Sunday, January 5, 2014

GIRL COMICS #1-12 (Oct/49 - Jan/52)







Within the plethora of comic book classifications that promulgated the newsstands in the waning days of the Timely bullpen, no genre contributed more to the crowded dysfunction than the romance species, principally in what is known as the "love glut" of 1949.

Romance confession magazines and pulps had always existed on the newsstands and were steady sellers for decades. While the young female comic book-reading audience was being served with teen humor titles, led by Louis Silberkleit's MLJ/Archie Comics and their industry compatriot teen-knock-offs (including a score at Timely), no one really attempted to mine the older female audience in this young industry.

Enter Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. Romance comics were jump-started by the appearance of Simon & Kirby's Young Romance #1 (Sept/47) for Crestwood Publications. Prior to Young Romance #1, Simon & Kirby had produced My Date #1 (July/47) for Hillman Publications, a title that once vied for designation of comics' first romance title. But My Date was (as premier romance comic historian Michelle Nolan has written) (1) a "bridge" to romance comics, and more in line with the teen type books than traditional romance comics fare.




Young Romance was an immediate sales hit, prompting other publishers to enter the field quickly. In no time at all the newsstands were overflowing with titles. But no one did more to exemplify this love glut than Martin Goodman. Starting with one single title, My Romance #1 (Sept/48), by the turn of 1950, Goodman had dumped 31 different romance comics onto the newsstands. Several of these were blended genres (the western romance) and even changed title looking for better newsstand "eye-appeal".  By the summer of 1950 all but 5 of these Timely romance titles were cancelled as the top-heavy, over-saturated genre imploded upon itself. A full accounting of Martin Goodman's romance line will have to await a future blog post as I want to get to the topic at hand, namely the strangest book of Goodman's romance line, the idiosyncratic Timely title called Girl Comics.

Girl Comics appeared on the stands during what I call "phase 2" of the Timely love glut. During phase 1, Goodman debuted My Romance #1 (Sept/48) and immediately changed its title to the long-running My Own Romance with #4 (Mar/49). (The reason for the seemingly unnecessary title change is due to the fact that he also debuted a romance/confession magazine by the same name, My Romance, immediately after the comic title change, preferring to use My Romance as a magazine title instead).  The same March cover month as this name change, Goodman changed his eclectic historical title Ideal a Classical Comic to Ideal Love and Romance with #5, which immediately changed to the long-running Love Romances with #6 (May/49). This same May cover month then additionally saw the debuts of Lovers #23 and Love Tales #36, both with debut numbers spun off of existing non-romance books. Finally, My Love #1 (July), Best Love #33 (Aug), a genre change to romance for Venus #6 (Aug), and Molly Manton's Romances #1 (Sept) with Our Love #1 (Sept).

But this was not good enough for Martin Goodman. The very next month we get "phase 2". The deluge begins, a torrent unrivaled in comic book history as 22 "additional" romance titles are added in cover month October, November, December and January of 1950. One of those titles was Girl Comics #1 (Oct/49). Why Girl Comics? Perhaps Goodman was trying to counteract the successful Boy Comics franchise being published over at Lev Gleason. In truth, Girl Comics would not rival Boy Comics, at least in the slant of content, until issue #5 (when stories left the romance angle and morphed into girl's adventure), but I suppose he thought why not get the name onto the stands as soon as possible.

So let's take a detailed look at Girl Comics #1-12. All issues were published by Martin Goodman's Cornell Publishing Corp. The run breaks down into two distinct sub-groups. #1-4 are traditional Timely staff romance issues, all sporting the "A Lover's Magazine" heart-shaped colophon and the ubiquitous photo covers pervasive on all the romance issues of the time. From cover month Mar/49 to cover month July/50, 88 photo covers appeared on Timely romance and western-romance issues, every single issue published "except" for issues of Venus (which was never a full, true romance title) and the debut issue of True Secrets #3 (Mar/50), which continued the numbering of Our Love, and was cancelled after a single issue (only to be revived 11 months later).

Issues #5-12 are a completely different animal. The title abandons the traditional romance format and instead converts to the female version of the recently debuting Man Comics #1 (Dec/49). More about that later on.

[*** 2/14/14 Update: Credit corrections since this original post are in blue below. I've crossed out my original guesses but left them readable for historical purposes]

GIRL COMICS #1 (Oct/49)


CONTENTS:
  • PHOTO COVER - unknown model
  • #5665 "The Other Woman!" (8 pages) - Pete Tumlinson / George Klein
  • #5967 "Love is Where the Heart is!" (6 pages) - Al Hartley
  • LETTER PAGE: "Cupid's Complaint Department" (1 page)
  • #5402 "Death be My Destiny!" (8 pages) - Jerry Fasano (?)
  • TEXT STORY: #5671 "Love Comes First" (2 pages) [unsigned illo possibly by "Joan"]
  • #5547 "I Lost My Heart! (7 pages) - ? / Streeter (?) [Update: Bill Williams]
  • FULL PAGE AD: Junior Miss #36 (Sept/49) [Louise Altson cover] (advertised as a romance issue)
  • LETTER PAGE: "Dan Cupid and You" (2 pages) 
  • #5795 "No Escape!" (8 pages) - John Buscema / ?


All stories this issue have the ugly Timely "house grid" style page 1 splash. This was a panel taken out of the story and used as a story plot preview in the left side panel 1, while the story title began in the right panel 2. It was ugly and a bit of a cheat.


  • #5665 "The Other Woman!" (8 pages) - Pete Tumlinson / George Klein



I'm pretty certain of this penciler/inker identification. Both were Timely staff artists; George Klein from as far back as mid 1941 as a penciler, but primarily as an inker for Mike Sekowsky, Ed Winiarski, and pretty much anyone on staff or off that needed to be inked. Pete Tumlinson worked from early 1948 onward, arriving at Timely after assisting Ray Bailey on the Bruce Gentry newspaper strip in 1947, following a cross-country car trip from Texas to New York City. While on staff, and before the bullpen was dissolved, Tumlinson penciled a lot of romance, crime, Blonde Phantom and even Captain America stories. George Klein and Fred Eng were frequent inkers of his Timely staff work.


  • #5967 "Love is Where the Heart is!" (6 pages) - Al Hartley




As far as I know, Al Hartley was never on staff at Timely. I believe he penciled and inked this story, by my reckoning, his earliest for Stan Lee. Could he just be inking a Timely staff penciler? It's certainly possible (every so often I get a whiff of Marion Sitton's pencils in some of the tilted female head poses) but nothing really stands out to me. Al Hartley's published comics work goes as far back as 1940 but there are also illustrations I've uncovered in Victor Fox's Dash magazine in Vol 1, #2 (July/41), a bedsheet paper-cover contemporary to Martin Goodman's early bedsheet Humorama prototypes like Snap, Jest, Gayety, etc. He also appears in the original earliest Victor Fox version of the long-running title Swank in 1941, bedsheet issues Vol 1, #2 (Sept/41) and Vol 1, #3 (Oct/41). These were published first by Fox's Elite Publications, Inc., then after the first issue, Swank Publications, Inc.

  • LETTER PAGE: "Cupid's Complaint Department" (1 page)
This is the first of 2 separate letter pages in this issue. There's no way for there to be a letter page in a first issue so as per the editorial box at the bottom, this was a letter page for the title Lovers that was thrown in to act as a 1-page filler needed by these thick 52 page issues. Legit letters or a sham? I don't know but would guess a sham.




