Tag Archives: Headline

Criminal Artists, Chapter 2, Mort Meskin

This is the second of my post of the various artists who worked in the Prize crime titles Headline and Justice Traps the Guilty after they were no longer produced by Simon and Kirby. In the previous chapter I wrote about Marvin Stein who was the dominant artist for these crime titles. Now I will review the crime art by Mort Meskin, the second most used artist. Meskin provide art from 1950 to 1955 and while he does not appear in every issue from that timeline he does appear in most. Mort is one of the forgotten masters of the comic book art form. Hopefully Steven Brower’s upcoming book, “From Shadow to Light: The Life and Art of Mort Meskin”, may help to correct this undeserved neglect.

There are a number of reasons to explain Meskin’s neglect by today’s fans. Perhaps the most pressing is the current emphasis on superheroes. Meskin did some great superhero work but it was older work on heroes that no longer play much of a part in modern comics; the Vigilante and Johnny Quick. The original comics are very expensive and little of Meskin’s war time work have been reprinted. Most of today’s fans have never had much of a chance to see Mort’s superhero work. The only superhero work that Meskin penciled for Simon and Kirby was on Captain 3-D and that was never published (Captain 3-D #2 ). Most of Meskin’s art done in the 50’s was for romance. The romance genre is probably the most underrated one for today’s fans. This unfortunate because Mort really showed his skills as a graphic story teller. Those skills, however, were still evident in his work for the Prize crime titles with the additional benefit or more action and drama.

Headline #43
Headline #43 (September 1950), “Our Swords Will Find You”, art by Mort Meskin

Mort Meskin had initially provided work for the Prize crime titles in 1948 but that was in collaboration with Jerry Robinson. Meskin returned to the Simon and Kirby studio by himself in 1950 at which time Simon and Kirby were still producing the crime titles. By this time Simon and Kirby had toned down the violence in the crime titles to a level that would continue even after they stopped producing the titles. Even though the stories lacked the violence found in crime comics by other publishers, they still are enjoyable to read.

It appears that Meskin did most of the inking of his own pencils for the Prize crime comics (I think this is true for the romance titles as well). In the earlier issues Mort’s inks give the art an overall dark look. Not surprisingly this works out particularly well for night scenes such as in the splash for “Our Swords Will Find You”. Years before the first stalker movies, Meskin provides all the essential elements. A beautiful girl alone in the night pursued by a mysterious knife holding figure which in this case is scene only through the shadow he casts on the wall.

Justice Traps the Guilty #28
Justice Traps the Guilty #28 (July 1951), “Foto Frame-Up”, art by Mort Meskin

Another example of the darker inking initially used by Meskin for his crime stories. Even though the clothing folds are thick and dark, it can still be seen that they were constructed from long sweeping but narrow brush strokes. This is typical of Meskin inking. However it should be used with caution for inking attribution because unlike Jack Kirby, Mort would include spotting in his pencils. In this case it is accompanied by some other typical Meskin inking techniques. For instance note the way that the shadow on the man’s shoulder has a distinct border strip and is not completed filled with ink but rather formed by thick black strokes separated with narrow spaces.

Here Meskin uses a vertical splash; a format that he seemed particularly fond of. Still most of the time Mort uses a horizontal 2/3 page splash like most of the artists did in Headline and Justice Traps the Guilty. Full page splashes did not appear in the Prize crime comics after Simon and Kirby stopped producing them.

Justice Traps the Guilty #57
Justice Traps the Guilty #57 (December 1953), “The Tri-State Terror”, art by Mort Meskin

“The Tri-State Terror” is perhaps one of Meskin’s finest splashes from the crime titles. The G-Men are not shown but hopefully are sheltered from the blistering attach by the two criminals. The near distance view highlights the defiance of the one hood and the casual determination of the other. These two seem determined not to be taken. Our focus is concentrated by the careful use of blacks.

Justice Traps the Guilty #39
Justice Traps the Guilty #39 (June 1952), “Terror”, art by Mort Meskin

Close-ups did not play as important part of Mort Meskin’s art as they did for artists such as Marvin Stein. Still he did make effective use of this device from time to time. This splash is a good example. This close-up of a fleeing man may seem more stylized than some other artists but it still is a gripping portrait of a man filled with fear. Hiding the faces of his pursuers in shadow makes them mysterious and heightens the effect.

Justice Traps the Guilty #54
Justice Traps the Guilty #54 (September 1953), “Fatal Mistake” page 3, art by Mort Meskin

The page I selected from “Fatal Mistake” provides another example of Meskin’s use of a close-up. I particularly like the sequence for the top row of panels. Mort goes from a more distant shot, to just the upper body, and then finally just the face while simultaneously rotating the view point. This all plays into the story line that starts with a declaration of reluctance by the loan officer, to a admittedly unfavorable offer and finally to blatant arm twisting. Thus both the art and the writing are increasingly revealing the character of the loan officer.

Justice Traps the Guilty #41
Justice Traps the Guilty #41 (August 1952), “No Place To Hide” page 6, art by Mort Meskin

Crime stories are very different from ones about superheroes but at least they provide more opportunities for the use of action than the romance genre. Mort does not do the sort of choreography (for lack of a appropriate term) that Marvin Stein used but he does make careful use a shifting viewpoints. Note how the pursuer appears in the foreground in the first panel, switches to the criminal in the third, only to have the rolls repeated switch in the fourth, fifth and sixth panels. The distance between the two varies as the sequence proceeds as well; starting with a greater separation, working up the close confrontation in panel four then the separation between the two increases again until panel six.

Headline #72
Headline #72 (July 1955), “My Beat” page 2, art by Mort Meskin

Another action sequence starting with a panel that would have been right at home in Young Romance. Note how once again the foreground/background relation between the cop and the muggers keeps alternating with the exception of the final panel. Also how the viewing distance goes from a more distant one, to two close-ups than moves back again. Meskin handles the action so well that I am sure most readers did not notice a logical inconsistency. After showing the cop’s hat flying off his head in panel five, how did it manage to return to being firmly attached in the last two panels? The lose of the hat in panel five is required to show the strength of the impact of the youth’s fist but is a required part of the cop’s “costume” allowing him to be easily identified in the group shots in panels six and seven. What is required for the clear graphical presentation of the story sometimes outweighs the needs of logic.

Justice Traps the Guilty #56
Justice Traps the Guilty #56 (November 1953), “Side-Liner” page 5, art by Mort Meskin

I cannot resist providing another example of Meskin’s graphical story telling talent. Meskin draws in a very stylized manner that perhaps causes many of today’s comic book fans to overlook his other skills. But other artists did notice and were influenced by Meskin. Steve Ditko is probably the most famous of those paid close attention to Mort Meskin.

Justice Traps the Guilty #62
Justice Traps the Guilty #62 (May 1954), “The Last Leap”, art by Mort Meskin

There seemed to have been a move of some sorts in Simon and Kirby productions of 1953 to modify the splash from its tradition roll as the equivalent of a movie trailer. Instead the splash would actually become part of the story. This only lasted about a year in Simon and Kirby comics but this device would turn up from time to time afterwards even in comics not produced by S&K. Was this an artist’s choice or something dictated by the writer? Unfortunately we have no scripts for Prize comics from this period and I do not care to guess at the answer. Still Meskin makes effective use of the device. The splash panel is certainly a classic but the page is made even better by the subsequent panels. What a exciting start of a story! Note the tilted view in the final two panels. I am not sure when Meskin started to regularly use this device but it became an important element in his story telling technique in his later years.

Justice Traps the Guilty #72
Justice Traps the Guilty #72 (March 1955), “The Saucer Man”, art by Mort Meskin

As mentioned above, after the war Mort Meskin did not have many occasions to draw superhero stories. Features like “The Saucer Man” provide some hints about what such superhero stories might have looked like. Although from late in his career, in this story Mort has reverted to the darker inking style that predominated his earlier work.

