know.







Justice #14 (Nov/49): 


Is this Burgos? At the horrific tail-end of the Timely bullpen, with horrendous inkers, I don't know.





There are at least 20 more examples of possible Burgos sightings in 1949 in all the various permutations of covers and stories primarily crime and westerns. All are guesses and all are frustrating to Timely/Atlas research and attribution.

At the end of 1949 Timely disbanded their staff at the Empire State Building. The reason has long been the perhaps somewhat apocryphal story about Martin Goodman finding a "closet full of inventory." Sure that's a possible or at least a contributing reason. There could also have been tax reasons and he used the "closet" as an excuse. At this point, with all the business particulars now dead, we'll probably never really know the reason.

With all work now done by freelancers, Timely still needed a support staff for production ... editors, letterers, colorists, etc. The story art also improves by leaps and bounds. Gone is the assembly-line process of pencilers and inkers passing pages around, or diverse hand art jobs. A freelancer now came into the office to pick up a script. He took it home to pencil and ink it, designing the splash anyway he/she wanted. Certainly some pencilers used inkers to finish their work if they desired, and Timely still had inker freelancers to do this.

Most of the work published in the first half at least of 1950 (and often beyond) was still earlier inventoried staff-produced piecemeal work with new splash panels, eliminating the ugly page one Timely grid. In 1951 Carl Burgos starts to be noticeable again, primarily as a cover artist. The covers of the post 1950 Atlas era were handled by a handful of artists, some of which may have been on the production staff. As the 1950's move on, in the non-humor books consisting of westerns, horror/fantasy, war and crime, the main core of cover artists were Joe Maneely, Russ Heath, Bill Everett, John Severin, Sol Brodsky and Carl Burgos. At least 20 others all had miscellaneous covers here and there, including Carmine Infantino, Vern Henkel, Mike Sekowsky, Jerry Robinson, Gene Colan, Dick Ayers, John Romita, Fred Kida, and Robert Q. Sale, but the vast majority were by the former six artists mentioned.... Maneely, Heath, Everett, Severin, Brodsky and Burgos.

Was Burgos re-hired onto the production staff or was he a freelancer? I don't know. Did he do any other sort of work outside the industry through the 1950's when Timely disbanded the staff? I don't know that either. Stan Goldberg told me he didn't recall Burgos being on staff in the 1950's but Goldberg's coloring department was frequently off-site in a completely different building as the 1950's wore on. Also, we don't know "exactly" the time period Goldberg was referring to, from the post-staff disbanding in late 1949 through the Atlas implosion of 1957 is a long 7 years. By virtue (as we will see) of he being so meticulously involved with cover production, it leads me to think he was on the actual Atlas production staff.



ATLAS COMICS

A lot of early Atlas indices showed Sol Brodsky as one of the most prolific Atlas cover artists. Brodsky "was" prolific. He drew a ton of covers. But many, many covers have now been taken away from him over the last 2 decades. As we will see down below, and especially as we enter the post-code period, a Brodsky signature and Burgos' meddling on covers was the ultimate reason for this miscue.

Burgos as a larger member of this group is a somewhat recent attribution as he rarely ever signed any of his covers except for a tiny handful of Atlas Mad parody covers, Men's Adventures hero, and the final issue of the Human Torch cover in 1954. John Romita has told me in the past  that Carl Burgos was an unofficial "cover editor" of sorts in the 1950's, that he would occasionally lay out covers for artists. In his interview with Roy Thomas published in "John Romita...All That Jazz" (TwoMorrows Publishing, 2007) Romita relates, "He was on staff, working 9 to 5 in the office. And, in fact, he did do cover sketches. He did cover sketches for Captain America."

With this in mind and taking the signed covers in 1954, we can extrapolate through the early 1950's up to the comics code. For the most part with rare exception, from 1951-1957, it appears Burgos was primarily a cover artist and additionally, a cover "layout' artist. In fact, in reviewing his entire output and taking what John Romita said at face value, it can be said that Burgos had a "hand" in the largest proportion of covers Atlas published from 1952 to 1957 than any other artist, whether he penciled them or not.

None of the covers below (with noted rare exception) are signed, nor are they a complete inventory of Burgos' work of the period (though I'd bet 90% are here). They are generous examples though, more than enough to give a reader a thorough understanding of the work. All of the attributions are just that, attributions. Some of them, especially from mid 1952 onward, are just about a certainty by Burgos, either penciller/inker of inker/finisher.


1951

1951 is a tough year to find Carl Burgos. We just don't know what he was doing stylistically and how much he was participating. We get vapor-like glimpses of panels and inks suggesting Burgos' involvement in stories and/or covers, but all are hunches and supposition. It's very frustrating.


Adventures Into Terror #44 (#2) (Feb/51):

Burgos probably had something to do with this cover, exactly what I don't know.



Adventures Into Terror #4 (June/51):
Layout: Carl Burgos
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

An early "menacing hands" cover that was typical of a Burgos layout The main figure may not be Burgos and probably are not.





Journey Into Unknown Worlds #5 (June/51):
Layout: Carl Burgos
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Another "menacing hands" cover.






Strange Tales #1 (June/51):
Layout: Carl Burgos
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

A third "menacing hands" cover from the exact same cover month of June/51!  The figures could be him, or not, possibly Sol Brodsky. This cover inexplicably was also used as a stat to replace the splash panel of the Mike Esposito story inside.





Mystic #3 (July/51):
Layout: Carl Burgos
Pencils: Carl Burgos ? Sol Brodsky ?
Inks: Carl Burgos ? Sol Brodsky ?

Another cover seemingly laid out by Burgos, with a similar theme as the clutching hands (this time clutching teeth!). The figures may be Sol Brodsky.







1952


1952 finds Burgos on scores of horror, crime, spy and war covers. His style is also changing. It's becoming more illustrative (realistic) as the cartoony renderings of the golden-age are left behind. He also begins to use a lot of black and ink with a lot of "hay". His war covers are extremely dark and violent, giving one the indication he witnessed a lot of war horrors of his own while serving during the second world war.

Occasionally it's hard to tell if he's penciling and inking a cover or just inking. This is very problematic because Burgos' inking is often so overwrought that he submerges all but the most striking pencilers. A big further problem is the fact Burgos, as "unofficial cover editor", would tinker with covers already penciled and inked by someone else, historically making the ID puzzle even more difficult. As we will later see, this will lead to many Joe Maneely, Sol Brodsky, Russ Heath, etc., covers that although signed by the respective artist, have more than one inker. Burgos added after the covers were already finished.

It's very noticeable that Burgos's art has now matured tremendously. He's miles above the raw Funnies Inc. staffer of a decade earlier. His figures are realistic and his staging exciting. His definitive style that he will be known and identified by emerges this year.


Men In Action #1 (Apr/52):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Burgos inks and possibly/probably pencils.





Space Worlds #6 (Apr/52):
Pencils: Sol Brodsky, Carl Burgos
Inks: Sol Brodsky, Carl Burgos

A Sol Brodsky cover where Carl Burgos adds his "clutching hands". One of their last appearances.





Man Comics #14 (May/52):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Pencils probably Burgos, inks definitely.





Men In Action #2 (May/52):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Likely all Burgos.



Adventures Into Terror #10 (June/52):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos: ?

Probably all Burgos but just unsure 100%. The darkness and the giant bat shadow leans to Burgos. The lying figure may have Bill Everett involvement, if so making this a potential tinkered with cover.





Crime Can't Win #11 (June/52):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Looks all Burgos.




Battlefront #3 (Aug/52):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

All Burgos.






Strange Tales #9 (Aug/52):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos ?

Burgos is best guess.





Kent Blake of the Secret Service #9 (Sept/52):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Mostly Burgos.





Sports Action #14 (Sept/52):
Pencils: Brodsky ?
Inks: Burgos ?

I'm convinced Burgos is on this cover but exactly what eludes me. Main figure likely Sol Brodsky.





Battle #13 (Oct/52):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Pure Burgos.





Battlefield #2 (Oct/52):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Burgos inks, probably pencils also.




Men's Adventures #16 (Oct/52):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Very similar to Battlefield #2 above. Likely Burgos pencils, certain Burgos inks.






War Comics #12 (Oct/52):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Burgos inks, probably pencils also.




Battle #14 (Nov/52):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Burgos pencils and inks.




Battle Action #6 (Nov/52): 
Pencils: Jerry Robinson
Inks: Carl Burgos

While there's no doubt Burgos partially inked and/or noodled this cover, the figure work (and the signature) tells us Jerry Robinson penciled it. Robinson "was" doing war covers for Atlas in 1952 and has two Battle Brady stories in this very issue. On the surface, there was no real reason for this noodling. The process whereby Carl Burgos (as cover editor) "adds to", "noodles with" or "contributes to" covers by other artists, I've coined as "Burgosation". [©Doc V. 2016]





Man Comics #20 (Nov/52):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Looks to be Burgos pencils and inks.




Mystic #14 (Nov/52):
Pencils:Burgos ?
Inks: Burgos

Maybe a hodge-podge cover. Burgos inks but uncertain Burgos pencils, though likely.





Justice Comics #32 (Dec/52):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Likely all Burgos.





Man Comics #21 (Dec/52):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Looks to be all Burgos.




Men's Adventures #17 (Dec/52):

Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Likely all Burgos.





Spellbound #10 (Dec/52):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Maybe Burgos inks only, but maybe all Burgos. Too tough to call.








1953

In 1953, as Atlas is expanding across all genres, Carl Burgos is incredibly prolific primarily as a cover artist, producing (participating in) just under 100 covers for the entire year! This is an enormous, prodigious output and until the last decade or so, mostly unknown to comics history and unattributed to Burgos' career legacy. It has taken a group of tireless Atlas indexers, researchers and historians (pioneered by the great Jim Vadaboncoeur, Jr., the GCD, Atlas Tales and various permutations of Timely/Atlas Yahoo lists and now a Facebook group) to finally get credit for Burgos and others. Note that Burgos spectacularly renders an inordinate number of violent and brutal pre-code war covers. These are some of the very best in the genre.

Battlefield #7 (Jan/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Pure Burgos.





Battle Action #8 (Jan/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Looks to be pure Burgos pencils and inks. Gorgeous cover.




Combat #8 (Jan/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Pure Burgos pencils and inks. A very stark, dark and pensive cover depicting the horror of war on the individual. One of my favorites.





Combat Casey #6 (Jan/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Likely all Burgos.




Kent Blake of the Secret Service #11 (Jan/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Appears mostly Burgos, maybe. Could be Burgosized "somebody".





