Tag Archives: comics

Jack Kirby’s First Flight

Mystery Men #10
Mystery Men #10 (May 1940) Wing Turner, art by Jack Kirby

I recently posted on a couple of stories Simon and Kirby did for Prize Comics early in their collaboration (Ted O’Neil). Flying stories were not a big part of Simon and Kirby repertoire (but see The Milton Caniff Connection) and so I thought I would write about an earlier pilot story, Wing Turner from Mystery Men #10 (May 1940). I had previously written about this story (Early Jack Kirby, Chapter 2, Working for Fox) but my emphasis was on Kirby characterization and not on the flying. This Wing Turner story and another feature for Science Comics #4 were done at about the same time that Jack first met Joe Simon. Joe had just joined Fox as their first editor. Previously Fox Comics used Eisner and Iger to produce their comic books but that outfit was dropped and Simon was hired to set up a bullpen. It was a difficult task and one technique used was to advertise for Iger and Eisner artists that had previously worked on the comics (most signatures in the comics were aliases).

As I said, these two features from May were the only work the Jack did for Fox comic books. Kirby’s primary job at Fox was the Blue Beetle syndication strips the earliest of which was dated January 8. This may seem to greatly predate the two Fox comic book features but that is misleading because of the way the two publication forms released. Uncolored syndication strips were typically created about 4 to 6 weeks before publication but comic books were cover dated about two months later then their actually release date. Further for comic books it typically took a month or more to create the art, a month for the printer and a month for the distribution. This meant that the work on a comic book started 5 or 6 months before the cover date. Do the math and you will find that the Blue Beetle syndication strip was done about a month before the 2 comic book features. However there is a caveat to this calculation; the initial work for a previously unpublished syndication strip is often done even further weeks in advance to give it time to be marketed to different newspaper publishers. So Jack was already working at Fox when Joe arrived, if only for at least month or so.

Frankly most of the Fox artists, or at least the ones who provided work after Fox stopped using Eisner and Iger’s studio, are rather uninspiring. Even though Kirby had not yet reached his full potential, he still seemed a much better artist then anybody else that appeared in the Fox comics. Why only two features and why only when Joe Simon just started? Didn’t Joe not like Jack’s work? Well we can confidently say that Joe admired Jack’s art right from the start since he would very shortly have Kirby helping with Blue Bolt, a feature for another comic book publisher. Probably the problem was the Blue Beetle syndication strip that Kirby was working on. Victor Fox had managed to get the Blue Beetle on the radio and probably had high hopes to succeed with it as a syndication strip as well. At the time syndications trips were big money, assuming the strip was picked up by enough newspapers. So Victor Fox would likely have wanted Kirby to devote his time to the Blue Beetle strip. However Fox probably relented to Kirby doing comics as well for the May issues because it simply was not possible for Simon to find artists quick enough. Once the bullpen was set up it was back to Blue Beetle strip for Jack, or at least as far as Victor Fox was concerned. Kirby did not let that stop him because he had already started moonlighting for another comic book publisher.

The Simon and Kirby collaboration had not yet formed so Wing Turner was strictly a Jack Kirby piece. Even more so because Jack not only penciled it but also did the script, lettering and inking. Of course even at this point Jack was doing top rate art. Still the Wing Turner work is just not nearly as exciting as the Ted O’Neil stories done just 7 months later. Partly this was due to the different plots and the very short length of the Wing Turner story (3 pages), but part was that Jack’s just got better even in such a short period of time. Note the use of both close and more distant views. However, while we can see the pilot in the last panel we cannot see his face. This may have been more realistic, but the use of expressions in Ted O’Neil was one of the devices by which Kirby was able to add excitement to the aerial scenes.

The Early Frankenstein of Dick Briefer

Prize Comics #7
Prize Comics #7 (December 1940) “Frankenstein”, art by Dick Briefer

Prize was reinvented when Simon and Kirby arrived in 1947. Before long old titles were transformed (Headline comics went from action hero anthology to a crime comic), new titles added (Justice Traps the Guilty and Young Romance) and other old titles discontinued (Treasure and Wonderland Comics). Even Prize Comics was transformed into Prize Comics Western. The only original title that was unaffected by all of this was Frankenstein. This odd comic book did not belong in the horror genre but was actually a humor comic. Even more unusual was the fact that Frankenstein Comics was the work of a single artist, Dick Briefer (although he signed the initial issues as Frank N Stein).

Prize Comics #7
Prize Comics #7 (December 1940) “Frankenstein” page 7, art by Dick Briefer

But Briefer’s Frankenstein did not start out as humor, or even in its own title. The first appearance was in Prize Comics #7 (December 1940) and it was a true monster feature. The feature borrowed heavily from both the original novel by Mary Shelley and the Hollywood movie. On some occasions the monster seemed intelligent as in the novel and he seeks to take revenge on his creator for the dismal existence he, the monster, must endure. But his revenge does not consists of killing his creator instead the monster leaves him to live in order to see the suffering that his creation will inflict on mankind. Violence was not unusual this early in the golden age of comics but even so mayhem caused by the monster seems well above what typically occurred in comics. For instance, when the monster runs along a crowded Coney Island beach he literally leaves a trail of human victims.

Prize Comics #8
Prize Comics #8 (January 1941) “Frankenstein” page 8, art by Dick Briefer

Dr. Frankenstein did try to fight back and destroy his creation, but to no avail of course. One attempt was to create Croco-Man however as seen above that was not successful either.

Prize Comics #9
Prize Comics #9 (February 1941) “Frankenstein”, art by Dick Briefer

Physically the comic book version of the monster resembles the movie version with the most glaring difference being the distorted and highly placed nose of Briefer’s monster. There are times that Briefer’s monster seems to share the movie version’s limited intelligence.

Frankenstein did not appear in Prize Comics #10 but reappeared in issue #11. However this time Dick Briefer would drop the humorous alias and sign with his true name. Frankenstein would appear in each issue of Prize Comics until PC #68 (after which the title became Prize Comics Western). Somewhere along the line Frankenstein went from a monster genre to humor and would get its own title in 1947. It was a long run from December 1940 to January 1949 (Frankenstein Comics #17). Frankenstein Comics would reboot and run from March 1952 to October 1954 and again Dick Briefer would provide the art. During all that time no other artist did a Frankenstein story for Prize. I do not know if that is a record but it sure is impressive.

Jest Laffs


Jumbo Comics #2 (October 1938) “Jest Laffs”

A few posts ago I present the image of the gag cartoon of a burglar from Jumbo Comics #1. Kirby scholar Stan Taylor had suggested that it may have been done by Jack Kirby. The cartoon was from page called Jest Laffs. Jest Laffs also appears in Jumbo Comics #2 and two of the cartoons there look like they were done by the same artist as the burglar from JC #1. There are a number of features that are shared, some more important then others. The use of darker regions with a raggy edge or the way the mouth is often placed off to the side of the face. I find the manner of depicting the nose and ears to be particularly interesting. It is in minor details like that individual artists often provide distinct mannerisms.


