Tag Archives: stein

Little Shop of Horrors, Chapter 4, Another Hit

(February – April 1952, Black Magic #9 – #11)

I cannot supply sales figures so I have to look for other indications for how popular Simon and Kirby titles were. Fortunately Simon and Kirby had a modus operandi when it came to releasing new titles (actually it may have been the publishers who were responsible). New titles were released as bimonthlies but if after a period the titles sales seemed to warrant it the title could become a monthly or a new title of the same genre would be created. Black Magic had been a bimonthly for 16 months when it was converted to a monthly. Thus we can safely conclude that sales of Black Magic were good at least at this point in time.

As was true with the concurrent romance titles (Chapter 18 of The Art of Romance), Jack Kirby was producing less then his normal amount of pages of art with most of the work being done by Mort Meskin. In one respect Kirby still was the most important artist in that he did all the covers and the lead story for the two issues (#10 and #11) of the three covered in this chapter. But in terms of number of pages of art, Jack did only 18 pages as compared to the 34 pages done by Mort. After Mort and Jack come George Roussos (14 pages) and John Prentice (13 pages). Four other artists only supplied a single story; Marvin Stein (8 pages), Bill Draut (7 pages) and two unidentified artists (4 and 5 pages).

Black Magic #10

Black Magic #10 (March 1952) “Dead Man’s Lode”, art by Jack Kirby

While Kirby may not have done as much art as he had a year or so ago, what he produced was still top rate stuff. The splash for “Dead Man’s Lode” is a particularly engaging image. Not much in it just a man struggling through a tunnel and a hand beckoning him on. But of course such a simplistic description hardly does justice to what Jack drew. Kirby often brought interest into what for another artist might have been a banal scene. Here the drama is supplied by the man’s torn clothing, stooped posture and rugged features. I particularly like the way the pouring water divides the composition and how streaks of brushwork both suggest the optical distortions as well as the flow of the water.

Black Magic #11

Black Magic #11 (April 1952) “Drop Me Of At the Cemetery” page 4, art by Mort Meskin

I could not resist providing another example of Mort’s use of tall narrow panels. Leonard Starr used them earlier then Meskin, and used the quite well I might add. But Mort’s use of narrow panels was very remarkable. I must admit as I review Mort’s work in Black Magic and the romance titles I cannot help but feel Meskin was more at home with the horror genre. You pretty much never see in Mort’s romance work such a well worked out close-up as in panel 2 but they are not very rare in Black Magic.

Black Magic #11

Black Magic #11 (April 1952) “The Thirteenth Floor” page 2, art by John Prentice

John Prentice did a lot of romance work for Simon and Kirby so it is easy to overlook his contributions in other genre. I find his art in Black Magic quite satisfying. I have previously discussed “The Thirteenth Floor” (Alternate Takes, The Thirteenth Floor) and will not repeat it here other then to note that use of a splash-like story panel is unusual for Prentice. Despite what I feel is the high quality of his Black Magic work, John did not produce many stories for the title. Another Prentice story would not appear in Black Magic until 9 months later.

Black Magic #9

Black Magic #9 (February 1952) “Mark of Evil”, art by Bill Draut

A ruthless but beautiful Chinese pirate; what’s not to like despite being a somewhat predictable story. Draut seemed to relish the change of pace afforded by Black Magic from his frequent romance work.

Black Magic #9

Black Magic #9 (February 1952) “You Should Live So Long”, art by George Roussos

George Roussos appeared to get a greater portion of work for Black Magic as compared to the romance titles. Frankly he is not as talented as some of the other studio artists. His work has a certain crudeness that while quite acceptable in the horror genre detracts that from his romance art. Presumably that is why he is more often seen in Black Magic. Despite my criticism of his art, in at least on respect Roussos is quite effective and that is in his use of blacks. The splash panel for “You Should Live So Long” is a good example of George’s interesting use of shadows.

Black Magic #11

Black Magic #11 (April 1952) “Through All Eternity” page 2, art by George Roussos

I recently wrote about a story that while signed by Roussos looked like it was based on layouts provided by Mort Meskin (Art of Romance, Chapter 18). One of the things I noted in that story (“The Great Indoors”) was the use of tall narrow panels that Meskin was fond of using at that time. Well “Through All Eternity” also has a page with similar panels and so the question arises whether Mort did layouts for this story as well. While some of the faces in “The Great Indoors” looked distinctly like they were drawn by Meskin, I find no such overt Meskin drawing in “Through Al Eternity”. Further while three of the panels (4 to 6) of page 2 look like Meskin could have laid them out, the composition of the upper three panels seems inferior to Mort’s typical efforts. On a whole I am included to say that these are not Meskin layouts and Roussos was just trying to pick up some of Mort’s techniques.

Black Magic #10

Black Magic #10 (March 1952) “Seven Years Bad Luck”, art by Marvin Stein

My database has 6 Black Magic stories drawn by Marvin Stein but they are all from the second run of the title (1957 – 1958). “Seven Years Bad Luck” is unsigned but there are quite enough examples of typical Stein drawing style, such as the man on the right in the last panel, that it can confidentially be attributed to Marvin. By this time Stein was only occasionally providing work for Simon and Kirby productions but he was very active in Prize crime titles (Headline and Justice Traps the Guilty) having in fact become the primary artist. Stein also made appearances in Prize Comics Western although not nearly as often. Marvin had developed a style very suited for the crime and western genre, and he puts it to good effect in this Black Magic tale as well.

Black Magic #9

Black Magic #9 (February 1952) “The Man in the Judge’s Chair”, art by J. G.

There are two mystery artists in the Black Magic issues covered in this chapter. One particularly tantalizing one is the one who did “The Man in the Judge’s Chair”. I say that not because of the art, which is good but not great, but because it is signed with just initials (J. G.). I have a small list of candidates with those initials who worked during this period:

  • Joe Gagliardi
  • Joe Gallagher
  • Jim Gary
  • Joe Gevanter
  • Joe Giella
  • John Guinta
  • Jerry Grandenetti
  • Joe Greene

I am completely unfamiliar with four of them and so I will have to do more research. John Guinta did some work for Simon and Kirby in 1949 (chapter 9 of Art of Romance and chapter 7 of It’s A Crime) but unless his style has changed considerably he was not the artist. Jerry Grandenetti worked with Joe Simon in the 70’s and his comic book career actually goes back far enough. I have not seen much of Grandenetti’s early work and will not rule him out entirely but I do not think he is a good match either. My database shows Joe Gevanter as the artist for a story in Prize Comics Western #104 (March 1954) but I now question that attribution. The piece is signed Gevanter and Severin and that order usually means Gevanter was the penciller and Severin the inker but it seems odd that Severin would ink another artist work when he generally did not ink his own pencils. Further the drawing style is so close to Severin’s that either John’s inking completely overwhelmed Joe’s pencils or in fact Gevanter was the inker to Severin pencils. Currently I accept the latter deduction and I have found no indications that Gevanter penciled any other comic book so I do not consider him the artist of “The Man in the Judge’s Chair”.

Black Magic #11

Black Magic #11 (April 1952) “Room for One More”, art by unidentified artist

The other unattributed story is “Room for One More”. Again the art really is neither bad nor great but it would be nice to know who drew it. Unfortunately at this time I cannot even offer a suggestion.

The Little Shop of Horrors, Chapter 1 (#1 – 3), Expanding Their Fields
The Little Shop of Horrors, Chapter 2 (#4 – 6), Up and Running
The Little Shop of Horrors, Chapter 3 (#7 – 8), The Same Old Gang

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

Little Shop of Horrors, Chapter 3, The Same Old Gang

(October – December 1951: Black Magic #7 – #8)

During the period covered in this chapter, along with the bimonthly Black Magic, Simon and Kirby were producing two monthly romance titles (Young Romance and Young Love). Not the largest work load for the prolific duo but apparently all the titles were doing well. Since Simon and Kirby received a share of the profits, sales volume was more important then the number of titles produced.