War Adventures #12 (Jan/53):
Pencils: Sol Brodsky
Inks: Carl Burgos

This gorgeous cover is one of the reasons filtering out the work of Carl Burgos has been so hard until now. On the surface this looks like a Carl Burgos cover, but in reality it was penciled by Sol Brodsky, very evidently so by the angle of the soldier's face and his eyes. It then was completely inked and finished by Burgos, a process I earlier referred to as "Burgosation." The end result is a cover that no one but those few who can identify the work of 1950's Brodsky would think anyone other than Burgos all by himself. The beautiful coloring is probably by Stan Goldberg.





Men's Adeventures #18 (Feb/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Burgos inks and probable pencils.



Strange Tales #14 (Jan/53): #B-514
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos
Script: Stan Lee

This story has been attributed to Jim Mooney in the past but in light of my overdose on Carl Burgos, have concluded it's possibly all Carl Burgos. Stan Lee script.








Suspense #27 (Feb/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Probably all Burgos.




Young Men #19 (Feb/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Carl Burgos pencils and inks.





Adventures Into Weird Worlds #16 (Mar/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Looks like all Burgos.





Astonishing #23 (Mar/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Looks to be all Burgos.






Battlefield #9 (Mar/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Pure Burgos. A great cover!







Combat Casey #7 (Mar/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Likely all Burgos.





Spellbound #13 (Mar/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Looks to be all Burgos.






Suspense #28 (Mar/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Likely all Burgos.






Battlefield #10 (Apr/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Pure Burgos. Another great one.





Justice Comics #36 (Apr/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Best guess here is Burgos, at least certain on the inks.





Mystic #19 (Apr/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

All Carl Burgos.






Strange Tales #17 (Apr/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos






Suspense #29 (Apr/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

All Burgos.





War Comics #18 (Apr/53)
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

All Carl Burgos without hint of anyone underneath.





Adventures Into Terror #19 (May/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Probably all Burgos.






War Comics #19 (May/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Burgos inks and probable pencils.





Combat Kelly #14 (June/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Likely all Burgos, but...






Spellbound #15 (June/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

All Burgos.





Battle #21 (July/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

All Burgos.





Battlefront #12 (July/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Looks to be all Burgos but Sol Brodsky could be hiding underneath.






Journey into Mystery #10 (July/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Tough one. Guess is all Burgos. Possibly Burgosized Sol Brodsky.





Lorna The Jungle Queen #1 (July/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

This could be Burgosized  Al Hartley!  Hard to tell.





War Comics #20 (July/53): 
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Pure Carl Burgos.






Adventures Into Terror #22 (Aug/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Guess is all Burgos but could be Burgosized Sol Brodsky.






Bible Tales For Young Folk #1 (Aug/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos ?

This one is a matter of deduction. There's no one else it could seemingly be. Best guess. Same for the story inside by the same artist.





Combat Kelly #15 (Aug/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

All Burgos.





Justice Comics #39 (Aug/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Best guess here is Burgos.





Lorna the Jungle Queen #2 (Aug/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

It's possible this is a Burgosized cover but there's no way to be 100% sure. The main image hints at Russ Heath but not enough to lean that way.






Strange Tales #21 (Aug/53):
Pencils: Sol Brodsky & Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

The clutching hands of Burgos are back! Otherwise it's primarily  a Burgosized Sol Brodsky cover.




Adventures Into Terror #23 (Sept/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

All Burgos.





Journey Into Mystery #12 (Sept/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos, Chris Rule ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Pure Burgos, although the woman looks like it could be Chris Rule.




Lorna the Jungle Queen #3 (Sept/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

A bit atypical but possibly Burgosized.






Menace #7 (Sept/53):
Pencils: Sol Brodsky ? Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Possibly Burgosized Sol Brodsky.






Speed Carter Spaceman #1 (Sept/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Long unattributed (or attributed incorrectly to Bill Everett), this cover looks to be all Burgos.






Uncanny Tales #12 (Sept/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Possibly a Burgosized Sol Brodsky cover, but cannot say for certain





Menace #8 (Oct/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Pure Carl Burgos, pencils and inks on a seminal title.





Mystic #24 (Oct/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Best guess is pure Carl Burgos.







Men's Adventures #24 (Nov/53):
Pencils: Sol Brodsky ? Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Like we've seen before, this could in fact be Burgosized Sol Brodsky.








Speed Carter Spaceman #2 (Nov/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Like issue #1, long unattributed,  this cover looks to be All Burgos.






Adventures Into Terror #26 (Dec/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

All Burgos.





Combat Casey #13 (Dec/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

All Burgos.






Journey Into Mystery #13 (Dec/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Pure Burgos.






Additionally at the end of cover date Dec/53, Atlas proves to Carl Burgos that you can go back home again, at least for a little while.

While throwing out on the newsstands anything and everything from horror and crime comics, war and western comics, romance and teen comics, to biblical and talking animal comics, one type of comic book was not being published by Atlas and Martin Goodman. This would be the type that started the entire ball rolling, both in the industry and for Goodman in 1939....... superhero comics.

Missing from the Timely fold since the final demise of Captain America in issue #74, Oct/49 (#75 did not feature any heroes), after 4 years of strict genre comics a decision was made to re-try superheroes once again. National's "The Adventures of Superman" was very successful on the new medium of television and Martin Goodman was not one to let a potential trend pass him by.

Timely's "big 3" heroes consisting of Captain America, Sub-Mariner and the Human Torch were revived across 5 different titles. Each of their own Timely runs were re-started and continued their original numbering as well. With the Korean War over since July (the genesis for the entire war comics flood in 1950), Goodman also took two now superfluous war titles, Young Men and Men's Adventures, and changed their content to hero fodder.

The Human Torch as a feature would run in all 5 issues of Young Men, 2 issues of Men's Adventures and 3 issues each of the revived golden-age titles Human Torch and Captain America.

Young Men #24 (Dec/53) hit the newsstands like a rocket., with "The Human Torch Returns" blaring across the top! Carl Burgos depicted his flaming brainchild once again on the cover. Inside, the Human Torch was given to Russ Heath, Captain America to a young John Romita (he'd been freelancing for Atlas since 1951) and Bill Everett was back on the Sub-Mariner. Why Burgos didn't immediately return to the Torch is unknown, but being too busy drawing and laying out covers may be the answer.

Burgos would return to draw the Torch in the next 4 issues, while Dick Ayers (with and without inker Ernie Bache) would handle the feature in Men's Adventures, Captain America and the Human Torch. Burgos would render the splashes in two stories of the latter title and often many of the interior flaming torch panels were paste-ups of Burgos' version of the Torch over Dick Ayers' versions.


Young Men #24 (Dec/53):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos








1954



1954 starts out with Martin Goodman jumping onto the 3-D craze that had permeated the newsstands ...... but too late. He tries two titles, both cover month January and both cancelled after a single issue. Carl Burgos fronts the war title quite nicely with a beautiful cover.

3-D Action #1 (Jan/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Pure Burgos cover.







Adventures Into Terror #28 (Feb/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Pure Burgos cover.






Journey Into Unknown Worlds #24 (Feb/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Possibly a Burgosized Brodsky cover but I cannot tell with any certainty.






Young Men #25 (Feb/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Burgos returns on the cover of issue #25 and he also is back on the "Human Torch" story, penciling and inking the 8 page story. After looking at only covers for several years, seeing Burgos' storytelling and story art is a pleasant surprise. He penciled and inked this work and the result is as good as any but the top tier artists Atlas employed.













Justice Comics #44 (Mar/44):
Pencils: Al Eadeh, Carl Burgos (panel 3)
Inks: Al Eadeh, Carl Burgos (panel 3)

In an otherwise Al Eadeh crime story, Burgos redraws panel 3.





Police Action #2 (Mar/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

This could be a Burgosized Sol Brodsky cover






Speed Carter, Spaceman #4 (Mar/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Burgos is the likeliest choice for this cover.






Strange Tales #26 (Mar/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

All Burgos.






In late 1953 and into 1954 Atlas tried to copy the very successful humor formula pioneered at EC on their Mad Comics and later Panic. Goodman  produced 3 titles, Crazy, Wild and Riot. Stan Lee culled together his best and favorite artists and although all three were short-lived, they produced some wonderfully funny material and fantastic cultural caricatures. Artists included Joe Maneely, Bill Everett, Russ Heath, Howie Post, Al Hartley, Ed Winiarski, Sol Brodsky, Dick Ayers (with Ernie Bache), John Forte, Gene Colan, Hy Rosen, Paul Reinman, Dave Berg, Mike Sekowski, Carl Hubbell, Mort Drucker, Dan DeCarlo, John Severin and Carl Burgos, who drew (and often signed) seven total covers: Crazy #5,#6, Riot #1,#2 and Wild #2,#3,#4.


Wild #2 (Mar/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Young Men #26 (Mar/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Another all-Burgos take on the Human Torch.



Inside Burgos produces another 8 pages of Human Torch art. John Romita handles captain America and Bill Everett the Sub-Mariner.












Crazy #5 (Apr/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos (signed)
Inks: Carl Burgos

Cover month Apr/54 is a rare appearance for Burgos signing his covers, here signing with "Burgos" at the bottom center.





Human Torch #36 (Apr/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos (signed)
Inks: Carl Burgos

Rare cover signed "Burgos" in the lower right hand corner.




Here's an example of what John Romita has said about Burgos doing paste-ups over Dick Ayers Torch figures. I own the original art to page 6 of the Dick Ayers Torch story below and you can see in panel 4 the original panel of the Torch ablaze by Ayers. Burgos covered it with a past-up of the Torch without his flame. In actuality, I cannot for the life of me figure out "why" Burgos drew the Torch figure without his flame, considering he was burning the dinosaur's legs under the water. The past-up doesn't even look like the Torch. It looks like Toro! It seems like a real cross-up here.







Jungle Action #4 (Apr/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Riot #1 (Apr/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos (signed)
Inks: Carl Burgos






Wild #3 (Apr/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos (signed)
Inks: Carl Burgos





Young Men #27 (Apr/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Cover and 8 page Torch story by Burgos. The cover below is a stat and blow-up of the splash panel by Burgos.














Adventures Into Terror #31 (May/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

All Burgos.






Captain America #76 (May/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Long unattributed, this cover is definitely Carl Burgos (although the figures could be someone else). The 6 page Human Torch story is also by Burgos.











Crazy #6 (May/54):
Pencils, Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Signed "C. B." at the lower right corner





Men's Adventures #27 (May/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos (signed)
Inks: Carl Burgos

Signed "Burgos" at the bottom of the right panel. Inside, Dick Ayers was now drawing the Human Torch (inked by Ernie Bache).