Jumbo Comics #2 (Octoer 1938) “Jest Laffs”

While the Jest Laffs page in JC #1 provides no credits, the title in JC #2 gives a Bob Kane attribution. There are other gags in the Jest Laffs page in both issues that are done in other styles. This could mean they were actually done by other artists. Or it could mean that Bob Kane adapted his style to one appropriate for the particular gag. After all Kane’s Peter Pupp, also in Jumbo Comics, was very done in a different style than his Batman.

I do not know enough about Bob Kane’s work to say whether any of it shows the same distinctive ears and noses found in the gag cartoons. It does not show up in Peter Pupp but that could just be due to the different nature between Peter Pupp and Jest Laffs. I have also examined much of Jack Kirby’s early cartoon work and could not find those distinctive ears and noses in any of it; including the one Jack did of a burglar.

For me this does not provide a definitive answer to the question of who did these particular gag cartoons but it does mean the Bob Kane should be considered along with Jack Kirby. Jack Kirby only appeared in the first three issues of Jumbo Comics. Although I have seen later issues, I was not examining them in relation to this question. If there are issues later then JC #3 with Jest Laffs gags that share the same traits then I doubt that Jack Kirby would have been the artist, if they stop with JC #3 then that would be another piece of evidence that they were done by Jack.

Joe Genalo, Prize Editor and Colorist

Recently Lawrence Genalo, Joe Genalo’s son, left a comment to my post The Lineup. He mentioned that the center man in the lineup of the comic cover, who Joe Simon had identified as Joe Genalo, did not look like his father.

Simon and Kirby Studio
Simon and Kirby studio (probably from 1951 or 1952). Left to right: Joe Genalo, Joe Simon, Jack Kirby, Mort Meskin, Jimmy Infantino and Ben Oda

I sent Larry a copy of the studio photograph (shown above) and he has verified that the man on the left is his father. Joe Genalo is shown working on a color guide. Before him are two low boxes filled with small jars, these are the dyes he is using for his coloring. You cannot tell it from this image, but a blowup of the original photograph reveals that Genalo is working on a cover for Prize Comic Western. Joe Simon has told me that color guides were the responsibility of the publisher, Prize Comics. Joe Genalo was therefore being paid by Prize and although he worked in the studio (the publisher did not have their own bullpen) he did not actually work for Simon and Kirby. In a further email Larry mentioned that as a teenager, he and his older brother (also named Joe) would help color proofs that their father brought home.

Please allow me a brief digression. In the photograph on Joe Simon’s drawing board are two caricatures. I am usually critical about identifications based on similar photographs, but the art looks like Simon’s work. The caricature on the right is obviously of Jimmy Infantino, but the one on the left does not match anyone in the photograph. In a recent issue of Alter Ego (#76) provided in Jim Amash’s interview of Joe Simon is a photo of Jack Kirby, Joe Simon, Bill Draut, Ben Oda and Marvin Stein. When I saw the second photograph I immediately recognized the left caricature was of Stein. I strongly suspect that the reason that Marvin did not appear in the first photograph is that he was the one taking the picture.

Besides being a colorist, Joe Genalo was also an editor for Prize. The Postal Statements issued annually in comics may not be completely reliable but at least in the case of Prize comics there is no reason to discount them either. The GCD list Joe as the editor for Frankenstein Comics throughout its run (1945 to May 1956). Unfortunately I am unable to confirm that. I am in a better position for some of the other Prize titles but even with those there still are gaps due to issues that I do not have access to. The postal statements that I can verify that list Joe Genalo as the editor are:


All For Love
     #12  (v.3, n1)  April 1959

Headline
     #58  (v.8, n4)  March 1953
     #65  (v.9, n5)  May   1954
     #71  (v.10, n5) May   1955
     #76  (v.11, n4) May   1956

Justice Traps the Guilty (Prize)
     #48  (v.6, n6)  March   1953
     #60A (v.7, n6)  March   1954
     #72  (v.8, n6)  March   1955
     #81  (v.9, n3)  Aril    1956
     #89  (v.10, n5) October 1957

Personal Love
     #10  (v.2, n4)  March 1959

Prize Comics Western
     #98   March 1953
     #105  May   1954
     #111  May   1955

From this I would say that Joe Genalo was the editor for all Prize comics not produced by Simon and Kirby from at least 1953 until 1960. In 1960 Joe Simon returned to edit the romance comics, which were the only titles that Prize was still publishing. Genalo continued to work for Prize even after Simon’s return although I cannot say in what capacity.

On a more personal level, Joe Genalo was born in Brooklyn on October 21, 1920. He was actually Joseph Genalo Jr. but is never listed as such in the comic books. When young, Joe played baseball for the Brooklyn Eagles, a semi-pro team. He was an outfielder and eventually a first baseman. Joe lived in Brooklyn until moving with his family to Levittown in 1950 and in 1958 to North Bellmore. In the 50’s he was an excellent bowler, according to his son one of the best in the New York region. Other members of the Simon and Kirby studio joined Genalo in some bowling games but none were quite as good.

From his son Lawrence I learned that as a child Joe had rheumatic fever which caused two valves of his heart to be smaller then normal. Apparently Genalo did not talk about his heart problems because Simon was unaware of it until the day before Genalo left for Houston to have it operated on. His doctors were Denton Cooley and Michael DeBakey. These doctors would later become famous for their work in heart transplants, the first to be performed in the United States. Unfortunately when operating on Genalo the doctors were only aware of the problem with one of the valves. When the single valve was replaced, the other faulty valve could not take the increased pressure and it burst during the surgery. Joe Genalo died on March 15, 1963. He wife, Lorraine Mandella Genalo, lived until the age of 49 dying in 1973. They had three sons that are all still living, Joe Genalo III is now 64, Lawrence is 62 and Don is 50. Larry tells me that all are active bowlers but Don is the most successful. Don has won six national PBA titles from 1981 to 1991 and is ranked among the top 50 pros for financial success.

I am grateful for the information that Joe’s son, Lawrence Genalo, has provided. It is nice to put a more human face to one of the contributors to Prize Comics. It is also rewarding to be able to identify with certainty all the people in the above photograph of the Simon and Kirby studio. Unfortunately it also means that the man in the center of Marvin Stein’s lineup cover remains to be identified.

Prize Comics Western, a Rough History

Ger Apeldoorn’s comments to chapter 9 of “It’s A Crime” led me to search Prize Comics Western for examples of artists that had also worked for Simon and Kirby. Because of that search I have decide to post a rough outline of this western title. It is rough because I only have access to a little more then half the issues. The biggest gap consists of three missing issues (PCW #86 to #88, March to July 1951). So while it is quite probable that I may miss some artists it is unlikely that any of them played an important part in the title’s history.


