Saturday, April 28, 2007
Sponsored Comics: Hub Capps
Here's Hub Capps, the story of a good-hearted hot rod kid. This one's a pretty good read, and the art is quite nice, too. The strip is credited to Jay Howard, which I'm assuming is a pen-name. This name was one of my clues, wrong as it turned out, that Norman Maurer was running the show at Family Comics, since he was married into the Three Stooges Howard family, and I seem to recall he used the Howard name occasionally on his work.
I don't know who the artist is, but the art certainly does look familiar. I feel like I ought to be able to ID the artist just on the strength of panel three of the second strip. I know I've seen faces drawn that way many times. I can't put my finger on it, but I keep thinking that this is an art style that I used to see in the old Charlton comic books a lot. Hopefully one of you folks can supply an ID.
Oh, and sorry about the selection of strips here. I didn't realize until posting this that I'd scanned two strips that hardly have any appearance by the star of the strip.
I might have been pushing you toward Maurer. For me, this strip was one of the arguments. It seems like Maurer's Timely cowboy work from the late fifties to me.
Yes, that is Norman Maurer's work on "Hub Capps". This strip was one of his many enterprises after leaving his partnership with Joe Kubert. Maurer did a little work for several comic book companies in the late Fifties, but primarily applied his time to managing the Three Stooges and working on various film projects. And as you suspected, the name "Jay Howard" is a pseudonym, comprised of the first initial of his son Jeffery and his wife Joan's maiden name, Howard (she was Moe's daughter).
By the way, I happen to own the original artwork to the first "Hub Capps" strip, which is the top one you scanned. I've uploaded a scan to my ftp space at: www.comicartville.com/hubcappsstrip.jpg Take care.
Thanks for posting that page. Looks to me to be yet another style adopted by Maurer. Was this guy known for his multiple art personalities or is this simply a case of a guy who would sign his name to work by others?
That would be something different the Boys Life article is referring to, since Sponsored Comics is from 1959, not 1949.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Sponsored Comics: Blooper Brown
Blooper Brown is by Andy Sprague, who has a syndication credit on the strip Honeybelle that had a respectable seven year run (1947-53). Looking at these Blooper Brown strips and the Doc Pipps strips from a few days ago, I have to revise my Henry Boltinoff ID on those as being more likely to be Andy Sprague. Of course, having everyone tell me I was wrong about Boltinoff helps some...
- 673 ""Any Ice Today, Lady?"-Iceman asks naughty girl at door" "watercolor on paper, 8.5x11"
- 651 "Honeybelle" and Aunt Ginger "watercolor on paper, 13.75x16.5"
- 757 Self Portrait "ink on paper, 2x2"
- 418 Turtle sleeping between hole and golf ball
"watercolor on wooden tile, 15x15"
Which suggest to me he may have done some cartooning as well. The name seems familar.
Looking for Honeybelle at Who's Who I also came across two strips I'd love to hear and see more about at a later point - totaly not related to this.
art Marvin Stein 65-68
wr Bud Wexler 65-68
I'd love to see Marvin Stein's later work on this. I though he had stopped doing comics at that point.
art Carl Hubbell 49-50
Paul Reinman 50-51
wr Renny McEvoy 49-51
The missing link for Paul Reinman's artistic development. Do you know what papers that could be in or how I would find out?
You'll find Merrie Chase, an excellent strip, running in the Columbus Dispatch, the Lowell Sun, the Tampa Times among others.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Sponsored Comics: Peachie Keen
Now that we seem to have confirmation that Sponsored Comics was a Zeke Zekley operation, I guess it's about time I showed his contribution to the section. Here Zeke adopts a style somewhat different than his McManus ghosting style. Excellent stuff, but I must admit that his McManus-derived style, with the thinner line, is my preference.
The Peachie Keen strip was another of those that were advertised in 1960 as a standalone feature.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Sponsored Comics: Joshua Trust
As promised, here's the second entry from Russ Manning to appear in Family Comics, Joshua Trust. This western is a much better showcase for Manning's graphic skills, but oddly enough, he chose this one to pen pseudonymously as Cash Orcutt.
To follow up on yesterday's discussion, I contacted R.C. Harvey and he has this to say:
Zeke's operation was Sponsored Comics, but that, it seems to me, was the name of the company he ran. The quasi-Sunday comics section he manufactured was called, simply, "Comics." The issue I have at hand (dated October 4-6, 1985) has strips by David Gantz ("Don Q"), frank Johnson, Dick Hodgins, Cass Herbert (looks like Ponytail stuff to me), Mutts (ha) by Greg Gilger, Orlando Busino, Frank Hill, Gill Fox, and some others. But no Norman Maurer, not that he'd be a contributor to his own publication---but why not? Anyhow, it's not called Family Comics.So now we have another confirmation that Zekley was behind Sponsored Comics, but Harvey is talking about a section from 1985, not 1959. Does anyone know anything else about this much later Sponsored production?