  • #5402 "Death be My Destiny!" (8 pages) - Jerry Fasano (?)
Jerry Fasono is my best guess. He was not a staff artist as far as I know and I'm just not certain that this is even him. The only other Jerry Fasano story I've seen for Stan Lee is "The Brute" in Suspense #20 (July/52). 



Fasano is best know to Timely collectors for drawing the ad that ran in several Jan/51 and Feb/51 cover-dated Timely/Atlas issues, the full-page Public School ad "The Classroom Secret". Here's the ad from Love Tales #44 (Jan/51). It's signed by Fasano at the bottom.




  • #5671 TEXT STORY: "Love Comes First" (2 pages) [unsigned illo possibly by "Joan"]
  • #5547 "I Lost My Heart! (7 pages) - ? / Streeter (?) [Update: Bill Williams]
Another one of those artists I should know better, I'm guessing Lin Streeter has a hand in this story in some capacity. Streeter is probably best known as the artist on Sun Girl in her own series in 1948, as well as a hell of a lot of contemporary stories still unattributed. [This is Bill Williams]





  • FULL PAGE AD: Junior Miss #36 (Sept/49) [Louise Altson cover] (advertised as a romance issue)




  • LETTER PAGE: "Dan Cupid and You" (2 pages) 
A second letter page, this time 2 pages long. Again, since this is the first issue, this has to be either a sham or are letters overflowing from earlier issues of other romance titles like in Lovers from the first letter page above. I still vote "sham". The editorial box at the end at least addresses the reader to write to the correct title, asking readers to write in with relationship problems with the address as suite #1404 in the Empire State Building. 





  • #5795 "No Escape!" (8 pages) - John Buscema / ?

I'm one of the people who is not thrilled with John Buscema's early work for Timely, usually saddled as it is here with horrendous lower-tier inkers. I can see how the pencils are strong and the talent is there, I just can't get over the inking and even the horrible off-register coloring occasionally. Gene Colan's concurrent work, by comparison, was sterling in my eyes. For whatever the reason was, he always got better inkers in my opinion. [Gene Colan at Timely]

Joining the staff in 1948, Buscema penciled around 70 stories and at least 12 covers between 1948 and the closing of the Timely bullpen at the end of 1949, a sizable portion of work that has "never" been seen outside of folks that can identify it (like myself). I'm going to present the entire story here because except for a handful of Timely romance aficionados, even hard-core John Buscema fans have not seen this early work before.















GIRL COMICS #2 (Jan/50)



CONTENTS:
  • PHOTO COVER - unknown models
  • #6241 "Till Death Do Us Part!" (8 pages) - Mike Sekowsky / Chris Rule & ?
  • LETTER PAGE: "Dan Cupid and You" (2 pages) 
  • #6605 "Blind Date!" (8 pages) - Hy Rosen and Joe Kubert 
  • TEXT STORY: #6408 "I Fought for My Love" (1 page) - illo: Marion Sitton (?)
  • TEXT STORY: #6253 "The Most Wonderful Thing on Skis" (1 page) ? illo.
  • #6082 "I Chose Love!" (8 pages) - ? + Hartley (?) [+ Sam Cooper (?)] + Rule + ?
  • FEATURE: "Did I Make a Mistake?" (1 page) - ?
  • AD PAGE: 2 ads for Miss America Special Edition magazine
  • #5819 "Shame is a Tragic Thing!" (6 pages) - ?
  • #5751 "Romance was My Mistake!" (7 pages) - Al Hartley 

With this issue the ugly Timely house grid has been replaced by a new illustration created for the double paneled splash at the top tier.

  • #6241 "Till Death Do Us Part!" (8 pages) - Mike Sekowsky / Chris Rule & ?
The best story in the book, Mike Sekowsky was the most prolific and fastest penciler in Timely history, turning out so many stories in so may issues that some issues even had 2 or more stories by him, all while several books in the same month featured his work.. His pencils were fluid, the figures in panels were large, there were a lot of close-ups, the action dynamic, and to a man (and one woman), every Timely artist I've ever spoken to and interviewed has unabashedly stated that he was the top artist Timely employed, albeit with a chip on his shoulder. I absolutely love Mike Sekowsky at Timely. This story appears to be primarily inked by Christopher Rule. Here is the entire story.......











  • LETTER PAGE: "Dan Cupid and You" (2 pages) 
Another 2-page letter page that is either legit or a sham. At least the editorial box asks that letters actually be addressed to Girl Comics this time!




And see that couple at the left above? That was drawn by Gene Colan! And I'm the only one in the entire world who can probably tell you where it came from! It came from page 2, panel 5 of story #6333 "I Gave My Kisses to the Wrong Man!" from Lovers #33 (Nov/49).




The panels cropped and the woman's hands blacked out:






  • #6605 "Blind Date!" (8 pages) - Hy Rosen and Joe Kubert 

At least 10 years ago I sent Joe Kubert a stack of photocopies of these old Timely stories through a mutual friend. He returned them to me with annotated notes scribbled at the top as to what he recalled contributing to each story. Unfortunately this was "not" one of the stories I sent him, but his notes confirmed what I always thought, that he had done most of these stories (but not all) with Hy Rosen (not the same Hy Rosen who had a long career as an editorial cartoonist for an Albany, New York newspaper). Here are the first 2 pages of what I believe are Hy Rosen and Joe Kubert.







    • TEXT STORY: "I Fought for My Love" (1 page) - illo: Marion Sitton (?)





    • TEXT STORY: "The Most Wonderful Thing on Skis" (1 page) illo. ?


    Seeing this illo below, it now looks like the same artist as the one above and now I "don't" think it was Marion Sitton in either. For one thing, I cannot find the panel in any Sitton story (he was only penciling at this stage), and he was not doing text illustrations, as far as I know.




    • #6082 "I Chose Love!" (8 pages) - Hartley (?) [+ Sam Cooper (?)] + ? + Rule 

    Well this looks like a mish-mash to me. The splash panel below looks like it could be Al Hartley, the primary penciler I can't give a name to but he's seen all over these books, and I may even see the guy I keep wondering whether is Joe Maneely (as I did in my Venus post last time...it's the same artist!). Then some pages look like somebody else and the woman has very exotic eyelashes reminiscent of Val Barclay. Finally, Christopher Rule makes an appearance on page 6 in 2 panels! [Add Sam Cooper possibly also]




    Christopher Rule is on page 6 below in panels 2 and 4. He likely redrew the woman's head and face in each panel as it's seemingly a completely different artist throughout the rest of the story.




    The cropped Rule panels. Rule only redrew the woman's face below.







    • FEATURE: "Did I Make a Mistake?" (1 page) - ?
    This is a one-page romance filler akin to Allen Bellman's "Let's Play Detective" in the crime comics of the time. The artist is unknown to me (but, as always, looks familiar).