Prize Comics Western #74 (March 1949), art by Al Carreno

Prize Comics started as a superhero anthology in March 1940 (cover date). However the popularity of superheroes was in a decline in the late 40’s. Probably spurned on by the success of Simon and Kirby’s crime and romance titles, Prize Comics was renamed Prize Comics Western with issue #69 (May 1948). The primary feature was Dusty Bellows which was a typical, if nondescript, western genre piece. One of the recurring backup features was the Black Bull. While the hero had a western theme, his costume really makes him look like a typical superhero and a bit out of place in the western genre the title had now adopted. Another regular backup was the Lazo Kid.

The earlier issues of PCW would use Al Carreno as the primary artist. Carreno would do the art for the cover and the lead story as well as generally providing a backup story as well. It was Al that was most often called on to work on the title’s main feature, Dusty Bellows. Al Carreno was a competent artist but I have to admit I am not particularly moved by his work.


Prize Comics Western #71 (July 1948) “Bullets at Salt Lick”, art by Dick Briefer

Other artists besides Al Carreno would appear as well. As Ger indicated in his comment, one of them was Dick Briefer. Besides “Bullets at Salt Lick”, Briefer also did “Rod Roper” (PCW #69, May 1948) and “Black Bull Bulldogs a Bandit” (PCW #77, September 1949). Due to the gaps in my collection, it is quite possible he did other stories as well. Briefer was most famous for his long work on Frankenstein, but as seen in my serial post, It’s A Crime, Dick also did some work for a period for Simon and Kirby. Briefer’s work for S&K appeared in Charlie Chan, Headline and Justice Traps the Guilty from October 1948 to October 1949 which was slightly later then his work in PCW.


Prize Comics Western #70 (July 1948) “Rocky Dawn and Windy Smith”, art by Warren Broderick

Another Simon and Kirby artist that appeared in PCW was Warren Broderick. So far I have only found one example of his work in this western title but it a good match for the works that Broderick did for Simon and Kirby. There are 11 stories I credit as having been drawn by Warren they are all from the crime titles Headline and Justice Traps the Guilty. Broderick was involved in only one romance story (“Mother Said No”, Young Romance #7, September 1948) and even then only as an inker on Kirby’s pencils.


Prize Comics Western #73 (January 1949) “The Black Bull Saves the Ranch”, art by John Severin

The first appearance of John Severin in PCW was with issue #73 (or possibly #72 since I do not have that comic). This was some months before the first work that he did for Simon and Kirby (Headline #35, May 1949). In the early period of PCW, Severin only did backup stories and he did not sign his art. But once he arrived he did seem to be a consistent presence in Prize Comics Western.


Prize Comics Western #75 (May 1949), art by Jack Kirby

Most, if not all, of the covers for the early period of Prize Comics Western were done by Al Carreno. The one exception that I am aware of was the cover for PCW #75 which was done by Simon and Kirby. What can I say, while I find it hard to be enthusiastic about Al Carreno’s covers, the one drawn by Jack is a gem. When a gunfight is depicted on a comic book cover it is usually either the moment before the fight begins or it would show the actually fight. Here Kirby shows us the aftermath, or nearly so as the Senorita is just about dispatch the sole surviving enemy. This is very fortunate for Dusty Bellew as he has already turned his back to his fallen foes. Dusty does not have any obvious injuries but the way his right arm hangs suggest he might have been winged. But even if he is physically unscathed, his expression shows that the fight has left him wearied. Pathos in triumph, Jack has depicted Dusty as an unconventional hero. Jack Kirby would draw the cover for PCW #83 as well but it was no were near as effective as this cover.


Prize Comics Western #78 (November 1949) “Bullet Code”, art by Mart Bailey

Like most of the comics published by Prize, PCW switched to photographic covers with issue #76 (July 1949). More importantly there was a change in contents. Al Carreno no longer provided work and his place as lead artist was taking by a new comer for the title, Mart Bailey. As part of the change, the lead story became a movie adaptation. I suspect it was because of the movie adaptation that Bailey was used. While Al Correno could draw well I doubt that he was able to achieve the type of realism Bailey showed in these movie adaptations. I am not saying Bailey’s realism was better art but it probably was more acceptable to RKO. The use of movie adaptations was not long lasting, the last one may have been “Stage To Chino” from PCW #79 (January 1949). However Mart continued used as the primary artist and his artwork was no longer quite so realistic.


Prize Comics Western #85 (January 1951) “American Eagle”, art by John Severin

Issue #85 started the third period for Prize Comics Western. American Eagle was introduced as the new main feature. From this point American Eagle would be on every cover and always was the lead story. Generally there would be at least one backup story, sometimes more, on the American Eagle as well. John Severin had appeared in PCW for some time but now he became the lead artist. It was a position he would retain for much longer then his predecessors Al Carreno and Mart Bailey. Bailey continued doing some backup stories for a few issues before disappearing from the title. John Severin had also worked for Simon and Kirby but not after having attained the position of lead artist for Prize Comics Western.


Prize Comics Western #85 (January 1951) “The Prairie Badman”, art by Marvin Stein

Another artist who had also worked for the Simon and Kirby studio began providing art for Prize Comics Western during this period. Initially Marvin Stein did various backup stories but he most commonly drew the Lazo Kid feature. In his interview with Jim Amash, Joe Simon describes “trading” Stein. Besides his work for PCW, Marvin also became the primary artist for Headline and Justice Traps the Guilty.

The period with John Severin as the primary artist came to an end with issue #113 (September 1955). A short period followed where Marvin Stein became the primary artist. However, unlike before this did not mean that Marvin did all the covers and lead stories.


Prize Comics Western #115 (January 1956) “The Drifter”, art by Mort Meskin

It was during the fourth period that Mort Meskin began doing some backup stories for Prize Comics Western. Of all the artists that had work on PCW, Mort is certainly the one with the greatest ties to the Simon and Kirby studio.


Prize Comics Western #118 (July 1956) “Liberty Belle”, art by Ted Galindo

Another artist with Simon and Kirby connections who appeared during the fourth period was Ted Galindo. Ted even did the lead story, “Liberty Belle” for issue #118. Galindo did a piece for Foxhole #4, but most of the work he did for what might be called Simon and Kirby productions came after the breakup of the studio.
The fourth period was short and it marked the end of the title with issue #119 (September 1956).

There are a number of artists used throughout the history of Prize Comics Western that I have not discussed here. The number of stories they provided were limited, I have not been able to identify them, and their artistic talents were limited.

In his original comment that prompted this post, Ger wrote that Vic Donahue was one of the artists common to the Simon and Kirby studio and Prize Comics Western. I did not encountered Donahue in the search I did on my PCW issues. I asked Ger to double check and he has not been able to find him either. I am not sure that even the combined collections are not complete so there is still the possibility that Donahue did work on PCW.

One artist, who shows up in Prize Comics Western that I have discussed yet in my serial post, It’s A Crime, was Moe Marcus (“Buffalo Stampede”, PCW #92, March 1952). While Marcus appeared in Headline and Justice Traps the Guilty he did so during the period that these titles were not produced by Simon and Kirby. “Buffalo Stampede” was inked by Rocco “Rocke” Mastroserio. Rocke is most widely known for the work he did for Charlton.

