Sunday, June 27, 2010

House of Mysery

Sunday Meskin Measures.

Yesterday's post got a couple of interesting reactions from Steve Brower, writer of the upcoming Mort Meskin biography. He told me that at least one of the stories I showed yesterday was probably inked ny George Roussos rather than Mort Meskin, although it is just as weird to me that he should or that either Kubert or Infantino would 'moonlight' from their usual gigs. This prompted me to go back to the GCD. From there I got this list of Meskin's work and collaborations at DC at that time. I am not sure how reliable these entries are and if the come from some sort of official DC records or are just educated guesses. But they show that in january 1960 Meskin did one story with Joe Kubert for My Greatest Adventure. That's the one I showed earlier and I have to say it has very little Meskin in it, if any. This could be inked by Roussos as well, although the GCD doesn't say so. Unfortunately the GCD was down for maintanance before I could have a look for more Kubert/Roussos collaborations.

A year later there is one Kubert/Meskin collaboration in House of Mystery #105. I have found it and am showing it here. One page four it seems to me George Roussos may have been involved. Steven has remarked that the inking in these stories reminds him more of Kubert than anything else, but you have to remember that Kuberts own inking style was a lot heavier than the much more similar thin lines he has been using since the seventies. Than, a couple of months later there is one more collaboration with Kubert and two with Infantino. I don't have the Kubert one, but the Infantino ones, look as if they support the story Infantino was 'helping out'. The first one is the one I showed yesterday, which has a pure Infantino lay-out and according to the GCD George Roussos inks. So this could be a story Infantino layed-out for Meskin, for what ever reason. The second one, which I am showing below, has less of the typical Infantino touched. More so on the first few pages than later. Could Meskin have indeed been suffering from a psychological set-back and have recovered from it pretty soon? Since the GCD is down, I can't check the inker, but it wouldn't surprise if if that was Roussos as well.

To complicate matters, Meskin kept on doing his Mark Merlin stories in House of Secrets, though he skipped one in December 1960 (the month of his House of Mystery collaboration with Kubert) and one in April (the month with his other Kubert collaboration), though he did provide one in May, the month of his first collaboration with Infantino and probably (GCD is down, remember) June (the month of his second collaboration with Infantino).

To all that I have added a 'pure'Roussos story from House of Mystery #112, just so you can compare the styles. The two stories inbetween seem to be pure Meskin and there is no sign of a coming breakdown. I don't think he had help from George Roussos here, but if he had, it would have been at the pencilling stage and pretty hard to see.Havind said that, to me pure Mort Meskin story always stands out from a Roussos pencilled one, because of Meskin's great sense of design.

Pencils:
Joe Kubert; Mort Meskin

We Were Trapped in the Valley of No Return
story / 8 pages My Greatest Adventure (1955 series) #39
January 1960 DC

Pencils:
Mort Meskin

Prisonnier du pays dŽsertŽ
story / 5.66 pages Big Boy (1956 series) #41
February 1960 Artima

Pencils:
Mort Meskin

The Hybrid Monster
Mark Merlin / story / 8.67 pages House of Secrets (1956 series) #31
April 1960 DC

Pencils:
Mort Meskin

Ouragan humain
story / 7.66 pages Big Boy (1956 series) #43
April 1960 Artima

Pencils:
Mort Meskin

L'Or maudit
story / 7.66 pages Big Boy (1956 series) #43
April 1960 Artima

Pencils:
Mort Meskin

The Test Tube World
Mark Merlin / story / 9 pages House of Secrets (1956 series) #32
May 1960 DC

Pencils:
Mort Meskin

The Secret of the Leopard God
story / 8 pages House of Mystery (1951 series) #99
June 1960 DC

Pencils:
Mort Meskin

The Monster of the Mountain
Mark Merlin / story / 8.67 pages House of Secrets (1956 series) #33
June 1960 DC

Pencils:
Mort Meskin

The Puzzle of the Plundering Creatures
Mark Merlin / story / 8.67 pages House of Secrets (1956 series) #34
July 1960 DC

