Tag Archives: Bill

Little Shop of Horrors, Chapter 2, Up and Running

(April to August 1951, Black Magic #4 – #6)

Black Magic #4 to #6 were released during the same period as Boys’ Ranch #4 to #6 (for Harvey Comics). Both titles were bimonthlies which mean that the greatest amount of work produced by the Simon and Kirby studio was for Young Romance and Young Love both of which were monthlies. This is not at all unusual for while Simon and Kirby are most famous for their superheroes most of the work they did during their collaboration was for love comics.

The period discussed in this chapter roughly corresponds with chapter 15 of my serial post The Art of Romance.

While Jack Kirby did all the covers for Black Magic (as he would throughout the first run) in terms of the number of pages drawn he was not the primary artist for Black Magic like he was in the earlier issues. That honors now went to Mort Meskin who did 37 pages compared to Jack’s 17 pages. Even Bill Draut with 18 pages of art did more then Kirby. But even Bill was not the second most prolific artist in the issues covered; surprisingly that would go to the newcomer George Roussos who did 20 pages. Vic Donahue who has been absent from Simon and Kirby productions for some months does a single 5 page story. John Prentice is new to the studio and only provides a single 7 page story. Two stories remain without attributions but one of them is a single page feature.

Black Magic #4 (April 1951) “Voodoo on Tenth Avenue”, art by Jack Kirby

Kirby has scaled back on his splash for his only large piece for Black Magic. Still even with half a page Jack could get a lot of impact. It is amazing how Kirby has managed to make the woman both beautiful and evil; no haggard witch here is just a cold and angry heart. What a text book example of the use of abstract arch shadows (see my Inking Glossary). I count 6 of them in this small splash.

Black Magic #5 (June 1951) “The World of Spirits”, art by Jack Kirby

While Kirby’s other contribution to Black Magic #4 to #6 were very short pieces one of them, “The World of Spirits” is not to be neglected. It is a small masterpiece. It is one of those cases where Jack, so famous for his action, has managed to make exciting art out of nothing more then talking heads. Part of what makes a page like the one shown above so vital is how Kirby changes the expressions in every panel. Since the characters are all past their youth Jack can push his already exaggerated eyebrows to much advantage. The inking is also superb. I am not one to automatically attribute good inking jobs to Kirby but the way the spotting is done on the white shirt in the splash and the use of bold cloth folds make me believe that at least much of the spotting was done by Jack himself. A lot of the times these very short pieces just did not seem to get the same attention from the various studio artists as they gave to the more substantial stories. But not Kirby; some of his greatest masterpieces are short stories such as this one.

Black Magic #4 (April 1951) “The Dead Don’t Really Die”, art by Mort Meskin

I am afraid I am giving short shift to Mort Meskin by only including one example despite the fact that he produced far more work then any other artist. This certainly does not reflect on the quality of the work that Mort was producing; Meskin’s Black Magic work is among the best that he ever did. I admit that Mort did some great work for DC after leaving the Simon and Kirby studio but that unfortunately was done under the severely detrimental effects of Comic Code censoring.

I have selected this particular splash page because of its unusual design. Not that the half page splash is so visually different but the fact that the splash panel is actually the first story panel. Typically splash panels are used as the comic book equivalent of a movie trailer; they provide a sort of a synopsis of the story to entice the reader. I do not remember a story splash panel being used in any prior Simon and Kirby production. The use of this device in “The Dead Don’t Really Die” is still pretty much an isolated case but it would become very typical of Simon and Kirby romance comics in the future.

Black Magic #4 (April 1951) “The Jonah”, art by Bill Draut

Black Magic seems to have given Bill Draut the confidence to draw the type of characters that had all but disappeared from his romance work. You normally would not see something like the sailor with the white hat in Bill’s love stories at this time. The splash panel is also something not to be seen in a romance work. How seedy can you get? Beat up trash cans, littered bottles and yeah I am sure that man in the background is just asking directions from the woman. Note the building on our right; the way the bricks are roughly inked as solid black is a mannerism often used by Draut.

Black Magic #5 (June 1951) “Justice for the Dead”, art by John Prentice

I am not sure why but John Prentice did not seem to do as much work for Black Magic as compared to what he did for the romance titles. It certainly is not because he did a poor job on them; quite the contrary. “Justice for the Dead” is a typical Black Magic piece but with a crime slant that shows that John would have made a great crime comic book artist. He had previously worked for Hillman so perhaps he had done some drawing in that genre there. The GCD lists Prentice as also having worked in Gang Busters and Mr. District Attorney for DC but I have not yet verified that. Years later John would do some work for Simon and Kirby’s Police Trap and later yet take over the syndication detective strip Rip Kirby. My knowledge of John Prentice work outside of the Simon and Kirby studio is sadly incomplete but I am working on rectifying that defect.

Black Magic #5 (June 1951) “The Face from The Future”, art by George Roussos

BM #3 (February) marked the earliest appearance of pencils by George Roussos in a Simon and Kirby production. Despite having two stories in that BM #5 and one in the next issue, it is odd that Roussos has not yet appeared in either Young Romance or Young Love. Since George did a lot of inking and was well known to Joe and Jack there is the possibility that he has help with inking Kirby’s work prior to this but I have seen nothing that confirms that conjecture. That Simon and Kirby both knew Roussos is indicated by a sketches both did for him in 1942 (Joe did Hitler in a zoot suite (Poking Fun at Hitler) and Jack did the Boy Commands (A Belated Happy Birthday to Jack Kirby). George also knew Mort Meskin and had inked some of Mort’s work for DC (Early Mort Meskin).

As often happens in Simon and Kirby productions, George Roussos’ splash for “The Face from the Future” uses some inking technique that seemed borrowed from the Studio Style inking. In this case we find picket fence crosshatching (Inking Glossary) on the hooded figure and a rounded shadow in the upper right corner. However it is clearly Roussos doing the inking and not Joe or Jack touching it up. While there is classical picket fence crosshatching on the right ghostly figure it changes as it proceeds to the left and becomes an inking technique not found in the Studio Style. There the shadow is built with short strokes that initially look like the pickets from the picket fence crosshatching but without the rails. The rounded shadow in the upper corner has a ragged edge that again is not typical of the way it usually is done in the Studio Style.

Black Magic #6 (August 1951) “The Girl the Earth Ate Up”, art by George Roussos

George does such a great job on the splash for “The Girl the Earth Ate Up” I could not resist including it. Do not get me wrong Roussos pencils and inking are on the crude side but his use of blacks makes it really work.

Black Magic #6 (August 1951) “A Wolf That Hummed a Nursery Rhyme”, art by Vic Donahue

Vic Donahue has not been appearing in Simon and Kirby productions for a while and this is the only work that I have assigned to him for 1951. It is an odd story and it allows Vic to draw the type of characters that would not have been appropriate for romance work. Even so I just cannot get enthusiastic about Donahue’s effort. Vic was one of the lesser talents in the Simon and Kirby studio and now that all three of the usual suspects (Bill Draut, Mort Meskin and John Prentice) are present Donahue will rarely appear again if at all (my database has no more entries for him after this one).

Black Magic #5 (June 1951) “Follow Me”, art by unidentified artist

There is one Black Magic artist from this period that I have not been able to identify but he does a nice job on “Follow Me”. Good characterization, excellent inking and good graphic story telling.

The Little Shop of Horrors, Chapter 1 (#1 – 3), Expanding Their Fields

The Little Shop of Horrors, Chapter 3 (#7 – 8), The Same Old Gang
The Little Shop of Horrors, Chapter 4 (#9 – 11), Another Hit
The Little Shop of Horrors, Chapter 5 (#12 – 14), New Faces
The Little Shop of Horrors, Chapter 6 (#15 – 17), Mix Bag
The Little Shop of Horrors, Chapter 7 (#18 – 20), Kirby Returns
The Little Shop of Horrors, Chapter 8 (#21 – 23), The Gang’s All Here
The Little Shop of Horrors, Chapter 9 (#24 – 26), The Party’s Ovetr
The Little Shop of Horrors, Chapter 10 (#27 – 29), A Special Visitor
The Little Shop of Horrors, Chapter 11 (#30 – 33), The End

The Art of Romance, Chapter 15, The Action of Romance

(May 1951 – July 1951: Young Romance #33 – #35, Young Love #21 – #23)

Number of Romance Titles 1947 – 1952 (the period covered in this chapter is shaded in blue)

Besides the two romance titles, Simon and Kirby were also producing bimonthly Black Magic (for Prize) and Boys’ Ranch (for Harvey). At this point I believe it can safely be said that Joe and Jack had little to do with the Prize crime titles. While Mort Meskin and Marvin Stein would appear in Prize comics both produced by Simon and Kirby and those that were not, they were the only artists that seemed to do so. John Severin had been another artist that worked in both the romance and crime titles but at this point the only Prize title he was working on was Prize Comics Western (also not a Simon and Kirby production).

Young Romance switched back to drawn covers for May and June (Young Love had already been using art covers). Both titles would revert to photographic covers for their July issues and would remain using photo covers until 1954. I really do not know what to make of YL consistently and YR sporadically using art covers for a period of about a year.

In a certain respect Jack Kirby was the primary studio artist during this period as in fact he was during the entire time Joe and Jack produced comics together. Except for a period in 1954 and My Date #4, Jack would provide the art for the cover of all Simon and Kirby productions that did not use a photograph. During this period Kirby would also do the lead story for all the issues of Young Romance and one for Young Love (YL #21). But if the total number of pages of art produced is used to judge who was the primary artist then Mort Meskin wins out be a large margin. For these six romance issue Jack did a total of 51 pages of art while Mort did 80. The difference is all the more striking with the knowledge that Meskin did all his own inking while Kirby did not. I will say that I feel that Meskin’s art sometimes suffers from his higher rate at producing art while Kirby always seems to provide high quality work no matter how many pages he drew. It also pays to compare Jack’s 51 pages with Bill Draut’s 36 and John Prentice’s 34 or 37 pages (the uncertainty about Prentice page count is due to the short feature “Will You Help Me?” from YL #21 which I will discuss below). Jack was still working at a high rate; it is just that Mort was even more exceptional. Marvin Stein is another contributor during this period with only 3 stories and 23 pages. There are 3 very short pieces (a total of 7 pages) that I have not been able provide artistic credits for.

Young Romance #34 (June 1951) “Old Fashioned Girl”, art by Jack Kirby

Perhaps others do not share my view, but I find Kirby’s confessional splashes powerful drawings despite their lack of action. While Kirby is generally (and quite reasonably) famous for his dynamic drawing it was a mark of his genius that he could be so effectively in such static compositions. Much of this has to do with Jack’s careful use of characterization. I have said it before but it is worth repeating, I do not agree with those who claim that Kirby did not draw beautiful women. It is true the protagonist in the splash for “Old Fashioned Girl” does not have the type of attractiveness that would be found in a beauty pageant contestant. But her frail like form has its own beauty and most importantly is totally appropriate for her antique dress style. The thing is Kirby did not draw the same women over and over but created unique individuals that were well matched to the theme of the story. The woman’s downcast eyes and the demur way she holds her hands augment the characterization. The old woman looking on and all the antique surroundings complete the picture. If all that was not enough, Jack has added a small panel that is not a story panel but another means of showing the conflict between the lady’s old fashioned ways and what was then modern society.

I feel that Jack Kirby’s romance splashes are much more interesting then the covers. I present the line art for the cover of YR #34 which is based on the “Old Fashioned Girl” story in a post above (My Two Cents). The reader can compare the two and reach their own conclusion.

Young Romance #35 (July 1951) “Temptations of a Car Hop”, art by Jack Kirby

The splash for “Temptations of a Car Hop” provides a nice contrast to the one in “Old Fashioned Girl”. The protagonist was certainly meant to represent a thoroughly modern woman, or at least what would have been modern in 1951. However 58 years later and the car-hop has disappeared a casualty of the fast food drive through. I do remember them from my younger days but none that I ever visited had such and attractive waitress wearing such a short dress.

Young Love #21 (May 1951) “All Work and No Love”, pencils by Jack Kirby inks by Marvin Stein

With all the work I am doing for Titan’s Simon and Kirby library, I have not had time to devote to investigating the various inkers of Jack Kirby’s work. Still from time to time I come across a piece that just screams a particular inker. Such is the case with “All Work and No Love”. In the splash the simplicity of the woman’s eyes and eyebrows and the slight angle they have in relation to one another leaves little doubt that Marvin Stein was involved in the inking. The same sort of eyes appears elsewhere in the story as well. Also there are some cases where the eyebrow is extended into a crease of the forehead which is a trait often found in Stein’s own art. I should point out that inking of Kirby pencils in the Simon and Kirby studio was like an assembly line with various artists taking care of different chores. So when I say Marvin Stein inked this story I am saying no more then he was the one inker of this work that I have been able to identify but there are others that I have not. In this case Marvin seems to have done the outline inking, the first step in the inking process. Note however how the spotting uses the picket fence crosshatching, drop strings and shoulder blots that are characteristics of the Studio Style inking (see my Inking Glossary for explanations of the inking terminology that I use). Stein’s inking of his own work does not use such techniques. Further Stein’s own inking was a bit rough and lacked control. It would improve greatly in future years but at this point I cannot believe he could have been the artist that did the spotting.

Young Romance #33 (May 1951) “Take a Letter, Darling” page 6, art by Mort Meskin

While I have frequently remarked how action is more often found in the romance stories Jack Kirby draws I do not want to leave the impression that action played no part in stories drawn by other studio artists. So I thought I would provide some examples. First up is a page by Mort Meskin. Meskin has his own unique and very stylized version of a slugging as can be seen in the second panel. Note in particular how the angular position of the victim’s head and how his legs are folded up beneath him. I say it is stylized both because Mort uses it over and over again and because it appears nothing like how a photograph a fight would look. I am not using the term stylized in a negative manner because I believe a comic artist job is to tell a story, not to try to produce a sequence of photorealistic images. With his technique Meskin has condensed several instants of time into one image (the victims head responding to being struck by the fist is the first instant, with the torso soon following and finally the loss of control of the legs as the effect of the knock out is completed).