As was true with the concurrent romance titles (Chapter 17 of The Art of Romance), Jack Kirby was producing less then his normal amount of pages of art work. In BM #7 and #8, Jack would do the two covers and a single 8 page story. It was Mort Meskin who was the most prolific artist providing 23 pages for these two issues. Even John Prentice and Marvin Stein produced more pages then Kirby (both with 12 pages each). Bill Draut would provide a single 7 pages story. That was the complete artist line-up for BM #7 and #8; just the regular studio artists of that time. This is another of those chapters where I have been able to identify all the artists who worked on these issues.

Black Magic #7
Black Magic #7 (October 1951) “The Thing in The Fog”, art by Jack Kirby

The full page splash for Jack Kirby’s single story, “The Thing in the Fog”, is quite unusual for the artist. Typically Kirby focuses on the human elements of a picture but here all we see are the backs of three individuals on a make shift raft. The center of attention is the approaching ship and even it is mostly lost in the fog with only the masthead distinctly delimitated. The depiction of fog would normally be expected to be billowing cloud shapes but instead the mists are rendered by a complex of strong crosshatching. The whole effect is one of eerie mystery and impending doom. It may be an unusual splash for Kirby but still one of his greater pieces of art.

Black Magic #8
Black Magic #8 (December 1951) “Invisible Link”, art by Mort Meskin

Meskin’s splash for “Invisible Link” consists of a repeated image although with different clothing and surroundings. Today the artist would probably simply draw one, make a copy and work on the copy to produce the second image. But at this time there were no cheap copiers and so a stat would have to be made. This not only meant added costs but added delay as well. Instead Mort simply redrew the figure. By quickly going back and forth between the two images you can verify the differences between the mouth, nose and other details. The use of a double image is a simple device but one that captures the essence of the story.

Black Magic #8
Black Magic #8 (December 1951) “Invisible Link” page 4, art by Mort Meskin

I have previously remarked that Meskin would sometimes adopt the tall narrow panels that earlier were used by Leonard Starr. In Mort’s case this typically meant dividing the page into two rows each with 3 panels. Above I provide a page with a slightly different approach. The height of the bottom row has been reduced giving even more vertical dimension to the narrow panels of the top row. To make up for the loss of height, the bottom row only has two panels. These tall narrow panel layouts are normally not found in the works by Jack Kirby during this period and that is another of the recurring indications that Kirby was not providing layouts to Mort as some people have claimed. Further it suggests that whatever script was provided to Meskin it either did not completely detail out the art on the page, or if it did Mort felt free to deviate from the directions.

Black Magic #7
Black Magic #7 (October 1951) “Don’t Ride the 5:20”, art by Bill Draut

A skeletal cloaked figure of death looms over a speeding train in this full page splash by Bill Draut. Of course none of these elements are found among Bill’s romance art so it is by depictions of people in the story that allows this work to be safely attributed to him. The detailing of the drawing of the train indicates it was based on a photographic image. But the sharpness, so untypical for Draut, suggests that rather being swiped from a photograph that perhaps the picture was literally glued down on the board and then inked over to provide the desired effect. If true this would be an unusual occurrence at this time although years later Simon would often build up a cover using stats.

Black Magic #7
Black Magic #7 (October 1951) “Old Tom’s Window”, art by John Prentice

It is not unusual for Jack Kirby to assume the role of art editor and make alterations to the work submitted by artists employed by the studio. Normally this is for less talented artists and I do not recall ever seeing Jack fix up the work of Bill Draut or Mort Meskin. I consider John Prentice as in the same talented class with Draut and Meskin which is why I am surprised to see Kirby art editor’s hand at work in some of art submitted by Prentice when he first appeared in Simon and Kirby productions. Compare the first story panel for “Old Tom’s Window with the rest of the page and you will note subtle but important differences. The figures in panel one are simpler and lack the craggy feel found in the splash and the second panel and which is typical of Prentice’s depictions of men. Also observe the difference in brush techniques. Those in the first story panel include picket fence crosshatching, drop strings and abstract arch shadows (see my Inking Glossary for explanations of these terms) that are typical of the Studio Style inking. The brush work is blunt but nuanced and was almost certainly done by Kirby. The inking on the rest of the page lacks these elements and is typical of Prentice’s approach. It is hard for me to understand why Jack felt compelled to work on this panel since the depiction of the men in hospital beds is really not that different from those done by Prentice on the rest of the page. Perhaps it was not so much Jack correcting John as providing him with guidance about how to do the story. If that was true it was with this single panel as the rest of the story is laid out in Prentice’s characterizing manner.

Black Magic #7
Black Magic #7 (October 1951) “No One Human” page 2, art by Marvin Stein

By this time as I mentioned in The Art of Romance (chapter 16), Marvin Stein’s art was beginning to show some significant improvements from his earlier more crude style but has not quite reached his more mature style. I credit much of Stein’s improvement to his close study of Kirby’s art either through close observation while working in the same studio or perhaps by actually inking Jack’s work (although I have not yet verified Stein’s inking of Kirby at this early date). Marvin’s inking has particularly improved from his early version to this one. Normally I prefer to present a splash, but in the case of “No One Human” it is difficult to recognize Stein’s hand in the first page. Instead I show page 2 where the man in panel 3 is very close to Stein’s mature art style. Note Marvin’s frequent angular crosshatching. While this is not generally found in Stein’s work it plays a prominent part of this story but I have to admit I find it rather distracting. Also observe the vertically oriented captions. Kirby would only occasionally use vertical captions so this is an indication that this story was not based on Kirby layouts. Interestingly vertical captions are often used by Mort Meskin who also occasionally uses similar angular crosshatching. I find it hard to believe that Meskin would be supplying Stein with layouts and even harder to accept that Mort would be inking Marvin’s pencils so I suspect that Stein was also carefully studying Meskin’s work as well.

Black Magic #8
Black Magic #8 (December 1951) “Donovan’s Demon”, art by Jack Kirby and Marvin Stein

I have discussed the splash for “Donovan’s Demons” in the past (Summoning Demons). The only modifications of my previous views is that I know come to credit the artist for the story as Marvin Stein. But to quickly review, while the man appears to have been drawn and inked by Stein, the woman is clearly the work of Jack Kirby. Both are background elements with the most important part of the splash being the chair, candles and star pattern on the floor. The candles are good matches for those done by Kirby found elsewhere. Chairs do not normally play such a prominent part in Kirby’s art so it is difficult to make a comparison. However the perspective on the chair is so well done and since this sort of dramatic perspective played such an important art I believe Jack did the chair as well. It is not that unusual to find a Kirby figure in a splash otherwise done by another studio artist but it is odd to see a single figure by another artist in a splash otherwise done by Kirby. Perhaps this was done so that there would be some continuity between the splash and the rest of the story art.

The Little Shop of Horrors, Chapter 1 (#1 – 3), Expanding Their Fields
The Little Shop of Horrors, Chapter 2 (#4 – 6), Up and Running

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

Art of Romance, Chapter 16, Someone Old and Someone New

(August 1951 – October 1951: Young Romance #36 – #38, Young Love #24 – #26)

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

Despite the fact that today many fans point to Boys’ Ranch as one of Simon and Kirby best efforts it was at the time a commercial failure. The last issue of Boys’ Ranch would have an August cover date. After that Joe and Jack would only be working on the two monthly romance titles and the bimonthly Black Magic all of them for Prize Comics. Young Romance entered its fourth year and I believe both romance titles were still selling very well.