At this point it might seem that there were a lot of comics artist that work on Prize Comics Western as well as on Simon and Kirby productions. However there were more Simon and Kirby studio artists that, as far as I have been able to determine, did not work on PCW. Important studio artists like Bill Draut, John Prentice, Vic Donahue, Leonard Starr, Bruno Premiani?, Jo Albistur and Ann Brewster. There are some lesser S&K studio artists as well such as A. C. Hollingsworth, Charles Nicholas, George Gregg, Manny Stallman and Al Eadeh. Conversely, two of the primary artists for Prize Comics Western, Al Correno and Mart Bailey, never worked for Simon and Kirby. John Severin did work for both, but by the time he became primary artist for PCW he was no longer providing work for Simon and Kirby. I have already written about Joe Simon’s statement about trading Marvin Stein. Mort Meskin was an important S&K studio artist and he provided work for PCW as well. But the work Mort did on PCW was largely done after he stopped working for Simon and Kirby. Actually it is a little surprising that Mort did not supply work earlier then that as he had provided such work for Headline and JTTG when these were not produced by S&K.

The handling of Prize Comics Western seems very different from Simon and Kirby productions. As described above the history of PCW the title was very much defined by the primary artist. During each period it was the primary artist that supplied the covers, did the lead story and at least one backup story as well. Jack was the primary artist for Simon and Kirby productions. If there was a cover to be made it was almost always done by Kirby. But Jack would only dominate the contents of a new title. After the initial launching period of a title, Kirby would not dominate the contents so much and a variety of artists would be used. The type of handling of Prize comics Western was similar to that used for Frankenstein Comics and, as we will see in a future chapter to “It’s A Crime”, the same reliance on a primary artist would be adopted by the crime titles as well.

It’s A Crime, Chapter 4, Crime Gets Real

(Real Clue Crime Comics vol. 2 num. 4 – 7, vol. 4 num. 4)

With Hillman’s June 1947 issue, Clue Comics became Real Clue Crime Stories. It was not just a cosmetic name change, the contents changed as well. Real Clue became a true crime comic. No longer would costume heroes Nightmare or Micro Face make any appearances. The feature Iron Lady, which was not a pure crime genre, would not appear again until three issues later (September). Most importantly the star feature, Gun Master, would no longer be the first story and would only appear once in each issue. In my opinion Simon and Kirby had little influence on Clue Comics; Hillman was already moving the title to give it a more crime genre feel. In essence though, Clue remained a hero genre book. I cannot help conclude Simon and Kirby had much to do with the change to Real Clue. Joe and Jack stories for Clue had showed how effective a purer version of the crime genre could be. Simon and Kirby would dominate the newly titled comic and for the first time provide all the covers.


Real Clue Crime Stories vol. 2, num. 4 (June 1947) “Whistle-Stop Murder”, story and art by Dan Barry

Gun Master may have been pushed out of the leading feature spot but it was not completely abandoned as an important part of the new Real Clue. For the first three issues of Real Clue, Gun Master would place as the last story in the comic. Even more significant the stories would be, at 15 pages, the longest story in the comic. In an uncommon move the first Gun Master story, “Whistle-Stop Murder”, credits both the story and art to Dan Barry. In the early days of the history of comic books it was not at all unusual for the artist to do all aspects of the story. But that soon gave way to an industrial like division of labor with the penciler working from a script written by someone else. Examples like Dan Barry’s “Whistle-Stop Murder” became rather rare. Barry is an excellent artist but this shows he was a talented writer as well. I do not know if it was his idea or he was working from some directive, but Barry made an important change to Gun Master. No longer would the mysterious Councils of Elders appear and now Gun Master would get involved in a case through the simple expediency of a call for help from the authorities. Gun Master had now pretty much dropped all the trappings of the hero genre. This change may explain why although Simon and Kirby did further Gun Master stories (I was in error when I said in the last chapter that they would not) they never returned to the Packy Smith story arc. Mastermind criminals and explosive element X while fine in the hero genre, just had no place in the more typical crime stories that Gun Master would now appear in.


Real Clue Crime Stories vol. 2, num. 7 (September 1947) “The Boy Who Would Be King”, art by Bernard Sachs

For whatever reason, in the fourth issue of Real Clue the Gun Master ending feature was replaced by an Iron Lady story. No changes were made to Iron Lady so her feature seems a little out of place in Real Clue’s emphasis on a purer variety of crime stories. The artist was Bernard Sachs who we saw in the last chapter as an inker for a Carmine Infantino story. Sachs would ink a number of different artists for Hillman Publications but here he is acting as penciler.


Real Clue Crime Stories vol. 2, num. 4 (June 1947) “The Trail Of The Gun-Loving Killer”, art by Jack Kirby

The splash for “The Trail Of The Gun-Loving Killer” has a multitude of guns. Those on the table are particularly well handled even though some of the guns are laying on top one another. There is only one gun on the table that does not seem quite correct. On the other hand I have no idea how the rifles and other weaponry on the right are being held up. There is one rifle that seems leaning on something, but it is a story panel that visually holds it up. Simon and Kirby continued in Real Clue to exclude rounded panels from their story art and the above splash page is the only one from that title to have a semicircular panel. The drawing style adopted for Simon and Kirby crime stories remains in use. In reality the style is not so much adapted for crime as it also appears in The Flying Fool feature for Airboy. The inking style remains the same as seen previously in Clue Comics. Some of the traits for the Studio style are found such as drop strings and, as seen in the splash above, abstract arch shadows (see my Inking Glossary for explanation of the inking terms I use). The criminal has something akin to a shoulder blot but note how it seems made from overlapping form lines. This is an approach seen much earlier in work done for DC such as the Newsboy Legion.


Real Clue Crime Stories vol. 2, num. 4 (June 1947) “The Trail Of The Gun-Loving Killer” page 7 panel 4, art by Jack Kirby

Shoulder blots typical of the Studio style appear in the same story. This one panel has shoulder blots, drop strings and an abstract arch shadow; the only key Studio style technique missing is picket fence crosshatching.


Real Clue Crime Stories vol. 2, num. 5 (July 1947) “Wyatt Earp’s Bluff”, art by Jack Kirby

The shadow on the figures whose back is turned to us is not a typical Studio style shoulder blot, but those of his two opponents certainly are. At this time shoulder blots seemed to be used either to depict a shadow (as in the splash above) or to provide some form to the shoulder (in which case the blot would be narrower). Later Simon and Kirby would use of shoulder blots more abstractly; shoulder blots would appear without a hat to suggest a shadow or without providing a real sense of form. Again we find drop strings and abstract shadow arches in this splash. But no picket fence crosshatching. Simon and Kirby did make more frequent use of simple hatching as here in the center man’s hat and waist. At times the parallel lines would butt up against a line or row of drop strings so as to begin to resemble typical picket fence brushwork.