Young Romance #33 (May 1951) “Not in the Act” page 8, art by Bill Draut

The second example of a fight comes from Bill Draut’s “Not in the Act”. Draut uses an interesting compositional device of presenting the fighters in depth. I am not sure where Bill got this idea but it is pretty effective. I do not believe I have seen Draut use it before so it is not as an important part of his repertoire as Meskin’s or Kirby’s more stylized slugging.

Young Love #23 (July 1951) “Cradle Robber”, art by John Prentice

The splash for “Cradle Robber” provides an example of a fight as portrayed by the more recently arrived studio artist. Actually calling it a fight is not quite correct as Prentice has chosen to present the moment just before the punch is thrown. The other thing about this splash is that it is actually a teaser as there would be no fight seen in the story. It is however the closest example of a fight that I could find by John Prentice in the period covered by this chapter.

Young Romance #35 (July 1951) “The Catskill Man-Chasers” page 8, art by Mort Meskin

Mort Meskin is famous for his use of blacks but that does not always show up in his romance art. That may in part be a result of his high rate of art production. But it may also be because for Meskin telling the story properly had become a higher priority then making interesting art. Sometimes Meskin would have the best of both worlds (story and art) as in this page from “The Catskill Man-Chasers”. For many comic artists only night scenes would get an abundance of black but here Mort uses it to make the light parts so much brighter as would be appropriate for a hot summer day by the pool. Mort also uses it in the second panel to hide in plain sight Tom, the love interest of the story. Tom’s presence in the panel is not obvious at a glance because Mort only provides a silhouette but at closer examination the pipe clearly indicates that the shadowed figure is Tom. Starting with the second panel, Meskin moves in closer and closer so that the view progresses from a crowded scene to one that focuses on just the couple. While Meskin is restricting the focus he is paradoxically increasing the use of black until in the final panel the reader can make out only a little of the faces. While Mort has obscured the features he has made the scene all the more intimate. It is a masterly orchestrated page all the more so because nobody else working for Simon and Kirby, including Kirby, worked blacks anything like this.

Young Romance #33 (May 1951) “Charity Case” page 5, art by John Prentice

Since John Prentice is a new addition to the Simon and Kirby studio it behooves me to begin to try to discredit the opinion that too many Kirby fans have that Jack supplied layouts for the various studio artists. While that is true for some of the more minor artists that Simon and Kirby occasionally used it is decidedly not true for the more common talented artists. John Prentice certainly falls in the talented group and except for a special case from years later and from outside the romance genre Prentice did not work from Kirby layouts. One piece of evidence in Prentice’s case comes from the dramatic close-ups like panel 3 in the page shown above. While Jack Kirby occasionally did close-ups they generally are not as radically cropped as Prentice often uses.

Young Love #22 (June 1951) “Cry Baby”, art by John Prentice

It was not uncommon for Studio Style inking techniques to show up in splashes of stories of the artists that otherwise were inked with other brush mannerisms. Often I suspect it was the work of Joe or Jack stepping in to touch up the art. That is not however what I judge happened to “Cry Baby”. All the major features of the studio style are present in this page if not in the splash itself; picket fence crosshatching, drop strings, abstract shadow arch and shoulder blots (see my Inking Glossary). What makes me believe this was not the work of Simon or Kirby is the way the picket fence crosshatching is done particularly on the man’s jacket. The rails are not done in the standard way of the Studio Style but match Prentice’s cloth folds. The pickets vary in both spacing and execution in ways not typical of Simon and Kirby. This leads me to believe that the spotting was actually done by Prentice himself.

Young Love #21 (May 1951) “Will You Help Me?”, art in part by John Prentice

I must admit I am uncertain what to make of “Will You Help Me?” from YL #21. The overall simplicity of the style is different then work assigned to Prentice yet the brunette has the elegant beauty so typical of John’s work. The inking of the splash panel looks like a combination of that by Prentice and another artist. The spotting of the hair is typical of Prentice’s technique but the cloth folds are not nor are the way they are arranged along the edge of her sleeve which suggests either Simon or Kirby. The inking in the first story panel all looks like it was done by Prentice. On the other hand the crosshatching in the last story panel is not typical of any of the parties considered so far. It is possible that Prentice is inking Kirby pencils but the way the brunette turns to talk to someone behind her is a common Prentice mannerism. The other possibility is that Prentice is working from Kirby layouts with which he takes liberties in some places. It could be that John did the pencils and final spotting but that the outline inking was done by someone else. At the present I am undecided except that John Prentice participated in the art in some fashion.

Young Love #23 (July 1951) “Nag, Nag, Nag”, art by Marvin Stein

I thought I would close off with an example of what Marvin Stein was doing during this period. The style is still typical of Stein’s early period but there are hints like the man in the second story panel that are typical of the style he would develop later.

Chapter 1, A New Genre (YR #1 – #4)
Chapter 2, Early Artists (YR #1 – #4)
Chapter 3, The Field No Longer Their’s Alone (YR #5 – #8)
Chapter 4, An Explosion of Romance (YR #9 – #12, YL #1 – #4)
Chapter 5, New Talent (YR #9 – 12, YL #1 – #4)
Chapter 6, Love on the Range (RWR #1 – #7, WL #1 – #6)
Chapter 7, More Love on the Range (RWR #1 – #7, WL #1 – #6)
Chapter 8, Kirby on the Range? (RWR #1 – #7, WL #1 – #6)
Chapter 9, More Romance (YR #13 – #16, YL #5 – #6)
Chapter 10, The Peak of the Love Glut (YR #17 – #20, YL #7 – #8)
Chapter 11, After the Glut (YR #21 – #23, YL #9 – #10)
Chapter 12, A Smaller Studio (YR #24 – #26, YL #12 – #14)
Chapter 13, Romance Bottoms Out (YR #27 – #29, YL #15 – #17)
Chapter 14, The Third Suspect (YR #30 – #32, YL #18 – #20)
Chapter 15, The Action of Romance (YR #33 – #35, YL #21 – #23)
Chapter 16, Someone Old and Someone New (YR #36 – #38, YL #24 – #26)
Chapter 17, The Assistant (YR #39 – #41, YL #27 – #29)
Chapter 18, Meskin Takes Over (YR #42 – #44, YL #30 – #32)
Chapter 19, More Artists (YR #45 – #47, YL #33 – #35)
Chapter 20, Romance Still Matters (YR #48 – #50, YL #36 – #38, YB #1)
Chapter 21, Roussos Messes Up (YR #51 – #53, YL #39 – #41, YB #2 – 3)
Chapter 22, He’s the Man (YR #54 – #56, YL #42 – #44, YB #4)
Chapter 23, New Ways of Doing Things (YR #57 – #59, YL #45 – #47, YB #5 – #6)
Chapter 24, A New Artist (YR #60 – #62, YL #48 – #50, YB #7 – #8)
Chapter 25, More New Faces (YR #63 – #65, YLe #51 – #53, YB #9 – #11)
Chapter 26, Goodbye Jack (YR #66 – #68, YL #54 – #56, YB #12 – #14)
Chapter 27, The Return of Mort (YR #69 – #71, YL #57 – #59, YB #15 – #17)
Chapter 28, A Glut of Artists (YR #72 – #74, YL #60 – #62, YB #18 & #19, IL #1 & #2)
Chapter 29, Trouble Begins (YR #75 – #77, YL #63 – #65, YB #20 – #22, IL #3 – #5)
Chapter 30, Transition (YR #78 – #80, YL #66 – #68, YBs #23 – #25, IL #6, ILY #7)
Chapter 30, Appendix (YB #23)
Chapter 31, Kirby, Kirby and More Kirby (YR #81 – #82, YL #69 – #70, YB #26 – #27)
Chapter 32, The Kirby Beat Goes On (YR #83 – #84, YL #71 – #72, YB #28 – #29)
Chapter 33, End of an Era (YR #85 – #87, YL #73, YB #30, AFL #1)
Chapter 34, A New Prize Title (YR #88 – #91, AFL #2 – #5, PL #1 – #2)
Chapter 35, Settling In ( YR #92 – #94, AFL #6 – #8, PL #3 – #5)
Appendix, J.O. Is Joe Orlando
Chapter 36, More Kirby (YR #95 – #97, AFL #9 – #11, PL #6 – #8)
Chapter 37, Some Surprises (YR #98 – #100, AFL #12 – #14, PL #9 – #11)
Chapter 38, All Things Must End (YR #101 – #103, AFL #15 – #17, PL #12 – #14)

The Art of Romance, Chapter 14, The Third Suspect

(February 1951 – April 1951: Young Romance #30 – #32, Young Love #18 – #20)

Number of Romance Titles 1947 – 1952 (the period covered in this chapter is shaded in blue)

Besides Young Romance and Young Love, Simon and Kirby were also producing Black Magic and Boys’ Ranch during this period. Jack Kirby supplied some covers for Headline and Justice Traps the Guilty so it is possible that Joe and Jack still had something to do with the Prize crime titles as well. However Kirby, Draut and Starr, artists important to the other Simon and Kirby productions, did not appear in the crime titles. That plus the lack of a Simon and Kirby production cartouche seems to indicate that Headline and Justice Traps the Guilty were no longer produced by Joe and Jack. Romance comics in general were just starting to rebound from the relative low that followed the love glut. However with more then 45 titles, romance comics were still a lucrative part of the industry. Since both Young Romance and Young Love were both monthly titles it can be presumed that they were still selling quite well.

Young Romance #31 (March 1951) “One Way to Hold Him”, art by Jack Kirby

Since Joe Simon did not do much penciling anymore, Jack Kirby was by one definition the primary artist for the studio. Jack would provide the cover art that was still appearing on Young Love (Young Romance had converted back to using photographic covers). The all important lead stories for Young Romance were all done by Kirby. At 12 to 14 pages long, Jack’s lead stories for YR were longer then the work by any other studio artist (a maximum of 9 pages). But if the primary artist is considered the one producing the greatest number of pages of art, Kirby was no longer the primary romance artists. During this period Kirby produced 55 pages of romance art while Mort Meskin did 66 pages. Jack’s work for Boys’ Ranch #3 (February) meant that for February Jack produced the greatest number of pages in the studio for all genres but by April that was no longer true and Mort would take the lead.

About three and a half years since the start of Young Romance and Kirby is still finding ways to put special interest into his romance stories. Jack could write a story without action but he certainly like to add it when possible. Who else would use the rough and tumble roller derby world to tell a love story. I often wonder how the original teenage girl readers thought of Jack’s stories but for the modern comic reader there is no question that Kirby’s romance stories are fascinating reads.

Young Romance #30 (February 1951) “Different”, art by Jack Kirby

Jack Kirby was not averse to using a love story to tackle social themes as well. “Different” is not really about romance but about intolerance instead. Initially when the family moved into the neighborhood they were well received. Only after the visit of the grandparents reveals that the family’s original name had been Wilheims did the community turn against them. Love is just a background to the story of initial acceptance followed by rejection based only on the towns prejudiced perception of the family’s background.

Young Love #18 (February 1951) “Unwilling Bride”, art by Mort Meskin

As discussed above, it was during this period that for the first time Mort Meskin output exceeded Jack Kirby’s. Meskin’s art production rate is all the more remarkable considering that Mort did all his own inking while Jack’s work was mostly inked by others. I wish the original art for the splash from “Unwilling Bride” was available as I would love to know how the negative figure of the jailed man was done. The spotting looks like it was brushed with white ink but I would think it would have been difficult to work white over a black background. Would Simon and Kirby have agreed to the extra expense to make a negative stat? However it was done it provides an effective way to put an image to the troubled girl’s thoughts.

Young Romance #32 (April 1951) “Hand-Me-Down Love”, art by Bill Draut

Once again Bill Draut takes third place in the amount of work provided; 6 stories with 45 pages.

Previously Bill Draut’s splash art seemed to be in a bit of a rut; not bad but not particularly exciting. Perhaps because of his work in the new Black Magic title Draut seems to have his mojo working again. Whatever the reason Bill has some nice splashes during this period. “Hand-Me Down Love” is a confessional splash which makes me suspect that it was originally meant to be the lead story for Young Love but was moved to Young Romance instead. Since Kirby was doing all the lead stories in Young Romance Draut’s work then became one of the backup stories. Like many of Kirby’s romance splashes at the time there really is not much going on but what is presented tells a whole story. The woman’s apron identifies her as a housewife. The drab background with a wall having small flaws indicates her humble surroundings. Two photographs should be her loved ones. The man obviously would be her husband but what can be made of the woman? While the splash tells a story it purposely leaves some things unanswered to entice the viewer to read the story.

Young Romance #31 (March 1951) “The Things You’re Missing”, art by Marvin Stein

The fourth most used artist was Marvin Stein with 4 stories and 32 pages. Stein would produce some nice work for the crime titles in the future but at this point his style is a bit clumsy. Some of Marvin’s characteristic traits can be found at this earlier stage, such as the shallow depth to the face of the man in the splash. When inking his own work Stein was always a bit rough but at this point his brush also lacks the assurance he would eventually gain. Without that confidence his inking just looks as clumsy as his pencil work.

Young Romance #30 (February 1951) “Weekend For 3”, art by Leonard Starr

For whatever reason, Leonard Starr only provided a single story in the period covered in the last chapter but now he does 3 stores with 22 pages. Starr seems to have completely abandoned the tall and very narrow panels that he had previously favored. Occasionally he would divide a panel row into three panels and even more rarely extend the height slightly but the panels never become as narrow as before. For the most part now Starr adhered to a standard panel layout of 3 rows with 2 panels per row. Leonard still likes to use a vertical splash as for example “Weekend For 3”.

Young Love #18 (February 1951) “The Cave Man Type”, art by Leonard Starr

It was not just Starr’s panel layouts that were evolving. I mentioned in the Chapter 12 how Leonard had begun using a sultrier female along with the more pixie look his females previously had. In “The Cave Man Type” Starr uses what was for him a very different type of man.

My database indicates that February 1951 was when Starr would do his last work for Simon and Kirby until 1954 (and I have gone back to verify the attribution of the two 1954 pieces). But originally my database only included a single Starr work for February but with this recent review I now add two more. Considering that Starr stopped providing signatures on his later S&K work and that his style was changing I wonder if I will find more of his work when I write the next couple of chapters to this serial post?