Jack Kirby is legendary for the amount of work he could produce. While there were periods during the Simon and Kirby collaboration that support that legend there are other times that do not. In the previous chapter Meskin replaced Kirby as the most productive studio artist. During the period covered in this chapter Meskin has maintained the first place position but now Bill Draut has replaced Jack for the second place. For the romance titles Meskin produced 64, Draut 49, and Kirby 45 pages. Adding the work for Black Magic only increases the disparity (Meskin 78, Draut 67 and Kirby 60 pages). Mort Meskin was famous for his productivity but Bill Draut was not. The difference is all the more striking when it is considered that Meskin and Draut were doing all there own inking while Kirby was not.

Another indication of Jack’s decreased involvement in the art from this period is that Bill Draut did the lead story for Young Romance #36. While it was not unusual for the first story of Young Love to be done by artists other then Kirby, Young Romance was the flagship title and up to now Jack almost always provided the lead story. The single previous exception was for YR #12 (July 1949) and Draut was the feature artist on that occasion as well.

I cannot offer any explanation for Kirby’s decreased page production. If his time was occupied with trying to develop something new it did not come to fruition. But it must be remembered that Jack was a boss and his income depended on the how good sales were for the S&K titles not on how many pages of art he drew. His decreased output could be due to nothing more then attention to some personal issues.

Most of the rest of the romance work was done by two artists; John Prentice with 25 pages and Marvin Stein with 24 pages. Three other artists supplied single stories. Two of them will be discussed below and the third has not been identified but only provided a single page.

Young Romance #38 (October 1951) “Family Trouble”, art by Jack Kirby

While his page count has dropped the quality of Jack Kirby’s work had not suffered. He still drew great splashes and his stories were still unique compared to other studio artists (suggesting that Jack was rewriting the scripts while he was drawing them). This uniqueness was often the result of placing more action into the story, something that Kirby excelled at. But as I have pointed out before, Jack also excelled at comic book art that did not rely on action. His romance splash panels are often examples of this. The splash for “Family Trouble” uses the confessional format that is so typical of Kirby’s lead stories. The word balloon that introduces the story provides the plot of young lovers facing family disapproval but does not explain the basis of their problem other then age. Kirby presents the couple passing through a gate carrying their luggage presumable off to start their new life together. The sign on the entrance indicates they are leaving the servant’s quarters and therefore theirs is a romance that breaks the class boundary between the rich and their servants. The man seems calmed but resolved while the woman seems more resolute. At a glance this splash is nothing more the two standing figures but Jack embodies an entire story in it. Of course the viewer is expected to be enticed to read the story to get the full explanation.

Young Love #25 (September 1951) “My Old Flame”, art by Jack Kirby

Kirby’s splashes are almost always interesting but occasionally they are quite unique. Given Joe Simon’s long history of innovative designs I suspect he provided layouts for many of Jack’s covers and splashes but even if that is true it still took a genius like Kirby to make them work so well. Here while riding a train a man pauses from reading his book to reflect on a past relationship. Normally the splash would be expected to show a head shot or half figure of the former love object. Instead we are provided with just a close-up of a set of eyes seeming arising behind the man; a compositional device that is much more effective in capturing the man’s mood.

Young Romance #36 (August 1951) “Yesterday’s Romance”, art by Bill Draut

“Yesterday’s Romance” was the lead story for YR #36 that Bill did instead of Jack. It is an unusual story for any romance title because it main characters are all in their advanced years. Draut does a good job of capturing the offbeat nature of the story in his splash. The odd thing about this piece is that usually the lead story used the confessional format where the protagonist’s speech balloon tells what the story is about and provides the title. Bill has used that confessional splash before so he was aware of Simon and Kirby’s preference for using that splash format for the lead story.

Young Romance #36 (August 1951) “Married In Haste”, art by Bill Draut

While “Yesterday’s Romance” failed to make use of the confessional splash it appears in the same issue in “Married in Haste”. This suggests that “Married in Haste” was originally meant to be the lead story but its place was taken by “Yesterday’s Romance” after the art was completed. Bill does a good job with the confessional splash and as any good splash it succeeds in its roll as the story’s preview. It may not be fair but it is constructive to compare the splash for “Married in Haste” with Kirby’s “Family Trouble” (shown above). Both do well at having the splash background support the story needed although it is not clear how much of this was the result of the artist and how much came from the writer. I describe the comparison as unfair because Kirby is such a great artist the comparison will tend to make Draut’s work poorer then the excellent art it really is. But the comparison is useful because it highlights the nuanced emotions Kirby gives his characters compared to the more static ones that Draut provides. While Kirby is justly famous for the exciting action the work he did for romance pushed him to be equally adept at portraying more subtle emotions.

Young Love #24 (August 1951) “Native Wedding”, art by Mort Meskin

The splash for Meskin’s “Native Wedding” is reminiscent of the one Bruno Premiani did some time ago for YR #10 (June 1950, see chapter 11 of The Art of Romance). One obvious difference is that Meskin is uncharacteristic in his use of busy brushwork found throughout the splash. Normally this would result in the image loosing focus but somehow Mort pulls it off. Mort also takes care to make the camp fire scene occur at night providing the nearby faces shadowed from below as appropriate for the position of the fire. The dancer’s back is also appropriately shadowed.

Young Love #26 (October 1951) “Let’s Keep It Gay” page 5, art by Mort Meskin

For a couple of pages of “Let’s Keep It Gay” Meskin adopts and 2 rows by 3 columns panel layout. This results in tall narrow panels that Mort put to good use especially in the second panel of page 5. This panel layout was one that previously Leonard Starr was fond of using so one wonders if perhaps Meskin picked it up from him. Starr also used a 3 rows by 3 panel layout where he would decrease the height of two rows so that the remaining row would have similarly tall panels. Starr’s modified 3 by 3 panel layout did not seem to be one the Meskin picked up on.

I particularly like how the bottom row starts with the couple in the foreground and a TV studio as the background, then Mort comes in for a close-up without the studio background, before ending by once again pushing the couple into the background of the studio. Careful manipulation of point of view was an important aspect of Meskin’s art during this period providing his stories with what could be described as a cinematic approach.

Young Romance #38 (October 1951) “One Tragic Mistake”, art by John Prentice

John Prentice has become a regular presence in Simon and Kirby productions, especially the romance comics. In the last chapter I provided an example where Prentice seemed to be adopting some of the Studio Style inking techniques. Although it was possible it could have been Joe or Jack touching up John’s work the picket fence crosshatching (see my Inking Glossary for explanations of some of my inking terminology) my opinion was and still is that it was the work of John himself. For the splash page of “One Tragic Mistake” we find a more typical Prentice inking. Note in particular his method of doing cloth folds. They are not the spatulate or oval shape typical of Kirby but tend to be long with roughly parallel edges and with a more or less flat and sometimes slanted ends. John also has a fondness for long sweeping cloth folds. Note the inking of the man’s shoulder. At a glance this might be mistaken for a Studio Style shoulder blot but see how it appears on only one of the shoulders and is clearly integrated with the shadow on the side of the face. With Joe or Jack I am never sure if shoulder blots were meant to indicate shadows or the turn of the form but Prentice always seems quite clear with his intent.

Young Romance #38 (October 1951) “One Tragic Mistake” page 8, art by John Prentice

While the splash page to this story looks like typical Prentice inking other pages seem to be a combination of his own inking techniques and the Studio Style. Most of the cloth folds are done in Prentice’s typical brush work but note the abstract arch shadows (panels 1, 2 and 4), picket fence crosshatching (panels 3 and 4) and shoulder blot (panel 6). Only drop strings appear to be missing. Panel 6 truly has shoulder blots because they appear on both shoulders while a shadow would only be appropriate foe the man’s right side. While I am not certain that the picket fence crosshatching was not by John, the abstract arches are so untypical for Prentice that I believe this is Joe or Jack stepping to do some touching up.

