Friday, March 26, 2010

Get Me Some Red Monkeys

Friday Comic Book Day.

Having shown some of Hank Chapman's early horror stories, I thought I'd give you a double treat today: a Hank Chapman war story drawn by Russ Heath. At least, I think it is by Russ Heath, because it isn't signed. Around the time this story appeared (late 1952) there were a lot of war books coming out at Timely and not all of the artists signed the stories. They did all draw in a similar style, often very dark, with lots of heavy scratching and thick layers of mud. This suited Hank Chapman's grim war stories very well. Better, in my opinion, than the later war stories he wrote for DC, which were always mucht lighter, in both the 'time of day' and 'amount of weight' sense of the word. But Heath was one of the few artists who usually did sign his work. So it is odd he wouldn't have here in Man Comics #19. Fortunately Michael DeWally agrees with my assesment over at the excellent Timely resource: the Atlas Tales website. He also spotted an unsigned Heath story in the issue before that. I am showing both of them here, as well as a signed Heath story from Man Comics #17, so you can see for yourself (the last two from an earlier post). And enjoy the storytelling, because it is really well. Look at the action sequence in the story from #18, where the soldier slides down a wire and smashes the window, or the use of silhouettes in the same story. This is all prime stuff, guys. I may not always agree with the politics of the writer, but that doesn't make it a bad story.

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