Young Love #20 (April 1951) “Big Bertha”, art by John Prentice

“Big Bertha” from YL #20 marks the first appearance in a Simon and Kirby production of work by John Prentice. My previous short biography on John Prentice (John Prentice, Usual Suspect #3) is seriously flawed* and incomplete and I really should put together a better one. Prior to coming to work for Joe and Jack, Prentice had been working for Hillman and perhaps some other publishers as well. Prentice shared an apartment with Starr so perhaps Leonard aided John in getting work from Simon and Kirby. Most artists that worked for Simon and Kirby had adopted (directly or indirectly) aspects of Milt Caniff’s style but John was greatly influenced by Alex Raymond. So much so that when Raymond died suddenly in 1956, Prentice was able to easily take over his syndication strip Rip Kirby. John’s arrival in the S&K studio filled a significant gap created when Bruno Premiani left. Artists would come and go in Joe and Jack’s studio, but the presences of Bill Draut, Mort Meskin, John Prentice, and of course Jack Kirby meant that all Simon and Kirby productions would have a healthy and interesting combination of artists.

Young Love #19 (March 1951) “Later Then You Think”, layout by Jack Kirby

I have been able to provide attributions for all of the romance work during the period covered by this chapter with the exception of “Later Then You Think”. This looks like the work of some minor artist working from layouts provided by Jack Kirby. Normally when I describe a work as based on Kirby layouts I am uncomfortable using that term because it was obvious that what Jack had provided were very tight in some places. In this particular case that is not true; the artist style is present throughout and no parts have an overly Kirby look. The only exceptions are the photographs in the splash panel that totally look like they were done by Jack. Interestingly the entire story is inked in the Studio Style; shoulder blots, abstract shadow arches, and picket fence crosshatching are found throughout.


* The most serious error in my previous post on John Prentice is my attributing to him “Two-Timer” from Young Love #4 a piece that I now questionably credit to Bruno Premiani.

Chapter 1, A New Genre (YR #1 – #4)
Chapter 2, Early Artists (YR #1 – #4)
Chapter 3, The Field No Longer Their’s Alone (YR #5 – #8)
Chapter 4, An Explosion of Romance (YR #9 – #12, YL #1 – #4)
Chapter 5, New Talent (YR #9 – 12, YL #1 – #4)
Chapter 6, Love on the Range (RWR #1 – #7, WL #1 – #6)
Chapter 7, More Love on the Range (RWR #1 – #7, WL #1 – #6)
Chapter 8, Kirby on the Range? (RWR #1 – #7, WL #1 – #6)
Chapter 9, More Romance (YR #13 – #16, YL #5 – #6)
Chapter 10, The Peak of the Love Glut (YR #17 – #20, YL #7 – #8)
Chapter 11, After the Glut (YR #21 – #23, YL #9 – #10)
Chapter 12, A Smaller Studio (YR #24 – #26, YL #12 – #14)
Chapter 13, Romance Bottoms Out (YR #27 – #29, YL #15 – #17)
Chapter 14, The Third Suspect (YR #30 – #32, YL #18 – #20)
Chapter 15, The Action of Romance (YR #33 – #35, YL #21 – #23)
Chapter 16, Someone Old and Someone New (YR #36 – #38, YL #24 – #26)
Chapter 17, The Assistant (YR #39 – #41, YL #27 – #29)
Chapter 18, Meskin Takes Over (YR #42 – #44, YL #30 – #32)
Chapter 19, More Artists (YR #45 – #47, YL #33 – #35)
Chapter 20, Romance Still Matters (YR #48 – #50, YL #36 – #38, YB #1)
Chapter 21, Roussos Messes Up (YR #51 – #53, YL #39 – #41, YB #2 – 3)
Chapter 22, He’s the Man (YR #54 – #56, YL #42 – #44, YB #4)
Chapter 23, New Ways of Doing Things (YR #57 – #59, YL #45 – #47, YB #5 – #6)
Chapter 24, A New Artist (YR #60 – #62, YL #48 – #50, YB #7 – #8)
Chapter 25, More New Faces (YR #63 – #65, YLe #51 – #53, YB #9 – #11)
Chapter 26, Goodbye Jack (YR #66 – #68, YL #54 – #56, YB #12 – #14)
Chapter 27, The Return of Mort (YR #69 – #71, YL #57 – #59, YB #15 – #17)
Chapter 28, A Glut of Artists (YR #72 – #74, YL #60 – #62, YB #18 & #19, IL #1 & #2)
Chapter 29, Trouble Begins (YR #75 – #77, YL #63 – #65, YB #20 – #22, IL #3 – #5)
Chapter 30, Transition (YR #78 – #80, YL #66 – #68, YBs #23 – #25, IL #6, ILY #7)
Chapter 30, Appendix (YB #23)
Chapter 31, Kirby, Kirby and More Kirby (YR #81 – #82, YL #69 – #70, YB #26 – #27)
Chapter 32, The Kirby Beat Goes On (YR #83 – #84, YL #71 – #72, YB #28 – #29)
Chapter 33, End of an Era (YR #85 – #87, YL #73, YB #30, AFL #1)
Chapter 34, A New Prize Title (YR #88 – #91, AFL #2 – #5, PL #1 – #2)
Chapter 35, Settling In ( YR #92 – #94, AFL #6 – #8, PL #3 – #5)
Appendix, J.O. Is Joe Orlando
Chapter 36, More Kirby (YR #95 – #97, AFL #9 – #11, PL #6 – #8)
Chapter 37, Some Surprises (YR #98 – #100, AFL #12 – #14, PL #9 – #11)
Chapter 38, All Things Must End (YR #101 – #103, AFL #15 – #17, PL #12 – #14)

The Art of Romance, Chapter 13, Romance Bottoms Out

(November 1950 – January 1951: Young Romance #27 – #29, Young Love #15 – #17)

Number of Romance Titles 1947 – 1951 (the period covered in this chapter shaded in blue)

Besides the monthly Young Romance and Young Love, Simon and Kirby were now also producing bimonthly titles Black Magic for Prize and Boys’ Ranch for Harvey. Boys’ Ranch was the first work that Joe and Jack had done for Harvey since Stuntman and Boy Explorers were cancelled in 1946 (other Simon and Kirby features that Harvey had published since then were inventoried material left over from the sudden cancellation of those titles). It was too soon to tell whether Black Magic and Boys’ Ranch would be successful (Black Magic would be, Boys’ Ranch would fail) but the romance titles still seemed to be very lucrative. Both romance titles had returned to art covers (YL in August and YR in October) but after just two art covers, Young Romance reverted back to photo covers. As for other publishers, the romance glut had finally reached a relative low point and in future months the number of love titles would begin to increase. While the number of romance titles was much lower then at the height of the glut there were still a respectable 45 romance comics books on the racks.

Young Romance #28 (December 1950) “Hot Rod Crowd”, art by Jack Kirby

Once again Jack Kirby was the primary artist during this period with 4 covers, 13 stories and 69 pages. Jack would provide the lead feature for 5 of the issues. The lead stories Kirby did for Young Romance would still be longer then those by any other artists (10 to 12 pages for Kirby compared to a maximum of 9 pages in a story by Bill Draut and another by Leonard Starr). While I was less then enthusiastic about some of the Kirby splashes in the last chapter some of those that Jack provided in these issues are back to his high standards. Kirby continues to use the confessional format for his lead feature splashes. Actually Kirby’s contribution was somewhat greater then I have outlined because as we will see below he provided some layouts as well.

Young Romance #28 (December 1950) “Will You Help Me?”, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Bill Draut

It should always be kept in mind when I point out that Kirby was the primary artist that Jack had a substantial advantage over the rest of the studio artists. I am not talking about his greater talent (although that is true) but on the availability of inkers. The Simon and Kirby studio operated very different from say the Marvel studio under Stan Lee during the silver age. Artists working for Simon and Kirby were expected to provide finished art while Stan Lee would typically assign pencils to one artist and afterwards pass the work on to another to do the inking. Most S&K studio artists did their own inking but some made their own arrangements with another artist to do the inking (for instance John Severin would often have Bill Elder ink his work). However Jack Kirby’s pencils were most often inked by others. Joe has described it as an assembly line approach with different hands doing different inking chores. Under that arrangement it is not possible to recognize all the inkers who worked on a particular piece. To make matters worse Kirby inkers never signed their work (that is other then Joe Simon and a Simon and Kirby signature does not necessarily mean Joe inked it). Nonetheless comparing brush techniques on work penciled by Kirby with art drawn as well as inked by other artists allows some of Kirby’s inkers to be identified. For instance the simple eyebrows found on the woman and the cloth folds of the man’s jacket in the last panel of the page above indicate that story had been inked by Bill Draut.

Young Romance #29 (January 1950) “Love Also Ran”, art by Bill Draut

The second most used artist was Bill Draut (7 stories with 53 pages). Previously Draut primarily did horizontal half page splashes but recently has been doing some full page splashes as well. I greatly admire Draut’s art and he has done some nice half page splashes but I must admit that I am underwhelmed by most of his full page romance splashes. They are not bad just not very exciting. That is except for the splash for “Love Also Ran”. Unlike some of his other full pages splashes, here Draut has concentrated on the drama and leaves the background to provide visual interest without overwhelming the image. It is not how Simon and Kirby would have laid it out but it still works just fine.

Young Love #17 (January 1951) “I Saw Him First”, art by Mort Meskin

The third most used romance artist was Mort Meskin (7 stories with 52 pages) although with just one less page then Draut. Generally Meskin provided half pages splashes but for “I Saw Him First” he does a full pages one. Mort does his own take of the confessional splash. What first appears to be a story panel in the corner turns out on reading to be the protagonist introducing the story. And unlike in Simon and Kirby’s confessional splashes, her introduction does not provide the story title. In fact the design of the title is quite unusual for a Simon and Kirby production so perhaps Meskin created the logo as well. It all works out quite well and one wonders why Meskin did not do this sort of thing more often.

Young Love #15 (November 1950) “Lover Boy”, pencils by John Severin, inks by Bill Elder

Kirby, Draut and Meskin did most of the work in these six issues of the romance comics. There are few other artists used and what artists there are supplied limited amounts of material. The next most prolific artist was John Severin who did the art for 4 features but because only one story had more then 2 pages this meant John only did 13 pages of art. John provides his usual quality art but just as typically he seems to be a little out of place in the romance genre. There is not a single kiss to be found in this work.

Young Love #15 (November 1950) “Beauty and The Benefactor”, art by Leonard Starr

Leonard Starr provides a single 9 page romance story in this period. While Starr had not been one of the primary artists for Simon and Kirby productions, he had been a steady presence since April 1949. “Beauty and the Benefactor” will not be the last work by Starr to be used by Joe and Jack but the rest will be more infrequent. The splash shown above is unusual for Leonard who normally did half page splashes and favored vertical ones in particular. This is the only splash Starr did for S&K with a row of floating heads. Further the posses are not typical of Starr either. All of these features are however found in some Simon and Kirby splashes and I am sure that here Starr is working from their layout.

Young Love #15 (November 1950) “Beauty and The Benefactor” page 9, art by Leonard Starr

Starr generally had his own way of laying out story panels. Often he would use tall narrow panels constructed by dividing a row into three panels instead of the normal two and either limiting the page to two rows (thereby making a 2 X 3 panel arrangement instead of the typical 3 X 2, as seen in Chapter 7) or by reducing the vertical dimensions of two of the rows (Chapter 10). While tall narrow panels would not occur on every page they would be found on many. Tall narrow panels are not found at all in “Beauty and The Benefactor” nor were they used in “Hired Wife” published in the previous month (and briefly discussed in the last chapter). Their absence calls for an explanation but unfortunately I can only offer a guess. Since Simon and Kirby provided a layout for the “Beauty and The Benefactor” splash (but not the one for “Hired Wife”) one suggestion might be that they laid out the stories as well. However I do not think that is the case. The page layouts are not a perfect grid of three rows and two columns on all pages but they approximate that arrangement more then was typical for Simon and Kirby. Further the way these stories by Starr are graphically told does not appear to match Kirby’s more cinematic approach.

I would instead propose two, not mutually exclusive, explanations for Starr’s change in panel layouts. One was to speed up the work. With Starr’s previous layouts he could not construct the panels until he had decided what he was going to draw on each page. By adhering to a 3 by 2 panel layout he could construct the horizontal rows for an entire story before actually beginning to draw it and then supply the vertical separation between the two panels in a row as he worked. Simon and Kirby had used this technique on their more complicated panel layouts found in Stuntman and Boys Explorer. The other explanation for Starr’s change in panel layouts may have to do with his desire to break into syndication strips. While the tall narrow panels were very effective in a comic book they would not work well in a syndication strip. Perhaps Starr was consciously changing his working methods to gain experience working in a format more appropriate for syndication work. Starr would in a few years succeed in breaking into syndication with his “Mary Perkins on Stage”.

Young Love #17 (January 1951) “She Loves Too Wisely” page 4, art by unidentified artist

While most of the romance issues covered in this chapter were produced using artists that we have seen often before, there are some artists that seem to be new. I am not sure what to say about “She Loves Too Wisely”. Some of the men in it look like they might have been done by John Severin but not all and none of the women look like his work. Perhaps what makes the art for this story so hard to place is that it would appear from the cinematic approach used in this story that it was drawn from a Simon and Kirby layout. It is even inked in a version of the Studio Style. Note the abstract arch in panel 2 and the frequent shoulder blots (Inking Glossary).

Young Love #17 (January 1951) “Go Home and Grow Up”

Another artist did “Go Home and Grow Up”. This is one of those artist that, although they are not bad, are not as talented as most artists employed by Simon and Kirby.

Young Romance #28 (December 1950) “A Shattered Dream” page 2

Here is the same artist in “A Shattered Dream”. Again not bad but not particularly great either.

Young Romance #28 (December 1950) “A Shattered Dream” page 8

Unlike “Go Home and Grow Up”, not all the art in “A Shattered Dream” is forgettable. Some of it looks very much like Jack Kirby drew it. This is particularly true for page 8. Can there be little doubt about Jack’s hand in the woman in the panel 4? These two pages are the extremes with page 2 showing little evidence of Jack while page 8 looks like almost pure Kirby and the rest of the story falling in between. The layouts of most of the pages look like Kirby’s cinematic approach. If all the pages looked consistently the same I would say that this was the result of some artist’s heavy handed approach to inking Kirby’s pencils. But in a case like this were the art varies I conclude Kirby provided layouts that another artist finished and then inked. Apparently Kirby’s layouts typically were tighter in some spots and loose in others.