Young Love #24 (August 1951) “Don’t Tell On Me” page 2, art by John Prentice

A page from another Prentice story from the same period provides a more typical example of Prentice inking. Again note the cloth folds some of which are long and sweeping and few could be called oval or spatulate in shape. There are some arching shadows that might suggest the Studio Style. But the round shape in the first panel is not abstract at all but is clearly meant to be the moon. The arc of the left side of the second panel is meant to be the entrance to an arched hallway. The shadow on the right side seems to be the light of the window falling on the darken exterior. Almost all applications of large areas of ink appear to be intended as realistic shadows. There is some picket fence crosshatching that again does not look typical of the brush work of either Kirby or Simon. However note the picket fence crosshatching of the last panel. The pure black area on the man’s left shoulder seems an appropriate shadow but then the picket fence crosshatching on the opposite side does not. Since I have found both Simon and Kirby touching up other artists works distinguishing between their efforts and that of the original artists adopting Studio Style techniques can be a difficult conundrum. In John Prentice’s case I am still undecided. The distinction becomes important when trying to detect Prentice’s hand in the inking of work by Jack Kirby. Some have suggested that John was the inker for some of Kirby’s art and he certainly is a candidate for that type of work.

Young Love #24 (August 1951) “Left At the Alter”, art by Marvin Stein

Previously I have had mixed feelings about Marvin Stein and in particular felt his romance art was little more then adequate. Even in the last chapter I noted his presence and gave an example image but did not provide more detailed examination. However Marvin had been working hard at improving his art and although signs of improvement have been noted before now his efforts really seems to bare fruit during this period. Marvin developed a style for his crime and western work that owed much to what he learned from Jack Kirby. For that more action oriented art Stein also developed an inking style that was blunt but well controlled; a style very suitable for the genre it was used on. Neither the pencil nor inking style would be very appropriate for romance work so instead Marvin used a more refined style for both. Not only was the bold inking brush restrained but Marvin sometimes used a pen to create crosshatching. His figure drawing has improved but he still retains one of his earlier trademark tendencies to give his woman eyes that are set at an angle with each other.

Young Love #25 (September 1951) “Alice Finds Her Wonderland”, art by Marvin Stein

The splash for “Alice Finds Her Wonderland” is so special I could not resist including it. The Alice in Wonderland cast was probable requested by the script writer although the wonderland that Alice desires in the story did not include these delightful characters. Having seen much of Marvin Steins work in the romance, crime, western and horror genres it is quite a pleasure to see him so successful at a more cartoon-like drawing.

Young Romance #36 (August 1951) “Just Good Friends”, art by Vic Donahue

Vic Donahue has not made an appearance in a Simon and Kirby production for almost a year (last seen in YL #13, September 1950, see Chapter 11 of The Art of Romance). Even then I remarked that his art had been improving. Apparently that improvement has progressed so far that I almost did not recognize him in “Just Good Friends”. Even though this piece is unsigned enough of Vic’s mannerisms remain to credit Vic with this story such as the tilt he often gives the heads of females or the way he occasionally reverts to fine pen work often as simple hatching. Vic also appeared in this same month in Black Magic #6 (Chapter 2 of the Little Shop of Horrors) in a signed piece but I have to admit I did not find that work particularly appealing.

Young Love #26 (October 1951) “Polly Wants a Boy Friend”, art by Ross Andru

I am always impressed by the number of talented comic book artists that had worked for Simon and Kirby at one time or another. Some like Bill Draut, Mort Meskin and John Prentice did extended stays. Others like Leonard Starr and John Severin worked for more limited durations but provided their share of work during that time. Yet others made brief appearances and only did a few pieces for instance Bernie Krigstein and Steve Ditko. Ross Andru belongs in the last category.

I must admit that I am not that knowledgeable about Ross Andru’s history. Most fans are probably familiar with him for the work he did many years later on Amazing Spider-Man. Andru was clearly an enterprising individual who formed his own company on three occasions. The earliest was in 1951 when he and Mike Esposito created MR Publications. I am not clear exactly what the nature of this company was. Some have said it was a comic publishing company in which case Andru and Esposito were three years ahead of Simon and Kirby’s Mainline (although Al Harvey was much earlier then them all). However I have been unable to determine what comic titles they published. If MR Publications was actually producing comic books for another publisher to release then Simon and Kirby had been doing that for years (and Will Eisner doing it still earlier). MR Publications was short lived and it would be interesting to determine the timing of that company or its demise and the appearance of Andru’s in Simon and Kirby productions.

“Polly Wants a Boy Friend” is typical romance work by Andru. The sort of wistful expression with tilted head of the woman in the center of the splash panel can be found in some signed pieces from a few years later. The man in the last panel of the page was also a dead giveaway of Andru’s style. Although unsigned I have not doubt about the correct attribution of this story. My database indicates Ross will appear in a couple more Simon and Kirby romances in the near future and again under different circumstances in 1954. Considering that Andru’s earlier pieces for Joe and Jack are unsigned there is also the possibility I will find more as my reviews progress.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Art of Romance, Chapter 14, The Third Suspect

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 10, The Master and His Protégé

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

This chapter will cover the Prize crime comics from the period December 1949 through February 1951. This is a longer period then I have lately been using in my serial posts but it defines a period where the art and artists are consistent. Actually the period started with JTTG #12 and Headline #38 that were included in the previous chapter.

Headline #43 (September 1950)

For much of this period the covers of the crime titles used photographs. When the photo covers began some months before (Headline #36 July 1949, JTTG #12 October 1949) it is clear that Simon and Kirby had a hand in them because both are present on the cover for Headline #37 (September 1949).

Justice Traps the Guilty #5 (July 1948), art by Jack Kirby

While neither artist shows up on any further covers, Simon and Kirby at least influenced the cover for Headline #43. The same theme appeared previously on the cover for JTTG #5 drawn by Jack Kirby. In both the criminal threatens to jump rather then allow himself to be arrested, the policeman has a personal relationship to the criminal (brother-in-law in one and old friend in the other), and a woman, presumably the criminal’s wife, looks on behind the protection provided by the cop. While the two covers have the same theme in reality they could hardly be more different. I do not know who was responsible for the switch to photo covers, but did they really believe that cheesy covers like that were better then those drawn by Kirby? What were they thinking?

Justice Traps the Guilty #18 (September 1950), art by Jack Kirby

Eventually the use of photographic covers ended for four Prize titles. This did not happen at once but was done over a three month period. The last photo cover were Prize Comics Western #82 (July 1950), Young Love #1 (July 1950), Justice Traps the Guilty #17 (August 1950), and Headline #43 (September 1950). The western romance titles had ended prior to the drop of photo covers but interestingly Young Romance did not switch like the other titles and photo covers continued to be used until 1954 (with a couple very short lived revival of art covers; issues #26, #27, #33 and #34). Photo covers for Young Love resumed with issue #23 (July 1951) and then also continued until 1954.

When drawn covers were resumed it was Jack Kirby who provided the initial cover art. In the case of Prize Comics Western this was only for one issue (PCW #83, August 1950) before another artist (so far unidentified) took over. For Headline Kirby would produce two covers (issues #44 November 1950 and #45 January 1951). Justice Traps the Guilty got five Kirby covers (issues #18, #19, #21, #22 and #23, September 1950 to February 1951. Note that the last Kirby covers for JTTG and Headline were dated about the same time but there are over twice as many JTTG Kirby covers. This can be explained by the fact that photo covers were dropped on JTTG before Headline and JTTG was at this point a monthly title while Headline remained a bimonthly.

