Week 30: Cute Couple

I thought I’d lead off with a memorable splash from DC New 52’s Catwoman #1, from November 2011. I remember when this dropped and it created quite a stir. Guillem March is the artist that will live in infamy, I think its a great piece and it opened up lots of conversations and that’s never a bad thing.

I love Russ Heath’s stuff so much and just had to include this page from a 70s Marvel mag, Vampire Tales #9 from February 1975. Great work.

I’m not sure how I happened on this Marshall Rogers splash from Detective Comics #467, February 1977, but I am sure I like it and want to share it with you.

Warren Kremer impressed the hell out of me with this splash page for First Romance #45, April 1957. There is are so many nice details for the eye to process on this page.

Al Williamson is so good! Marvel at this splash he did for Weird Fantasy #18 from March 1953.

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Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton Ontario.
Articles: 1600

21 Comments

  1. Guillem’s splash could have been much more controversial, if the roles were reversed, and Batman had his hands up under her shirt, and caressing her bare chest. But then, would that cover have made it to market uncensored?

  2. Wow… the b&w splashes really are outstanding! While Heath will be most remembered for his non-horror work, his work at Warren should not be missed! Can’t say enough about Williamson! A first class master! I agree about the detail on that Kremer… that is definitely a labor of…~cough~…love! Magnificent!

  3. Wow, so that’s Warren Kremer on that First Romance story! Wow, great stuff. It looked so much like Johnny Craig’s EC work. Two fun facts….first, its a reprint from First Romance #28, June 1954. Michelle Nolan warned me that nearly all the “code” era Harvey romance stories, i.e. mid-1955 on, are reprinted from earlier issues. Buyer beware, the original appearances aren’t much more costly than the reprints.

    Second, Grand Comics Database attempts to credit that story by “John Prentice?” I really enjoy (and collect) Prentice’s work, such as for the Simon & Kirby studio (Headline, Justice Traps the Guilty, Young Romance), and on many pre-code Hillman books (Real Clue Detective, Western Gunfighters, and their romance titles)…but that splash is clearly is not by him.

    Thanks Walter, I really need to go looking for more Kremer work like that. I do have a cute Hot Stuf cover original by him, a good buy long ago from Heritage. But nothing like this masterpiece of line work. It’s Wrightson-like, that background detail. I bet Heritage is where you found this image?

    Heath, Wiliamson…masters of the great splash page. You could do just their great splashes for weeks. Heath’s DC war was incredible, but then his Warren stuff, you are right, incredible too. Those early Warrens are filled with amazinf artwork. Heath’s Atlas pre-code horror covers are some of the best there, not as polished but polished enough and powerful.

    Speaking of great Atlas covers, poor nearly forgotten Harry Anderson did just a few but every one brilliant pieces and now pretty collectible, judging from prices on them these days.

    Heath was the Dave Stevens of his day, that smooth inking and perfect design, always dynamic.

  4. This doesn’t do him justice, since there no critique, but he was an outstanding artist, especially once he really developed by the late 1940s and early 1950s. His Atlas work was some of his best, but he even shines on titles as put-down as Nyoka (he did Jungle Girl #1 and several of the earliest issues). Here’s the entire entry on him on Lambiek.net. He’s also examined in far more depth in David Saunders’ excellent site, Pulpartists.com.

    But anyone out there, just google “harry anderson” + “comics” and then hit images, you’ll get a good sampling. Besides Atlas work, he did some stellar stuff for Orbit (Love Journal, Westerner, where you can also find GREAT Syd Shores covers and stories). A Love Jotnal cover is in Google/images and a classic Our Flag cover for Ace, along with his best Atlas horror covers. He’s easy to recognize, his faces are always unque. He worked for both the Binder Shop and Funnies, Inc in the forties. But he died at just 61.

    Harry Anderson
    (1911 – 1970, USA) United States
    Daniel in the Lion’s Den by Harry Anderson
    Daniel in the Lion’s Den (Bible Tales for Young Folk #5, March 1954)

    Harry Anderson attended the Grand Central School of Art. In 1939 he did a newspaper comic called ‘Robin Hood and Company’ for the Toronto Telegram. He then moved over to comic book art, working through studios like Binder, Chesler and Funnies Inc. He illustrated Ace Periodicals features like ‘Dr. Nemesis’, ‘The Flag’, ‘Sky Smith’ and ‘Typhoon Tyson’, as well as ‘Sniffles and Mary Jane’ for Dell, ‘Black Owl’ for Feature Comics and many crime and western features for Hillman Periodicals.