Pencils:
Mort Meskin

We Battled the Black Narwhal
story / 7.67 pages My Greatest Adventure (1955 series) #45
July 1960 DC

Pencils:
Mort Meskin

The City of Golden Men
story / 9 pages House of Mystery (1951 series) #101
August 1960 DC

Pencils:
Mort Meskin

The Interplanetary Target
Mark Merlin / story / 8.67 pages House of Secrets (1956 series) #35
August 1960 DC

Pencils:
Mort Meskin

The Creature Costumes
Mark Merlin / story / 8.67 pages House of Secrets (1956 series) #36
September 1960 DC

Pencils:
Mort Meskin

The Secret of the Captive Creature!
Mark Merlin / story / 8.67 pages House of Secrets (1956 series) #37
October 1960 DC

Pencils:
Mort Meskin

The Fantastic Flower Creatures
Mark Merlin / story / 8.67 pages House of Secrets (1956 series) #38
November 1960 DC

Pencils:
Kubert and Meskin

The Creature of X-14
story / 8 pages House of Mystery (1951 series) #105
December 1960 DC

Pencils:
Mort Meskin

The Aliens Who Framed Me
story / 8 pages My Greatest Adventure (1955 series) #50
December 1960 DC

Pencils:
Mort Meskin

Invaders From the Doomed Dimension
story / 8 pages House of Mystery (1951 series) #106
January 1961 DC

Pencils:
Mort Meskin

Master of the Space Beasts
Mark Merlin / story / 9 pages House of Secrets (1956 series) #40
January 1961 DC

Pencils:
Mort Meskin

Captive of the Alien Fishermen
story / 8 pages House of Mystery (1951 series) #107
February 1961 DC

Pencils:
Mort Meskin

The Dinosaur in Times Square
Mark Merlin / story / 8.67 pages House of Secrets (1956 series) #41
February 1961 DC

Pencils:
Mort Meskin

The Weird Weapons of Zabadu
story / 8 pages House of Mystery (1951 series) #108
March 1961 DC

Pencils:
Mort Meskin

The Man with the Alien Identity
Mark Merlin / story / 9 pages House of Secrets (1956 series) #42
March 1961 DC

Pencils:
Kubert and Meskin

The Mystery of the Space Swaps
story / 8 pages House of Mystery (1951 series) #109
April 1961 DC

Pencils:
Carmine Infantino; Mort Meskin

The Duel of Dooms
story / 8 pages House of Mystery (1951 series) #110
May 1961 DC

Pencils:
Mort Meskin

The Valley of Doomed Creatures!
Mark Merlin / story / 8.67 pages House of Secrets (1956 series) #44
May 1961 DC

Pencils:
Carmine Infantino; Mort Meskin

The Return of the Sorcerer's Satellite!
story / 7.67 pages House of Mystery (1951 series) #111
June 1961 DC


House of Mystery #105 (Dec 1960):









My Greatest Adventure #59 (Dec 1961):









House of Mystery #107 (Feb 1961):









House of Mystery #108 (March 1961):








House of Mystery #111 (June 1961):









House of Mystery #112 (July 1961):








3 comments:

Steven Brower said...

Hi Ger,

All I can say is that neither Joe nor Carmine mentioned the need to help Mort out during this period, when I interviewed them. I'm not saying they didn't but it was significant enough to stay with them if indeed it's true.

Love the stories you are showing. Thanks.

The Seditionist said...

Slightly confused here, Ger. May be age-feebled memory but I thought Meskin at some point had occasional artist's block -- just couldn't get started drawing. Given the need to complete a job, mightn't he have turned to others for breakdowns or layouts or even pencils so he could do the job?

As for Steven Brower's comment: Begs for elaboration. Without going into detail, I think Infantino's one of these sources that makes up with certainty for inconsistent statements. Not sure he's very reliable. Kubert I think with proper questioning would come clean, as it were. Is Brower saying that Kubert absolutely denied any assisting or ghosting for Meskin during the period in question??

Peter said...

Hi,
How can I contact Ger directly?
Thanks,
Peter Meskin

Please use:
captsail@optimum.net