Adventures Into Weird Worlds #30 (June/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Could be Burgosized over someone. No guesses who.






Astonishing #33 (June/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

All Burgos.





Human Torch #37 (June/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Dick Ayers draws all 3 Human Torch stories in this issue but all three have replacement splash panel by Carl Burgos. Why? I don't know. Ayers was already established as a decent Torch artist, having penciled several stories without incident. With all the time I spent with Dick over the years, I kick myself for not asking him.




Story 1: Pure Burgos splash!






Story 2:




Story 3:






Mystic #31 (June/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

This cover begins a trend that Carl Burgos begins to follow in designing his fantasy covers from the mid 1950's onward. By 1954 Atlas begins to get away from straight "horror" and lean towards softer "fantasy" themes in their books. The heat being taken by the industry due to the pressure of Dr. Fredric Wertham (and the soon to appear comics code) allows Burgos to begin to experiment with stark, solitary covers. While cover artists in general will now have their hands tied (all violence taken off the table), this very cover launches a series of images over the next three years whereby Burgos depicts lonely, silent and solitary figures, enigmatically staring off into space or reflecting somberly on something else going on in the scene. As the comic code hits and Atlas expands the fantasy line, Burgos time and again will turn out scenes of intense melancholy. A question to ponder is whether these covers reflected something from inside Burgos himself. Did Carl Burgos resonate with this same somber, almost despondent outlook? We know from his daughter Susan that the war affected Burgos to some extent. In Jim Amash's Alter Ego interview there's a quote from Susan about her father, "he had  a faraway look about him." That really sums up these melancholy covers. The subjects have a "faraway look about them." In the post-code period they become very, very common. As they begin to appear, I will point them out as "gloom" covers.






Riot #2 (June/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos (signed)
Inks: Carl Burgos

Burgos initials this cover "C.B." in the lower right hand corner.





Strange Tales #29 (June/54):
Pencils: Sol Brodsky
Inks: Carl Burgos

A Burgosized Sol Brodsky cover.





Sub-Mariner #34 (June/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ? Bill Everett ?
Inks: Carl Burgos, Bill Everett ?

Burgos possibly with Everett touching up Subby.





Uncanny Tales #21 (June/54):
Pencils: Sol Brodsky ?, Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

This could be a Burgosized Sol Brodsky cover.





Wild #4 (June/54):
pencils: Carl Burgos (signed)
Inks: Carl Burgos

Signed "C.B." at the lower right corner.






Young Men #28 (June/54):
Pencils Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Cover and 8 page Torch story by Burgos.












Men's Adventures #28 (July/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

All Burgos. Inside, Dick Ayers was now drawing the Human Torch for Atlas (inked by Ernie Bache).




Except for the splash panel below. Ayers original splash is replaced by Carl Burgos.







Strange Tales #30 (July/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos






Outlaw Fighters #1 (Aug/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

All Burgos.





Sub-Mariner #35 (Aug/54):
Pencils: ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

The figures in the submarine and the finish are all Burgos. I have no idea who drew the Sub-Mariner.





Captain America #78 (Sept/54):
Pencils: John Romita
Inks: John Romita
Layout: Carl Burgos

In John Romita ... All That Jazz (TwoMorrows Publishing, 2007), Romita tells Roy Thomas, "On the Electro cover (Captain America #78), I distinctly remember that Burgos gave me a sketch. I don't remember if I changed it or not, but he was giving me cover sketches for about a year. I believe the one with the octopus is the only cover sketch I did. Burgos was sort of a cover editor."






Crime Fighters #11 (Sept/54):
Pencils: Sol Brodsky ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

This could be a Burgosized Sol Brodsky cover.






Jungle Tales #7 (Sept/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos




Justice Comics #49 (Sept/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

This could be a Burgosized Sol Brodsky cover, or it could not.





Combat Casey #18 (Oct/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Probably all Burgos.




Journey Into Mystery #18 (Oct/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Seems to be all Burgos but no guarantee.





Journey Into Unknown Worlds #31 (Oct/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Looks to be all Burgos.





Police Action #6 (Oct/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

This could be a Burgosized Sol Brodsky cover.






Wild Western #37 (Oct/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

All Burgos depicting Kid Colt, Outlaw.





Crime Fighters #12 (Nov/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Probably all Burgos.






Jungle Tales #2 (Nov/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

All Burgos.




Justice Comics #50 (Nov/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Looks like all Burgos.






Spy Cases #1 (Nov/54) #F-217 (page 1, panel 1):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Joe Sinnott was the artist for this 4-issue run but inexplicably the splash panel of the debut story is drawn by Carl Burgos. Sinnott draws the bottom 2 panels below and the rest of the story.




Sub-Mariner #36 (Nov/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Not sure who penciled the Sub-Mariner on this cover but it could be Burgos.





Western Thrillers #1 (Nov/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

All Burgos. A strange western anthology title, the first 5 issues were reprints of Timely western stories from 1949 through 1952. This was one of a tiny handful of times Martin Goodman reprinted stories. I haven't been able to figure out exactly "why". With so many titles and so much material being produced, there was no need to reprint anything.






Astonishing #36 (Dec/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Pure Burgos. I actually love this cover! Reminds me of a Kirby-esque pre-hero monster cover in its concept and design. Lovely coloring also by the great Stan Goldberg. From cover to cover, Burgos flips from heavy, hay-like inking and shading to a darker, slicker ink line.






Journey Into Mystery #19 (Dec/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Looks like all Burgos. Pre-hero prototype? No.






Navy Action #3 (Dec/54):Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos






Rugged Action #1 (Dec/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

A men's adventure four issue anthology title, Burgos drew the first cover and Joe Maneely the final three.






Uncanny Tales #27 (Dec/54):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

A very atmospheric cover, not in the despondent series, but certainly one evoking eerie desolation.








1955

Cover year 1955 will be the year of the comics code. Between cover months February and March (there were isolated exceptions) all Atlas comic books began to feature a large code stamp as material for publication now had to be "approved" by the comics code censors. Two extended looks at the history of this censorship, particularly as it pertains to Timely and Atlas, can be found here and here.


Crime Fighters #13 (Jan/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos




Spy Thrillers #2 (Jan/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

All Burgos




Uncanny Tales #28 (Jan/55):
Pencils: Russ Heath & Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos (and Russ Heath?)

Well it was only a matter of time. A Burgosized Russ Heath cover! Actually, the only Heath I see is the man in the white shirt. Everything else appears to be Burgos.






Journey Into Unknown Worlds #33 (Feb/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos






Marvel Tales #131 (Feb/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Journey Into Mystery #23 (Mar/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

All Burgos.





Spy Thrillers #3 (Mar/55):
Pencils: Sol Brodsky
Inks: Carl Burgos

This is a Burgosized Sol Brodsky cover.






Uncanny Tales #29 (Mar/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Burgos using the now rare "non-hay" rendering style.80% of all his post-code covers are not drawn and finished this way.






Astonishing #38 (Apr/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Another melancholy "gloom" cover.





Journey Into Unknown Worlds #34 (Apr/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos






Mystery Tales #28 (Apr/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

This could be a Burgosized Sol Brodsky cover, but I cannot tell.





Ringo Kid #5 (Apr/55):
Pencils: Joe Maneely
Inks: Carl Burgos

An example of Burgos unable to keep his hands off a Joe Maneely cover. The image of the Ringo Kid here has been completely Burgosized.






Strange Tales #35 (Apr/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Uncanny Tales #30 (Apr/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Journey Into Mystery #24 (May/55):
Pencils: Sol Brodsky ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

A Burgosized Sol Brodsky cover.





Marvel Tales #134 (May/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Beautiful coloring on this by Stan Goldberg.





Mystery Tales #29 (May/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Rare word balloons on the cover!





Mystic #37 (May/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Although there's an outside chance this is a Burgosized Sol Brodsky cover, my feeling is it's all Carl Burgos.






Spy Thrillers #4 (May/55):
Pencils: Sol Brodsky
Inks: Carl Burgos

Same as issue #3 This is a Burgosized Sol Brodsky cover.






Uncanny Tales #31 (May/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

I hate these 4 panel covers. Atlas used them often in Combat Kelly and the jungle anthology titles like Jungle Action and Jungle Tales.





Western Tales of the Black Rider #28 (May/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Burgos just wasn't all that prolific in the western titles.






Wild Western #43 (May/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Astonishing #39 (June/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Beautiful coloring by Stan Goldberg.




Mystery Tales #30 (June/55):
Pencils: Sol Brodsky ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

This looks like a Burgosized Sol Brodsky cover.





Strange Tales #36 (June/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Battle #41 (July/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos




Battlefront #33 (July/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Journey Into Mystery #25 (July/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Another in the series of "gloom" covers by Burgos.





Kid Colt Outlaw #50 (July/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Marvel Tales #136 (July/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Mystery Tales #31 (July/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Mystic #38 (July/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks:Carl Burgos






Astonishing #40 (Aug/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Another spectacular coloring job by Stan Goldberg.





Combat Kelly #32 (Aug/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Journey Into Unknown Worlds #36 (Aug/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos






Mystery Tales #32 (Aug/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

A very "gloomy" cover.





Navy Action #7 (Aug/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

All Burgos.





Strange Tales #37 (Aug/55):
Pencils: Sol Brodsky
Inks: Carl Burgos

Burgosized Sol Brodsky.





Battle #42 (Sept/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Journey Into Mystery #26 (Sept/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Mystery Tales #33 (Sept/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

More isolation and gloom.






Strange Tales #38 (Sept/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Uncanny Tales #35 (Sept/55):
Pencils: Joe Maneely
Inks: Joe Maneely, Carl Burgos

Another Burgosized Joe Maneely cover, this one unsigned. The figures, the street sign and the boat are Maneely. All the backgrounds are by Burgos.






Astonishing #42 (Oct/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos




Combat Casey #24 (Oct/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Journey Into Mystery #27 (Oct/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos






Journey Into Unknown Worlds #38 (Oct/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Marvel Tales #139 (Oct/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Another disconsolate "gloom" cover.





Mystery Tales #34 (Oct/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos







Navy Combat #3 (Oct/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Spellbound #24 (Oct/55):
Pencils: Joe Maneely
Inks: Joe Maneely, Carl Burgos

This Spellbound #24 cover is the ultimate example of Burgosation! Penciled and signed by Joe Maneely, the inks long gave early indexers the notion that it was Maneely's own "hay-like" inks on this cover (and led to Maneely often being attributed, incorrectly, with many covers including the Sub-Mariner #42 cover below).




