Friday, August 15, 2008

Special olympics.

Friday comic book day.

Just like last week, I am using the Friday to prepare you for a longer post about Irv Spector. In late 1945 he and Harvey Kurtzman and a couple of other artists were probably asked by Stan Lee to come up with new features. Kurtzman responded with Hey Look and the short-lived Pig Tales. Irv Spector produced several stories of Little Lionel, a cartoon bear who liked sports. When I first came across these stories, I thought they could be by Kurtzman, because they were so different from the regular features in the Timely animal humor line... but it turns out they are by Spector, a former (and future) animator, who created a lovely and lively character and seemed to have a lot of fun with the mostly silent stories. This is the third stoy in my collection. There are at least two more out there, as you can see for yourself if you go to the excellent Atlas Tales website, the place on the web where you can find all information about the unknown years of Martin Goodman's comic book empire, which was run for many years by Stan Lee, before it almost collapsed and finally was turned into what we now know as Marvel.

I have added a Hey Look page as well. If you are in any way interested in Kurtzman or these strips, you should try to find the complete collection of Hey Look strips that was done ain 1991 by Kitchen Sink. If you already have it, here's one in color.

John Krixfalusi expended on this post, by doing a graphic analysis of this story. Go to his blog to look for it.


pspector said...

Fun stuff, Ger. Any idea what title, issue# these came out of? Was this Little Lionel from a Super Rabbit? Thanks!

Ger Apeldoorn said...

This story was from Comic Capers #2.

According to Atlas Tales, there is also a five page Lionel story in Krazy Krow #1. Doc V. (the most knowledgable man about Timely books I know) also said you told him the story from Super Rabbit #13 was the first thing your dad did after coming from the army. I am still mystified why the one page story in the same issue of Super Rabbit has #19 on it. I have also found a Super Rabbit story (in SR #11) that looks as if it could have been drawn by your dad. I'll show it next week.

pspector said...

I know that interview on Atlas Tales. At some point before that I had a brief forum exchange with Doc. I saw that single-page Lionel original -- the one signed "Spect" -- and was kind of incredulous that that would be his work (I'm not disputing that it is) because the style was so different than what I was used to even a few years later (not to mention that the signature is unique). So I said it must have been one of the first things he did after the army.
Sorry, I'm no help about the Super Rabbit issue number question.

Unrelated to that, I have Funny Frolics #1 (Sphere Pubs. 1945) that my father held onto. On the cover, in his own writing, is "Put Irving Spector". The cover art is also in a style I'm unused to. The first story is not Lionel, Krazy Krow and Boobsy, and takes place in a zoo, with a lion as a major character. Could be his.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

In fact, the one pager signed Spect is the key to all the other identifications. Stan Lee says he was stationed in the Signal Corps, just like your father. As you told me, there were two devisions, one on the west coast and one in Florida. I believe Stan Lee served in Hollywood, but I'll have to check his biography. They may have worked together, which would explain how your father ended up at Timely.

pspector said...

The two main sig corps divisions for the animators would be Hollywood and NY (not Florida). There were also a few others scattered around the states that did related work, and had people who had worked in the animation field stationed there.

trevor said...

Hey Ger,

Have you seen Vincent Waller's animated versions of Hey Look! They're great!

Check them out here.

- trevor.

pspector said...

I just received Comic Capers #2 - there's no Little Lionel story in it. This was Red Circle Pubs from 1944. There no other listing in Overstreet about another Comic Capers.