Simon and Kirby never produced a pure western genre comic. Boys’ Ranch was a combination of western and boy gang genre while Bullseye brought together the western and hero categories. The western romance comics were more romances then western. It is stories like “Wyatt Earp’s Bluff” in the crime comics that provides an idea of how Simon and Kirby would have handled a western comic. Too bad they never did, it would have been great. But then again S&K were great at just about every genre they tried their hand in.

The splash page has a compositional device that Simon and Kirby had made use of before; a low view point combined with a symmetrical placement of figures. The low viewing angle allows the central figure to tower above the others without seeming to look unnatural. The whole arrangement results in a triangular formation, a classic compositional device in the fine arts. For other examples of this type of layout see the covers for Daring Mystery #8 and Boy Commandos #1. In this splash however the central figure has his back turned to the reader thereby adding an element of mystery to the image’s tension.


Real Clue Crime Stories vol. 2, num. 6 (August 1947) “Get Me The Golden Gun” page 12 panel 4, art by Jack Kirby

“Get Me the Golden Gun” from the August issue provides the earliest example of true picket fence crosshatching in the Hillman comics. When it does show up the picket fence brushwork is completely typical of the Studio style. The pickets are thick bold brushstrokes and they are associated with well defined rails. It would seem that the typical picket fence crosshatch did not evolve from the simple crosshatching but was just suddenly picked up. Perhaps when we return to Headline we may learn something more. The picket fence technique would be used in other panels in this story but not many of them. Further other stories from the same issue and the next one would not use this type of brushwork. After trying the new technique, it seemed that Simon and Kirby were not yet committed to it.


Real Clue Crime Stories vol. 2, num. 6 (August 1947) “Get Me The Golden Gun” page 12 panel 4, art by Jack Kirby

Jack Kirby considered himself primarily a story artist. Yes he did great covers and splashes but they were not as important to him as the story. I am sure at least some of the credit for the great splashes and covers goes to Joe Simon who Jack would later describe as a master at cover layouts. By this point in Jack’s career I seriously doubt that Joe did any story layouts for him. So when I see a panel like the one shown above I have to believe the credit goes to Jack. It is the final panel of the Gun Master story. The page uses a 4 panel layout and so the panel is larger then Kirby generally used. Even so it only covers a quarter of the page but the design gives it as much an impact of any splash or cover.

I simply cannot be sure what the pattern on the ceiling is meant to be. I presume is some sort of dome but it seems so oddly done. But that is my rational mind talking, as a design element is makes complete sense; in fact is crucial. The swirl it provides a bridge between the word balloon and the figures. Echoes of this swirl are found throughout the room; which if anything seems even more irrational then ceiling. Are those recesses in the background? How would that cornice on our right edge have connected to the ceiling? How could the round shape of the room in the background meet the rectangular shape of the cornice? What is that thing in our lower right corner? I do not know the answers to any of those questions but the bold curvilinear patterns visually connect all of these elements of the room and keep the eye constantly moving.

The foreground sculpture does not truly share the room’s pattern but has its own instead. The spotting on the figurine is bold but not when compared to the background. Still the spotting of the sculpture provides a life of its own giving the eye much to explore. I am a great admirer of how well Kirby handled the figure under the clothing. There is no doubt that the figurine’s leg nearest the view is flexed while the other leg is represented as holding the weight yet both legs are hidden by the flowing dress. The classical Greek sculptors figured out how to do this but while many fine artists have studied classical art there were few that could do it well. Kirby consistently makes it look easy even though as far as I can tell he never studies classical Greek sculpture.

The background room and the foreground statue provide busy surfaces to look at and therefore normally would be expected to dominate the image. However the simpler and more stable spotting provided to the two men actually attracts the eye and gives them an importance that overcomes their diminished size. The whole panel is a tour de force.


Real Clue Crime Stories vol. 2, num. 4 (June 1947) “Dandy John Dolan”, art by unidentified artist

Simon and Kirby provided a lot of the art for the early issues of Real Clue. Besides the cover the duo would contribute 3 to 4 stories. But other artists make their appearances as well. Unfortunately I have no idea who drew “Dandy John Dolan”. He did other work for Real Clue and really is an excellent artist. Compositionally the splash for “Dandy John Dolan” is a good job but I have to admit what the seated figure is supposed to represent. He obviously is meant to be the same person ascending the gallows, but as he does not seem to be telling the story, what other function was he meant for?


Real Clue Crime Stories vol. 2, num. 5 (July 1947) “The Car Barn Gang”, art by unidentified artist

“The Car Barn Gang” is another work by an obviously talented individual that I am unable to identify. Another of those splashes that action is not always required for a good piece of comic art. In this case much of the interest comes from careful depiction of a dilapidated neighborhood. But another reason I like this splash had nothing to with the artist’s original intention. The dapper gang members that have taken over the neighborhood are an amusing comparison to the clothing that a modern day gang-banger would wear while in the hood.


Real Clue Crime Stories vol. 2, num. 6 (August 1947) “Brain-Man of Crime”, art by Robert Fujitani

One artist who makes his appearance in Real Clue is Robert Fujitani (who sometimes signed his work as B. Fuje). My primary interest is the Simon and Kirby studio but by no means does that mean that I do not admire artists who did not work for Joe and Jack. Certainly what little I have seen of Fujitani’s work impresses me a good deal. Overall what strikes me about the artists appearing in Clue and Real Clue, and that includes those I have not identified, is that they do not appear to have worked elsewhere for Simon and Kirby (except perhaps much later Dan Barry would). Keep in mind that S&K were producing Headline at the same time and would also create Young Romance in September. This suggests that despite the large influence that Simon and Kirby may have exerted on Real Clue Crime Stories, they really were not actually producing it.

Simon and Kirby would only work on four issues of Real Clue with the last cover dated September 1947. Other work for Hillman would end as well in the next few months. This suggests that although Hillman represented a good opportunity for well needed income to keep the Simon and Kirby collaboration going, it was not all that rewarding in the long run. The agreements Joe and Jack struck with Prize Comics were clearly much better financially and provided plenty of work. Having finally escaped the difficulties caused by the collapse of the Stuntman and Boy Explorer titles, Simon and Kirby would now build up their comic production studio.


Real Clue Crime Stories vol. 4, num. 4 (June 1949) “Captain Thayer’s War”, by an unidentified artist.