Heck! The cover above doesn't even look like Joe Maneely's work!  It wasn't the early indexers' fault, the cover was signed by Maneely, right? Well ........ Sure it was signed by Maneely, but no one knew that Carl Burgos was noodling, ...... ok, let's just say it.... "tampering" with an otherwise "finished" Maneely cover. How do we know Burgos wasn't simply inking the cover drawn in raw pencil form by Maneely, doing what any inker would do, that is, adding their own style to the finish?

Because of the existence of the original Maneely inked cover published on a Mexican Atlas reprint in the early 1960's!





So how do we explain this? Not only did Burgos completely re-ink an already finished, inked cover, but he changed the position of the man's right leg from forward to pointing backward. The left leg from the knee down as well as the foot is re-drawn and the handgun is taken away from the small table. That last item may well be a code-necessitated change, although the shotgun is kept in the drawing. Also gone are the beads of sweat on the man's face and the face itself is completely re-drawn. The upper torso is also bulked up with wider muscular shoulders and larger upper arms. And one other thing bothers me.... I'm not convinced those legs on the original cover were drawn by Joe Maneely. They almost look like "they" were Burgosized earlier and the legs ended up going through 2 completely different sets of changes. Here are the two covers side-by-side.....




The existence of this original version leads to the realization that Burgos really was a cover editor who had final say on anything being considered for publication by Atlas. He had free reign to tinker, in his opinion correct, muddle with, ink, re-ink and/or change any cover by any artist. It also makes me seriously consider any cover he worked on could potentially be Burgosized unbeknownst to unsuspecting indexers.



Strange Tales #39 (Oct/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Sub-Mariner #42 (Oct/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

This Sub-Mariner cover looks to be pure Burgos. (Or maybe not. Without another artist's signature to give it away, and in light of recent revelations, you just never know...)

It's also the very last Timely/Atlas hero issue, with the Sub-Mariner (10 issues) outlasting both Captain America and the Human Torch (3 issues each).






Uncanny Tales #36 (Oct/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos






Astonishing #43 (Nov/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Fantastic cover. Carl Burgos gave the definite look to Atlas fantasy in the post-code period, more so than anyone else, including Bill Everett and Joe Maneely. Touching so many covers including those he didn't pencil, the entire line was branded with his cover layouts and overwrought inking.






Jann of the Jungle #8 (Nov/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

I believe this is all Burgos.





Journey Into Mystery #28 (Nov/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Disconsolate "gloom" cover.





Journey Into Unknown Worlds #39 (Nov/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

A "gloom" cover.





Marvel Tales #140 (Nov/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Solitary "gloom" cover.





Mystery Tales #35 (Nov/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

More "gloom".





Mystic #41 (Nov/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

More isolation and despondency





Uncanny Tales #37 (Nov/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks:Carl Burgos

I'll be darned if that isn't a Burgos self-portrait on the left.





War Comics #38 (Nov/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Astonishing #44 (Dec/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Battle Action #20 (Dec/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Combat Kelly #34 (Dec/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Journey Into Mystery #29 (Dec/55):
Pencils: Joe Maneely
Inks: Joe Maneely, Carl Burgos

Burgos does it again! This is a signed Joe Maneely cover completely Burgosized so that the only thing recognizable as Maneely besides the signature is the figure of the man at the center of the shadow. Another melancholy "gloom" cover.






Journey Into Unknown Worlds #40 (Dec/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Marines In Battle #9 (Dec/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

While this entire cover is Burgos, doesn't that soldier's face make you wonder just a little that this might be a Burgosized Russ Heath cover?





Marvel Tales #141 (Dec/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Mystery Tales #36 (Dec/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Burgos uses a combination "hay" and "slick" ink line between the people in the background and the man in the foreground.






Spellbound #25 (Dec/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Another solitary man "gloom" cover.





Strange Stories of Suspense #6 (Dec/55):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks:Carl Burgos

When the comics code came down like an iron curtain over the industry, many comics publishers went out of business. Remaining publishes of perceived "offensive" material curtailed their lines of such subject matter and made childish but necessary changes in the material to conform to the new standards. Atlas was one of these publishers who had to do so. But Atlas did one thing that no other company did. As publishers were cancelling horror/fantasy, Martin Goodman gave the ok, nine months after the institution of the comics code, to start expanding the fantasy line! Not a single fantasy title was cancelled as a result of the comics code. Cover date Nov/55 he began to introduce new titles to the already running and established 8 titles, doubling the line to 16 by the middle of 1956. All these titles needed cover artists and no one was more prolific than Carl Burgos!






Strange Tales #41 (Dec/55):
Pencils: Joe Maneely
Inks: Carl Burgos

In what appears to be a month where this happens often, another signed Joe Maneely cover that no one would even know had anything to do with Maneely.  Pure, unadulterated Burgosization. In fact, it's a cover that reeks of dripping, all-encompassing dark, doom and gloom. Again, it makes me ponder Burgos' mindset in constructing these covers. Were they reflective of the man himself?






Strange Tales of the Unusual #1 (Dec/55):
Pencils: Joe Maneely
Inks: Joe Maneely, Carl Burgos

Although signed, this is a Burgosized Joe Maneely cover. I'm going under the assumption Maneely inked it and Burgos stamped it with his finish.





To close out 1955 I want to include three stories, a variety we have not seen before. In the midst of  all the newsstand genres Atlas was publishing in the middle of the decade, the one we have not seen Burgos participate in any way, shape or form was the romance genre. By mid 1955 Atlas had only 5 ongoing romance titles (3 more would be added by the Fall) and in three successive months, a story is published that appears to contain the participation of Carl Burgos. All three job numbers, F-830, F-899 and F-969 are close together, meaning they were likely illustrated close together. One scriptor is known, Paul S. Newman.

The titles/issues are Secret Story Romances #13 (June/55), Love Romances #50 (July/55) and Love Tales #63 (Aug/55). I don't believe they are all Burgos, in fact, I haven't really concluded how much he did on them, but he is there. I will address all three below. You can see what you think. Note the overabundant amount of cross advertising house ads on the bottom of every single page for girl titles Meet Miss Bliss, Della Vision and My Girl Pearl.

Secret Story Romances #13 (June/55) #F-830 "The True Mary Grove" (5 pages)
Pencils:?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Burgos appears to be inking this story over someone. One panel even looks like Vince Colletta, and I suppose it's not impossible Vinnie tinkered if necessary.








Love Romances #50 (July/55) #F-969 "Success Story" (5 pages)
Pencils: Jay Scott Pike ? Vince Colletta ? Stan Goldberg ?
Inks: Carl Burgos? Vince Colletta ?

Burgos is even less apparent, but I believe still here. I get glimpses of Jay Scott Pike underneath and again, glimpses of Vince Colletta. Perhaps even Stan Goldberg.







Love Tales #63 (Aug/55) #F-899 "Wedding March" (5 pages)
Script: Paul S. Newman
Pencils: Jay Scott Pike ?, Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Again this could be Jay Scott Pike underneath but I'm alternately wondering if Burgos himself penciled this. I lean way more to Pike.












1956


Astonishing #45 (Jan/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Another solitary "gloom" cover.





Battle #44 (Jan/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Billy Buckskin Western #2 (Jan/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Jann of the Jungle #9 (Jan/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Journey Into Mystery #30 (Jan/56): #H-174 "No Way Out!" (4 pages)
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?, Joe Maneely ?
Inks: Carl Burgos
Script: Paul S. Newman

This story I originally thought I saw at least 3 hands in, Carl Burgos, Joe Maneely and even Werner Roth. I no longer think there's any Roth here but I cannot deny Maneely on page 4, panel 2.  I say it's a Burgosized Maneely story or a Burgos story with panel touchups by Maneely.









Journey Into Unknown Worlds #41 (Jan/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Lorna, The Jungle Girl #17 (Jan/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Mystery Tales #37 (Jan/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Mystic #43 (Jan/56):
Pencils: carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Annie Oakley Western Tales (Feb/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos






Apache Kid #18 (Feb/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos






Journey Into Mystery #31 (Feb/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Journey Into Unknown Worlds #42 (Feb/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos






Mystery Tales #38 (Feb/56):
Pencils: Bill Everett, Carl Burgos
Inks: Bill Everett, Carl Burgos

Well, we've seen Burgosized Sol Brodsky, Joe Maneely and Russ Heath. Now here we have Burgosized Bill Everett! The figure in that block of ice was either Burgosized Bill Everett or completely by Burgos.



Thanks to Nick Caputo pointing out an earlier version of the cover, we now know.... Burgos re-drew the figure in the ice! From Creepy Worlds #3 published by Alan Class in the U.K.....It's possible this was a ridiculous code-sanctioned change






Mystic #44 (Feb/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Classic Burgos "hay" at its height! Great coloring!






Navy Action #10 (Feb/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Spellbound #26 (Feb/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Strange Tales Of The Unusual #2 (Feb/56):
Pencils: Sol Brodsky
Inks: Carl Burgos

Covers like this are the reason that its taken so Long for Carl Burgos to get his due at Atlas. This cover is signed by Soil Brodsky and from this cover (and similar) early researchers extrapolated well over 100 covers of similar art style and assigned them to Sol Brodsky, where they remained for a very long time. Not any longer. In spite of the signature, everything that makes this cover distinctive comes from Carl Burgos, in a classic example of Burgosation.





Uncanny Tales #40 (Feb/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Battle #45 (Mar/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Battle Ground #10 (Mar/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

A rare gray-tone cover.





Journey Into Mystery #32 (Mar/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Marvel Tales #144 (Mar/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Mystic #45 (Mar/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

This could be a Burgosized Sol Brodsky cover but I just cannot tell.





Strange Tales #44 (Mar/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

The vignette on the right side reeks of solitary "gloom".






War Comics #40 (Mar/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Great coloring!





Astonishing #48 (Apr/56):
Pencils:
Inks:

A study in Burgosation. Published cover looks all Burgos. No hint of anything else, right?



Here's the unaltered original cover published as Creepy Worlds #90 by Alan Class. Now who was it? Without a hard copy to examine closely, this hints of Bill Everett.






Combat Casey #27 (Apr/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos






Journey Into Mystery #33 (Apr/56):
Pencils: Sol Brodsky ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Looks like a Burgosized Sol Brodsky cover. The issue is also known for Steve Ditko's debut story for Marvel Comics, "There'll Be Some Changes Made".






