Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Be Prepared To Be Amazed

Wednesday Advertising Day.

It all started with the Hatari ad. Followers of this blog know I have a thing for movie ads using the comic strip form or comic book artists. That doesn't only apply to the samples I have shown here from the late forties, but also for the movie posters by Jack Davis, Bill Elder and Frank Frazetta. Building my collection of Yogi Bear and Flintstones scans (soon to come), I came across a 1961ad for the movie Harati with John Wayne. It seemed to me that it might have been drawn by Neal Adams. At that point in his career, Neal Adams (still a kid, actually) was working for the Johnstone and Cuching company, doing comic strip ads for their clients under the watchfull eyes of Johnstone and Cushing mainstay Elmer Wexler and Tom Scheuer, who was newer to the company, but after most of their photorealist artists (such as Alex Kotzky, Stan Drake and Leonard Starr and even long time employee Greig Flessel) had left to do their own newspaper strips he was used a lot. So Neal Adams was defenitively in the picture for this ad.

A week later, the same paper had another ad, which seemed like it was drawn by Adams. And two weeks after that another one. And two weeks after that another one. These three ads, for Tintex seem to have been for a very short runing series. It isn't unusual for ad series to run in two week cycles, but most run longer than three episodes. Some even run longer than a couple of years. Still, I could find no samples beyond these three, so maybe this is it.

Ny hunch that these were drawn by Neal Adams is supported by the two lines defining a headshake alongside the head of the mother in the first panel of the first one. This is the sort of thing Neal Adams used all the time.

Oct 5 1961:

Oct 19 1961:

Oct 26 1961:

One reason to be less than sure, is the fact that at that point in his career Neal Adams' style looked a lot like Tom Scheuer's. Schreuer (who went by the name Tom Sawyer both before and after this period and ended up as a writer and later even headwriter for the Jessica Fletcher Muder She Wrote television series) had started in comics at Stan Lee's outfit, Timely/Atlas. He had always had quite a stiff style, but at this point it had loosened up a bit. He had worked for Johnstone and Cushing from the late fifties, namely doing a lot of work for Boy's Life, the scouting monthly that had a whole comic section done by the advertising agency. In the early sixties Schreuer also did a series of ads for the Bell Company, called Chip Martin. Neal Adams fans may recognize these ads, because Neal Adams worked on them too. But wherreas Adams worked on them in 1962, Scheuer seems to have originated (and signed) them in 1960.

Sept 1960:

Oct 1960:

Nov 1960:

Dec 1960:

As you can see, his style is very similar to that of Neal adams. Funny, how I still of it as Scheuers style being like Adams' and not the other way aroud. That probably is, because Adams kept on workig in this style when he did his own newspaper strip Ben Casey. Scheuer moved on, or sideways and moved closer to Stan Drake's style later on. Even though these ads are signed by Scheuer, I wouldn't discount the possibillity that Adams inked them. The inking here certainly is a lot looser and more lively than Scheuers solo work for Stan Lee. On the other hand, his earlier work for Boy's Life has a similar looser style, though not quite as rough as this one.

Anyway, my collection of Boy's Life magazine is a bit spotty in 1961, so I couldn't find any Chip Martin stories from that year, but in 1962 the Chip Martin ads stop being signed and look more like Adams' work. Since he has said in interviews that he did do this ad strip, I am assuming that he had taken over the assignment.

April 1962:

July 1962:

Dec 1962:

In those same issues I also found two more unsigned ads that seem to me to be the work of Scheuer. Or are they? For comparison, I have added another 1960 by Scheurer, which is signed in the grass on the second panel of the third tier.

April 1962:

Dec 1962:

Sept 1960:

And when I was preparing this post, I found I had yet another Chip Martin ad, this time from 1965. I think it is by adams, but that seems a bit late for him. By this time, he was supposed to have left Johnstone and Cushing and was well into his run on Ben Casey, so he couldn't have had a lot of time left for this sort of work. Still, it look like his work rather than Scheuer's. That means will have to go back to my Boy's Life collection to see if there are more samples out there in the years inbetween.

Feb 1965:

But let's end where we started. When I was going through the Boy's Life magaines to scan all the Chip Martin pages, I came across another interestng find... the original painted Hatari ad, which clearly was the model for Adam's line art version. If you compare tem, you'll see the characters are ever so slightly changed to his own style...

All this is specultion, of course. The only ones who might kow who did what on these pages, would be Neal Adams and Tom Scheuer themselves. Thankfully, both are still with s. So if anyone who knows them could steer them this way or if they come upon these pages themselves, I hope they will leave a comment. If either of the two gentlemen want more scans of their work from this period, I will gladly provide it. I have many more samples, especially of Scheurer's work for Boy's Life and I will have to scan them anyway to share them with everyone here.

I have found a new Adams Chip Martin ad for 1965. In fact, I found several and hope to scan and ad the remaining ones both here and in a seperate post this weekend.

Sept 1965:


Smurfswacker said...

Oops! An "R" sneaked into Scheuer's name halfway through this excellent piece.

I have one Chip Martin ad (not currently findable) signed by Scheuer that looks much more like Adams than the ones you reproduce. Perhaps both worked together on some episodes? The 1965 strip looks very much like Adams, especially the's possible (a) he was still freelancing agency work at the time or (b) this was a job he did earlier, but for some reason it was held back a while.

These ads brought back memories of reading "Space Conquerors" in Boy's Life--and reminds me how many firearms-for-kids ads that magazine used to carry!

Smurfswacker said...

By the way, I believe that was Frank McCarthy painting the original "Hatari" poster.

ROK said...

Adams continued to do the Chip Martin ads into the mid 60s while he was doing the Ben Casey strip.

He did a lot of spot illustration for Boy's Life magazine during this period.

He also did the Flash Farrell ads for Goodyear Rubber Co. These were full page, full color ads that appeared in Boy's Life magazine.

Also he did several color newspaper strip ads for Vicks Cough Drops. These ads usually involved a cross promotion for movies, such as How the West Was Won.