IRA SCHNAPP in BATMAN Part 3

Batman 34 detail
This and all images © DC Comics.

Concluding my research into the work of Ira Schnapp on interior stories for BATMAN, issue #34, April-May 1946, has no work by Ira. There are three Batman stories credited in the Grand Comics Database by comics historians Michael O’Hearn and Joe Desris to Joe Letterese with a question mark, making it a guess. I worked with Joe, and I know he was on staff in the Marvel bullpen in the early to mid 1950s. I don’t know what he was doing in the 1940s, so it’s conceivable he could have worked for DC as a freelance letterer, but the Batman lettering on this story, sample above, has the distinctive exclamation marks of Dick or Lora Sprang (working as Pat Gordon). All three stories are drawn by Sprang.

Batman 35 page

Issue #35 has three Batman stories that are all lettered by Ira Schnapp in the style he was using at the time, much wider letters than he would settle on later, and the R’s have an up-curved right leg.

Batman 36 page

Issue #36, Aug-Sept 1946, again has three Batman stories lettered by Schnapp. The third story, first page above, has a title in Old English style, something Ira liked to do when he had a chance.

Batman 36 detail

Here’s a closer look at some of the lettering from the first story, classic mid-1940s Schnapp.

Batman 36 detail

On the third story his lettering is less wide in some places, a trend that would continue in the future especially when there was less room for the lettering.

Batman 37 detail

Issue #37, Oct-Nov 1946, has only one story credited to Schnapp, the second Batman story, detail above, and it’s very much in Ira’s style.

Batman 38 page

Issue #38 has three Batman stories, all in Ira Schnapp’s mature style, and from here on, it remains so, and is easy to identify. Ira became the regular Batman letterer, often doing all three Batman stories until issue #68 dated Dec 1951-Jan 1952, though he missed a few issues completely.

Batman 40 detail

Issue #40, for instance, has three stories drawn by Dick Sprang and probably lettered by either him or his wife Lora (as Pat Gordon). Note the distinctive exclamation marks.

Batman 46 page.

The same is true for issue #46. These stories are attributed to Joe Letterese, but I think that’s unlikely. Again, some of the exclamation marks suggest Pat Gordon (Lora Sprang).

Batman 69 page

Issue #69, Feb-March 1952, has two stories attributed to Joe Rosen, sample above from the second. An interesting idea, and I haven’t studied Joe’s work enough to know if I agree, but the title does have a Marvel look to it. The third Batman story is attributed to Joe Letterese, but I’m sure Joe was on staff at Marvel then.

Batman 70 page

Ira Schnapp continued to letter some Batman stories from 1952 to 1962, example above from issue #70, though his participation dwindled in favor of other letterers like Pat Gordon (who, if the attributions of O’Hearn and Desris are correct, gave up using that distinctive exclamation mark) and then Stan Starkman beginning in 1958, another letterer who came over from Marvel when work there dried up for him.

Batman 164 page

With issue #164, June 1964, the debut of the new-look Batman spearheaded by Carmine Infantino (though drawn here by Sheldon Moldoff and Joe Giella), Gaspar Saladino became the regular letterer on BATMAN for some years. Ira Schnapp’s lettering was then only seen on reprints of old stories, or 1940’s Batman newspaper strips he also lettered.

Batman 197 page

Ira Schnapp made one final appearance as BATMAN letterer on issue #197 dated Dec 1967. This was a 23-page Catwoman story, a nice way for him to close out this chapter of his work.

Here’s a list of the interior stories I believe are lettered by Ira Schnapp in BATMAN. All stories feature Batman and Robin except a few Alfred ones as noted.

#16 April-May 1943: 3rd Batman & Robin 13pp (not sure about this one, but I’m counting it)