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Sponsored Comics: Doc Pipps
Here's Doc Pipps by Andy Hickok. My guess is that this is actually Henry Boltinoff working undercover. What say you?
I received a pair of messages today that I'll pass along. From Alberto Becattini:
Just a quick note on "Laura Good". Whereas I don't know who Veleri
was, I do know that the feature was inked by Ellis Eringer, an artist
who also inked Donald Duck syndicated strips and quite a lot of Disney
Comics produced by the Disney Studio for foreign consumption in 1963-
68. Another thing I seem to remember is that Zeke Zekley was involved in
the production of Family Comics, along with George McManus's brother,
whose first name I can't recall at the moment. Zekley was Geo.
McManus's assistant/ghost on "Bringing Up Father" for decades (circa
And from Bob Foster:
Zeke Zekeley, famous for his art on Bringing Up Father, was the man behind Sponsored Comics. He had an office in Beverly Hills, and that may be the address for the office you're talking about. Zeke knew a lot of cartoonists and artists in the animation business. A lot of those artists also did comic books and strips. The art that looks like Al Wiseman may, in fact, be that of Lee Holley (Ponytail) who worked in animation before becoming an assistant for Ketcham. Norman Maurer also worked in animation. The animation business is comprised of many names familiar to both animation buffs and comic strip fans alike. Such overlap includes Russ Manning, Willie Ito, Iwao Takamoto, Bob Singer, Norman Maurer, Lee Holley, Mike Ahrens, Moe Gollub, Tom Warkentin, Bill Lignante, Mel Keefer, Alex Toth, Dan Speigle, to name a few that come to mind.
McManus' brother was Charles. Zekley was certainly in Beverly Hills, and did contribute to the section (his contribution has yet to be shown on the blog), so it's definitely a possibility. I tried to interview Zekley once but was politely but firmly told no by his handlers, the guys who were selling his art. I think R.C. Harvey said once that he was going to, or did, interview him. I'll check in with Harv. As for Lee Holley, unless he had vastly differing styles up his sleeve there's no way he was responsible for Happy Days 1969. Thanks very much to both of you for your insights!
I see no sign of Boltinoff here and his style usually is very recognizable. Bob Foster's list is very interesting and may hold the names we are looking for. Mike Ahrens also worked for Boy's Life, didn't he? Moe Gollub worked as a cartoonist. I just glanced over hios name today looking for some old Hart cartoons.
Oh and if you are in contact with Bob Foster... does he remember giving a set of copies of Alex Toth army strip Jon Fury to dutch Disney artist Michel Nadorp? Maybe he wants to share them with you as well...
Or Chelly Myer. No, forget I said that.
BTW, what is a elderly Dale Evens doing in that Laura Good strip?
yes that Kid's profile is classic Boltinoff....
case of Boltinoff trying to disguise his style? pencils only? a good imitator?
and I agree, that other strip isnt Lee Holley (or even Frank Hill).
oh, could some of these guys worked on the Wham-O comic book?
Monday, April 23, 2007
Sponsored Comics: Laura Good
Here we go with one of the highlights of the Family Comics section. Laura Good is just a straight steal on Mary Worth, but the cartoonist is none other than the great Russ Manning. Manning, of course, is universally revered for his fantastic work on the Tarzan and Star Wars strips, not to mention the great comic book series Magnus Robot Fighter (one of my all-time favorite guilty pleasures).
Anybody know who this Veleri person is that gets a credit on the first strip?
If you're disappointed to see Manning working on such a pedestrian offering, hold on because we haven't seen the last of him in this section!
And has anyone ever found out who the "Yang" that assisted and signed Warkentin's "Star Trek" in 1980 was?
Ger - on most of these strips I've been showing first and last from my run. Unless the series went on longer (and original art is known for the 11th issue) the stories were all still running.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics
Has Jim Ivey submitted this yet? I can see this running in some alternative newsweeklies (he'll have to change the title, though, since most alt-weeklies don't come out on Sundays)
Heck, I had to twist his arm just to allow me to put it on the blog. He didn't think it was professional enough. He just did it as an off-the-cuff sort of thing. I'll pass along the compliment though, he'll be tickled to hear the good reviews!