Justice Traps the Guilty #45
Justice Traps the Guilty #45 (December 1952), “Embezzlement”, pencils by Mort Meskin, inks by George Roussos

As a rule an artist has an advantage when inking his own pencils. Still examples of Meskin inking Jack Kirby (Kirby Inkers, Mort Meskin ) show that Mort was a talented inker. Meskin generally inked his own work in the 50’s but there were occasional exceptions. In most cases where the inking was not done by Meskin it was George Roussos who did it. Frankly I am not a fan of Roussos’s inking. I feel it is a little too sloppy. However George’s use of full blacks were often quite nice as in the splash for “Embezzlement”.

Criminal Artists, Chapter 1, Marvin Stein

Introduction

It was always my intention to finish the serial post “It’s a Crime” by covering the Prize crime titles during the period when they were no longer produced by Simon and Kirby. My reluctance to continue may have been in part due to how inappropriate it seemed to review the material as a series of sequential time periods as I had been doing previously. Unlike what was seen in the Simon and Kirby produced crime titles, the later issues did not change that much over most of their runs. Much of the consistency of the crime comics was due to the presence of one single artist providing most of the covers and lead stories. So I have decided to end my original serial post and start a new one. In this one I will be covering the crime titles Headline and Justice Traps the Guilty from March 1951 to April 1958 (cover dates) but by devoting a separate chapter to different artists.

When Joe Simon and Jack Kirby started producing crime comics for Prize the stories were rather strong. Gun battles with lots of bullets and pools of blood were not uncommon. I do not believe they went as far as some publishers but still it was pretty violent stuff. At that same time there was a vocal oppositions to comics, particularly the crime ones. I am sure that it was because of this public criticism that Simon and Kirby began to tone down the violence. There were still gun shootouts but little if any blood. These less violent crime stories continued even after Simon and Kirby stopped producing the titles. I am sure this is why comic book fandom has pretty much forgotten about the later Headline and Justice Traps the Guilty comics. However I am not sure this is justified. The stories are well written and while the artists are not well known today many of them did really nice jobs. The most detracting thing I can say about them is that there are so many issues and as I said above they all looked pretty much the same. An analogy (which I am sure some readers will reject) can be found with Marvel monster stories. Good reads but I doubt anyone would read through them all without occasionally taking a break with some other genre.

Marvin Stein

The first artist for this serial post had to be, just had to be, Marvin Stein. The Prize crime titles were virtually defined by his presence. Marvin did all the non-photographic covers for Headline that were not done by Jack Kirby (issues #46 to #77, March 1951 to September 1956). This is almost true for Justice Traps the Guilty (issues #20 and #24 to #88, November 1950 and March 1951 to August 1957). Only the covers for the last 4 issues of JTTG were done by someone else. Similarly Stein generally provided the first (lead) story. Unfortunately I am still uncertain about identifying some of Stein’s earlier work. There are a few early lead stories that may or may not be attributable to Stein. There is at least two that were definitely not done by Marvin. But before long Stein would take over the lead story and keep it. Up until the end of Headline and to issue #89 of Justice Traps the Guilty. And while some other artist did the lead story for JTTG #90 he imitated Marvin Stein! Not only was Marvin the cover and lead artist, many issues had a second story by him as well. Even after he was no longer the lead artist, each JTTG would have a story done by Stein up to the very last issue (#92, April 1958).

Justice Traps the Guilty #14
Justice Traps the Guilty #14 (February 1950) “Knockout Racket”, art by Marvin Stein?

The earliest work for Prize Comics signed by Marvin Stein was in JTTG #22 (January 1951). Although unsigned, the cover for JTTG #20 (November 1950) was almost certainly done by Stein as well. There are a number of earlier pieces whose attribution to Marvin becomes progressively more difficult and uncertain. One thing is clear is that Stein did not arrive at the Simon and Kirby studio with his mature style. “Knockout Racket” is the earliest lead story that I am comfortable to even questionably assign to Stein. But it is tentative; perhaps the only thing on the page shown above that I can point to that suggests Stein’s mature style are the eyes of the lady in splash. The first page shows a device often used by Simon and Kirby for their romance stories, the confessional splash. This is a format where a character in the splash introduces the story and where the speech balloon contains the title. All of Stein’s lead stories use a confessional splash while those other early lead stories by other artists did not. However I am not prepared to assign all lead stories with confessional splashes to Marvin.

Justice Traps the Guilty #27
Justice Traps the Guilty #27 (June 1951) “Sky Smugglers”, art by Marvin Stein

Marvin Stein was still far from his mature style when he did “Sky Smugglers”. Although unsigned, as most of his crime stories were, there are enough examples of typical Stein traits to leave no doubt that this was his work. One trait in particular to note is the shadow that trails down the right side of the face for the man in the splash. Normally comic book artists draw shadows that originate from a single light source but in this face Stein is using two light sources; a prominent one from the front a little to our right and a secondary one further back and from the left. The shadow exists in the region not fully illuminated by either of these light sources. I refer to this type of shadow as a negative highlight. Marvin would use this technique often and in the future would even move the shadow towards the center of the face. Negative highlights are something I have not noticed used by Kirby or any other artist working for the studio. However this device was also used by Wally Wood from whom I suspect Stein picked it up.

Justice Traps the Guilty #38
Justice Traps the Guilty #38 (May 1952), art by Marvin Stein

Stein had arrived at his mature style by 1952 and the cover for JTTG #38 is a good example of that style. Stein was comfortable with action but handled it in his own manner. His characters would throw a punch with a rather forward motion unlike the more rotational manner Kirby would use. While he lacked Kirby’s exaggerated perspective, Stein still had good command of perspective and used it well in establishing a point of view. He seemed to have picked up Kirby’s penchant for flat edged fingers. Stein developed a simplified drawing for more distant faces in a manner that was distinctly his own. Marvin inked with a rather blunt brush which can easily be mistaken for crude inking but is actually rather nuanced. Note the inking on the gymnasium equipment at the bottom center; Stein would often use this sort of rice kernel pattern for inking shadows.

Justice Traps the Guilty #46
Justice Traps the Guilty #46 (January 1953), art by Marvin Stein

The romance, western and crime genre that Stein most often drew generally did not provide much opportunity to depict the human body. Examples such as this boxing scene show that Marvin could do a real good job. I do not know if he was working from some reference material but it still is a very respectable piece.

Justice Traps the Guilty #42
Justice Traps the Guilty #42 (September 1952) “Scandal Sheet Shakedown” page 9, art by Marvin Stein

Stein’s depiction of men improved more rapidly than that of his women. The lady in the first panel still retains some of the artificially arched eyebrows found in Stein’s earlier work. The same lady in panel 3 seems more realistic. It is just me or does she somewhat resemble Jack Kirby’s work? I think this is most likely a case of Kirby influencing Stein. Observe how Stein’s rather blunt brush still manages his characters with individuality and expressiveness. I particular like Marvin’s work on the three thugs in panel 5. Each has his own distinct personality.

Also note Stein’s manipulation of the point of view. Starting with a close-up to establish the main characters before moving to a more distance shot to place them on the street. Then another close-up is followed by what looks like yet one more but actually introduces a group of secondary characters in the background. Stein then makes a large jump in the viewpoint placing the thugs in the foreground and the main characters in the distant back. As we will see Marvin Stein very carefully controls viewpoint and pacing.

Justice Traps the Guilty #68
Justice Traps the Guilty #68 (November 1954) “Not Fit for Duty” page 6, art by Marvin Stein

I admit that I am searching for a word to use for describing a technique Stein frequently uses. For now I will use choreography for the way that Stein would sometimes arrange panels into a short time interval sequence, but I admit it is not the best term for my purpose. But note how in the first five panels shows the policeman’s capture of a thug. Not only does each panel only advance the time by a small amount but look how Marvin brings the action closer and closer to the reader.