Young Romance #27 (November 1950) “Heart of Steel”

Each publisher had his own house style. This certainly was true with the comics that Simon and Kirby produced. I doubt that Joe and Jack actually told their artists what style to use. I am sure part of the Simon and Kirby house style came from the artists that they selected to work for them. I also believe that Jack Kirby was so well known and respected that he had a great influence on other studio artists. But there are two stories in a single Young Romance issue (YR #27, November 1950) that do not seem to share in the Simon and Kirby house style. In fact they look very much like the very different house style found in Harvey romance comics. This is particularly true of “Heart of Steel”. One of the things that gave Simon and Kirby productions their own unified look was that a single letterer was used (first Howard Ferguson and later Ben Oda). But look at the lettering in the captions above; the lettering is very small in size and uses lower case letters. This is so very different from the lettering used in Simon and Kirby comics that there can be little doubt that it was done by a different letter. Unfortunately I have not had a chance to compare this with Harvey comics from the same period but I have looked at a couple of Hi-School Romance issues from about a year latter and exactly this same lettering is found in them.

Young Romance #27 (November 1950) “My Tormented Heart”

“My Tormented Heart” does not use the same letterer but then again not all Harvey comics that I have seen do. Both stories use the same splash page layout that is found in almost all Harvey romance comics. The title logo and the small circular caption are not typical for Simon and Kirby but can be found in Harvey romance comics. Even the coloring for these two stories has a lighter quality more typical of Harvey then Simon and Kirby productions.

But why would stories with the Harvey house style appear in Young Romance? I think part of explanation can be found in the aftermath of the love glut. While not as big a contributor to the glut as Timely, Fox, Fawcett and Quality, Harvey still had 7 romance titles at the height of the glut. However between April and June of 1950 6 of these titles would either be suspended or cancelled. Only First Love would be continually published during this period. Simon and Kirby had a long history with Al Harvey and had recently starting producing Boys’ Ranch for Harvey. So it would seem that Joe and Jack were picking up some inventory from Harvey. I believe the art was from Harvey and not his artists because it was completed including the lettering and possibly the coloring as well. The question then becomes not so much why Simon and Kirby obtained art from Harvey but rather why they did not pick up more? While Harvey was, like many other publishers, hurt by the love glut it was still obvious that there was good money to be made in romance comics. Harvey would relaunch Hi-School Romance in December, Love Problems and Advice in January and First Romance in June (Love Lessons, Sweet Love and Love Stories of Mary Worth would never resume).

Unfortunately I have no idea who either of the two artists was. I am sure I have seen the artist for “Heart of Steel” in other Harvey romance comics. He provides his women with eyebrows that are reminiscent of Bob Powell. I have heard that Powell often used assistants but I do not believe that is what happened to “Heart of Steel”. Unfortunately it is hard to be sure about anything when it comes to artists working on Harvey’s romance comics. Only Lee Elias, who had a long association with Harvey, ever signed romance art (some covers) so I suspect there was a policy against signatures in Harvey romances. Joe Simon has told me there was such a policy about signing art for Harvey’s humor comics and Joe felt that was why Warren Kramer did not get the recognition that he deserved.

During this period the romance comics were largely made by just three artists; Jack Kirby, Bill Draut and Mort Meskin. While I greatly admire all of those artists I feel that the absence or near absence of Bruno Premiani? and Leonard Starr left a big hole in Young Romance and Young Love. Even Vic Donahue’s presence would have gone a long way to making these more satisfying comic books.

Chapter 1, A New Genre (YR #1 – #4)
Chapter 2, Early Artists (YR #1 – #4)
Chapter 3, The Field No Longer Their’s Alone (YR #5 – #8)
Chapter 4, An Explosion of Romance (YR #9 – #12, YL #1 – #4)
Chapter 5, New Talent (YR #9 – 12, YL #1 – #4)
Chapter 6, Love on the Range (RWR #1 – #7, WL #1 – #6)
Chapter 7, More Love on the Range (RWR #1 – #7, WL #1 – #6)
Chapter 8, Kirby on the Range? (RWR #1 – #7, WL #1 – #6)
Chapter 9, More Romance (YR #13 – #16, YL #5 – #6)
Chapter 10, The Peak of the Love Glut (YR #17 – #20, YL #7 – #8)
Chapter 11, After the Glut (YR #21 – #23, YL #9 – #10)
Chapter 12, A Smaller Studio (YR #24 – #26, YL #12 – #14)
Chapter 13, Romance Bottoms Out (YR #27 – #29, YL #15 – #17)
Chapter 14, The Third Suspect (YR #30 – #32, YL #18 – #20)
Chapter 15, The Action of Romance (YR #33 – #35, YL #21 – #23)
Chapter 16, Someone Old and Someone New (YR #36 – #38, YL #24 – #26)
Chapter 17, The Assistant (YR #39 – #41, YL #27 – #29)
Chapter 18, Meskin Takes Over (YR #42 – #44, YL #30 – #32)
Chapter 19, More Artists (YR #45 – #47, YL #33 – #35)
Chapter 20, Romance Still Matters (YR #48 – #50, YL #36 – #38, YB #1)
Chapter 21, Roussos Messes Up (YR #51 – #53, YL #39 – #41, YB #2 – 3)
Chapter 22, He’s the Man (YR #54 – #56, YL #42 – #44, YB #4)
Chapter 23, New Ways of Doing Things (YR #57 – #59, YL #45 – #47, YB #5 – #6)
Chapter 24, A New Artist (YR #60 – #62, YL #48 – #50, YB #7 – #8)
Chapter 25, More New Faces (YR #63 – #65, YLe #51 – #53, YB #9 – #11)
Chapter 26, Goodbye Jack (YR #66 – #68, YL #54 – #56, YB #12 – #14)
Chapter 27, The Return of Mort (YR #69 – #71, YL #57 – #59, YB #15 – #17)
Chapter 28, A Glut of Artists (YR #72 – #74, YL #60 – #62, YB #18 & #19, IL #1 & #2)
Chapter 29, Trouble Begins (YR #75 – #77, YL #63 – #65, YB #20 – #22, IL #3 – #5)
Chapter 30, Transition (YR #78 – #80, YL #66 – #68, YBs #23 – #25, IL #6, ILY #7)
Chapter 30, Appendix (YB #23)
Chapter 31, Kirby, Kirby and More Kirby (YR #81 – #82, YL #69 – #70, YB #26 – #27)
Chapter 32, The Kirby Beat Goes On (YR #83 – #84, YL #71 – #72, YB #28 – #29)
Chapter 33, End of an Era (YR #85 – #87, YL #73, YB #30, AFL #1)
Chapter 34, A New Prize Title (YR #88 – #91, AFL #2 – #5, PL #1 – #2)
Chapter 35, Settling In ( YR #92 – #94, AFL #6 – #8, PL #3 – #5)
Appendix, J.O. Is Joe Orlando
Chapter 36, More Kirby (YR #95 – #97, AFL #9 – #11, PL #6 – #8)
Chapter 37, Some Surprises (YR #98 – #100, AFL #12 – #14, PL #9 – #11)
Chapter 38, All Things Must End (YR #101 – #103, AFL #15 – #17, PL #12 – #14)

The Little Shop of Horrors, Chapter 1, Expanding Their Fields

(October 1950 to February 1951, Black Magic #1 – #3)

In the early part of 1950 Simon and Kirby had established their studio and were producing comics with a relative small but generally talented group of artists. Their most important, perhaps only, product were two monthly romance titles, Young Romance and Young Love. I do not believe Joe and Jack were still producing the Prize crime titles (Headline and Justice Traps the Guilty) but if they were their involvement was minimal and coming to an end. Few of the studio artists found in the romance titles contributed to the crime titles. Further Jack Kirby would provide some cover art for the crime titles but no interior stories. Simon and Kirby’s deal with Prize for the romance titles was very lucrative but the two were always ambitious and keen to try new challenges.

Young Romance #23 (July 1950) house ad, art by Jack Kirby

The July issues of Young Romance and Young Love featured a full page house ad for a new Prize title, Black Magic. The ad does not provide a date for the first issue but it would be three months before it was released. Synopsis and titles are given for four stories all of which would be in BM #1 although “I’ll Never Sleep Again” was renamed “Last Second of Life”. The cover illustrated was never published. It is one of three versions that I am aware of (another was eventually published, with some additions, on a DC reprint comic). Despite all their efforts, in the end the cover was replaced with one based on the “My Dolly is the Devil” story. The cover title logo would also be modified when the comic was finally released.

Black Magic #2 (December 1950) “The Scorn of the Faceless People”, art by Jack Kirby

The modus operandi for new Simon and Kirby titles was for a lot of the art to have been drawn by Jack at least for the first couple of issues. This was not true for Black Magic. While Jack was the primary artist and provided more pages of art (41 pages) then the other artists (Meskin was the second most used with 24 pages) the difference was not as great as usually found in the initial issues for a new title. One explanation is provided by Mark Evanier (introduction to the DC Demon archive) where he has stated that horror was not a particular favorite of Kirby’s. I must admit I was a bit surprised by that comment since I have always found Kirby’s work in Black Magic as having the same high quality as anything else he every did for Simon and Kirby. There is another explanation for the lack in Black Magic of the typical Simon and Kirby start off and that is Jack was putting his efforts into another new title that came also out in October 1950, Boys’ Ranch. Except for some single page features and a single story from issue #3, Kirby provided all the art for the first three issues of Boys’ Ranch. Did Kirby prefer the western theme of Boys’ Ranch over the horror of Black Magic? Or was it simply that Simon and Kirby made a better deal with Harvey then with Prize? I will leave that answer to the reader. (I will not be posting on Boys’ Ranch at this time as I wrote about not too long ago: part 1 and part 2).

Black Magic #2 (December 1950) “The Scorn of the Faceless People” page 3, art by Jack Kirby

“The Scorn of the Faceless People” is a masterpiece that stands out among all the great work found in Black Magic. The dream analysis theme is unusually and would have been very much at home in a title that Simon and Kirby would produce a couple years later, Strange World of Your Dreams. This story suggests that Simon and Kirby were already feeling the influence of Mort Meskin who had a particular interest in this subject. There is much to commend the art in this story, but check out the unconventional layout of page 3. The carefully use of perspective in the splash-like panel is such that the other two panels really are not intrusive. It is a panel layout that Jack would rarely, if ever, repeat. But then again it was a measure of Kirby’s genius that he would do the unexpected and make it work. There really is nothing much happening in this page but nonetheless it is filled with drama.

Black Magic #3 (February 1951) “A Silver Bullet for Your Heart”, art by Jack Kirby

I remarked in my serial post The Art of Romance chapter 11 (covering a period just prior to this one) that the punch seemed to have gone out of Kirby’s romance splashes. I do not think that is the case for Kirby’s Black Magic splashes. “A Silver Bullet for Your Heart” is just one of many splashes throughout the Black Magic run that are just terrific. As with all truly great comic book splashes it presents the theme of the story in a single scene without, however, revealing how this dramatic point was reached or how it would be resolved (for that you were expected to buy the comic).

Black Magic #1 (October 1950) “His Father’s Footsteps”, art by Mort Meskin

While Kirby was the primary artist for Black Magic, as he usually was for Simon and Kirby productions, other studio artists did great work as well. Perhaps the most outstanding of the other studio artists was Mort Meskin. While Meskin’s romance art was first rate he seemed to particularly shine in the horror genre. Unfortunately his carefully orchestrated horror stories are often neglected by the modern audience whose main interest is in superheroes. Mort developed his own cinematic approach to graphic story telling which fully complemented the scripts.

Black Magic #1 (October 1950) “Don’t Look Now”, art by Bill Draut

Bill Draut was an important artist in the Simon and Kirby studio. Joe Simon has often remarked to me about how much he could depend on Draut. However it seems to me that Bill’s romance art was getting into a routine. It was still fine art and Bill was great at graphically telling a story but I get the feeling he was not pushing himself as much anymore. Black Magic seems to have shaken him out of that in a big way. I recently posted  an example of a full page romance splash just because it was an unusual deviation from his standard half pages splashes. Above I provide another full page splash whose merit goes way beyond the untypical splash size.

Black Magic #1 (October 1950) “My Dolly is the Devil”, art by Leonard Starr

I have discussed Leonard Starr a number of times in The Art of Romance. Starr provided great romance art for Simon and Kirby and of course he is most well known for his long running syndication strip Mary Perkins On Stage. All of which makes his “My Dolly is the Devil” that more interesting as an example of Starr’s art in another genre. Although this story is unsigned it truly was done by Leonard. The mother of the story has the pixie look that Starr used often in Simon and Kirby productions (wide forehead, widely separated eyes and narrow chin). Further the tall narrow panels that Starr preferred appear on a number of pages. A satisfying graphic story but unfortunately “My Dolly is the Devil” would be the only story that Starr ever did for Black Magic.

Note how in the light cast by the lamp transforms the doll’s hair into what looks like horns in the shadow.

Black Magic #2 (December 1950) “I’ve Seen You Before”, art by Bruno Premiani?

An ancient curse, an Egyptian mummy come back to life, a cast off lover’s cruel fate, what more could you want? I know many comic fans consider EC horror comics as the epitome of the genre but I prefer stories that are less gruesome and rely more on plot development. Bruno Premiani is another artist we have seen often in the Prize romance titles but it is nice to see his hand in another genre. Of course if this is really Premiani then he also did work for DC superheroes and westerns but that work is drawn in such a different manner it is not at all clear that they were done by the same artist. Premiani did only two stories for Black Magic and “I’ve Seen You Before” would be the last Simon and Kirby work by the artist.

Black Magic #3 (February 1951) “The Voices in the Night”, art by Marvin Stein

We have seen Marvin Stein often in Headlines, Justice Traps the Guilty and Prize Comics Western. In fact he would become a fixture in Prize publications not produced by Simon and Kirby. But he would appear in Simon and Kirby productions as well although perhaps not as frequently or so prominently placed. “The Voices in the Night” is signed and the style agrees well with other work Stein did at this time. This is not his mature style and frankly is a little bit on the primitive side. Joe Simon once remarked to me that he did not originally care that much for Marvin Stein’s art but that latter he became quite good.