    • AD PAGE: 2 ads for Miss America Special Edition magazine
    Martin Goodman always promoted his own magazines within the pages of .... well, his own magazines. This started as far back as his earliest pulps in 1933, where Black Book Detective would be advertised within the pages of Complete Western Book Magazine, and vice versa. Here we get 2 cheaply put together house ads for the just released Miss America Special Edition, a magazine-sized spin-off of  Miss America Magazine, which was really a comic book with minimal comic book material for most of the run from 1944 to the present 1950. A teen-girl charm, fashion, relationship and comic story magazine (Patsy Walker made her debut in the debut non-comic Vol 1, #2), by the fall of 1949, a full-sized "regular magazine was published that featured all the comic had "except" for the comic stories. It was all fashion, charm and relationship articles. Al Jaffee contributed illustrations to this issue (concurrently writing and drawing Patsy Walker both in Miss America Magazine, having taken over from Christopher Rule, as well as in her own magazine). The Al Jaffee illustrations can be seen in my and Blake Bell's just published book, The Secret History of Marvel Comics, available in all major bookstores and on Amazon here:

    The Secret History of Marvel Comics

    Here is the ad page and the cropped ads. I guarantee the copy was written by Stan Lee.
















    Although the magazine above appears to have been solicited as a one-shot, the sales must have been good enough for it to continue for a while as 2 additional quarterly issues would be published under a title change to Miss America Young Life.


    • #5819 "Shame is a Tragic Thing!" (6 pages) - ?
    I don't know who may have drawn this story. The art is familiar looking, very distinctive (meaning I've seen it often in these books), but I have no name I can give. I'm open to suggestions.





    • #5751 "Romance was My Mistake!" (7 pages) - Al Hartley 
    And finally, another surprise! This is Al Hartley again! (Or mostly Al Hartley). I never caught this before and caught it as I was composing this blog post. If we go by job #, this story actually predates what I called Hartley's earliest story for Stan Lee above in issue #1. Pages 1 and 2 below.







    GIRL COMICS #3 (Apr/50) 



    This is the big one, the most difficult Timely/Atlas romance issue to find. Or is it? Over the course of the last 5 years I've seen it come up for sale at least 10 times. It immediately sells for a premium far beyond any other Timely/Atlas romance issue. So truthfully, I don't know if it's any rarer, than say, issue #2 or issue #4. By "rarer" I mean the actual number of comics left in existence. No, I think the difficulty for Timely/Atlas collectors to acquire this lies in the fact that there are more non-romance collectors who want this issue as some perceived trophy issue for their collection, thereby driving up the price, which like a feedback loop, then continues to drive up the demand. I daresay none of these trophy purchasers even know or care what can be found inside, as long as they have that Timely romance comic "with the Elizabeth Taylor cover".

    Celebrities on the cover of comic books are nothing new. Martin Goodman published tons of celebrity magazines in both movies and television. (Heck, just check "The Secret History of Marvel Comics" , if you don't believe me!). You can even find Stan Lee himself on the cover of Black Rider #8! (Though not a celebrity at that time). Elizabeth Taylor's beautiful image graced the covers of thousands of magazines in her career, hundreds of magazines in the 1950's, and a score of magazines for Martin Goodman in particular. Here are three I have at arm's reach....






    No, there's nothing special about this comic book other than the Elizabeth Taylor cover driving ill-advised, non-romance collectors in to scoop it up.

    CONTENTS:
    • PHOTO COVER - Elizabeth Taylor (starring in M-G-M's "The Conspirators")
    • #7102 "I Loved A He-Man!" (11 pages) - Bob Brown 
    • FEATURE: "Did I Make A Mistake?" (1 page) - ?
    • #7164 "Second Fiddle" (9 pages) - Joe Maneely splash;  ? + Kamen? + Hing? + Shores? + Rule 
    • TEXT STORY: 6863 "No Right to Love" (2 pages) - p.1 illo?, p.2 illo Sitton?
    • #7083 "Designing Female!" (9 pages) - Sekowsky/Rule splash, Mike Becker (?) & ? (p or i ?)
    • #7252 "Once in a Lifetime" (9 pages) - Marion Sitton? / Bill Everett
    So let's take a close look at the contents of the classic Girl Comics #3. Some surprises are in store.

    • #7102 "I Loved A He-Man!" (11 pages) - Bob Brown 
    Artists were now freed from the constraints of the ugly house grid and beyond two-tier panels at the top, even took liberties with full-page images on page one. To the best of my ability, this story looks like it's all Bob Brown, including the large image of the man below. I get fleeting glimpses of other hands but cannot put my finger on anything in particular. Sometimes I wonder if I'm seeing John Buscema and/or Syd Shores in panels, then decide no. It could be Bob Brown inking, I suppose. I just cannot tell.




    • FEATURE: "Did I Make A Mistake?" (1 page) - ?
    Another one-page relationship feature standard Timely staff art that is familiar but I cannot identify. The editor was definitely trying to engage the readers with requests to write in with ideas to solve the relationship problems presented.




    • #7164 "Second Fiddle" (9 pages) - Joe Maneely splash, ? + Kamen? + Shores? / Rule + ? story art

    The love glut of 1949 led to an industry-wide collapse in romance comics. As I mentioned earlier, nowhere was that more evident than at Timely. When Martin Goodman cancelled 26 romance titles by early 1950, it left an extraordinary amount of inventory left over. This inventory was drawn and stockpiled throughout 1949 by a ton of artists, many of them newly hired (or freelancing) just to fill all these romance titles on the schedule. By the end of 1949, with the staff disbanded, all this inventory began to be used up but lo and behold, it was all created during the ugly Timely house grid period, now unpalatable to whoever was making the decisions on these things. So what to do? Simple. Have artists who were remaining on staff, or frequently in the office, create "new" splash panels for these stories, rendering them more, ahem... aesthetically pleasing to the eyes of discerning young girls who were the primary audience for these stories. One of these new artists, just moved to Queens, New York from Philadelphia, Pa., was Joe Maneely.

    Here is page one with a large "new" splash panel by Joe Maneely.....





    Yes, this is the same "Maneely girl" image I plucked out to compare with that image in Venus #5 & #6 I discussed here:  Venus #1-9







    The actual story art on this story is pretty but generic. I get a hit of Jack Kamen in some of the figures and Christopher Rule in a panel or two (he may even have inked a lot of this story), but overall I just don't know who this is. Actually, looking at page 7 below and the cropped Rule panels, I think that left panel is actually Syd Shores inked by Rule! Those look like Syd Shores' hands as well as the man's face with the woman he's kissing a Rule head and face. In other words, a typical Timely staff jam job! Shores and Rule will do a lot of work together in 1955 on Black Rider and even issue #5 (Apr/56, but drawn in late 1955) of the Atlas Black Knight. [Add Chu Hing as another possible hand]

    Page 7:



    Cropped Shores? / Rule and Rule panels 5 & 6.



    • TEXT STORY: 6863 "No Right to Love" (2 pages) - p.1 illo?, p.2 illo Sitton?
    • #7083 "Designing Female!" (9 pages) - Sekowsky/Rule splash, Mike Becker (?) & ? (p or i ?)
    Another great splash image re-done by a handy staffer, this time possibly Mike Sekowsky pencils but overwhelmed by Christopher Rule on the inks. The story art is possibly Mike Becker, either solo or inking heavily over someone lost to history as anything under Becker looks like Becker.






    • #7252 "Once in a Lifetime" (9 pages) - Marion Sitton? / Bill Everett; lettering by Bill Everett
    Finally, the issues main feature, a long 9 page story by Bill Everett, or possibly completely inked over someone else's pencils. Let me explain. Back in  2011 I did two long posts on the Timely and Atlas romance art of Bill Everett:



    In analyzing the Timely era romance stories, I became enamored over how there were distinct differences between stories where some looked like gorgeously laid out Bill Everett wonder and others only had a surface sheen of Bill Everett wonder. I came to the conclusion that Everett, in these Timely assembly-line days, while not on staff, could have also found work inking (and lettering) already penciled stories, of which there were likely an inordinate amount of inventory and no staff of sorts (following the staff firings) left to ink them.