I have mentioned Stein’s blunt brush but look how masterfully he has captured the older cop in the last panel!

Justice Traps the Guilty #84
Justice Traps the Guilty #84 (December 1956) “Stakeout” page 3, art by Marvin Stein

Another choreographed sequence occupies the entire page although perhaps not as successful as the previous example. This might have been at least in part due to the Comic Code’s restriction on the depiction of violence. The more distant viewpoints may have satisfied the Comic Code but the also lessened the impact.

Justice Traps the Guilty #70
Justice Traps the Guilty #70 (January 1955) “Feud” page 8, art by Marvin Stein

Here is another choreographed sequence that is still successful despite the Comic Code. By keeping the thug outside of the viewpoint we do not actually see the results of the cop’s use of his machine gun but there can be little doubt about it’s effectiveness.

Justice Traps the Guilty #75
Justice Traps the Guilty #75 (June 1955) “Tragic Circle” page 7

A final example of a choreographed sequence by Stein. But again ruined by the Comic Code. Any child could see gun fights by gangsters or cowboys on the television and in the movies but for some reason the Comic Code had to protect them from seeing someone being struck by a bullet. Without the accompanying text the reader would be left perplexed by the killer’s sudden collapse.

Despite the Comic Code this is still a great page. Further it is a good example of the way Stein often used blacks to enhance the story. While not realistic in the technical sense of the word, the eye isolated in the killer’s shadowed half of the face seems appropriate as he takes aim (panel 4). Even the industrial ceiling adds interest to the images.

Justice Traps the Guilty #53
Justice Traps the Guilty #53 (v.6, n.11) August 1953 “The Wreckers”, art by Marvin Stein

Some of Stein’s more simpler splashes are actually very strong. Here we have nothing more than a talking head and a simple background. But the person’s clothing and the bars on the window indicate we are being addressed to by a prisoner. Once again Marvin is using a rather blunt brush but notice how masterly he handles the nuances that make this portrait so successful. Here also is an example of Stein’s use of a negative shadow. In fact much of the interest of this head shot is generated by this deceptively simple device. The colorist makes it even better by giving the farther portions of the face a purple color showing one of the two light sources as being more powerful than the other. Typically Marvin makes the depth of the head too shallow but far from detracting from the image this makes it all the more expressive. The lack of a good distinction between the eyebrow and the associated shadows is another of Stein’s mannerisms one that sometimes even appears when he inks Jack Kirby’s pencils.

Headline #60
Headline #60 (July 1953) “Finger Man”, art by Marvin Stein

Here Marvin Stein provides an even more stripped down version of a prisoner in a confessional splash. The image may be simpler but with nothing lost in it’s impact. In fact I believe this is perhaps the best portrayal of a criminal by a comic book artists I have ever seen. The reader has no doubt that he is being addressed to by a hardened individual. An important contributor to the effect of this image is the strong negative highlights. No longer delegated to one side, here the shadow traces a path down the center of the face.

Before closing I should mention the influence of Jack Kirby on Marvin Stein. I am not that familiar with Stein’s earlier career but he seemed to have had 5 to 7 years experience when he arrived at the Simon and Kirby studio. Marvin was one of the few artists that actually worked in the studio (at least for a period) and the presence there of comic book greats Jack Kirby and Mort Meskin had to have made an impression on him. His artwork certainly seemed to blossom over a relatively short time. Kirby seemed to have the greatest influence on Stein. It does not seem an accident that Stein’s use of point of view, carefully sequenced panels, and action became so important to his art. These same qualities can be found in Kirby’s own work. However Stein is not a Kirby imitator; he developed his own drawing style and methods for graphically telling stories. Still from time to time some have claimed that Kirby provided layouts for some of Stein’s work. I even succumbed to that error (It’s a Crime, The Master and His Protégé). The problem with this claim of Kirby layouts is that Stein’s work consistently shows the same characteristics throughout his career. If Kirby was helping this would have to have been for everything Stein did including work done after the Simon and Kirby studio had broken up. In addition Stein’s art included elements for handling action was generally quite distinctive from Kirby’s. I think we can safely dismiss all claims of significant Kirby help except for his roll as a mentor.

Marvin Stein is one of those forgotten comic book artists. When remembered at all it is for his being one of Jack Kirby’s inkers. Partly this is because Marvin Stein’s work was largely for two titles for Prize, a small publisher (Headline and Justice Traps the Guilty). But Stein did work on other Prize titles and for other publishers as well including Atlas. I think another reasons for his neglect among comic fans was the distortions his figures often exhibit. From certain views his heads seem too shallow. When using a high viewpoint his heads have a distortion that is hard to describe but so typical of Stein. These distortions were not so visible in Marvin’s earlier work and seemed to become more pronounced over the years. But I do not considered academic accuracy a requirement for comic book art, quite the contrary. I have come to appreciate Stein’s distortions and the expressionistic quality they gave to his art. I will say that while Marvin’s drawing style worked well with the crime and western genre it seemed a poor match for romance stories. The final factor in the decline of Stein’s reputation was his inking. Stein’s inking looks deceptively simple. It certainly does not offer much for those that are fans of detailed and intricate art work. However I hope that some of the examples I have provided in this post will show that his brushwork was capable of great subtleties. While some have claimed Stein’s work looks rushed I think a more accurate description would be economical. Stein carefully provided the essentials for the story and left out that which he considered extraneous. It is an approach that I admire.

It’s A Crime, Chapter 11, The New Team

(Justice Traps the Guilty #13 – #23, Headline #39 – #45)

This chapter will continue the coverage of the Prize crime comics from the period December 1949 through February 1951. In the last chapter I discussed the work of Jack Kirby and Marvin Stein; this post will be concerned with some of the other artists.


Justice Traps the Guilty #17 (August 1950) “The Statue Screams”, art by Mort Meskin

While most artists associated with Simon and Kirby productions were no longer found in the Prize crime titles there are a couple of glaring exceptions. Probably the most significant artist to jointly work the crime and S&K titles was Mort Meskin. At this point Meskin had become the second most used artist for Simon and Kirby productions (Jack Kirby retained the first place position although that would not always be true in the future). Even though Kirby’s presence in Headline and Justice Traps the Guilty had greatly diminished, Mort still did not achieve the status of primary artist in those titles; he never provided a cover nor did he ever do any lead story. Still he became a frequent contributor appearing in most crime comics and sometimes showed up twice in a single issue.

The crime titles provided Meskin with more opportunities for the depiction of action then the romance art that dominated his work for Simon and Kirby. Not that the diminished use of violence hindered Mort for those occasions when he was to draw it. However Meskin’s Prize comic work had greater similarities to his romance work then it did to the hero genre stories he had previously done such as the Vigilante.


Justice Traps the Guilty #18 (September 1950) “The Way to Prison”, art by John Severin

John Severin also did art for both the crime and romance titles during this period. John is probably best known for his western and war genre comic book work. He may not have done that much crime stories for Prize, but they are very well done (I wish I could say the same thing about his S&K romance art). Not a criticism against Severin, because the same thing can be found in much of the crime comics from the 50’s, but note how well dressed the stick-up criminals are!


Headline #42 (July 1950) “Jewels of Death”, art by George Gregg

George Gregg is not in the same category as Meskin or Severin. While he previously had provided some work for the Simon and Kirby romance titles during the period covered in this chapter that was no longer the case but he would supply a small number of stories for the crime titles. “Jewels of Death” is not most typical of Gregg’s work but I still think that is the correct attribution. But what a great splash! Gregg’s females generally are rather stiff but not this native beauty. While the Prize crime titles are really pretty tame stuff by this time, they still could be quite suggestive (“we have ways of inspiring speech”).


