Images © DC Comics

In 1960, DC Comics began another of their many TV comedy series, this one based on a teen romance humor show starring Dwayne Hickman as the title character and Bob Denver as his beatnik sidekick Maynard G. Krebs. The show ran from 1959 to 1963. DC editor Larry Nadle chose his favorite and best humor and personality artist, Bob Oksner, to pencil the stories, I think from the beginning, though the Grand Comics Database doesn’t credit him until issue #5. The logo, topline and balloons are all by Ira Schnapp, and he would letter most of the covers and most of the stories inside. Schnapp’s logo is handsome and cleverly uses hearts and script to enhance the block letters of the main title. I had a look at the TV show logo to see if there are any similarities, and there aren’t. Schnapp’s is much better!

All or most of the covers follow the same theme, with Dobie entranced by a woman and Maynard making a snide comment about that. The logo is pretty tall, but Oksner makes it work, and Ira squeezes in his word balloons where needed.

Issue #10’s cover has some fine sign work by Ira.

Issue #14 has the only use of an actor photo on the covers, in this case a supporting player, with Schnapp sign lettering.

Issue #22 has extra work for Ira on the tree inscriptions, which help tell the story perfectly.

By the final issue, #26 in 1964, the storylines had gotten very silly, but Ira’s lettering was consistently helping to sell the ideas.

I see Ira Schnapp lettering on these covers: 1-4, 6-16, 18, 20-22, 24-26, a total of 22.

A page of Ira’s lettering from the first issue which includes some musical dialogue by Maynard with Ira’s slightly off-model musical notes. As with other DC humor titles, this one usually had one long story broken into three chapters as well as a few one-page fillers, in this case mostly by Mort Drucker and often with Schnapp lettering.

The first page of the main story in issue #6 has some fine sign lettering by Ira.

Ira’s final story lettering was for issue #24, though he was unable to finish and eight of the pages are by Gaspar Saladino. The gimmick of using real girls in the stories, as seen here, was a good one, but too late to help sales.

Here are the stories lettered by Ira Schnapp, all feature Dobie Gillis unless titled otherwise:

#1 May/June 1960: 20pp, Maynard 4pp, Tina Teen 1pp

#2 July/Aug 1960: 26pp, Teen Age 1pp, Sister’s New Boyfriend 1pp

#3 Sept/Oct 1960: 26pp, Dee Jaye 1pp

#4 Nov/Dec 1960: 26pp

#5 Jan/Feb 1961: 1-21 of 26pp (21pp), Teen Views 1pp

#6 March/April 1961: 26pp, Teen Age 1pp, The Beat Set 1pp, On The Job 1pp

#7 May/June 1961: 26pp, Teen Debs 1pp

#8 July/Aug 1961 26pp

#9 Sept/Oct 1961: 26pp, Lola 1pp

#10 Nov/Dec 1961: 26pp, Teen Talk 1pp, Beat Nick 1pp

#11 Jan/Feb 1962: 26pp, Teen Age 1pp

#12 March/April 1962: 26pp

#13 May/June 1962: 26pp, Lola 1pp, Like Young 1pp

#14 July/Aug 1962: 26pp

#15 Sept/Oct 1962: 26pp, Young World 1pp

#16 Nov/Dec 1962: 26pp, It’s A Teen’s World 1pp

#17 Jan/Feb 1963: 26pp, Teen Age 1pp

#18 March/April 1963: 26pp, The Kids On My Block 1pp

#19 May/June 1963: Small Talk 1pp

#20 July/Aug 1963: 26pp

#21 Sept/Oct 1963: 26pp

#22 Nov/Dec 1963: 26pp

#23 Jan/Feb 1964: 26pp

#24 March/April 1964: Pages 1, 10-26 of 26 (18pp)

That’s a total of 603 pages on this title.

PAT BOONE ran a mere five issues in 1959-1960, and Ira Schnapp’s involvement began and ended with the logo, done in typical block letters. Everything else on the cover is type, and so was almost everything inside the comic. The editor was Larry Nadle. As with other licensed properties, I think either the star or his management had specific ideas about what they wanted, and in this case they wanted the series to be as far from a comic book as possible. Perhaps someone didn’t approve of comics or think it was the right venue for Boone. The result is closer to a fan club/movie star magazine.

The stories told in continuity looked like this, with handsome art by Bob Oksner, open panels and typeset lettering. Not a terrible look, but I don’t like it any more than I liked the typeset lettering in MAD. Stories like this made up about a third of each issue. The rest was text stories with spot illustrations, profiles of other musicians, biographical info on Pat and his family, gag cartoons (a few with hand-lettering, most using type), and lots of fan club material. I can see why it didn’t find an audience among comics readers.

More articles like this are on the Comics Creation page of my blog.

The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis TV SHOW on Wikipedia.

Pat Boone on Wikipedia.

Bob Oksner on Wikipedia.

One thought on “Ira Schnapp in DOBIE GILLIS and PAT BOONE

  1. Lou

    Interesting–that Pat Boone panel showing Lynn with a straw in her mouth reminds me a bit of Mike Sekowsky’s art style.

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