Normally with Simon and Kirby’s exit my discussion of Real Clue Crime Comics would end. Frankly with a single exception I have no access to any further issues. The Hillman titles deserve a good examination, but unfortunately I am not the one able to do it. However The Jack Kirby Checklist includes “Captain Thayer’s War” from the June 1949 issue as being inked, but not penciled, by Jack Kirby. As I have said before I would love to see how Jack would ink another artist’s work. However on close examination I do not find any of these inking attributions convincing and “Captain Thayer’s War” is no exception. I certainly understand how this mistake was made as the story is inked in the Studio style. Picket fence crosshatching and drop strings, hallmarks of the Studio style, are found in abundance. There are no true abstract arch shadows, but there are some rounded shadows of the type that S&K often used such as the one on the seat in the back. The only common feature of the Studio style that is missing is shoulder blots. However there are other inking manners that do not match those used by Jack Kirby. It is a little hard to make out in the image I have provided, but the shadow on the hat of the man on our right is made from five broad lines with rounded ends. I have never seen Jack use that inking technique. Nor have I ever seen an example by Kirby like the shadow of the hat in the second panel. Similar disparities occur throughout the story. I am convinced that this was not inked by Kirby, or Simon either for that matter. Do not let the cartoony style of the drawing mislead, the penciling of this story mimics Kirby’s style as well. The artist obviously has made a careful study of Simon and Kirby’s work. In cases like this one must not just look at the similarities between inking styles but also study the differences.

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

Chapter 5, Making a Commitment
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

Prize Comics Western Checklist


Last update: 7/10/2009

Codes:
    r:  = reprint
    s:  = script
    l:  = layout
    p:  = pencils
    i:  = inks
  name  = signed
 <name> = signed with an alias
 {name} = signed as Simon & Kirby
 [name] = unsigned attribution