Justice Traps the Guilty #20 (November 1950), art by Marvin Stein

Perhaps the reader noticed that in the middle of all final Kirby crime covers there was one missing, JTTG #20. This cover is unsigned but clearly was not done by Jack. Instead it was done by an artist, Marvin Stein, who has not yet been discussed in this serial post, It’s a Crime, or The Art of Romance but was discussed briefly in Prize Comics Western, a Rough History. I will be writing about Stein further below but here I would like to say that my attribution of JTTG #20 is based mainly on the policemen. The head of the cop in the foreground has a shallow depth to it that is characteristic of Marvin Stein when he draws a head from slightly behind side view. Stein also has a particular visual shorthand for more distant faces that can be seen in the background policeman.

Justice Traps the Guilty #22 (January 1951) “Brute Force”, art by Marvin Stein

Marvin Stein had an extended relationship with Prize Comics but how long he was actually employed by the Simon and Kirby studio is more uncertain. When interviewed by Jim Amash (Alter Ego #76 March 2008) Joe Simon said that they traded Marvin like he was some baseball player to Crestwood (otherwise known as Prize Comics). However Stein continued to work in the Simon and Kirby studio as Prize Comics had no art department. It would be nice to know when this “trade” occurred and although I will be offering a couple of possibilities the fact none is of my suggestions seems fully satisfactory.

Joe Simon once said to me that initially he did not think Stein’s art was that good but later Marvin improved greatly. Marvin signed many of his work and had a distinctive style over most of his career. The earliest signed work by Marvin Stein that I am aware of is “Brute Force”. The presence of his autograph is particularly important because otherwise it would be hard to provide an attribute since it does not exhibit many of the features that make Stein’s style so distinctive. Frankly I am fully in agreement with Joe’s negative evaluation of Marvin’s early work.

Young Love #19 (March 1951) “The Girl Who Loves Him”, art by Marvin Stein

Marvin Stein’s early work shows much variation. “The Girl Who Loves Him” was published only a couple of months after “Brute Force”. I have included this romance story here because if provides a better example of what Marvin’s early work looked like. While on a whole this early art looks different from later, and more typical, work by Stein, some of his style traits can be detected. Marvin often shows a man from above and to the side and when doing so draws them in a distinctive fashion. This can be seen in the man in the second panel. The woman in the third panel has eyebrows that extend into a thought line without much of a demarcation to distinguish the two facial features; this is also a trait often found in Stein’s later period. In particular, make note of how the woman is drawn in the second, third and fifth panels. Here Marvin’s style is different from his typical period but we will see it again in some unsigned works.

Justice Traps the Guilty #18 (September 1950) “Pirates of the Poor” page 6, art by Jack Kirby and Marvin Stein

While it is clear that during this period Jack Kirby contributed some covers, did he provide any art? Well if you believe The Jack Kirby Checklist, Jack provided two stories, one of them being “Pirates of the Poor”. I must admit that some time ago I had excluded this story from works attributable to Kirby. But one nice thing about the writing these posts that focus on specific periods is that it gives a better perspective when I review the material. There are parts of the art of this story that do look like they were done by Jack as for instance the man in the first panel. There are other parts that look like pure Marvin as in the shallow depths of the head of the men seen from behind in the second and last panels.

Justice Traps the Guilty #18 (September 1950) “Pirates of the Poor” page 9, art by Jack Kirby and Marvin Stein

The third panel has a distinctive Kirby touch to it and is very different from Stein’s manner of drawing either men or women at this time. For me the big giveaway is the manner of graphically telling the story. The use of “camera” angles just looks too advanced compared to other work by Stein in this period. It is, however, just the thing Kirby was so good at. But look how awkward the last two panels are, not the sort of thing you would expect from Kirby. While some may think this story was penciled by Jack and just inked by Stein I believe this is another case of Kirby providing layouts and another artist, in this case Stein, doing the finishing work and inking. In cases like this I credit the art to both artists.

Justice Traps the Guilty #19 (October 1950) “Alibi Guy” page 7, art by Marvin Stein

The other story that The Jack Kirby Checklists credits to Jack is “Alibi Guy”. Again this is a work that for a long time I did not believe was done by Jack. Having changed my mind about “Pirates of the Poor” I gave particular attention in my review of “Alibi Guy”. In this case, however, I still believe that the pencils were not done by Kirby. All the faces look like they were drawn by Stein; the man in the second panel of page 7 is the closest any of them come to Kirby’s style. Perhaps Jack did give a hand in that panel or perhaps Marvin just swiped it. The use of viewpoints in graphically telling the story is handled rather well, but is not suspiciously well done. Nothing in the use of “camera” angles convinces me Kirby was involved in even the layouts. There really is no comparison between “Alibi Guy” and “Pirates of the Poor” and I continue to exclude “Alibi Guy” from Jack’s work.

Marvin Stein was obviously very influenced by Jack Kirby. Even when Marvin was no longer working on Simon and Kirby productions he continued to work in the studio. Which brings the question about exactly when Marvin was “traded” off by Simon and Kirby to Prize? On possible date could be at the start of this period. But we have seen that during this Kirby provide layouts to Stein in “Pirates of the Poor”. So perhaps a better date would be at the end of the period covered in this chapter, which is after February 1951. It will be the subject of a future chapter for It’s A Crime but Stein played an important part in both Headline and Justice Traps the Guilty from March 1951 on. But art by Stein was still appearing in Young Romance and Young Love throughout 1951 and he was involved in Boys’ Ranch as well which ended in August 1951. Putting the “trade” at the end of 1951 would solve that problem but by then Marvin had been fully involved in the Prize crime titles for some time so what was he being “traded” to? Perhaps it is not wise to take the trading of Marvin Stein too literally and remember Joe Simon’s saying “never let facts get in the way of a good story”.

Of course Jack Kirby and Marvin Stein were not the only artists working on Headline and Justice Traps the Guilty during this period. But that will be the subject of the next chapter of It’s A Crime.

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 11, The New Team

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.

Marvin Stein Checklist

Last update: 1/2/2012

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

Alarming Adventures (Harvey)
   s 1    Oct  1962    5p "The Aliens"

All For Love (Prize)
     2    (v.1, n2)  June 1957    7p "Loving Is Believing"
     3    (v.1, n3)  Aug  1957    7p "The Voice of Love"
     4    (v.1, n4)  Oct  1957    6p "To Win My Love"
     4    (v.1, n4)  Oct  1957    6p "Ingenue at Romance"
     7    (v.2, n1)  Apr  1958    5p "Love For Granted"
     7    (v.2, n1)  Apr  1958    7p "The Man I Married"
   ? 8    (v.2, n2)  June 1958    6p "As Good as Any Man"
     14   (v.3, n1)  June 1959    7p "Lost Paradise"

Black Magic (Prize)
   s 3    (v.1, n3)  Feb  1951    6p "The Voices In The Night"
     7    (v.2, n1)  Oct  1951    4p "No One Human"
     8    (v.2, n2)  Dec  1951    8p "Donovan's Demon"- (Kirby splash except right figure)
     10   (v.2, n4)  Mar  1952    8p "Seven Years Bad Luck"
     35   (v.6, n2)  Nov  1957    6p "The Immortal"
     35   (v.6, n2)  Nov  1957    6p "The Old Man"
     37   (v.6, n4)  Mar  1958    6p "Stranger in 313"
     38   (v.6, n5)  May  1958    7p "The Impossible"
     39   (v.6, n6)  July 1958    7p "Double Trouble"
     40   (v.7, n1)  Sept 1958    6p "The Valley Of Forever"

Boys' Ranch (Harvey)
     4    Apr  1951    1p "How Cowboys Say It"