Headline #40 (March 1950) “Counterfeit Winners”, art by Mart Bailey

I have discussed Mart Bailey previously in Prize Comics Western, a Rough History. For about a year and a half he was the primary artist for that western title. He was originally brought in to draw the movie adaptations that PCW featured when they switched to photographic covers. He remained the principal artist until the photographic covers were dropped at which point John Severin became the principal artist for the title. However Bailey continued to provide backup stories. Mart was not as important an artist in the crime titles but he did draw a number of backup stories but he never provided any art for any Simon and Kirby production. Bailey drew in a realistic style which was probably why he was used for the movie adaptations in PCW. While his art is technically fine it is a bit dry for my tastes.


Headline #45 (January 1951) “Penny Shakedown”, art by unidentified artist

There are a number of artists appearing in Headline and Justice Traps the Guilty during this period that I have not been able to identify. Frankly in most cases it is not a big loss as their art work is really not that great. However there is one story, “Penny Shakedown”, that I wish I could provide an attribution. This story is certainly one of the best from the Prize crime titles during this period. Note how in the splash panel the woman is speaking to the reader, Simon and Kirby often used this type of confessional splash design.


Headline #45 (January 1951) “Penny Shakedown” page 8, art by unidentified artist

This story is so good that I once suspected that Kirby supplied layouts. However the “cinematic” approach is not quite the same as Kirby’s. For instance in one panel the artist uses a very low viewing angle of a crowded sidewalk where the foreground consists of mostly legs and the arrest of a criminal is almost lost in the background. Not the sort of thing Jack would do.

This period, from October 1949 until January 1951, is the one that I am most uncertain about. It is clear that previously Simon and Kirby produced the Prize crime comics; basically the same artists were used in both the crime and romance titles. During this period, however, only a few artists worked both genres. Kirby did some cover art and probably provided a layout for one story. Both Mort Meskin and John Severin drew stories for both crime and romance. On the other hand, Mart Bailey was a significant presence in the crime titles and Prize Comics Western but never did any romance stories for Joe and Jack. At this time the first story of both Young Romance and Young Love always had a “produced by Simon and Kirby” credit but that cartouche never appeared in Headline or Justice Traps the Guilty. This despite Simon and Kirby’s long history of self promotion. While it may never be possible to say with certainty, in my opinion Joe and Jack were no longer producing the Prize crime titles during this period.

Whatever the reason for the changes in Headline and Justice Traps the Guilty, is was not due to poor sales. While I have no figures on the number of copies sold there are clear indications Prize was still making good money on these two titles. Why else would Justice Trap the Guilty go from a bimonthly to a monthly publication schedule with issue #18 (September 1950)? While Headline would never become a monthly, JTTG remained one until September 1955.

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

It’s A Crime, Chapter 9, Not The Same

(Justice Traps the Guilty #9 – #12, Headline #35 – #38)

This chapter will cover the Prize crime comics from the period March through November 1949. Both Justice Traps the Guilty and Headline were bimonthly titles. The other nominally crime title, Charlie Chan, had been discontinued after February. Simon and Kirby were also producing Young Romance at the start of this period as a bimonthly but switching to a monthly in September. The first Young Love was released just prior to this period in February and would be a bimonthly throughout the time covered by this chapter. The western romance titles came out during this period; Real West Romance in April and Western Love in July. They were both bimonthlies. Thus at the start of this period Simon and Kirby were producing 4 titles and by the end 6 titles. Most of the titles were bimonthlies and I find it more significant to count bimonthlies as half a title. Using that counting technique at the start S&K were producing 2 titles and by the end 3.5 titles.


Justice Traps the Guilty #9 (April 1949) “This Way to The Gallows”, art by Jack Kirby

As is generally the case when discussing Simon and Kirby productions, Jack was the primary artist during the time covered by this chapter. This is however a little misleading as Kirby only supplied 5 stories with 38 pages out of a total of 43 stories with 325 pages. While not quite at Kirby’s level, other artists supplied significant amount of work. John Serevin did 5 stories and 32 pages; Vic Donahue had 4 stories and 30 pages and Warren Broderick may have done 4 stories with 31 pages.

A trend that started earlier was continued; Jack’s splashes for the crime titles no longer seemed to have the impact that they did with the earlier issues. Part of this due to all of the splashes now being half pages splashes, but part was the result of the art itself. This may not have just been a declining interest on Kirby’s part; it is possible that he was toning down the violence because of the criticism that crime comics were receiving at this time. Whatever the reason, if you want to see great Kirby splashes from this period you have to look at the romance titles where Jack was turning out some of his best splashes.

Headline #37
Headline #37 (September 1949) That is Jack Kirby in the cover photograph. An uncropped version of the photograph shows that the policeman was actually Joe Simon.

Jack also supplied 4 of the 8 covers, and the covers that Kirby did were all excellent. Starting with Justice Traps the Guilty #11 (August) and Headline #37 (September) the crime titles began to use photographs for their covers. A similar change over occurred for the romance titles; Young Romance with issue #13 (September); Young Love seemed to start it all with issue #2 (April). The western romance titles (Western Love and Real West Romance) were both introduced with photographic covers. Simon and Kirby’s involvement in the crime photographic covers is shown by the presence of Jack himself in one of them.


Headline #37 (September 1949) “The Accusing Match””, art by Jack Kirby

Jack Kirby’s declining contributions to the crime titles is even greater then the numbers indicate. That is because this chapter covers a transition in these titles. While Jack contributed to Headline #35 to #37 and JTTG #9 to #11, he would provide no work for Headline #38 or JTTG #12. “The Accusing Match” would be the last Kirby crime story released until Simon and Kirby published Police Trap. A drop in Bill Draut’s contribution to the crime genre comics was noted in previous chapters. Bill’s last crime story, and the only for this chapter’s time period, would be “Willie the Actor” from JTTG #9 (April). Draut’s drop in from the crime genre was not a reflection about his art in general because he still played a leading roll in the standard romance titles as well showing up often in the western romance comics all of which were produced by Simon and Kirby. Other artists who worked for the Simon and Kirby studio also stopped appearing about this time in Headline and Justice Traps the Guilty. I will touch on this subject as I review some of these artists and at the end of this post draw my conclusions.


Headline #37 (September 1949) “Death of a Menace”, art by Vic Donahue

Vic Donahue’s provided 4 stories and 30 pages which is a surprisingly high number relative to Jack Kirby. He is one of the Simon and Kirby studio artists that would disappear from the crime titles. The last work that I know of appeared in JTTG #12 (October). Donahue appears in Simon and Kirby production often enough during this period that I consider him among the second tier of studio artists (along with John Severin, Leonard Starr, Bruno Premiani?, Jo Albistur and Ann Brewster).

Donahue art during this period is consistent with what I have presented before. Traces of the Studio style inking are found sporadically in Vic’s art. Note the abstract shadow arc in the splash panel, the drop string on the back of the car seat in story panel 1 and the picket fence crosshatching in the second panel (see the Inking Glossary for explanations of the term I use to describe inking techniques). I am increasingly becoming convinced that in Vic Donahue’s case, the presence of Studio style is due to Joe or Jack coming in afterwards as an art editor and strengthening Donahue’s work.


Headline #37 (September 1949) “The Artistic Swindler”, art by Bruno Premiani?

Bruno Premiani first appeared in a Simon and Kirby production in August (“Two-Timer”, Young Love #4). The story “The Artistic Swindler” that appeared in the following month was Premiani’s only crime genre art for Simon and Kirby. Bruno only worked for Joe and Jack until December 1950 but during that time he was an important contributor. Although he would not appear in another crime genre, he would be used for all other Simon and Kirby productions.