    This was one of those stories I was suspicious about. Looking at this story for a very long time, and looking "beneath" the Bill Everett artwork, I began to see figures and talking heads that reminded me a great deal like Marion Sitton's work, work I was extremely familiar with as I had identified at least 20 stories he penciled in 1949 under other artist's inks, all confirmed by Sitton, who I had interviewed and become very close to during a decade-long friendship. I sent this story to Marion in 2011 with the caveat that I was not positive there was any penciler here under Bill Everett, but I was suspicious there might be, and whether he thought it possibly was his work underneath. Marion answered back:

    "Michael, I looked at the story that you sent in Girl Comics #3 that Bill Everett worked on and I'm pretty sure that I may have done the penciling on this one. The figures, the actions and the composition of the panels (always full), was the way I worked. Overall, it looks like my penciling. You have a sharp eye!" 

    Now I realize this proves nothing, but I will say that "I" spotted what I think are Marions' figures and Marion also believes so, who unlike a lot of his contemporaries I've spoken to after all these years, was still very familiar with all his work from 60 years ago (and had done spot-on recreations of this work for me over the years as a way of keeping his fingers in). In the Everett romance link above I also provide a lot of what I think is corroborating evidence by way of Sitton romance panels compared to panels from this story. And lastly, I definitely believe "someone" is under there other than Everett. The stories are too static and nothing but talking heads. Everett "never" did stories that were nothing but talking heads. And these are "NOT" Everett's women!!!

    So here is the entire story. You decide for yourself.












    And some pure Sitton romance heads for comparison:

    Left: Sitton pencils on #6374 MISS AMERICA vol 7, #32 (Mar/50) p.1, panel 2
    Right: Pure Sitton pencils and inks on RANGE ROMANCES (Quality Pub) #5 (Aug/50) p.6, panel 2






















    GIRL COMICS #4 (June/50)




    CONTENTS:

    • #7275 "Fool's Paradise!" (10 pages) - George Klein & Christopher Rule
    • #6877 "Strictly Small Time!" (9 pages) - Werner Roth splash; Sitton? / Roth? story art
    • HALF-PAGE AD - A Lover's Magazine heart colophon
    • TEXT STORY - #7246 "A Chance for Love" (2 pages) ; text illo by "Joan" on page 2
    • #7268 "Mother Knows Best!" (8 pages) - Sekowsky (?) / Rule Bob Brown/Bill Walsh? splash; Gene Colan ? / ?
    • FULL-PAGE AD - My Friend Irma
    • #7276 "Borrowed Love!" (10 pages) - George Klein pencils and inks

    The final purely romance issue of this run before the big change with issue #5. Some very long stories in this issue and all stories have new splash panels on older stories, as I've explained above. Cover month June/50 is notorious in Timely/Atlas circles for the dumping of inventory into all genres.

    • #7275 "Fool's Paradise!" (10 pages) - Christopher Rule splash; George Klein & Christopher Rule
    Now this story is a revelation. You want to see what both Rule and Klein look like on a single story? This is it! The big splash panel looks to be all Christopher Rule. The story, to the best of my ability, appears to be primarily George Klein penciling and Christopher Rule inking. But I also see pure Klein pages! So I would say the credits should just read George Klein and Christopher Rule.




    • #6877 "Strictly Small Time!" (9 pages) - Werner Roth splash; Sitton? / Roth (?) story art
    Another story to strain the art spotter to his limits. An earlier than usual inventory story (based on a 6800 job #), the splash panel appears to be Werner Roth. The story, if I may be once allowed to peel back the inks, looks like perhaps Marion Sitton inked by someone, probably Roth. This comes in at the exact same time Roth is debuting over on Venus #8 (Feb/50). In fact, the art looks very similar in nearly all respects. So could Sitton be doing some penciling on in Venus #8 panels? He never mentioned it to me but perhaps would not have if he only was one hand in a diverse hands story, as many of those Venus stories were ... Timely staff jams. Memory is telling me I sent this story to Marion years ago but I have no record if I ever did or that he commented on it. It may have been on my "to send" pile that I never got around to.




    • HALF-PAGE AD - A Lover's Magazine heart colophon
    For the best in romance stories, look for you-know-what!!!!





    • TEXT STORY - #7246 "A Chance for Love" (2 pages) ; text illo by "Joan" on page 2
    The identity of "Joan" has eluded me for a decade. But I'm going to report that I have a lead that I'll be following this spring. "Joan" drew text illustrations in 15 different Timely/Atlas issues, most cover dated may or June of 1950. I suppose Stan Lee's wife Joan is a suspect but he had no knowledge of it when asked. I think it's someone else, someone connected to the Bessie Little edited magazines. More info when I know.



    Joan cropped:




    • #7268 "Mother Knows Best!" (8 pages) - Bob Brown/Bill Walsh? splash,  Colan / ?
    Although no one will believe me, after this new Bob Brown splash, is a story that I believe Gene Colan penciled. It's pretty much impossible to see unless you've looked at 68 Gene Colan penciled stories for Timely between 1948-1949 as I have here:


    It could even be Colan with someone else, or Colan doing the barest of breakdown penciling, but I think Colan is there. You cannot see a thing from page 1 so I'll add page 2 also (not that it will help you much).

    *** [Update: Although I'm still seeing something that hints to me of early Gene Colan's pencils, the consensus is likely not.] 





    • FULL-PAGE AD - My Friend Irma
    As readers of my book with Blake Bell, "The Secret History of Marvel Comics" know, Martin Goodman had several licensed properties that he published:  My Friend Irma, Suspense, and Casey Crime Photographer. These licenses were set up by Arthur Perles, the older brother of Goodman's friend and business attorney, Jerry Perles. Arthur was the Assistant Director of CBS publicity in 1950 (2) and his connection to Goodman stretches back 14 years as he was also an editor on Goodman's two issue True Crime Magazine pulp in 1936 (3)

    My Friend Irma AD by Stan Lee and the great Dan DeCarlo:





    • #7276 "Borrowed Love!" (10 pages) - George Klein pencils and inks [unsigned]
    This is what I believe "pure, unadulterated" George Klein pencils and inks looks like. I suppose there's an outside shot another pencil artist laid out the story, but I don't know and lean towards "no".














    Girl Comics now goes on a 4 month hiatus and when it returns, the format is completely changed. From four thick 52 page issues, the title has now slimmed down to a standard anthology format of 4 stories without any special features. Gone are the photo covers and gone is the romance angle in general. Girl Comics now featured the cover blaring "Real Adventures of Real Girls!" and featured "Mystery - Romance - Suspense" across the banner at the top of the book. Girl Comics was now the true opposite-sex companion to Man Comics, launched nearly a year earlier as a he-man adventure anthology cover dated Dec/49 (simultaneously to Martin Goodman's launching of his revitalized Stag, also cover dated Dec/49, and jump-starting the entire "men's sweat" magazine genre).



