Friday, August 22, 2008

Questionable material

Friday comic book day.

Just like last week and the week before that, I am showing you the early work that Harvey Kurtzman and Irving Spector did for Timely in 1946. What their connection is, I will get to later. This time I have one more Little Lionel one-pager, courtesy of Ken Quattro's excellent comicartville site. Comicartville hold a collection of essays about forties and fifties comics that display an impressive amount of research. These are the guys to go to if you want to know something. Or grab a scan, as luck would have it.

Paul Spector sent me the link and he also sent me a few scans from a cover and a story that are probably by his father. In his father's files he found a copy of Funny Frolics #1, with a note on the cover: "put Irv Spector". He takes it to mean that his father may have drawn the cover and one or more stories inside. Inside is the one-pager from comicartville, but also a longer story that Paul reckons is his father's. Several people have had a look and agree that it may be so, but the inking certainly isn't. The lion in this story does look like Spector's work. I am less sure about the cover, but as Paul says: "why would his father mark it if there wasn't a reason?" Interesting to know that Spector may have started out by providing art for Stan Lee's regular series. That throws up the question if he was recruted by Lee or by parting editor Vince Fago. And Harvey Kurtzman, who arrived at the same time? Did he also do 'regular' work before starting Hey Look and Pig Tales?

After that, we have one of the shorter Pig Tales by Harvey Kurtzman. It's only two pages, but what a beauty! For a long time I have toyed with the idea of publishing a comic with all of Kurtzman's Pig Tales (and some of his other work from the same period to make it 32 pages). For the cover I would have asked Bill Wray to do the cover based on the final scene of this gag. Wray is a big Kurtzman fan (who has drawn several strips in Kurtzman's Hey Look style) and if you visit his cartoon site, you'll see that his full color cartoon work would be very suited to such an assignment. For that I would gladly have paid the commission price.

I have added a link to Bill Wray's cartoon site and one to his more recent blog of his work as a painter. I am very impressed by his industrial paintings and would buy a couple as an investment if I had any money left after spending it on comic strips.

The rest of this story has been posted elsewhere...


william wray said...

Hey Ger,

thanks for the like and the great art posted reminds me a bit of Chad, but I don't know old the Funny guys like I should. I like how his art "grew" on him the characters often breaking the panels.

If you want the book I'd add about $20. sorry it's to high, but they don't ship by boat anymore.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

The book William mentions is a new book with his paintings. Great buy, but shipping abroad from America is murder these days. I figured it would be a heavy book...

The inking style is typical of the Timel humor books of that period. A mix of the style of Al Fago and inkers such as George Klein and Milt Stein. That style was actually quite popular and I see what you mean about it looking like Chad's work. Ik fact, I have some interesting realitic stuff by Chad from the early forties as well as some of his funy work in this style on the Howdy Doody strip. Still have to scan those, though. Zo you'll have to wait for them.

Kent B said...

Hi, Ger

Thanks for posting the great stuff! The "Pigtales" story has 3 more pages. Give me your email & I'll send you my scans!

I've been collecting Funny Animal comics for many years, and watching them gradually crumble int woodpulp dust each time I read them! That's why I've been scanning all of my comics. I donated all of my scans to ASIFA archive, but I like to share/trade with other collectors and fans, too!

Ger Apeldoorn said...

The rest of the Pig Tales story is show here.