Black Magic #3 (February 1951) “The World of Shadows”, art by George Roussos

I am sure that, when they were young and in a darken room, most of my readers have placed a flashlight below their face to provide eerie shadows. Well it seems many of the artists in Black Magic had done that as well. But perhaps none of them used that type of dramatic lighting as often as George Roussos. Roussos is a name we have not encountered yet in the serial posts The Art of Romance or It’s A Crime. George is perhaps most famous as a silver age inker of Jack Kirby at Marvel under the alias George Bell. “The World of Shadows” is unsigned but the art is so similar to other work with signatures that there is little question about the attribution. The artwork is a bit of a hodge-podge but I am unsure if this is due to the use of swipes or a style that has not set settled into place. In places the art clearly shows the influence of Mort Meskin whose work Roussos had inked previously. In all honesty Roussos is not among my favorite Simon and Kirby studio artists.

The Little Shop of Horrors, Chapter 2 (#4 – 6), Up and Running
The Little Shop of Horrors, Chapter 3 (#7 – 8), The Same Old Gang
The Little Shop of Horrors, Chapter 4 (#9 – 11), Another Hit
The Little Shop of Horrors, Chapter 5 (#12 – 14), New Faces
The Little Shop of Horrors, Chapter 6 (#15 – 17), Mix Bag
The Little Shop of Horrors, Chapter 7 (#18 – 20), Kirby Returns
The Little Shop of Horrors, Chapter 8 (#21 – 23), The Gang’s All Here
The Little Shop of Horrors, Chapter 9 (#24 – 26), The Party’s Ovetr
The Little Shop of Horrors, Chapter 10 (#27 – 29), A Special Visitor
The Little Shop of Horrors, Chapter 11 (#30 – 33), The End

The Art of Romance, Chapter 12, A Smaller Studio

(August – October 1950: Young Romance #24 – #26, Young Love #12 – #14)

Romance Titles to 1951
Number of Romance Titles 1947 – 1950 (the period covered in this chapter shaded in blue)

The trend of the decreasing number of romance titles that was found in the period covered in the previous chapter has continued. As far as can be judged the Prize love comics, Young Romance and Young Love, were still successful; at least enough to continue on a monthly schedule. Young Romance is now entering its third year of publication. The most obvious change is that Young Love replaced the previous photographic covers with drawn versions for the August issue and Young Romance would follow a couple months later. Frankly I am unclear what drove the use of photos on comic covers but as we will see in future chapters the use of art covers would be temporary for Young Romance and a little more extended for Young Love. Printing is somewhat more expensive for photographic covers but according to Joe Simon for the publication sizes involved the extra cost was very minimal.

I have noted in previous chapters a decrease in the number of artists used in producing YR and YL. This trend continues to the extent that a total of six artists were used in the six issues issued during the period covered in this chapter. In fact this is the first period that I have covered in this serial post where I can confidently identify all the artists involved (or as confidently as I can where Bruno Premiani is concerned). The drop in the number of contributing artists is not random; it is the less talented artists that are no longer used. Some, like George Gregg, would continue to appear in the Prize crime comics (Headline and Justice Traps the Guilty). There is one exception to dropping the less talented artists and that is John Severin. Although Severin does not show up in any of the comics from this period he has not yet been truly dropped as he will appear again in the next chapter. In any case as talented an artist on western stories that Severin was he really was not very good at romance stories. His diminished appearances in the romance titles seemed to have been offset by his work for Prize Comics Western.

Young Love #13 (September 1950) “Everybody Wants My Girl”, art by Jack Kirby

Jack Kirby would be, as he has been, the primary artist for the Prize romance titles. In these six issues he provided 4 covers, 7 stories and a total of 62 pages. Jack would do all the lead stories for Young Romance and one of them for Young Love. These lead stories would start with a confessional splash (where someone is introducing the story and their speech balloon is used for the title). All but one of the splashes would be half page designs and none of them had quite the punch as those from the earlier issues. Perhaps this is because Simon and Kirby’s creative juices were directed elsewhere but that will be discussed in a separate post.

Young Romance #24 (August 1950) “Buy Me That Man” page 14, art by Jack Kirby

Jack Kirby drew a lot of romance stories and it is clear he had a hand in plotting these stories as well. So it is not surprising that some plot devices would be used more then once. The use of an sudden plunge in a plane to throw a couple into each others arms found in YR #24 (see above) was used previously in YR #8 (November 1948 “Love Can Strike So Suddenly”, see Swiping off of Kirby). It would be found again in In Love #2 (October 1954, “Marilyn’s Men”). While Marilyn’s Men was mostly drawn by Bill Draut, Jack probably was involved in the plotting of that as well.

Young Love #14 (October 1950) “Girls like Her”, art by Mort Meskin

As with last chapter, Mort Meskin would be the second most used artist for this period drawing 14 stories with 54 pages. While the number of features is doubled that done by Kirby most of them are very short, 1 to 3 pages long. Previously these featurettes were done by a number of different artists but during this period Mort did all but two of them (the two Meskin did not do were done by Kirby). Mort would provide one of the lead features (Young Love #12).

Young Romance #24 (August 1950) “Take a Chance”, art by Mort Meskin

Although I have not found any evidence that the more talented artists working for Simon and Kirby were ever supplied layouts for the stories they drew, Joe and Jack did seem to be involved in at least the plotting of the scripts. Therefore recurring themes would also show up among other artists. The theme of a woman’s love of a racecar driver and the fear of the risks involved in that occupation can be found in “Take a Chance” shown above. It also would return many years later in a cover a story drawn by John Prentice (“Take Me as I Am”, Young Brides #14, April 1954).

Young Love #14 (October 1950) “I’ll Tell You No Lies”, art by Bill Draut

Bill Draut continues in the number three spot with 6 stories and 46 pages but as we shall see he barely holds that position. At this point Draut arrives at a style that will not change very much for the rest of the work that he would do for the Prize romance titles or for that matter Harvey’s love comics as well. I do not say that disparagingly as he has a clean style and is good at portraying body language. Bill generally uses half page splashes so I have provided an image from “I’ll Tell You No Lies” even though it is well below Draut’s usual quality.

Young Love #13 (September 1950) “Two Can Play the Game”, art by Leonard Starr

Leonard Starr was used often during this period with 6 stories and 45 pages, only one page less the Bill Draut. Starr had his own style of inking but compare the brush work between the man’s jacket and the woman’s dress in the splash for “Two Can Play the Game”. The inking on the man is typical of Starr but the picket fence crosshatching found in the dress is not. This looks like typical S&K studio style inking and suggests that either Joe or Jack did that particular spotting. I am not sure why this was done but it was not that unusual for studio style inking to appear in splashes that were otherwise inked by the artist.

Young Romance #25 (September 1950) “Out of the Running”, art by Leonard Starr

In two stories from this period (“Out of the Running” YR #25 and “Hired Wife” YR #26) Starr introduces a new type of beauty. Previously his women a pixie or elfin look to them; wide foreheads, widely separated eyes, smaller mouths and narrow chins. The pixie look can still be found in some characters in these stories but there are also women with larger eyes, smaller foreheads, and fuller lips giving them a more sultry appearance. This new type of beauty will play an important part in the syndication strip “Mary Perkins on Stage” that Starr will launch in 1957.

Note the inking on the man’s jacket in the splash panel. The shoulder blot and blunt brushwork is not typical of Starr’s inking. Once again Simon or Kirby has step in as art editor to alter the art. This splash is actually based on a stat of a blowup of a story panel. The panel chosen was one of Starr’s tall and narrow ones that had to be expanded on both sides to accommodate the more horizontal splash panel. Most of the jacket was not present in the story panel and the inking was touched up even in that portion that was original present. Although this technique of using a stat in the creation of comic book art is rarely found in Simon and Kirby productions it was a method that would be turned to when needed. I suspect that Joe and Jack were unhappy with Starr’s original splash.

Young Romance #26 (October 1950) “Hired Wife”, art by Leonard Starr

Above is the splash page for the other example of Starr’s more sultry beauty. This story is unusual in that the tall narrow panel that is found in all previous stories by Starr occurs only in the splash panel of “Hired Wife”. I am not sure what to make of this change in panel layouts but it suggests that he may have been working from someone else’s layouts. I will return to this subject in the next chapter of this serial post where we will find another example.

Young Romance #24 (August 1950) “Portrait of a Lady”, art by Bruno Premiani?

Bruno Premiani(?) has been a persistent presence in Simon and Kirby productions since August 1949. During this period Bruno provided 3 stories and 26 pages. While he did not appear as much as Kirby, Draut or Meskin what art he did was all first rate work. The romantic interest between an artist and his model is a recurring theme in Simon and Kirby productions. It is found in the very first cover for Young Romance (The First Romance Comic) and can be found many years later as well (Artist and Model). The artist and model theme appears to be particularly popular for this period since it occurs in three stories. We have previously seen Leonard Starr’s splash from “Two Can Play the Game” (see above) now we can compare it with Premiani’s version “Portrait of a Lady”. For me this is not a question of which was the better artist but rather individual interpretations from two talented practitioners of comic book art.

Young Romance #26 (October 1950) “Simpson and Delilah”, art by Bruno Premiani?

Premiani repeats the use of a dancing woman for the splash of “Simson and Delilah” (a south Pacific dancer graced “Untouched” from Young Love #10, June 1950). Although this is a repeat performance of the theme it is by no means a duplicate of the previous version.

This would be the last romance story that Bruno Premiani(?) would do for Simon and Kirby. As I have mentioned in the past this body of works were all unsigned in Simon and Kirby productions and were done in a style dissimilar to that used in art done for other companies that were signed by Premiani. While this does not disprove that the artist was Bruno Premiani it does beg the question as to why he was originally credited with this work. Although I am hesitant to fully accept Bruno Premiani as the artist (hence my use of question marks) I have no doubts as to the talent of this creator. His absence would leave a hole in the romance titles that would not be filled for some months to come.

Young Love #13 (September 1950) “The Woman Across the Hall”, art by Vic Donahue

Vic Donahue played a minor part in the romance titles of this period providing only 2 stories with 15 pages. His art is improving both in his in his ability to depict figures and to graphically tell a story. His women in particular have become more interesting largely because his use of arching eyebrows brings more emotion into their faces. My database indicates that these are Vic’s last work for Simon and Kirby but I hesitate to say that with conviction until I had a chance to more carefully review future issues. In any case I do not feel the same about Donahue’s absence then I do about Premiani’s disappearance.

Chapter 1, A New Genre (YR #1 – #4)
Chapter 2, Early Artists (YR #1 – #4)
Chapter 3, The Field No Longer Their’s Alone (YR #5 – #8)
Chapter 4, An Explosion of Romance (YR #9 – #12, YL #1 – #4)
Chapter 5, New Talent (YR #9 – 12, YL #1 – #4)
Chapter 6, Love on the Range (RWR #1 – #7, WL #1 – #6)
Chapter 7, More Love on the Range (RWR #1 – #7, WL #1 – #6)
Chapter 8, Kirby on the Range? (RWR #1 – #7, WL #1 – #6)
Chapter 9, More Romance (YR #13 – #16, YL #5 – #6)
Chapter 10, The Peak of the Love Glut (YR #17 – #20, YL #7 – #8)
Chapter 11, After the Glut (YR #21 – #23, YL #9 – #10)
Chapter 12, A Smaller Studio (YR #24 – #26, YL #12 – #14)
Chapter 13, Romance Bottoms Out (YR #27 – #29, YL #15 – #17)
Chapter 14, The Third Suspect (YR #30 – #32, YL #18 – #20)
Chapter 15, The Action of Romance (YR #33 – #35, YL #21 – #23)
Chapter 16, Someone Old and Someone New (YR #36 – #38, YL #24 – #26)
Chapter 17, The Assistant (YR #39 – #41, YL #27 – #29)
Chapter 18, Meskin Takes Over (YR #42 – #44, YL #30 – #32)
Chapter 19, More Artists (YR #45 – #47, YL #33 – #35)
Chapter 20, Romance Still Matters (YR #48 – #50, YL #36 – #38, YB #1)
Chapter 21, Roussos Messes Up (YR #51 – #53, YL #39 – #41, YB #2 – 3)
Chapter 22, He’s the Man (YR #54 – #56, YL #42 – #44, YB #4)
Chapter 23, New Ways of Doing Things (YR #57 – #59, YL #45 – #47, YB #5 – #6)
Chapter 24, A New Artist (YR #60 – #62, YL #48 – #50, YB #7 – #8)
Chapter 25, More New Faces (YR #63 – #65, YLe #51 – #53, YB #9 – #11)
Chapter 26, Goodbye Jack (YR #66 – #68, YL #54 – #56, YB #12 – #14)
Chapter 27, The Return of Mort (YR #69 – #71, YL #57 – #59, YB #15 – #17)
Chapter 28, A Glut of Artists (YR #72 – #74, YL #60 – #62, YB #18 & #19, IL #1 & #2)
Chapter 29, Trouble Begins (YR #75 – #77, YL #63 – #65, YB #20 – #22, IL #3 – #5)
Chapter 30, Transition (YR #78 – #80, YL #66 – #68, YBs #23 – #25, IL #6, ILY #7)
Chapter 30, Appendix (YB #23)
Chapter 31, Kirby, Kirby and More Kirby (YR #81 – #82, YL #69 – #70, YB #26 – #27)
Chapter 32, The Kirby Beat Goes On (YR #83 – #84, YL #71 – #72, YB #28 – #29)
Chapter 33, End of an Era (YR #85 – #87, YL #73, YB #30, AFL #1)
Chapter 34, A New Prize Title (YR #88 – #91, AFL #2 – #5, PL #1 – #2)
Chapter 35, Settling In ( YR #92 – #94, AFL #6 – #8, PL #3 – #5)
Appendix, J.O. Is Joe Orlando
Chapter 36, More Kirby (YR #95 – #97, AFL #9 – #11, PL #6 – #8)
Chapter 37, Some Surprises (YR #98 – #100, AFL #12 – #14, PL #9 – #11)
Chapter 38, All Things Must End (YR #101 – #103, AFL #15 – #17, PL #12 – #14)

Bill Draut’s Demon

After Joe Simon and Jack Kirby had fulfilled their military service they could easily resumed working primarily for DC. Instead a deal was made with Harvey to produce some new titles, Stuntman and Boy Explorers. Ignoring very short features these comics included:

Stuntman #1 (April 1946)
 3 Stuntman (Kirby)
 1 Furnished Room (Draut)
Boy Explorers #1 (May 1946)
 1 Boys Explorer (Kirby)
 1 Duke of Broadway (Simon)
 1 Danny Dixon Cadet (Riley)
 1 Calamity Jane (Draut)
Stuntman #2 (June 1946)
 2 Stuntman (Kirby)
 1 Duke of Broadway (Simon)
 1 Furnished Room (Draut)

At this point both titles were cancelled, victims of the glut of new comic book titles that appeared now that wartime paper restrictions were lifted. However Harvey sent to subscribers small issues of Stuntman and Boy Explorers. These were small not only in size but also in content (only two stories) and without color printing.