Journey Into Unknown Worlds #44 (Apr/56): #H-859 "The Wrong World!" (3 pages)
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos







Marines In Action #6 (Apr/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Mystery Tales #40 (Apr/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Sigh... This is the entry I've been long avoiding. Mystery Tales #40, a pure Carl Burgos cover quite evocative of mystery, isolation and gloom. The man on the cover is frantically staring out his window at the "Hidden Land", and this lies within the well known themes of Burgos' post-code covers we've seen.  Why have I been avoiding this cover? Well, about 7 years ago in 2008, the producers of the hit television series, Lost, used it as a prop in the episode "Cabin Fever" (as well as using plots to other stories in this issue as threads run through several Lost episodes). The result of this has been a near decade-long run on this issue by fans of Lost, who soon realized the issue was a real comic book and actually existed. In this age of eBay, the price of this issue began to rocket skyward as demand now far outstripped supply and poor Atlas collectors who had this on their "to buy" list now became nearly priced out of the issue.

To complicate matters further, Mystery Tales #40 (Apr/56) is also the co-debut of Steve Ditko's work at Marvel, the story "March Has 32 Days" coming in second, job number-wise, to Journey Into Mystery #33's "There'll be Some Changes Made", also Apr/56. So an already in demand early Ditko issue is now embroiled in the war for TV cultural artifacts with the general public. But wait, there's more..... The Ditko story  "March Has 32 Days" has also been co-opted by Lost fans, and the plot (or more accurately, stretched plot points) has been interwoven into Lost lore by fans of the show. (Just Google Mystery Tales #40, you'll see!).

The end result is a pedestrian book now with a place in pop culture history (as well as a ridiculous price gouge) taking it out of hands of most Atlas and Ditko fans. I have several friends who regret waiting so long to acquire this issue and refuse to be taken to the cleaners by greed. (Yes, that's my copy below, and no, it's not for sale.)






Navy Action #11 (Apr/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

I've always loved this cover! Great coloring also by Stan Goldberg.





Uncanny Tales #42 (Apr/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos






Western Kid #9 (Apr/56):
Pencils: Sol Brodsky ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

This is a Burgosized "somebody" cover. Sol Brodsky is the best guess but I really don't know.





Battle #45 (May/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Battle Ground #11 (May/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Journey Into Mystery #34 (May/56):
Pencils: Bill Everett
Inks: Carl Burgos

This is a Burgosized Bill Everett cover.





Marvel Tales #146 (May/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Strange Tales #46 (May/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Astonishing #50 (June/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos



My pal Nick Caputo discusses this cover here. This cover is an altered cover, the original of which was later published on an Alan Class reprint, Creepy Worlds #12. It could be a Burgosized cover but the only suspect would be Sol Brodsky. Just cannot tell.






Combat Casey #28 (June/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Journey Into Mystery #35 (June/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos




Journey Into Unknown Worlds #46 (June/46):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Mystic #48 (June/46):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Strange Tales of The Unusual:(June/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Another cover of isolation and gloom.





Uncanny Tales #44 (June/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Western Outlaws #15 (June/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Battle #47 (July/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Jann Of The Jungle #12 (July/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Lorna, The Jungle Girl #20 (July/56):
Pencils: carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Strange Tales #48 (July/48):
Pencils: carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Uncanny Tales #45 (July/56):
Pencils: carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

More desolation, isolation and gloom.





Astonishing #52 (Aug/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Combat Casey #29 (Aug/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Mystic #50 (Aug/56):
Pencils: ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Well someone is being Burgosized here but I'll be darned if I can figure out "who". The list is short and there are no unknowns.The covers were by Burgos, Maneely, Severin, Brodsky and Everett across the genre line. Yet none seem to apply here. Best guess? Brodsky or all atypical Burgos.






Uncanny Tales #46 (Aug/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Western Gunfighters #21 (Aug/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





World Of Suspense #3 (Aug/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Jann Of The Jungle #13 (Sept/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Uncanny Tales #47 (Sept/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





War Comics #43 (Sept/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Strange Tales Of The Unusual #6 (Oct/56):
Pencils: Bill Everett
Inks: Bill Everett, Carl Burgos

A Burgosized Bill Everett cover.





World Of Suspense #4 (Oct/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Adventure Into Mystery #4 (Nov/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Journey Into Unknown Worlds #51 (Nov/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Mystery Tales #47 (Nov/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Outlaw Kid #14 (Nov/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Strange Tales #52 (Nov/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

One of the loneliest covers I have ever seen by Burgos. The cover is just oozing with dark, muted, melancholy. There's an outside chance this is Burgosized over someone, but I think this is all Burgos.




Uncanny Tales #49 (Nov/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

A very dark cover. The superb lighting effect on this and may others give off a real noir feel.





War Comics #44 (Nov/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Gunsmoke Western #38 (Dec/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Jann Of The Jungle #14 (Dec/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Lorna The Jungle Girl #22 (Dec/56):
Pencils: Al Williamson ?, Carl Burgos
Inks: Vince Colletta, Carl Burgos

A possible Burgosized Williamson/Colletta cover. Burgos is everything except the figure of Lorna.





Strange Tales Of The Unusual #7 (Dec/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Two-Gun Kid #34 (Dec/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





World Of Suspense #5 (Dec/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos







1957


Marines In Action #10 (Jan/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos






Astonishing #58 (Feb/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Battle Action #27 (Feb/57):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Journey Into Mystery #43 (Feb/56):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Marines In Battle #16 (Feb/57):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Mystical Tales #5 (Feb/57):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Spellbound #32 (Feb/57):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Strange Tales Of The Unusual #8 (Feb/57):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





World Of Mystery #5 (Feb/57):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Battle #51 (Mar/57):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Two Gun Western #9 (Mar/57):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Western Outlaws #19 (Mar/57):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





G.I. Tales #5 (Apr/57):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Journey Into Unknown Worlds #56 (Apr/57):
Pencils: John Severin
Inks: Carl Burgos

This is a Burgosized John Severin cover!





Marvel Tales #157 (Apr/57):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Navy Combat #12 (Apr/57):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Spellbound #33 (Apr/57):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Could be a Burgosized cover, but who? No guesses.





Uncanny Tales #54 (Apr/57):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





World Of Mystery #6 (Apr/57):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Atypical Burgos face makes me wonder if it's Burgosized Severin. Just can't tell.





World Of Suspense #7 (Apr/57):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Journey Into Mystery #46 (May/57):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Journey Into Unknown Worlds #57 (May/57):
Pencils: Carl Burgos? Bill Everett?
Inks: Carl Burtos ? Bill Everett ?

This one I can't figure out. It looks like some combination of Carl Burgos and Bill Everett. Rather than Burgosized Everett, it looks Like Everettized Burgos!





Marines In Action #12 (May/57):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Marvel Tales #158 (May/57):
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Possibly Burgosized Sol Brodsky but cannot tell for certain.





Mystery Tales #53 (May/57):
Pencils: Bill Everett
Inks: Carl Burgos

Burgosized Bill Everett.





Journey Into Unknown Worlds #58 (June/57):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Spellbound #34 (June/57):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Strange Stories Of Suspense #15 (June/57):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

This is a really fine cover depicting a popular "shrinking" science fiction theme. The muted colors and the gray background make it stand out all the more. There's a version I've seen on a Mexican reprint that may be an unaltered version but I cannot locate a scan now.






Strange Tales Of The Unusual #10 (June/57): #L-886 "The Threat!" (3 pages)
Script: Carl Wessler
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

From as best as I can tell, this is likely all Burgos. I'll admit the pencils appear somewhat atypical but there is no one I can suggest. It's easy to note that the handful of stories that Burgos actually drew in the post-code period were frequently only short 3-pagers. This is almost certainly due to the fact that his cover editorial and artistic duties gave him less time to spend drawing actual scripts. He would take the occasional filler thrown at him.. As can be seen, he really just hacked them out with minimal effort.







Tales Of Justice #66 (June/57):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





G.I. Tales #6 (July/57):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





World Of Mystery #7 (July57):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Marines In Action #13 (July/57):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Battlefront #48 (Aug/57):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Marines At War #7 (Aug/57):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Marines In Battle #19 (Aug/57):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Mystic #61 (Aug/57): #M-172 "Too Dangerous to Live" (4 pages) 
Pencils: ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

I have absolutely no idea who may have penciled this but Burgos inked it.








Western Outlaws #21 (Aug/57):
Pencils: Fred Kida ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

As we come up against the "Atlas Implosion", there is a rash of apparent Fred Kida penciled covers, 19 between cover months June and September, 1957. This one below is Burgosized. (Others may be also).





Cover date Sept/57 gives us no definitive Carl Burgos covers for the first time in nearly 7 years. He is suspected as penciler and/or inker on a handful of stories But this cover month is important for another reason in that it demarcates the Atlas Implosion, a colloquial name for Martin Goodman cancelling a sizable portion of his publishing output almost overnight (although over a 2 month or so period, extending overat least 3 cover months).

As April of 1957 (in real time) approaches, we have to look back a minute and consider the distribution history portion of Martin Goodman's company.

Goodman had a lot of past history in small independent magazine distribution. After leaving the employ of Hugo Gernsback (whose magazines were distributed by the new subsidiary of Kable Printing called Kable News Company), in 1929 he joined Louis Silberkleit at Eastern Distributing Corporation. The August 15, 1929 issue of the trade publication Printers' Ink, announced  Silberkleit's hiring it this way:

Appointed by Eastern Distribution Corporation

Louis H. Silberkleit, formerly circulation manager of the Experimenter Publishing Company, Inc., has joined the staff of the Eastern Distributing Corporation, New York. He will be in charge of circulation. George W. Williams, formerly with the Pictorial Review and the Langer Printing Company, has been appointed traffic manager of the Eastern company.





























Eastern went under in 1932. The October, 1932 issue of Author & Journalist mentioned it this way:

The failure of Eastern Distributing Company early this month has caused anxiety as to the future of magazines handled through this agency. Several of the best-selling pulp paper magazines on the newsstands are affected.

But Eastern's failure opened the way for two new small distribution companies. Eastern's Paul Sampliner partnered with Harry Donenfeld in Independent News and, Silberkleit (with Martin Goodman) and the Shade brothers (of Philadelphia, new publishers of  Paris Nights, Gayety,) started Mutual Magazine Distributors, Inc. 





It's easy to see the Atlas globe was taken from the old Mutual Magazine Distributors double globe logo.

When Mutual went under in 1934 (it shut down in 1934 and bankruptcy proceedings were in 1935) it appears that Goodman (now on his own) used Kable to distribute his magazines until relaunching his own distribution company, Atlas News Company, in 1952, the distribution subsidiary of his Magazine Management Corporation. The well-known Atlas Globe was a symbol of this distribution route (appearing on covers dated October, 1951 onward) but possibly began as a brand mark similar to what was seen in the mid 1940's as Atlas didn't begin national distribution until June 1, 1952, three months after Arthur Marchand was appointed Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Magazines (Atlas News Company)

By this time the globe became both a symbol of the distribution company and the company brand, seen simultaneously on his comic books and his magazines.