Prize Comics Western (Prize)
  69 May 1948
    "The Range-Land Snatchers" 13pg - p:[Carreno] 
    "The Lazo Kid" 7pg - p:[Carreno] 
    "The Range-Land Killers" 7pg - p:[Carreno] 
    "The Dude Gets His Duds Dirty" 2pg - (text)
    "Rod Roper" 8pg - p:[Briefer] 
    "The Bandit Switched Horses" 7pg - s:Werstein p:Carreno 
    "The Galloping Ghost of the Range" 1pg - p:Carreno 
  70 July 1948
    (cover) - p:Carreno 
    ""Dusty" Ballew" 13pg - s:Werstein p:Carreno 
    "Crazy Ben Strikes It Rich" 7pg 
    "Fighting For Home" 7pg 
    "Better Than Barbed Wire" 2pg - s:Alexander - (text)
    "Bullets from th' Rim Rock" 7pg 
    "The Noose Hangs High" 8pg - p:[Broderick?] 
  71 September 1948
    (cover) - p:Carreno 
    "The Grip of the Gambler" 14pg - s:Werstein p:Carreno 
    "The Fire-Gods Revenge" 7pg 
    "Dusty Rides the War Path" 7pg - s:Werstein p:Carreno 
    "Wet Noose" 2pg - (text)
    "Bullets at Salt Lick" 8pg - p:[Briefer] 
    "Races Against Fate" 7pg - s:Werstein p:Carreno - (text)
  72 November 1948
    (cover) 
  73 January 1949
    (cover) - p:Carreno 
    "Guns Talk on the Range" 14pg - s:Werstein p:Carreno 
    "Justice Is Blind" 7pg - s:Werstein p:Carreno 
    "The White Nightmare" 2pg - (text)
    "The Secret of Lost Canyon" 7pg - s:Werstein p:Carreno 
    "Bullets at the Boundary" 7pg 
    "The Black Bull Saves the Ranch" 8pg - p:[Severin] 
  74 March 1949
    (cover) - p:Carreno 
    "Buffalo Killers Are Loose" 14pg - s:Werstein p:Carreno 
    "The Lumber Bandit" 7pg - p:[Carreno] 
    "The Fiery Posse" 7pg 
    "Sawbones Cupid" 2pg - (text)
    "Prairie Schooner Ahoy" 8pg - p:[Severin] 
    "The Fur Pirates of the North Woods" 7pg - p:[Carreno] 
  75 April 1949
    (cover) - p:{Kirby} 
    "Mules, Men and Guns" 14pg - s:Werstein p:Carreno 
    "The Railroad Saboteur's" 7pg - p:[Carreno] 
    "The Six-Gun Showdown at Rattlesnake Gulch" 7pg - p:[Severin] 
    "Pioneer Breeding Stock" 2pg - (text)
    "Black Bull Clears a Ranch Woman's Name" 8pg - p:[Severin] 
    "The Secret of the Copper Kettle" 7pg - p:[Carreno] 
  76 July 1949
    (cover) - p:Photo - (Randolf Scott cover)
    "Canadian Pacific" 14pg - p:[M. Bailey] 
    "The Thousand Dollar Forfeit" 7pg - p:[Gregg?] 
    "The Events on the Little Big Horn" 7pg - p:[Gregg?] 
    "Secret of the Superstition Mountains" 2pg - (text)
    "Trailing the Border Thieves" 7pg - p:[Severin] 
    "A Meteor Saves the Ranch" 8pg - p:[Severin] 
  77 September 1949
    (cover) - p:Photo 
    "Streets of Laredo" 14pg - p:M. Bailey 
    "The Wagons Roll Westward" 14pg - p:[Broderick] 
    "Unbridled Fury" 2pg - (illustrated text)
    "Black Bull Bulldogs a Bandit" 5pg - p:[Briefer] 
    "Wild Hogs on the Border" 7pg - p:[Severin] 
  78 November 1949
    (cover) - p:Photo 
    "Roughshod" 5pg - p:M. Bailey 
    "Bullet Code" 10pg - p:[M. Bailey] 
    "Showdown on the Chisholm Trail" 10pg 
    "Clean Slate" 2pg - (illustrated text)
    "The Ghost of Marales" 7pg - p:[Severin] 
    "The Poisoned Water Hole" 9pg 
  79 January 1950
    (cover) - p:Photo 
    "Stage To Chino" 10pg - p:[M. Bailey] 
    "Treasure of Death Mountain" 12pg 
    "The Lost Trail" 7pg - p:Severin i:Elder
    "All The Ropes" 2pg - (illustrated text)
    "The Stranger in Benton Bowl" 4pg - p:[Severin & Kurtzman] 
    "Timberline Showdown" 8pg - p:[Kurtzman & Severin] 
  80 March 1950
    (cover) - p:Photo 
    "Robin Hood of the Sierras" 8pg - p:M. Bailey 
    "Gunsmoke Justice" 7pg - p:Severin i:Elder
    "Trial By Six-Gun" 10pg 
    "Rangeland Death" 2pg - (text)
    "Brand of Death" 8pg - p:Severin i:Elder
    "Border Menace" 7pg - p:Severin i:Elder
  81 May 1950
    (cover) - p:Photo 
    "Sheriff Pat Garrett" 8pg - p:[M. Bailey] 
    "Ghost Riders" 8pg 
    "Border Badmen" 7pg - p:Severin i:Elder
    "Bandits of Barbary" 8pg 
    "Dusty Trails" 2pg - (text)
    "The Justice Trail" 8pg - p:Severin i:Elder
  82 July 1950
    (cover) - p:Photo 
    "The Preacher" 8pg - p:M. Bailey 
    "Lucky Lodestone" 7pg - p:[Severin] 
    "Death Draws a Circle" 9pg - p:M. Bailey 
    "The Roundup" 2pg - (illustrated text)
    "Buzzards' Roost" 8pg - p:Severin i:Elder
    "The Outlaw Takes a Wife" 8pg 
  83 August 1950
    (cover) - p:[Kirby] 
    "The Danger Trail" 9pg - p:M. Bailey 
    "War on the Range" 8pg - p:[Severin] 
    "Bill Pickett, the Original Bulldogger" 1pg 
    "The Last Battle" 8pg 
    "The Roundup" 2pg - (illustrated text)
    "Younger Brothers" 7pg 
    "Younger Brothers" 7pg - p:Severin i:Elder
  84 November 1950
    (cover) 
    "Lynch Law" 9pg - p:M. Bailey 
    "Paradise Vally" 8pg - p:[Stein] 
    "Border Smugglers" 7pg - p:Severin i:Elder
    "The Roundup" 2pg 
    "Apache Ambush" 8pg - p:Severin i:Elder
    "Massacre Trail" 7pg - p:M. Bailey 
  85 January 1951
    (cover) 
    "American Eagle" 8pg - p:[Severin] 
    "Dead Man's Gold" 9pg - p:M. Bailey 
    "The Roundup" 1pg - (text)
    "One-Man Posse" 8pg - p:Severin i:Elder
    "The Prairie Badman" 7pg - p:[Stein] 
    "G. R. Freeman - Lawman" 1pg - (text)
    "The Trail North" 7pg - p:Severin i:Elder
  86 March 1951
    (cover) 
  87 May 1951
    (cover) 
  88 July 1951
    (cover) - p:[Severin] 
    "Rebellion" 10pg - p:Severin i:Elder
    "The Roundup" 1pg - (text)
    "Death Came too Soon" 7pg - p:Stein 
    "Ambush" 7pg - p:Marcus i:Abel
    "John Brown, Hero" 1pg - (text)
    "Double Trouble" 7pg - p:M. Bailey 
  89 September 1951
    (cover) - p:[Severin] 
    "The Last of the Crazy Dogs" 9pg - p:Severin i:Elder
    "Doom for the Wagon Trains" 7pg - p:[Stein] 
    "Trouble in Lost Valley" 7pg 
    "Roundup" 1pg - (text)
    "Ghost Town Gold" 7pg - p:[Severin?] 
    "The North Plains Indiangs" 1pg - p:[Severin?] 
    "H. Castro, Texan" 1pg - (text)
    "Death on the River" 7pg 
  90 November 1951
    (cover) - p:[Severin] 
    "Threat of the Iron Horse" 7pg - p:Severin i:Elder
    "The Middle Plains Indians" 1pg 
    "Oil Crazy" 7pg - p:[Stein] 
    "Jack Hays, Ranger" 1pg - (text)
    "Danger in Mexico" 7pg - p:Severin i:Elder
    "The Roundup" 1pg - p:Severin i:Elder- (text)
    "Six Gun Law" 7pg - p:M. Bailey - (text)
  91 January 1952
    (cover) - p:[Severin] 
    "Buffalo Stampede" 10pg - p:Severin i:Elder
    "Arrows of Treason" 6pg - p:Severin i:Elder
    "The Gold Express" 7pg - p:Stein 
    "Francois Aubrey" 1pg - (text)
    "Roundup" 1pg - (text)
    "Avalanche" 7pg - p:Severin i:Elder
  92 March 1952
    (cover) - p:[Severin] 
    "Renegades on the Yellowstone" 9pg - p:Severin i:Elder
    "Roundup" 1pg - (text)
    "The Flight of the Eagle" 7pg - p:Severin i:Elder
    "Buffalo Stampede" 7pg - p:Marcus i:Mastroserio
    "Charles Goodnight" 1pg - (text)
    "Dope Teen-Age Menace" 1pg 
    "Flames of Treachery" 6pg - p:Severin i:Elder
  93 May 1952
    (cover) - p:Severin i:Elder
    "Sioux War Party" 9pg - p:Severin i:Elder
    "Stuart's Stranglers" 1pg - (text)