    Man Comics #1 (Dec/49)

    Stag Vol 1, #1 (Dec/49)




    GIRL COMICS #5 (Oct/50)



    CONTENTS:
    • COVER - ?
    • #7601 "The Man Who Followed!" (7 pages) - Vern Henkel [unsigned]
    • #7605 "The Death Plunge!" (6 pages) - Joe Maneely [unsigned]
    • TEXT STORY - (no #) "The Gag" (2 pages) - illo. ?
    • #7604 "The House of Shadows!" (4 pages) - Russ Heath [unsigned]
    • #7579 "Conflict!" (5 pages) - Bill La Cava (?) [best guess]

    As will be seen below, there is no romance content whatsoever in this issue.
    • #7601 "The Man Who Followed!" (7 pages) - Vern Henkel [unsigned]
    This first story pits a young woman in a thriller as she's pursued by spies after the information she's carrying. Vern Henkel, the artist on Timely's Casey Crime Photographer, provides the gripping and effective artwork. Henkel was a veteran of Quality's publications and a neighbor in Queens to Joe Maneely.




    • #7605 "The Death Plunge!" (6 pages) - Joe Maneely [unsigned]
    This is one of the very earliest solo stories done by Joe Maneely for Stan Lee, all done at around the same time (by virtue of their close job #'s) and then published in different upcoming months. All of Maneely's talents are in full development practically from the start. The storytelling is taut and exciting and the actual artwork is sterling and gorgeous. This time it's a trapeze story with death thrills and death threats!









    • #7604 "The House of Shadows!" (4 pages) - Russ Heath [unsigned]
    Russ Heath follows with a short, dark haunted house tale. Of course there are no real skeletal specters, but the young girl in the house on a fraternity dare didn't know that!







    • #7579 "Conflict!" (5 pages) - Bill La Cava (?) [best guess]
    The last story looks to me like it may be Bill La Cava, perhaps with an inker. A young Irish woman from Delancy Street gets accepted into a fancy finishing school, where a blue-blood daughter makes her school life a living hell. At the breaking point she falls back on her street toughness and gains the respect of her tormentor.







    GIRL COMICS #6 (Jan/51)



    The first issue with preview panels down the left side of the cover, something done in nearly all the Atlas titles from cover date Jan/51 to approximately Mar/52. The cover, as nearly "all" the covers from this time period, escapes me. It's either someone we don't know who strangely drew so may of these covers, or it's someone we do know who we're still not matching up to these covers, perhaps due to a style change, or inking, or "something"! The cover boxes are sometimes drawn by a different artist (I've seen cover boxes drawn by Maneely on non-Maneely covers) and these look like they could have been drawn by Mike Sekowsky.

    CONTENTS:

    • COVER: ??? ; cover boxes Sekowsky ? / ?
    • #7723 "The Horns" (5 pages) - Mike Esposito (?) [best guess]
    • #7724 "Turning Point" (4 pages) - Dick Rockwell (?) [best guess] Ken Rice
    • TEXT STORY #5768 "Fear Was My Playmate" (2 pages)
    • #7720 "The Victim was Me!" (7 pages) - Ann Brewster [signed]
    • #7694 "I Was A Murder's Daughter" (6 pages) - Hy Rosen (?) & John Tartaglione (?) [best guess]

    • #7723 "The Horns" (5 pages) - Mike Esposito (?) [best guess]
    A woman toreador and the threat of genetic blindness! You have to admit these stories are melodramatic! The artwork is good, albeit a bit stiff. I'm really not sure who this is but it reminds me of Mike Esposito, who was on staff at Timely in 1948-49 and we'll see again here in issue #9 [Another guess could be Marty Elkin, but I'm leaning much more heavily to Mike Esposito]




    • #7724 "Turning Point" (4 pages) - Dick Rockwell (?) [best guess] Ken Rice
    Hmmm.. very slick artwork. I'm going to guess Dick Rockwell but I just don't know. A young woman goes to work after high-school and ends up running a department and holds the fate of hiring the classmate who mocked her for not being able to afford college. [Update: This is Ken Rice]






    • #7720 "The Victim was Me!" (7 pages) - Ann Brewster [signed]
    Ann Brewster was one of the deans of the Atlas romance comic line, drawing 65 romance stories for Stan Lee between 1955 and 1957 and three in 1951, to go along with 3 non-romance stories (2 crime and one post-code fantasy story in Journey Into Mystery #25, of all places!). She was an excellent artist but one of her quirks to me was that her women all seemed to look cross-eyed in some panels, as seen to the right in a splash page from My Own Romance #53 (Aug/56)


    This story below is a convoluted piece of crime fare using what seems to be 2 or even 3 different letterers. After 7 over-written, melodramatic pages, the wind-up is squeezed into the last panel, deflating all the suspense out the panel borders!





    • #7694 "I Was A Murder's Daughter" (6 pages) - Hy Rosen (?) & John Tartaglione (?) [best guess]

    My gut tells me John Tartaglione had something to do with this story, but if he did it make it his earliest story ever for Stan Lee. That said, Tartaglione's earliest work at Timely was thought to be a handful of stories done in conjunction with Pierce Rice, two of which could be #7885 "The Missing Witness" in Private Eye #2 (Mar/51) and #8015, "The Mad Monk" in Amazing Detective Cases #6 (May/51). His first solo story appeared to have been #8098, "The Wolf Pack" in Men's Adventures #8 (June/51). His first signed story (well initialed, anyway) appears to have been #8184 "The Terrible Tree" in Adventures Into Weird Worlds #1 (Jan/52). So where does that leave this story? I don't know. It almost looks like a mash of Hy Rosen with John Tartaglione. That would be my guess.






    GIRL COMICS #7 (Mar/51)




    CONTENTS:

    • COVER : Same as #6 above. I don't know (and it's driving me crazy!)
    • #6929 "If A Girl Be Mad" (7 pages) - Sol Brodsky [unsigned]
    • #7828 "They Called me A Spy" (4 pages) w/ Hank Chapman; art by Bill La Cava (?) / ? [best guess]
    • #7823 "Hideout" (5 pages) - Allen Bellman [unsigned]
    • TEXT STORY #6031 "The Endless game" (2 pages)
    • #7822 "The Silver Shield" (6 pages) - splash ?; George Klein story art [unsigned]



    • #6929 "If A Girl Be Mad" (7 pages) - Sol Brodsky [unsigned]
    Sol Brodsky was all over the crime and spy book of late 1950 and 1951, including a run on Clark Mason, Spyfighter in Spyfighters. A close friend of artist Allen Bellman while they were on staff at Timely in the 1940's, I haven't been able to discern exactly what Sol did there other than late 1940's crime scripts, teen material and perhaps the signed "SOL" Inky Dinky - The Kid Artist in Comedy Comics #11 (Sept/42).

    In the Atlas era he was on the post-code Atlas staff and one of the handful of artists who drew covers in the period. At one time it was thought he drew the majority of the non-Maneely, non-Everett, non-Severin, etc., post-code covers. I now know most of them were actually drawn by Carl Burgos.





    • #7828 "They Called me A Spy" (4 pages) w/ Hank Chapman; art by Bill La Cava (?) / ? [best guess]
    I'm putting down "best guess" but I'm pretty confidant this may in fact be Bill La Cava penciling. If so, La Cava was a strange little artist with a minimalist style, drawing the smallest figures and heads in a panel I've ever seen. But I like it! Hank Chapman wrote this story. Chapman was pretty much the only writer who regularly signed the stories he wrote, allowing us to ascribe to him at least 270 stories to him between 1951 and 1953 alone. His scripting went back to the earlier Timely days and was part of that hallowed group that put together the famous Human Torch / Sub-Mariner battle over that famous weekend.