Perhaps I should explain (for those readers who have not read my previous explanation) why I provide Bruno Premiani attributions with a question mark. The Simon and Kirby stories whose art I attribute to Premiani are all quite similar and easily recognized. The problem is none of them were signed. Crediting of this work to Premiani is based on the credits found in the trade back “Real Love”. Unfortunately that publication does not explain the reason for the attribution. Bruno Premiani is also credited with work at DC but that work looks very different then the art for Simon and Kirby. While none of this means the S&K studio artists could not have been Bruno Premiani, neither is there good evidence to support that attribution. Until I find some way out of this conundrum, I will continue to indicate by uncertainty by adding a question mark to the Premiani attribution.


Headline #37 (September 1949) “One-Man Posse”, art by John Severin and John Belfi

Another prominent artist during this period was John Severin who contributed 5 stories with 32 pages of art. He would, however, appear in all four Headline comics covered by this chapter as well as JTTG #11 (August). He would also show up in JTTG #14 (February 1950). Severin’s appearance in the Simon and Kirby comics seems somewhat sporadic, but unlike some of the other S&K studio artists, his contributions to the Prize crime comics seems to continue after this period. I am unclear exactly when it started, but Severin was an important artist for Prize Comics Western. As far as I can tell, outside of producing a couple of covers, Simon and Kirby had little to do with that title.


Justice Traps the Guilty #10 (June 1949) “Counterfeit”, art by John Belfi

Many of John Severin’s art at this time were signed. The signature often included the inker and that was almost always John Belfi. I gather Belfi was primarily an inker and “Counterfeit” from JTTG #10 is the sole example of pencils by John Belfi for a Simon and Kirby production. Because his pencil work is not very often seen I thought I would include an image. Frankly John Belfi is not one of the better artists that worked for Simon and Kirby.


Headline #36 (July 1949) “Shoe-Box Annie”, art by Warren Broderick

Warren Broderick was one of the lesser artists of the Simon and Kirby studio. Yet he did a surprising 4 stories and 31 pages for the crime comics covered in this chapter. His last crime story seems to be “Hijackers” in JTTG #11 (August). However he normally does not sign his work and I have only fairly recently identified him. I have made an examination of some of the following Prize crime comics and so far failed to detect him. However he seems to have only rarely was used for the Simon and Kirby romance comics. So he is not a good example of the transition that seems to be occurring in the crime titles.


Justice Traps the Guilty #10 (June 1949) “Death Played Second Fiddle”, art by Manny Stallman

Manny Stallman work for the Simon and Kirby studio has an interesting aspect. I have previously presented examples by Stallman (It’s A Crime, Chapter 6 and Chapter 8 and remarked at the time that they seemed to be done in two different styles neither one of which was a good match for what Stallman did at Atlas a few years later. Yet a third style is evident with “Death Played Second Fiddle”. This style seems particularly crude compared to the art that I previously shown.


Headline #35 (May 1949) “The Golf Links Murder”, art by Manny Stallman

If the presence of three styles by Manny Stallman was not bad enough, “The Golf Links Murder” is done in yet another style. This one is done in a manner that does look similar to Stallman’s Atlas work. Note in particular the almond shaped eyes. Similar eyes can be found in older work as well (The Captain Aero Connections) I believe the existence of four distinct styles over such a very short period of time is good evidence that Manny Stallman was providing work to Simon and Kirby most of which was actually drawn by ghost artists.


Justice Traps the Guilty #11 (August 1949) “Amateur Hypnotist”, art by Dick Briefer

Dick Briefer makes a surprise appearance in this chapter. Well it was a surprise to me. Briefer is mostly known for his work on Frankenstein but we previously saw him supply work for some Charlie Chan issues. Now to the work that he did for Simon and Kirby can be added “Dutch Joe Cretzer’s Other Business” (Headline #36, July), “Amateur Hypnotist” (JTTG #11, August) and “The Nightmare Murder Mystery” (JTTG #12, October). All of the work that he did for Simon and Kirby was unsigned and these three examples are more realistic then what he did in Charlie Chan. But enough of his stylistic tendencies are present to leave little doubt that he was the artist. In the example page shown above note the triangular head give to the man in the splash, the shallow depth to the face of the man on the left of the first story panel, and the small head of the man with the blue suit in the same panel. Dick Briefer’s appearance in these Prize crime comics and work done at the same time for other publishers was undoubtedly due to the cancellation of Frankenstein after issue #17 in February 1949. Frankenstein Comics would resume, with Dick Briefer, in March 1952.


Justice Traps the Guilty #10 (June 1949) “Confidence Man”, art by Bernie Krigstein

The story “Confidence Man” was signed B. B. Krig in the splash. I must admit that I did not realize who it really was until I went searching to the Internet for Krig. I quickly found that B. B. Krig was actually Bernie Krigstein. In fact I had missed an earlier unsigned work by Krigstein (“First Great Detective”, JTTG #8, January 1949). These are the only two works by Bernie for Simon and Kirby. I do not know if part of the reason for that was the transition in the Prize crime comics that happened at this time. Krigstein had a great style for crime stories, but I doubt that it would have been very effective for the romance genre. Whatever the reasons for his short stay at the Simon and Kirby studio, it was certainly a shame he was not around longer as he went on to do some great art for some other publishers and especially for EC.

When the Simon and Kirby’s Young Romance first came out it primarily used Jack Kirby and Bill Draut as artists. After that initial period, the artists used for the romance comics would largely be the same ones used for the Prize crime genre as well. The core artists for Simon and Kirby around the time covered by this chapter were Jack Kirby, Bill Draut, Vic Donahue, Leonard Starr and John Severin. I would include Manny Stallman, but as I mentioned above he appears to be using ghost artists and thus sorting out the unsigned work is problematical. Bruno Premiani? was an important S&K studio artist who started working for Joe and Jack just at this time. Mort Meskin was an even more important studio artist who started just after the period covered by this chapter (December). Kirby’s last crime story was for September, Draut’s was April, and Donahue last was October. Starr never did much crime and his only work in that genre appeared in February. Severin does not follow the same history; he would do a crime story in November 1949 and again in February 1950. Severin would later become an important contributor to Prize Comics Western. Bruno Premiani started working for Simon and Kirby during this time period; he would only do a single crime story (September) but would provide a lot of work for the romance titles for the following year. Mort Meskin would arrive shortly after the period covered in this chapter. While initially Mort would only work on the romance titles before long he would provide occasional stories for Headline and JTTG and would do so for the rest of stay with Simon and Kirby. So to summarize there were 4 artists (Kirby, Draut, Donahue and Premiani) who stopped providing crime stories during this period and 2 (Severin and Meskin) who continued to work on the crime titles.

However it was not just a question of the important S&K studio artists there were also a number of minor, mostly unidentified, artists as well. These minor artists were used in the romance titles but only in limited amounts. In the crime they became more commonly used especially after the S&K studio artists were no longer providing art. They are particularly abundant in the crime titles during the period covered by this chapter where the artist for 13 out of the 46 stories have not been identified. Two other stories have signatures (Dick Rockwell on one and Nicholson and Belfi on the other) but otherwise similar to the unidentified artists as being lesser talents. If Nicholson and Rockwell are included, these artists account for 103 pages of art out of 325 total.

In the first story of Real West Romances #3 (August 1949) there is a label with the declaration: “Produced by Simon and Kirby”. This label would then appear on the first story of nearly every Young Romance, Young Love, Young Brides, Black Magic and Strange World of Your Dreams until near the end of 1954. Some have mistaken it for a claim that Joe and Jack drew that story, but it really meant that Simon and Kirby put together the entire comic. The “Produced by Simon and Kirby” label never appeared in any issue of Headline of Justice Traps the Guilty.