Frankenstein (Prize)
     21   Oct  1952    6p "Satan and the Sailor"
     27   Oct  1953    7p "Flight Unknown"
     28   Dec  1953    8p "Crystal Ball"
     28   Dec  1953    5p "The Monster"
     30   Apr  1954    6p "Electronic Brain"
     30   Apr  1954    1p "The Hitchhiker"
     31   (v.5, n3)  June 1954    2p "Into the 4th Dimension"
   s 31   (v.5, n3)  June 1954    3p "Premonition of Death"
     32   Aug  1954    6p "Supreme Power"
     33   Oct  1954    3p "Small Fry"
     33   Oct  1954    3p "Doorway to the Future"

Headline (Prize)
   ? 39   (v.5, n3)  Jan  1950   10p "The Boiler Room Racket"
     40   (v.5, n4)  Mar  1950   10p "The Case Of Joe Andrews"
     42   (v.5, n6)  July 1950   10p "Ghost Racket"
     43   (v.6, n1)  Sept 1950   10p "Shakedown"
     43   (v.6, n1)  Sept 1950    8p "Dig Your Own Grave"
     45   (v.6, n3)  Jan  1951    7p "Homocide- C.O.D."
     46   (v.6, n4)  Mar  1951       [cover]
     46   (v.6, n4)  Mar  1951   10p "Enemy Of Reform"
   s 47   (v.6, n5)  May  1951       [cover]
     47   (v.6, n5)  May  1951   10p "The Fixer"
     48   (v.6, n6)  July 1951       [cover]
     48   (v.6, n6)  July 1951   10p "This Match For Hire"
   s 49   (v.7, n1)  Sept 1951       [cover]
     49   (v.7, n1)  Sept 1951   10p "Speedway Racketeers"
   s 50   (v.7, n2)  Nov  1951       [cover]
     50   (v.7, n2)  Nov  1951   10p "Muscle Man"
     51   (v.7, n3)  Jan  1952       [cover]
     51   (v.7, n3)  Jan  1952   10p "King Of The Stool Pigeons"
   s 52   (v.7, n4)  Mar  1952       [cover]
   s 52   (v.7, n4)  Mar  1952   10p "The Hideout Racket"
   s 53   (v.7, n5)  May  1952       [cover]
     53   (v.7, n5)  May  1952   10p "The Business Buccaneers"
     53   (v.7, n5)  May  1952    6p "Getaway"
   s 54   (v.7, n6)  July 1952       [cover]
     54   (v.7, n6)  July 1952   10p "Homicide Peddlers"
   s 55   (v.8, n1)  Sept 1952       [cover]
     55   (v.8, n1)  Sept 1952   10p "The Grab-Bag King"
   s 56   (v.8, n2)  Nov  1952       [cover]
     56   (v.8, n2)  Nov  1952   10p "The Charity Chiselers"
   s 56   (v.8, n2)  Nov  1952    7p "The Has-Been"
   s 57   (v.8, n3)  Jan  1953       [cover]
     57   (v.8, n3)  Jan  1953   10p "Counterfeit"
   s 58   (v.8, n4)  Mar  1953       [cover]
     58   (v.8, n4)  Mar  1953   10p "Merchant of Death"
   s 59   (v.8, n5)  May  1953       [cover]
     59   (v.8, n5)  May  1953    8p "Getaway Mob"
   s 59   (v.8, n5)  May  1953    5p "Find the Corpse"
   s 60   (v.8, n6)  July 1953       [cover]
     60   (v.8, n6)  July 1953    8p "Finger Man"
     60   (v.8, n6)  July 1953    1p "F.B.I. Radio Broadcast"
   s 61   (v.9, n1)  Sept 1953       [cover]
     61   (v.9, n1)  Sept 1953    8p "Moonshine"
   s 62   (v.9, n2)  Nov  1953       [cover]
     62   (v.9, n2)  Nov  1953    8p "Espionage"
   s 63   (v.9, n3)  Jan  1954       [cover]
     63   (v.9, n3)  Jan  1954    8p "The Slave Peddlers"
   s 64   (v.9, n4)  Mar  1954       [cover]
     64   (v.9, n4)  Mar  1954    8p "The Black Hand"
   s 65   (v.9, n5)  May  1954       [cover]
     65   (v.9, n5)  May  1954    8p "Syndicate Boss"
     65   (v.9, n5)  May  1954    5p "Home to Homicide"
     66   (v.9, n6)  July 1954       [cover]
     66   (v.9, n6)  July 1954    8p "Ransom"
     66   (v.9, n6)  July 1954    6p "Manhunt"
   s 67   (v.10, n1) Sept 1954       [cover]
     67   (v.10, n1) Sept 1954    8p "The River Pirates"
     67   (v.10, n1) Sept 1954    6p "The Witness"
   s 68   (v.10, n2) Nov  1954       [cover]
     68   (v.10, n2) Nov  1954    8p "The Charity Racketeers"
   s 68   (v.10, n2) Nov  1954    6p "Speed Merchant"
     69   (v.10, n3) Jan  1955       [cover]
     69   (v.10, n3) Jan  1955    8p "Homicide In The Headlines"
     69   (v.10, n3) Jan  1955    4p "The Old Gun"
     69   (v.10, n3) Jan  1955    6p "The Honorable Way"
     70   (v.10, n4) Mar  1955       [cover]
     70   (v.10, n4) Mar  1955    8p "The Roller Derby Racketeers"
   s 71   (v.10, n5) May  1955       [cover]
     71   (v.10, n5) May  1955    8p "The Hot Ice Heisters"
     71   (v.10, n5) May  1955    6p "Double Play"
   s 72   (v.10, n6) July 1955       [cover]
     72   (v.10, n6) July 1955    8p "Jig-Saw"
     72   (v.10, n6) July 1955    4p "Puzzle"
   s 73   (v.11, n1) Sept 1955       [cover]
     73   (v.11, n1) Sept 1955    8p "Prison Riot"
   s 74   (v.11, n2) Jan  1956       [cover]
     74   (v.11, n2) Jan  1956    6p "Brainwash at Hong Kong"
   s 75   (v.11, n3) Mar  1956       [cover]
     75   (v.11, n3) Mar  1956    6p "Curse of the River Diamonds"
     76   (v.11, n4) May  1956    6p "Democratic Victory at Venice"
   s 77   (v.11, n5) Sept 1956       [cover]
     77   (v.11, n5) Sept 1956    6p "Flying Saucers"
     77   (v.11, n5) Sept 1956    1p "Pen and Ink"

