Category Archives: Lettering/Fonts

Ira Schnapp in PETER PORKCHOPS

All images © DC Comics

The final new DC title of the 1940s was this one, launched with a Nov/Dec 1949 cover date. It was headlined by friends/adversaries Peter and Wolfie, no doubt inspired by Disney’s “Three Little Pigs.” The book was edited by Larry Nadle and ran to issue #62 dated Oct-Nov 1960. I don’t know who designed the logo, it could have been Ira Schnapp, though he didn’t often use letters as rounded as this. It might also have been the unknown letterer I’ve nicknamed Proto-Schnapp because I think his work was the model for Ira’s own lettering. The sign on this cover could have been by either of them, but I’m giving the nod to Proto-Schnapp because of the wide letters in the last two lines.

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Ira Schnapp in SECRET HEARTS

This and all images © DC Comics

DC’s second romance title followed quickly on the first, GIRL’S LOVE STORIES, beginning the following month and dated Sept/Oct 1949. Once again I believe Ira Schnapp created the elegant logo. He’s the only designer at DC who I think could have pulled off this appealing style with well-structured curved forms having open areas for color, but very readable. He probably also lettered “In this issue” and did the ornaments around DREAM MODEL, though the story titles are type. As with their other romance book, DC at first used stock photos on the covers to distance it from typical comic books and hopefully attract new female readers. Both titles did well, so it must have worked. While editing credits are not certain, this one probably had the same roster of uncredited editors: Robert Kanigher, Zena Brody, Phyllis Reed, Jack Miller, Barbara Friedlander, and by the end of its run in 1971 Dick Giordano and Dorothy Woolfolk. Once again I was astounded to discover the huge amount of work Ira Schnapp did for the title, as you’ll see.

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Ira Schnapp in GIRLS’ LOVE STORIES

Girls' Love Stories 1 cover

Like most comics publishers of the 1940s, National (DC) Comics kept an eye on what others were having success with. The genre of romance comics began at Prize with Joe Simon and Jack Kirby’s YOUNG ROMANCE in 1947. It did quite well, and in 1949, DC entered the fray with this title. It had a long run of 180 issues, and a number of uncredited editors steered it through the 1950s and early 1960s including Robert Kanigher, Zena Brody and Phyllis Reed. Later in the 1960s it was briefly under Larry Nadle, then edited by Jack Miller, Barbara Friedlander and Joe Orlando in the late 60s. Ira Schnapp designed this elegant logo using much thinner forms than was usual for him. Perhaps he was instructed to imitate slick women’s magazines of the time. Comics printing on covers was always better than interiors, and the logo worked fine. The other copy was typeset on some early issues, again trying to look more adult and less like a comic book.

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Ira Schnapp in ALAN LADD and OZZIE & HARRIET

Alan Ladd 1 cover
All images © DC Comics

Two Hollywood star titles that began with Oct/Nov 1949 cover dates are covered this time, THE ADVENTURES OF ALAN LADD and THE ADVENTURES OF OZZIE & HARRIET. Both were short-lived and neither have much involvement from Ira Schnapp, but I’m including them in my survey of his work for completeness. ALAN LADD ran nine issues and the editor of record is Whitney Ellsworth, though the actual editor may have been someone else. Ladd seems an odd choice for comics, though he may have had some appeal for kids of the time. I think the logo was designed by Ira Schnapp, and he probably also did the cover lettering, at least the parts that aren’t set in type. It’s possible they were done by the unknown letterer I’ve nicknamed “Proto-Schnapp” because I think his work was the model for Ira’s lettering, but Proto seems to have used a looser style for logos than what’s seen here.

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Ira Schnapp in SUPERBOY

This and all images © DC Comics

Superboy, the adventures of Superman when he was a boy, was the creation of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and first appeared in MORE FUN COMICS #101 dated Jan/Feb 1945. Soon after that Superboy stories moved to ADVENTURE COMICS and stayed there for decades. The character was popular enough that DC decided to launch his own title edited by Jack Schiff in 1949, though Mort Weisinger took over as editor with issue #24. The book was published bimonthly for a while, then eight times a year, and generally had three Superboy stories in each issue, occasionally two, and rarely a book-length story in three parts. The regular cast included Ma and Pa Kent, Clark Kent as Superboy’s secret identity, his super-dog Krypto, and his girlfriend Lana Lang. The logo and cover lettering on the first issue above were designed by Ira Schnapp. The original Superboy logo by Schnapp is one of the oldest still in the DC Comics files, here’s a scan of it:

The logo draws on Ira’s love for the Art Deco era that was popular when he was a young man in the 1920s. Ira lettered many covers for the title, but just a handful of stories inside.

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