Battle Action #38 (Jan/53):



Goodman's pulps never carried the Globe, nor did his digests or paperback books. Yet the short-lived pulp digests (seen down below near the end) did.

The Atlas Globe itself predated its use as a distribution mark. Goodman first used it as a brand for his short-lived crime digest paperback line in 1944, calling it Atlas Mystery. Concurrently, he used it on a handful of comic books and true crime magazines also.











Martin Goodman used his Atlas News Company to distribute his periodicals to the newsstands until 1956, when his business manager, Monroe Froelich, Jr., convinced him to switch his distribution to the venerable American News Company, the largest and most influential distributor in the nation.

The American News Company was the most dominant force in periodical newsstand distribution since it had consolidated  New York's two largest distributors in 1864 and exclusively distributed the immensely popular Beadle Dime Stories. It later bought the Union News Company (railway newsstands) and numerous companies, holdings that all added to it's deep reach and engulfing influence.

Goodman dismantled his Atlas Magazine Company and switched, ANC taking over on November 1, 1956. All was fine as Goodman continued to expand both his magazines and comic books, where by 1957 had almost 85 different comic book titles. But unplanned disaster loomed ahead.

ANC's Wholesale Periodical Division was hemorrhaging money and clients were leaving in droves. In April of 1957 their largest client, Dell Publishing, pulled out also (soon to sue ANC for restraint of trade). More clients then pulled out and on May 17, 1957, the American News Company closed down its Wholesale Periodical Division. Martin Goodman now had no way to get his magazines to the newsstand and immediately cancelled a large portion of his publishing line. All his floundering pulps were ended and he cancelled nearly his entire comic book line. Although the line was probably gutted immediately, possibly in anticipation of trouble that was occurring, the newsstands ended up with comic books sporting different cover months. The final  issue to sport an Atlas globe cover was a new funny animal comic book by Stan Lee and Joe Maneely, Dippy Duck #1, (Oct/57). In fact, it was one of only 2 issues published with an Oct/57 cover date, the other being Patsy Walker #73, which did not sport an Atlas globe logo.

All new work commissions were ended. Atlas had employed well over 200 freelancers in the decade and now most were out of work. Artists frantically looked for employment at National, Charlton and many left the comic book industry altogether, never to return. Within a month, Goodman secured distribution from his competition, National, who still owned Independent News. Publication began again with November/57 cover dates as Stan Lee was able to fill books with inventory but Goodman was restricted now to only 16 titles, which he published bi-monthly as 8 per month. Goodman kept the old Atlas logo off now, not even using it as a company brand, possibly to not be confusing with the new Ind. distribution mark of Independent News. For the record, in this post-implosion period, the company sported no identifying logo or branding whatsoever.

Carl Burgos leaves the employ of Martin Goodman at this time. There are several covers and stories in inventory  that will appear in the immediate post-implosion period. Some are all Burgos and he appears to also contribute to several stories solely as an inker.

Marines In Battle #20 (Nov/57):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos




Marines In Battle #21 (Jan/58) #M-882 (4 pages):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Inventory story.







World Of Fantasy #10 (Feb/58):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos





Kid Colt Outlaw #79 (July/58):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

A bit atypical but appears to be all Burgos.





Marines In Battle #24 (July/58) #M-966 "My Platoon Is Scared!" (4 pages)
Pencils: Ross Andru
Inks: Mike Esposito ?, Carl Burgos

Inventory story. Here's something we've never seen before! We've seen a ton of Atlas stories by the team of Andru/Esposito but we've never, ever seen Andru/Esposito Burgosized! I considered long and hard as to whether this was Andru/Burgos or AE/Burgos. I consulted with my pal Nick Caputo and he thinks it's possible but we really can't seem to decide conclusively. I lean towards Andru/Burgos only because I cannot come up with a reason Burgos would need to re-work an already inked story. Oh wait.... we've seen that..... a lot.








Marines In Battle #25 (Sept/58):
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos




Gunsmoke Western #49 (Nov/58) #M-986 "Stampede!" (5 pages)
Script: Carl Wessler
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Inventory story. There are some panels, especially on page 3, that make me believe someone is under Burgos here. But for the life of me, cannot come up with anyone.So it may be all Burgos, in an atypical fashion once again. According to Carl Wessler's records, this story was written on March 11, 1957, and originally slated for The Kid From Dodge City, which was cancelled in the Atlas implosion.









In 1958  Carl Burgos parlayed his experience on Atlas' humor comics (Crazy, Wild, Riot) into magazine work for Cracked, LocoZany, Panic and Frantic. all five lesser imitations of Bill Gaines' Mad Magazine.

Cracked

Cracked was published by Bob Sproul and Major Magazines, Inc., featuring a who's who of orphaned Atlas alumni, both writers and artists. Sol Brodsky was the editor and he brought along....Alan Sulman, Leon Lazarus, John Severin, Paul Reinman, Ed Winiarski, Russ Heath, Joe Maneely, Bill Everett, Al Williamson and Carl Burgos. Syd Shores, Bernard Bailey, Richard Doxsee, Jerry Siegel (mis-spelled Siegal), Jack Davis, Bill Elder, and Al Jaffee through the first 6 issues. Cracked would be the most successful of the mad magazine imitators, lasting 365 issues until 2004, and a massive vehicle for the work of John Severin for decades.

Unfortunately, Carl Burgos never signed any of this Cracked work until issue #6, making identification a real challenge. To the best of my ability, these pages below appear to be Burgos' work.

Cracked #1 (Mar/58):
Cover: Bill Everett
























Cracked #1 (Mar/58) p.42:




Cracked  #2 (May/58) p.24:




Cracked #3 (July/58) p.18-19





Cracked #5 (Oct/58) p.40-41





Cracked #6 (Dec/58) p.20-21 (signed):




\




Loco

Loco was published by John Mucha's Satire Publications, Inc., lasting a total of only 3 issues from Aug/58 to Jan/59. Atlas alumni here include Manny Stallman, Frank Sieminski, Chic Stone, Sy Barry, Joe Maneely John Severin, Jack Davis and Carl Burgos. (Jerry Siegel wrote here also.) Burgos had many more features in the first issue of this short-lived title than he ever did in Cracked.


Loco #1 (Aug/58):
Cover: ?





Loco #1 (Aug/58): p.4.5.6
Burgos signs this in the lower right-hand corner (in reverse).







Loco #1 (Aug/58): p.16-17

This is unsigned but I think it's Carl Burgos.




Loco #1 (Aug/58): (inside back cover)
Signed in the upper left hand corner.




Zany

Zany was the last of the three, totaling 4 issues from Sept/58 to May/59 and published by Candar Publishing. The difference here was that Carl Burgos was the editor of this title. Atlas veterans (in addition to Burgos) were Bill Everett and Paul Reinman. Burgos is all over the first issue, signed and unsigned, on features and on miscellaneous doodling and marginal illustrations. Samples will follow from issue #1. It's often very difficult to pick his unsigned work out.

Zany #1 (Sept/58)
Cover: Bill Everett









P.4: I think this us unsigned Burgos.



P.16: I think this us unsigned Burgos.



P.48-49: This is signed Burgos.






Panic (Farrell Publications, Bob Powell editor) in 1958 and Frantic  additionally sported Burgos' work. As of this writing, no samples could be located.


Pre-Hero



(photo courtesy of Susan Burgos)
Back at what remained of Goodman's comic book line, after a period of about four months, the inventory ran out and Martin Goodman gave the order to Stan Lee to commission new story art. This started in the teen humor titles, followed by the western titles (and can be identified by "P" and "S" job numbers in those books). No new writers were hired and Stan Lee wrote everything himself. Joe Maneely  (recently working at DC and Charlton) returned to take over Two-Gun Kid with issue #40 (Feb/58) as soon as the Chuck Miller inventory ended. Other artists included Dick Ayers (returned to Wyatt Earp), Jack Keller (returned to pencil Kid Colt Outlaw), Morris Weiss, Al Hartley and Stan Goldberg (Dan DeCarlo had moved over to Archie Comics).

The next major event coincides with an additional seismic change. After 5 bi-monthly issue on Two-Gun Kid, Atlas' biggest, fastest and most important artist (and close friend of Stan Lee) Joe Maneely, tragically dies on the way home from work on June 7, 1958 at the age of 32. Almost to the very day (and we know this by virtue of job numbers and the detailed work records of artist Dick Ayers), Stan Lee had called back Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and Don Heck to help launch a new line of fantasy titles starting with Strange Worlds #1 (Dec/58), Tales To Astonish (Jan/59) and Tales of Suspense (Jan/59). Were these titles already being planned when Joe died or did Stan call back the artists within a day or so of his death? I just don't know and Stan doesn't remember. Joe's death may have precipitated the call-back (within one or two days) but it's equally possible it was just a huge coincidence, that Stan was planning new fantasy titles, and Joe dies just as they get started, but before he can even begin working on them.

The new fantasy story material begins with "T" job numbers and the very first story was the Jack Kirby / Christopher Rule story, "I Discovered The Secret of The Flying Saucers" (#T-76) in Strange Worlds #1 (Dec/58).

*** (While Stan wrote all the new material in the western and teen titles revived, in the new fantasy titles, there was a large backlog of post-code scripts never utilized before the Atlas implosion, that Stan now used or cannibalized for these early stories. Carl Wessler was one of the writers who had inventoried stories used in the early pre-hero period.) ***

A look at the job numbers will show just how close together all this is......

#T-43 Kid Colt Outlaw #81 (Nov/58) [Joe Maneely]
#T-65 Wyatt Earp #20 (Dec/58) [Dick Ayers]
#T-67 Two-Gun Kid #45 (Dec/58) [Joe Maneely p.1, Jack Davis p.2-8]
#T-76 Strange Worlds #1 (Dec/58) [Kirby/Rule]

Dick Ayers told me that his story #T-65 was completed and delivered back to Stan Lee on June 9, 1958. That gives us a reference point. That's the Monday morning after Joe Maneely died over the weekend. Maneely's last work was #T-67 (and incomplete, the page 1 splash only). Jack Kirby's first story is #T-76. The assignment closeness of T-67 and T-76 amounts to about one or two days at most, showing that the new fantasy titles were planned at the exact moment Joe died, nearly to the day!