    • #7823 "Hideout" (5 pages) - Allen Bellman [unsigned]
    One of my favorite Allen Bellman stories, with artwork that is crisp and stylized. Allen broke into the business at Timely at the age of 18 in October of 1942, starting as a background artist on Syd Shores' Captain America. He worked on staff for the entire rest of the decade and worked on or witnessed nearly everything at Timely until the staff was disbanded at the end of 1949. The Patriot, The Destroyer, Jap Buster Johnson, takes on Timely's "big 3" Cap-Torch-Sub-Mariner, he's had his hand on them all at one time or another. 









    • #7822 "The Silver Shield" (6 pages) - splash ?; George Klein story art [unsigned]
    I'm trying to find a reason to say that George Klein only inked this but I cannot. This, I believe, is once again pure George Klein pencils and inks. The splash panel may be partially Klein. The man on the right holding the gun is not Klein as far as I can see. Those are not Klein's fingers on his left hand (they belong to someone I always see but cannot name yet). His face is also touched up by another hand, I believe.






    GIRL COMICS #8 (May/51)




    CONTENTS:

    • COVER: Mike Sekowsky / ? [unsigned]
    • #8008 "Each Passing Shadow" (7 pages) - Dick Rockwell [signed]
    • #8017 "Wings of Death' (5 pages) Ann Brewster [signed]
    • TEXT STORY #7299 "Crescendo!" (2 pages) [Statement of Ownership]
    • #8020 "The Lonely One" (4 pages) - ?
    • #8021 "The Wrong Side of the Tracks" (6 pages) - Mike Esposito [signed]

    With #8 the blurb "Real Experiences of Real Girls!" replaces "Real Adventures of Real Girls!" and Romance is added to the top banned, replacing Adventure. I suppose some of the more outlandish and exotic stories are being replaced with a more romantic-mystery and romantic suspense angle.

    This time this may well be Mike Sekowsky penciling this cover. The top side box on the left is Sekowsky's woman and I'm thinking he changed his style for these covers, using smaller figures than what he usually uses in his actual comic book stories, where there are a lot of close-ups, etc.


    • #8008 "Each Passing Shadow" (7 pages) - Dick Rockwell [signed]
    Well this story "is" Dick Rockwell. Looking back at the story in issue #6 where I guessed makes me keep the guess as still my best idea as of now.




    • #8017 "Wings of Death' (5 pages) Ann Brewster [signed]
    Another Ann Brewster story. Two in three issues. While she didn't do many non-romance stories for Atlas, I suppose she got in as many as these romance-esque girl adventure stories as she could. In general, these stories are drawn in a different style than the later post-code romance stories. Smaller figures, more panels, etc.




    • TEXT STORY #7299 "Crescendo!" (2 pages) [Statement of Ownership]
    Hmmm.. Robbie Solomon is listed as Business Manager. He must have taken over from Abe Goodman when Abe left to run Humorama.

    • #8020 "The Lonely One" (4 pages) - ?
    I just have no idea who this is. Naggingly familiar but nothing comes to me. If I had to wild guess it, maybe Bill La Cava with an inker...a strong one! (Hmm... it could be!)




    • #8021 "The Wrong Side of the Tracks" (6 pages) - Mike Esposito [signed]
    Well here is Mike Esposito! These last 2 stories are next to each other job number-wise, indicating they were probably written by the same author, as were similar pairs in each of the preceding 2 issues.






    GIRL COMICS #9 (July/51)



    CONTENTS:
    • COVER: Mike Sekowsky (?)  & ? [best guess]
    • #8221 "House of Shadows" (6 pages) w/Carl Wessler; Art by Warren Broderick [signed]
    • #8310 "One is Guilty" (4 pages) - Nina Albright
    • TEXT STORY #8285 "The Phony Rubies" (2 pages)
    • #8028? "Black-Out!" (6 pages) - Cal Massey
    • #8253 "Downfall" (7 pages) - Chic Stone (?)
    The cover is the same problem as all since #5. I'm guessing it's the same atypical Mike Sekowsky pencils on at least part of the cover. These are very frustrating. 

    • #8221 "House of Shadows" (6 pages) w/Carl Wessler; Art by Warren Broderick [signed]
    Warren Broderick appears in 10 Atlas stories by my count, all in 1951-52, three scripted by Hank Chapman and one by Carl Wessler, this one. Carl Wessler was the most prolific Timely/Atlas crime scripter, writing practically entire anthology crime books in 1951 and penning over 500 stories in all genres from 1951 to the spring of 1957. This particular story was written on December 28, 1950.




    • #8310 "One is Guilty" (4 pages) - Nina Albright
    You know? part of this story looks like Chris Rule is only penciling the women (wait! They're "all" women!) and someone else is heavily inking it, making the Rule nearly invisible. I get this through the stiff fashion poses and the shape of the heads. Or I'm wrong. I don't know. [Update: This is Nina Albright]





    • TEXT STORY #8285 "The Phony Rubies" (2 pages)
    The only thing notable here is the illustration looks like Al Hartley, and I just found where it came from! The last story in Girl Comics #2 above, page 2, panel 1. I'll reproduce the panel below.




















    • #8028? "Black-Out!" (6 pages) - Cal Massey
    African-American artist Cal Massey was a Philadelphia contemporary of Joe Maneely, who followed Joe from Street & Smith to Cross Publications to Atlas. Massey drew about 50 stories between 1951 and 1957, and was exceptional in the war titles.





    • #8253 "Downfall" (7 pages) - Chic Stone ?
    I think this is another jam session issue. I see different hands. Sol Brodsky? Al Hartley in one panel? Bit of Al Bellman in some of the women? What I will say is that the way the girl is drawn above in the bottom 2 panels is "not" how she's drawn on other pages. Could be the inking. I don't know. [Update: This is likely Chic Stone]





    GIRL COMICS #10 (Sept/51)



    CONTENTS:
    • COVER: Mike Sekowsky (?) / ?
    • #8452 "The Deadly Double-Cross" (7 pages) - Morris Weiss [signed]
    • TEXT STORY "8259 "Double Cross" (2 pages) - Bill La Cava (?) illustration
    • #8746 "The Woman-Hater!" (5 pages) - George Klein [unsigned]
    • #8729 "The Outsider" (4 pages) - ?
    • #8491 "The Dead Hands at the Controls!" (7 pages) - Allen Bellman [unsigned]

    The cover to #10 continues the trend of "maybe Mike Sekowsky" and "I don't know"

    • #8452 "The Deadly Double-Cross" (7 pages) - Morris Weiss [signed]
    Morris Weiss make his first appearance in this title (he'll be a frequent contributor here after the title change with #13). Weiss cut his teeth on the Timely teen titles, especially his signature character Tessie the Typist. He will be a prominent romance for Atlas, drawing over 50 romance stories from late 1951 to 1952 alone. His often realistic style can also be found in several issues of Sports Action and he will be one of the main Patsy Walker artists after the departure of Al Jaffee (along with Al Hartley).



    • #8746 "The Woman-Hater!" (5 pages) - George Klein (?) / Klein [unsigned]
    Another George Klein story. Some panels look like he's only inking someone else though, so let's call this Klein (?) / Klein 



    • TEXT STORY "8259 "Double Cross" (2 pages) - Bill La Cava (?) illustration
    Well this looks like a Bill La Cava panel but I'll be damned if I know where it's from.