    He was an artist on Fawcett’s ‘Bulletman’, ‘Captain Midnight’, ‘Lance O’Casey’ and ‘Nyoka’, among others. In the first half of the 1950s, he worked on many mystery, romance and action titles for Atlas, Orbit and Quality. He also illustrated Quality’s ‘T-Man’. He then retired from comics. Anderson has also illustrated political brochures and pulps, as well as promotional comics like ‘Adventures into the Past’ for General Electric and ‘March to Market’ for Swift.

    Menace cover by Harry AndersonBattle Action cover by Harry Anderson

    http://www.atlastales.com

    PS: mentioned above, those Adventures Into the Past from General Electric are early 1950s giveaways. They are really good, and cheap and easy to find at $10-$20.

    Walter, hahaha, you asked last week if Michelle still has her DC’s. I won’t spoil her bit, I will tell her to post a reply. She’s into statistics like no one in comics. I used to have data pages for my EC collection (there’s just 302 or so, in all) and I kept grades and accending and decending counts as I got each new one. I thought that was a bit obsessive…What Michelle has in her collection, and how she catalogs it, makes my little EC project laughable. And she knows most of it off the top of her head + five or six thick 3-ring binders of notes that she takes to every show…

  5. Harry Anderson is one of the great under-rated Golden Age artists! Bud is one thousand percent accurate here.
    Yes, I still have my 1948-1959 DCs — all of them! Nearly 4,000 issues of every issue of every title. It took more than 30 years to finish this, circa the year 2005. (The valuable books are in safe deposit.) And yes, I have six thick binders with all my collection listings of comics, pulps, magazines, fanzines, books, movies and television shows, sheet music and more. I use the lists all the time at conventions and at other sources of vintage comic material. I have updated counts of every category and every publisher. And it’s all old-school — on paper in binders!

  6. Yes Bud his painting pulp stuff was really impressive, I first thought Elvgren then I thought more of Saunders. I love that time period and that style of art.

    The places you’ve been, the people you’ve met, stories you must have putting that 1948 to 1959 run together Michelle, you need an exhibit. I know a guy here in Hamilton that puts every book in his collection in binders, only uses blue pen, and I thought he was crazy.

  7. My techie better half, Anne, convinced me some time back to go digital. I kept a Word file of my wants and “haves,” grades and all. I would update it whenever I got new books or found something else I wanted to buy or at least check out. Then would print out a hard copy before I went to a show. 60 pages or so.

    Then I got an Apple Ipad and now I just carry that with me (I am typing this on it now). I do a search in the word document to check on a title, My “list” has ballooned to 275 pages, three columns. I can put in notes like artists in an issue, special fearures, what one sold for in auction (when I was aced out), stuff like that. Works great.

    And no forgetting or losing the list at the show, though I have left the Ipad behind more than once. I mail the Word file to myself from my master document on my desktop, where I make any changes. Then the latest version is fully portable and in an Apple “library”, on the ipad. You could do this all on a phone, of course, but I don’t like wrestling with that small phone screen, much less keying in searches.

    Walter, check out Steve Duin and Michael Richardson’s BETWEEN THE PANELS. Several of our early convention stories are there, Michelle”s and mine and our buddies.

    Michelle wasn’t with us the Sunday nite after a Houston show in ‘73, when I hydroplaned off an offramp and hit head-on a concrete highway pylon. Russ Cochran and Bruce Hershenson came and got us at the hospital. We rented a Uhaul truck the next day, transferred our load, and Bruce helped drove it to Dallas for the next week”s show there. I had to teach him how to drive a stick shift on a funky old 16 foot truck. With a cast on my left leg, I could not use the clutch. Not sure why Dick or Bob didn’t drive, maybe they did too.

    We walked into the Dallas dealer’s room together, and our buddy comic dealers took a look and said, “what happened to you guys?” I had broken my nose, had a cast on my leg, Bob Beerbohm was using a cane, Dick Swan cut himself crawling out a broken window The cops at the crash scene were not very sympathetic once they spotted the undergound comics spilling out of boxes. “Fu***” books was the term I remember thay used. Buncha long-haired California hippies!

    State Farm, I love “em, wired me an insurance check within days and I negociated to buy a new van, mostly by phone, on Saturday during the show, and we picked it up Sunday afternoon. We loaded up and proceeded on to Seuling’s NY Convention that was the following week. We talked Bart Bush into going with us. Bart now runs the OAF-Con in Okla City. His first trip to NYC. Trusting young fellow, considering our track record at that point.