Stuntman #3
 1 Stuntman (Kirby)
 1 Kid Adonis (Simon)

Boy Explorers #2
 1 Boy Explorer (Kirby)
 1 Danny Dixon Cadet (Riley)

However original art in Joe Simon’s collection indicates that a Vagabond Prince story (“Trapped in Wax”, Simon) was also originally meant to be included in Boy Explorers #2. This origin story would never be published.

Comic book art is created well before it appeared on the newsstand, so when the two titles were suddenly cancelled it would be expected that some of the art would already be completed for the unpublished issues. This would not go to waste as Harvey would include them in some of their other titles in the following year (as well as reprinting most of those from Stuntman #3 and Boy Explorers #2). These previously unpublished inventory stories included:

1 Stuntman (Kirby)
2 Duke of Broadway (Simon)
1 Vagabond Prince (Simon)
2 Kid Adonis (Simon)
1 Furnished Room (Draut)
4 The Demon (Draut)
7 Danny Dixon Cadet

The more observant reader may have noticed two anomalies in the list of inventoried stories published elsewhere by Harvey. While most features had only one or two stories there were 4 for the Demon and 7 for Danny Dixon Cadet (the subject of a future post). The Demon was also unusual in that it had never previously appeared in either Stuntman or Boy Explorers. My original reaction when I was reviewing this was that perhaps The Demon really was not a Simon and Kirby production but something that Bill Draut pitched to Harvey after the two titles were cancelled. However on further thought I considered this unlikely because the origin story was the third Demon story that Harvey published. This sort of error would have been unlikely to happen if The Demon was new feature but just the sort of thing to be expected if the Demon was just inventoried material.

I think a better explanation for the Demon anomaly would be that a third title was originally proposed. Work may have already progressed when Harvey decided to test the waters with just two titles. If there was to be a third comic book it was most likely that the Duke of Broadway would have been the title feature. The Duke’s appearance in the other two titles would have been a means of generating interest. Bill Draut’s Demon would have been a backup feature.

Black Cat #6 (July 1947) “The Midnight Killer”, art by Bill Draut

Simon met Bill Draut through a mutual friend while Joe was stationed in Washington during the war. Bill was in the marines working as a combat artist. I used to believe that Bill did not have any previous comic art experience but in fact in 1945 and 1946 he worked on the syndication strip Stony Craig. Joakim Gunnarsson has written a nice post about this with some examples (Coming Soon and Stony Craig by Bill Draut). This work would have been done while Bill was still in the marines. After fulfilling his military service, Bill accepted Joe’s invitation to join him in New York and try his hand at comic books. The work Draut provided for Stuntman and Boy Explorers was his first published comic book art

Draut’s art for the Demon, the Furnished Room and Calamity Jane along with Stony Craig was already very distinctive. Not that all the characteristics of his later work for Simon and Kirby were present but there is enough that it is easy to recognize his hand. I had previously considered Jack Kirby a big influence on Bill but the Stony Craig art clearly shows that is not strictly true. Many of the similarities between Draut and Kirby are the due to their common interest in Milton Caniff’s art.

Black Cat #6 (July 1947) “The Midnight Killer” page 7, art by Bill Draut

As I mentioned above, the origin story for the Demon was not the first one printed. This can be clearly seen from page 7 of “The Midnight Killer”. Here the judge posing as a bank thief on the run finds the costume worn at a party by the murdered victim. This device would make no sense unless it was the origin story.

Black Cat #4
Black Cat #4 (February 1947) “Double Trouble”, art by Bill Draut

Because so much of the work Bill Draut produced for Simon and Kirby would be for romance titles there is not much depiction of action in most of his art. However action plays an important part of the early work by Draut particularly in the Demon. Frankly in some cases Bill is not very effective in drawing fight scenes. In the splash for “Double Trouble” it is clear that the woman has thrown the man into the Demon. But how did she accomplish this feat, was is some sort of Judo trick or was she stronger then she looks? How was the man standing before the throw that could explain his final position? Draut’s splash is just not very convincing.

Black Cat #7 (September 1947) “Too Cold for Crime” page 4, art by Bill Draut

But it would be a mistake to conclude that Draut simply could not handle action scenes. The page shown above from “Too Cold for Crime” is a great example. While the layout is not done the way Jack Kirby would have handled it, it still is very dynamic page. The high angled view used in the first panel along with having the fight occur during a snow storm both are very graphically interesting. Unfortunately the page is marred somewhat by the colorist use of blue for both figures in the first and third panels.

Black Cat #4 (February 1947) “Double Trouble” page 8, art by Bill Draut

Although I now credit Milton Caniff with jointly influencing Bill Draut and Jack Kirby (among many other comic book artists) there are still aspects of Bill’s art in the Demon that suggests that he had lately studied Kirby’s art. The use of exaggerated perspective when depicting a fist fight is not something associated with Caniff, but it is a classic technique for Kirby. While I do not think Jack would have made the slugger in panel 4 so relatively small, the perspective of the sluggee does remind one of Kirby’s art.

Black Cat #5 (April 1947) “The Man Who Didn’t Know His Own Strength” page 9, art by Bill Draut

I will close with another action sequences. This page opens with the Demon battling his opponent only to end with the hero turning to the villain for help. Of course an unknown writer should likely be credited for this plot but Draut does a great job of graphically presenting the story. I love the way the smoke is introduced in one corner of the first panel and how the fire progressively takes over more and more of the panel until the fourth one where the Demon carrying his defeated foe is almost lost in all the smoke and flames.

It’s A Crime, Chapter 5, Making a Commitment

(Headline #26 – #28, Justice Traps the Guilty #1 – #1)

September 1947 (cover date) was the release of Simon and Kirby’s Young Romance. This marked a milestone for the creative duo. Previously Joe and Jack had not signed any of the work that they provided for publishers Prize or Hillman with the exception of Hillman’s My Date. Starting in September Simon and Kirby signatures would appear not only in Young Romance but in Headline Comics as well. Jack Kirby drew four stories of Headline #26 and three of those were signed. From this point on Simon and Kirby signatures would frequently be found on Kirby’s drawings for Prize Comics. Despite all the work that S&K provided to Hillman, in the end it was Prize that got Joe and Jack’s commitment. Right from the start the crime version of Headline was produced by Simon and Kirby while they never seem to have the same influence with Hillman. Surely whatever deal that Joe and Jack made with Prize must have reflected their greater control over Headline while at Hillman they had remained only marginally better then just work for hire. In the end Simon and Kirby were businessmen and it was all about the money. By early next year Simon and Kirby’s work for Hillman would end.

The crime version of Headline Comics must have been a very successful seller. After just the first four bimonthly issues Prize introduced a new crime title Justice Traps the Guilty. Simon and Kirby produced JTTG as well and there really was no difference in the contents between Headline and JTTG. Since both were bimonthly titles, effectively there would be a crime comic released by Prize each month. There must have been some difficulty because JTTG #2 should have been scheduled for December but was released in January instead; while Headline #28’s normal January release was pushed back to February.

Jack Kirby would still be the main contributor to Headline Comics and the new Justice Traps The Guilty. Jack drew 4 out of 6 stories for Headline #26 (September), but would only draw two stories each for issues #27 (November) and #28 (February). The first issue of Justice Traps the Guilty followed the Simon & Kirby’s modus operandi of starting a title with lots of Kirby; Jack penciled 6 out of the 8 stories. However with the second issue Jack returns to supplying a more modest 2 stories. Still no other artist appeared more often then Jack in these issues.

Headline #26 (September 1947) “The Life and Death of Public Enemy Number One”, art by Jack Kirby

The splash for “The Life and Death of Public Enemy Number One” uses a silhouette. There seemed to have been a flurry of the use of this device because we have seen it previously. However it would be pretty much dropped by Simon and Kirby and this may be its last use. While making the overall design of the splash more interesting, the use of silhouette diminished the impact as well.

Headline #26 (September 1947) “Bullets for The Bogus G-Man”, art by Jack Kirby

Another device used by Simon and Kirby in the early Prize crime comics was having “Red” (or “Red-Hot”) Blaze introduce the stories. While I suspect that Simon and Kirby found it a useful idea when they were promoting the idea of crime comics to Prize and for the initial in-house advertisements, in the end it just took up story panels that would had been better served for telling the actual story. “Bullets for the Bogus G-Man” may have been the last use of “Red” Blaze and even there he is only mentioned in the caption at the bottom of the splash page and never makes an actual appearance in the story.

Headline #28 (February 1948) “I Worked For the Fence”, art by Jack Kirby

One motif Simon and Kirby sometimes used for the first story was adopted from previous use in Young Romance. That is having a character introducing the story and using the word balloon as the title caption. Simon and Kirby did not use this design technique as frequently in the crime titles as they would in Young Romance but it still was an effective part of their repertoire.

Headline #27 (November 1947) “Spirit Swindlers” page 7, art by Jack Kirby

I have remarked before that circular panels was largely limited to an occasional splash page for the work that Simon and Kirby did for Hillman. For the Prize issues discussed in this chapter, Joe and Jack continued to use circular panels. What was new is that while previously almost all the Prize comic stories used circular panels in Headline #26 to #28 and JTTG #1 and #2 about half of the stories did not use round panels at all. For the stories that still featured circular panels they are used in lower proportions. For Headline #23 to #25 ratios of rounded panels to all the panels was over 16% and in one story reached 20%. Remember for a story done in the standard 6 panels per page, this would work out to an average of a semi-circular panel for each page (although they rarely were distributed so evenly). For Headline #26 to #28 and JTTG #1 and #2, when rounded panels were used they were generally used in the range of 14% to 10%. This is only a small decrease, but it seems to be consistent. In one story (“The True Life Story of Alvin Karpis” it drops to 4%. The last issue covered in this chapter (Headline #28, February 1948) did not have any rounded panels.

I have also been trying to track the evolution of the inking techniques used. Previously in Headline drop strings and abstract arch shadows, typical Studio style mannerisms, had become commonly used. Picket fence crosshatching and shoulder blots were still rare and when found are not typical in execution. (See my Inking Glossary for explanations of the terms I use to describe these techniques). In the last chapter we saw those final typical Studio style techniques show up suddenly in the Hillman crime title. The same thing happened at Prize. The earliest typical picket fence brush work for Prize that I have noticed was in “Spirit Swindlers” (see above image, particularly panels 4 and 6. There seems to be no gradual conversion of previous simple crosshatching to picket fence crosshatching; picket fence just suddenly appears. The picket fence inking shows up elsewhere in the story as well. Not every story in the same issue, however, shows the use of this most distinctive inking. Also note the shoulder blot in panels 1 and 2.

Headline #26 (September 1947) “Beyond the Law”, by unidentified artist

As mentioned above, Kirby drew 4 of the 6 stories for Headline #26. The other two stories (“Test of Death” and “Beyond the Law”) were done by the same artist. I have not been able to identify him but he also did “Murder’s Reward” and “Blind Man’s Death” from Headline #25. Ger Apeldoorn has suggested that it might be Bob McCarty. I am most familiar with McCarty’s work for S&K’s Mainline titles. The Mainline material does not resemble these four stories but that could be explained by the seven years separating the two groups of work. In any case the work in Headline #25 and #26 was done by a talented artist who played an important part in the early Headline issues. After issue #26 the artist stopped providing work to Simon and Kirby.

Justice Traps the Guilty #1 (October 1947) “G-Man Trap”, art by Bill Draut

After the mystery artist last appearance in Headline #26, his place as the most important supporting artist (after Kirby) was taken by Bill Draut. Draut’s first returned to the Simon and Kirby productions in Young Romance #1 (September 1947). From that point on Bill would be a mainstay of the S&K studio until its breakup. Draut would provide two stories each issue for Headline #27 and #28 as well as JTTG #1. In those issues Draut’s contributions of stories equal that of Jack Kirby. It is interesting to see Draut’s take on crime since so much of his output for the Simon and Kirby studio was for romance titles. Bill could be surprisingly effective with action and he also did some interesting splashes. The one for “G-Man Trap” is a good example. The use of diagonal elements makes the splash visually stimulating. However, the placement of the gun smoke and the odd pose of the shooter in the background really did not work well and diminishes what should have been an interesting confrontation. Still you have to admire Draut for the attempt made even if it was not completely successful.

Justice Traps the Guilty #1 (October 1947) “Try an FBI Test” page 2, art by Bill Draut

As I have mentioned a number of times in the past, I am convinced that Kirby did not supply layouts for Draut as some experts have suggested. Bill’s means of telling a story and his splash designs (such as the one from “G-Man Trap” shown earlier) are often different from Jack’s. There is one story, “Try an FBI Test”, that might suggest otherwise. Note the use of circular panels. These appear throughout the story and are the same form that Kirby uses. While this might suggest that Kirby did the layouts, I am not convinced. In “Try an FBI Test” the captions and word balloons frequently extend beyond the border of the circular panels which is unlike Kirby’s use where both captions and work balloons invariable are confined within the circular boundary. Nor was there any real change in the way the story is graphically told compared to other work by Draut. I believe Draut has just trying a layout technique that he previously observed Kirby using. Whatever the reason for the use of circular panels, it was a one time occurrence as I do not believe Bill would ever used it again.