    • #8729 "The Outsider" (4 pages) - ?
    I have no idea who this is. I've seen it before and it's familiar to me, but I just can't connect it.



    • #8491 "The Dead Hands at the Controls!" (7 pages) - Allen Bellman [unsigned]
    Another story drawn by Allen Bellman concludes this issue. This story may have the record for most melodramatic story title of all time!











    GIRL COMICS #11 (Sept/51)



    CONTENTS:

    • COVER: Mike Sekowsky (?) / ?
    • #8991 "Breaking Point!" (5 pages) - F.R. Sieminski [signed]
    • TEXT STORY #8935 "Murder on the Mesa" (2 pages)
    • #8664? "Till Death Do Us Part" (5 pages) - Dan LoPrino [signed]
    • #8928 "I Hate Janet Briggs" (7 pages) - Rule & ? & Klein (?)  / Rule [unsigned]
    • #8499 "Unwanted!" (6 pages) - Bill Savage [unsigned]

    With this issue, while there is still "mystery" and "suspense", there is a whole lot or "romance", and the book is creeping back towards being a real romance title.

    The cover is the last of the same Sekowsky? covers. As Mike does less and less work for Timely/Atlas in general, he says goodbye to covers completely by the end of 1951.

    • #8991 "Breaking Point!" (5 pages) - F.R. Sieminski [signed]
    Jeez, talk about drama. This over-written, wordy story pits a young actress being tutored in the theater arts by a retired and now-handicapped (but still young) former stage idol, who treats her like Edward Rochester treated Jane Eyre. Of course after several years of this torture and the young woman finally storming out to land her own part without his help , we find they really both loved each other (naturally) and the story is resolved in 3 panels, all living happily ever after!

    F.R. Sieminski had a classical, scratchy fine-line style and drew about 17 stories in 1951 for Stan Lee, where all but 2 were romance stories.




    • #8664? "Till Death Do Us Part" (5 pages) - Dan LoPrino [signed]
    Depending on what Atlas book you look in, this artist spelled his name Dan LoPrino (11 times) or LoPrieno (21 times). This time it's LoPrino. I think my pal Shaun Clancy tracked him down and interviewed him a few years ago.





    • #8928 "I Hate Janet Briggs" (7 pages) - Rule & ? & Klein / Rule [unsigned]
    This story at first glance appears to be 100% Christopher Rule, but as second glance it's really only 90%. While Rule's inking completely overwhelms this story, I think there may be another at least "partial" penciler here. Some of the figures are too dynamic in their poses and I'm positive I see George Klein in a few panels on page 6. So let's call this :  Rule & ? & Klein (?) / Rule





    • #8499 "Unwanted!" (6 pages) - Bill Savage [unsigned]
    This is Bill Savage, who was on staff in the late 1940's and continue to freelance up through about 1954. He also drew the "Doug Grant, Secret Agent" feature in Spy Cases in 1953.






    GIRL COMICS #12 (Jan/52)



    CONTENTS:
    • COVER: Al Hartley [signed]
    • #9193 "The Dark Hallway!" (7 pages) - Bernie Krigstein [unsigned]
    • TEXT STORY #9034 "Adventure Round-Up" (2 pages) - 5 Russ Heath western illos.
    • #9215 "Departed" (6 pages) - Morris Weiss [signed]
    • #9227 "Aftermath!" (4 pages) - Ralph Owen (?) [Chic Stone]
    • #9043 "None Are So Blind" (6 pages) - Warren Broderick [signed]

    The last issue of this title is a a bit of a transition as Al Hartley gets the cover and will continue as the most frequent cover artist as the title changes to a straight romance comic under a different title. As will be seen, the stories themselves also take on a harder romance slant.

    • #9193 "The Dark Hallway!" (7 pages) - Bernie Krigstein [unsigned]
    The lead story is by the great Bernie Krigstein. Krigstein worked for Timely/Atlas from mid 1950 to 1952, then again from 1956 to 1957, with a few stragglers during the missing years when he was elsewhere, including his vintage work for EC. I count 70 total stories in all genres here with 2 written by his wife Natalie in 1949 for other artists

    This lead story is the cover story, and further proof that cover artists were drawing covers with no conceivable idea as to what the story scene their depicting is actually about! In the Krigstein story, "the dark hallway" is a metaphor for the girl's heart as she has to choose between duty to her country and the love of her life. The cover by Hartley depicts a couple walking down an actual dark hallway with all manner of dangerous and evil things about to happen to them! Krigstein is straightforward, though stylized. He is not yet using his innovative panel breakdowns as a way to deal with tepid scripts to get more into a story.










    • #9215 "Departed" (6 pages) - Morris Weiss [signed]
    Morris Weiss returns next in another romance story wrapped around the horse-racing business.



    • #9227 "Aftermath!" (4 pages) - Ralph Owen (?) [Chic Stone]
    Unless I miss my guess, this may be Ralph Owen. He has a handful of stories scattered around the romance title at this time period.  Another romance story. [Update: This is Chic Stone]



    • #9043 "None Are So Blind" (6 pages) - Warren Broderick [signed]
    The final story in this title is a return to Warren Broderick. The story's title hails from a story written by John Collier for The New Yorker magazine in 1956. The story was rthen adapted into an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents later that same year. While this is a completely different story, Stan Lee would reuse the title in Daredevil #17 (June/66), the conclusion of the John Romita Daredevil/Spider-Man battle. 





    With the conclusion of this issue the title now changes to Girl Confessions and becomes a full-fledged romance comic book, one of the best Atlas published, ranked by virtue of phenomenal artistic line-ups including Bill Everett (4 stories in the run seen here: Everett Atlas romance). The title will run 23 additional issues up to #35 (Aug/54), where it will then be cancelled. 

    But Girl Confessions is for another time. Here's the first cover to #13 by Al Hartley as a teaser....





    NOTES AND SOURCES:


    All book scans are from the author's collection.

    1. Nolan, Michelle. Love on the Racks - A History of American Romance Comics, McFarland Publications, 2008.
    2. Billboard Magazine. July 8 1950.
    3. Writer's Digest. June 1936. "There are two new pulps out under the Newsstand Publications and Western Fiction Publishing banners of Martin Goodman, 11 West 42nd St., True Crime magazine is almost entirely staff written, or covered by newspaper men on assignment, and offers no market to the free-lance just now. Arthur Perles edits it." 


    4 comments:

    1. Mike,

      My first post appears to have drifted into the ether, so I'll have to reconstruct my comments again! You've produced another thoroughly informative post and I'll add a few comments and observations.

      # 3: "I Loved a He-Man" It looks like the face of the man and the figure may be drawn by two different artists. The musculature has a Kirbyish look that might be Syd Shores, although I'm wondering if the figures of the man and woman may be swipes from a Simon-Kirby Romance comic. Is there perhaps some Buscema or Shores in the second panel?

      "Second Fiddle" I believe you're right about Shores/Rule in the panels you cited.

      "Once in a Lifetime" Everett inking and lettering certainly, and I'm in agreement that the pencils are likely by Sitton. The faces of the men and women have an un-Everett look, particularly the man with the blue hair.

      # 4: "Strictly Small Time" Perhaps Roth drew the bottom panels as well. The pose of the girl with her hand by her face is very Roth like.