There was one more artist who came back to freelance for Stan Lee in 1958.... Carl Burgos. Prior to the advent of the internet, and even in it's earliest days, there was an artist known to populate the earliest pre-hero titles in 1959 who was then unidentified. In fact, in the early days of the original Jack Kirby mailing list, Kirby-L of the 1990's, discussions about these issues coined his name as "mystery artist". Well, we now realize "mystery artist" was in actuality, Carl Burgos, either solo (mostly) or inking (occasionally) someone else.

Over the course of 18 months, from cover month Jan/59 to June/60, Burgos drew 25 stories and 2 covers, all while beginning his freelancing on the humor magazines, editing Zany and contributing a bit of work to Archie publications on The Fly and The Shield.

After hundreds of covers from 1954 to 1957, these stories (with a handful of exceptions) are the first sustained group of regular comic stories he drew since his return to the Human Torch in 1953-54. Here is the full accounting:


  1. COVER: World of Fantasy #16 (Feb/59)
  2. COVER: Battle #63 (Apr/59)
(photo courtesy of Susan Burgos)
  1. T-085 Tales to Astonish #1 (Jan/59)
  2. T-105 Journey into Mystery #50 (Jan/59)
  3. T-114 Strange Tales #67 (Feb/59)
  4. T-129 Tales of Suspense #2 (Mar/59)
  5. T-130 World of Fantasy #16 (Feb/59)
  6. T-141 Tales to Astonish #2 (Mar/59)
  7. T-155 Journey into Mystery #51 (Mar/59)
  8. T-176 Strange Tales #68 (Apr/59)
  9. T-182 World of Fantasy #17 (Apr/59)
  10. T-212 Tales to Astonish #3 (May/59)
  11. T-223 Journey into Mystery #52 (May/59)
  12. T-230 Strange Tales #69 (June/59)
  13. T-234 Battle #64 (June/59)
  14. T-251 Tales to Astonish #4 (July/59)
  15. T-278 Tales of Suspense #4 (July/59)
  16. T-307 Strange Tales #70 (Aug/59)
  17. T-315 World of Fantasy #19 (Aug/59)
  18. T-321 Strange Worlds #5 (Aug/59)
  19. T-347 Tales of Suspense #5 (Sept/59)
  20. T-455 Battle #67 (Dec/59)
  21. T-521 Battle #68 (Feb/60)
  22. T-569 Two-Gun Kid #52 (Feb/60)
  23. T-591 Battle #69 (Apr/60)
  24. T-612 Gunsmoke Western #57 (Mar/60)
  25. T-693 Battle #70 (June/60)

Of the two covers below, the first is new in that it illustrates a story inside. The second could be new or it could be inventory. There's no way to know.

World of Fantasy #16 (Feb/59):




Battle #63 (Apr/59):

After several hundred covers for the company, this is the last one.





In the group of 25 below in 1959 and 1960 are several fantastic stories that display a great deal of science fiction comic art sophistication. Burgos had actually honed himself into a very good artist when he wanted to be and it shows on several of them where panels of time travel and sci-fi future city planet scenes abound. Burgos also uses his "hay' like inking and shading to wonderful effect. It's unfortunate that he peaked just as genre comics were being phased out for a super-hero rebirth, a storytelling style of which he still retained a golden-age sensibility, and not commercially as viable as what a Jack Kirby and a Steve Ditko brought to the table in terms of innovation and plotting.

Some of the stories below appear to perhaps have a penciler other than Burgos underneath. It's very, very hard to tell and what leans me back to considering all-Burgos is the fact that "who" would it be??? There are no real candidates unless Burgos was getting outside help all by himself, something not impossible but I doubt. I'll point out the aberrations when I see them.


#T-085 Tales to Astonish #1 (Jan/59) "The Mystery Planet" (5 pages)
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

All evidence points to the fact that this is all Carl Burgos....but....there's something about the figure poses, a dynamism that I do not usually associate with Burgos. (I almost want to say that I see a hint of John Buscema's pencils underneath. Buscema was concurrently doing five stories and a cover, Tales of Suspense #3, at this time, so it's not a crazy thought!)







And here's a special treat. Below is the black and white line-work created by stats of the original art that Marvel used to reprint the first 10 issues in their Masterworks line.....









#T-105 Journey Into Mystery #50 (Jan/59) "Uneasy Lies the Head!" (4 pages)
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Great imagery and all Burgos.







#T-114 Strange Tales #67 (Feb/59) "The Man Who Never Was!" (5 pages)
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Pure Burgos.








#T-129 Tales of Suspense #2 (Mar/59) "Trapped in Yesterday! (5 pages)
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Great time travel scene on page 3, panel 4.








#T-130 World of Fantasy #16 (Feb/59) "Worlds Within Worlds!" (4 pages)
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Another story that makes me wonder if Burgos penciled it. I crazily get a hint of Gil Kane but likely it's Burgos. Very nice sci-fi imagery.







#T-141 Tales to Astonish #2 (Mar/59) "I Spent Eternity in a Deep Freeze!" (4 pages)
Script: Carl Wessler
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

How I determined that this story is likely written by Carl Wessler is a lesson in easy deduction. For years I've been adding writing credits to Atlas stories by way of Wessler's own record book, provided by Robin Snyder. Years ago I started assigning credits for stories Wessler scripted from January to April, 1957 and realized that there were at least 20+ fantasy stories that were never published, nor even drawn, due to the work stoppage caused by the Atlas implosion. They were orphan scripts (and certainly there were other writers who probably had contributed stories never drawn also). So where would be a likely (only) place to look for culprits? The earliest pre-hero fantasy stories!

Scanning down the list of Wessler's records, I came across the story entry for January 19, 1957, headed for Marvel Tales (a now cancelled title), : "The Man in the Deep Freeze" (4 pages). Well, it doesn't take a genius to realize that the story below is probably that story, title mostly intact. Matching up other stories, if the titles were changed, will be extremely difficult, if not impossible (although I have matched another). More great sci-fi imagery.








#T-155 Journey into Mystery #51 (Mar/59) "The Prison Planet!" (4 pages)
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

This is a fantastically illustrated story with a great, innovative page layout on page 3.







#T-176 Strange Tales #68 (Apr/59) "Next Stop - - Mars!" (4 pages)
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Another story I wonder about the penciler.








#T-182 World of Fantasy #17 (Apr/59) "The Man From Tomorrow!" (4 pages)
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos







#T-212 Tales to Astonish #3 (May/59) "I Found the Perfect Hiding Place in Space!" (4 pages)
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

As pure Burgos as you can get!








#T-223 Journey into Mystery #52 (May/59) "Travelers in Time!) (4 pages)
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos







#T-230 Strange Tales #69 (June/59) "The Man in the Iron Box!" (5 pages)
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos








#T-234 Battle #64 (June/59) "The Guerilla!" (4 pages)
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos







#T-251 Tales to Astonish #4 (July/59) "I Love a Mermaid!" (4 pages)
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos







#T-278 Tales of Suspense #4 (July/59) "The Voice of Doom!" (4 pages)
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos








#T-307 Strange Tales #70 (Aug/59) "Ghost Ship!" (4 pages)
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos








#T-315 World of Fantasy #19 (Aug/59) "The Brain Destroyer!" (4 pages)
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos







#T-321 Strange Worlds #5 (Aug/59) "Don't Send Me ... Out There!" (4 pages)
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos








#T-347 Tales of Suspense #5 (Sept/59) "I Traveled Thru Time!" (4 pages)
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Another pencil job I wonder about.







#T-455 Battle #67 (Dec/59) "I Was a Recruit Under Fire!" (4 pages)
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos







#T-521 Battle #68 (Feb/60) "Captured by the Nazis!" (5 pages)
Pencils: Carl Burgos ?
Inks: Carl Burgos

Possibly somebody under Burgos but no clues who or if in fact there is for certainty. The story just feels like another penciler.








#T-569 Two-Gun Kid #52 (Feb/60) "Showdown at the Circle-C!" (4 pages)
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos







#T-591 Battle #69 (Apr/60) "The Old Man!" (5 pages)
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos








#T-612 Gunsmoke Western #57 (Mar/60) "The Threat of the Laredo Kid!) (4 pages)
Script: Stan Lee
Pencils: Carl Burgos?
Inks: Carl Burgos ?

This is an odd one. Burgos is here but for the life of me I cannot figure out the breakdown. He may be penciling it and doing some inking, yet other figures look all Burgos. So I don't know. The only story of the group that Stan Lee wrote. He was writing new westerns and teen material at this time.









#T-693 Battle #70 (June/60) "Dateline - Iwo Jima!" (5 pages)
Pencils: Carl Burgos
Inks: Carl Burgos

Burgos goes out firing on all cylinders. The final two stories of his Timely/Atlas career are war stories, obviously personal stories he put a lot of time, effort and innovation into. This last story below tells the story of a war correspondent's coverage of the fighting on Iwo Jima. Burgos uses several panels to 3-dimensional effect, including the splash, causing them to "stand above" the rest of the page and give the reader a little extra jolt to his enjoyment of the story. I've long had the feeling two major themes run through the work of Burgos in the Atlas era. First is the aforementioned feeling of melancholy permeating his post-code covers, particularly the fantasy covers. Second, is his long, intense measure of resoluteness imparted on his war covers. Burgos witnessed first-hand the horrors of war and by accounts was profoundly affected by the experience. I wonder if being able to translate what was inside down to the 4-color paper may have been, in a way, therapeutic. I would love to have been able to ask him.









PULP ILLUSTRATIONS


In 1950, Martin Goodman revived his old science fiction "Marvel" pulp. The original run of this title lasted only nine issues between Aug/38 and Apr/41, in spite of having both the cream of science fiction authors (Henry Kuttner, Arthur J. Burks, Jack Williamson, Ray Cummings) and illustrators (Frank R. Paul, Norman Saunders, Hans Wesso, Alex Schomburg, Simon & Kirby). Even the title kept changing, from Marvel Science Stories to Marvel Tales to Marvel Stories, as the contents morphed from hard science fiction to fantasy to shudder.

The simple fact was Goodman didn't like science fiction and it was never successful for him. So it was a surprise when during a period of continued pulp sales decline, when he was cancelling older titles by the carload and coalescing what remained under his new Stadium Publishing Corp. company, that he decided to once again give science fiction a try by reviving the original title Marvel Science Stories as Vol 3, #1 (Nov/50).

*** (An extensive look at the entire line of Goodman science fiction pulps will be covered in a separate article here in the future) ***

The revival lasted a total of six issues, three standard pulp sized and 3 as small digests (and a name change to Marvel Science Fiction after 3 issues) featuring again, wonderful writers (A.E. Van Vogt, Lester Del Ray, Jack Vance, Richard Matheson, Arthur C. Clarke, Murray Leinster, Ray Bradbury, William Tenn, L. Sprague de Camp, Daniel Keyes) and artists (Frank R. Paul, Vince Napoli, Lee Ames, Harry Harrison, Hannes Bok, Norman Saunders, Al Williamson, Roy G. Krenkel, Carl Burgos).