    I had previously blown up two diffrent van engines (my Dad and I rebuilt the first one), the first one driving to San Diego Comic-Con in ‘71 I think…the second returning home after the show in ‘72. That’s when I bought the van we wrecked in Houston the next year. Traded in my sad van with a blown crank shaft and bought a fancy new one that Sunday nite, a couple hundred miles north of Comic-Con (my parents had to co-sign the loan over the phone). We were all in college at the time and had to get home for classes.

    Nothing could keep us from those shows.

  8. Oh, the travel stories are endless from Bud and me! Since I had visited Phil Seuling in 1967-68 and he liked my knowledge and enthusiasm for comics, he asked me to be his primary assistant in 1969 with his first huge show at the Statler-Hilton at 33rd and Seventh in Manhattan (his first show was 1968). Phil may have asked me because I was the only one he knew with a car, willing to drive across the nation and use my 1964 Chevy to transport show materials (like original Barks and Frazetta art!) from Phil’s apartment at 2883 W. 12th St. in Brooklyn.
    In 1970 and 1971, Bud and I traveled in his van, along with a cast of friends, to the Southwest shows in Oklahoma and Texas and to Phil’s show. I arranged with Phil to meet Bud and buddies in 1970 in Brooklyn, although I was visiting friends in Washington D.C. on a short side trip. Bud and buddies arrived in the middle of the night and Phil graciously let them in, knowing they were my friends. I arrived the next day and we had a great time at that show in 1970. I recall speaking to Phil’s classes about comics in 1969 at Lafayette High in Brooklyn (alma mater of Sandy Koufax in 1955!). Bud and buddies pitched in to help as well as exhibit at that wonderful 1970 show. Bud was amazed at Phil’s sheer energy — talk about a larger-than-life guy!
    In 1970, on the way home from New York, Bud’s axel broke along Interstate 74 west of Peoria in Illinois. We found a mechanic in tiny Brimfield and we stayed overnight in the garage area. With the mechanic playing the hero’s role, we moved on the next day. I was driving that same route a couple of years ago and looked in on Brimfield — that garage was long gone, as far as I could tell from memory, although the scenery had not changed.
    In the previous 20 years alone, I drove more than half a million miles to more than 250 conventions, shows and book fairs. It was more than 150,000 miles in the five years of 2015-2019. Bud says he doesn’t know anyone else who has done that. Pray for a vaccine so we can hold conventions again!

  9. Bud, Michelle, I’m literally eating these stories up, Frazetta art, 1971 Brooklyn, California Hippies, I’ve reread them twice now looking for things I missed.

    I for one would love to see a regular serialized “Broken Axles and Hydroplaning – Tales from the Comic Book Road” right here on CBD, nothing too involved, jolts of memory and scene as they come to you both.

  10. Walter, that’s food to our egos. I’ll give it some thought. I know I already get carried away on these comments. Don’t want to be that doddering old guy always telling stories long past anyone caring (my Dad and World War Two, sadly…). But I am only 68, so not buying into “doddering” idea yet. Do check out Between the Panels, Dark Horse did two editions. It’s a page-turner, includng anecdotes and behind the scenes stuff from people now gone.

    Oh, I did write a story for Hope Nicholson’s recent book, Pros and (Comic) Cons. It’s about my first trip trip east in 1970 to OK City Multicon and Seuling’s NY Comic Art Convention. It is based on journals that I kept at the time.

    Walter, if you don’t have a copy, send me your address and I will mail you one, as thanks for these great columns. I even got paid for it, like a real writer. I always try and support Hope’s projects, ever since she and Rachael did the Nelvana collection. Here’s an unabashed plug (didn’t Stan used to say that?) for you others guys reading this. It’s on my website or at your local comic book store (I hope). https://www.budsartbooks.com/pros-and-comic-cons-signed.html

    Not so funny story…at Comic-Con in 2019, Previews Live, or whatever they call it, interviewed and filmed Hope, Trina, Amy Chu and I before the show started about this book. At one point, the girls ganged up on fanboys a bit, about the misogynist old days at the shows…but then, I was probably defensive and am not a misogynist). But it was fun, and meeting Amy Chu is a delight. Trina and I are OLD friends.

    Anyway, we were scheduled for a group signing later in the show. I had last exhibited in 2017, after exhibiting non-stop since 1970. But I got invited as a guest, for their 50th anniversary, so was getting the royal treatment this time, fancy hotel and all. I made it to my two panels okay, but got the time and day of the signing wrong, and was a no-show. Lots of contributors were there, so I don’t think I was seriously missed. But still embarassing, since I wasn’t exhibiting and had plenty of time.