The interpretation that I draw from all of this is that at about this time the Prize comics would begin being made “on the cheap”. That is that the pay rate given to artists working for these titles was lowered. The new pay rate could no longer attract the better artists. Artists like Bill Draut, Bruno Premiani, Vic Donahue and Jack Kirby had work they could do for the Prize romance comics where the pay rate had not changed and Jack had a share of the profits. As for Mort Meskin, he was so prolific that to pick up extra money beyond what he could get from the S&K studio he would accept the lower page rate for the crime titles. Perhaps the same was true for John Severin. Lowering the costs of producing a title was a strategy that Prize would repeat in the future.

But if the Prize crime comics were now being cheaply made, were Simon and Kirby still producing them? That is a question that is harder to provide a satisfactory answer. The lack of the “Produced by Simon and Kirby” label might suggest they were not producing the crime comics. But when the use of photographic covers was dropped for the crime titles, Jack Kirby provided cover art for 7 issues over the period from September 1950 to February 1951. My tentative conclusion is that in 1949 Prize directed Simon and Kirby to produce a cheaper version of the crime titles. By October or so they had achieved that end but continued to be involved in the production of the titles. Because Headline and JTTG were now inferior comics, Joe and Jack purposely left out the “Produced by Simon and Kirby” label. This was the state of affairs until early 1951 after which Simon and Kirby’s involvement in the Prize crime comics completely ended.

Chapter 1, Promoting Crime
Chapter 2, A Revitalized Title
Chapter 3, Competing Against Themselves
Chapter 4, Crime Gets Real
Chapter 5, Making a Commitment
Chapter 6, Forgotten Artists
Chapter 7, A Studio With Many Artists
Chapter 8, The Chinese Detective

