STAR SPANGLED COMICS began with the first issue cover-dated Oct. 1941 and ran 130 issues, the last dated July 1952. Early on it starred the Jerry Siegel creation Star-Spangled Kid, and he continued for a long run. Other features came and went until a new lead, Robin (often with Batman making a brief appearance) took over with issue #65 cover-dated Feb. 1947. Later the western character Tomahawk took the lead spot. And, as you can see above, other features like Simon and Kirby’s Guardian and the Newsboy Legion took the cover at times. The cover above for issue #42 is the first one I feel sure was lettered by the legendary Ira Schnapp, probably in late 1944, but let’s look back at some earlier ones. Continue reading
Printed copies of the third in a series of Neil Gaiman mass market paperbacks for which I did title and cover design work arrived yesterday. The release date is October 25th. Neil and I both love the cover painting by legendary illustrator Robert McGinnis, and I had a great time working with it. Here’s how it happened.
On April 12th, 2016 I received an email from Neil containing three McGinnis sketches for the cover art. Neil wrote: “If we are doing a late 50s early 60s cover, what are your thoughts? Fonts and design and such? And do you prefer any of the three?”
Here are the sketches: Continue reading
I’ve just received advance copies of “Stardust,” the second in a series of new paperback versions of Neil Gaiman books with wonderful cover paintings by illustration legend Robert McGinnis and titles and type design by me. I wrote about the first one, “American Gods,” HERE. This book’s release date is Sept. 27th, so it will be on sale soon. Here’s how the final cover was achieved. Continue reading
MORE FUN grew out of the first comic published by Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, NEW COMICS, begun in 1935. The title changed to MORE FUN with issue 7, then MORE FUN COMICS with issue 9 dated March-April 1936. When the Major’s comics were taken over by Harry Donenfeld and Jack Liebowitz, MORE FUN continued as the first title published by “Detective Comics, Inc.” now DC Comics. For many years it was an action-adventure anthology containing features of all types, with superheroes gradually filling the pages, including Doctor Occult, The Spectre, Doctor Fate, Congo Bill, Johnny Quick, Green Arrow and Aquaman. The title was edited by Mort Weisinger for a while, with Jack Schiff taking over with issue #83 in 1942. With issue #101 dated Jan.-Feb. 1945, a new feature, Superboy, was introduced, the stories of Superman as a boy. With issue #108 dated March 1946, all the superhero features moved to ADVENTURE COMICS, and the remaining issues of MORE FUN were mainly filled with humorous stories. Issue #121 dated April 1947 saw the introduction of a fantasy strip, “Jimminy and the Magic Book,” which was the lead feature until the series was cancelled with issue #127 dated Nov.-Dec. 1947.
As with other 1940s National (DC) comics I’ve looked through, Ira Schnapp’s involvement begins with issues dated in early 1945, which means his work for it was begun probably in the fall of 1944. Starting with cover lettering, issue 105 dated Sept.-Oct. 1945, above, is clearly lettered by Ira, the script style of “Featuring” is unmistakable. Some of the other lettering is his early display style seen on other covers he did in this period. Let’s see if we can follow his style back through a few earlier covers. Continue reading
Determining which stories in WORLD’S FINEST were lettered by Ira Schnapp is the focus of this article, and on the early examples it’s not an easy task. For one thing, his style had not yet settled into the familiar one I see in many DC issues from 1946 on. For another, I don’t have great scans of some early issues. Let’s begin by looking at the story lettering for issue #15 dated Fall 1944, for which I do have good scans. Continue reading