Headline #28 (February 1948) “Postage Stamp Swindle”, art by Jerry Robinson and Mort Meskin

Young Romance #3 (January 1948) saw the first appearance of the Jerry Robinson and Mort Meskin team working for the Simon and Kirby studio. “Postage Stamp Swindle” (Headline #28, February 1948) was the first crime work that they did for S&K. As a team, Robinson and Meskin would only work for Joe and Jack for about seven months and provide a total of ten pieces of work. Only two of the stories are signed but the unsigned work is very consistent with those bearing signatures. Jerry and Mort had a preference for splash pages with a vertically dominated splash panel with two story panels also vertically arranged. The first page of “Postage Stamp Swindle” exaggerates that motif by placing the title over the story panels in a caption shaped like a stamp. Otherwise the splash panel usually had the shape of an inverted ‘L’.

I have been assigning the pencils to Jerry and the inks to Mort. This was due to the order that their names appear in their signature. Further the inking does predominately look like Meskin’s. Recently I have been spending some time looking over some of Meskin’s work from 1946 and 1947. I find that the work Robinson and Meskin’s supplied for Simon and Kirby look very much like the early work that Mort did on his own. So much so that I wonder what Robinson’s contribution was? I am tempted to attribute all the early unsigned art for S&K as Meskin alone and only credit the last three stories, two of which are signed, to the Robinson and Meskin team. I have two reasons for not taking that course. One is the still great similarity of the signed and unsigned work. The second is Joe Simon’s story of when Mort came to work for the Simon and Kirby studio as described in his book “The Comic Book Makers”. Joe really makes it sound like that was the first time Mort had worked for them which would not be true if Meskin was solely responsible for the work from 1948.

Headline #27 (November 1947) “The Guns of Jesse James” page 5, art by Jack Kirby and an unidentified artist

“The Guns of Jesse James” is one of those stories that at a glance were obviously done by some artist other than Jack Kirby; the drawing is just too crude. There are some places where the art, although still crude, looks like Jack’s style. The second panel in the page above is a good example. This story even uses rounded panels like those that Jack would use for some of his own stories. While it is possible that the artist was trying to mimic Kirby’s techniques, I think it more likely that he is working from rough layouts provided by Jack.

Justice Traps the Guilty #2 (January 1948) “The Killer Thought He Was Satan” page 4, art by an unidentified artist (Jack Kirby layouts?)

The possibility of rough Kirby layouts may also apply to “The Killer Thought He Was Satan”. Note in particular the second panel from page 4 shown above. In many ways the graphic story telling is even more like typical Kirby mannerisms then “The Guns of Jesse James”. Both of these stories come from a period where Kirby’s contributions had diminished and the use of layouts may have been an effort to filling the titles without using too much of Jack’s time.

Justice Traps the Guilty #2 (January 1948) “The Murdering Bender Family”, art by an unidentified artist

As I precede in future chapters of this serial post I will certainly not try to cover every unidentified artist in these titles. While I would consider most, if not all, talented some were more deserving of recognition than others. Besides there will be too many artists that I have not identified yet. In these early issues of the crime titles, however, the number of artists appearing is much more limited. So I will close with the splash page of one of mystery artists. I sure wished more of them took advantage of Simon and Kirby’s willingness to allow artists to include their signatures.

Chapter 1, Promoting Crime
Chapter 2, A Revitalized Title
Chapter 3, Competing Against Themselves
Chapter 4, Crime Gets Real

Chapter 6, Forgotten Artists
Chapter 7, A Studio With Many Artists
Chapter 8, The Chinese Detective
Chapter 9, Not The Same
Chapter 10, The Master and His Protege
Chapter 11, The New Team

Bill Draut Checklist

Last update: 1/2/2012

    s:  = signed
    a:  = signed with alias
    &:  = signed Simon and Kirby
    ?:  = questionable attribution
    r:  = reprint

All For Love (Prize)
     1    (v.1, n1)  Apr  1957       [cover]
     1    (v.1, n1)  Apr  1957    6p "Dream Wedding"

Black Cat (Harvey)
   s 4    Feb  1947   10p "Double Trouble"
     5    Apr  1947   10p "The Man Who Didn't Know His Own Strength"
   s 6    July 1947   10p "The Midnight Killer"
     7    Sept 1947    8p "Too Cold For Crime"

Black Magic (Prize)
     1    (v.1, n1)  Oct  1950    6p "Don't Look Now"
     2    (v.1, n2)  Dec  1950    8p "Yesterday You Died"
     3    (v.1, n3)  Feb  1951    7p "Satan's Sister"
     4    (v.1, n4)  Apr  1951    7p "The Jonah"
     6    (v.1, n6)  Aug  1951    5p "The Moment Of Shadow"
     6    (v.1, n6)  Aug  1951    6p "Skull's Eyes Never Sleep"
     7    (v.2, n1)  Oct  1951    7p "Don't Ride The 5:20"
     9    (v.2, n3)  Feb  1952    7p "Mark Of Evil"
     12   (v.2, n6)  May  1952    7p "Contact"
     13   (v.2, n7)  June 1952    7p "When I Live Again"
     14   (v.2, n8)  July 1952    7p "The Voice Of The Dead"
     15   (v.2, n9)  Aug  1952    6p "Ashes To Ashes"
     17   (v.2, n11) Oct  1952    8p "The Soul Of A Man"
     20   (v.3, n2)  Jan  1953    5p "Hatchet Man"
     21   (v.3, n3)  Feb  1953    4p "The Practical Joker"
     22   (v.3, n4)  Mar  1953    2p "Barbados Burial Vault"
     23   (v.3, n5)  Apr  1953    6p "The Faces Of Death"
     24   (v.3, n6)  May  1953    6p "The Lady Is A Ghost"
     32   (v.5, n2)  Sept 1954    4p "The Monsters"

Black Magic (National/DC)
   r 6    (v.1, n6)  Nov  1974    7p "Satan's Sister"- (r B|M #3 Feb 1951)
   r 9    (v.1, n9)  May  1975    8p "Yesterday You Died"- (r BM #2 Dec 1950)

Boy Explorers (Harvey)
   s 1    May  1946    8p "The Case Of The Hapless Hackie"- (Ferguson letters first page only)

Charlie Chan (Prize)
     1    June 1948    8p "The Weasel Of Wall Street"

Double-Dare Adventures (Harvey)
   ? 1    Dec  1966    7p "Bee-Man"

First Love Illustrated (Harvey)
     31   Aug  1953    5p "Another Man's Kisses"
     34   Nov  1953    5p "Man-Starved"
     38   Mar  1954    5p "Strange Love"
     41   June 1954    5p "To Find My Love"
     43   Aug  1954    5p "True to My Love"
     44   Sept 1954    5p "The Right to Love"
     60   Jan  1956    5p "Dangerous Moment"
     64   May  1956    5p "Love Betrayed"
     67   Aug  1956    5p "Outsider"
     68   Sept 1956    5p "Forbidden To Love Him"
     69   Oct  1956    5p "Remember, I'm Your Girl"
     70   Nov  1956    5p "Strange Love"
     72   Jan  1957    5p "A Man For Nora"
     74   Mar  1957    5p "The Right to Love"
     75   Apr  1957    5p "No Promises For Me"

First Romance Magazine (Harvey)
     41   Aug  1956    5p "I Gambled On Love"

Foxhole (Mainline)
     1    Oct  1954    6p "Fruit Salad"
     2    Dec  1954    3p "Walkie-Talkie"
     2    Dec  1954    4p "Replacement"
   s 4    Apr  1955    4p "Find And Fire"

Foxhole (Charlton)
   s 5    July 1955    3p "Hip Pockets And The Paper Bullets"
     6    Sept 1955    3p "The 50th Man"

From Here to Insanity (Charlton)
     11   Aug  1955    6p "Old Love"

Green Hornet (Harvey)
   s 35   Sept 1947    8p "The Fat Tuesday"
   s 36   Nov  1947    8p "The Man Who Met Himself"
   s 37   Jan  1948    7p "The Smiling Salesman"
   r 38   Mar  1948    7p "The Furnished Room"

Headline (Prize)
   s 27   (v.3, n3)  Nov  1947    7p "The Death Of The Gambler King"
   s 27   (v.3, n3)  Nov  1947    4p "Bring Me His Corpse"
     28   (v.3, n4)  Feb  1948    8p "Trapping Chicago's Speed-Demon Mob"
   s 28   (v.3, n4)  Feb  1948    7p "Machine-Gun Kelly, Kidnapper"
   s 29   (v.3, n5)  Apr  1948    8p "Don't Let Wilber Squeal"
   s 29   (v.3, n5)  Apr  1948    8p "Sisters Of Satan"
     30   (v.3, n6)  June 1948    7p "The Witch Murders"
   s 30   (v.3, n6)  June 1948    7p "Menace In The Making"
     31   (v.4, n1)  Aug  1948    8p "The Kidnapped The Parole Board"
     32   (v.4, n2)  Oct  1948    8p "Terror Of The Everglades"
     74   (v.11, n2) Jan  1956    6p "Never See Morning"
     75   (v.11, n3) Mar  1956    6p "Hot Stuff"
     76   (v.11, n4) May  1956       [cover]
     76   (v.11, n4) May  1956    6p "Channel for Trouble"
     77   (v.11, n5) Sept 1956    6p "Hide and Seek"

Hi-School Romance (Harvey)
     19   Feb  1953    6p "I Went Too Far"
     25   Feb  1954    5p "Outsider"
     43   Sept 1955    6p "Broadway Lights"
     48   Feb  1956    5p "Outsider"
     49   Mar  1956    5p "My Shattered Love"
     59   Jan  1957    5p "To Find My Love"
     60   Feb  1957    5p "School Boy"

In Love (Mainline)
     2    Oct  1954       [cover]
     2    Oct  1954    6p "The Scandal"
     2    Oct  1954    6p "Set My Heart Free"
     4    Mar  1955       [cover]
     4    Mar  1955    6p "Wolf Bait"

In Love (Charlton)
     6    July 1955       [cover]
     6    July 1955    6p "Among Us Girls"

Jigsaw (Harvey)
     1    Sept 1966       [cover]

Justice Traps the Guilty (Prize)
   s 1    (v.1, n1)  Oct  1947    6p "G-Man Trap"
   s 1    (v.1, n1)  Oct  1947    4p "Try An FBI Test"
   s 2    (v.1, n2)  Dec  1947    6p "You Don't Have To Be Crazy To Trap A Criminal"
   s 3    (v.1, n3)  Mar  1948    8p "So Many Ways To Die"
     3    (v.1, n3)  Mar  1948    7p "My Strangest Crime Case"
     4    (v.1, n4)  May  1948    7p "The Lincoln Tomb Thieves"
     4    (v.1, n4)  May  1948    6p "The Half-Pint Killer"
     5    (v.1, n5)  July 1948    7p "Al Spencer, Last Of The Old West Bandits"
   s 5    (v.1, n5)  July 1948    8p "A Fortune In Slugs"
     6    (v.1, n6)  Sept 1948    8p "Gerald Woodworth, The Vanishing Bandit"
     7    (v.2, n1)  Nov  1948    6p "Paris Manhunt"
     9    (v.2, n3)  Apr  1949   10p "Willie The Actor"
     71   (v.8, n5)  Feb  1955    4p "Escape"
     80   (v.9, n1)  Feb  1956    5p "Skin Deep"
     82   (v.9, n4)  May  1956    6p "Doomsday"
     83   (v.9, n5)  Oct  1956    6p "The Masqueraders"
     83   (v.9, n5)  Oct  1956    6p "Duty Bound"
     84   (v.9, n6)  Dec  1956    7p "The Fickle Lady Luck"
     84   (v.9, n6)  Dec  1956    6p "The Wreckers"

Love Problems and Advice (Harvey)
     22   July 1953    1p "Which Man Shall I Choose?"
     23   Sept 1953    5p "My Shattered Love"
     25   Jan  1954    5p "Come-On Girl"
     28   July 1954    5p "Always a Bridesmaid"
     29   Sept 1954    5p "Marked Woman"
     40   July 1956    1p "Which Man Shall I Choose"
     40   July 1956    5p "Double Heartbreak"
     42   Nov  1956    5p "Empty Dream"
     43   Jan  1957    5p "Who's Cheating Who?"
   r 45   May  1957    5p "Marked Woman"

Police Trap (Mainline)
     1    Sept 1954    5p "Masher"
     3    Jan  1955    6p "Tough Beat"

Police Trap (Charlton)
     5    July 1955    6p "The Gun"

Police Trap (Super Comics)
   r 16   **** 1964    5p "The Capture"
   r 17   **** 1964    6p "Policeman's Holiday"
   r 17   **** 1964    6p "Duty Bound"

Prize Comics Western (Prize)
     119  Sept 1956    6p "The Drifter"

Real West Romances (Prize)
     1    Apr  1949    9p "Chuck Wagon Jane"
     2    July 1949    8p "Dead-Game Dude"
     3    Aug  1949    8p "In Love With His Ranch Boss"
     4    Oct  1949    8p "Lovin' Or Feudin'"
     5    Dec  1949    8p "Bordertown Lover"
     5    Dec  1949    1p "Glamour In The Great Outdoors"

Spyman (Harvey)
     3    Feb  1967       [contents]
     3    Feb  1967   20p "Death of Spyman"

Strange World of Your Dreams (Prize)
     1    Aug  1952    7p "Don't Wake The Sleeper"
     3    Nov  1952    4p "Send Us Your Dreams"
     3    Nov  1952    1p "Mistaken Dream"- (illustrated text)

Stuntman (Harvey)
   s 1    Apr  1946    7p "The Furnished Room"
   s 2    June 1946    6p "Triangular Troubles"- (Ferguson letters splash only)

Teen-Age Brides (Harvey)
     1    July 1953    1p "Here Comes the Bride"
     2    Sept 1953    5p "I Married for Fun"

True Bride-To-Be Romances (Harvey)
     17   Apr  1956    5p "When I Married"
     18   June 1956    5p "Unfit To Manage"
     19   Aug  1956    5p "Heart And Soul"
     23   Apr  1957    5p "Always a Bridesmaid"

True Bride's Experiences (Harvey)
     16   Feb  1956    1p "Here Comes The Bride"

Warfront (Harvey)
     38   Dec  1966   15p "Big Trap on Death Island"
     39   Feb  1967       [cover]
     39   Feb  1967   14p "Half-Mask Strikes Back"
     39   Feb  1967    2p "Letters from Dynamite Joe"