Chapter 10, The Master and His Protege
Chapter 11, The New Team

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

Headline Checklist


Last update: 1/2/2012

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



Headline (Prize)
  23 (v.2, n.11) March 1947
    (cover) - P:[Kirby]  
    "The Last Bloody Days Of Babyface Nelson" 7 pg - P:[Kirby]  
    "Design for Death" 2 pg -  - (text)
    "The Doctor Is Missing" 7 pg - P:[Kirby]  
    "The Bear Skull Trail To Death" 7 pg - P:[Kirby]  
    "Burned At The Stake" 10 pg - P:[Kirby]  
    "To My Valentine" 8 pg - P:[Kirby]  
    "Killer In The Kitchen" 5 pg - P:[Kirby]  
  24 (v.2, n.12) May 1947
    (cover) - P:[Kirby]  
    "Trapping New England's Chain Murderer" 9 pg - P:[Kirby]  
    "Murder On A Wave Length" 7 pg - P:[Kirby]  
    "Grim Pay-Off For The Pinball Mob" 7 pg - P:[Kirby]  
    "A Phantom Pulls The Trigger" 8 pg - P:[Kirby]  
    "The Thing Inside Bob Tate" 2 pg -  - (text)
    "You Can't Forget A Killer" 8 pg - P:[Kirby]  
    "The Case Of The Floating Corpse" 4 pg - P:[Kirby]  
  25 (v.3, n.1) July 1947
    (cover) - P:[Kirby]  
    "Masquerade Of Eddie The Doll" 7 pg - P:[Kirby]  
    "Murder's Reward" 7 pg -  
    "Prophet of Death" 4 pg - P:Powell  
    "Blind Man's Death" 7 pg -  
    "Justice?" 2 pg -  - (text)
    "Death Takes A Honeymoon" 7 pg - P:[Kirby]  
    "Pay Up Or Die" 7 pg - P:[Kirby]  
    "Case Of The Forgetful Killer" 4 pg - P:[Kirby]  
  26 (v.3, n.2) September 1947
    (cover) - P:[Kirby]  
    "The Life And Death Of Public Enemy Number One" 10 pg - P:{Kirby}  
    "You Can't Fool A G-Man Twice" 6 pg - P:{Kirby}  
    "Test Of Death" 4 pg -  
    "The Strange Aftermath Of The Kansas City Massacre" 8 pg - P:[Kirby]  
    "On The Spot" 2 pg -  - (text)
    "Beyond The Law" 7 pg -  
    "Bullets For The Bogus G-Man" 8 pg - P:{Kirby}  
  27 (v.3, n.3) November 1947
    (cover) - P:[Kirby]  
    "Stella Mae Dickson, The Bobby Sox Bandit Queen" 13 pg - P:[Kirby]  
    "The Guns Of Jesse James" 8 pg - Ly:[Kirby] P:[?]  
    "The Death Of The Gambler King" 7 pg - P:Draut I:[Draut]
    "The Spark of Murder" 2 pg -  - (text)
    "Bring Me His Corpse" 4 pg - P:Draut I:[Draut]
    "Spirit Swindlers" 11 pg - P:[Kirby]  
  28 (v.3, n.4) February 1948
    (cover) - P:[Kirby]  
    "I Worked For The Fence" 13 pg - P:{Kirby}  
    "Trapping Chicago's Speed-Demon Mob" 8 pg - P:[Draut] I:[Draut]
    "Postage Stamp Swindle" 7 pg - P:[Robinson & Meskin]  
    "The Lone Wolf" 2 pg -  - (text)
    "Machine-Gun Kelly, Kidnapper" 7 pg - P:Draut I:[Draut]
    "Murder Makes Bad Medicine" 8 pg - P:{Kirby}  
  29 (v.3, n.5) April 1948
    (cover) - P:{Kirby}  
    "Insurance Reward Racket" 14 pg - P:{Kirby}  
    "Don't Let Wilber Squeal" 8 pg - P:Draut I:[Draut]
    "The Night Of The Freak Murder" 8 pg - P:[Robinson & Meskin]  
    "An Expensive Auto Ride" 2 pg -  - (text)
    "Hide-Away Town" 5 pg - P:[Kirby]  
    "Sisters Of Satan" 8 pg - P:Draut I:[Draut]
  30 (v.3, n.6) June 1948
    (cover) - P:{Kirby}  
    "Numbers Racket" 15 pg - P:{Kirby}  
    "The Witch Murders" 7 pg - P:[Draut] I:[Draut]
    "Pistol-Packin' Playgirl" 5 pg - P:Hollingsworth  
    "The Roasted Mail-Robber Ghost" 2 pg -  - (text)
    "Menace In The Making" 7 pg - P:Draut I:[Draut]
    "Bullet-Proof Bad Man" 9 pg - P:[Kirby]  
  31 (v.4, n.1) August 1948
    (cover) - P:[Kirby]  
    "Pickpocket Gang" 14 pg - P:{Kirby}  
    "Perfect For Murder" 8 pg - P:Nicholas  - (signed C. N.)
    "A Gangster Dies" 6 pg - P:Broderick  
    "The Trap" 2 pg -  - (text)
    "The Female Furies Of The Old West" 7 pg - P:Hollingsworth  
    "The Kidnapped The Parole Board" 8 pg - P:[Draut] I:[Draut]
  32 (v.4, n.2) October 1948
    (cover) - P:[Kirby]  
    "Counterfeit Team" 12 pg - P:{Kirby}  
    "The Mystery Of Room 712" 8 pg - P:Donahue  
    "The Clue Of The Horoscope" 8 pg -  
    "A Grave Crime" 2 pg -  - (text)
    "G Man Blitz" 7 pg - P:[Broderick]  
    "Terror Of The Everglades" 8 pg - P:[Draut] I:[Draut]
  33 (v.4, n.3) December 1948
    (cover) - P:{Kirby}  
    "Premeditated Homicide" 15 pg - P:[Kirby]  
    "The Man Who Stole An Ocean Liner" 6 pg - P:Donahue  
    "The FBI And The Gun-Happy Robber" 1 pg - P:[Kirby]  - (illustrated text)
    "How The FBI Trapped The Booby Trap Slayer" 1 pg - P:[Kirby]  - (villustrated text)
    "A Mother's Ominous Dream" 6 pg - P:[Broderick]  
    "What Price Faith" 2 pg -  - (text)
    "The Shattered Alibi" 7 pg -  
    "Underworld Parasite" 7 pg - P:Stallman  
  34 (v.4, n.4) February 1949
    (cover) - P:{Kirby}  
    "Blackhearted Tony" 8 pg - P:[Kirby]  
    "Outlaw Down-Under" 8 pg - P:Stallman  
    "Twenty Second Story Man" 9 pg - P:Guinta I:Stallman
    "The Frozen Fingerprints" 2 pg -  - (text)
    "Double-Cross" 9 pg - P:[Broderick]  
    "The Medium Done Murder Case" 8 pg - P:[Starr]  
  35 (v.4, n.5) May 1949
    (cover) - P:Kirby  
    "Dead Or Alive" 8 pg - P:[Kirby]  
    "The Deadly Gilas" 7 pg - P:[Severin]  
    "The Great Mouthpiece" 7 pg - P:Stallman  
    "Georgie's Last Ride" 7 pg -  
    "Independence Day" 2 pg -  - (text)
    "The Golf Links Murder" 5 pg - P:Stallman  
    "The Fabulous Baldwins" 7 pg - P:Donahue  
  36 (v.4, n.6) July 1949
    (cover) - P:Photo  
    "Odds Against Murder" 9 pg - P:[Kirby]  
    "The Masquerading Bandits" 7 pg - P:Rockwell  
    "Shoe-Box Annie" 8 pg - P:[Broderick]  
    "The Tell-Tale Letter" 2 pg -  - (text)
    "Dutch Joe Cretzer's Other Business" 8 pg - P:[Briefer]  
    "Hip Sing Tong" 8 pg - P:[Severin?]  
  37 (v.5, n.1) September 1949
    (cover) - P:Photo  
    "Death Of A Menace" 8 pg - P:Donahue  
    "Unlucky In Crime" 7 pg -  
    "The Threat Of The Clan" 8 pg -  
    "The Accusing Match" 1 pg - P:[Kirby]  
    "Revenge" 2 pg -  - (illustrated text)
    "One-Man Posse" 8 pg - P:Severin I:Belfi
    "The Artistic Swindler" 8 pg - P:[Premiani]  
  38 (v.5, n.2) November 1949
    (cover) - P:Photo  
    "Train Robbery Of 1949" 10 pg -  
    "The Clue That Stuck" 8 pg -  
    "No Escape" 5 pg - P:[Severin]  
    "Rat Trap" 10 pg -  
    "Double Revenge" 2 pg -  - (illustrated text)
    "The Dog-Nappers" 7 pg -  
  39 (v.5, n.3) January 1950
    (cover) - P:Photo  
    "The Boiler Room Racket" 10 pg - P:[Stein?] I:[Stein?]
    "The Cheapest Thief in the World" 8 pg -  
    "The Fingerman" 8 pg -  
    "New Year Murder" 2 pg -  - (illustrated text)
    "Author of Violence" 8 pg -  
    "Arctic Ambush" 7 pg -  
  40 (v.5, n.4) March 1950
    (cover) - P:Photo  
    "The Case Of Joe Andrews" 10 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Counterfeit Winners" 7 pg -  
    "Justice Has Icy Fingers" 7 pg - P:[M. Bailey]  
    "The Human Bloodhound" 2 pg -  - (illustrated text)
    "Inside Information" 8 pg -  
    "The Man Of Many Faces" 8 pg - P:Meskin I:[Meskin]
  41 (v.5, n.5) May 1950
    (cover) - P:Photo  
    "Octopus of the Underworld" 8 pg -  
    "Reservation for Death" 8 pg -  
    "Know Your FBI" 2 pg -  
    "J. Edgar Takes a Hand" 8 pg -  
    "J. Edgar Hoover" 2 pg -  - (illustrated text)
    "G-Man Savvy" 7 pg -  
    "Guns for Sale" 7 pg -  
  42 (v.5, n.6) July 1950
    (cover) - P:Photo  
    "Ghost Racket" 10 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Jewels of Death" 7 pg - P:[Gregg]  
    "Boomerang" 7 pg -  
    "Black Magic ad" 1 pg - P:[Kirby]  - (house ad for Black Magic)
    "Closeups" 2 pg -  - (illustrated text)
    "Diary of a Lawbreaker" 8 pg -  
    "Gang War" 8 pg - P:[M. Bailey]  
  43 (v.6, n.1) September 1950
    (cover) - P:Photo  
    "Shakedown" 10 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Dig Your Own Grave" 8 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Scales Of Justice" 1 pg -  
    "Hit Of The Show" 7 pg - P:[Gregg]  
    "Closeups" 2 pg -  - (illustrated text)
    "Ticket To Alcatraz" 7 pg -  
    "Our Swords Will Find You" 7 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
  44 (v.6, n.2) November 1950
    (cover) - P:[Kirby]  
    "Racket Empire" 10 pg -  
    "Feathered Serpent" 8 pg - P:Severin I:Elder
    "Too Many Corpses" 7 pg - P:[Gregg]  
    "The Chapped Hands" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Demon Ship" 7 pg -  
    "Dynamite" 7 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
  45 (v.6, n.3) January 1951
    (cover) - P:[Kirby]  
    "Penny Shakedown" 10 pg -  
    "City In Terror" 8 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
    "Eddie Was No Gent" 6 pg -  
    "Closeups" 1 pg -  - (illustrated text)
    "Homocide- C.O.D." 7 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Dual Personality" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Name Your Assassin" 7 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
  46 (v.6, n.4) March 1951
    (cover) - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Enemy Of Reform" 10 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Beyond The Grave" 7 pg -  
    "Buried Alive" 7 pg -  
    "Closeups" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Death Flight" 7 pg -  
    "Ashes of Guilt" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Jungle Sleuth" 7 pg -  
  47 (v.6, n.5) May 1951
    (cover) - P:Stein I:Stein
    "The Fixer" 10 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Deadly Double-Cross" 7 pg -  
    "The Living Dead" 7 pg -  
    "Closeups" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "A Dead Man's Shadow" 7 pg -  
    "The Accusing Ledger" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Madman At Work" 7 pg -  
  48 (v.6, n.6) July 1951
    (cover) - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "This Match For Hire" 10 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Closeups" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Leech Of The Underworld" 7 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
    "Racket Squad" 7 pg -  
    "Play Dead" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Loophole" 7 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
  49 (v.7, n.1) September 1951
    (cover) - P:Stein I:Stein
    "Speedway Racketeers" 10 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "One Foot In The Grave" 7 pg -  
    "Shroud For A Killer" 7 pg -  
    "Closeups" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Come Share My Tomb" 8 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
    "The Black Box" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Female Of The Species" 7 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
  50 (v.7, n.2) November 1951
    (cover) - P:Stein I:Stein
    "Muscle Man" 10 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Legacy of Death" 7 pg -  
    "One Mad Dog" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Time to Kill" 6 pg -  
    "Closeups" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Cross and Double Cross" 7 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
  51 (v.7, n.3) January 1952
    (cover) - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "King Of The Stool Pigeons" 10 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "I Murdered Myself" 6 pg - P:M. Bailey  
    "Passport To The Grave" 7 pg - P:Marcus I:Abel