    Well, plenty of time in between scouring through everyone’s booth for Golden Age…Like Walter’s buddy Ted (who had an early Amazing Man for me). On the other hand, on Sunday afternoon, normally hell-time for me with a booth, making deals for a pallet or two of new books, running all over to see publishers, getting ready to pack up, in other words not the time to scout booths…I finally hit Jaime Graham and discovered his Wenker collection of early DC books, low grade and coverless pre-Batman Detectives and More Funs and Adventures, were 50% off. Plus a little more, since we made a deal for $3000+. So, being just a fan for once was pretty darned rewarding.

  11. I will check it out Bud, thanks and I’ll email you my address when I get back from up north. I still think a serialized even monthly installment will dislodge some more epic tales from those memory banks of yours.

    Hope and Rachel are great Bud, Ivan and I did a little bit of work with them with the 1st Nelvana project and they were both so passionate about work and it showed with the great results.

    I remember when Jamie had those books, Jamie is another fine Yank by the way. He used to brave the border and set up quite often in Toronto right beside his pal Harley Yee. Jamie used to send me files of his TV commercials for his shops in Chicagoland. I never had the courage for TV ads but I still do radio ads.

    What were some of the choicer books from Jamie’s pile? How early did the Detectives go?

  12. jaime sold me Wenker coverless Detective #4, 17, 18, 20, 22 – ironically, I just got a G/G+ #18, that great FunManchu cover, and low grade #19, 20, 22, 23 from a buddy selling his run. So I am swimming in cool Detectives….

    Also: he had Wenker coverless More Fun #20, 44, 51, 63 and Adventure #13, 19, 24, 55, 72. With xerox covers, hey, better than $750, $1000, $1250 and up for copies with covers, IF you can find them. The Detectives of course are really expensive lately.

    A cpuple-three years ago, in San Diego, Harley had a bunch of nice sharp coverless pre-Batman Detective issues all slabbed…lord knows why someone went to the trouble. A friend bought them for around $500 each. I thought it was a surprisingly good deal. Before Jaime put mine at half price, he had them stickered as high as $900 ea…coverless.

    Jaime is a really good guy, he treats me well. I wish I saw him more often. Harley, what a hard worker he is. He’s the vacumn before the show, snapping up books. Smart as a whip. Knows it all in his head. He was first to hit me in SD when I had a new batch of 1940s Archies, and another time with a bunch of Matt Baker dupes. And I thought I’d had priced them high, haha. Later on, Terry O’Neill and another dealer or two came by bemoaning that Harley got there first.

    I have a LOT of Harley books in my collection, been dealing with him for a couple decades or longer.

    My favorite though is still Jim Payette, Rare Books and Comics. He grades harder than just about anyone, super fair. I have visited him twice in New Hampshire, each time going thru boxes for an evening, then most of the next day. And still not covering all that he has. He still puts put one big catalog each year, and sets up in Boston only. He has a website and EBay store, but does no other shows. You know Jim?

  13. Detective #4 is almost mythical, and I’m glad you found an 18 with a cover, best cover pre Batman for sure.

    Up here we call Harley the James Brown of comics meaning he is the hardest working man in comics, and always a gentleman. You are so right Bud, Harley has this uncanny knack to find things in the room during set-ups. I feel like one of those girls on the old Old Spice commercials, you know the once where the sailor comes into town and has a girl waiting for him at the dock. Harley always drops by the booth at what seems like the right time, to the dismay of the other dealers that come by later.

    I don’t know Jim Payette but would love to meet him and have a look at his wares. My son has played hockey in New Hampshire for the last two years and this year is going to a college in Connecticut, maybe I can combine a visit.

  14. Bud Plant, I for one would love to hear your Fathers WW2 stories. My Dad, also a 3 year WW2,vet, boasted he never read a comic book in his life. Yet despite this, he made sure I had 2 books a week in the sixties, and further, helped me bag and board my stuff in the 1990’s. And he never failed to repeat his proud boast.

  15. That’s pretty cool, Dave. Nevercraed comics, though, that’s a surprise. I think my Dad read a few comics, but theyy left little impression on him, only the vaguest of memories. Where was your dad stationed? Man, I have nothing but admiration for that generation who went to war for us. Giving uo all you know and love to go off to a foreign country and risk it all. Amazing.

    My Dad never really participated in my comics interest but he was a minor comics fan of sorts, We had softcover collections, just a few, from the fifties or early sixties, around the house…Barnaby, Ferdinand, Pogo, Best of Blondie. And he or my Mom did subscribe for us to Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories, and he and my two sisters and I all read those. Circa 1958-62 maybe. So there were “comics” around, plus of course the daily and Sunday newspapers, he and I read most strips there, every day.

