Saturday, February 27, 2010

Nobody Expects the Unexpected

Saturday Leftover Day.

Today some more pages from the early run of DC's Tales of the Unpexpected.

For my new friend Bob Bailey I have an early Mort Drucker story. As you can see, he put a little more effort into it. Some of his later work for DC can look quite rushed. Effective, but rushed. The story is from Tales of the Unespected #3 and the half page filler may be a reprint from the batch he did when he started out at DC, but in this form it's from TotU#4. You can see a surprising similarity to Kubert's work in these fillers.

Here's another story attributed to Leonard Starr by the Grand Comic Book Database, this time from Tales of the Unexpected. Apparently he did the cover as well. Unfortunately the one from my copy was quite damaged.

And finally, the first story Mort Meskin did for this title. I'll have two more tomorrow and will try to find out where they fit into his career, but generally speaking I know he starte dout doing war stories for Bob Khaniger and when that didn't work out, he shifted to Julius Schwartz, who used him for quite a few years on his sf-books (although sf at that time seems to have stood for soft fiction).

Although he had already done stories on his own for DC, this stiry was done with Bill Draud on pencils, with whom he had worked at Prize (but never together for as far as I know). It is known that Meskin sometimes used other artists to overcome his nervousness about the blank page. In some stories it is said he had someone doodle something on a blank page, just to make it easier for him to start. But on many occasions he seems to have worked with pencillers as well, weather it was George Roussos, Joe Kubert or on this occasion Bill Draut. The result is very pretty and it is too bad they didn't do more together.


Smurfswacker said...

A nice selection of stories. The Drucker story really spotlights the knack for character faces that made him such a hit at Mad.

I agree that Draut and Meskin made a good team. I think Draut must have done fairly tight pencils, for Meskin is being much more controlled in his strokes than he usually was. (Personally I like his looser inking a bit better.)

Ger Apeldoorn said...

what I like here, is that Meskin's controlled inks almost makes it look like a Wally Wood story. Personally, I do not like his looser ining better, but I am partial to his moodier darker pieces... of which he onlt did a few as well. There is one three page stoy he did for Atlas I mentioned in an earlier post (but didn't show, I think) that had me stumped about the penciller, but looking at this I guess it might be Draut. Although, completely opoite to this story, the inking is heavy and solid.

Harry Mendryk said...

I got to admit I was doubtful when I read you post, it seems such an unlikely combination. But I really can see both Draut and Meskin's hands in this story. It is too bad they did not try this earlier. I feel that Draut's best work was for Simon and Kirby. After that he modified his style and became, IMO, less interesting.

AtlasMonsterFan said...

Wonderful stories! it's so rare to see these early issues of TOTU reprinted.

Ger, I have made your blog part of my daily online experience! Many thanks.

I would like to see some scans of one of my favorite 50's DC artists: Rueben Moreira. He did a great volume of fantastic work on the Schiff DC fantasy titles in addition to his very under-rated Roy Raymond TV Detective (which ran for years in the back pages of Detective Comics!).

I have a big collection of 50s / early 60s DC sci-fi and pre-hero Atlas...if you ever need any scans, pls let me know!

Ger Apeldoorn said...

I am very fortunate to have a pretty long run of Tales of the Unexpected scans, but for the others we might compare lists, Monster. I'll mail you.

I am also preparing to sell my DC books and now that I have new scaner I am busily scaning everything I want to keep before selling them off. Would you like to see a later McCarthy story, Harry? Talk about changing your style. I think it's like the great comedians of the forties and fifties; they beame older and more mainstream in the sixties up to a point that it is hard to imagine what made them great in the first place. This goes for Draut, Reinman, Powell, Heck, Sekowsky, even George Tuska. But not for Eisner, Kubert, Kirby (up to a point for me), Romita, Kane ad others.