    "Hitchhike Killer" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Closeups" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Scheduled To Die" 7 pg -  
  52 (v.7, n.4) March 1952
    (cover) - P:Stein I:Stein
    "The Hideout Racket" 10 pg - P:Stein I:Stein
    "Voyage of Vengeance" 5 pg -  
    "Telltale Match" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "You Only Die Once" 7 pg -  
    "Dope, Teen-Age Menace" 1 pg -  
    "Closeups" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Coffin for a Killer" 7 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
  53 (v.7, n.5) May 1952
    (cover) - P:Stein I:Stein
    "The Business Buccaneers" 10 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Closeups" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "The Perfect Master-Mind" 6 pg -  
    "Initial Loss" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Getaway" 6 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "The Accusing Corpse" 7 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
  54 (v.7, n.6) July 1952
    "Dirt Cheap" 1 pg -  - (text)
    (cover) - P:Stein I:Stein
    "Homicide Peddlers" 10 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Dirt Cheap" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Shadow of the Gallows" 7 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
    "Closeups" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Twice Dead" 7 pg -  
  55 (v.8, n.1) September 1952
    (cover) - P:Stein I:Stein
    "The Grab-Bag King" 10 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Closeups" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Mr. Underground" 7 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
    "Turnabout" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Death in the Swamp" 7 pg -  
  56 (v.8, n.2) November 1952
    (cover) - P:Stein I:Stein
    "The Charity Chiselers" 10 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Closeups" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "An Eye For An Eye" 7 pg -  
    "Shoe Tipoff" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "The Has-Been" 7 pg - P:Stein I:Stein
  57 (v.8, n.3) January 1953
    (cover) - P:Stein I:Stein
    "Counterfeit" 10 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Closeups" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "The Deadly Alibi" 7 pg -  
    "Public Eye" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "See No Evil" 7 pg -  
  58 (v.8, n.4) March 1953
    (cover) - P:Stein I:Stein
    "Merchant of Death" 10 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Pitchfork Death" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Hex Marks the Spot" 6 pg -  
    "Closeups" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Crime Oddities" 1 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
    "Blazing Justice" 7 pg -  
  59 (v.8, n.5) May 1953
    (cover) - P:Stein I:Stein
    "Getaway Mob" 8 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Closeups" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "The Lines on the Map" 6 pg -  
    "Deadly Angle" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Killers Are Never Alone" 5 pg -  
    "Find the Corpse" 5 pg - P:Stein I:Stein
  60 (v.8, n.6) July 1953
    (cover) - P:Stein I:Stein
    "Finger Man" 8 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "F.B.I. Radio Broadcast" 1 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Perfect Fit" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "G-Man Payoff" 7 pg -  
    "Closeups" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Curious Crime Facts" 1 pg -  
    "Circle of Death" 7 pg -  
  61 (v.9, n.1) September 1953
    (cover) - P:Stein I:Stein
    "Moonshine" 8 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "The Homicide that Wasn't" 2 pg -  
    "Closeups" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Brain of the Underworld" 6 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
    "Candy Clue" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Murder Solved By Mud" 1 pg -  
    "First Mistake" 7 pg -  
  62 (v.9, n.2) November 1953
    (cover) - P:Stein I:Stein
    "Espionage" 8 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Closeups" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Efficiency System" 6 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
    "Blind Alley" 5 pg -  
    "Blather Mouth" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Kiss Of Death" 6 pg -  
  63 (v.9, n.3) January 1954
    (cover) - P:Stein I:Stein
    "The Slave Peddlers" 8 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Time To Kill" 4 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
    "Closeups" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Counterfeit G-Man" 6 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
    "The Too Perfect Getaway" 1 pg -  
    "Legal Clue" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "The Perfect Hideout" 6 pg -  
  64 (v.9, n.4) March 1954
    (cover) - P:Stein I:Stein
    "The Black Hand" 8 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Red Roses in Kerosene" 1 pg -  
    "Closeups" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Savage Circle" 6 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
    "Double Play" 3 pg -  
    "Innocent Murderer" 1 pg -  
    "Long Green" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "The Big Pay-Off" 5 pg -  
  65 (v.9, n.5) May 1954
    (cover) - P:Stein I:Stein
    "Syndicate Boss" 8 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Closeups" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Appointment with Death" 6 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
    "Home to Homicide" 5 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Love Letters" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Gift for a Killer" 5 pg -  
  66 (v.9, n.6) July 1954
    (cover) - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Ransom" 8 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Murder Will Out" 3 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
    "Closeups" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Manhunt" 6 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Soft Touch" 2 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
    "The Capsules" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "G-Men Are Poison" 6 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
  67 (v.10, n.1) September 1954
    (cover) - P:Stein I:Stein
    "The River Pirates" 8 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Death Trap" 3 pg -  
    "Closeups" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Chain Reaction" 6 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
    "The Egotist" 1 pg -  
    "Tenpin Clue" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "The Witness" 6 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
  68 (v.10, n.2) November 1954
    (cover) - P:Stein I:Stein
    "The Charity Racketeers" 8 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Closeups" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Road To Alcatraz" 6 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
    "Grim Lesson" 4 pg -  
    "Inside Job" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Speed Merchant" 6 pg - P:Stein I:Stein
  69 (v.10, n.3) January 1955
    (cover) - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Homicide In The Headlines" 8 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Closeups" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Freezeout" 6 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
    "The Old Gun" 4 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "$20 Holdup" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "The Honorable Way" 6 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
  70 (v.10, n.4) March 1955
    (cover) - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "The Roller Derby Racketeers" 8 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Closeups" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Smart Guy" 5 pg -  
    "Matchbook" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Face of Death" 6 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
    "Flames of Destruction" 6 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
  71 (v.10, n.5) May 1955
    (cover) - P:Stein I:Stein
    "The Hot Ice Heisters" 8 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Closeups" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "The Crusader" 6 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Roussos]
    "There's Always A Way" 4 pg - P:Banks  
    "Double Play" 6 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Robbery" 1 pg -  - (text)
  72 (v.10, n.6) July 1955
    (cover) - P:Stein I:Stein
    "Jig-Saw" 8 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Blue Thread" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Ordeal By Fire" 6 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
    "Puzzle" 4 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Police Procedure in Crime" 1 pg -  
    "Closeups" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "My Beat" 6 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
  73 (v.11, n.1) September 1955
    (cover) - P:Stein I:Stein
    "Prison Riot" 8 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Brown Border" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Circumstantial Evidence" 5 pg -  
    "Final Winner" 6 pg -  
    "Closeups" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Big Man" 6 pg - P:Meskin I:[Meskin]
  74 (v.11, n.2) January 1956
    (cover) - P:Stein I:Stein
    "Brainwash at Hong Kong" 6 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Headlines" 1 pg -  - (text)
    ""Flash" Cameron, Photographer" 6 pg -  
    "Never See Morning" 6 pg - P:[Draut] I:[Draut]
    "Flashes" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Money From Nowhere" 7 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
  75 (v.11, n.3) March 1956
    (cover) - P:Stein I:Stein
    "Curse of the River Diamonds" 6 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Innocent" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Duke Kennedy" 6 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
    "Hot Stuff" 6 pg - P:[Draut] I:[Draut]
    "Closeups" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "The Fight Fan" 6 pg - P:[Meskin] I:[Meskin]
  76 (v.11, n.4) May 1956
    (cover) - P:[Draut] I:[Draut]
    "Democratic Victory at Venice" 6 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Old Timer" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Flash Cameron Investigates a Disaster" 6 pg - P:Galindo  
    "The Grafters" 6 pg - P:[Meskin]  
    "Closeups" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Channel for Trouble" 6 pg - P:[Draut] I:[Draut]
  77 (v.11, n.5) September 1956
    (cover) - P:Stein I:Stein
    "Flying Saucers" 6 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Closeups" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Fast Finish" 6 pg - P:Galindo  
    "Snap Decision" 6 pg - P:Galindo  
    "Pen and Ink" 1 pg - P:[Stein] I:[Stein]
    "Baby Face" 1 pg -  - (text)
    "Hide and Seek" 6 pg - P:[Draut] I:[Draut]