Monday, September 15, 2014

A Criming Shame

Friday Comic Book Day.

Bit behing things here, but I'll catch up. Toay I have a couple of crime stories from the early fiftie from moonlighting artists. From 1950 and Hillman's Real Truw Crime stories come what I believe to be an early Dan Barry story (from before he became famous with Flash Gordon). Did you know he actually wanted to do a crime strip rather than a science fiction one, but couldn't sell it? Dan Barry is on eof those artists who deserve a whole lot of recognition, but he won't get it as long as DC is sitting on the copyrights. Between 1948 and 1952 Bary did loads and loads of great comic book stuff. He was one of the first to marry the slickness of Rip Kirby's Alex raymond to the quick and easy inking style of Milton Caniff. His style influenced many of the later DC artists, such as Gil Kane, Mike Sekowsky and Carmine Infantino, many of whom did a bit of ghosting on Flash Gordon here and there (although I am not sure about Infantino, there). His style, together with that of Alex Toth, laid the basis for the DC house style. But like Toth, Barry's early work can't be fully appreciated if you can't eprint the DC work he did in those erly years. All we have now for Toth is his later work (which is awsome as well and has been reprinted bu IDW in a superb series of books) and for Barry his early work for Gleason and some pieces here and there such as this one.

In 1954, Joe Kubert did a couple of quick jobs for Gleason, after his partnership with Norman Maurer fell through and before he landed at DC. I like that heavy early inkine of Kubert.

In the same issue you get Pete Morisi. Although much has been made from the likeness of his style with that of george Tuska, if you see them side by side they are immediately recognizable. As stylized as Tuska was, Morisi seems even more so.

Howard O'Donnell is in the same 'school' as Tuska and Morisi. He did not do a lot of comic book art, in fat I only know of his few pieces for Stan Lee's Timely/Atlas. But here he is, doing a very enjoyable who dunnit. Don't peek, now.


Britt Reid said...

"...but he won't get it as long as DC is sitting on the copyrights."

If you're thinking of licensed titles like Big Town, I don't think DC renewed the copyrights and the copyrights on the original radio/tv/film productions have all lapsed.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

You are right, I am talkng about Big Town, but also the True Tales book Real Facts and others. Maybe they are copyright free, but I am just repeating the argument some of the publishers have used against me. Problem is no one knows how litageous DC is these days. Their superhero obsessed reprint policy has pevented them from doing anything with the treasure trove that is the late forties. If Gary Groth called me (Hey, Gary!) I would immediately start a book on Barry. And why didn't IDW include Toth's EC work in their series?

Britt Reid said...

Remember, DC were the ones who failed to renew the copyrights on the Fleisher Superman cartoons (thinking Paramount or NTA would do it) and look what happened there...
IIRC, Toth's "Dying City" was in the Corpse on the Imjin war stories anthology.
The other two were also war stories that'll probably pop up at some point...

Ger Apeldoorn said...

I should have said DC instead of EC. If what you say is true (and I have no reason not to believe you), there are many early Toth stories that could and should have been in an early book, from the Wonder Dog stories to those in the earliest House boos and Danger Trail. My guess is, if DC copyrighted anything it was book titles and character rights, not individual stories or whole books.

Alberto said...


If you refer to "Lend Me Two Bucks 'til Friday" as being by Dan Barry - - It's not. I think this is Leonard Starr. Not Barry, anyway.

By the way - - The first half of my Dan Barry essay is going to appear in the next issue of Alter Ego, out in November. Enjoy!


Ger Apeldoorn said...

Starr inking Starr, Alberto?