Western Love (Prize)
     1    July 1949    8p "Gambler's Girl"
     2    Sept 1949    9p "Sworn Enemies In Love"

Win A Prize (Charlton)
     2    Apr  1955    7p "Bullet Ballad"

Young Brides (Prize)
     1    (v.1, n1)  Sept 1952    8p "Teen-Age Mother"
     2    (v.1, n2)  Nov  1952    6p "The Luckiest Guy In The World"
     4    (v.1, n4)  Mar  1953    8p "Here Cries The Bride"
     5    (v.1, n5)  May  1953    8p "Let's Change Places"
     6    (v.1, n6)  July 1953    6p "Run Out Of Town"
     8    (v.2, n2)  Oct  1953    6p "After School Wife"
     8    (v.2, n2)  Oct  1953    6p "Married Strangers"
     10   (v.2, n4)  Dec  1953    6p "Country Cousin"
     10   (v.2, n4)  Dec  1953    6p "The Stranger In His Heart"
     11   (v.2, n5)  Jan  1954    6p "Ghost Wife"
     12   (v.2, n6)  Feb  1954    6p "Father Under Protest"
     13   (v.2, n7)  Mar  1954    8p "The Bride Wore Hand Me-Downs"
     18   (v.2, n12) Sept 1954       [cover]
     20   (v.3, n2)  Jan  1955       [cover]
     20   (v.3, n2)  Jan  1955    5p "Sinner By Night"
     21   (v.3, n3)  Mar  1955       [cover]
     21   (v.3, n3)  Mar  1955    6p "Cheating Lady"
     23   (v.3, n5)  July 1955    2p "Steady Beau"
     24   (v.3, n6)  Sept 1955       [cover]
     24   (v.3, n6)  Sept 1955    6p "Ask Mother"

Young Love (Prize)
   s 1    (v.1, n1)  Feb  1949   12p "The Plumber And Me"
     1    (v.1, n1)  Feb  1949    7p "Two Loves"
     1    (v.1, n1)  Feb  1949    7p "Lady Luck"
     2    (v.1, n2)  Apr  1949    9p "A Very Young Bride"
     3    (v.1, n3)  June 1949    9p "Wallflower"
     3    (v.1, n3)  June 1949    8p "Headstrong"
     3    (v.1, n3)  June 1949    8p "Clinging Vine"
     4    (v.1, n4)  Aug  1949    7p "Best Friend's Sweetheart"
     4    (v.1, n4)  Aug  1949    8p "Show Off"
     5    (v.1, n5)  Oct  1949    2p "Problem Clinic"
     6    (v.1, n6)  Dec  1949    8p "Taken For A Ride"
     7    (v.2, n1)  Feb  1950    8p "The Carnival Girl"
     8    (v.2, n2)  Apr  1950    8p "Every Man I Meet"
     8    (v.2, n2)  Apr  1950    2p "Problem Clinic"
     9    (v.2, n3)  May  1950    7p "Anybody's Girl"
     10   (v.2, n4)  June 1950    8p "Common"
     12   (v.2, n6)  Aug  1950    8p "Because You Look Like Him"
     14   (v.2, n8)  Oct  1950    9p "I'll Tell You No Lies"
     14   (v.2, n8)  Oct  1950    7p "A Family Affair"
     15   (v.2, n9)  Nov  1950    9p "Love Isn't  Enough"
     15   (v.2, n9)  Nov  1950    9p "Man Wanted"
     16   (v.2, n10) Dec  1950    5p "Will You Help Me"
     16   (v.2, n10) Dec  1950    7p "Bring A Friend"
     18   (v.2, n12) Feb  1951    8p "I Won't Leave Mother"
     19   (v.3, n1)  Mar  1951    9p "High School Honeymoon"
     21   (v.3, n3)  May  1951    8p "Marry Me Mister"
     22   (v.3, n4)  June 1951    8p "Like All The Rest"
     23   (v.3, n5)  July 1951    1p "Does He Treat You Right"
     24   (v.3, n6)  Aug  1951   10p "I'll Bet My Love"
     26   (v.3, n8)  Oct  1951    7p "Bad Penny"
     26   (v.3, n8)  Oct  1951    6p "Not The Type"
     27   (v.3, n9)  Nov  1951    8p "Love Proof"
     28   (v.3, n10) Dec  1951    8p "Never Been Kissed"
     28   (v.3, n10) Dec  1951    2p "The Way They Met"
     29   (v.3, n11) Jan  1952    7p "Heavy Date"
     29   (v.3, n11) Jan  1952    7p "My Conscience"
     30   (v.3, n12) Feb  1952    9p "Easy Prey"
     32   (v.4, n2)  Apr  1952   10p "Can't Help Wanting That Man"
     33   (v.4, n3)  May  1952    8p "The Legs Are Familiar"
     34   (v.4, n4)  June 1952    8p "Out Of Control"
     34   (v.4, n4)  June 1952    5p "Sweet, But Not So Simple"
     35   (v.4, n5)  July 1952    8p "Fast Crowd"
     36   (v.4, n6)  Aug  1952    6p "Run From Romance"
     37   (v.4, n7)  Sept 1952    8p "Young Man With Tuxedo Will Marry"
     38   (v.4, n8)  Oct  1952    7p "Let Your Hair Down"
     39   (v.4, n9)  Nov  1952    7p "Each Day I Die"
     40   (v.4, n10) Dec  1952    6p "Love Me On My Terms"
     42   (v.4, n12) Feb  1953    8p "Girl Hitchhiker"
     43   (v.5, n1)  Mar  1953    8p "The Wonderful Person"
     45   (v.5, n3)  May  1953    8p "Terrible Secret"
     46   (v.5, n4)  June 1953    7p "The Hard Guy"
     48   (v.5, n6)  Aug  1953    6p "Love, Honor And Betray"
     49   (v.5, n7)  Sept 1953    6p "Highway Of Dreams"
     51   (v.5, n9)  Nov  1953    6p "Give Me Your Blessing"
     52   (v.5, n10) Dec  1953    6p "Hush-Hush Marriage"
     53   (v.5, n11) Jan  1954    6p "Love Isn't Enough"
     54   (v.5, n12) Feb  1954    6p "Shameless"
     55   (v.6, n1)  Mar  1954    6p "The Guilt In My Heart"
     58   (v.6, n4)  June 1954    6p "The Unblessed Events"
     61   (v.6, n7)  Sept 1954       [cover]
     62   (v.6, n8)  Oct  1954    6p "Teen-Age Temptress"
     63   (v.6, n9)  Dec  1954       [cover]
     63   (v.6, n9)  Dec  1954    6p "Another Love"
     64   (v.6, n10) Apr  1955       [cover]
     64   (v.6, n10) Apr  1955    6p "Kissing Game"
     65   (v.6, n11) June 1955    6p "Who Keeps The Faith"
     66   (v.6, n12) Aug  1955    6p "Just For Spite"
     71   (v.7, n5)  June 1956    6p "Love Me Or Leave Me"
     73   (v.8, n1)  Dec  1956    6p "Soldier's Homecoming"
     73   (v.8, n1)  Dec  1956    6p "The Troublemaker"

Young Romance (Prize)
     1    (v.1, n1)  Sept 1947    8p "The Farmer's Wife"
     1    (v.1, n1)  Sept 1947    7p "The Plight Of The Suspicious Bridegroom"
   s 2    (v.1, n2)  Nov  1947    7p "My Broken Heart"
     2    (v.1, n2)  Nov  1947    7p "The Poorest Girl In The World"
     3    (v.1, n3)  Jan  1948    7p "Campus Outcast"
   s 4    (v.1, n4)  Mar  1948    8p "Guilty"
   s 4    (v.1, n4)  Mar  1948    7p "Her Rival"
     5    (v.1, n5)  May  1948    7p "Substitute Sweetheart"
   s 6    (v.1, n6)  July 1948    8p "Friend Of The Family"
   s 6    (v.1, n6)  July 1948    7p "Gossip"
     7    (v.2, n1)  Sept 1948    8p "I'll Get Him Back"
   s 7    (v.2, n1)  Sept 1948    8p "Love On The Rebound"
     8    (v.2, n2)  Nov  1948    6p "Fortune Hunter"
     8    (v.2, n2)  Nov  1948    8p "To Love Again"
     9    (v.2, n3)  Jan  1949    9p "The Lie I Lived"
     9    (v.2, n3)  Jan  1949    9p "Last Chance For Love"
   s 10   (v.2, n4)  Mar  1949    8p "Shadows"
     10   (v.2, n4)  Mar  1949    1p "Hip, Hip, Away"
     10   (v.2, n4)  Mar  1949    8p "Husband Hunter"
     11   (v.2, n5)  May  1949    8p "The Language Of Love"
     11   (v.2, n5)  May  1949    2p "Second Chance for Love"- (illustrated text)
     12   (v.2, n6)  July 1949    8p "The Man I Kept On A String"
     12   (v.2, n6)  July 1949    2p "Problem Clinic"
     12   (v.2, n6)  July 1949    8p "Girl Shy"
     13   (v.3, n1)  Sept 1949    8p "Daughter Of Misfortune"
     13   (v.3, n1)  Sept 1949    8p "Good Scout"
     14   (v.3, n2)  Oct  1949    9p "No Prescription For Love"
     14   (v.3, n2)  Oct  1949    8p "The Barrier Between Us"
     15   (v.3, n3)  Nov  1949    9p "Deathfed Vow"
     16   (v.3, n4)  Dec  1949    8p "The Wolves Of The City"
     16   (v.3, n4)  Dec  1949    7p "Janet Loves Janet"
     16   (v.3, n4)  Dec  1949    1p "Good Manners"
     17   (v.3, n5)  Jan  1950    8p "When A Puppy Love Grows Up"
     17   (v.3, n5)  Jan  1950    2p "Problem Clinic"
     19   (v.3, n7)  Mar  1950    9p "Tainted"
     20   (v.3, n8)  Apr  1950    8p "Mad About The Boy"
     21   (v.3, n9)  May  1950    8p "Let's Pretend"
     23   (v.3, n11) July 1950    8p "A Woman's Honor"
     24   (v.3, n12) Aug  1950    7p "Man Bait"
     25   (v.4, n1)  Sept 1950    7p "Gentleman For Hire"
     26   (v.4, n2)  Oct  1950    8p "The Last Man On Earth"
     27   (v.4, n3)  Nov  1950    6p "Monahan's Madonna"
     28   (v.4, n4)  Dec  1950    9p "Not Worth The Price"
     29   (v.4, n5)  Jan  1951    8p "Love Also Ran"
     30   (v.4, n6)  Feb  1951    2p "Will You Help Me"
     30   (v.4, n6)  Feb  1951    8p "Not Good For Anyone"
     31   (v.4, n7)  Mar  1951    9p "Raw Deal"
     32   (v.4, n8)  Apr  1951    9p "Hand-Me-Down Love"
     33   (v.4, n9)  May  1951    8p "Not In The Act"
     34   (v.4, n10) June 1951    8p "The Other Woman"
     34   (v.4, n10) June 1951    1p "Are You A Selfish Girl Friend"
     35   (v.4, n11) July 1951    2p "Problem Clinic"
     36   (v.4, n12) Aug  1951    8p "Yesterday's Romance"
     36   (v.4, n12) Aug  1951    9p "Married In Haste"
     38   (v.5, n2)  Oct  1951    9p "Cagey Mary"
     39   (v.5, n3)  Nov  1951    9p "The Wall Between Us"
     40   (v.5, n4)  Dec  1951    1p "How He Proposed"
     40   (v.5, n4)  Dec  1951    8p "Your Own Apartment"
     41   (v.5, n5)  Jan  1952    1p "The Way They Met"
     41   (v.5, n5)  Jan  1952    8p "Baby, It's Cold In Here"
     42   (v.5, n6)  Feb  1952    9p "Big Deal"
     43   (v.5, n7)  Mar  1952    8p "A Honey of a Sergeant"
     47   (v.5, n11) July 1952    8p "A Man For My Birthday"
     48   (v.5, n12) Aug  1952    8p "Love Is Poison"
     49   (v.6, n1)  Sept 1952    7p "Honeymooners, Not Wanted"
     50   (v.6, n2)  Oct  1952    8p "Money, Money, Money"
     50   (v.6, n2)  Oct  1952    7p "Tag Along"
     51   (v.6, n3)  Nov  1952    2p "Problem Clinic"
     51   (v.6, n3)  Nov  1952    7p "Joe Barnes, Washout"
     52   (v.6, n4)  Dec  1952    8p "Soldier On The Train"
     54   (v.6, n6)  Feb  1953    7p "Come Into My Parlor"
     56   (v.6, n8)  Apr  1953    7p "Rx For Romance"
     58   (v.6, n10) June 1953    6p "Love That Landlady"
     59   (v.6, n11) July 1953    6p "Love Me, Don't Laugh At Me"
     60   (v.6, n12) Aug  1953    8p "His Wife's People"
     61   (v.7, n1)  Sept 1953    6p "The Girl He Couldn't Forget"
     62   (v.7, n2)  Oct  1953    6p "Using Me"
     66   (v.7, n6)  Feb  1954    6p "Fools Rush In"
     67   (v.7, n7)  Mar  1954    6p "Yesterday's Love"
     68   (v.7, n8)  Apr  1954    6p "Bought"
     69   (v.7, n9)  May  1954    6p "My Sister's Sweetheart"
     70   (v.7, n10) June 1954       [cover]
     70   (v.7, n10) June 1954    6p "Gotta Get Married"
     72   (v.7, n12) Aug  1954       [cover]
     72   (v.7, n12) Aug  1954    5p "Soldier's Pickup"
     73   (v.8, n1)  Sept 1954    6p "Marriageable Age"
     74   (v.8, n2)  Nov  1954    6p "The Kissoff"
     75   (v.8, n3)  Dec  1954       [cover]
     75   (v.8, n3)  Dec  1954    6p "Secret Marriage"
     76   (v.8, n4)  Apr  1955       [cover]
     76   (v.8, n4)  Apr  1955    7p "Let's Pretend"
     77   (v.8, n5)  June 1955    6p "The Security Of Love"
     78   (v.8, n6)  Aug  1955       [cover]
     78   (v.8, n6)  Aug  1955    6p "Dream House For Two"
     81   (v.9, n3)  Feb  1956    6p "He Had Only Me"