      "Mother Knows Best" Another possible Roth? The woman in the yellow coat makes me suspect Roth's input. I admit I'm hard-pressed to see any sign of Colan on the page you published, but I have confidence that you're correct.

      The cover to # 5, as well as some of the other unknown cover artists, may have input by Sol Brodsky, perhaps overpowered by a strong inker. Nothing definite I can point to, just a feeling I have in the look of the figures.

      "Horns" Yep, I agree on Esposito. His wispy line is evident.

      # 8- I think you're correct on your Sekowsky cover ID's.

      "The Lonely One" Possible Esposito pencils and/or inks in this story?

      #9: "One is Guilty" I may be way off base here, but I've learned never to ignore hunches, so I'll throw it out to you. Is there some Everett on this page? Take a look at the two women in the splash without looking at their faces. Do you notice Everett's line on the clothing and figures? Also the layout and the way the figures are posed in panel two. Could this be Everett/Rule?

      "Downfall": Looking this over my first thought was Chic Stone, particularly the inking of the eyes, faces and hair in panels 2-3. I see a distinctive line that reminds me of Stone's work. Is that possible?

      # 10- is the man's face on the cover inked by Rule?

      "Outsider": The faces of the characters in the bottom panels make me question the possibility of Carl Burgos' pencils.

      # 11: "Unwanted" The faces and poses of the characters in the background splash have a very familiar look. Joe Certa comes to mind.

      # 12: "Aftermath": This is another page that has a Chic Stone feel, in either pencils and/or inks.

      I pretty much agree with you on all your other identifications. I look forward to comments by other Timely-Atlas mavens.

      ReplyDelete
    2. Okay, Michael, you asked for some input. Here's mine:

      Girl #1 agree that #5402 "Death be My Destiny!" is Jerry Fasano
      I think #5547 "I Lost My Heart" is Bill Williams. It's not Streeter
      Girl #2 it might be Sam Cooper? on #6082 "I Chose Love" (no Rule, that I can see)
      Girl #3 #7102 "I Loved a He-Man" is all Bob Brown
      #7164 "Second Fiddle" - Other than Maneely splash, I see none of your guesses. Chu Hing?
      #7083 "Designing Female" - ? & Becker (very interesting and chic penciller - TOO chic, I think, for it to be Mike Becker.)
      #7252 "Once in a Love-Time". I'll take your word for it being Sitton & Everett
      Girl #4 #7275 "Fool's Paradise". Agree, many PAGES are pure Klein!
      #6877 "Strictly Small Time!" I see Roth in the two large splash figures, but he's submerged if he's present in the rest of the story. You're right to compare this with the Venus art. Same style - reminds me so much of an under control Ogden Whitney!
      #7268 "Mother Knows Best!" And here we're going to really DISAGREE. This is not Sekowsky, not Rule, not Colan. Yer OUT!
      Bob Brown & ? splash, Walsh?? maybe. I know Colan pretty well, too, Michael, and I think you've latched onto some part of this art that corresponds with some aspect of Colan's style. But this is missing the core values of Colan's layout and structure, IMHO.
      Girl #5 could cover be Bourgos ("Hotel CBD")
      #7579 "Conflict" I don't remember what Lacava looks like, but this doesn't seem quite right. I just don't know.
      Girl #6 #7723 "The Horns" Could this be Marty Elkin? I've never had a good grasp on Esposito.
      #7724 "Turning Point" I DO have a good grasp on Ace stalwart Ken Rice. This is he.
      #7694 "Murderer's Daughters" Def. Rosen, but I don't see Tartaglione. FWIW.
      Girl #7 #7828 "They Called me A Spy" This is more like what I remember Bill LaCava looking like.
      Girl #9 #8310 "One is Guilty" is Nina Albright, no Rule!
      #8253 "Downfall" - what you see is Chic Stone
      Girl #10 - You're more certain of Sekowsky on the cover than I am.
      #8729 "The Outsider" - I don't know either.
      Girl #11 #8499 "Unwanted!" is definitely Bill Savage
      Girl #12 #9227 "Aftermath!" is Chic Stone again

      Peace, Jim (|:{>

      ReplyDelete
    3. The first panel in 5402 certainly looks like the Fasano that I'm familiar with. Not that I would have guessed it based on the rest of the page, as I'm only familiar with his humor work. Looking at the last two panes of 5547, I agree with Jim V that it seems to be Bill Williams. However I couldn't be more sure without seeing another page or so. Another artist known mostly for his humor work. Great job with these IDs.

      ReplyDelete
    4. Ok Jim, I'm back and ready to address this post from Jan 10th!

      Issue #1: Glad you agree on the Jerry Fasano, Jim. On the Bill Williams, that's probably who I meant to consider as an additional guess but I'm still mixing up Williams and Streeter.

      Issue #2: Sam Cooper is a good guess. The only Rule in the story is on page 6, the woman's face in panels 2 and 4, and I'm sticking by it! Especially panel 2!

      Issue #3: I knew it was Brown but wasn't sure if he was solo. On #7164 Hing is certainly a great consideration, Jack Kamen was a wild guess and not meant to be taken too literally. I'm gonna hold to that Shores panel 5 and what is also Rule's hand in possibly both but certainly in panel 6. I know you don't like single panel ID's but I'm imagining a busy bullpen assembly line with any and all occasionally pitching in. On #7083 the Becker I think I'm seeing is the inking. And I'll add I'm guessing but look at those male faces.On #7252 my evidence just points in the direction. I won't say I'm 100% positive.

      Issue #4: On #6877 I agree (about the likelihood of Roth being submerged). I still think I'm seeing the possibility of Sitton in this story. This was one I meant to send him but never did. To me it looks Sitton-y/Roth-y. Beyond that I have no other guess. On #7268 You're right! I'm taking Sekowsky out of that splash. I don't have any other ideas. Brown's ultra-long arms we saw in #3's #7102 seems to be a pattern. And you're also right that there's this persistent thing I keep seeing that pulls me into Gene Colan's pencils. And I can't put my finger on it! But I agree with you that I'm probably out of my head here! (not the first time!)

      Issue #5 cover: What am I missing here? Where are those initials, Jim? On #7579, well it's a guess. Looking at again now, it's all I have.

      Issue #6: On #7723, I didn't either. It took Nick Caputo to set me right. He ID'd that story in Strange Tales #1 (the one the splash was used as the cover) as Esposito when he was over here one time when he asked me if there were any stories in the Masterworks of #1-10 that I couldn't ID. I thought "hmm...Esposito?", and pulled out a handful of signed concurrent Esposito stories from other Atlas issues. The ST #1 story lined up very nicely! The splash may not be Esposito or possibly Burgos re-working the original splash.On #7724, thanks for the ID! On #7694 Tartag's a guess. Recall that I have the world's largest Tartaglione binder!!!! (over 500 pages!)

      Issue #9 On #8310 Yes! I couldn't get her to pop into my head! Lots of stories all around this time in Junior Miss, Miss America, True Secrets, etc!! And guess what, I just checked my Nina Albright file and along with several others, "this" story is photocopied in there!!!!! And she's in my database already. She wasn't in my paper records for some reason. #8253 Never would have guessed this is Chic Stone. I don't see it.

      Issue #12: #9227, this one looks more like Chic Stone than the other one, Jim. The other reminds me so much of Sol Brodsky.

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