#27 Feb-March 1945: 2nd B&R story 12 pages

#28 April-May 1945: 3 B&R stories 12pp, 12pp, 12pp

#31 Oct-Nov. 1945: 3 B&R stories 12pp, 11pp, 12pp, Alfred 4pp

#32 Dec 1945-Jan 1946: Alfred 4pp

#33 Feb-March 1946: 3 B&R stories 12pp, 13pp, 12pp

#35 June-July 1946: 3 B&R stories 12pp, 12pp, 13pp

#36 Aug-Sept 1946: 3 B&R stories 12pp, 12pp, 12pp

#37 Oct-Nov 1946: 2nd B&R story 12pp

#38 Dec 1946-Jan 1947: 3 B&R stories 12pp, 11pp, 13pp

#39 Feb-March 1947: 3 B&R stories 12pp, 13pp, 13pp

#41 June-July 1947: 3 B&R stories 12pp, 12pp, 13pp

#42 Aug-Sept 1947: 3 B&R stories 12pp, 13pp, 13pp

#43 Oct-Nov 1947: 3 B&R stories 12pp, 13pp, 13pp

#44, Dec 1947-Jan 1948: 3 B&R stories 12pp, 13pp, 13pp

#45 Feb-March 1948: 3 B&R stories 12pp, 13pp, 12pp

#47 June-July 1948: 3 B&R stories 10pp, 12pp, 13pp

#48 Aug-Sept 1948: 3 B&R stories 12pp, 12pp, 11pp

#49 Oct-Nov 1948: 3 B&R stories 12pp, 12pp, 12pp

#50 Dec 1948-Jan 1949: 3 B&R stories 12pp, 12pp, 13pp

#51 Feb-March 1949: 3 B&R stories 13pp, 12pp, 12pp

#52 April-May 1949: 3 B&R stories 12pp, 12pp, 13pp

#53 June-July 1949: 3 B&R stories 12pp, 12pp, 12pp

#54 Aug-Sept 1949: 3 B&R stories 12pp, 12pp, 12pp

#55 Oct-Nov 1949: 2nd & 3rd B&R stories 13pp, 12pp

#56 Dec 1949-Jan 1950: 2nd & 3rd B&R stories 13pp, 10pp

#57 Feb-March 1950: 2nd & 3rd B&R stories 12pp, 12pp

#58 April-May 1950: 3 B&R stories 12pp, 12pp, 12pp

#59 June-July 1950: 3 B&R stories 12pp, 10pp, 12pp

#60 Aug-Sept 1950: 3 B&R stories 12pp, 12pp, 13pp

#61 Oct-Nov 1950: 3 B&R stories 12pp, 12pp, 12pp

#62 Dec 1950-Jan 1951: 1st & 2nd B&R stories, 12pp, 12pp

#63 Feb-March 1951: 1st & 3rd B&R stories, 12pp, 12pp

#64 April-May 1951: 2nd & 3rd B&R stories 12pp, 12pp

#65 June-July 1951: 1st & 2nd B&R stories 12pp, 12pp

#66 Aug-Sept 1951: 1st & 2nd B&R stories 12pp, 12pp

#67 Oct-Nov 1951: 3 B&R stories 12pp, 12pp, 13pp

#68 Dec 1951-Jan 1952: 3 B&R stories 12pp, 12pp, 10pp

#70 April-May 1952: 1st B&R story 12pp

#71 June-July 1952: 1st B&R story 12pp

#72 Aug-Sept 1952: 3rd B&R story 12pp

#73 Oct-Nov 1952: 2nd & 3rd B&R stories 10pp, 12pp

#74 Dec 1952-Jan 1953: 2nd & 3rd B&R stories, 10pp, 10pp

#75 Feb-March 1953: 1st & 3rd B&R stories 10pp, 12pp

#76 April-May 1953: 2nd B&R story 10pp

#77 June-July 1953: 3rd B&R story 10pp

#78 Sept-Oct 1953: 3rd B&R story 10pp

#97 Feb 1956: 3rd B&R story 8pp

#99,April 1956: 3rd B&R story 8pp

#105 Feb 1957: 2nd B&R story 6pp

#118 Sept 1958: 1st & 2nd B&R stories 10pp, 6pp

#121 Feb 1959: 2nd B&R story 8pp

#122 March 1959: 2nd B&R story 8pp

#140 June 1961: 1st & 2nd B&R stories 9pp, 8pp

#147 May 1962: 2nd B&R story 8pp

#151 Nov 1962: 1st & 2nd B&R stories, 17pp, 9pp

#197 Dec 1967: only B&R story 23pp

There are also reprints of Ira’s lettering in issues 176, 187, 193 and 198.

So, to sum up, that’s 1,441 pages lettered by Ira Schnapp on this title. Plenty more titles to look at, and his total is mounting!

Other parts of this article and many others on Ira Schnapp can be found on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

2 thoughts on “IRA SCHNAPP in BATMAN Part 3

  1. Nick Caputo

    Todd,

    Thanks for giving attention to Ira Schnapp and his work on Batman. I’ll add some of the missing credits to the GCD and credit your site. In regards to the Joe Rosen attribution, I’ve looked at a lot of his work, which was primarily for Harvey in this period; this job looks more similar to brother Sam.

    Keep up the great work researching and crediting these unsung greats.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.