    "Wolf Pack" 7pg - p:Severin i:Elder
    "Hootowls of Cactus Gap" 7pg - p:[Stein] 
    "The South Plains Indians" 1pg 
    "The Roundup" 1pg - (illustrated text)
    "Smoke Signals" 6pg - p:Severin i:Elder
  94 July 1952
    (cover) - p:Severin i:Elder
    "Ride with the Redcoats" 10pg - p:Severin i:Elder
    "Mighty Mite" 1pg - (text)
    "Night Raiders" 7pg - p:Severin i:Elder
    "The Roundup" 1pg - (text)
    "Hidden Gold" 7pg - p:[Stein] 
  95 September 1952
    (cover) - p:Severin i:Elder
    "Follow the Eagle" 9pg - p:Severin i:Elder
    "Old Jim Bridger" 1pg - (text)
    "The Coming of the Eagle" 7pg 
    "The Southwest Indians" 1pg 
    "Roundup" 1pg - (text)
    "Body in the Desert" 7pg - p:[Stein] 
  96 November 1952
    (cover) - p:Severin i:Elder
    "Cheyenne on the Warpath" 9pg - p:Severin i:Elder
    "Daniel Boone" 1pg - (text)
    "Rustlers' Trap" 7pg - p:[Stein] 
    "Roundup" 1pg - (text)
    "Rescue of the Eagle" 6pg - p:Severin i:Elder- (text)
  97 January 1953
    (cover) - p:Severin 
    "The Maverick" 8pg - p:Severin i:Elder
    "Companions of American Eagle" 1pg - p:[Severin] 
    "Jedediah Smith" 1pg - (text)
    "Grand Canyon" 7pg - p:[Stein] 
    "Roundup" 1pg - (text)
    "Indians of the United States" 1pg 
    "Stampede at Dawn" 7pg - p:Severin i:Elder
  98 March 1953
    (cover) - p:Severin i:Elder
    "Half-Breed Rebellion" 8pg - p:Severin i:Elder
    "Sitting Bull" 2pg 
    "The Roundup" 1pg - (text)
    "Army Beef" 7pg - p:[Stein] 
    "Zebulon Pike" 1pg - (text)
    "Deserter" 7pg - p:Severin i:Elder
  99 May 1953
    (cover) 
  100 July 1953
    (cover) - p:Severin 
    "The Wolf of the Prairies" 9pg 
    "Big Foot Wallace" 1pg - (text)
    "General Philip Henry Sheridan 1831 - 1888" 2pg 
    "Six Gun Showdown" 6pg - p:[Severin] 
    "Roundup" 1pg - (text)
    "Rocking Chair Rustlers" 7pg - p:[Stein] - (text)
  101 September 1953
    (cover) 
    "Puk Wudgies" 6pg - p:Severin 
    "Double Barrelled Peace Treaty" 3pg - p:[Severin] 
    "Alexander Majors" 1pg - (text)
    "Loot At Dead Man's Gap" 7pg - p:[Stein] 
    "Roundup" 1pg - (text)
    "The Invaders" 8pg - p:[Severin] 
  102 November 1953
    (cover) - p:[Severin] 
    "The Losts Ones" 9pg - p:Severin 
    "Famous Gun Fighters" 1pg 
    "Roundup" 1pg - (illustrated text)
    "Plunder of the Rio Puerco" 7pg - p:Stein 
    "John Wesley Powell" 1pg - (text)
    "Buffalo Bill Cody" 1pg 
    "Horse Thieves" 7pg 
  103 January 1954
    (cover) - p:Severin 
    "Avenger" 7pg - p:[Severin] 
    "The Texas Border and the Six Shooter" 3pg - p:[Severin] 
    "Lee Hall" 3pg 
    "Pony Express Robber" 7pg - p:Stein 
    "Roundup" 1pg - (text)
    "Bill Langry's Long Shot" 1pg 
    "Storm In Port" 7pg 
  104 March 1954
    (cover) - p:Severin 
    "Surprise Attack" 8pg - p:Severin 
    "Roundup" 1pg - (text)
    "Mal Hombres of Loma Escondida" 7pg - p:[Stein] 
    "John Clum" 1pg - (text)
    "Wild Bill" 2pg - p:[Severin] 
    "Missing Calumet" 7pg - p:Gevanter i:Severin
  105 May 1954
    (cover) - p:Severin 
    "American Eagle" 8pg - p:[Severin] 
    "Roundup" 1pg - (text)
    "Cochise" 2pg - p:[Severin] 
    "Deadline at Bountiful Basin" 7pg - p:[Stein] 
    "Riding Equipment" 1pg 
    "Hugh Glass" 1pg - (text)
    "Chief Gall" 1pg - p:[Severin] 
    "Massacre at Blue Creek" 5pg - p:[Severin] 
  106 July 1954
    (cover) 
  107 September 1954
    (cover) - p:Severin 
    "The Wagon Trail" 10pg - p:[Severin] 
    "Roundup" 1pg - p:[Severin] - (text)
    "Desert Duel" 5pg - p:[Stein] 
    "Clay Allison" 3pg - p:Severin 
    "Joe Slade" 1pg - (text)
    "Spirit on Vengeance" 6pg - p:[Severin] - (text)
  108 November 1954
    (cover) - p:Severin 
    "The Medicine Stick" 8pg - p:[Severin] 
    "Roundup" 1pg - (text)
    "Stampede at Snake River" 7pg - p:[Stein] 
    "Stampede at Snake River" 5pg - p:Severin 
    "Joe Pearce" 1pg - (text)
    "Miracombo's Magic" 4pg - p:Severin 
  109 January 1955
    (cover) - p:Severin 
    "The Ghost Bear" 6pg 
    "E. Peabody" 1pg - (text)
    "Trouble for Bard Grady" 6pg - p:[Stein] 
    "An Indian Hunch" 6pg - p:[Severin] 
    "Making Camp" 1pg 
    "Roundup" 1pg - (text)
    "Outrageous Redskins" 5pg - p:Severin - (text)
  110 March 1955
    (cover) - p:[Severin] 
    "Silent Murder" 8pg - p:Severin 
    "Tom Peasely" 1pg - (text)
    "Red Slayers" 5pg - p:Severin 
    "The Roundup" 1pg - (text)
    "The Barbwire War" 7pg - p:[Stein] 
    "Danger Stretch" 4pg - p:Severin 
  111 May 1955
    (cover) - p:Severin 
    "A Life for a Life" 7pg - p:Severin 
    "Remi Nadeau" 1pg - (text)
    "The Old West" 1pg 
    "Outlaw Trail" 7pg - p:[Stein] 
    "The Invisible Weapon" 6pg - p:Severin 
    "Roundup" 1pg - (text)
    "The Hostage" 4pg - p:Severin 
  112 July 1955
    (cover) - p:[Severin] 
    "The Renegades" 6pg - p:[Severin] 
    "Roundup" 1pg - (text)
    "The Remuda Rustlers" 7pg - p:[Stein] 
    "Captives in the Wolf Country" 5pg - p:Mastroserio 
    "Pistols of the West" 1pg 
    "The Weakling" 6pg - p:[Stein] 
    "T C Henry" 6pg - (text)
  113 September 1955
    (cover) - p:Severin 
    "Laughing Dog's Revenge" 6pg - p:[Severin] 
    "Roundup" 1pg - (text)
    "Mississippi Card Sharps" 5pg 
    "Claim Jumpers" 7pg - p:[Stein] 
    "Colt's That Won the West" 1pg - p:Severin 
    "Jim Dahlman" 1pg - (text)
    "The Iron Shirt" 6pg - p:[Severin] 
  114 November 1955
    (cover) - p:Stein 
    "American Eagle Meets the Maverick" 6pg - p:Stein 
    "Farmland" 1pg - (text)
    "The Drifter" 6pg - p:[Meskin] 
    "Rustlers" 7pg - p:[Stein] 
    "Roundup" 1pg - (text)
    "American Eagle Discovers a Secret Weapon" 6pg - p:[Stein] 
  115 January 1956
    (cover) - p:Stein 
    "Bad Medicine" 6pg - p:[Stein] 
    "Roundup" 1pg - (text)
    "Bad Medicine" 6pg - p:Meskin 
    "Arranges a Duel" 6pg - p:[Stein] 
    "Salt Lake" 1pg - (text)
    "Crisis at the Crossroads" 7pg - p:[Stein] 
  116 March 1956
    (cover) - p:Stein 
    "Outsmarts the Cheyennes" 6pg - p:[Stein] 
    "Roundup" 1pg - (text)
    "Lighting Draw" 6pg - p:[Meskin] 
    "Bad Men on the Border" 6pg - p:[Stein] 
    "Fred Harvey" 1pg - (text)
    "The Home Thieves" 6pg 
  117 May 1956
    (cover) 
    "Fury on the Plains" 6pg 
    "Roundup" 1pg - (text)
    "Weak Boy" 6pg - p:Meskin 
    "The Acid Test" 6pg 
    "Custer" 1pg - (text)
    "Posse of the Border" 6pg - p:[Meskin] 
  118 July 1956
    (cover) - p:Stein 
    "Liberty Belle" 6pg - p:Galindo 
    "Mystery of the Calico Pony" 7pg - p:[Meskin] 
    "American Eagle and the Sioux" 6pg - p:[Stein] 
    "Roundup" 1pg - (text)
    "Thirsty Mule" 6pg - p:Meskin 
  119 September 1956
    (cover) - p:[Stein] 
    "American Eagle Battles a Fanged Fury" 6pg - p:[Stein] 
    "Border Bandits" 6pg - p:[Stein] 
    "Sir Gore" 1pg - (text)
    "The Drifter" 6pg - p:[Draut] 
    "Roundup" 1pg - (text)
    "The Gift Horse" 6pg