    My Dad and Mom were both First Lieutenants, they met on a troop ship going to N. Africa in ‘42. From opposite ends of the U.S., Oakland Caliif and Pennsylvania. He started out in the Signal Corps (my Dad was a ham radio guy since 1928, and had been in the National Guard for a decade already). Mom was Army Nurse Corps. They married in Cairo, Egypt in ‘43, to the dismay of my Dad’s superior officers, who didn’t approve.

    He built Radio stations there, then they tranferred him to Motor Maintenance and he followed the invasion up into Italy, France, and Belgium. All support stuff, Had his .45 but never was in combat. Obviously, this was a high point of his life, since later on every subject led back to it. But he was discharged in ‘45 and my sister was born in ‘46, and he settled down to a career in “maintenance engineering.” My Mom was a lifetime RN, so is one daughter now.

  16. Wow Bud, what a romantic war time love story. That’s inspiring. The support stuff was just as important and could be dangerous too. The Ham amateur radio enthusiasts radio thing reminds me of Rick Jones in the early Avengers, and his teen brigade with the ham radios. 🙂
    My Uncle was an engineer, building bridges and such as The army advanced, behind the lines. Dad a Tanker , ( Sherman) of the Grenadier Guards 4th armored division. Mom was a school girl back home, sending letters of support to the Canadian soldiers. That’s how they met, a letter campaign. Dad was in Holland, Belgian, France,Germany and more. Granddad served in WW1 and WW2.
    You can imagine my fondness of the Big four DC war books. And of Jack Kirby’s service. This too, seemed to be their happy high point of life. A life well lived.
    God bless all the nurses and RN’s in our Lives Bud. Thanks for taking the time Bud .

    https://scontent.fyyz1-2.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/22851970_302876553550123_4875043027923888997_n.jpg?_nc_cat=108&_nc_sid=8bfeb9&_nc_ohc=kQjCBgxVfXgAX8t2Ph9&_nc_ht=scontent.fyyz1-2.fna&oh=430b84b0d2fa9713085d991fd7eb26ae&oe=5F4EEE80

  17. Its strange Bud, Dad called comics, Funny books. He admitted that many other serviceman read them. But they were of little interest to him.
    He did like Amos and Andy from the papers.
    Dads brother also was in the Army, served and remained there, and retired from it in the early 1970’s.
    Another Uncle on Moms side, he made it over seas, but was shot in the back side on his first day of combat and was sent home. It likely saved his life, and was of some amusement to the rest of the family, at every family reunion there after. 🙂

  18. So we are both products of the war. If there hadn’t been one, neither of our parents would have known one another. Odd to think about.

    A Tanker, whoa! What a scary and hot and nasty job. Yup, all those Haunted tank stories come to mind. Did yoy see the Brad Pitt film, FURY. More than any other film, that captured that DC war imagery, and showed how our smaller tanks were outgunned by a German .88’s. Amazinf movie.

    So lucky your grandad made it thru WWI. What a horrible mess that was. My grandfather, on my Dad’s side! tried to enlist, but he born in 1880, and with my Dad born in ‘11, he was considered too old and/or a family man. I can’t believe he would have volunteered, but it was different times. He was already a structural engineer, and was working on a dock project in ‘06 during the San Francisco earthquake. Story is he sent all his crew home, he knew the fires would be far worse than the quake. Smart cookie. Lived to be 95.

    I think my dad called them funny books too. Bet it was a very common term, dating back to when most were funny. Also, the newspaper comics section were always called “the funny pages”, (and fought over) and the daily strips, I think, were known as “the funnies.”

  19. Bud, Dad was 6 ft 3 but as slim as hell. He really like it inside a Tank, and called it home, every time we drove by a Sherman at a Legion Hall.
    (Ive some of his war gear, but couldn’t fit into it)
    In the evenings Bud, they’d, dig a hole, and drive the Tank over the pit, and sleep underneath. In quiet moments Dad collected guns from the ruins and dead, and eventually brought about 20 home. Its funny how history draws people together. I haven’t seen Fury yet…its almost hard to watch, as Dad past away in 2003. If he were alive, Id watch it for sure. Ill make a point of it.
    I don’t think my family was as sophisticated as your father, farming back ground, yet strangely they enjoyed their war experiences, and had pretty good fortune too, considering. But they didn’t want me joining the Canadian armed forces . No way no how.
    My Father met many American troops during the war. They were friendly, swashbuckling type individuals, who’d shared their rations with the Canucks. Their food and supplies were much superior to the Canadians, who had British supplied rations. Strangely they were segregated units, were as the Canadian British units weren’t. But all were fine fellows according to him. My father was very pro American because of their generosity and fearlessness in battle.

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