Pocket Comic #3 (November 1941)

I have saved Pocket Comics #3 as the last small sized cover that I would post on. If Speed #14 to #16 were done by Al Avison and if Pocket #1, #2 and #4 covers were done by Joe Simon, it would seem natural to say Joe also did Pocket #3. In fact the depiction of the Black Cat matches the one Joe does for Pocket #2 and #4. On none of the Speed covers is there any indication that Avison could execute such a convincing pose for the Black Cat. But as soon as we turn to the rest of the cover, problems set in. The soldier being prepared for shipping (via C.O.D) just does not seem to lay down in the box. The Nazis are white skeletal figures in red hooded clocks. I would describe the robbed figures with the same term I used for Speed #15 and #16, goofy. The track record so far for the pocket comics is that Joe did well executed covers, Al rather crude ones, Joe presents intimidating villains, Al goofy Nazis.

Pocket Comics #3

The action takes place in a long corridor done in forced perspective. There are more red clocked Nazis advancing from the end of the hallway. This is all similar to the tunnel in Speed #16 but not seen elsewhere. This suggests that both covers were done by the same artist.

My conclusion is that the cover for Pocket #3 was done by Al Avison, perhaps with an assist by Joe Simon on the Black Cat figure. After S&K left Timely, Al would not work for them again. But their paths would cross at Harvey comics after the war. I am sure I will post on that sometime but until then, and in difference to Nick (who wanted to see more Avison) here is a splash page from Pocket Comics #1.

Pocket Comics #1

At this point we have examined all the Harvey pocket comics. The best is yet to come, however they will be different not only in size but also in style. So let’s recap the attributions so far.

Pocket 1 (August 1941) Joe Simon
Pocket 2 (September 1941) Joe Simon
Pocket 3 (November 1941) Al Avison
Pocket 4 (January 1942) Joe Simon

Speed 14 (September 1941) Al Avison (signed)
Speed 15 (November 1941) Al Avison
Speed 16 (January 1942) Al Avison