Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Old Times Relive

Tuesday Comic Strip Day.

I may have shared these before, but I can't find them and they are still in my to do file.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Been There, Still Not Done

Monday Cartoon Day.

Still probably the best cartoonist of the whole Colier's bunch.

Serial Gardner

Saturday Leftover Day.

After showing Erle Gardner's Perry Mason, I though I'd share one of his serialized newspaper stories. As far as I have been able to determine these 1948-50 produced serials from King Features had a single square illustration every day, which were started by Paul Norris. Later on Edd Cartier did a few as well and I recently came across one that looked like Bernie Sachs at least inked it. Unfortunately not every paper used every illustration each day, so the last few of this story have been dropped.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

War For Sale

Friday Comic Book Day.

This week I have started selling my Atlas war books on Ebay. The first series to go is War Comics, which will include many of the stories mentioned here when I did the Hank Chapman series this summer. The first lot will be up by Sunday and will include two of the three Russ Heath stories with consecutive job numbers I showed a fe weeks ago. It also has one issue that has two of the nineteen job numvers that were issues after #9999, when Stan Lee decided to change to a letter plus number system and found out he had ordered but not numbered nineteen stories (which then became #10001 to 10019). Three of those are in War Comics #10 two illustrated stories and atext story).

From 1945, all stories produced for Timely/Atlas were identified by a job number. They were given out when the script was bought and probaby used as an accounting tool - to track the progress of a story, assign it to a book and see who would get paid for it. Late in 1951, the four number system ran out and Martin Goodman and/or his editor Stan Lee decided to start again with a one letter-four number system, with the first story to be assigned a number that way numbered A-1, the next one A-2, etc. But as with any system, there were a few holes to plug. Some stories that had already been given to artists but had vailed to get a job number came in late and for some reason it was decided not to give them a new numer, but to make an exception and give them a five figure number. Or at least, that is one way to explain why there were nineteen stories numbered 10001 to 10019. Another could be that the idea to start a new system was invented only after juggling the zeroes was found to difficult. The 'nineteen' that got away' were not in any particular genre and fom a nice cross section of all of Timey's output. The stories appeared in books in early 1952. This is one of those books, which doesn't only have job number #1004 but also the first 'new' one, A-1. Most of these stories have been 'found'. The only ones missing are 10001 and 10002.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

You Can't Get A Good Detective Down

Thursday Story Strip Day.

The Perry Mason strip should have been a succes. Erle Stanley Gardner's detective hero was the best selling book series at that time and new episodes were prepublished in magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post and Collier's, often lavishly illustrated. After their initital succes, they were even used as serialized material for newspapers, some of which were illustrated as well. But he newspaper strip never took of. Maybe it was because the art was never up to the level of those magazine illustrations or maybe they were feeling the competition of Rip Kirby, the number one newspaper strip detective at that time, illustrated in a beautiful magazine illustration worthy style. The lesser know Perry Mason newspaper strip didn't come into it's own until a young Frank Thorne started illustrating it in 1952, the third artist (at least) on the job. Smaples of this strip are hard to come by. there were very few newspapers running it, so even online I found sources only sporadicly. The color Sunday are even harder to get, possibly because so many years later the name and fame of it's hero does make it a sought after collectable. I did manage to get a set, but it was nowhere near complete, with single episodes from many different stories. I always had the feling that the rythm of the Sundays was odd, so when I ran across a daily version of the strip it didn't surprise me (although I never would have expected it). I am not sure if it is a candidate for reprinting, but I would like to read at least one of these stories in whole. I have not checked if the stories itself are adaptations or new (in which case they will not be by Gardner himself).