Justice Traps the Guilty (Prize)
   ? 11   (v.2, n5)  Aug  1949    8p "Small-Time Crooks"
   ? 12   (v.2, n6)  Oct  1949    8p "Air Cop"
     14   (v.3, n2)  Feb  1950   10p "Knockout Racket"
     15   (v.3, n3)  Apr  1950   10p "Basketball Bribe"
     16   (v.3, n4)  June 1950   10p "Carnival Of Crime"
     17   (v.3, n5)  Aug  1950   10p "Loan Shark"
     18   (v.3, n6)  Sept 1950   10p "Pirates Of The Poor"
     19   (v.4, n1)  Oct  1950   10p "Alibi Guy"
     20   (v.4, n2)  Nov  1950       [cover]
     21   (v.4, n3)  Dec  1950    8p "G.I. Housing Swindle"
   s 22   (v.4, n4)  Jan  1951    7p "Brute Force"
   s 23   (v.4, n5)  Feb  1951   10p "Terror Mob"
   s 24   (v.4, n6)  Mar  1951       [cover]
     24   (v.4, n6)  Mar  1951    6p "A Very Unusual Gent"
   s 25   (v.4, n7)  Apr  1951       [cover]
     25   (v.4, n7)  Apr  1951   10p "Hijackers"
   s 26   (v.4, n8)  May  1951       [cover]
   s 27   (v.4, n9)  June 1951       [cover]
     27   (v.4, n9)  June 1951   10p "Sky Smugglers"
     27   (v.4, n9)  June 1951    7p "T-Man Blitz"
     28   (v.4, n10) July 1951       [cover]
   s 28   (v.4, n10) July 1951   10p "I Was a Counterfeiter"
   s 29   (v.4, n11) Aug  1951       [cover]
     29   (v.4, n11) Aug  1951   10p "Extortion"
     30   (v.4, n12) Sept 1951       [cover]
     30   (v.4, n12) Sept 1951   10p "Heist Mob"
   s 31   (v.5, n1)  Oct  1951       [cover]
   ? 31   (v.5, n1)  Oct  1951   10p "Big Time Mobster"
     32   (v.5, n2)  Nov  1951       [cover]
     32   (v.5, n2)  Nov  1951   10p "Shoplifting Syndicate"
   s 33   (v.5, n3)  Dec  1951       [cover]
     33   (v.5, n3)  Dec  1951   10p "The Fake Heir Swindle"
     34   (v.5, n4)  Jan  1952       [cover]
     34   (v.5, n4)  Jan  1952   10p "Million Dollar Medicine Racket"
     35   (v.5, n5)  Feb  1952       [cover]
   s 35   (v.5, n5)  Feb  1952   10p "Alien Blackmail Ring"
   s 36   (v.5, n6)  Mar  1952       [cover]
     36   (v.5, n6)  Mar  1952   10p "Hot Freight Mob"
     37   (v.5, n7)  Apr  1952       [cover]
     37   (v.5, n7)  Apr  1952   10p "The Head-Hunters"
   s 38   (v.5, n8)  May  1952       [cover]
     38   (v.5, n8)  May  1952   10p "One Way Payoff"
   s 39   (v.5, n9)  June 1952       [cover]
     39   (v.5, n9)  June 1952   10p "The Food Profiteers"
   s 40   (v.5, n10) July 1952       [cover]
     40   (v.5, n10) July 1952   10p "King of the Dock Rackets"
   s 41   (v.5, n11) Aug  1952       [cover]
     41   (v.5, n11) Aug  1952    8p "The Protection Racket"
     42   (v.5, n12) Sept 1952       [cover]
     42   (v.5, n12) Sept 1952   10p "Scandal Sheet Shakedown"
     42   (v.5, n12) Sept 1952    8p "The Arbiter"
   s 43   (v.6, n1)  Oct  1952       [cover]
     43   (v.6, n1)  Oct  1952   10p "The Twentieth Century Pirates"
     43   (v.6, n1)  Oct  1952    7p "Too Smart to Burn"
   s 44   (v.6, n2)  Nov  1952       [cover]
   s 44   (v.6, n2)  Nov  1952   10p "Babies on the Block"
   s 44   (v.6, n2)  Nov  1952    6p "Gallows Bait"
   s 45   (v.6, n3)  Dec  1952       [cover]
     45   (v.6, n3)  Dec  1952   10p "The Framer"
     45   (v.6, n3)  Dec  1952    5p "Hoodlums Must Die"
   s 46   (v.6, n4)  Jan  1953       [cover]
     46   (v.6, n4)  Jan  1953   10p "KO Syndicate"
   s 47   (v.6, n5)  Feb  1953       [cover]
     47   (v.6, n5)  Feb  1953   10p "The Taxi Tricksters"
   s 48   (v.6, n6)  Mar  1953       [cover]
     48   (v.6, n6)  Mar  1953   10p "The Hockey Fixers"
   s 49   (v.6, n7)  Apr  1953       [cover]
     49   (v.6, n7)  Apr  1953    8p "Duel Passports"
   s 50   (v.6, n8)  May  1953       [cover]
     50   (v.6, n8)  May  1953    8p "Ex-Con Shakedown"
   s 51   (v.6, n9)  June 1953       [cover]
     51   (v.6, n9)  June 1953    8p "Mob Rule"
   s 52   (v.6, n10) July 1953       [cover]
     52   (v.6, n10) July 1953    8p "The Vandals"
   s 53   (v.6, n11) Aug  1953       [cover]
     53   (v.6, n11) Aug  1953    8p "The Wreckers"
   s 54   (v.6, n12) Sept 1953       [cover]
     54   (v.6, n12) Sept 1953    8p "Racket Guy"
     54   (v.6, n12) Sept 1953    6p "Hoods Die Young"
   s 55   (v.7, n1)  Oct  1953       [cover]
     55   (v.7, n1)  Oct  1953    8p "Inheritance Payoff"
     55   (v.7, n1)  Oct  1953    6p "The Ape Man Crimes"
   s 56   (v.7, n2)  Nov  1953       [cover]
     56   (v.7, n2)  Nov  1953    8p "The Hitch Heisters"
   s 57   (v.7, n3)  Dec  1953       [cover]
     57   (v.7, n3)  Dec  1953    8p "Salvage Sharks"
     57   (v.7, n3)  Dec  1953    4p "Dead Wrong"
   s 58   (v.7, n4)  Jan  1954       [cover]
     58   (v.7, n4)  Jan  1954    8p "The Swindler"
     60   (v.7, n5)  Feb  1954       [cover]
     60   (v.7, n5)  Feb  1954    8p "Stick-Up Mob"
   s 60A  (v.7, n6)  Mar  1954       [cover]
     60A  (v.7, n6)  Mar  1954    8p "Body Snatchers"
     60A  (v.7, n6)  Mar  1954    7p "Benny Goes Straight"
     61   (v.7, n7)  Apr  1954       [cover]
     61   (v.7, n7)  Apr  1954    8p "The Safecrackers"
     61   (v.7, n7)  Apr  1954    5p "Legacy of Doom"
   s 62   (v.7, n8)  May  1954       [cover]
     62   (v.7, n8)  May  1954    8p "King of the Beggers"
     63   (v.7, n9)  June 1954       [cover]
     63   (v.7, n9)  June 1954    8p "Highway Pirates"
   s 64   (v.7, n10) July 1954       [cover]
     64   (v.7, n10) July 1954    8p "Gangland Regime"
     65   (v.7, n11) Aug  1954       [cover]
     65   (v.7, n11) Aug  1954    8p "Blind Man's Bluff"
   s 66   (v.7, n12) Sept 1954       [cover]
     66   (v.7, n12) Sept 1954    8p "Always A Cop"
     66   (v.7, n12) Sept 1954    4p "The Green-Eyed Monster"
   s 67   (v.8, n1)  Oct  1954       [cover]
     67   (v.8, n1)  Oct  1954    8p "Tough Cop"
     67   (v.8, n1)  Oct  1954    6p "Feud"
   s 68   (v.8, n2)  Nov  1954       [cover]
     68   (v.8, n2)  Nov  1954    8p "T-Man Trap"
     68   (v.8, n2)  Nov  1954    6p "Not Fit for Duty"
   s 69   (v.8, n3)  Dec  1954       [cover]
     69   (v.8, n3)  Dec  1954    8p "The Pawn"
     70   (v.8, n4)  Jan  1955       [cover]
     70   (v.8, n4)  Mar  1955    8p "Feud"
     70   (v.8, n4)  Mar  1955    1p "There's Always a Clue"
     71   (v.8, n5)  Feb  1955       [cover]
     71   (v.8, n5)  Feb  1955    8p "Federal Manhunt"
   s 72   (v.8, n6)  Mar  1955       [cover]
     72   (v.8, n6)  Mar  1955    8p "The Spirit Swindlers"
     72   (v.8, n6)  Mar  1955    5p "Bluff"
   s 73   (v.8, n7)  Apr  1955       [cover]
     73   (v.8, n7)  Apr  1955    8p "The Traitors"
     73   (v.8, n7)  Apr  1955    6p "The Post of Honor"
   s 74   (v.8, n8)  May  1955       [cover]
     74   (v.8, n8)  May  1955    8p "Hood"
   ? 74   (v.8, n8)  May  1955    1p "Oddities in Crime News"
   s 75   (v.8, n9)  June 1955       [cover]
     75   (v.8, n9)  June 1955    8p "Tragic Circle"
   s 76   (v.8, n10) July 1955       [cover]
     76   (v.8, n10) July 1955    8p "River Rats"
   s 77   (v.8, n11) Aug  1955       [cover]
     77   (v.8, n11) Aug  1955    8p "The Counterfeit Pushers"
     77   (v.8, n11) Aug  1955    5p "Harbor Patrol"
   s 78   (v.8, n12) Sept 1955       [cover]
     78   (v.8, n12) Sept 1955    8p "Undercover Man"
     79   (v.9, n1)  Dec  1955       [cover]
     79   (v.9, n1)  Dec  1955    8p "Skin Game"
     79   (v.9, n1)  Dec  1955    6p "Ace in the Hole"
     79   (v.9, n1)  Dec  1955    5p "Firebug"
   s 80   (v.9, n1)  Feb  1956       [cover]
     80   (v.9, n1)  Feb  1956    8p "Shadow of Doom"
     80   (v.9, n1)  Feb  1956    1p "A Dollar Bill with Character"
     80   (v.9, n1)  Feb  1956    6p "Double Play"
     81   (v.9, n3)  Apr  1956       [cover]
     81   (v.9, n3)  Apr  1956    8p "Secret Agent"
     81   (v.9, n3)  Apr  1956    5p "Debt Of Honor"
     81   (v.9, n3)  Apr  1956    1p "The Hit-And-Run Driver"
   s 82   (v.9, n4)  May  1956       [cover]
     82   (v.9, n4)  May  1956    7p "The Payroll Pirates"
   s 83   (v.9, n5)  Oct  1956       [cover]
     83   (v.9, n5)  Oct  1956    6p "Big Failure"
   s 84   (v.9, n6)  Dec  1956       [cover]
     84   (v.9, n6)  Dec  1956    6p "Stakeout"
   s 85   (v.10, n1) Feb  1957       [cover]
     85   (v.10, n1) Feb  1957    7p "The Head Man"
     85   (v.10, n1) Feb  1957    6p "Eight Hours To Alcatraz"
     86   (v.10, n2) Apr  1957       [cover]
     86   (v.10, n2) Apr  1957    7p "The Traitors"
     86   (v.10, n2) Apr  1957    6p "Paid in Full"
   s 87   (v.10, n3) June 1957       [cover]
     87   (v.10, n3) June 1957    7p "The Payroll Bandits"
     87   (v.10, n3) June 1957    6p "Skin Game"
   s 88   (v.10, n4) Aug  1957       [cover]
     88   (v.10, n4) Aug  1957    7p "The Spoilers"
     89   (v.10, n5) Oct  1957    7p "The Counterfeit Combine"
     90   (v.10, n6) Dec  1957    6p "Personal Favor"
     91   (v.11, n1) Feb  1958    6p "Power Failure"
     92   (v.11, n2) Apr  1958    5p "On Ice"

