Friday, May 21, 2010

Justice Rewards The Quickly

Saturday Leftover Day.

As promised, here is some more of Marvin Stein's 'regular' work - together with the Mort Meskin stories from the same issues of Justice Traps The Guilty. Stein's work for this title and Headline was solid, but - let's face it - could be a bit dull. After a while all of his stories look alike. That's probably why these Prize books are reasonably cheap to gt, even after fifty years. If you have seen one, you have seen them all. Even I, who collects quite a few series, haven't bothered to get more than 60% procent of the extensive runs of JTTG and Headline.

Mort Meskin's work can be equally predictable, but there is a special one every now and then. Anyone doig a book on Meskin's work in the fifties will have to go through a lot of book to pick these out. The second Mort Meskin story here is one of these gems, amoody story set in a swamp. It's almost a horror story, but stays with in the bound of the crime genre. Meskin's moody inks combine perfectly with the supposed orror of the story and there is plenty of room for some of his patented horrified faces and shadowy scenes. This is a far cry from the open lined stuff he did for DC years later and it suits him a lot better.

Funny enough, the second story is not signed, which might indicate that he didn't work on it on his own. On the other hand, it looks like Meskin inking his own panels here. It certainly doesn't look like George Roussos, who is supposed to have done a lot of stuff together with Meskin. Even though their look turned out to be quite similar in the later DC years, even there you can always tell them apart. In this period I have never seen a story inked by Roussos that didn't look like Roussos' own work. Even those couple of MR signed stories they did for Timely/Atlas. So I am very suspicious of the claim they 'helped each other out'. Meskin was a master with the brush and seems to have needed little help finishing a story. He is reported to have had some trouble starting pages every now and then. But in those stories a little scribble on the page was enough to get him going.

From Black Magic #50


Daniel [] said...

“G.I. Housing Swindle” is missing its penultimate page.

dddegg said...

Heritage Auction has a great looking five-pager of Stein's from 1962:

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Thanks for the save, Daniel. Uloading these stories is such boring work, I keep skipping one here or there.

I have added what I think is a late story by Stein, although the second page looks like it was done by Dick Ayers, so now I don't know...

Ger Apeldoorn said...

The more I look at that last story, the more I see it must have been drawn by Dick Ayers. But the first panel is so much like Stein's work... maybe he inked it? In Black Magic #46 there is another Ayers story, which looks as if he inked it himself and that looks quite different.

Smurfswacker said...

I sure agree that the last story was penciled by Ayers. A Stein ink job isn't out of the question either.

I wouldn't rule out the possibility that Meskin and Roussos worked together. It's been years since I sold my collection of GE comics, but I remember sneaked initials in some of the better ones suggesting both Meskin and Roussos worked on them.

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