Thursday, September 02, 2010

Good Clean Fun

Friday Comic Book Day.

Since it will take a couple of weeks before the Bat Masterson strips will reach Bob Powell's run, I will give you another rare Powell treat today. Rare is a strange word, or course, when talking about Powell. All of his work can be considered rare, if you take into account how unknown it is these days. But still, even among older fans there are some pieces of work better known than other. Comic book fans are aware of his work for Timely/Atlas in the later ffties. His work for the Harvey horror, war, romance and humor titles has been noted. So has his western work for the Bobby B. Benson title, hos sport strips for Street and Smith, his solo titles He-Man and The Man in Black.

Lesser know is the nyrad of fillers he did for Harvey's reprint titles such as Joe Palooka and Terry and the Pirates and I really should show some of those one of these days. But the rarest find for me, what the discovery he had worked for the weekly catholic comic book Treasure Chest in 1953/1955. Wat makes this all the mor amazing, is the fact these were some of his busiest years. Still, the work he does for Treasure Chest is by no means hastily done. It's rather the opposite, which makes me think Treasure Chest must have been a well-paying client.

Artisticly this wor harks back to Powell's older style. It is not yet as loose and wild as some of the thing he would do for Harvey in the same years or for Stan Lee later on. Still, I think it is no inventory work, as it continues all through that period. I can be sure about that, because all of Treasure Chest can be found and viewed at You have to be really patient, though, as each page loads sperately and quite slowly. So you won't mind if I have done the work for you and found some of Powell's first contributions among the usually boring stuff by other (and often second-rate) artists.

However much bad blood there was between Powell and Eisner, he certainly had picked up a couple of tricks from him. He is as solid a storyteller as Eisner is, using many of his techniques. In some of these stories we see his use of Eisner's trick of relating one picture to another by showing lots of doors and doorways, linking the panels in our minds. In fact, Powell was so good at this, that I am not sure who influenced who. Maybe it was a leftover from the Eisner/Iger studio days, a trick all of the artists who worked there shared.

I have also included a Treasure Chest cover Powell did. I think Powell is one of the best cover artists of his generation. Some of his covers for Street and Smith's Top Secret are among my picks for best cover ever. This one is no dud either.

From Vol 09, #10:

From Vol 9, #18:

From Vol 9, #20:

From Vol 9, #17/20:


Paul Tumey said...

Great article, Ger! Thank you for this blog. I read and enjoy it all the time!

Gar said...

Hi Ger,
I'm very happy to have discovered your wonderful blog thanks to your recent article in HOGAN'S ALLEY. I have in my collection an original BETSY & ME by Cole, dated 9-21-58. If this is of any interest to you, I would be happy to send you a scan.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

A scan of your original would certainly interest me. It would be the first I have ever seen! The date would make it one of the last things Cole ever drew. At least the last Sunday. he probably did a few dailies after that, but... wow.