Personal Love (Prize)
     12   (v.2, n6)  July 1959    7p "Lover's Knot"

Police Trap (Super Comics)
   r 17   **** 1964    6p "Big Failure"- (text)

Prize Comics Western (Prize)
     84   Nov  1950    8p "Paradise Vally"
     85   Jan  1951    7p "The Prairie Badman"
     86   Mar  1951    8p "Six-Gun Savvy"
   s 88   July 1951    7p "Death Came too Soon"
     89   Sept 1951    7p "Doom for the Wagon Trains"
     90   Nov  1951    7p "Oil Crazy"
   s 91   Jan  1952    7p "The Gold Express"
     93   May  1952    7p "Hootowls of Cactus Gap"
     94   July 1952    7p "Hidden Gold"
     95   Sept 1952    7p "Body in the Desert"
     96   Nov  1952    7p "Rustlers' Trap"
     97   Jan  1953    7p "Grand Canyon"
     98   Mar  1953    7p "Army Beef"
     99   May  1953    7p "Broken Hand"
     100  July 1953    7p "Rocking Chair Rustlers"- (text)
     101  Sept 1953    7p "Loot At Dead Man's Gap"
   s 102  Nov  1953    7p "Plunder of the Rio Puerco"
     103  Jan  1954    7p "Pony Express Robber"
     104  Mar  1954    7p "Mal Hombres of Loma Escondida"
     105  May  1954    7p "Deadline at Bountiful Basin"
     106  July 1954    7p "The Salt War"- (text)
     107  Sept 1954    5p "Desert Duel"
     108  Nov  1954    7p "Stampede at Snake River"
     109  Jan  1955    6p "Trouble for Bard Grady"
     110  Mar  1955    7p "The Barbwire War"
     111  May  1955    7p "Outlaw Trail"
     112  July 1955    7p "The Remuda Rustlers"
     112  July 1955    6p "The Weakling"
     113  Sept 1955    7p "Claim Jumpers"
   s 114  Nov  1955       [cover]
     114  Nov  1955    6p "American Eagle Meets the Maverick"
     114  Nov  1955    7p "Rustlers"
     114  Nov  1955    6p "American Eagle Discovers a Secret Weapon"
   s 115  Jan  1956       [cover]
     115  Jan  1956    6p "Bad Medicine"
     115  Jan  1956    6p "Arranges a Duel"
     115  Jan  1956    7p "Crisis at the Crossroads"
   s 116  Mar  1956       [cover]
     116  Mar  1956    6p "Outsmarts the Cheyennes"
     116  Mar  1956    6p "Bad Men on the Border"
   s 118  July 1956       [cover]
     118  July 1956    6p "American Eagle and the Sioux"
     119  Sept 1956       [cover]
     119  Sept 1956    6p "American Eagle Battles a Fanged Fury"
     119  Sept 1956    6p "Border Bandits"

Tom Corbett, Space Cadet (Prize)
     1    May  1955       [cover]
     1    May  1955    1p "Time Scope"
     1    May  1955    2p "The Mystery On The Moons Of Mars"
     2    July 1955    1p "Space Academy Test"
     2    July 1955    2p "Captain Quick and the Space Scouts"
     3    Sept 1955    2p "The Hermits of Callisto"
     3    Sept 1955    1p "Time Scope"

Young Love (Prize)
   s 19   (v.3, n1)  Mar  1951    8p "The Girl Who Loves Him"
   s 20   (v.3, n2)  Apr  1951    9p "Yours For The Asking"
     23   (v.3, n5)  July 1951    8p "Wrong Number"
     23   (v.3, n5)  July 1951    8p "Nag, Nag, Nag"
     24   (v.3, n6)  Aug  1951    8p "Left At The Alter"
     25   (v.3, n7)  Sept 1951    8p "Alice Finds Her Wonderland"
     26   (v.3, n8)  Oct  1951    8p "I Was A Fugitive's Sweetheart"
     67   (v.7, n1)  Oct  1955    6p "The Desperate Time"
     68   (v.7, n2)  Dec  1955    6p "Mad About The Girl"

Young Romance (Prize)
     31   (v.4, n7)  Mar  1951    8p "The Things You're Missing"
   s 32   (v.4, n8)  Apr  1951    7p "The Riddle That Was Gloria"
     34   (v.4, n10) June 1951    7p "Whistle Bait"
     91   (v.11, n1) Dec  1957    5p "Live Alone And Love It"
     92   (v.11, n2) Feb  1958    5p "Mind Over Moonlight"
     93   (v.11, n3) Apr  1958    5p "Afraid Of Life"
     95   (v.11, n5) Aug  1958    5p "Hold Back The Tears"