The associate editor of this 6 issue run was Daniel Keyes, who was writing science fiction and anonymously contributing scripts to the Atlas science fiction comic book titles. (The main editor was Robert O. Erisman). Unfortunately, the sad fact is that we know only of one single comic book script Keyes wrote, the classic Basil Wolverton vehicle "They Crawl By Night" in Journey Into Unknown Worlds #15 (Feb/53). Keyes would later go on to a brilliant science fiction career, winning both Hugo and Nebula awards for his story "Flowers For Algernon" (1959), later made into the film "Charly" with Cliff Robertson in 1968.

In Vol 3, #3 (May/51) issue, Carl Burgos makes two appearances. These illustrations were secured through Mel Blum, a muscular, near-deaf art director for all of Martin Goodman's non-comics publications from around 1942 through the Atlas implosion. Blum later went on to work at the National Enquirer.




On page 74 he illustrates the Jack Vance story "Golden Girl".








Then on page 111 he illustrates a special feature. Pulp author and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard published the book Dianetics in 1950 and it caused uproarious debate in scientific and science fiction circles.

The Aug/51 issue covered this debate with "The Dianetics Question," a 3-voiced debate on the merits of the practice. The debate was set up as "pro", "neutral" and "con" in this way:

Pro: L. Ron Hubbard
Neutral: Theodore Sturgeon
Con: Lester Del Ray

Carl Burgos illustrated this debate with head shots of each of the protagonists....

L. Ron Hubbard:







































Theodore Sturgeon:







































Lester Del Ray:







































The very next issue, Vol 3, #4 (Aug/51) had 8 pages of letters to the editor on the Dianetics debate feature. There are 3 more small head shots in this issue I suspect may also be by Carl Burgos but I am unable to get usable scans without damaging the book. A look at them must await my getting a beat up copy to scan.

Goodman experimented with the digest size pretty much since he broke away from exclusively publishing pulps. Sex Health Magazine (1937) was a digest, early humor magazines like the very first Comedy, Joker, Gayety and Stag were digests in 1942-43 (the lattr three changing to bedsheet size), as well as his post-war humor digests that eventually would morph into the Humorama line.  In 1949 there was It's Amazing  and in 1951 he even experimented with converting his pulps to digests (Best Sports, Complete Western Book, Marvel Science Fiction) before changing the group back to regular pulps after a single or handful of issues.

In 1955 he tried something new again. The pulp line was basically running on fumes. The once mighty Red Circle line of pulps was down to 6 titles, 5 westerns and a single sports book, all carrying 25% or more reprinted stories. (At least they were now labeled as reprints. Goodman and Silberkleit got into trouble with the FCC several times over the years due to publishing reprints and not identifying them as such). Goodman added two "pulp digests". These were not the small digest of before but almost like mini-pulps with a paperback-type cover. Obviously, these were a format to coincide with the rise in paperback books (which had pushed out pulps throughout the decade). The first title was Justice (July/55), followed immediately by Western Magazine. Justice would last only 4 issues but Western Magazine would publish 12 quarterly issues through early 1958, surviving the Atlas implosion in 1957 and the complete demise of the regular pulp line.

Harry Widmer was the editor on both titles (while Robert O. Erisman edited the standard pulp line) and Joe Maneely and Carl Burgos handled all the early illustrations (including one by Paul Reinman and several by Matt Baker). In 1956 Burgos replaces Robert C. O'Neil as the Art Editor on the title and takes over the illustration position completely himself, contributing up to 15 illustrations per issue, consisting of 3 or 4 full story splashes and 10 or so loose illustrations inside the story. But best of all, every single one of these illustrations are signed! It was "these" signed hay-like illustrations that allowed me to dial back and realize that hundreds of unsigned 1950's Atlas covers were in fact rendered by Carl Burgos. These were the smoking guns in identifying the 1950's Carl Burgos, the enigmatic cipher who was known to be on staff, but not known exactly what or how much he actually did. Now we know. It was a lot. It was a ton. He was the defacto cover editor and controlled nearly everything that went onto the final Atlas covers in the 1950's.

In Feb/57 a second western pulp digest appeared, 3-Book Western, lasting only 2 issues (ending with the Atlas Implosion). Burgos art edited this title also, contributing 30 illustrations. The last 2 issues of Western Magazine were not art edited by Burgos, who had moved on to post-Goodman work at Cracked and other magazines. Matt Baker illustrated the penultimate issue and inventoried  Burgos illustrations appeared in the final issue. (A fourth digest, Mystery Tales, had a 6 issue run in 1958-59. Burgos did not contribute to this. This was a reversion to the smaller digest size.)

Here is a generous sampling of Burgos' work in these pulp digests. Below also are two cover examples (one with the Atlas globe). The cover art is unattributed in the books themselves and still currently unknown to me.




Also below is a piece of an original cover logo stat for Western Magazine. It was plastered to a pile of Mrs. Lyons' Cubs tear-sheets in the Joe Maneely family basement for 50 years.




 Western Magazine Vol 2, #1 (Mar/56)













 Western Magazine Vol 2, #2 (July/56)

















Western Magazine Vol 2, #3 (Oct/56)

















Western Magazine Vol 3, #1 (Jan/57)

















3-Book Western Vol 1, #2 (May/57)




















Marvel


In 1964, Carl Burgos returned home to what was now Marvel Comics, with Stan Lee at the helm of a cultural comic book revolution. Launched with Jack Kirby in 1961 with the Fantastic Four, Marvel's new hero line of comics were taking the world by storm. Burgos must have seen that his old Timely creation, the Human Torch, cavorting across the four-color pages, albeit in a different incarnation, and wanted back in. Stan Lee offered him work on the Human Torch solo series running in Strange Tales. Issue #123 (Aug/64) has Burgos penciling the Torch feature for Dick Ayers (inks) who was the main penciler on the feature. This would be the only issue Burgos would draw, the introduction of the villain "The Beetle". Why Burgos was given the feature is easy to understand.... he created the character, and Stan knew him for decades. But why he lasted only a single issue is another matter. Was his style too old fashioned in this modern age of Kirby-inspired pyrotechnics? Was his storytelling just not dynamic enough? Did he butt heads with Stan Lee on the direction of what he perceived to be "his" character? I just don't know.



Off the Human Torch feature, Burgos next was tried on Giant-Man running in Tales to Astonish. He penciled three consecutive issues, #62 (Dec/64), #63 (Jan/65) and #64 (Feb/65), before once again leaving and replaced by Bob Powell as penciler. With Stan needing help writing all the new features, it was like a Timely homecoming as he tried out anyone, also bringing back in issue #64 former Timely writer and assistant editor Leon Lazarus to script this issue. Leon was also the brother of artists Harry Lazarus and Sidney Lazarus.





Here is the original artwork to the splash above, courtesy of my pal Dan Pottick!





Looking back, all 4 of these Marvel-era Burgos stories are not too badly done. They feature exciting splash pages and more than commendable storytelling skills. They weren't Kirby or Ditko, but the were serviceable. So why was Burgos soon gone from Marvel? The answer may lie in the fact that Burgos had his eye on a prize, namely The Human Torch, whose copyright was coming up for renewal. Susan Burgos is on record that her father threw out and destroyed all his comic book memorabilia in a piqued fit in the summer of 1966. Did Burgos make an attempt to regain the copyright on his character, only to find it impossible to do so? In 1966's Fantastic Four annual #4 his original Torch was brought back only to be killed off in the same issue, a stunt designed to re-claim the trademark on the Torch, and a successful one. Additionally, in 1967 Goodman further secured his copyright on the original Torch by cover featuring and reprinting Torch stories in Fantasy masterpieces. Burgos obviously took this tremendously hard, so much that he gave completely up, nursing this defeat internally until the end of his life in 1984.





Myron Fass
&
Eerie Publications



The last portion of Carl Burgos' career in comics will get a mention here but is beyond the scope of this blog. In fact, an entire blog post can be devoted to Myron Fass (and I'll leave that to someone else!)

In 1966 Fass and Burgos brought back a new Captain Marvel, another synthetic man whose exploits were horrifically conceived, lasting 6 total issues. But Burgos' work with this company was a long one, as he became editor and artist for Fass' line of black and white horror, western and war magazines (Weird, Tales From the Tomb, Witches' Tales, Horror Tales, Great West and others), a story best told by Mike Howlett in his book The Weird World of Eerie Publications (2010). Needless to say, though considered derivative schlock, it was probably the finest work of Burgos' career. Gorgeous black and white horror artwork and gruesome covers in the finest horror tradition. I'll update this with some images in the future.

Burgos also edited Harris Publications' reprints until 1984, working there until he passed away from lung cancer in March of that year.




In closing, Carl Burgos was one of the founders of this medium, long neglected and long dismissed as ordinary, something he was decidedly not. I hope that I've shown just how good, important and prolific he was to an industry that chewed him up and spit him out, rendering him a cipher known only for a single character. He has long deserved this recognition and I am happy and honored to be able to provide it..



(photo courtesy of Susan Burgos)



Select Sources:

  1. All images above, except for a tiny handful, are scans of my own books. My pal Nick Caputo provided several pre-hero story scans.
  2. Two photos of Carl Burgos and the Funnies Inc staff at the New Year's Eve party are courtesy Wendy Everett. They originally ran in both Blake Bell's "Fire and Water" Fantagraphics, 2010, and my and Blake's "Secret History of Marvel Comics", Fantagraphics, 2013
  3. Three solo photos of Carl Burgos are courtesy Susan Burgos, loaned to me by Mike Howlett, run originally in his epic tome on Myron Fass, "The Weird World of Eerie Publications (2010).
  4. "The Privacy Act of Carl Burgos"; Interview with Susan Burgos by Jim Amash in Alter Ego #49 (June/05), TwoMorrows Publishing.
  5. "John Romita ... All That Jazz", interview with John Romita by Roy Thomas, TwoMorrows Publishing (2007).
An enormous thank you to Cory Sedlmeier for providing me with scans of the John Compton copy of Marvel Comics #1, as well as scans of all the Burgos Human Torch story splashes. As editor of the Marvel Masterworks line of Timely and Atlas reprints, he fought the good fight getting so much of this vintage, valuable material in print for the first time in 70 years. As we speak, hopefully the powers that be (bean-counters) will understand that it is extremely important to celebrate one's own history if one wishes people to appreciate and care about one's ongoing concern.